Some people wonder why in the year 2019, there still needs to be a Pride flag with a corresponding event/celebration.
One has to look no further than the Town of Taber for the last three years, where a year does not seem to go by when the Taber Equality Alliance has tried to organize some time for a Pride event highlighting the trials, tribulations and celebrations of the LGBTQ community, where it’s met with some sort of resistance of some kind. Simply type in the words Pride flag into the Taber Times website search engine and you will see the struggles.
This year has been no different with an online petition circulating around, citing primarily religious reasons against the symbol of hope for the LGBTQ community. Pride flag are flying everywhere across Canada, be it public spaces, military institutions, police stations or schools and yet in Taber, among the power brokers, there seems to be so much push back.
Why is this? A common refrain is the group is looking for ‘special’ treatment. Set aside the notion the Taber Equality Alliance originally applied under a town flag protocol bylaw that was open to any group, and was rescinded over a threat to public safety of another arsonist taking aim at the flag, should ‘special treatment’ be applied to other groups? Why do mothers and fathers get a special day? Why do Christians get holidays? Why do the Irish get a special day on St. Patrick’s Day? See how ridiculous that sounds? So why is the LGBTQ community pointed out all the time as the bad outlier of diversity?
Times staff have had people approach them bragging about people they knew who were going to make an attempt at destroying the Pride flag last year. Local religious leaders have noted both their disdain and support of Taber’s Pride Day. Businesses and subscribers have threatened boycotts because the newspaper has dared include the few stories about the LGBTQ community it has had in its pages in a 52-week news cycle.
If these are not reasons to try and build bridges of love and understanding with the symbolism of a Pride flag and corresponding awareness day, what is?