Transportation museum welcomes everyone

One of the wonderful qualities of Whitehorse is its inclusive way of being. We at the Yukon Transportation Museum are proud to be part of this community.

Last weekend we rented our facilities to Yukon Pride for a Queer Pride Weekend event. As we do from time to time, we allowed our renters to fly their flags for their event — from approximately 6-11 p.m. A volunteer was tasked with hoisting the flags for the evening: a pride flag, a trans flag and a bi flag. She worked alone. Minutes into her task, two people drove into the museum parking lot. They accosted her with hate. They told her replacing the Canadian flag with the Pride flag was an abomination. They told her more that can’t be repeated.

Our executive director had come out to see how our volunteer was doing and found her visibly upset. Upon learning of what the volunteer endured, we too are upset.

The individuals who berated our guests did not take issue with our handling of the flags. They took issue with the flags and what they represent.

It is clear to me there is more work to do in this community and this country to make it more tolerant and inclusive. I believe restrictive and hateful actions such as this are what makes our country more brittle through the division it creates. Thankfully, our country is not so fragile that such vitrol can inhibit its vitality, and our renters didn’t let the acts of two people ruin the party for many.

Yukon transportation is a story that spans many centuries and is about the how and why of moving people, their items and their ideas over the landscape. We invite anybody to discuss with us places in the museum where new narratives can expand our understanding of Yukon transportation history, or indeed, expand our understanding of each other.

Hugh Kitchen

President, Yukon Transportation Museum

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