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Today, May 17th, we celebrate the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Some of you may ask why we keep bringing the subject up.
The Rainbow Flag of the LGBTQ community flying above the Transgender Pride Flag (Source: The Independent).
Things change of course. Many members of the LGBTQ community can now shine without fear or hiding. Xavier Dolan is about to present his latest film at the Cannes Festival. One of the foundational plays of Québec theatre, Les Feluettes by Michel-Marc Bouchard, will be brought to the stage for the first time, this Saturday, at the Opera of Montreal. It will be the first-ever homosexual love story in an opera worldwide. The National Assembly now counts a number of LGBTQ MNAs, beginning with Québec solidaire’s Manon Massé who moved the motion ordering that the rainbow flag be raised atop Parliament on this day, a motion that was unanimously approved by the Members of the National Assembly. Even I tasted this freedom as I ran in two provincial elections without my homosexuality, far from being hidden, ever being a subject of debate.
Unfortunately, much is left to tackle. Every day, children and teenagers are ostracized for being different. Suicide cases remain far too common. And no later than Sunday, during the Oliviers Gala, a comedian decided to make a good joke by outing one of his colleagues from the closet… on stage. I am not even going to discuss the situation of LGBTQ people from cultural minorities or who are members of the First Nations. The situation of elderly people isn’t pink either. And let’s mention trans people who’s legal rights to equality are far from reached. In Canada as in the world, much is left to do.
Things change slowly, at every scale. Last week, we the student Senators of McGill University obtained that the administration review the policies allowing transgender students who’s change of name is not recognized legally to modify their first name in their email addresses, their profile, class lists, student ID card, etc. This modification will now affect employees of McGill University as well. Today, at a larger scale, the Government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will introduce a bill to modify the protections against discrimination in Canada so they apply to transgender people. Things change when we work. Whether you are a member of the LGBTQ community, or an ally, help us eradicate homophobia and transphobia.
Happy May 17th to all.