Celebrating Pride from coast-to-coast
Summer is Pride season. June through September, municipalities across the country celebrate and honour the 2SLGBTQI community with parades, events and thoughtful conversations about the equity and inclusion.
At Westland, we stand with and celebrate the 2SLGBTQI year-round. Corporate programming and initiatives equip teammates and leaders with the tools, language and context to foster a culture of inclusion within their teams and with clients.
We sat down with our teammate Darcy Boyd (she/her), Learning & Development Manager, to better understand how we can all help create more diverse, equitable and inclusive spaces.
“Diversity and inclusion mean so much more than just supporting the 2SLGBTQI community one month every year. It means acceptance. Acceptance of all people, of all ethnicities, nationalities, abilities, gender identities and orientations,” says Darcy. “We can be a company that listens, learns and participates in challenging conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion in all of the communities we serve, both large and small. Widespread acceptance is still needed. Although we have come a long way in Canada, we still have work to do.”
There is one topic in particular that Darcy feels needs to be talked about more. As recently as December 2020, the federal government was working to pass Bill C-6. The bill would ban the practice of conversion therapy, which is still legal in many parts of our country.
“If it is still acceptable to send people to a camp to try to ‘convert your sexuality,’ then we are not where we think we are. If these types of places are still in business in 2020, it means we have rights but we don’t have equality or acceptance,” says Darcy.
“We need to be aware that people are still being traumatized by conversion therapy. Many kids are undergoing this treatment at a young age and they need our support to find the courage to live their authentic lives,” Darcy shares. “I truly appreciate that Westland lets me be myself. It’s so important to me to feel empowered to come to work each day and just be me.”
We asked Darcy which organizations she would recommend to others who are struggling. “Pflag is a great resource for families or friends who have a loved one in the community, and is one that is close to my heart.”
Pflag is a national charitable organization founded by parents who want to help themselves and their family members understand and accept their LGBTQ2S children. Learn more about Pflag by visiting pflagcanada.ca.
Darcy left us with one of her favourite sayings: “Love is love.”
Let’s all keep these inspiring words in mind.