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Community efforts underway ahead of Pride month

Which begins Wednesday, June 1
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Pride month kicks off Wednesday, and Pride flags will be seen flying across the region. Efforts are also underway to bring more visibility to the community.

Spectrum -- Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space is working alongside community partners to bring a series of different events throughout the month. There will be something for everyone.  

With June also being bike month, the community space is doing bike event with the City of Kitchener and the OK2BME team at K-W Counselling Services.

"Together in Pride Ride will happen on June 17. It will be a 7K fun ride to bring that visibility through the community. People who want to cycle will meet at the K-W Counselling Services parking lot at 7 p.m.," said Scott Williams, executive director at Spectrum.

The month will have a wide variety of activities for families, children, and adults.

Williams notes Pride month is not just a party, but protesting as well. "That is how Pride month was born." he adds. "There is still a lot of work to be done and these events are designed to bring visibility and education to the community."

Spectrum is part of a coalition of Ontario organizations that started the initiative for Queer Vote Ontario.The campaign calls on political party leaders to prioritize 2SLGBTQI+ ahead of the provincial election.

"The Queer Vote Ontario initiative is designed to help bring visibility. So often, what happens is that politicians outside of Pride month do not mention 2SLGBTQI+ people. We want to make sure these issues are in front of our minds as we head into the election."

The community has put forward three priorities for all party leaders to commit to.

Creating an action plan for the 2SLGTBQI+ community. Expanding coverage of and access to gender-affirming healthcare. Lastly, creating a $25 million annual funding program for 2SLGBTQI+ services.

"We included in this initiative a survey for all local candidates, and several responded. We shared their answers on our website to give people a better idea of who supports the 2SLGBTQI+ issue as we go into the elections," said Williams.

Click here for a complete list of events from Spectrum for Pride month.

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