As a resident of Langley City, I’m thrilled that City Council recently passed the motion from our newest councillor, Nathan Pachal, to have City hall fly the rainbow flag once a year.
Not only is this an important symbolic gesture signalling that our community embraces diversity and includes everyone, but it also helps to address the ongoing devastation of discrimination in our society.
As a Langley teacher, I see the struggles kids face as they start to realize they have to hide or suppress their gender identity or sexual orientation in order to avoid abuse and bullying. While some may experience support and unconditional acceptance at home and at school, this is not the case for far too many, and youth suicide rates are unfortunately higher for these kids as well.
If we, as a community, can signal our support for our fellow citizens who may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or questioning/queer (LGBTQ+) with simple symbols such as rainbow flags or rainbow crosswalks (such as the one proposed for Fort Langley), there’s no good reason to oppose such measures.
Homophobia and transphobia are real problems with real consequences.
While we may not have experienced such discrimination ourselves, we nevertheless have a moral obligation to take a stand alongside those who do face these obstacles.
Let’s fly the rainbow flag and work to ensure that our community is a safe place for everyone, and let’s refuse to tolerate discrimination or abuse.
We can do better.