Dear Kingston City Council... We Missed You!
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Dear Mayor Paterson, Councillor Gary Osterhof, Councillor Kevin George, Councillor Lisa Osanic, Councillor Laura Turner, Councillor Liz Schell, Councillor Adam Candon, Councillor Mary Rita Holland, Councillor Jeff McLaren, Councillor Peter Stroud, Councillor Rob Hutchison, & Councillor Ryan Boehme (essentially everyone on Kingston City Council except Councillor Jim Neill) we missed you at Pride in Kingston this past Saturday.
We know how busy your lives can be and there were many events and activities happening in our fair city on Saturday. Doors Open seemed to have been the big, fun event according to the City's social media. We also know that sometimes you don't realize what it's like to be some of your constituents who are harassed, threatened, bullied or hospitalized because of their gender or sexual orientation. Or even to live daily with that fear of being victimized. To sum up, it's no Doors Open. One day out of the year, we rally, we rejoice, we empower ourselves and each other, we celebrate our differences, we try and forget the scary stuff and buoy our spirits with the help of our allies. Let's make no mistake, this day is about those of us whose sexual or gender orientation makes us marginalized, oppressed, erased and ostracized but our allies are a key element in making us feel PRIDE. This is where you come in! We elected you to represent us. You all voted to fly the Pride Flag which is lovely but you knew if you didn't you'd probably be the only municipality who didn't east of Saskatchewan. You were more or less all present during last year's tragedy in Orlando after 49 LGBTQ and allied lives were butchered to calm us and unite us. That was a year ago and we don't want to only hear from you when another LGBTQ life is lost we want you to stand beside us in solidarity and be proud of us! Your presence at PRIDE acknowledges our struggles, that you care to engage with us, to ask us how we're doing, to find out how you can do more! You wouldn't be serving on council if you didn't care about Kingstonians. We know you care! That's why your absence stings.
So we hope you recognize the immense importance your presence would mean to us next year. We know you probably didn't realize just how important and significant your solidarity means to us. And yes there are members of our community who couldn't give a flying buttress if politicians show up to PRIDE and those are the people that didn't sign this petition. For the rest of us, we will have glitter and rainbows ready for you.
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