Updated: Jul 28, 2021
CW // Violence/murder, Islamophobia, and anti-Indigenous racism
Hi everyone, happy summer☀️
Happy Pride Month🌈
Happy National Indigenous Peoples Month❤️
I’ve been meaning to, hoping to, TRYING to get back on here and chat with everyone. But to be honest, this past month has left me at a loss for words. That being said, however, there’s no more time to sit and be silent… So let's dive in.
I want to preface this piece by saying that I am a young, white, cisgendered woman. I have never, nor will I ever, share the lived experiences of a BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ woman. I am not typing away on my laptop today from a place of expertise, of total understanding, or of authority. Rather, I’m typing as a dedicated ally, an intersectional feminist, and an individual who acknowledges my own privilege and therefore my responsibility to call attention to and reflect on some of the events that have happened over the month of June.
June 1st marks the beginning of Pride Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, and, more specifically, commemorating the 1969 Stonewall Riots, demonstrations which served as a catalyst for the rights of LGBTQ+ people. And while each month of recognition and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community brings us closer and closer to acceptance and equal rights for all individuals, we must not forget where we started, and how we have gotten to where we are now. Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, activist, and survivor is just one of the many influential Black trans women who we owe much of what we understand Pride to be today. And yet, trans individuals, specifically trans women of colour, continue to experience many forms of violence at alarming rates. So while we bask in the magic that is Pride Month, we must not forget the work that still needs to be done, the justice that still needs to be served, and the equity that still must be attained.
June 1st also marks the first day of National Indigenous Peoples’ Month, with June 21st being National Indigneous Peoples’ Day in Canada. This month, which marks Canada’s 25th year of celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Month & Day, has been exceptionally painful for Indigneous communities across Canada and beyond, as hundreds of unmarked graves have been discovered on the grounds of former Residential Schools across the country, some of which were in operation as recently as 1996.
As someone who has always considered themselves a “Canadian,” I am ashamed by this country’s past and present treatment of Indigenous Peoples; as an ally I am outraged and committed to relieving even some of the pain felt by these communities; and as a human being, I am devastated by the loss of these children. Quite simply, ignorance is no longer an option for those who choose to call this country home. We need to acknowledge the atrocities of Canada’s past, and the injustices that Indigenous communities continue to face each and every day, we need to honour the lives that were taken by the Residential School System through justice and reconciliation, we need to continue to fight for the countless missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada. We need to do better, all of us, together, now.
On June 8th, 2021, a terrorist attack was carried out against a Muslim family, taking the lives of four, and leaving a young boy without his family. This horrific event calls to attention despicable Islamophobia that still operates within our society, right in our London community.
I recount these events, not to discourage hope for an equitable world, not to diminish the strides marginalized communities and their allies continue to make through perseverance, education, and hardwork, but rather to encourage all of our readers to take a moment to sit with and acknowledge the lived realities of members of the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, and start making a plan for how we can create a world in which each and every individual is able to thrive - there are no more excuses, and we all have a responsibility.
I confidently speak for the entire BoostHER team when I say we stand with and fight for all women, regardless of race, sexual orientation, class, ability, and/or age. As the feminist movement continues to grow and evolve to serve all women, we grow and evolve with it - because if it's not intersectional, it's not feminism.