In My Opinion: Pride Month celebrations help build inclusivity, diversity, equality and love

Eloise Morrison, with her four sons, speaks at the Pride Flag raising ceremony held at St. John Catholic School on the morning of Thursday, June 16. Photo by Alan Shackleton.

By ELOISE MORRISON

History was made one year ago on June the 1, 2021. The Toronto Catholic District School Board voted in favour of flying the rainbow flags outside its schools and offices to celebrate Pride Month every June, declaring a victory for the 2SLGBTQ community.

When this announcement was made one year ago, June the 1st, 2021, so many emotions came flooding back and a sense of release came over me.

Staff, students and community members celebrate as the Pride Flag is raised during a ceremony at St. John Catholic School on Kingston Road on the morning of June 16. Photo by Alan Shackleton.

It was a huge victory for myself and my family as our celebration had a double deep meaning. It was a beautiful celebration and a full circle moment at St. John Catholic School on Kingston Road as this was the school I attended from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8.

The messaging that resonated with me from my years at St. John’s was that being gay was a sin and that if anyone partake in these relationships they will go straight to hell.

Unbeknownst to the school and church, my father was gay and I was left with strong feelings of judgement, shame and disillusionment which I have battled with my whole life.

Decades later my two sons are in attendance at St. John and my two other sons have since graduated. The significance of the raising of the Pride flag was felt by my children and family members as well. It is a huge step forward in declaring our schools safe, inclusive and that we are all celebrated and wonderfully made in the eyes of the Lord.

The tribute set up by Eloise and her family to her late father George Morrison who was born on June 1, which is now the first day of Pride Month. Photo: Submitted.

This year in honour of Pride Month and my late father George Morrison’s birthday on June 1st we celebrated by coming together to share our Pride stories.

We plan to make this a yearly event as we continue to work towards building and supporting inclusivity, diversity, equality and love.

On June 16, I spoke at the Pride Flag raising ceremony at St. John Catholic School. It was a much anticipated and wonderful Pride celebration  ~ continuing to build a beautiful tradition that includes love, diversity, acceptance and inclusion for all within the St. John community.


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