A a leader in anti-discrimination work, our organization had had a focus on creating campaigns that advocate, educate, and inspire change. From our legislative campaigns to our educational, the commitment/ dedication that CCGSD has to the LGBTQ2S+ communities is always reflective in the work that we do.
Our cultural assumption is that sex is binary. Established science shows us that this is not always true, that anyone may possess both male and female determinants of sex, or be intersex. How many ways are there to measure sex? What quality of information does the ‘pants check’ give us? There have always been people who don’t fit into that binary, so what issues do intersex people face? This campaign will also look at intersex in different cultures, and how to be an ally.
Take Action to End LGBTQ2S+ Homelessness
Nearly a quarter of homeless persons identify as LGBTQ2+. This is an important queer and trans issue, especially for queer youth who often feel the shelter system is not a safe space for them. The risks of violence and intimidation toward queer youth are exceptionally high. We need to have a strategy that understands the systemic challenges queer and trans folks face and remove the barriers to them finding housing.
No Conversion Canada
Conversion therapy or reparative therapy is any treatment, including individual talk therapy, behavioural or aversion therapy, group therapy treatments, medical or drug-induced treatments, which attempt to change someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Simply put, it is abuse.
Stop HIV/AIDS Stigma
We at the CCGSD stand against HIV Criminalization and demand immediate federal action. Moreover we ask that all Ministers of Education take steps to add important information about HIV (and STBBIs) prevention to curriculums at all grades so that young people can be fully informed and make educated decisions.
Today we call on all those across Turtle Island fighting for equality and justice to expand and protect the rights, needs, and liberation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex, asexual, two-spirit, and gender-nonconforming people everywhere to engage with us to promote this agenda.
Two-Spirit Inclusion Campaign
The goal of this campaign is to create spaces that validate and celebrate Two Spirits, their identities, traditions, and cultures in mainstream, queer, and Indigenous spaces. This campaign hopes to make it more accessible to agencies, schools, and community organizations to include Two-Spirit people in their conversations and events, through an online learning tool for individual learning while also offering access to our speaker’s bureau, which is made up of Two-Spirit educators.
Slay Stigma U=U
POZitivity is a national HIV Anti-Stigma Campaign funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Our campaign has three main goals, involving: challenging the stigma surrounding people living with HIV, access to services, testing, and prevention as well as educating people on PrEP, PEP and U=U.
We will be travelling to 24 pride festivals across Canada this summer as well as launching a national Slay Stigma Canadian drag tour this October with RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Trinity K. Bone’t!
Take the pledge to get free tickets and follow us @pozitivitycampaign on Instagram to get updates and help us #SlayStigma!
See more at: pozitivity.ca
The World’s 1st & Only Gay Object: The Gay Sweater
The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) was very excited to announce our initiative that aims to bring attention to the negative and incorrect use of the word ‘gay’ or the phrase ‘that’s so gay’ was a success. To combat this issue, we had made the first and only object in the world that can be called ‘gay’ without being meant as an insult: #TheGaySweater.
It was knit from the hair of hundreds of LGBT donors, #TheGaySweater is an icon that will remind people how ridiculous it is to call something ‘gay’, and that we shouldn’t be calling things ‘gay’ unless they truly are.
“The idea for the sweater was born out of a desire to educate and encourage people to use ‘gay’ the right way,” said Jeremy Dias, Director of the CCGSD.“We want the conversation that surrounds the gay sweater to inspire those who are using ‘gay’ in a detrimental way to both realize the negative impact their actions are having and change their behaviour.”
Along with the sweater, we designed a series of education guides and bonus short films that gives voice to youth who have been impacted by the derogatory use of the word ‘gay’ and showcases the process that went into creating the sweater. You can research that conversation and all sweater-related content on the website and by searching the hashtag#TheGaySweater.
We encourage you to share the film, the hashtag, and our message so we can rid ‘that’s so gay’ from our vocabulary for good, and create a more safe and welcoming community for every person in it.
Equality for All Same Sex Relationships
What is Bill C-39?
The Federal Government has taken action to reform Canada’s Criminal Code by removing ‘zombie laws’ – laws that have been struck down in court and cannot be enforced. These laws are no longer reflective of Canadian societal attitudes but remain in the Code because Parliament must observe the formal process to strike them from the books.
Bill C-39 is an Act to amend the Criminal Code (unconstitutional provisions) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. The Act includes the repeal of section 159 of the Criminal Code, the prohibition of anal intercourse. This legislation was initially introduced as Bill C-32, but has since been absorbed into C-39.
The repeal of section 159 of the Criminal Code would promote the equality rights protected by subsection 15(1) of the Charter, which provides that everyone is equal before and under the law. Section 159 prohibits anal intercourse, except by a husband and wife or two persons who are both 18 years or older, and where the act is consensual and takes place in private. The offence has had a disparate impact on gay and bisexual men, whose consensual sexual activities have been uniquely targeted for prohibition under the Criminal Code.
In addition, courts in five provinces as well as the Federal Court of Canada (Trial Division) have found section 159 to unjustifiably discriminate on the prohibited grounds of sexual orientation, age and marital status.
The repeal will equalize the range of sexual conduct before the law, and lower the applicable age of consent from 18 to 16, making it equal to the required age of consent for all other consensual sexual activity.
History of Act
In November 2016, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould proposed Bill C-32 to repeal Section 159, which was then incorporated into Bill C-39. C-39 was introduced and read in the House of Commons on March 8, 2017.
Minister Wilson-Raybould rightly called Section 159 ‘discriminatory’, and cited statistics of 69 Canadians charged under this section between 2014 and 2015. Many Canadians may have thought that this outdated law was abolished in the 60’s during Pierre Trudeau’s progressive administration. In fact, the law was not repealed, only amended to create exemptions for legal adults in heterosexual unions. This meant that the law still discriminated against gay and bisexual men, and that the age of consent remained unequal.
Bill C-39 is part of the Liberal government’s commitment to ensure that all Canadians are treated equally and respectfully, and that the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals are brought to light. The passage of this Bill will be a triumph for our community, and hopefully indicates the enactment of further measures, protections, and resources that support true equality.
Why Is This Legislation Significant to the LGBTQ+ Community?
This Bill represents a significant stride inequality towards same-sex relationships and the way they are perceived not only by society as a whole, but by members of law enforcement.
The Bill also gives individuals the information, power, and autonomy to decide what they want to do with their own bodies once they reach the age of consent.
Most importantly, the legislation may also make sex education more available, particularly to youth, giving them a chance to make informed decisions about their sexual activity and health. While the age of consent for anal intercourse was 18 years of age, many authorities felt it was unnecessary or inappropriate that sex education be open and accessible about risk factors and safe practices. This resulted in increased health risks, and a continuation of the stigma around LGBTQ+ relationships.
What Else Is Included In This Act?
Bill C-39 proposes to either repeal or amend various provisions under the Criminal Code that have been found to have been unenforceable because they are inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For more information on the full scope of the Act, please visit:
What is CCGSD Doing?
The CCGSD is currently working to publicize this legislation and create awareness both within, and outside of the LGBTQ+ community. We are also meeting with parliamentarians on an ongoing basis in an effort to educate them about the issues faced by LGBTQ+ Canadians. Our focus now is on Members of Parliament, and how they will vote on this Bill.
If you have any suggestions for us on our efforts towards C-39, or if you would like to collaborate on projects to advance this Bill, please contact email@example.com
Next Steps – Get Involved!
We need all Canadians to contact their Member of Parliament and urge them to pass Bill C-39 unchanged.
Taking action is easy. Simply:
Click this link to open a list of Members of Parliament:
Find your MP.
Email (see draft email below) or call them, and tell them to pass Bill C-39 immediately.
Share this page on social media, at the office, in school and at your community organizations–and get your friends and family to take action too!
Dear Member of Parliament,
I’m writing to you in support of Bill C-39, an Act to amend the Criminal Code (unconstitutional provisions) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. Within this legislation is the repeal of Section 159, the prohibition of anal intercourse. This provision is discriminatory towards members of the LGBTQ+ community, and its repeal is a step towards equality.
LGBTQ+ Canadians struggle daily with inequity. Allowing this outdated law to remain on the books not only leaves the required age of consent unequal for different consensual sex acts, but also perpetuates the stigma around LGBTQ+ relationships. As Canadian society makes strides forward towards understanding and equality, the Criminal Code must change to reflect new attitudes.
This Bill must pass through the House of Commons with support from all parties. Please take action to understand and support Bill C-39.
(Your name, and city, province or territory)
Take action for Trans Rights
Trans Rights need your help right now!
We need all Canadians to call & email their provincial Senator & tell them to pass this legislation right away!
See ways you can take action below.
What is Bill C-16
Bill C-16 amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. The enactment also amends the Criminal Code to extend the protection against hate propaganda set out in that Act to any section of the public that is distinguished by gender identity or expression and to clearly set out that evidence that an offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on gender identity or expression constitutes an aggravating circumstance that a court must take into consideration when it imposes a sentence.
Ultimately, this Act takes major steps to protect trans & gender non-binary Canadians against federal forms discrimination. We also hope it will be used to open the doors to other trans rights, as well as protections, resources and supports.
History of Act
Efforts to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identity & expression date back to May 2005 with efforts by Member of Parliament Bill Siksay from the riding of Burnaby-Douglas (BC). Over his tenure in parliament, he re-introduced the legislation several time, however, a lack of support in the house left the legislation to die on the order paper.
In 2011, newly elected Randall Garrison, Member of Parliament for Esquimalt-Saanish-Sooke (BC), succeed Bill Siksay as the NDP Critic on LGBTQ Issues, and re-introduced the legislation, which finally passed a third reading in the House of Commons, but was gutted by a cissexist amendment and eventually left to die on the order paper with the next election.
This year, Minister of Justice, Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, reintroduced Mr Garrison’s bill, and on Friday, November 18, it passed its third reading. It should be noted that Bill C-16 passed with 248 votes in favour and 40 against; the only opposition to the bill were 40 Conservative Members of Parliament, including Andrew Scheer and Brad Trost who are currently running for leadership of the party.
Next Steps, How can you help?
While Bill C-16 has passed through the House of Commons, there is no guarantee it will be pass in the Senate. In fact, it was the Senate that has historically made cissexist changes and/or ultimately left it to die on the order paper.
This is why we need your help.
We need Canadians to call & email their senators and say that Bill C-16 needs to be passed unchanged immediately.
Taking action is easy. Simply:
- Click this link to open a list of Canadian Senators.
- Find any Senator in your home province.
- Email (see draft email below) or call them, and tell them to pass Bill C-16 immediately.
- Share this page on social media, at the office, in school and at your community organizations–and get your friends and family to take action too!
What is CCGSD doing?
Since November, the CCGSD has been working to educate parliamentarians on the issues facing queer and trans-Canadians. We recently held #HillPride combining Rainbow Day on the Hill & the Pride Parliament Panel. (Read more in Daily Xtra).
Over the next weeks, we will complete and release our survey of how Senators plan to vote, so that we can focus our calling efforts on the ones who might need extra effort to understand our community’s position on why Bill C-16 is so important.
If you have any suggestions on our efforts for Bill C-16 or wish to collaborate on projects to advance Bill C-16, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(note: You can also write a letter to any Senator at: (Name of Senator), The Senate of Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 04A. No postage is required on letters sent to Members of Parliament or Senators).
I’m writing to you in support of Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression). I urge you to support the Bill and pass it immediately.
Trans and gender non-binary Canadians are disproportionately at need for emergency shelter and crisis counselling, however are often turned away from services because of how they identify or present.
Recent statistics paint a grim reality for trans youth in Canada:
- 49% of trans youth have been sexually harassed—because they are trans
- 37% of trans youth have been physically harassed or assaulted because of their gender expression
- Trans youth are 8 times more likely than their peers to report a suicide attempt, and nearly 6 times as likely to report high levels of depression.
This Bill has already passed through the House of Commons with support from all parties before, and it is long overdue to move this important piece of legislation through the Senate.
Please take action to understand and support Bill C-16.
(your name, city, province or territory)