International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – May 17
On Tuesday, May 17, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) recognizes the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHTB).
Today, we raise awareness about the human rights of Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ people. Far too often, these communities in Hamilton and around the world face discrimination and can be victims of harassment, violence, and acts of hate.
As you are aware, an act of hate occurred this past weekend in Waterdown when a Pride crosswalk was vandalized. This demonstration of homophobia, transphobia and biophobia is unacceptable in our community and in our schools.
At HWDSB, we affirm all diverse and distinct identities. In doing so, we strive to create a positive environment where everyone can feel safe, accepted, and included.
Staff from Equity, Mental Health, Safe Schools, and Human Rights, as well as school teams, are collaborating more than ever to bring about awareness, support, and change.
Our collective work to support a positive culture in schools and workplaces starts with centering voices who are currently and historically underserved. This means we will uplift, trust, and value the lived experiences of those most impacted by the concerns and inequities they experience.
We have heard from students and families that not everyone in our communities feels safe, as we have been reminded by some recent incidents of bias, hate and prejudice of which we have been made aware. It is our collective responsibility and obligation to interrupt behaviours or actions that intentionally or unintentionally harm others. We do this in pursuit of the greatest sense of belonging for all.
On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, let us commit to making our school and work environments more inclusive, free of homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. Let us foster more kindness, dignity, and respect for all.
We look forward to continuing our awareness about the human rights of Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ communities as we celebrate Pride Month in June.
Superintendent of Equity and Student Engagement
- Speqtrum Hamilton – offers peer support and community building for Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ youth.
- Trans Lifeline’s Hotline – a peer support phone service run by transgender people for transgender and questioning peers. 1- 877-330-6366.
- Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line – confidential, non-judgmental, and informed peer support. 1 (800) 268-9688.