Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (#IDAHOBIT).
Today also marks the 30th anniversary of the World Health Organization removing
homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1990. Yes, it was that recent.
As a 2SLGBTQIA+ youth organization, we confront these phobias on a daily basis, directly and
indirectly. Whether it’s organizing against hate groups, supporting young people affected by
discrimination, or making security plans for each and every one of our events to ensure they are
indeed safe(r) spaces, we have been on the frontlines of Hamilton’s hate crisis.
Today we are thinking of the young people quarantined in unsupportive or unsafe households.
We are thinking of trans and nonbinary folks who have had lifesaving medical interventions
delayed because of COVID-19 regulations. We are thinking of 2SLGBTQIA+ migrants, facing
travel restrictions preventing them from seeking refuge. We are thinking of isolated or closeted
2SLGBTQIA+ seniors in long-term care facilities. We are thinking of racialized 2SLGBTQIA+
people, facing increased surveillance and policing under the guise of ensuring “safety” in our
communities. We are thinking of incarcerated 2SLGBTQIA+ people, in overcrowded prisons,
with next to no hygiene supplies or healthcare access, and we join the call to #FreeThemAll.
With all major crises, oppressed people are disproportionately affected. This rings true in this global pandemic. The list above is a small snapshot of the existing oppressions that have been compounded by COVID-19, and forgotten by government relief efforts.
To our 2SLGBTQIA+ communities today- we see you, we hear you, we love you, and we have your back. We will continue to create events and resources to support you- never hesitate to reach out to us. Let us take today to reflect on how far we have come, and the ways that many in our community have been left behind. Let us reflect on how we can better support trans, BIPOC, disabled, and sex worker members of our communities, now and in the future. Let us consider the ways we can operate in solidarity with all other communities affected by capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy.
To our allies, we need your help more than ever. COVID-19 emergency measures have forgotten 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. We have quadrupled our events, moved, online, created a check-in support program, and have doubled our efforts to connect youth with necessary resources. With our current funding expiring in a few months, we ask that if you have resources right now, that you consider supporting our work to reduce isolation and improve access to supports for 2SLGBTQIA+ young people. Donations can be made online at speqtrum.ca/support-us.
Thank you to all the individuals and organizations fighting to make Hamilton a place free from oppression, including Kyle's Place, SWAP - Sex Workers' Action Program Hamilton, Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, Pride Hamilton, Hamilton Trans Health Coalition, Disability Justice Network of Ontario, SACHA, and The SPACE Youth Centre. We stand with you against transphobia, whorephobia, racism, sexism, ableism, colonialism, and patriarchy.
In community and solidarity,
Your speqtrum staff team