With the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia taking place on May 17th, Advocacy Canada joined over 80 civil society organizations to launch the #Act4QueerSafety campaign calling on the Government of Canada to address rising anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate.
While the federal government has taken important steps to support 2SLGBTQIA+ communities over the past 8 years, they have not taken meaningful action to address a staggering rise in anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate.
The campaign, led by the Society of Queer Momentum (Momentum for short), includes campaign partners such as Advocacy Canada, the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Fierté Canada Pride, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Association of Social Workers, YWCA Canada and dozens of other local and national organizations.
The campaign calls on the federal government to develop a funding program to support community organizations to address rising hate through education, and to take steps to address unprecedented safety and security concerns. The campaign also calls for the appointment of a Special Representative to Address and Prevent Anti-2SLGBTQIA+ Hate, and a Special Envoy on International LGBTIQ+ Human Rights to promote LGBTIQ+ equality and human rights around the world, and more. Detailed information about the campaign and a full list of campaign partners can be accessed at www.act4queersafety.ca.
Fae Johnstone, President of Momentum, shares that “Queer and trans people in Canada are scared. We’re seeing hate rising around the world and in our own communities. We need the federal government to take this seriously – and to act before hate escalates further. Without federal leadership, we risk following the path of the US, where our rights are under attack and queer communities face escalating violence.”
From 2020-2021, there was a 64% increase in hate-motivated violence towards queer communities in Canada. Drag events and queer organizations are being targeted with protests and hate, both online and in-person. Efforts are underway to roll back inclusion in Canadian schools. Community leaders are being targeted by anti-2SLGBTQIA+ groups. Hateful rhetoric is infiltrating into the mainstream, equating queer and trans people with child abuse, pedophilia and grooming.
Michael Kwag, Executive Director of the Community-Based Research Centre – a campaign partner – shares that “Rising hate translates into increased harassment and stigma towards queer people, which will worsen the mental health and well-being of our communities. Rising hate will have a long-term impact on the health of our communities – but we have a window of opportunity to act now before it gets worse.”
Wilbur Turner, Chair of Advocacy Canada states “We have seen targeted campaigns against the queer community and a rise in online hate speech right here in Kelowna. The link to acts of violence and physical harm by the incitement of anti-2SLGBTQIA+ activist agitators is a threat not only to the queer community but to public safety in general. Many community members are expressing fear about their safety or the safety of someone they love. We continue to raise the alarm and look for our governments to take action.”
About Advocacy Canada
Advocacy-Canada.lgbt is a Kelowna-based non-profit organization with a mission to unite and amplify queer voices and their allies in the community to effect positive change on important issues that make a lasting difference.