Community FAQs

Why do we have a Pride Festival?

While we’ve made great progress in attaining equal rights and freedoms for many in the LGBTQ2S+ community, there are still many parts of the world where being LGBTQ2S+ is illegal and/or dangerous, and there are people here in Edmonton and across Canada who don’t have the same freedoms as the rest of us. The Pride Festival lets us celebrate the wins while continuing to educate on what we are still fighting for.

Why are pronouns (words like he/him, she/her, they/them) important?

Using the pronouns a person tells you they identify with, and not misgendering someone, is one of the easiest ways to show that you acknowledge and respect a person’s identity. Some people may use pronouns you’re unfamiliar with, like ze/zer or xi/xim, and that’s cool because our language is always evolving and we are always learning new words.

How do I know what pronouns to use?
Just ask! A very simple way to ask the question is when you first introduce yourself to someone, “Hi, my name is Sam. My pronouns are they/them. What are yours?”

Why is the acronym so long?
The acronym is so long because there are a whole spectrum of identities within the LGBTQ2S+ community, and more emerging all the time. It is important for us to acknowledge all identities and give them a voice.

Why are there so many flags?
While many in the community use the rainbow flag, there are also unique flags for segments within our community.  This allows them to show and celebrate their identity within the LGBTQ2S+ community. We all want to let our flags fly! The more, the better!

What does ____ mean?

This is not intended to be a full list of terms and identities. We will strive to keep adding to this list, but please contact us if you notice anything missing or that needs correcting, and we encourage you to access resources from queer-specific educators to learn more, as this list is just scratching the surface. OUT Saskatoon is one of many organizations that has great resources available on their website. Art for Ourselves is another great resource.

    • Ableism: The discrimination against people with disabilities, including the expression of hate for people with disabilities, denial of accessibility, rejection of disabled applicants for housing and jobs, institutionalised discrimination in the form of benefits systems designed to keep people with disabilities in poverty, etc.
    • Advocate: a person who actively and publicly works to support a cause and educate others in an attempt to promote tolerance, understanding, and change.
    • Ally: heterosexual and/or cisgender individuals who believe that queer people should have the same rights as their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. Allies work to confront and counteract homo/bi/transphobic and heterosexist behaviours.
    • Asexual: without interest in or desire for sex. Someone who does not experience sexual attraction or someone who experiences varying levels of sexual attraction, from some to none at all, depending on the situation and person.
    • Cisgender (gender-normative): refers to those individuals who experience alignment between their perception of their gender and the sex to which they were assigned at birth. Simply, a person who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth and the gender identity that accompanies that assignment.
    • Cisnormativity: the assumption that everyone you come into contact with is cisgender. Cisnormative assumptions prevent the creation of respectful and positive environments for trans people. Cisnormativity also refers to discrimination or prejudice against trans people on the assumption that cisgender is the norm.
    • Decolonization: Decolonization is the meaningful and active resistance to the forces of colonialism that perpetuate the subjugation and/or exploitation of our minds, bodies, and lands. Its ultimate purpose is to overturn the colonial structure and realize Indigenous liberation.
    • Gender Expression: Gender expression is how one expresses themselves, typically through their appearance, dress, and behaviour.  Society often identifies these as masculine and feminine, although what is considered masculine or feminine changes over time and varies by culture.
    • Gender Identity: Gender identity is a person’s own internal feelings of gender, and this might not be visible to others. For example, some people identify as male or female, and some people identify as non-binary or genderqueer.
    • Heterosexism: the assumption that everyone you come into contact with is heterosexual. Also discrimination or prejudice against queers on the assumption that heterosexuality is the norm. For instance, when you ask a man if he has a girlfriend or when you ask a woman what her husband does for a living, you are making an assumption about their sexual orientation.
    • Intersectionality: was “originally articulated on behalf of black women, the term brought to light the invisibility of many constituents within groups that claim them as members, but often fail to represent them. Intersectional erasures are not exclusive to black women. People of color within LGBTQ movements; girls of color in the fight against the school-to-prison pipeline; women within immigration movements; trans women within feminist movements; and people with disabilities fighting police abuse — all face vulnerabilities that reflect the intersections of racism, sexism, class oppression, transphobia, able-ism and more. Intersectionality has given many advocates a way to frame their circumstances and to fight for their visibility and inclusion.” (Kimberlé Crenshaw). For example, the first and second wave of feminism said to include all women, but left out many women of color, queer women, and trans women.
    • LGBTQ2S+: Represents the sexual and gender diverse community, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender*, queer, questioning, two-spirit, intersex, asexual, pansexual, polysexual, and other emerging identities.
    • QTIBPOC: Queer and trans Indigenous, black, and people of colour
    • Sexual Identity: Sexual identity (referred to in the past as sexual orientation or preference) is how one refers or thinks of themselves in terms of whom they may or may not feel sexual or romantic attraction to.
  • Two-Spirit: Two Spirit is a name used by Indigenous People who assume multiple gender roles, attributes, dress and attitudes for personal, spiritual, cultural, ceremonial or social reasons. These roles are defined by each cultural group and can be fluid over a person’s lifetime.
Edmonton Pride Festival Society
PO Box 95043
Whyte PO
Edmonton, AB T6E 0E5
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