We celebrate Pride in 2020 at a distance from each other. But that doesn’t diminish our solidarity with LGBTQI2S community members within our unions, in our province and around the world.
In a year where protests have brought so many to the streets to oppose racism and violence, we begin by honouring the lives of Black community members, and recognizing the unique experiences when race intersects with sexual orientation and gender identity.
Too often those experiences include vulnerability to terrible violence. Of the 27 murders of Trans and gender non-conforming people in the US last year identified by the Human Rights Campaign, the vast majority were Black transgender women. And of the sixteen identified killings so far this year of Trans and non-binary people in the US, over 80 percent are Black or Latina transgender women.
We recognize as well that gender non-conforming people In Canada face bigotry and violence. Anti-Trans hate crimes are on the rise, and structural violence against Trans and non-binary people is rampant in our systems. According to the Being Safe, Being Me report of the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey, 28 percent of respondents said they had been sexually assaulted, and 33 percent said they had been sexually harassed.
BC’s labour movement is united against homophobia, transphobia and all forms of hatred and discrimination around race, Indigeneity, gender identity, sexual orientation and gender expression. And we reaffirm our commitment to building communities and workplaces that support and uphold LGBTQI2S people as their whole selves.
Sussanne Skidmore, secretary-treasurer of the BCFED, says “As a queer woman, I know that violence against members of my community is rampant, and on the rise globally, nationally and even here in our own backyard. I also know that it is worst for Trans and non-binary community members, and exponentially so for those Trans and non-binary community members who are Black, Indigenous or people of colour. We at the BCFED are committed to doing the work to end this violence.”
The BCFED stands in love and solidarity with LGBTQI2S community members during this time, and particularly Black, Indigenous and people of colour within the community. We commit to building our capacity and knowledge to be a better and more effective ally, both as an organization and as individuals.
Solidarity and Pride everyone!