Rainbow Crosswalk in Surrey. File photo, 2018.

See how the City is celebrating Pride Month in June. 

May 31, 2021

Each June, LGBTQ2IA+ communities around the world celebrate Pride Month in honour of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The riots were a tipping point in LGBTQ2IA+ history and are credited for giving birth to the modern LGBTQ2IA+ rights movement.

During Pride Month, many communities hold pride parades and celebrations to recognize diverse sexual and gender identities, histories and cultures. Pride Month is also a time to advocate and take a positive stance against discrimination and violence toward the LGBTQ2IA+ community.

Pride in Surrey

In recognition of Pride Month, the City will be:

  • Putting forth an annual proclamation to Council during the June 14 meeting to declare June Pride Month in the City of Surrey.
  • Lighting Civic Plaza from June 21 to 29, 2021 to display the colours of the pride flag.
  • Sharing the release of a film titled “Emergence: Out of the Shadows” by Alex Sangha, which features Surrey residents. The City’s cultural grants contribution is credited as a sponsor. 
  • Highlighting stories and collections through our social media channels in celebration of Canadian National Pride day on Monday, June 28. 

Pride at Surrey Libraries

Surrey Libraries will also be launching a series of initiatives during Pride Month:

  • Promoting awareness of LGBTQ2IA+ information and resources though updated book lists for adults, teens and families
  • Pride Alliance virtual event with games and crafts for youth that identify as LGBTQ2IA+;
  • Featuring pride themed information on the Library website, and Surrey Libraries News & Updates newsletter;
  • Sharing pride themed posts from the City & community partners throughout June on the Library’s Facebook, Twitter & Instagram accounts;
  • Featuring pride themed displays in branches, and highlighting LGTBQI2A+ authors & creators in Library News & Reviews website
  •  Staff participation in virtual Surrey Pride Festival, submitting video on what the library has to offer and significance of Pride month.

Rainbow Flags

Rainbow flags are used to symbolize LGBTQ2IA+ pride. In Surrey, a rainbow flag is featured prominently at the crosswalk of University Drive and 100 Ave in City Centre.

The first rainbow flag was designed by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. He was quoted in an interview saying, "Our job as gay people was to come out, to be visible, to live in the truth, as I say, to get out of the lie. A flag really fit that mission, because that's a way of proclaiming your visibility or saying, 'This is who I am!'"

LGBTQ2IA+ Rights in Canada

LGBTQ2IA+ rights in Canada has made steady gains since the 1960s. Some notable milestones include:

  • 1969: amendments were made to the Criminal Code to decriminalize homosexuality
  • 1996: the Canadian Human Rights Act was amended to include sexual orientation as one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination
  • 2005: Canada became the fourth country worldwide to legalize same-sex marriage

Learn more about the chronology of LGTBTQ+ advances in Canada and in BC through the BC Teachers' Federation site.

Rainbow Pride Flag