For the 2019 Pride season, the BC Federation of Labour is renewing its call for no one within the LGBTQ community to be left behind.
“All equity-seeking groups within the Pride community should be welcomed, heard, and celebrated. Pride began as a protest, as a mechanism to free an oppressed community. Trans, students, seniors, people of colour, two-spirited, and people with disabilities still face huge problems of exclusion, including within the LGBTQ community itself,” says BCFED Secretary Treasurer Sussanne Skidmore.
“My hope for this pride is that we can focus those in the LGBTQ community who are not yet free to express themselves. As a queer woman, I know what it’s like to have to fight for inclusion,” adds Skidmore.
The ban on donating blood, bone marrow and organs imposed on men and Trans women who have had sex with men remains in place. The ban is discriminatory because the criteria is based on sexual orientation rather than high-risk behaviors, and clearly perpetuates the stigma towards these marginalized groups. Several BCFED affiliate unions are running campaigns to end the blood ban.
In October 2015, the BCFED unanimously passed a trans exclusionary policy: any organization that provides support services to women or men but doesn’t provide those same services to Trans women or Trans men is considered Trans Exclusionary. The BCFED actively encourages affiliated unions to stop funding such organizations, asking these funds to be redirected to organizations that are Trans inclusive instead.
More broadly, the BCFED believes that the establishment of the BC Human Rights Commission will support education that promotes inclusion for all equity-seeking groups.
“We look forward to partnering with the commission to educate workers in every corner of the province in the years ahead. I look forward to the day when all LGBTQ community members feel safe, no matter what industry they work in or what area of BC they live in,” says BCFED President Laird Cronk.
The BCFED wishes everyone a Happy Pride season of 2019!
The BC Federation of labour represents 500,000 working people across the province of BC through its affiliated unions, and has a caucus that meets regularly on LGBTQ issues.