May 25, 2023Print | PDF
In June, Laurier is proud to celebrate the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community and the impact they have on our campuses. Pride Month is also a time to reflect on the historic struggle for equal rights that 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals have faced, and continue to face.
At Laurier, we raise the Progress Pride flag this month as a symbol of the university’s commitment to honouring the identities, experiences and contributions of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community, and to remind us of the responsibility we have to create a safe and welcoming environment in which everyone can flourish.
Around the world, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are confronted with violence and discrimination. Today, almost 70 countries still criminalize consensual same-sex conduct, with six imposing the death penalty. In Canada, sexually and gender-diverse people are almost three times more likely to experience violence than heterosexual and cisgender people.
In reflecting on the fight for equal rights in Canada, it has only been 18 years since Bill C-38, recognizing same sex marriage, became federal law; and it was only in 2017 that the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code included the terms gender identity and gender expression.
I am grateful to the many faculty, staff, students and alumni at Laurier who work to build a more inclusive community through research, education, support, and advocacy.
As examples, Dr. Michael Woodford and colleagues’ large scale study Thriving on Campus is providing guidance on how to better support the diverse needs of 2SLGBTQQIA+ students. In 2021, Dr. Percy Lezard and colleagues released the 2SLGBTQQIA+ Sub-Working Group’s National Action Plan: Final Report, making recommendations tothe federal government on how to better support Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer LGBTQ+ people who experience violence. Dr. Maryam Khan’s work is helping improve access to health and social services for sexually and gender-diverse Muslim communities in Canada.
Thank you to everyone at Laurier who engages in this important work. During Pride Month – and beyond – we look forward to promoting these efforts.
Deborah MacLatchy, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor