Queer Inclusive Actions
Being an ally to the 2SLGBTQIA+/queer community should never been seen as an objective or goal but rather as a ongoing and continuous journey. Whether you are a mayor in their fourth term, or a first-time school trustee, we all have a role we can play to make our communities and school more welcoming, accepting and inclusive of marginalized people.
Below is a starting place for politicians and community leaders to act on:
“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.“ – Malcolm Forbes
As council member or school trustee, ensure that you, other elected officials and all municipal/school board staff are provided with regular and ongoing education.
Ensure this education includes different angles and perspectives when it comes to gender and sexual diversity.
Facilities like changerooms and bathrooms without a designated gender benefit a variety of individuals who are not comfortable
or who face mistreatment when accessing gender-specific spaces.
Whether you’re creating new change rooms in a recreation centre or renovating washrooms, committing to gender-neutral washrooms can support not only trans and non-binary people but also those with disability and parents/guardians with child(ren) of a different gender.
Gender-neutral bathrooms benefits everyone. We’ve all waited outside an occupied bathroom while the bathroom for the gender we don’t
identify with was empty. Gender-neutral bathrooms are more efficient, allowing you to avoid that unnecessary wait.
Raising the Pride Flag, Trans Flag, etc. at muncipal or school property is something that all elected officials should commit to. Flag raisings are a small but important step in ensuring queer people feel seen and valued.
However, you must ensure you are doing more than just raising the flag. Use the rest of the items listed on this page as a starting point.
Intersectionality is the the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
When you’re working to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community ensure you’re considering how race, ethnicity, disability, soci-economic status, and other factors intersect with gender identity, gender expression, sex-assigned at birth and sexuality.
You may be unfamiliar with the word “pronoun,” but you use them all the time! Pronouns are used in place of a proper noun (like someone’s name). We use pronouns most often when referring to someone without using their name.
n English, our most commonly used pronouns (he/she) specifically refer to a person’s gender. For queer, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and transgender people, these pronouns may not fit, can create discomfort, and can cause stress and anxiety.
A 2018 study showed that in transgender youth, using correct pronouns and names reduces depression and suicide risks.
Use your pronouns throughout your work in office including (but not limited to) in email signatures, in presentations and meetings, on name tags, etc.
Pride organizations (and other queer organizations) are volunteer run and have little capacity to do things without the support of the community.
Ensuring that these local organizations have the needed financial and other supports they need to support the community is an important action you can take as a municipal action.
A key part of this is ensuring you’re supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ all 12 months of the year and not just during Pride Month (June).
Municipalities and school boards have countless forms, documents, laws and other written entities.
One action you can take is to ensure is all of these documents are reviewed to ensure they are gender-neutral and inclusive. For example, having “Mom and Dad” or “Husband and Wife” fields on forms can exclude a lot of 2SLGBTQIA+ people.
Whether it’s a homophobic protest by far-right organization or a micro-aggression by a fellow councilor/trustee, it’s important that elected officials are continuously calling out ALL hate.
Ensuring queer voices are heard and listened to can help overcome some of this hate. Centring queer voices can include inviting 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations and individuals to committees, meetings and other elements of your work.
Please remember that although many queer people and organizations are willing to provide their voices for free, financial compensation for lived experience especially when it comes to discussing trauma, should occur.
As a starting point, all elected officials should be able to confidently explain the differences and connections between the following terms:
Sex Assigned at Birth
Sex is typically assigned based on a person's reproductive system and other physical characteristics. Labels include male, female and intersex.
A person’s internal sense of identity as female, male, both or neither, regardless of their sex.
A person’s emotional and sexual attraction to others. It can change and may or may not be the same as a person’s sexual behaviour.
How a person expresses their gender. This can include how they look, the clothes they wear, the name they choose, their pronouns and their social behaviour.
(or other versions of the acronym)
An umbrella acromyn for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and more (+).
Interested in learning more? Check out Stratford-Perth Pride’s Education and Learning Webpage!