The gross feeling of being stared or gawked at is something that most of us can relate to. Maybe it was because you had toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Maybe your fly was down.
But what if it was because you were holding hands with the person you love? Or because of the colour of your skin? Or because of how you dress, wear your hair or speak?
With their “All Are Welcome Here” sticker and decal campaign, the Delta Pride Society (DPS) is hoping to get business owners, city staff and educators thinking about how to make their spaces safer and more welcoming for marginalized communities.
“Luckily, I haven’t really received too much discrimination … I tend to pass, so I don’t really get a lot of pushback, so to speak, but I know a lot of our community doesn’t pass or doesn’t want to pass,” says DPS president John Darras, who is gay.
Disturbingly, for the visibly-queer or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) folks that Darras if referring to, getting stared at could be the least worrisome of outcomes they could face in public spaces.
These stickers and decals, which were designed by artist and graphic designer Justin Longoz, are to be placed at the entrances of businesses, city buildings, and educational spaces to signify that people working within those walls are making an effort to create a welcoming and inclusive space.
“If someone puts that sticker or that decal on their window, they are making a statement about their desire to be welcoming. It’s about their desire to create and provide a safe space,” explains Lydia Elder, treasurer secretary of the DPS. “We can’t know that a space is perceived as safe by someone who’s coming into it, but rather [these stickers are representative of] our desire and intention to work towards that.”
The colours on the stickers and decals are similar to those on the Progress Pride Flag, which was originally designed by Daniel Quasar in 2018 to include and represent transgender people and further marginalized queer BIPOC folks.
Proceeds from the $5 decals and $4 stickers will go towards future Delta Pride Society events.
The City of Delta has bought more than 200 stickers and decals to place within their buildings, says DPS vice president Christa Horita Kadach, and the Delta school district’s SOGI program has also purchased some for their schools.
“I’d do anything for this community. I have a child who is LGBTQ and I’m a mama bear … I just want to do anything to help and support these people, whether they be children, youth, adults, seniors,” says Horita Kadach.
“Any way that I can be a part of showing love and inclusion, I count as a gift and amazing opportunity,” added Elder.
If you’re interested in purchasing any All Are Welcome Here stickers or decals, they are being sold at Stir Coffee House, Four Winds Brewery and at Bosley’s in Tsawwassen.For larger orders, you can reach out to Delta Pride Society through their Instagram @pridedelta or their Facebook @deltapridesociety.