The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia is an annual reminder and call to action for equity. Unifor encourages all people to recognize and celebrate this day, and to support the ongoing struggles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in Canada and around the world.
Despite the ongoing legal and social steps taken to promote the rights of LGBTQ people in Canada, homophobia and transphobia are still ingrained in our everyday behaviours, language and policies, and LGBTQ people’s access to equality and equity continues to be undermined.
At a time when news of homophobic and transphobic violence is growing around the world, Unifor recognizes the need to lift up and celebrate LGBTQ members of our own communities, and to be welcoming and inclusive to all people facing and fleeing discrimination. Even though the steps towards justice sometimes are small, each one is a means to advance human rights, won by activists working collectively for social justice.
This day is an invitation for all people concerned with promoting equity and inclusion to mobilize. We will challenge homophobia and transphobia through our words and actions. As Unifor members acting in solidarity across Canada for the pursuit of dignity and equality for all LGBTQ people, we can continue to make a difference.
As a local union LGBTQ activist or ally, you can establish a Pride Committee. Just as your Health and Safety Committee helps enforce safe working conditions; a Pride Committee ensures that equity is a priority in your workplace and that no one is discriminated against for their LGBTQ status. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance is setting up this committee.
As a worker, you can add your voice. Call or email your Senator to ask that they adopt Bill C-16 to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to help protect transgender children, and all transgender and gender nonconforming people from being discriminated against. If passed this bill will include gender identity and gender orientation within the Canadian Human Rights Act much in the same way that women and people of colour are protected under the Human Rights Act.