Pride Month 2023

Image of rainbow flag against a background of blue sky and trees with the words Pride Month at the topWe welcome Pride Month this year with joy and celebration and with the knowledge that love, care, and community are the building blocks of the world.

At the AECEO we say that educators are world builders. As ECEs we help to craft the worlds that children and families experience. We craft worlds with our intent, with our skills and knowledge, and with our relationships and our care.

In the face of a world that is increasingly, openly hostile to 2SLGBTQIA+ people, it has NEVER been more important that educators step bravely, visibly, and loudly into our obligation to create better worlds for 2SLGBTQIA+ children and families. The AECEO recognizes that being an activist can present risks and we are committed to creating safe spaces for our community and stand together as we advocate for equal access to rights and protections.

We step into this Pride Month with the knowledge that around the world 2SLGBTQIA+ children and families have been forced onto the frontlines of a homophobic and transphobic war of rhetoric that they did not choose, and that offers them no mercy. 

On this continent and others, 2SLGBTQIA+ children, families, and educators are faced with constant and overwhelming news cycles that show those in authority - or those seeking authority - expressing hatred and violence towards them without remorse or redress. Those who hope to sow fear for political gain are silencing queer stories, disavowing trans humanity, and questioning the very right of 2SLGBTQIA+ people to exist. This is not an issue faced only by our neighbours to the south. Here in Ontario, in our home towns, prospective school board trustees ran openly anti-trans municipal election campaigns; library story hours have been picketed by adults chanting hateful and harmful messages; and children, not immune or unconscious to the 24 hour news cycle, are quietly afraid.

As world builders, as educators, our work is clear.

This June we will celebrate Pride with joy, for ourselves, our families, and our communities. 

We will also speak out.

We will keep raising our voices until every 2SLGBTQIA+ child in our care, and every 2SLGBTQIA+ family in our community, and every 2SLGBTQIA+ educator in our sector has a world where they belong. A world where they are safe to engage as their authentic selves, where their expression is gratefully welcomed, and their well-being is assured and nurtured.

With love and Pride,

The AECEO team

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