We all need to confront hateful words, thoughts and attitudes to show bullies that there are consequences to their actions.
Ottawa (17 May 2013) – The 340,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) urges union members and the general public to stand in solidarity with lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) communities today, May 17, on the International Day against Homophobia.
History of the International Day against Homphobia
Each year this day is marked on the anniversary of the World Health Organisation’s decision decategorize homosexuality as a mental disorder. The day was originally organized in 2003 by the Québec group Fondation Émergence, which was soon successful at elevating it to the international level.
Until 1969, it was a crime to be gay in Canada. Even today, we continue to see hate crimes committed, young people bullied and gay-straight alliances in schools are still being banned. We have far to go in ensuring everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Fight the Homophobia Web Virus
This year's campaign theme is Fight the Homophobia Web Virus. The anonymity found online, in comment sections, on social media can have a devastating affect, especially on young people. We all need to confront hateful words, thoughts and attitudes to show bullies that there are consequences to their actions.
We need to support people who have been the victim of cyberbullying to speak up and report homophobic behaviour and to get the support they need.
What you can do to fight homophobia and transphobia
Fondation Émergence suggests ways to confront the Web Virus:
- Participate on the internet and in social media by using Twitter, blogs, Facebook to promote anti-homophobia and transphobia messages
- Set an example by making your social media a homophobia free space
- Report and denounce acts of homophobia, bullying, harassment, threats and hateful, defamatory or blashemous remarks to the appropriate authorities
- Make the Acts of Homophobia Registry known to others and use it to report any acts
- Bring awareness to your workplace or school
- Promote civic involvement in the campaign and promoting its messages.
May 17 is a reminder that our work is not done in the campaign for equality. Every day, we can make a difference to counter homophobia and transphobia to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE