Cassidy's Blog: Celebrating Pride

Adelle and Kathy from the Foundation
helped out by serving some rainbow
sorbet to patients, staff, volunteers
and guests.

June 21, 2018

Hello everyone! Hope your summer is toasty and your sunburns are minimal.

The hospital kicked off the week with a very special event: For the first time in its history, Bluewater Health raised the rainbow flag to celebrate Pride month. Alongside the flag raising, the Healthy Living Team (with help from the Foundation) also organized a small event in the atrium, where several groups (Lambton Public Health, North Lambton Community Health Centre, PFLAG, Sarnia Pride Alliance, Sarnia Speaks, Spectrum (Sarnia-Lambton Rebound) and Transgender Support Sarnia-Lambton) were invited to set up tables and educate patients and employees about the various aspects of LGBTQ+ health, wellness, and culture in our community. Oh, there was also FREE rainbow sorbet being served, so with everything going on, you really missed out if you didn’t stop by

We got a lot of questions during this event, and it reminded me just how little I actually knew about LGBTQ+ history. So, I did a little research, and wanted to share it with you!

We celebrate pride because in some places, being gay is still considered a crime. Even in places like Canada, LGBTQ+ folks are still not fully accepted by society, and face higher rates of mental illness than heterosexual folks. Pride is a time for LGBTQ+ people, friends, and allies to come together to squash stigma, celebrate  diversity, and strengthen the community.

June was chosen as pride month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which happened in New York City on June 28th, 1969. The first gay pride event was organized the next year.

The rainbow flag was first flown in San Francisco’s 1978 pride parade. Originally designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker, the rainbow flag has undergone a few changes over the years (the original included hot pink for sexuality, and turquoise for magic/art). The most common flag has six colours, each with their own meaning:

  • Red = Life
  • Orange = Healing
  • Yellow = Sunlight
  • Green = Nature
  • Blue = Serenity
  • Violet = Spirit

I think it’s awesome that Bluewater Health is celebrating Pride this year, and I’m so happy that I got to be a part of their very first Pride event!  It’s certainly a step in the right direction, and is one step toward creating a safe and welcoming space for everyone. I can’t wait to see what the Hospital has in store for next year. Hope you have an awesome day, and I’ll see you next week!

Cassidy is a second-year Digital Photography student at Lambton College chronicling her experience in the Foundation office over the course of the summer.