Written by: Samayra Bahl

It all started on June 28, 1969 in the city of New York when the police raided a gay bar known as Stonewell Inn. Various cross-dressed people were asked to verify their gender which eventually led to several people getting arrested, as earlier homosexuality had been banned by the American Constitution. As people observed this situation, they started getting annoyed by the impolite behaviour of the police and therefore, gathered outside of the bar protesting against the NYPD. Within a few minutes, the raid completely took a turn and formed into a riot which was noticed as the first movement by the gay people. Since this event, the month of June is celebrated as Pride month every year. In 1978, Gilbert Baker created the pride symbol that is the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag. Each colour on the flag had a significance: red is for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony and violet for spirit.

The LGBTQ+ community has come a long way tackling obstacles in their path to live a harmonious life. Their efforts and dedication have given rise to a very positive outcome. Every year, throughout the month of June, millions of people come together from across the world to honour the community members and celebrate amongst them. The month is about spreading awareness of the gay rights and the goals that are yet to be achieved are also addressed. Numerous events take place educating people about the pride history and acceptance of the community members in real world. 

Millions of people from across the globe express their love and happiness through a medium of various events which include pride parades, symposiums, picnics, parties, marches, dance festivals, concerts, workshops, etc. Throughout the month of June, countless people gather to celebrate numerous accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community. They publicly celebrate their sexuality and gender identities and showcase how the world has evolved their ideas and beliefs towards the community. The LGBTQ+ community is consistently rising but the recognition of it has still a long way to go!

Wilõ is a Toronto-based business which creates handmade soy candles started by Richmond Truong. The candles are formulated with all-natural, cruelty-free, and environmentally responsible products while also spreading awareness about the significance of self-care, mindful living, and self-appreciation. 

We all need to give ourselves the time to check-in, to make sure we’re doing okay, to carry on with our growth, to learn and also to maintain balance in our lives. Wilõ aims to provide high quality self-care products that will be able to relax, refine and recharge us!

“To spread the importance of self-care for the mind, body, and soul”

We also interviewed Wilõ’s owner Richmond Truong who is also a part of the LGBTQ+ community and this is what he had to say.

1. What inspired you to create the brand?

I always wanted to start my own business that made a positive impact ever since I was a child but, I didn’t know where to start. I have always been an overachiever and ambitious (which are all good things). But I didn’t have balance in my life when it came to self-care and I noticed a lot of friends were in the same boat as well. So, I decided to create a brand that focused on having a lifestyle that strives to live in balance and harmony to be able to continue to grow and learn. However, some people do not know where to start (I didn’t know where to start either) but, I knew that you need an atmosphere that will allow you to grow and I wanted to make welcoming fragrances for people to set their atmosphere to learn and grow while in balance and harmony!

2. What are your goals for wilo and what is your mission?

To spread the importance of self-care for the mind, body, and soul”. Self-care allows the time to check-in with yourself and see what aspect of yourself needs to be treated — to retain balance, to continue to grow, and learn — to achieve harmony. Our goal at Wilo is to provide high quality self-care products that will aid individuals to be able to recharge, relax, and refine themselves and be able to achieve their soul purpose!

3. We would love to know a little more about you personally, so a little background about you and your life would be great. Also, if you would like to/feel comfortable about sharing a bit about your experience being a part of the LGBTQ + community with our readers.

Being a person of colour and being a part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community comes with its challenges. As a child, I never knew who I was and was “somewhat” lost. I say “somewhat lost” because I knew I was different, but I was fortunate enough to have a mindset where I did not care to be what society wanted me to be (a straight cis-male). I just accepted what I like and who I like and called it a day. I feel this mindset came about as I had a queer brother who I looked up to, and I knew deep down that I would always have his support.

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