Chiliwack – On Thursday, the Chilliwack Pride Banners were up in the downtown core. City crews were busy hanging them.
Teri Westerby, the President of Chilliwack Pride told FVN:
Flourishing communities are communities that are diverse and inclusive. The Chilliwack Pride Society is thrilled to see Chilliwack City Council and Downtown BIA support its 2SLGBTQIA+ community through the funding of these powerful banners to be displayed during the month of Pride. We are also grateful for the work and dedication of all those involved in seeing this project come to life and can’t wait to celebrate Pride with the community later this summer.
Chilliwack has been on quite a journey as it grows into a more inclusive city that embraces diversity and learns to challenge discrimination, systemic racism and the oppression of 2SLGBTQIA+ folks. This pride banner project was an epic; the foundation laid with the blood, sweat, and tears of the community members who blazed the trail – facing hate crimes, discrimination, and indifference to our suffering. I want to acknowledge them and their sacrifices. I want to recognize all those who fought bravely and valiantly for the symbols of inclusion that have been denied in the past and hold space for the hurt that was caused to our community. This has been hard-earned. When we stand under these banners this June for Pride month, I hope we all get a moment to feel the sense of belonging and achievement that we deserve, recognized as valuable members of this community. The words on the design reflect this: the courage to step out each day authentically, despite knowing what you may face. Pride in who you are. Making space for every unique person and accepting them for who they are. Hope that things will get better. And finally, love. Because that’s what this is all about, after all. The freedom to love, to be loved, for who you are, for all that you are, no exceptions.