May 17th, 2021
May 17th is recognized globally as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It is important for our community to take the time to reflect on the meaning of this day.
The day was created in 2004 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual identities, gender identities and expressions of gender and sex.
According to May17.org, May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. This year the theme for May 17th is ‘Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing’.
As a community, we need to commit to actively addressing homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, as well as taking intentional actions in response to violence and discrimination against 2SLGBTQIA+ people.
We have many staff, students and community members that experience discrimination and harm or live in fear of sharing their true identity. This pandemic has highlighted that our advocacy and allyship have been stagnant rather than active and ongoing. We have a responsibility to foster inclusive learning environments where 2SLGBTQIA+ students and staff rights are protected and their identities valued.
It’s important to have acceptance because many people in the LGBTQ+ / supporting community are really frustrated, angry and scared at my school.” (WRDSB student feedback from Thinking Out Loud Survey)
Educating ourselves is one action we can take to understand, identify and disrupt homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.
Although we still have a lot of work to do, we will continue to stand up to hate and discrimination and stand together to celebrate diversity and acceptance for all.