Today, May 17, is marked as International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. The date was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
It’s a day to recognize that while the rights of the LGBTQ2S+ people have significantly advanced in recent decades.
“On International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, we stand together against hatred and discrimination towards LGBTQ2S+ people in Alberta and around the world,” Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women said. “It has taken decades of work by members of LGBTQ2S+ communities and their allies to build safe, welcoming spaces in this province. We must make sure Alberta continues to be a welcoming place where people are safe to openly express their sexual orientation, gender identity and to love freely. Love is love.”
“Today, let’s celebrate the progress we have made in ensuring equal rights for all and focus on ways we can elevate and work with our friends, families, and communities to address and stand up against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. Simple acts like learning and respecting other’s pronouns and having the meaningful conversations necessary to challenge bias are great ways to be an ally,” Aheer added.
Chevi Lee Rabbitt is a Transgender Advocate and is Avenue Magazines first transgender Top 40 under40 feature.
“After my gay-bashing incident while being a student at the University of Alberta. I have spent the last decade dedicated to creating awareness against hate crimes, homophobia, and transphobia in Alberta,” Rabbitt told Lakeland Connect. “Today is the international day for transphobia and homophobia. I’m happy that our Minister Of Statue of Women Leela Aheer has demonstrated in the past of being inclusive towards transgender women.”
Rabbitt says that in private meetings the Minister ensured her that she was a beautiful woman and that she should deserve respect and dignity.
“It’s important that leaders continue to be inclusive and respectful towards transgender women,” Rabbitt said. “It’s important that Canadians respect create communities that create space, love, and dignity for transgender women, men, and wider LGBTQ community.”