EDITORIAL: Canada has a lot to be proud of, but still a long way to go

October is LGBT History Month

In 1994, a St. Louis high school history teacher named Rodney Wilson made a suggestion – LGBT history should have a dedicated month. It is said that Wilson chose October, to coincide with National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11 and so now, 24 years later LGBT History Month is celebrated as the leaves start to fall and the temperatures begin to cool.

RELATED: SOGI 123 protesters clash at B.C. legislature

That same year, in Ontario, the government proposed legislation extending benefits to partners in same-sex relationships, and the rights and freedoms of LGBT people have continued to improve dramatically in the two decades since.

But it took until 2005 for Canada to legally allow LGBTQ people to marry and not until 2017 was the Canadian Human Rights Act updated to include gender identity and gender expression as grounds for protection.

When the Winter Olympics descended upon Vancouver in 2010, the first-ever Pride House was part of the festivities in Whistler.

RELATED: Rainbow crosswalk, safer places for LGBTQ people in Sidney

And right here on Vancouver Island, in 2016, a $2 million donation from philanthropist Jennifer Pritzker shaped the foundation of what is now the world’s first academic chair of transgender studies at the University of Victoria.

Still, from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, small communities face vandalized rainbow sidewalks, debates on banning conversion therapy are still being had and queer people of colour continue to face disproportionate numbers of discrimination, homelessness and suicide.

Perhaps it’s a good thing there is an entire month dedicated to learning a little more about what it means to be LGBT – how far we’ve come, and how far we have left to go.


@kristyn_anthony
kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Child hit and killed in driveway in Cobble Hill

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Cowichan Provincial Park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Mid-Island tracking toward driest June on record

Predictions for rain this week could bring temporary relief

Overpass, barrier, more parking considered for Cathedral Grove

Provincial government proceeding ‘with caution’

‘Danger Cat’ in medically-induced coma after serious dirt bike incident

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $3,000 for Campbell River man by Monday afternoon

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’ by authorities in Campbell River

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Team effort rescues injured mountain biker in Cumberland

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue, the Cumberland Fire Department and BC… Continue reading

West Shore RCMP bust drug lab after fire caused by production of cannabis shatter

View Royal lab near parks and children’s playgrounds, evidence of children in home

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

Man appealing conviction for drive-by shooting attempt in Nanaimo

Armaan Singh Chandi was sentenced to nine years in jail in B.C. Supreme Court last month

Sailing cancellations as Baynes Sound Connector set to undergo maintenance

Denman Island ferry out of service Wednesday night

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Most Read