It has been brought to our attention that there will be an anti-SOGI/anti-trans protest at Central park on May 20th. As a Pride organization, we are painfully aware of the rising wave of transphobia, homophobia, and anti-SOGI sentiments across Canada. Still, we are disappointed and angry to hear that a public display of hate will be taking place here in Burnaby. Last year’s Burnaby Pride event brought thousands of community members together for a safe and respectful demonstration of support for our 2SLGBTQIA+ community. We believe that this group represents a fringe group who hold an extreme opinion and do NOT represent the majority of Burnaby residents. We want to encourage everyone in our community to prioritize safety in the face of this protest.
If you happen to encounter the protestors, we’d like to offer a few safety recommendations:
- DO NOT engage/avoid!
Witnessing displays of hate of this nature can bring up a strong emotional response. Please protect yourself and loved ones by ignoring or avoiding the protestors altogether.
- DO NOT reveal personal information to anyone.
The protesters may attempt to goad counter-protesters or passersby into revealing personal information. Please be mindful of keeping your personal information to yourself to avoid the possibility of cyber bullying, cyber-attack or doxxing.
- DO NOT engage in verbal or physical altercations.
These protests are often live-streamed. The intention is to agitate passers-by or counter-protesters into arguments, or even physical altercations. Once this has occurred, they will circulate decontextualized images, sound bites, statements, or video clips online in order to paint a negative, hostile, or aggressive image of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, our supporters, and allies.
If you are interested in participating in community safety initiatives, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you are able to have a safe and restful long weekend, and we’ll see you at pride!