Earlier this summer, Canada's first transitional housing dedicated to LGBT youth opened in Toronto--the YMCA's Sprott House. Reading about this great initiative raised our awareness about an issue that needs to be on the radar of all Canadians -- the unacceptable rate of LGBT youth who have no place to call home. LGBT youth become homeless for much of the same reasons as other young people -- family conflict, abuse, mental health issues and addiction. LGBT youth also experience higher rates of mental health and addiction issues in large part because of discrimination.
As the SCOTUS decision permeates business and marketing discussions, there have been a few arguments against brands publicly supporting equal marriage and LGBT rights. And not always the kinds of truthiness inspired arguments you might expect, but rather, reasoned (if ill-informed) arguments based on a few common assumptions. I'd like to address those here.
Recently someone in my inner circle began a relationship with a transgender woman. I learned to love someone new and accept her into my circle. Issues affecting transgender people have become my issues. I have read articles about people wanting to make policy about which bathroom is used by a transgender person. Then I realized, this isn't just a problem "they" face, it's a problem she faces.
A portmanteau of "pink" and "whitewashing," pinkwashing is sometimes used to describe organizations who tout support for LGBTQ causes to distract from less ethical endeavours, or who do so without backing their messages through appropriate actions or policies. So how can you as an inclusive, diversity-loving organization reach LGBTQ communities in the right way? Here are five tips.
To be a candidate who actually gets elected, I also have to be unique. As far as I know, I'm the only candidate that's marketing by getting matches on the dating apps Tinder, Grindr, and Scruff. I figure these are some of the best places to meet people these days. I go where my peers are and use the technology designed to connect us.
Over a year ago, Canada lifted a 30-year-old prohibition on gay men donating blood. However, Canada Blood Services still includes a ban on blood donations from any man who has had sex with another man in the past five years. That is why the Young Liberals of Canada want a policy that is based on evidence, because no single, loosely defined group should be discriminated against based on generalized statistics, perceptions or prejudices. A blanket ban on sexually active MSM is not merely discriminatory; it's unsafe.
A media biz friend of mine recently forwarded to me a news report on "the world's hottest criminal," Ms. Stephanie Beaudoin; a 21 year old nursing student in Quebec. Complete with a fetching photo of Ms. Beaudoin on a boat in a bikini, the story mentions that she's facing 114 criminal charges for breaking into more than 40 homes last summer.
The trouble is that recent years have invigorated the mayor's brand of hyperbole politics. It pays out in spades for those willing to join the bandwagon and echo the "us versus them" chorus. Its cronies transcend party lines; its victims and resisters fade quickly from memory ("not a leader", anyone?). It is the Ford Nation creed. A new, normalized nastiness has imbued the body politic, harshly demarking who is "one of us" and who is to be cast aside. Its candidates bob in the fickle surf of prejudice or fashionable platitudes, instead of wading into their own vision or fair-minded convictions.
As I find myself on the eve of World Pride weekend, making plans to march in the parade with my partner, my son and step-daughter, and their dads, I cannot help but reflect on the fact that it has been almost a quarter of a century since I came out. Our children are in Grades one and three. They love all of their moms, and my parents are thrilled to be grandparents -- to not one but, now, two kids. I continue to be an advocate, although today it takes different forms. Today, my girlfriend and I dream about getting married in the backyard of our home. I will get married because now I want to. And now I can.