Category: Awareness


On August 9th, 1982, the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations (UNWGIP) held their first meeting in Geneva. To commemorate this crucial step forward in the protection of Indigenous rights, every year August 9th is recognised as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.  

To honour this day, it is important to acknowledge the parts of Canada’s history that inspired the creation of the UNWGIP and other such bodies.  

It is equally important, however, that August 9th not solely be a day to focus on Indigenous peoples’ sufferings. Indigenous peoples are not passive strawmen of victimisation whose role is to merely serve as a reminder of colonial brutality. Rather, they are the complex and dynamic agents of significant economic, political, social, and cultural influence. We would be remiss, especially on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, to exclude this aspect of Indigenous life.  

This article therefore has two aims: The first is to give a brief overview of the harrowing side of Indigenous life in Canada, as it remains a crucial element of our history. The second is to emphasise instances of Indigenous agency and to recognise the space that Indigenous peoples occupy in human culture. 

Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Canada – A Brief Critique

The rights of Indigenous peoples in North America have been repeatedly violated since the colonial era. This began with the Great Dying of 1492, when Christopher Columbus conquered the Americas. Genocide and disease killed nearly 55 million Indigenous people, erasing 90% of the population. Since then, a combination of wars, enslavement, declining birth rates, residential schools, and forced sterilisations have contributed to what many scholars call the Indigenous Holocaust.  

Today, Amnesty International reports Canada’s repeated failures in respecting the rights of its Indigenous peoples and their lands, despite having made a commitment to uphold the principles of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). For example, Indigenous peoples in Canada still face discrimination and lack access to education and healthcare. Long-term drinking water advisories remain in effect for 29 Indigenous communities. And the Canadian federal government continues to support the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project on Indigenous land, despite the denial of consent by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.  

Indigenous Agency in Canada and the World

Small Numbers, Big Statistics. Although they make up only 5% of the world’s population, Indigenous peoples protect 80% of its biodiversity and speak more than half of the 7,000 languages around the world. 

Linguistic Influence. Canada got its name from a Huron-Iroquois word. In 1535, Jacques Cartier crossed paths with two Indigenous youths, who told him of the route to their village, or their kanata. Adapted from its original form, “Canada” went on to become the official name of the nation on July 1, 1867. 

Early Societies with Advanced Knowledge. Contrary to what is frequently taught in Canadian school curricula, Indigenous peoples in North America had knowledge of science, health, math, and land systems well before the arrival of European immigrants. This knowledge was not “introduced” to them; it had been used successfully to maintain their livelihood for thousands of years prior.  

Brave Soldiers of the Land. Approximately 7,000 people of Indigenous status volunteered to fight in the Canadian military during both World Wars, many receiving medals for their heroism and bravery. The reason cited for joining by many of these volunteers was to protect the land.  

Progressive Politics. The concept of a central government with a separation of powers – like the government we presently have in Canada – was highly influenced by the early political institutions of the Iroquois and Algonquin Nations.  

Forward-Thinking Views on Identity. Indigenous communities have recognised the fluidity and spectrum of gender for hundreds of years. Although many Indigenous communities have their own terms for this phenomenon, the modern term “two-spirit” is frequently used by Indigenous people to describe individuals who identify as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit. Two-spirit may describe a gender, sexual, and/or spiritual identity.  

Historically, such individuals could be men who dressed like women, or vice-versa. They could also be men who performed what are now considered feminine roles like basket-weaving, or women who performed what are now considered masculine roles like hunting. Sometimes, two-spirit was used strictly to describe sexuality. However, those who identified as two-spirit did not necessarily see themselves as either homosexual or heterosexual – this was mainly a European concept introduced through colonisation.  

Although this account of Indigenous agency is short, it is by no means exhaustive. We hope that this article can serve as inspiration to learn more about the fascinating nuances of Indigenous identity, agency, and strength. 

Happy International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples! 

By: Serena Celeste Romanelli


July 26th is widely celebrated as Polyromantic and Polysexual Visibility Day! In recognition of this day, let’s take a look at what these terms mean and why they are important.  

The categories of sexuality

To better understand polyromanticism and polysexuality – broadly referred to as polysexuality – it helps to first cover the two “categories” of sexuality. The first category of sexuality is monosexuality, which is defined as the state of being sexually and/or romantically attracted to only one gender. This includes homosexual and heterosexual individuals. The second category is commonly referred to as either multisexuality or plurisexuality, both of which are defined as the state of being sexually and/or romantically attracted to more than one gender.  

Polyromanticism and polysexuality fall under the second category. These terms describe, respectively, individuals who are romantically and sexually attracted to people of multiple – but not necessarily all – genders. Polysexuality denotes a spectrum of attraction possibilities. In other words, polysexual folks may have one or multiple gender preferences in their attraction, or even none at all.  

Differentiating polysexuality from other multisexual identities

There is sometimes confusion between polysexuality and other terms that fall under multisexuality. Below are some common examples and their respective definitions.  

Polysexuality: Attraction to multiple, but not all, genders. Polysexual individuals may or may not have a gender preference. 

Omnisexuality: Attraction to all genders, where gender is a factor in individuals’ preferences. That is, an individual’s attraction may feel different from gender to gender.  

Pansexuality: Attraction to all genders, but gender is not a factor in individuals’ preferences. Pansexual individuals are sometimes described as “gender-blind.”  

What about polyamory?

Perhaps the most common misconception about polysexuality is that it is similar – or even the same – as polyamory. Despite their shared prefix, these terms bear no inherent relation to each other. Whilst polyromanticism and polysexuality describe romantic and sexual identities, polyamory is a type of relationship dynamic characterised by ethical non-monogamy. Like individuals of any romantic or sexual identity, polysexual folks may engage in relationships ranging from monogamous to non-monogamous, depending entirely on their personal preferences.  

Why it’s important to know the difference

As we navigate our growing understanding of the many flavours of human romanticism and sexuality, it is important to recognise how important labels can be for many individuals’ identities. Distinguishing polysexuality from omnisexuality, pansexuality, and other multisexual identities allows us to appreciate the nuances between them. It also allows individuals who identify with these identities to feel validated and seen. The opposite – feeling that one’s identity has been erased or repressed – has been associated with various negative psychosocial outcomes. 

Multisexual folks (including those who identify as polysexual) are especially at risk of negative outcomes due to their unique experience with bi-erasure. These individuals often must grapple with their sexuality being dismissed or ignored entirely in human culture and history. This is especially significant in important scientific studies on sexuality, which commonly aggregate multisexual populations with monosexual Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diverse (GSRD) populations, thereby erasing important psychosocial differences.  

In addition to bi-erasure, multisexual folks are frequently the recipients of a multisexual-specific prejudice called binegativity. This includes negative attitudes and beliefs held about multisexual individuals (e.g., multisexual people are confused or “in a phase,” are promiscuous, are more likely to cheat or have a sexually transmitted infection, etc.). 

As a result of bi-erasure and binegativity, multisexual folks have higher rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality than monosexual GSRD individuals. They are also significantly less likely to give their own mental and physical health positive ratings. For comparison, the 2015-2016 Canadian Community Health Survey found that, when asked to rate the state of their mental health, 72% of heterosexual individuals and 68% of homosexual individuals gave a rating of “good” or “excellent,” whilst only 44% of bisexual individuals gave these ratings.  

Wrapping it all up

Human sexuality is vast and complex, with nuances that are deeply valuable to many individuals’ experiences. A major step to bridging the gap between monosexual and multisexual folks’ psychosocial outcomes is lending visibility to these nuances and showing that they matter. On July 26, we recognise – and celebrate! – all those who identify with polyromanticism and polysexuality  


International Drag Day is a momentous occasion celebrated worldwide to honor the artistry, creativity, and resilience of drag performers. This vibrant and inclusive community has played a significant role in shaping the GSRD pride movement, challenging norms, and creating spaces for self-expression. In this blog post, we explore the reasons behind celebrating International Drag Day, the impact of drag artists on the pride movement, and ways to support the drag community amidst the challenges of the current political climate.

Why do we celebrate International Drag Day ?

International Drag Day is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the art form of drag and its cultural significance. It serves as a platform to acknowledge the contributions of drag performers in challenging societal norms, breaking down barriers, and creating spaces for self-expression. Celebrating this day helps foster visibility, understanding, and appreciation for the artistry and diversity within the drag community. 

International Drag Day celebrates the resilience, creativity, and empowerment of drag artists while recognizing their significant impact on the pride movement. By supporting and uplifting the drag community, we contribute to a more inclusive and accepting society. Take this opportunity to honour the artistry and diversity within the drag community, amplify their voices, and advocate for their rights as we continue the journey toward equality and celebration of GSRD identities. 

How have drag artists impacted the Pride Movement ?

Drag artists have played a pivotal role in the pride movement, acting as catalysts for change, empowerment, and acceptance. Their performances often serve as a powerful form of political and social commentary, challenging gender norms and advocating for GSRD rights. Drag shows, drag balls, and drag pageants have become iconic events within the GSRD community, offering spaces for queer individuals to celebrate their identities and promote inclusivity. 

Drag artists have also been at the forefront of fundraising efforts for GSRD organizations and community initiatives. Their tireless advocacy, charisma, and ability to bring people together have helped raise awareness and support for important causes, making a lasting impact on the fight for equality and acceptance. 

How can we support the drag community ?


There are a number of ways we can support the drag community during the challenges of the current political climate, including:

  • Attend drag shows and events: Show your support by attending drag shows, events, and fundraisers in your community. By participating in these spaces, you help create a vibrant and inclusive environment for drag performers to showcase their talents. 
  • Amplify their voices: Use your platform and voice to amplify the voices and experiences of drag artists. Share their work on social media, attend panel discussions, and engage in conversations that highlight the importance of drag in GSRD culture. 
  • Support drag artists financially: Many drag artists rely on income from performances and appearances. Consider supporting them financially by purchasing tickets to their shows, tipping generously, or donating to their crowdfunding campaigns.  
  • Advocate for GSRD rights: Stand up against discrimination and advocate for policies that protect the rights and safety of the GSRD community. By becoming an ally and supporting equal rights, you contribute to creating a more inclusive society for drag artists and the broader community. 
  • Educate yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about the history, struggles, and accomplishments of drag artists. Learn about their contributions to GSRD culture and the broader entertainment industry. This knowledge will enable you to appreciate their artistry and better understand the challenges they face. 

Representation of non-binary people in the media has been gradually increasing over the years, but there is still a long way to go in terms of accurate and diverse portrayals. Here are some common ways in which non-binary individuals are represented in the media: 

News & Documentaries

Non-binary individuals have been featured in news articles, documentaries, and interviews, shedding light on their experiences, challenges, and achievements. These platforms provide an opportunity for non-binary voices to be heard and for the broader public to gain a better understanding of their identities. 

Fictional Characters

Some TV shows, films, and literature have started including non-binary characters in their narratives. These characters help normalize non-binary identities and provide representation for non-binary viewers. However, it is essential for writers and creators to ensure these characters are well-rounded, complex, and not reduced to stereotypes or tokenistic portrayals. 

Social Media & Online Platforms

Many non-binary individuals have found a platform for self-expression and representation through social media and online content creation. They use platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to share their stories, experiences, and perspectives directly with their audiences, building communities and increasing visibility.

Fashion & Modelling

Non-binary individuals are making their mark in the fashion industry, challenging traditional gender norms and expanding the definition of beauty and style. Non-binary models have been featured in fashion campaigns, runway shows, and magazines, promoting more inclusive and diverse representations of gender.

Advocacy & Activism

Non-binary activists, influencers, and public figures use their platforms to raise awareness about non-binary identities and advocate for the rights and well-being of non-binary individuals. They engage in public speaking, participate in panels, and collaborate with organizations to promote inclusivity and equality.

Challenges remain in media representation, including the tendency to tokenize non-binary characters or focus solely on their gender identity rather than their multifaceted personalities and stories. Additionally, there is a need for more diverse representation within the non-binary community itself, encompassing different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. 

It is crucial for media outlets, content creators, and industry professionals to work toward more authentic and inclusive representation by consulting with and amplifying the voices of non-binary individuals. By doing so, media can contribute to a better understanding of non-binary identities, challenge stereotypes, and foster a more inclusive society that respects and acknowledges the diversity of human experiences. 

July 6

Sexuality is a diverse and complex aspect of human identity. While society has made strides in understanding and accepting various sexual orientations, there are still misconceptions and myths that persist. One sexual orientation that often remains misunderstood is omnisexuality. Let’s take a look at some common myths surrounding omnisexuality and shed light on its true realities. 

Myth 1: Omnisexuality is the same as bisexuality. 

Reality: The definition of bisexuality has evolved in more recent years to be an umbrella term which encompasses other identities, including pansexuality and omnisexuality. Individuals who identify with the term omnisexual are attracted to more than one gender, where gender is a factor in their attraction (unlike pansexuals who are attracted to others regardless of gender). Another distinction is that bisexuals may be attracted to more than one gender, but not necessarily all genders as omni implies. 

Myth 2: Omnisexual individuals are promiscuous or incapable of monogamy. 

Reality: A person’s sexual orientation does not determine their promiscuity or their capacity for monogamy. Omnisexual individuals, like people of any other sexual orientation, vary in their preferences for casual or committed relationships. Attraction to multiple genders does not inherently imply a lack of monogamy or the inability to form deep and meaningful connections. 

Myth 3: Omnisexuality is a phase or a transitional identity. 

Reality: Omnisexuality is as valid and stable as any other sexual orientation. It is important to acknowledge that sexual orientations are not phases that people simply outgrow. Omnisexual individuals have a genuine and enduring attraction to multiple genders, just as someone who identifies as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual may have a stable sexual orientation. 

Myth 4: Omnisexuality is a way to avoid choosing a specific sexual orientation. 

Reality: Omnisexuality is not a way to avoid choosing a specific sexual orientation; it is a valid sexual orientation in itself. It acknowledges and embraces the potential for attraction to all genders, highlighting the vast diversity of human experiences. It is crucial to respect and recognize the authenticity of omnisexual individuals and not dismiss their orientation as indecisiveness. 

Myth 5: Omnisexuality is a rare or uncommon orientation. 

Reality: Omnisexuality, like any sexual orientation, exists across different cultures and populations. While specific statistical data may vary, it is important to note that the representation of omnisexuality in research or public discourse may be limited due to historical biases and societal stigma. The lack of visibility does not diminish the validity or prevalence of omnisexuality as a genuine sexual orientation. 

Understanding and debunking the myths surrounding omnisexuality is essential to foster a more inclusive and accepting society. By dispelling misconceptions and embracing the realities of omnisexuality, we can promote empathy, respect, and support for individuals who identify as omnisexual. Let us strive to appreciate the rich diversity of human sexual orientations, fostering an environment where everyone feels seen, understood, and validated. 


The Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York City in 1969, marked a significant turning point in the fight for the rights of the Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diverse (GSRD) community. The events that unfolded during and after the riots had a profound impact not only in the United States but also across the globe, including in Canada.  

What were the Stonewall Riots?  
The Stonewall Riots refer to a series of spontaneous demonstrations and clashes between GSRD individuals and police officers that occurred at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, in June 1969. Tired of frequent police raids, harassment, and discrimination, the patrons of the bar resisted the arrests and fought back against the police, sparking several days of protests, demonstrations, and solidarity marches. The Stonewall Riots are widely considered the catalyst for the modern GSRD rights movement.  

What impact did these events have on Canada?  
The impact of the Stonewall Riots on Canada’s GSRD community cannot be overstated. The events resonated across borders, inspiring and emboldening GSRD individuals to assert their rights and demand equality. The Stonewall Riots provided a framework for activism and community organizing, setting the stage for similar movements in Canada.  

In the years following the riots, Canada witnessed a surge in GSRD activism, leading to the formation of numerous organizations advocating for equal rights. Activists in Canada drew inspiration from the Stonewall Riots, using their newfound momentum to fight against discrimination, challenge oppressive laws, and foster greater acceptance and inclusion. The events at Stonewall became a rallying cry for change, igniting a wave of activism that helped shape the GSRD rights movement in Canada.  

Why is it important to celebrate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots?
Commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots holds immense importance for several reasons:  

  1. Historical Significance: The Stonewall Riots signify a pivotal moment in GSRD history, representing a collective uprising against oppression and discrimination. By acknowledging this event, we honor the bravery and resilience of those who fought for GSRD rights and recognize the progress made since then.  
  2. Reflection and Education: Celebrating the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots provides an opportunity to reflect on the challenges faced by the GSRD community in the past and present. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and motivates us to continue fighting for justice and inclusivity. If you are an educator, consider checking out our free lesson plan on the Stonewall Riots.  
  3. Solidarity and Support: Commemorating the Stonewall Riots fosters a sense of solidarity among GSRD individuals and allies. It allows communities to come together, reaffirm their commitment to equality, and support one another in the face of discrimination.  
  4. Progress and Inspiration: Recognizing the Stonewall Riots’ anniversary highlights the progress achieved in GSRD rights and serves as a reminder of the work that remains. It inspires individuals to continue advocating for change and empowers future generations to stand up against injustice.  

The Stonewall Riots were a watershed moment in GSRD history, sparking a global movement for equality. In Canada, the impact of these events reverberated through the years, propelling the fight for GSRD rights and inspiring generations of activists. By celebrating the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we honor the struggles, resilience, and achievements of the GSRD community, while recognizing the ongoing work needed to create a more inclusive and equitable society. 


What is LGBT Equality Day?  
LGBT Equality Day is an annual celebration that recognizes the ongoing struggle for equal rights and opportunities for the LGBT community. It serves as a reminder of the progress made, while highlighting the work that remains to be done to achieve full equality for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  

Why is it celebrated on June 26th?  
June 26th holds historical significance in the fight for LGBT rights. On this day in 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, decriminalizing consensual same-sex sexual activity across the United States. Additionally, on June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in the United States. These victories represent crucial milestones in the ongoing pursuit of equality and justice for the LGBT community.  

Why do we celebrate it in Canada?  
While LGBT Equality Day originated in the United States, its message and purpose resonate globally, including in Canada. Canada has made significant strides towards advancing LGBT rights, but there is still work to be done, especially given the recent backlash against members of our community. By recognizing and celebrating LGBT Equality Day, Canadians can reaffirm their commitment to inclusivity, respect, and equal rights for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It serves as a reminder to continually challenge discrimination, prejudice, and inequality in all aspects of society.  

AwarenessEducation Project

National Indigenous Peoples Day is an important occasion in Canada that recognizes and celebrates the rich cultural heritage, contributions, and resilience of Indigenous peoples. This day provides an opportunity to learn, appreciate, and honour the diverse Indigenous cultures that have shaped the nation.  

What is National Indigenous Peoples Day and how did it start?  
National Indigenous Peoples Day, formerly known as National Aboriginal Day, is celebrated annually on June 21st in Canada. It is a day to acknowledge and commemorate the diverse cultures, traditions, languages, and histories of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.   

The origins of National Indigenous Peoples Day can be traced back to June 21, 1982, when the National Indian Brotherhood (now known as the Assembly of First Nations) called for the establishment of a National Aboriginal Solidarity Day. The proposal gained widespread support and was subsequently endorsed by various Indigenous organizations across Canada. In 1996, the Governor General of Canada declared June 21st as National Aboriginal Day, providing an official recognition of the cultural richness and significance of Indigenous peoples. In 2017, the name was changed to National Indigenous Peoples Day to reflect the inclusive nature of the celebration.   

How can we honour our 2-Spirit community members on this day? 
Within Indigenous communities, the term “2-Spirit” encompasses diverse gender identities, sexual orientations, and spiritual roles. The 2-Spirit community holds a unique and valued place within Indigenous cultures and traditions.  

Here are some meaningful ways we can honour and support our 2-Spirit community members on National Indigenous Peoples Day:   

  1. Education and Awareness: Take the time to educate yourself about 2-Spirit history, culture, and contributions to Indigenous communities. Read books, watch documentaries, or attend virtual events that focus on the experiences and perspectives of 2-Spirit individuals. If you are an educator, consider checking out our lesson plan on the Adoption of the 2-Spirit Term 
  2. Amplify 2-Spirit Voices: Use your platform, whether it’s through social media or in your community, to amplify the voices and stories of 2-Spirit individuals. Share their achievements, challenges, and experiences, and highlight their contributions to art, literature, activism, and other fields. Centering their voices helps combat marginalization and promotes inclusivity.  
  3. Support 2-Spirit Organizations: Donate or volunteer with organizations that specifically support the 2-Spirit community. These organizations work tirelessly to provide resources, advocacy, and support services for 2-Spirit individuals. By contributing your time or financial resources, you can help empower and uplift the 2-Spirit community.  
  4. Attend and Participate in 2-Spirit Events: Look for 2-Spirit-centered events happening in your area or online. Attend workshops, ceremonies, or cultural gatherings that focus on 2-Spirit identity and the celebration of their unique contributions. By actively engaging with these events, you can show your support and solidarity.  
  5. Respect and Recognition: Ensure that you approach conversations and interactions with 2-Spirit individuals with respect and cultural sensitivity. Use appropriate pronouns and honour their self-identified gender. Recognize and value their perspectives, experiences, and expertise.  

The Pulse Night of Remembrance is an annual event held on June 12th to remember the 49 people who were killed and 53 others who were injured in a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016. The event aims to honour the victims of this tragedy, as well as raise awareness about the ongoing struggle for GSRD rights and safety in the United States and around the world.  

While the Pulse nightclub shooting occurred in the United States, the impact of this event was felt around the globe, including in Canada. In Canada, the Pulse Night of Remembrance is an important opportunity to remember and honour the victims, as well as to raise awareness about the ongoing struggles faced by the GSRD community and the importance of working together to create a more just and inclusive world, where all individuals can feel safe.   

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims, as well as to those whose sense of community and safety was upturned by this event. 

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old 
Amanda L. Alvear, 25 years old 
Oscar A. Aracena Montero, 26 years old 
Rodolfo Ayala Ayala, 33 years old 
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old 
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old 
Angel Candelario-Padro, 28 years old 
Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 years old 
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old 
Cory James Connell, 21 years old 
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old 
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old 
Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernández, 31 years old 
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old 
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old 
Peter Ommy Gonzalez Cruz, 22 years old 
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old 
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old 
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old 
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old 
Javier Jorge Reyes, 40 years old 
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old 
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old 
Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old 
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old 
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old 
Brenda Marquez McCool, 49 years old 
Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25 years old 
Kimberly Jean Morris, 37 years old 
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old 
Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20 years old 
Geraldo A. Ortiz Jimenez, 25 years old 
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old 
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old 
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old 
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old 
Jean Carlos Nieves Rodríguez, 27 years old 
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35 years old 
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old 
Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24 years old 
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old 
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old 
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old 
Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 years old 
Juan Pablo Rivera Velázquez, 37 years old 
Luis Sergio Vielma, 22 years old 
Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velázquez, 50 years old 
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old 
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old 

AwarenessResearch Project

While we believe in the importance of honouring, celebrating, and educating about pride year-round, June marks a special opportunity to do so! Let’s kick things off with a list of 10 notable queer Canadians who have made an impact on GSRD history: 

  1. Delwin Vriend – A teacher in Alberta who successfully fought to have sexual orientation added to the province’s human rights legislation in 1998.
  2. Svend Robinson – The first openly gay member of Parliament in Canada, who served for over two decades and helped push forward LGBTQ+ rights legislation.
  3. Jim Egan – One of the first openly gay activists in Canada, who challenged the Canadian government’s definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman.
  4. Michel Tremblay – A celebrated Quebecois playwright who has often explored queer themes in his work, including in the groundbreaking play “Les Belles-soeurs.”
  5. Douglas Elliott – A lawyer who played a key role in the successful challenge of Canada’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2005.
  6. Elaine MacDonald – A longtime activist who has fought for LGBTQ+ rights in Canada, including helping to organize the first gay rights march in Ottawa in 1971.
  7. Makeda Silvera – A Jamaican-born author and activist who has written extensively about the experiences of Black queer women in Canada.
  8. Brent Hawkes – A prominent United Church of Canada minister who has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, including officiating at the country’s first same-sex marriage in 2001.
  9. Chelby Daigle – A transgender activist and writer who has worked to raise awareness about the experiences of trans people in Canada, including fighting for better healthcare access and legal protections.
  10. Gerald Hannon – A writer, activist and journalist who has been a prominent voice in Canada’s GSRD community since the 1970s, and who has written extensively on queer culture and politics. 
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