Message from Amanda Colacicco, Executive Director, FACSFLA
Family and Children’s Service of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (FACSFLA) is a proud ally of 2SLGBTQ+ communities and, as an organization that supports children, young people and families, we would like to express our solidarity with partner agencies and individuals in Ontario in challenging the disappointing decision of the Township of Norwich to not fly the Pride Progress flag in recognition of Pride Month.
We know that child welfare agencies in Ontario support a high number of 2SLGBTQ+ children and young people who experience harm because of homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and cissexism. That is why it is critical that organizations such as FACSFLA provide effective, affirming, and equitable services that support community members of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.
We believe that symbols matter and choosing not to fly the Progress flag sends an unfortunate message that 2SLGBTQ+ individuals are not worthy of support and recognition. It is important that public serving agencies and elected representatives, in contrast, demonstrate inclusion and promote a sense of belonging in our communities – everyone who identities as 2SLGBTQ+ deserves to know that they are respected and public serving agencies will advocate for them.
We commit to work with fellow 2SLGBTQ+ advocates and allies to raise awareness and help inform others who are learning about the challenges faced by individuals who identify as 2SLGBTQ+. Advocacy and education cannot rest solely on the shoulders of 2SLGBTQ+ advocacy organizations; we all have a responsibility to ensure that everyone is welcomed, loved, respected, and empowered.
We are embarking on a time to recognize the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (May 17) and PRIDE Month (June). We stand in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQ+ community to acknowledge the harm of oppressive views and actions and look forward to celebrating the beautiful diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community during PRIDE.
We would also like to recognize that Oxford County (where Norwich is located) is flying the Progress flag.