Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, has issued the following statement recognizing International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia:
“Today, May 17, is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. We come together to recognize this day because homophobia, transphobia and biphobia have no place in our province nor our society.
“All of us have a role to play and a responsibility to stand up against discrimination in all its forms. Exclusion, bullying, harassment and violence are not acceptable. British Columbia is a place where people of all genders and sexualities belong.
“For this reason, our government is working to make our province more inclusive for everyone.
“We support sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) education in schools, and beginning as early as kindergarten, B.C.’s curriculum teaches our young people about responding to unsafe or uncomfortable situations and demonstrating respectful behaviour with others.
“Through the Provincial Health Services Authority and Trans Care BC, we have brought gender-affirming surgeries to B.C. hospitals, which provides care for people closer to home.
“We have implemented a gender X option for provincial identification and made processes easier for people changing their gender on their ID.
“It’s important for us to remember that, on this day in 1990, the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. We’ve come a long way since then. However, we also know that people in our province continue to face inequality, harassment, violence and discrimination on a daily basis because of their gender or sexuality.
“We all must continue to call out this discrimination and violence when we see it and support our 2SLGBTQ+ neighbours when they are victimized.
“It will take 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. I’d like to extend my gratitude to all the community partners who work as advocates and champions every day, including QMUNITY, which led the work to have this day officially proclaimed in B.C.
“Ending homophobia, biphobia and transphobia starts by making it clear that people of every gender and every sexuality are welcome in our communities, our schools, our workplaces and our lives – on this day and every day.”