By ELISA MOOLECHERRY and OFELIA LORET DE MOLA
In May of 2021, the Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees voted in favour of raising the Pride flag for the first time and proclaiming the month of June as Pride Month.
The board later released a statement supporting their decision, promoting “values of love, inclusion, compassion, and care for all, including 2SLGBTQ+ individuals. Flying the Pride Flag increases our awareness of the dignity of each human person and our care for all who may be marginalized.”
On June 1, 2021, St. Denis Catholic School in the Beach took the opportunity to acknowledge this important step forward. However due to circumstances at the time, a full celebration could not be organized. On the heels of an Equity Circle being formed by a group of parents at the school in 2020, a subdivision was started to specifically advocate for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
These parents, in conjunction with members of St. Denis staff, have been preparing a Pride celebration for 2022 beginning on Wednesday, June 1, where the whole school community will be able to join.
Anthony Pauk, Principal of St. Denis Catholic School, is in full support. “In every Catholic school I’ve ever worked at, we’ve always supported staff and students who were members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. By celebrating and highlighting the importance of inclusivity on a specific day, we are proudly making a public statement that all students are included in our school communities,” he said.
Some of the celebrations include introducing resources to the school library that support 2SLGBTQ+ students, guest speakers, music and dance, as well as a Pride-themed art installation.
While this June 1 event is solely for the St. Denis Catholic School community, we want to share the excitement of this positive and long-awaited celebration.