The First National GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Summit was held in Toronto, May 17 – 20. This gathered together young people and educators from across Canada with a focus on promoting safer and more inclusive schools for everyone. Organisers also staged a rainbow flashmob event on the first evening of the conference – Friday, May 17. In central Montreal, a special Church celebration was held on Sunday May 19, with more than 60 singers from the Gay Choir Montréal and the Gay Choir Mélo’men from Paris. Like every year, activists in the region of Quebec developed an active campaign across the francophone Province. This year’s campaign focused on fighting homophobia on social media. Events were also reported in Vancouver and Nova Scotia.
OUTShine hosted their First National GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Summit in Toronto, during May 17 – 20. This gathered together young people and educators from across Canada with a focus on promoting safer and more inclusive schools for everyone, and especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) folks, with plenty of room for straight allies ! Organisers also staged a rainbow flashmob event on the first evening of the conference – Friday, May 17. For more details see www.mygsa.org/outshine/
The full programme of events for the conference can be downloaded as a pdf here.
On Sunday May 19th a Célébration spécial pour la Journée internationale contre l’homophobie / ‘Celebration for the day against homophobia’ was held at the Catholic Church of St Peter the Apostle, at 10:30. More than 60 singers of the choir gay Montréal and the choir gay Mélo’men of Paris, participated in the event.
Province of Quebec
For 2013, as in previous years, the Quebec-focused organisation Fondation Émergence developed an active campaign across the francophone Province. This year’s campaign focused on fighting homophobia on social media. More information on activities can be found (in French) HERE. The foundation released a report on the Day, documenting that 58% of respondents reported having witnessed homophobic content on social media.
Activists linked to the group QMUNITY organised a International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia Breakfast event, focussed on homophobia in sport.
Flyer for the QMUNITY/Vancity event – IDAHOT 2013; Source.
The group released a statement shortly after the event:
“A big thank you to everyone who attended the 9th Annual International Day Against Homophobia breakfast! We received rave reviews from our nearly 500 attendees – an increase of 30% from last year! – who were inspired by our outstanding keynote speakers, Dr. Louise Cowin, Ben Rutledge, Cory Oskam, and his superstar mom Nicole Seguin. With the support of our guests and valued sponsors, we raised $45,820 for QMUNITY’s programs and services, increasing our revenue from 2012 by almost 500%!
By all measures the day was a tremendous success, and we look forward to next year, the 10th anniversary of the International Day Against Homophobia breakfast and the 35th anniversary of QMUNITY!”
Brought to you by the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project (NSRAP) : “Join Halifax’s LGBTQ* communities as we recognize May 17th, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHoT). Our 2013 theme is “Our Bodies, Our Health, Our Rights.” … This year’s rally will be held on the Thursday evening before IDAHoT – we know lots of people will be heading out of town for Victoria Day weekend. … Details, including presenters, will be added as they confirmed. For more details see the facebook event.
Students at Bridgeport Elementary School, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, also organised a ‘Rainbow Day’ for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia:
May 17 in Kelowna
In Kelowna, British Colombia, the group Okanagan Pride hosted various events including a balloon release, mini chalk-festival and reception to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, on May 17, 2013.’ As the organisers stated in a pre-event media release:
‘Okanagan Pride’s free event is open to the public and starts at 7:00 pm on May 17 at the Pride Centre, 1476 Water Street, Kelowna. The event will commence with a balloon release followed by a reception with cake and refreshments.
According to Okanagan Pride Society President Wilbur Turner “This event is designed to not only celebrate progress toward equality but also draw attention to the need for more work to end discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” He adds, “Recent events at Kelowna nightclubs where patrons have been called out for “being gay” by staff and being told “this isn’t that kind of club” points to the need for more education.”’
Photos from actions in Kelowna:
A Statement in support of the Day was also released by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).