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Pride Month: June 2023

Updated: Sep 22, 2023



June is Pride Month! To celebrate, CWOIL would like to provide a brief history and some educational information on the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.


Why is June, Pride month?

The Stonewall Riots occurred in June 1969, which was a key point in history for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and the rest of the world. The Stonewall Riots in the United States was a turning point for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights and laws. The month of June is a time of reflection and education of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, history, society and cultures. To learn about the history of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Canada click the button below:

Why a Rainbow Flag?

The flag was originally designed by an individual named Gilbert Baker in the late 1970's. Each colour of the flag has a different meaning;


  • Hot pink represents sex

  • Red represents life

  • Orange represents healing

  • Yellow represents sunlight

  • Green represents nature

  • Turquoise represents magic/art

  • Indigo represents serenity

  • Violet represents spirit

Baker decided on the rainbow colours as they were inspired by Judy Garlands 'Over the Rainbow'.

Fun fact: the code 'a friend of Dorothy's' was commonly used in the 1970's so those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community could identify if someone else identified as queer. The code being in reference to the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities appreciation for Judy Garland and her song 'Over the Rainbow'.

The flag has had alterations and different meanings throughout time. The flag in 2023 includes brown, black, white, pink, light blue, yellow and a purple circle. The flag no longer includes hot pink and turquoise.

The added colours of black and brown is representation for people of colour within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. While the pink, light blue, and white represent the transgender community. The yellow and purple circle represents the intersex community within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.


There are other flags that represent the varying genders, and sexualities. There are many flags for varying identifications within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, such as non-binary, asexual, genderqueer, bisexual, and many more!


To learn more about the identifications above, check out the drop-down tab below:

2SLGBTQIA+ Community

The following information below is a short guide to some of the terms associated with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. The community uses a variety of terms to identify themselves, and not all are listed below. ALWAYS listen for and respect an individual's self identification terminology.


Ally: describes an individual who is actively supportive of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Allies encompasses straight, and cisgender allies, as well as those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community who support each other.


Asexual: Refers to a complete or partial lack of sexual attraction or lack of interest in sexual activities with others.


Bisexual: An individual who is either emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to more than one gender.


Genderqueer: Individuals who typically reject the notion of static categories of gender and embrace fluidity of gender identity, and sometimes (depending on the individual and their preferences), sexual orientation.


Intersex: Those who are born intersex, are born with a variety of differences in their sex traits and reproductive anatomy.


Gender-Expansive: an individual with a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression than typically associated with the binary gender system (binary gender system: gender identity that is expected to align with the sex assigned at birth and the traditional expectations associated with being a man or woman). Gender-Expansive can be used to describe a young individual who is still exploring the possibilities of gender expression and/or gender identity.


Gender-Fluid: an individual who does not identify with a single fixed gender or has a fluid or unfixed gender identity.


Non-Binary: a term used to describe an individual who does not identify with either a man or woman. Someone who identifies as non-binary may identify as being both a man and woman or identifies as someone who falls between or outside of these categories.


CWOIL's National Action Plan includes a plan to aid the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities' voices be heard in all sectors of the ocean industry. Being your true authentic self at the workplace can be a difficult task, but it is important that we are all educated and respectful to those around us, not only in the workplace but also in our day-to-day lives.


More resources linked here:




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