Shawnigan was awash in colour on Tuesday as the community celebrated Pride Day.
Opening the morning's chapel service, Reverend Holland told students that "Gender identity confronts every one of us with a variety of interesting and challenging and inescapable questions:
- What does it mean to be male or female in this culture, and how is that meaning changing?
- How do we deal with male privilege, and with equality between men and women, in a way that serves everyone?
- How do we continue to deal with stereotypes regarding emotional expression, intellectual capacity, and social and family roles?
- Do gender roles constrict us, or do they give meaning to our lives? Or both?
Rev. Holland said that these are questions that call to all of us, adding, "Pride Day has always had the common value of allowing every person the freedom to wind their way along those questions without being ridiculed, bullied, condemned, or judged." Before introducing two student speakers, the Rev suggested that "Pride Day isn't primarily about individual freedom. It's primarily about the way that we treat one another."
In front of 500 of his peers, a Grade 10 student then told the audience about his own journey – and the difficult conversations he had with his mom, his older brother, and then with the rest of Lonsdale's House. "I wasn't comfortable talking about it at first," he said," adding later, "Everyone accepts it."
A standing ovation for his courage set the table for a Grade 12 student who outlined activities planned for the rest of the day.
With students and staff already wearing the most colourful clothes in their wardrobes, a community event in the quad included sidewalk chalk drawing, face painting, and the creation of bracelets and a banner for Marion Hall.