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Advocacy News - Bank employees linking with communities

September 20, 2007

Bank employees linking with communities

Now that same-sex marriage is available across Canada, we are taking pleasure in lending support to others where we can. We are proud to participate in the CIBC Pride Network's initiatives in support of diversity. The following is a report from Pride Network member Elizabeth Reynolds.

Peterborough gets bitten by the Pride Bug

By Elizabeth Reynolds

Peterborough held its 5th annual Pride Parade this past Saturday. It was the city's most exciting parade yet.

The day was a great success with 500 attendees and about 25 organizations coming out to show their support. The Peterborough Examiner reported that this was the largest turnout yet in the five years the parade has been running.

"This year there was a noticeable sense of good will and support from the community" said one participant.

Equally noticeable was the absence of protesters seen in previous years.

The CIBC Pride network made the trip from Toronto to join the parade. The network has shared their pride at seven parades across the country this year.

"We want to make people aware that we are out there, and that CIBC is contributing to diversity" says Brad Dougherty a network member.

Also seen and heard at the parade were 103.9 Proud FM host and Peterborough native Deb "Dirk" Pearce, the Amazon motorcycle riders from Toronto, and many students and faculty from nearby Trent University.

 

"On the 11th annual U.S. Day of Silence (April 18, 2007), I was faced with an unfortunate tragedy, being victim to a hate crime. Because of sporting a rainbow sticker on my VW Beetle, my car was vandalized in red spray paint with the words "fAg" and "u r gay" placed all over the hood and driver side of my car. Despite immediate shock and embarassment, Ive decided to embrace what happened and keep driving my car as it is in order to bring more public awareness to the blatant homophobia that exists in our society."
Erin Davies, flyer for
fagbug.com

The "fagbug" was also in attendance. Erin Davies was the victim of a hate crime earlier this year, when her VW beetle was spray painted with the words, "fag" and "u r gay". Rather than being intimidated by this kind of bullying, she decided to fight back and take her "fagbug" on the road to as many communities and pride parades as she can. Her bug still defiantly displays the original graffiti, and Davies intends to keep it that way in order to raise awareness about hate crimes. Davies is currently working on a documentary about her fagbug experiences.

Following the parade was a celebration in Riverside Millennium Park where O.P.I.R.G and The Trent Queer Collective organized events and information booths. Many joined the celebrations in the park, which was a wonderful opportunity for community building and networking.

Events like this are so important in smaller communities where queer people are still working to gain the acceptance that is enjoyed (and often taken for granted) by those in larger cities like Toronto.

Happy pride Peterborough!


The 2007 AIDS Walk For Life - Toronto

Sponsor gay marriage advocates Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell in the AIDS Walk For LifeOn Sunday, September 16, we joined the CIBC team in Toronto's AIDS Walk For Life. We would like to thank all of our sponsors for their generous support!

Kevin Bourassa
and Joe Varnell


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