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Don’t Be Intimidated: Take Action to Counter Threats Against the 2SLGBTQI+ Community

Imagine building your life, finding joy, and facing challenges, all while knowing there are those who actively seek to harm you simply for who you are. This is the reality for many in the 2SLGBTQI+ community, further amplified by the recent intelligence warning about potential violence. While this news can be frightening, it’s important to remember that we are not powerless. With knowledge, action, and solidarity, we can build resilience, counter these threats, and create a world where everyone feels safe and respected.

Canada’s intelligence agency is warning that extremists could “inspire and encourage” serious violence against the 2SLGBTQI+ community — a threat the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says almost certainly will continue over the coming year.

CSIS’s comments come as provincial policies on gender-affirming surgeries and pronoun preferences are being hotly debated across the country.

“CSIS assesses that the violent threat posed by the anti-gender movement is almost certain to continue over the coming year and that violent actors may be inspired by the University of Waterloo attack to carry out their own extreme violence against the 2SLGBTQI+ community or against other targets they view as representing the gender ideology ‘agenda,'” said CSIS spokesperson Eric Balsam in an email to CBC News.

Don’t Just Sit By: Concrete Steps to Make a Difference

Not everyone has the capacity, mentally, emotionally, or physically to move into action to counter the threats, however there may be something from this list that you can take on.

Individual Actions:

  • Stay informed: Encourage staying updated on threats through trusted sources like 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations and official security advisories.
  • Practice vigilance: Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to the authorities.
  • Connect with your community: Build strong support networks with other 2SLGBTQI+ individuals and allies. This can provide emotional support, resources, and a sense of solidarity.
  • Report online harassment: Don’t tolerate hate speech or threats online. Report them to the platform and consider seeking help from relevant organizations.
  • Practice self-care: Prioritize your mental and emotional well-being during challenging times. Engage in activities that promote relaxation and resilience.

Community Action:

  • Advocate for increased security measures: Lobby for improved security measures in public spaces frequented by the 2SLGBTQI+ community, such as community centers and schools.
  • Support 2SLGBTQI+ organizations: Donate or volunteer your time to organizations working on safety and security initiatives for the community.
  • Promote education and understanding: Counter misinformation and prejudice by engaging in respectful dialogue with others and promoting educational resources about 2SLGBTQI+ identities.
  • Celebrate community: Organize events and gatherings that celebrate 2sLGBTQI+ resilience and joy. This can help foster a sense of unity and defiance in the face of adversity.

Ally Action:

  • Speak out against hate speech and discrimination: Whenever you witness or encounter anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric or actions, challenge them firmly and respectfully.
  • Educate yourself and others: Learn more about the 2SLGBTQI+ community and the challenges they face. Share your knowledge with others to foster understanding and empathy.
  • Support 2SLGBTQI+ businesses and organizations: Patronize businesses and donate to organizations that actively support the 2SLGBTQI+ community.
  • Advocate for inclusive policies: Speak up for policies that promote equality and safety for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Remember, even small actions can make a difference. By working together, the 2SLGBTQI+ community and allies can create a safer and more inclusive society for everyone.

It’s important to acknowledge the gravity of the situation while realizing our community’s strength and resilience. We need to take action, not out of fear, but from a place of empowerment and a desire to build a better future.

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Resources

988 Suicide Crisis Helpline: 24/7 support via phone or text.

Kelowna Community Resources Crisis Line: If you feel anxious, or need someone to talk to, the Crisis Line is available 24/7. Help is just a phone call away at 1.888.353.2273 (1.888.353.CARE).

Find more resources here.

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Addressing Online Hate and Targeted Harassment: Steps for the 2SLGBTQ+ Community

A group of people holding hands

The 2SLGBTQ+ community has long been the target of discrimination and hate, and unfortunately, this has spilled over into online spaces. With the rise of social media and other online platforms, hate speech and targeted harassment have become increasingly common. This not only creates a hostile online environment but can also take a toll on the mental health and well-being of community members. In this article, we’ll outline some steps that individuals in the 2SLGBTQ+ community can take to address online hate and targeted harassment, and develop resilience to protect their mental health and well-being.

Step 1: Report Online Hate and Harassment

The first step in addressing online hate and harassment is to report it to the appropriate authorities. Social media platforms have policies in place to address hate speech and targeted harassment. If you encounter such content online, report it to the platform’s moderators or administrators. While this isn’t always effective, it raises the visibility of these issues when more people report such instances.

Step 2: Practice Self-Care

Being the target of hate and harassment can take a toll on mental health and well-being. It’s essential to prioritize self-care to cope with the emotional impact of such experiences. This can include practicing mindfulness, engaging in physical activity, connecting with supportive friends and family, or seeking professional support from a therapist or counselor.

Step 3: Engage in Advocacy and Community Building

One way to combat hate speech and targeted harassment is to engage in advocacy and community building. Organizations and individuals in the 2SLGBTQ+ community can work together to create safe and inclusive online spaces. This can include organizing community events, sharing resources and information, and promoting positive messaging and allyship.

Join us in the fight against targeted hate and harassment toward the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Your donation to Advocacy Canada will help us provide vital advocacy and strategies to combat hate and create a safer, more inclusive future for all. Every contribution counts, make a donation today. Click the button to donate.

Step 4: Use Privacy and Security Settings

To protect personal information and privacy online, it’s essential to use privacy and security settings. This can include setting up two-factor authentication, limiting who can see your social media profiles, and being mindful of what personal information you share online.

Step 5: Stay Informed and Educate Others

Lastly, it’s important to stay informed about the latest developments in online hate speech and targeted harassment. Educate yourself and others about the impact of hate speech and ways to combat it. This can include attending workshops or training sessions, sharing resources and information, and engaging in public education campaigns. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network offers resources and workshops to help combat hate. Signup for the Advocacy Canada Newsletter to stay informed of resources and community events.

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Online hate and targeted harassment have become increasingly prevalent in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. However, by taking steps to report hate speech, practice self-care, engage in advocacy and community building, use privacy and security settings, and stay informed and educate others, individuals and organizations can combat hate speech and create safer and more inclusive online spaces. By working together, we can create a better and more tolerant future for all members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.