Toronto Catholic schools to fly rainbow flag to celebrate Pride Month in June

Published On May 18, 2021 | By Tyler Cheese | News
The Pride flag flies outside Toronto’s Old City Hall. The Toronto Catholic District School Board has voted in favour of flying the rainbow flag at schools to celebrate Pride Month in June. (City of Toronto)

The Toronto Catholic District School Board voted in favour of celebrating Pride Month every June from now on, according to a tweet on May 7.

The rainbow Pride flag will be flown at Toronto Catholic schools and the head office for the month of June, the school board said.

TCDSB trustee Norm Di Pasquale said the decision should have come sooner.

“It was far beyond time for us to do this,” he said. “I’m just sorry it didn’t get done sooner.”

Di Pasquale told Humber News on May 17 — the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia — that raising the flag represents a “commitment to seeing, and standing up for, and ensuring that our LGBTQ+ students feel safe and supported and welcomed inside the four walls of our schools.

“I think that students will, with any luck, interpret it as a commitment from the school board to be far more supportive of LGBTQ+ students,” he said.

The response to the decision has been mostly positive, with many former students reaching out to express relief, Di Pasquale said.

But one former student isn’t so sure the decision is all that meaningful.

Mark Galeazza, who attended TSDSB elementary and secondary schools in Etobicoke, said he’s wary the decision may be an empty gesture based on pressures to be seen as politically correct in an LGBTQ-friendly city.

“[The board’s decision is] a nice first step, but a bit of a baby step,” Galeazza said in a video interview. “It’s taken a really long time to get here.”

Galeazza said he thinks there’s a disconnect between the actions of the Catholic school board and the stance of the Roman Catholic Church.

TCDSB is not the only GTA school board to vote on Pride flags in recent months.

The Halton Catholic District School Board voted against flying the flag and celebrating Pride Month on April 26.

Humber News took a look at Toronto’s overall history with the Pride flag in the timeline below.

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