International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

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Trans flag with a blue background

Each year on May 17, Unifor joins a global community of advocates and activists to raise awareness and take action to combat the challenges, discrimination, and violence faced by queer and trans workers everywhere on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. 


This year, Unifor is proud to support Rainbow Week of Action organized by Momentum, a Canadian nonprofit that organizes and amplifies advocacy for social and gender justice. Together we’re calling on governments and elected officials at every level to defend the rights and safety of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, including refugees and newcomers. 
Unifor encourages all members and locals to participate in or host an event in their community. You can find the full Rainbow Action Week events schedule here: 
2SLGBTQIA+ individuals are currently being targeted by hate-promoting movements in Canada. We see this in aggressive, divisive United States-style policy changes impacting schools across the country. We see this in how trans and gender-diverse people’s access to necessary care is being blocked. We see this in the way discussions on identify and sexual diversity in schools is being restricted, further stigmatizing those struggling to find community, representation, and to better understand gender, identity, and expression.  


Queer and trans people are being used as scapegoats for the real issues impacting working people and their families. Instead of fostering unity, some decision makers are using polarizing issues and misinformation to further stoke hate and division.  
In Alberta, Premier Danielle Smith's regressive policies for gender diverse children in schools and those seeking gender-affirming care. In Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, trans youth are also being targeted by discriminatory legislation. Unifor firmly believes that all individuals deserve the freedom to be their authentic selves, and to learn and grow in a safe environment. 
When the rights of any group of people are put at risk or outrightly taken, we too must consider the permanence of the other rights we all currently enjoy. These rights are not guaranteed, they are fought for—and unions have and will always be a powerful force to do so.  
This year’s theme for May 17 is “No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all”—a sentiment that rings true amongst all trade unionists as we leave no worker behind in our collective fight for better living and working conditions for everyone. Whether that’s at a bargaining table or at your dinner table—each step we take to resist division and instead foster unity is a bold act of solidarity.  
Unifor joins organizations like Amnesty International, Egale Canada, and Momentum to strongly condemn decision makers for their role in fostering hate and division.  


Our union is focused on building solidarity, supporting communities, and taking action to combat hate and preserve and enhance the rights of all people. 


Download Unifor’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia poster here.