We Will Not Tolerate Hate

February 29th, 2020

For months now, folks in our community have felt unsafe due to a campaign of targeted harassment led by a local hate group. This group espouses a xenophobic nationalist ideology, which scapegoats many marginalised groups and other vulnerable populations for real and/or imagined social issues. When we spoke out to draw attention to this behaviour, we took care not to mention those involved, so as not to give them any more attention than they deserved. Nevertheless, these individuals outed themselves by beginning to target Fierté Sudbury Pride itself. This has taken a large toll on the mental health of not only our team, entirely made up of volunteers, but of those who’ve been targeted for a while.

Fierté Sudbury Pride, its Board of Directors, and its members will not be intimidated. We strongly condemn any activity or rhetoric which follows this pattern and will not tolerate or stand idly by as vulnerable folks in our community are targeted. We are deeply concerned by the increasing normalization of fascism, racism, and other forms of intolerance against historically marginalized and oppressed groups. These have manifested themselves through the appearance of hate groups at events organised by and in spaces frequented by marginalised folks. In this political climate, we must remain united. As such, Fierté Sudbury Pride stands with immigrant, refugee, and racialized people and urges its members to do the same. In the interests of keeping our members safe, we’ve decided to ban the offending individuals from our social media and from any of our events in the future. This won’t make it stop completely, but it’s a start.

Unfortunately, some of the harassment has come from individuals within our community, primarily targeting trans* and non-binary folks. Let us be clear: our community is welcoming, loving, and open to all. But 2SLGBTQ+ folks who associate with these individuals and groups, share their beliefs and attack members of their own community will not be welcome either. Our door is always open to those who would reconsider their affiliations and beliefs. This is not to ensure that we all think the same, but to ensure the collective wellbeing of our community and the safety of the most vulnerable among us.

To those, both queer and ally, who’ve spoken up on behalf of our members: thank you. All that we ask as that we, collectively, reject the hate spewed by that group and others who share their beliefs. Doing so is the only way we can truly make our community a safe and welcoming place for all marginalised folks; a place to be our authentic selves without needing to fear for our wellbeing or the wellbeing of our friends and loved ones.

In solidarity,

Fierté Sudbury Pride

Statement Against Violence

October 27th, 2019

To our members and community partners,

It has come to our attention that there are events, organizations, and public figures in our community that are giving known abusers a voice to speak publicly about their experiences, particularly related to mental health and addictions. Fierté Sudbury Pride stands with people who have survived violence. Our organization has cut ties with known abusers and we refuse to provide space or a public platform to any known abuser through our organization or any of our events. We challenge other organizations, media outlets, and public figures to do the same.

Violence is a problem even in grassroots and activist communities. Often, this violence comes from outside these communities, such as members of white supremacist organizations attacking racialized people and immigrants. But often it comes from within our own communities; a problem that is often not discussed and therefore allowed to continue.

We understand that people can change. An abuser can work to change their life circumstances and may no longer be a threat to the safety of others. However, in the absence of meaningful restorative justice processes, we do not want to re-traumatize individuals by giving their abuser a voice. We also acknowledge the possibility that giving a platform to a known abuser can give them access to more people, putting vulnerable populations at further risk.

Fierté Sudbury Pride commits to do everything in our power to ensure that 2SLGBTQ+ folks are safe at our events and to center the voices and experiences of victims of abuse. Please consider making this same commitment for your organization.

In Solidarity,

Fierté Sudbury Pride