Rainbow Rally showcases support for 2SLGBTQ+ community

By Justine Fraser

This week is known across Canada as the Rainbow Week of Action – it celebrates a country where everyone feels free and equal to be their true selves.

It was created by Momentum Canada as a way to combat a rise in hate the 2SLGBTQ+ community says they are seeing. They have a list of calls to action for different levels of government.

A Rainbow Rally has been planned at Kitchener City Hall this Friday, starting at 5:30 p.m., rain or shine. The organizer, Brooklin Wallis, is also the Director of Spectrum WR, Chair of the Kitchener Climate Change and Environmental Committee and Co-Founder of ACORN WR.

“We’re seeing a lot of rights back peddle around Canada and around the United States and around the world. It’s to remind politicians that we’re here and we’re not going anywhere,” said Wallis in an interview with CityNews 570.

“We aren’t going to just sit back and watch things disappear.”

May 17 is also the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

Wallis said the goal of the rally is to spread a more joyous and positive message about supporting the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

 “We have a nice lineup of speakers that are going to talk from just experience growing up here in Kitchener, as well as talking about some of the anti-trans reports going around.”

Some of those speakers include Kamil Ahmed, a community organizer for TriPride, president of ACORN WR Cori Bonaparte, local comedian Kez Vicario-Robinson, and drag king Manny Manila.

Wallis is part of a national group of activists that talk about what they’re doing or want to do to promote the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Wallis said they didn’t want to just create a counter-protest to combat the rise in hate, they wanted to find a way to spread a positive message that unifies people by their diversity.

Some of the calls to action for municipal and regional governments, like the Region of Waterloo, include investing in local community services that provide public education, peer support and programs for 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and their families. They want them to create a 2SLGBTQ+ advisory committee with a municipal action plan that was developed alongside local community leaders.

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