If the news about the systemic discrimination rooted in racism and homophobia at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) has taught us anything, it is that our fight for justice for LGBTQI2S people is far from over.
The CMHR was established to give a voice to those who have suffered and who continue to suffer discrimination and human rights violations in Canada. It was created to share our truth, stories of success and the rights that our community, and many of you reading this here today, have fought for and achieved.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality. Since 1969, our community has won many court battles and strived to create a more inclusive culture. From ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to achieving marriage equality Canada-wide in 2005, adding gender expression and gender identity as protected grounds to the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Federal Apology for years of state-sponsored systemic oppression targetting LGBTQI2S public servants and military personnel. We have collectively fought for every right our community has today, and we are still fighting.
We are fighting with and for our Black, Indigenous and People of Colour LGBTQI2S communities who are disproportionately impacted across the board. We are fighting to end the blood ban and conversion therapy, we are fighting for intersex human rights, trans visibility protections and inclusion, health care access, sports inclusion, workplace inclusion, safer schools, and we are fighting for our seniors who are being forced back into the closet when they enter long-term care. There is so much more.
It is disgraceful that our highest institution of human rights has been hiding our truth for almost as long as it has existed and that they have gotten away with it for so long. Having only opened in 2014, the CMHR has admitted to hiding LGBTQI2S history upon request until 2017 (and likely longer). If we know anything about discrimination, it's that it doesn't end with policy, that is merely a starting point.
The recent apology from CMHR executives and proposed actions are a starting point. However, the lack of leadership and shameful behaviour from this institution has left us with the painful reminder of just how much work our community has left to do - from courts to culture - if we are to create a Canada and a world where everyone can achieve their full potential free from hatred and bias.
Last week, on June 18, we hosted a virtual queer prom for youth across Canada on Instagram Live and IGTV. Featuring an Instagram takeover by Priyanka from the upcoming Drag Race Canada, youth joined in for performances and discussions that included topics like Black Lives Matter, Pride, and inclusion. We even had a surprise visit from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada!
Thank you to our partners at TAXI Agency for creating this video in-kind with us
Pour cette #Fierté2020, nous voulons attirer attention à la discrimination que confronte la communauté LGBTQI2S au Canada et autour du monde. Personne ne devrait faire face au danger en sortir du placard, qu'il y ait ou non une pandémie. Ensemble, nous pouvons y arriver.
This #Pride2020, we want to raise awareness about the discrimination that the LGBTQI2S community still faces in Canada and beyond. Coming out should be safe for everyone, regardless of whether there is a pandemic. Let’s get there together.
Get the first look at our Pride Inside 2020 Guide!
This is your guide for having #PrideInside this summer (and all year). With resources, virtual workplace inclusion training, shareable online content, and more Egale’s Pride Inside Guide is a go-to resource for engaging your team and connecting with your community. After all, Pride starts from the inside for each and every one of us!
In an effort to track the rate of approval for applications that are focussed on support for the LGBTQI2S community, please complete this brief survey. The results will provide us with information to advocate for our community with the federal government and determine the success/decline ratio once decisions have been made.
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Egale works to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and two-spirit (LGBTQI2S) people in Canada and to enhance the global response to LGBTQI2S issues. Egale will achieve this by informing public policy, inspiring cultural change, and promoting human rights and inclusion through research, education, and community engagement. Join us by supporting our work to improve the lives of all LGBTQI2S people.