July 31, 2020
The murder of George Floyd by police, caught on camera, was the catalyst for protests against police brutality around the world. But police have a long history of violence against Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, in Canada and elsewhere. In recent months, Indigenous, Black and Persons of Colour who have died during interactions with the police include Chantel Moore, Rodney Levi and Ejaz Ahmed Choudry.
We also remember the violent and discriminatory history of police in dealing with queer and trans people. Too often, we have been disproportionately targeted for enforcement activities, and our experiences of homophobic and transphobic harassment and violence ignored or downplayed. Police continue to overpolice and under-protect many segments of Canadian society, including Indigenous and Black people, People of Colour, trans people, sex workers, people who use drugs and others.
In solidarity with Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community who are protesting police brutality and systemic racism, we are joining other Pride festivals across Canada by announcing that any visible police presence is not welcome at the Yukon Pride festival. This means:
Although there is no planned police involvement in the 2020 Yukon Pride Festival to this point, this decision will stand for future years. As an organization, Queer Yukon Society prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We will continue to listen to, and take direction from, our community members on this issue, and in particular queer and trans Indigenous, Black and people of colour. We have communicated this decision to the RCMP. We continue to call for police accountability on these issues, as well as comprehensive reforms to end violent and discriminatory police practices and institutionalized racism in Canada and around the world.
In Pride & Solidarity,
Queer Yukon Society Board of Directors
Queer Yukon Society is offering funding to Black, Indigenous, People of Colour* who want to organize QTBIPOC-focused events for the 2020 Yukon Pride Festival happening from August 1 – 9. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than July 9, 2020 to tell us you’re interested and a brief idea of the event you would like to organize!
*We recognize that the labels we have listed here do not work for everyone.
Who: We are seeking Queer and Trans folks who are Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (QTBIPOC) who are living in (or recently left) the Yukon to help organize events for the 2020 Yukon Pride Festival.
What: QTBIPOC people are invited to plan and organize the events they would like to see for Yukon Pride 2020. Organizers will receive event planning support from the Pride Planning Committee. Our goal is to make space for the QTBIPOC community to create the events they want to see. Queer Yukon has up to $5,000 available for this initiative which can include honoraria of up to $500 for event organizers. While we seek to fund as many projects as possible, we cannot guarantee that every project idea will be funded
Where: Events can be held online or, if held in-person, must follow the Yukon health’s COVID-19-related guidelines. Both online and in-person events should focus on the Yukon community. In-person events must be held in Yukon, but do not have to take place in Whitehorse.
When: Events will ideally take place between August 1 – 9, 2020 as part of Yukon Pride Festival. Potential event organizers are asked to express interest before July 9, 2020.
Why: Community members have helped Queer Yukon Society see the gaps in our 2020 Yukon Pride Festival line-up and that we need to improve the way we engage QTBIPOC community members. We are working to ensure QTBIPOC people feel safe, heard and well-represented in our organization. We are committed to continuing to identify ways our organization can support QTBIPOC community members.
How: Send an email to Emily Tredger at: email@example.com to say you’re interested in organizing an event and your general idea. No experience as an event organizer required. Our Pride Planning team will support you in developping your event.
Community Safety: We understand that QTBIPOC community members experience racism and homo/bi/transphobia within broader society as well as within the LGBTQ2S+ community. Queer Yukon Society will not tolerate racism, homo/bi/transphobia, harassment or discrimination of any kind at our events and will not hesitate to remove people from our community spaces and online events. To ensure the basic safety of our QTBIPOC organizers and performers, we are developing a clear anti-harassment policy, a code of conduct, complaint procedures, and an online moderation plan for this year's Pride events.
About queer yukon society
Queer Yukon Society supports, promotes, and organizes events for the LGBTQ2S+ community and our allies in Whitehorse, Yukon. Officially incorporated in 2018, Queer Yukon has been organizing Yukon Pride since 2013, as well as many other events to bring together LGBTQ2S+ and allied Yukoners to build a strong and vibrant community.