Celebrating Diversity: Proud to support Pride

It’s Pride Week in Victoria June 30 to July 7. From last weekend’s Youth Pride Parade kick-off, to the closing Victoria Pride Parade on July 8, Pride Week is a celebration of diversity.

Celebrating diversity is easy to get behind: United Way’s purpose is to create and support a strong, inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

United Way Toronto’s Local Love newsletter features a useful article about how parents should and shouldn’t react when their children come out. It can make a huge difference to kids’ feeling of self-worth says Afi Browne, a provincial LGBTQ+ youth outreach worker who works for a United Way funded agency in Toronto.

They advise that there are plenty of positive things you can say to your kid, but there are definitely things you shouldn’t say, including “Don’t worry, it’s just a phase.” Instead, the youth worker recommends that you validate your child’s experiences and express your support. “The best thing to say is, ‘Thank you for telling me. Thank you for trusting me. I love you unconditionally,’” says Browne.

For youth, United Way Greater Victoria funds a number of organizations like Island Sexual Health Society, Salt Spring and Southern Gulf Islands Community Services Society, and Victoria Youth Empowerment Society that offer counselling, information and resources, group social activities, or just someone to talk to about any issue including identity.