IDAHOT in Canada this year was largely defined by the news that new laws to protect transgender citizens were being launched following an initiative by the government. Timed to coincide with IDAHOT 2016, the news was announced by Prime Minister Trudeau, who also spoke in support of the aims of the day, and of the equality of LGBT citizens.
The new laws mean that transgender Canadians will now benefit from a greater range of legal protections and rights. The legal reforms come after efforts from within the Trudeau government, spurned by their commitment to LGBT equality which was promised following their election.
As longstanding supporters of IDAHOT, the Canadian LGBTI community have always been incredible at mobilising their support for May 17. This year the number of events across the country made Canada one of the world centers for IDAHOT activity.
In Quebec, Fondation Émergence focused its 2016 campaign on the realities of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors.
In British Colombia, Kamloops Pride held a special day of story telling to promote solidarity and pride among the local LGBTI community. The event featured stories and performances from members of the LGBTI in a local safe-space venue and was followed by a candlelight march to city hall.
In Richmond, BC, local activists organised the third annual IDAHOT celebration at Richmond Cultural Centre.
In Toronto, the Asian Community AIDS Service hosted their annual Pink Dot event. The event was a celebration of the LGBTQ Asian community and featured a march through Chinatown as well as performances and talks focused on the experiences of LGBTQ Asians and Canadian-Asians.
Also in Toronto, PSAC Pride marked IDAHOT 2016 with their positive space lunch and learn. The event invited the community to join for an open discussion on workplace discrimination and similar issues facing the LGBT community. There was also a celebration organised by the local Opening Doors Project.
In Vancouver LGBTI group Qmunity held its 12th annual IDAHOT breakfast, which featured a talk and presentation on the subject of homosexuality and coming out.
In Hamilton, Ontario, local LGBTQ activists hosted a night that focused on the experiences of young LGBTQ Canadians. The event included a youth presentation, documentary screening and an open-mic and arts show, all in order to raise awareness of the issues facing LGBTQ youth.
In Barrie, Ontario, Fierté Simcoe Pride hosted a special Dinner and Drag show to mark IDAHOT 2016. The event featured local performers and will also see the announcement of details for the group’s upcoming 2016 pride.