Today marks a day to stand against discrimination and for respect of all people, it is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The Trudeau government is expected to introduce legislation to include "gender identity" in the Canadian Human Rights Act alongside race, sexual orientation, and gender.
Enshrining an "equity mandate" would build on the tremendous work we have already done and make the NDP the most progressive party in the world when it comes to this issue. Trudeau certainly enjoys talking the equity talk, but by passing this motion the NDP will move miles ahead in walking the equity walk.
It can take less than 10 seconds for a youth to become homeless. In York Region, homeless youth, more often than not, do not fit the stereotypical profile. Unlike urban centres, these young people are often homeless not just due to poverty. They stem from middle-class families and end up on the street for a variety of reasons.
Coldplay, along with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, gave one of the best performances the halftime show has ever seen with the simple yet powerful message, "Believe in Love." This fueled a reaction that is quite common to members of the LGBT community. To put it gently, the homophobes went to work all across the virtual world.
As we speak, there are thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender folks from across the world who are not able to spend Christmas with their families this year. They have been beaten, cursed at and made to feel like they do not belong, leading them to say goodbye to their family and friends.
Recently, American Muslim activist Linda Sarsour broached the issue of LGBT Muslims, among other issues on the Al Jazeera program UpFront. She raised the concern of creating spaces to bring LGBT Muslims closer to Islam. Those involved in the discussion were cissgender males, one of whom equated same-sex unions with drugs and alcohol on the basis that both are considered sins. If the objective was to create safe spaces for marginalized LGBT Muslims, then the discussion failed.
Prior to the 1970s, house parties were an essential element of the homosexual social scene. Photographs of these private affairs are rare. The few that are available in archival collections memorialize a history of forced seclusion. One of the most tantalizing photographs I've come across in my research of Canadian LGBT history is of a trio of men attending a Christmas party in 1956. Standing in front of a decorated tree, a young man with a then-stylish pompadour delights in opening his gift while another man, who has his arm around him and another gentleman, looks on.