Callan McDonald is a queer 2nd year Arts Major (currently undeclared), who is a recent immigrant to Canada, making Vancouver their home. In their free time Callan loves spending time with friends and exploring their new home city.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride to me is ultimately a protest. It started out of anger, frustration, and a desire to see a better day. It started with Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and so many others that risked and gave their lives so we could have what we have today.
I know Pride is now a celebration, and an expression of who we are as people, but I believe that we should always remember who paved the way for us and not discredit their sacrifice.
What impact has Pride had on you and your community?
I’m a queer black person of colour, which means that I am a part of a more marginalized group in the LGBTQ+ community. A part of me feels that queer black voices are often ignored in favour of cis, white, gay male voices. They are often the faces of Pride, and while I am not discrediting anything they have been through, they are ultimately less oppressed in comparison to me. I have read many articles which discuss how many of the advancements made in terms of ‘LGBTQ+ rights’ benefit only one small subset of queer people.
Pride, ultimately for me, is bittersweet. I sometimes don’t think Pride is for black queer people even though Pride wouldn’t exist without us. Pride has had a negative impact on the black queer community in recent years. Especially this year when Black Lives Matter tried to petition for no police at Pride, and they were seen as making a big deal out of nothing. I believe that’s why March on Pride in Vancouver happened.
I could be wrong, and there may be other black queer folx that disagree with me. But in my defense, every time I saw Pride on TV growing up, I barely saw any black people.
How do you celebrate Pride?
I’m not celebrating Pride this year, but it wasn’t a choice that I made. I’m at my parents’ place for the summer, and my parents are not accepting of my identity. So, they would not allow me to attend. Typically, my friends would have a small Pride party, or dress in colours that matched our identities’ flags. A lot of the time for young queer kids in unaccepting homes, you have to make your own Pride. And that’s what I did, and it’s what I will always do.