Council takes steps to ensure 2SLGBTQ+ residents, business owners and visitors feel safe and welcome in Mississippi Mills
At their May 18th meeting Council passed a motion declaring June as Pride Month to support inclusion awareness and the two-spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (2SLGBTQ+) communities in Mississippi Mills. To promote a broader conversation about inclusivity in the community Council also approved three additional actions.
- That Council participate in an inclusive awareness session facilitated by Pride in Mississippi Mills. This session was held in June. Senior Staff will have similar training this fall.
- That a Progress Flag crosswalk be installed. As a further demonstration of support, Council directed staff to work with PRIDE Mississippi Mills to identify suitable locations for the installation of at least one Progress Flag Crosswalk. Extra efforts were made to ensure all wards were included and two Pride crosswalks were also installed within the budget for the project.
- That the Pride banner be flown at the Almonte Old Town Hall for a second year.
With budget and timing in mind, Council considered these items requested by PRIDE Mississippi Mills for June, 2021 and also made suggestions about how inclusivity could be demonstrated in the future. Council supports the 2SLGBTQ+ communities and the need for conversation about inclusivity in Mississippi Mills.
Research has found that lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 5x more likely to consider suicide and 7x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. The work being undertaken by municipal council and staff is done with the goal of ensuring Mississippi Mills is a welcoming community, where everyone feels free to be themselves and love who they choose.
“Statements like proclaiming June as Pride Month and symbols such as the Progress Flag are important in all communities, but perhaps even more so in smaller communities like ours.” Mayor Christa Lowry explained “They are important because they signal that everyone is welcome just as they are. No matter how someone is born – whether blue, green or brown-eyed, right or left-handed, and regardless to sexual orientation or expression – everyone is welcome in Mississippi Mills. I am proud of Council for making this unanimous decision of support. We all belong.”
To bring focus on inclusion and progress within 2SLGBTQ+ communities, the Almonte crosswalk features the new Progress Flag design. While retaining the widely recognised six-stripe rainbow design as a base, the Progress variation adds a chevron along the side that features black, brown, light blue, pink, and white stripes to bring marginalized people of colour and transgender individuals to the forefront. The Almonte Progress crosswalk is located at the bottom of Mill Street crossing Almonte Street, in Pakenham the Pride crosswalk is across Elizabeth Street. and in Clayton near the Clayton General Store. These crosswalks were made possible thanks to generous community donations. Thank you to our sponsors, Carebridge Community Support, Dairy Distilleries, Pakenham & District Civitan Club, Paddye Mann Designs Inc. and Lorraine Albert & Bruce Attfield.
To learn more about Mississippi Mills Pride visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/prideinmm