Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (#IDAHOT2023), where we raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression faced by the 2SLGBTQ+ community worldwide. As May 17, 1990 was the day that the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder, IDAHOT is also a day of worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversity. Trans Care BC proudly supports individuals and families of all diversities today and every day.
Emboldened by activities outside of Canada, misinformation (i.e. false information) campaigns related to gender health care for Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary (TTNB) children and youth are active in British Columbia and across Canada. There has been a concerning increase in health misinformation campaigns, high-profile legal cases and negative press which is impacting TTNB youth, their families, and their health-care providers. We’re mindful today that Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia don’t occur in a vacuum, and are often amplified by racism, misogyny and other intersecting forms of oppression. This stigmatization leads to increased rates of violence against trans Indigenous/Two-Spirit folks, racialized trans people, non-binary trans femme people, and trans women – racialized trans women in particular.
Here are a few ways you can support 2SLGBTQ+ communities on IDAHOT and beyond:
1. Listen with Humility: listen to what 2SLGBTQ+ community members are saying and follow their leads.
2. Seek out education: seek out articles, books, films and blogs about history and current pressing issues. Attend anti-oppression learning sessions virtually or in-person. When someone invites you to an event, show up. Go listen, learn and show your support. Start by visiting our Online Courses section to access free learning modules on gender diversity, gender-affirming primary care, Indigenous gender diversity and more: http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/gender-basics-education/education-resources/online-courses
3. Get Involved: follow social media pages, mailing lists and local community groups who advocate for social justice. Review what policies, procedures, or programming exist at your work to support 2SLGBTQ+ workers and services users, and whether they need updating. Getting involved also means intervening and speaking up when something hateful or ignorant is shared, as silence allows oppression to continue. Commit to financially support a local community group or organization on a regular basis, if you are able to.
Allyship is an ongoing journey. Today and everyday, we stand with 2SLGBTQ+ communities to end violence and discrimination of all forms, and celebrate gender and sexual diversity and the freedom of love.
- Trans Care BC