Statement by Minister Ien on the International Transgender Day of Visibility

Interntational Transgender Day

OTTAWA, ON, March 31, 2022 /CNW/ – The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, issued the following statement today on the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

“Today, on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, we honour the resilience and unbreakable spirit of transgender, Two-Spirit and non-binary people and celebrate their diversity and many contributions. As we work toward building an inclusive Canada, we also commit to speaking out against the harmful impacts of transphobia, discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression, and intersecting forms of discrimination.

Every single person deserves to live a true and authentic life free from discrimination regardless of who they are or how they express themselves. Yet, transgender and non-binary people continue to experience significant disparities, including negative mental health impacts, unemployment, homelessness, harassment, and bullying, and they are often victims of violence simply for being themselves. We also know that Indigenous, Black, racialized people, and people with disabilities experience an added layer of inequity. This is unacceptable, and we must do better.

The Government of Canada heard loud and clear that LGBTQ2 organizations need support. Just last month, we continued to support over 70 community organizations projects through the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund.

We will continue supporting LGBTQ2 organizations and community leaders that are working on the frontlines to provide life-saving programs and educational services and ultimately be there for those that need them most. The Fund supports community-informed initiatives to overcome key issues facing LGBTQ2 communities.

We’re also taking steps to improve equality for LGBTQ2 communities through the development of inclusive laws. Earlier this year, Bill C-4 came into effect, creating new criminal offences related to the harmful and degrading practice of conversion therapy. These so-called therapy practices aim to change an individual’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, change an individual’s gender identity to cisgender, or change their gender expression to match the sex they were assigned at birth. This makes Canada’s criminal laws on conversion therapy the most comprehensive in the world.

And just this month, we unveiled the LGBTQ2 National Monument named “Thunderhead,” a stunning landmark remembering the historical discrimination against LGBTQ2 people in Canada, including the LGBT Purge. It will serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come.

As we celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility, let’s continue to amplify the lived experiences and celebrate transgender and non-binary advocates, survivors, and community leaders. Together, we can create a more equitable future for ourselves and for generations to come.  

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