This week in Saskatchewan is Gender Diversity Week.
The week-long celebration kicked off by the raising two flags on Tuesday at Peacock and Central Collegiate, with the transgender flag waving in front of Peacock and the gender diversity flag waving in front of Central.
The gender diversity flag was first raised in Regina in front of the legislative building in 2015, which marked the first time the flag had been flown in a Canadian capital city.
The week is meant to bring acceptance and awareness to gender and sexual diversity, and Moose Jaw Pride will be hosting a number of events to celebrate this including a luncheon, gender diversity parent night, and a 'Be Yourself Bowling' to end the festivities on Friday.
Deputy Mayor Don Mitchell started the week for the City by signing a Gender Diversity Week proclamation, stating "Gender Diversity Awareness Week presents an opportunity to inspire, inform and educate society about the challenges faced by members of the Sex and Gender Diverse Community, and to celebrate the diversity of gender with all people from across Saskatchewan.”
The City has also contracted Moose Jaw Pride to host a number of diversity workshops for senior management, saying it's the city's goal to ensure a respectful, inclusive and safe community for all residents.
Joe Wickenhauser, Executive Director of Moose Jaw Pride, says the week is great for raising awareness.
"It's really just introducing people to these concepts of gender diversity because it's always been here, in every society. For as long as history has had people there's been gender diversity and sexual diversity. The only thing that has changed is our attitudes."
He says society has come a long way.
"I think society as a whole in North America is progressing to the point where were recognizing that gender diverse people exist in our society, and that they have the right to exist in our society like anyone else. They deserve to be treated fairly and with respect, and I think a lot of people are wanting to do that and are wanting to understand rather than make snap judgments before getting to know people."
Moose Jaw Pride and the Saskatchewan Pride Network have partnered with the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan, to have a transgender educator and advocate work directly with several transition houses in smaller communities across the province.
They also are working with the Prairie South School Division to develop a high school class on gender issues and sexual diversity, which they hope to start in the fall of 2018.