Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, has issued the following statement recognizing the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia:
“Today, May 17, is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. On this day in 1990, the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. We’ve come a long way since then. However, today remains an important day - far too many people within the 2SLGBTTQAI+ community continue to face inequality, living with harassment, violence and discrimination because of their gender or sexuality.
“Homophobia, transphobia and biphobia have no place in our province and our society.
“Our government has a moral and ethical responsibility to tackle systemic discrimination in all of its forms. Every day, our government is working to make our province better and more inclusive for everyone because British Columbia is a place where people of all genders and sexualities belong.
“That’s why we are working to make sure our services are accessible in ways that are inclusive and respectful of people of all genders and sexual orientations. We support sexual orientation and gender identity education in schools, have re-established the human rights commission and implemented a gender X option for provincial identifications. Our work continues to ensure everyone in British Columbia is recognized and treated with dignity as they are and for who they are.
“Through the Provincial Health Services Authority, Trans Care BC supports the delivery of equitable and accessible care, provides peer support and improves access to information, resources and supports. Bringing lower affirming surgery to B.C. also improves care for people in our province by providing high-quality, gender-affirming procedures closer to home.
“In addition, our efforts to address systemic discrimination must also inform policy and budget decisions by reviewing all decisions through a policy tool that considers a gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) lens.
“We are working toward a more inclusive British Columbia, and we know there is a lot more to do.
“It takes all of us working together to build a province where everyone can live without fear of violence or discrimination because of who they are or who they love.
“Ending homophobia, biphobia and transphobia starts by making it clear that people of every gender and every sexuality are welcome in our communities, our workplaces and our lives.
“This is more than a goal. It is a clear and definable commitment because each of us deserves an equal opportunity to succeed in life, and to feel safe to live as who we are on this day and every day.”