Home CFB Borden Borden Pride Network Become an Ally to the LGBTQ2+ Communities

Become an Ally to the LGBTQ2+ Communities

117
Pride Flag / Le drapeau de la fierté (photo: Emily Nakeff, Citoyen Borden Citizen)

May 17 is a symbolic date for the LGBTQ2+ communities. Homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organization (WHO) list of mental illnesses on May 17, 1990. This date was thus chosen to become the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Despite many advances, there are still barriers when it comes to the concrete inclusion of trans people and LGBTQ2+ members in organizations such as the Defence.

To mark the occasion, the Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization (DTPAO) invites you to listen to the webinar “Become an Ally to the LGBTQ2+ Communities” which aims to equip leadership and the Defence Team to become better allies, an important step contributing to the culture change efforts underway in many organizations.

We encourage you to view the recording available on the Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization (DTPAO) intranet site (mil.ca) (accessible on RED only). Through the journey of Major John McDougall and the experience of guest speakers, the virtual discussion offers some insights and solutions to ensure inclusive and caring workplaces for all people.

The status of LGBTQ2+ people is eroding around the world. May 17 is a day that should be highlighted because homophobia, transphobia and biphobia have no respite.

“It is important to remember that economic, health and social crises often have a negative impact on minorities and vulnerable populations. This is why our team is working to develop a unifying awareness campaign that will highlight this important day for our communities and allow us to pursue our mission to improve diversity and inclusion in the CAF and DND,” says Major André Jean, military co-chair of the DTPAO.

The theme of this day’s international campaign confirms this crumbling: Every second, intolerance cuts lives short.  Around the world, physical, psychological, sexual, medical, and institutional violence are reducing the life expectancy of LGBTQ+ people.

“Now more than ever, it is important to stand together and be kind to those closest to us and those around us. Love is essential and should not depend on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” says Major André Jean, who hopes you will help him promote this day again this year by flying the Pride flag across the country to show your support and solidarity for LGBTQ2+ members of the Defence community, and to reinforce the message that everyone has a place. Feel free to share the event on your social networks.

Activists and allies in DND and the CAF have made this progress possible and are still working on it.

“Being yourself at work should not be optional, yet many testimonies show that situations of discrimination and harassment continue to occur despite official policies that condemn them. This is why the fight against homophobia and transphobia must continue. Coming out may provoke negative reactions – verbal or non-verbal – from some people. This doesn’t mean that you should give up, but it does emphasize the importance of celebrating May 17,” adds Luc Mader-Chartier, civil co-chair of the DTPAO.

Studies confirm that a work environment where people can be themselves and develop authentic relationships with their colleagues is strongly linked to well-being at work. Daily life is much easier when you don’t have to hide your personal life, your authentic self. This day is to educate everyone: “Be open-minded, and ask questions instead of discriminating. We need to understand that some people’s normality is not necessarily yours,” says Mader-Chartier.

“We need your experience, your voice and your energy to make the organization effective and a positive force for everyone. DTPAO is always looking for members of the CAF and DND to join forces and lead the discussion at the national and local levels. If you are interested in joining DTPAO, please contact us to see how you can play a role in creating lasting positive change in diversity and inclusion throughout the Defence Team,” concludes Maj Jean.

For more information, visit the new DTSO intranet site: Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization (DTSO) (mil.ca) (accessible on ADR only).

Submitted by: Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization