When we think of Pride Week, many things come to mind: the start of it all at the riots in Stonewall so many years ago, to the defeat most recently of the Defence of Marriage Act in the United States, and the fact that we are protected throughout our country and province.
Another important piece to remember and reflect on during our time of celebration is what it means to be a part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) community.
To be in a community means to identify, to live and work with people similar to yourself.
To have community means to care for one another, to work together for the greater good, and to love one another.
We have that in the LGBT community.
At work, at play and in life, we take care of one another in our struggle and journey to show that we are people like everyone else, and do not want to be judged based on who we love.
Our journey as a community is to show the world that we are everyday people.
We work at everyday jobs - some of us lawyers, teachers, service providers, food industry workers.
We have families with children, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and pets.
We have fun with sports, writing, hunting and painting.
We are everyday people who happen to love someone, and that, like our jobs, families and fun are just a piece of who we are as people.
And that, along with everything else, makes our community as diverse as our individual experiences.
We have come in leaps and bounds since the days of Stonewall, past the days where it was a crime in Canada to be homosexual, and on a path to acceptance and understanding of our brothers and sisters who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans.
But we did this together, as a community, and there is still work to be done.
Our brothers and sisters, and those who identify with neither, under the trans umbrella, are still not fully protected legally on a federal or provincial level.
We must work to make sure that all those in our community are protected on the streets and have the protection of the law from being attacked, or unjustly fired from their workplace because of appearance, and work for greater understanding through education and knowledge.
We must work together as a community to show the younger generations the warmth and care that is within our community, to let them know that they have people who care and love them just the way they are, no matter who they happen to love.
We must work to make sure that these children and young people do not take their lives before they can experience the love that the world has, and before they can escape the relentless attacks from bullies in the schoolyard and at home.
We can do this together.
So when you think about Pride at one of the many events, remember where we have come as a community, where we are and where we have yet to go.
The LGBT community has love and compassion, and united together we will see a world where we are accepted as an equal part of everyday society, and brightening the world with a rainbow that is as unique as we are.
President, St. John's Pride Inc.