Statement: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia | The Ontario Federation of Labour

Statement: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

On the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), reaffirms our commitment to stand alongside unions, equity-seeking organizations, community members, and activists in the fight for justice for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

We endorse the White Paper on the Status of Trans and Gender-diverse People by NDP MP Randall Garrison, which outlines critical issues and actionable recommendations for a more inclusive and safer Ontario. These recommendations include ensuring access to gender-affirming healthcare, combating hate, simplifying identity documents, supporting refugees, enforcing employment equity, and decriminalizing sex work and HIV.

We are witnessing an alarming increase in hate toward the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, including targeted attacks on school equity initiatives and setbacks like the defeat of Bill 42, which aimed to improve access to gender-affirming healthcare. These setbacks emphasize the urgency of strengthening our advocacy efforts. Trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse individuals deserve comprehensive, respectful care for their well-being. Gender-affirming care is not just essential; it is lifesaving.

Today, we also recognize the specific challenges faced by bisexual individuals, including heightened mental health issues, violence, and discrimination. Addressing these challenges requires improved mental health services, stronger anti-discrimination measures, and better representation.

“As long as members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community face threats, intimidation, and violence, the labour movement will continue to mobilize in their defense,” stated OFL President Laura Walton. “We will continue to mobilize, educate, and advocate until every individual feels safe and valued in their schools, workplaces, and communities across Ontario.”

We urge immediate action on the recommendations outlined in The White Paper on the Status of Trans and Gender-diverse People. You can refer here to the full document. We call upon every member to actively participate in eradicating homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia through supporting legislative changes, engaging in educational initiatives, or joining in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community during public demonstrations. Every action helps build a more inclusive Ontario.