In Solidarity with 2SLGBTQ+ Communities this Pride Month, and Every Day

OACAS stands in solidarity with 2SLGBTQ+ communities throughout Ontario. There has been a notable increase in anti-2SLGBTQ+ discrimination and rhetoric across the province, and around the world, in recent weeks and months. This has been evidenced by online hate speech, protestors outside of drag queen story times at local libraries, communities and organizations refusing to fly the Pride flag, and leaders in various sectors and in government working against 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

Young queer people face disproportionate levels of harassment, bullying, violence, and family and community rejection. Research shows that for 2SLGBTQ+ young people, there are four major protective factors that promote their safety and well-being:

  • family acceptance and support
  • access to gender-affirming health care
  • supportive adults, and
  • engagement with the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Events, programming, and symbols that represent the 2SLGBTQ+ community affirm the identities of 2SLGBTQ+ children and youth and can help them to feel seen, supported, and safe. They also give all youth the opportunity to learn about the community and promote understanding, acceptance, diversity, and equity.

2SLGBTQ+ youth deserve to live and learn in safe places that accept and support them. We must use our voices to decry hateful anti-2SLGBTQ+ rhetoric and ensure the safety and well-being of all 2SLGBTQ+ children and youth.