Held yearly since 1981, Toronto’s Pride parade was born as a march seeking to give a voice to the LGBTQ2 community in its fight for equal rights and the end of discrimination.
Today, Pride has become a celebration of our city’s diversity, recognizing the advances in these goals over the past several decades, while reminding us that much work is still needs to be done in our goal to achieve equity and inclusivity across society. This year, for the first time in its 132-year history and thanks to the generous support of the OAA, the Toronto Society of Architects is participating at the Parade along with 100 TSA members, family and friends proudly representing the architectural community. This is consistent with our Society’s push over the past several years to make our Society - and the profession in general - more welcoming and inclusive for everyone.
Participating in Pride is an important and visible gesture of our commitment to inclusivity, and our firm belief that the profession is stronger when it celebrates the diversity of our members. Equally as important, it sends a positive message to our members who will be able to participate and see themselves reflected and represented in this celebration of diversity. While we have made great strides over the past decades on issues of inclusion in the industry, discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation continues to exist.
While no statistics are available for Canada’s construction industry, a 2017 survey of UK’s construction industry indicated that homophobia is still an issue in construction with 59% of all respondents saying they had overheard “gay” being used as an insult in the workplace. The problem is particularly acute on site, where 54% of LGBTQ2 respondents did not feel comfortable being open about their sexuality or gender on site. Just under 1/3 of all LGBTQ2 respondents said working in the construction industry has had a negative impact on their mental health. 
As leaders in the construction industry, participating in the Pride Parade sends a clear message to our members and to our industry colleagues that architects are committed to diversity and inclusion, that we will continue to push to make the construction industry welcoming to everyone, and that we will not tolerate discriminatory behaviour.
Catch the TSA at the Parade at 4:30pm or come say hi to us in our pre-parade gathering spot at St. Jamestown Park West starting at 3pm. Text by Toronto Society of Architects.  https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/data/lgbt-survey-constructions-slow-progress-laid-bare/10027190.article