We are in full-swing of preparing and planning for this year’s Pride Week (our 20th year!), and are excited to announce the theme:
Ptbo-Nogo Pride Week 2022: Joy & Resistance
Joy. Resistance. Two very different words with two very different definitions – But can they exist together? Because of one another? Complement each other? Act as counterparts?
Resistance is no stranger to the 2SLGBTQIA community. In a colonial society that works hard to try and make us believe that we are the outsiders, we experience resistance and we resist – just simply by existing.
Joy, on the other hand, can be a little harder to come by… a little harder to notice. We experience joy in ways that sometimes aren’t even recognized or acknowledged. Very big, very real moments of joy that fill us with confidence, exhilaration, and hope.
Queer Joy: an Outcome of Resistance
“In order to perpetuate itself, every oppression must corrupt or distort those various sources of power within the culture of the oppressed that can provide energy for change” –Audre Lorde
Any ability that we have to outwardly express our queerness and queer joy is intrinsically connected to historical acts of resistance. Pride started as a riot. An act of resistance against police violence, racism and transphobia, against erasure. Many of us have gained the ability to unapologetically and joyfully be ourselves, without the fear of violence or criminalization. This isn’t true for everyone – there are many who still experience this very real fear, especially those who fought the hardest and loudest against it – Black Trans women. Those of us with privilege need to acknowledge this, listen to and uplift those voices and centre their joy!
Queer Joy: an Act of Resistance
“Queer not as being about who you are having sex with, that can be a dimension of it, but queer as being about the self that is at odds with everything around it and has to invent and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live.” -bell hooks
We also feel that resistance can be joyful. One of the highlights in many of our lives is our connection to community and our chosen families. We build relationships that often blur the lines of heteronormative expectations of platonic and/or romantic feelings and behaviours. We challenge the “traditional” relationship scripts. We resist and refute the belief that intimacy is always sexual, always monogamous, always between people of different genders. We refuse to be defined by those standards and we understand intimacy (whether emotional and/or physical) to be an act of care – what a simple, yet powerful act of resistance!
Joy & Resistance: Working Together
“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be a basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” – Audre Lorde
Our unified joy surprises. It speaks loudly. It brings us together and helps us feel strong. It sparks a feeling of hope, and gives us an opportunity to celebrate the progress that’s been made. It reminds us that we have more in common than we’re lead to believe, and that we can accomplish more as a team. Our unified joy is grounding, and it gives us a reminder of the work that still needs to be done.
We hope that Ptbo-Nogo Pride Week 2022: Joy & Resistance will be an opportunity to learn, connect, act out, resist, express joy, and celebrate the multitude of experiences and identities that make up our community – and we want to hear from you! What does resistance mean to you? How do you experience Queer joy? Where do you witness joy and resistance?