Cadets embrace Rainbow Flag

Lt(N) Brian Broom

Lt(N) Brian Broom

Rachel Lallouz, Staff Writer ~

In recognition of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender and Queer Pride Month, the iconic Rainbow Flag was flown for the first time during the opening summer parade at HMCS Quadra Cadet Training Centre.

More than 800 cadets and staff were in attendance as the colourful flag waved in the wind overhead.

Lieutenant (Navy) Brian Broom, a B.C. Course Officer for Drill and Ceremonial, organized the Rainbow Flag’s presence to ensure all cadets on course felt welcomed and respected.

“As an officer in the cadet organization’s administrative and training service, I wanted to be the voice for cadets that may not necessarily feel safe or who may struggle with identifying themselves,” he said. “I wanted to show silent communication to everyone that we are a youth program of equality, and we were able to show this to everyone by raising the Rainbow Flag.”

Lt(N) Broom, who identifies as a member of the LBGTQ community, says his experience as a young army cadet in Ontario was fraught with harassment. He was made fun of routinely for his identity.

“My experience happened years ago, but to see the Rainbow Flag going up now shows the forward thinking our youth programs are based upon,” he says.

To have the flag raised, Lt(N) Broom consulted with his command staff; he then drew up a memorandum that was sent to the Commanding Officer of the Regional Cadet Support Unit. His suggestion was given the green light without hesitation.

As the cadet band played on, and just shortly after the Canadian Flag was raised, the Rainbow Flag was hoisted up by a cadet  as the first division of cadets marched by for the summer.

“I was standing just off of the parade square, watching it be raised up,” says Lt(N) Broom. “It was a very personal moment of emotion to show how safe I am here and how much of a difference this could make to other cadets and officers.”

The flag will be raised at each new intake of cadets throughout the summer. It is Lt(N) Broom’s intention to have the flag raised next summer as well.

“I think the effect of raising the rainbow flag will have emotional significance for anyone in the community who may feel as though they are not treated as equals,” says Lt(N) Broom. “It is important to me to show everyone that we are all equal, and that a person can be themselves without being judged, ridiculed, or criticized.”

“Raising the flag is a symbol of that equality,” he adds.

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