First Pride Flag Launched Into Stratosphere
Planting Peace, a nonprofit dedicated to "spreading peace in a hurting world," launched the first Pride flag into the stratosphere.

“It was an honor to send the first Pride flag into space, and it provided a wonderful opportunity to show that Planting Peace will not stop fighting for LGBTQ rights until all sexual and gender minorities experience full, fundamental rights in every corner of the universe,“ Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace, told NBC OUT.

"The backdrop of space gave us a stunning, inspiring and peaceful canvas for our message of hope to our LGBTQ family. I would love for LGBTQ children who are struggling to see this, and look up to the stars and remember that the universe shines brightly for them, and they are not alone,” Jackson added.

Victoria schools drop gender identity from class lists, add neutral washrooms
New approach aims to reduce gender segregation in schools

The Greater Victoria School District has passed a new policy that includes plans for gender-neutral bathrooms in each school and class lists that no longer identify a student’s gender.

School boards in other cities such as Vancouver have taken similar steps to better support transgender students, but the Victoria policy goes further, said board chair Edith Loring-Kuhanga.

“I think we kind of went beyond what the normal practice has been with a lot of the school districts to really try to really think of everything that we can that some of our students are going through.”

The Victoria board’s Gender Identity and Gender Expression policy aims to reduce or even eliminate the practice of gender segregation wherever possible, including in sports, Loring-Kuhanga said.

“Gender expression has to happen throughout our entire system, right? It’s not just one area.”

The policy will guide how to discuss gender and health in schools. Every school will also have at least one adult who will act as a resource for transgender, gender non-confirming and sexual minority students, the board said.

Board officials spent more than 18 months crafting the new policy and students were heavily involved in the process, Loring-Kuhanga said.

“They are living with it every day. They are bringing real examples to the table.”

She said board staff have now been asked to find room in the budget to implement the new policy.


We’ve taken over outer space! Well, kind of. 

Planting Peace, creators of the Equality House, used a weather balloon and a GoPro to launch a pride flag into space for the first time ever and record its journey. It soared up to 21.1 miles above Earth and stayed up about three hours. Not gonna lie – the video is mesmerizing. (via People)

Andy does not identify with a gender-specific pronoun such as “he” or “she,” preferring the use of “they” or “them” instead, signifying that they do not think of themselves as male or female, but somewhere between or beside those two binaries. And while it may seem like a particularly modern gesture, Andy says that, in many indigenous cultures, gender neutrality was commonplace and only interrupted at contact with Europeans.

“It started happening to indigenous bodies during those institutional times where people were regulated,” they say, referring to colonial schools that enforced gender roles.

Andy says that, traditionally, their Anishinaabemowin language was more inclusive of both genders. Instead of saying sister, brother, son, daughter, mom or granddaughter, people were simply “child,” “sibling” or “parent,” according to Andy.

Furthermore, in other communities, elders and knowledge keepers say two-spirit people were embraced as special and powerful, and were even honoured in some communities as medicine people or healers.

Andy is part of a support circle under the umbrella of the NYSHN, which brings together grandparents, mentors and indigenous community members who identify as two-spirit and/or along the queer spectrum. Indigenous languages have words for gender states that are not expressed in English, as well, and the NYSHN allows for the exploration of these identities.

In Cree, for example, “aayahkwew” means “neither man or woman.” In Inuktitut, “sipiniq” means “infant whose sex changes at birth.” In Kanien’keha, or Mohawk language, “onón:wat” means “I have the pattern of two spirits inside my body.”

Are you tired of heteronormativity filling your screen? Are you tired of sad queer characters? Are you just tired? (Cause we are, constantly). Then look no further! The Night Shift is a new queer series that follows four friends as they struggle to find their footing after graduation, and it’s not easy. They work their nights away learning about life, love, friendship, and how to stock a shelf properly.

Check out the trailer below!

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1: Follow their lead.

Everyone who shares an identity has a unique relationship to their identity – which means that support is different for everyone. If your friend is out to you but not to the general public, then supporting them might only include private conversations. Don’t out them to others if they’re not comfortable with that. But on the other side of that coin, I’ve had people automatically treat my bisexuality like I’m letting them in on a scandalous secret. I’m open about who I am – you don’t have to whisper! To really find out how best to support your bi+ friends, the best thing to do is ask.

—  10 Ways to Help Your Bisexual Friends Fight Invisibility and Erasure | Maisha Z. Johnson for Everyday Feminism