May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Today, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) recommits itself to fighting against the oppression, discrimination and harassment faced by the LGBTQ2+ community.
This year’s theme is ‘BREAKING THE SILENCE’; to speak up, speak out and take up space, because the voices, stories and lived realities of the LGBTQ2+ communities matter!
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, non-binary and two-spirit people continue to face discrimination, violence and harassment at work, in the community and in their daily lives. This is exacerbated for members of the LGBTQ2+ from further marginalized communities such as black, racialized, immigrant, living with disabilities and Indigenous. PSAC stands in solidarity with our LGBTQ2+ workers in creating workplaces that are free from homophobia, transphobia and biphobia and work towards policies and initiatives that address:
- Inequalities in access to life-saving drugs
- The extra burden placed on trans people to travel and/or pay for gender affirming surgeries
- The discrimination against some members of the LGBTQ2+ community by continuing to put restrictions on blood and organ donation due to outdated stereotypes and stigma
- The lack of accessible gender inclusive washrooms
PSAC remains committed to:
- Fighting for the inclusion of HIV prevention medication and gender-affirming hormone therapies in extended health plans
- Advocating for gender inclusive washrooms in workplaces
- Providing education and raising awareness on being an ally to our LGBTQ2+ siblings (Take a look at our guide on Building Trans-Inclusive Workplaces)
- Advocating for the recognition and inclusion of the LGBTQ2+ community in the Employment Equity Act
- Bringing issues affecting LGBTQ2+ workers to the bargaining table
We all have a role to play to ensure LGBTQ2+ people feel safe and can participate fully as they are in society and in their workplaces. PSAC will continue to work towards breaking down barriers and making equity and equality a reality, because LGBTQ2+ rights are human rights!