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Pride month kicks off in Kirkland Lake

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June is pride month and the Town of Kirkland Lake is looking at what it can do to be a welcoming and inclusive community.

Kirkland Lake Mayor Stacy Wright and other local dignitaries unveil the town's Pride crosswalk on May 25, 2023. (Sergio Arangio/CTV News Northern Ontario)

The town kicked off its pride festivities on Friday evening by raising the intersex-inclusive progress pride flag which will remain up for the entire month of June. Multi-coloured lights will also illuminate both gateway signs and the miner's memorial for the full 30 days.

“The Pride Flag is a symbol of support for our community, of the character of the town and its leaders,” said town officials in a news release on Thursday.

“A reminder to the community at large that regardless of how you identify or who you love, you are safe, valued, and welcome in our community.”

At a time when some municipalities have debated the merit of the flag and movement, Kirkland Lake Mayor Stacy Wight said the town is hopeful what they are doing sends a message.

An undated photo of Kirkland Lake Mayor Stacy Wright. (Supplied/Town of Kirkland Lake)

"We celebrate our diverse culture all throughout the year and being a member of the 2SLGBTQ+community, that's something that's with you for your entire lifetime,” she said.

“(It is) not just for thirty days or one day and in Kirkland Lake we celebrate everyone and we hopefully do it 365 days a year."

In the news release, the mayor goes on to say that the town is a place where people are accepted for who they are, regardless of culture, identity, or language.

“Pride month allows us to recognize the value of diversity, while also supporting human rights,” said Wright.

“It’s a time to show our fellow residents why civility and respect are this community’s cornerstones.”

Kirkland Lake officials said the town is committed to addressing the unique challenges facing the LGBTQ2S+ and to building a more inclusive and equitable town – recognizing that the community is comprised of some of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations.

“The last few years have had a tremendous impact on the mental/physical health and financial well-being of many, particularly trans people, as well as Black, Indigenous and racialized members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, as a result of their intersectional identities,” reads the news release.

“The Town of Kirkland Lake honours those in our community who have fought to achieve equality and acceptance and those who continue that effort today.”

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