The City of Markham, in a June 13 ceremony hosted by York Pride, raised the Pride flag at Markham Civic Centre.

Raising the rainbow flag during Pride Month recognizes the lives and contributions of people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions who live and/or work in Markham. This June marks the 18th anniversary of Pride in York Region. The colourful, month-long celebration provides a variety of fun, family-friendly events and activities that celebrate gender and sexual diversity in York Region.

The rainbow flag originated in San Francisco and was created by artist, designer, Vietnam War veteran and drag performer Gilbert Baker. The different colours within the flag represent togetherness because the LGBTQ2S community comprises peoples of all different races, ethnicities, ages and genders. Each colour has its own meaning: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony and purple for spirit.

York Pride is a community-driven organization committed to organizing festivals, events, entertainment and other initiatives which, in the context of sexuality and gender identity, “illuminate and celebrate diversity, captivate the general public, inspire inclusivity and foster harmony and acceptance.” Visit yorkpridefest.com to learn more.

City of Markham photo