21 April 2010

The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda, in collaboration with Two Words and a Comma, participated in World Pride Toronto 2014. 20 Bermudians and friends of Bermuda began the day sporting brightly coloured "Bermuda 1609" t-shirts or traditional Bermuda shorts, led by our very own Queen of Bermuda, Sybil Barrington, in her resplendent metallic turquoise gown. It's widely recognised that Bermudians are friendly, hospitable ambassadors. Shortly after beginning the parade, the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda welcomed about 20 new allies from the crowd.  The new friends helped chant "Bermuda" during the entire course of the parade, with the crowds lining the route clapping, cheering and calling out, "Happy Pride, Bermuda!"

WorldPride was an amazing way to celebrate a year of legal protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda recognises that this is simply not enough.  The banner that the contingent held read "Bermuda: So Much More to Do".  The Human Rights Act amendment falls short when it comes to protection with regard to discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression. Current laws also fail to provide protection against hate crimes. A spokesperson from Two Words and a Comma remarks, "Many Bermudians now call Canada their home, where same-gender marriage is recognized. We'd love for them to come home one day to a Bermuda that recognizes their love and commitment currently reserved only for heterosexual couples."  

While Bermuda has taken a large step forward in protecting its citizens, there are still heterosexist, homophobic, and transphobic attitudes towards our LGBTQ communities. Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is committed to seeking safer spaces for the LGBTQ communities in Bermuda and advocating for further legislative protection.  Toronto has welcomed millions of visitors for WorldPride and has demonstrated what a fair and just society looks like.  Toronto and her people have opened their arms with radical love and pride of a diverse and inclusive city.  We hope that one day Bermuda will also display this type of love for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda and Two Words and a Comma would like to acknowledge the support from Centre for Justice, the Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Kinsfolk Bermuda, Stephan Johnstone Designs (SJD World), and iClick Bermuda.

The WorldPride experience is best described as a festival that celebrates individual freedoms and inclusivity and The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda hopes to introduce our very own Pride Celebrations in the future.