Another Pride Week is upon us and we couldn’t be more proud. This year, we are thrilled that one of the grand marshals of the Pride Parade is Squamish Nation council member and DJ Orene Askew.
Askew is an uplifting role model for other two-spirited young Indigenous people. If you aren’t familiar with the term two spirited, it’s probably because so little attention has been paid to Indigenous perspectives about sexuality. It means having both a masculine and feminine spirit in oneself. Prior to colonization, it was something to be venerated.
But settler’s brought European customs and laws, and the residential school system enforced one layer of persecution on top of another.
We’re grateful as well for the Squamish Pride Committee and their efforts to restore the Nch’ú7mut or “one love” to those members who have been so hurt. You’ll find the pride society’s members dancing atop a custom float in this year’s parade. The Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Nations will also have floats in the parade.
There’s been controversy over institutions like UBC or the Vancouver Public Library being banned from the parade for hosting anti-trans speakers. But being a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community means having to be vigilant to make sure hard-won gains are not lost. Today, there are still people, including politicians, who believe their religion gives them a mandate to treat others as second-class citizens.
So we tip our hats to people like Askew and the Squamish Pride Society. You give us all reason to be proud.
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