Dear Premier Silver, Mr. Dixon and Ms. White,
We are writing to express our conditional support for Bill 304, the Act to Amend the Education Act also known as the "Safe Spaces" Bill.
This bill is an important gesture of support for 2SLGBTQIA+ young people in the territory. At a time when young people in Yukon are experiencing a mental health crisis and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth are under attack globally, we believe it is urgent for young Two Spirit, queer, trans and questioning Yukoners to be shown that they are valid and valued by their government, their schools, and their community. Legislation such as this bill is one piece of the puzzle, and passing the Safe Spaces bill would give desperately-needed hope to young queer, trans and questioning students and their peers.
However, passing the bill is not enough. It must be implemented in a way that prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of 2SLGBTQIA+ students. We call on all parties to ensure the law and accompanying policy support and require schools to make all reasonable efforts to ensure the activities are a helpful and constructive presence that promotes a positive sense of self, rather than causes harm. This must include proper training and adequate resources for mentors and facilitators; no tolerance for homophobia, transphobia, or other discrimination on the part of responsible adults; a safe and confidential process for students to raise concerns about the activities or responsible adult, if needed; and consideration given to maintain absolute privacy and not out any student, or share students’ participation with parents/guardians. Nor should any mentor, such as a teacher, be outed without their full consent.
Finally, while our schools must be made safe for students, we believe they cannot be the only source of support for 2SLGBTQIA+ young people. We are glad to see that the current wording of the bill makes space for student-led initiatives, and we hope the final law and accompanying policy will continue to make it clear that student-led and third-party activities must not be infringed, even as the schools' role is strengthened.
Dr. Mona Luxion (they/them)
President, Board of Directors
On behalf of the Queer Yukon Society
Queer Votes Matter in Municipal Elections
Queer Votes matter in the upcoming municipal elections! To help the LGBTQIA2S+ community make informed decisions on how to vote in the upcoming election, we've put together a few resources to support our community.
Official List of Candidates
Official List of Candidates (Whitehorse)
Official List of Candidates (Watson Lake)
News Articles on Candidates
CBC: Who's running for mayor and council in Whitehorse and Yukon's communities
CBC: Whitehorse Votes: Meet the 17 candidates for city council
Watson Lake Voting Information
Voting will take place at the Northern Lights Centre.
Regular Polls (Voting Day) is Thursday, October 21st, 2021 from 8am-8pm.
For additional information about voting in Watson Lake, please see the Municipal Election Newsletter:
City of Dawson Voting Information
"All individuals meeting the eligibility criteria contained in section 48 of the Municipal Act and wishing to cast a ballot shall be required to register by swearing or affirming the Oath of Elector Eligibility, contained in Appendix A of this bylaw, in the presence of a Deputy Returning Officer." Section 7.02(a) of the 2021 Dawson Municipal Election Bylaw
City of Dawson Municipal Election
Thursday, October 21, 2021
8:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Art & Margaret Fry Rec Centre
Returning Officer: Charles Brunner
Whitehorse Voting Information
The following information is presented below because it may have direct relevance to voters who may be transitioning or recently transitioned. The information has been copied directly from the City of Whitehorse Election Information page available here:
Vote in the upcoming election, Whitehorse!
On October 21, 2021, Whitehorse residents will elect a new Council comprised of a Mayor and six Councillors for a three-year term.
There are several ways to vote in the City of Whitehorse 2021 Municipal Election. They will be available during specific times over the election period. For the first time, Whitehorse electors can register to vote, update their registration information, and apply to vote by mail online.
Who can vote?
To vote, you must:
How do I vote?
You can register in a number of ways for the upcoming election.
We've made it easy and convenient to register early online or in person to speed things along for voters at the polls. But remember, you can still register at all Special Ballot and Advance Polls, and on Election Day right at the voting locations.
Online voter registration closed on Tuesday, September 28 at midnight.
To register, you will need:
In order to vote, you have to prove both your identity and address.
A Yukon driver’s licence or Yukon General Identification card are good examples.
If the address on your Identification is a post office box, please bring another piece of Identification, such as a utility bill to prove you are a resident of the City of Whitehorse.
If you don’t have photo ID, bring two documents that show your name and address, with at least one showing your birthdate. For example, a Health Care card along with a utility bill.
See the List of authorized identification for more information. https://www.whitehorse.ca/home/showpublisheddocument/15333/637660906341600000
No ID? Not sure? We can still help you vote. Contact the City of Whitehorse Elections Office and we will ensure you have the opportunity.
Voting by Special Ballot
This year, any eligible voter can vote early by Special Ballot in the City of Whitehorse Municipal Election – no special restrictions apply!
There are a number of options for voting by Special Ballot:
Please note: Special Ballots sent through the mail must be received at City Hall or in a drop box no later than 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 21 in order to be counted.
The Board of the Queer Yukon Society joins our LGBTQIA Muslim community members, their families/communities, and our friends and neighbours to grieve and condemn the murder of the Afzaal family in London, Ontario last week. We are witnessing growing waves of Islamophobic, anti-Asian, transphobic, antisemitic, and otherwise bigoted violence, often encouraged by hate speech online and given cover by political rhetoric in Canada and elsewhere. We know systemic change is needed, and we call on our governments to take the actions necessary to stop the spread of hate and violence online.
In the face of violence and prejudice, it is essential that people feel they can find community and comfort without hiding important parts of themselves. Queer Yukon condemns all forms of Islamophobia within the LGBTQIA2S+ community, and we stand by our Code of Conduct for Queer Yukon spaces and events. We invite our community members to attend Queer Yukon’s Bystander Intervention Training (free, online) on June 23rd and to educate themselves on how to recognise and effectively intervene when harassment, from microaggressions to violence, is taking place.
Although intolerance towards marginalized communities takes various forms, it affects us all as marginalized people. We are never safer than when we stand together, and we are never more effective than when we act in solidarity.
Resources (these resources are not affiliated with Queer Yukon Society):
Dear QYS community members,
As we celebrate Pride this month, we want to recognize that June is also Indigenous History Month, and June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate and honour the Two Spirit people in our communities, and those who have called Yukon home since time immemorial. Although we are holding off on in-person events right now, we look forward to gathering to celebrate our Two Spirit community with you when we can safely do so.
In addition, this June we mourn the 215 children whose bodies were found at the site of a residential school on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory (Kamloops, BC). As of this writing, remains have also been found at the site of a residential school on the territory of the Muskowekwan First Nation in Saskatchewan, and 104 more potential graves identified at a former residential school on the territory of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in Manitoba. We need to believe survivors when they tell us we can expect more will be found as searches continue, including here in Yukon.
This has been a jarring reminder of past trauma and ongoing colonialism for many Two Spirit and Indigiqueer people and their communities. Like people and organizations across the country, Queer Yukon Society is taking this discovery as a call to action; to recommit and dig deeper into decolonizing our organization, to ensure Two Spirit and Indigiqueer people feel welcome and supported as their whole selves, and to continue to learn about the history and effects of colonialism, and to encourage our non-indigenous members/community to do the same. In addition to recognizing this time of mourning at our Pride events, we are encouraging our LGBTQIA2S+ community to donate to CAIRS (the Committee on Abuse in Residential Schools), which provides counselling services to survivors and to their families, and we will be providing a donation link or physical donation jar at Pride events through the end of the month and whenever they are rescheduled.
The Board of Directors is committed to incorporating the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in our strategic plan and programming, and supporting the implementation of Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy and the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan. We encourage our members -- especially those who are non-Indigenous -- to join us in reviewing these reports and holding our governments, and ourselves, accountable to the needs of our Indigenous and Two Spirit community members. In Yukon, residential schools were operated by the Catholic, Anglican and Baptist churches with funding from the federal Indian Affairs Branch, and we urge all denominations and levels of government to account for their roles in this genocidal system and to make appropriate amends. Queer Yukon additionally joins the call from Indigenous communities across Canada for Pope Francis to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system, as the only denomination which has not already done so.
We are committed to listening to our Two Spirit and Indigiqueer community members and to ensuring those voices are reflected throughout the organization. We encourage you to bring your ideas, inspiration or concerns to the Queer Yukon Board of Directors (firstname.lastname@example.org) at any time.
If you are in distress or need a listening ear, these resources may be helpful (these resources are not associated with Queer Yukon Society):
In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake, the Yukon Pride Month organizing team has made the difficult decision to modify, postpone, or cancel our in-person events across the Yukon. This includes a postponement of the Dawson City Pride Festival, Watson Lake Pride events, and all in-person Whitehorse events.
Queer Yukon’s online events will continue to take place as scheduled, including:
Please visit www.YukonPride2021.com for more information on how to register and attend these upcoming events.
Our organizing team is currently working on making a modified plan for the Flashy & Trashy Cabaret, and shifting our Pride Picnic to a food pick-up event. The in-person book launch by Ivan Coyote is being organized by the Yukon Arts Centre - for any updates on this event, please visit: https://yukonartscentre.com/ The dates, times and other details for postponed events will be announced as soon as they are available.
This year, Yukon Pride Month celebrations focused on bringing the community together, supporting one another and creating spaces where we all belong. As such, we have taken a cautious approach to our community organizing in order to take care of ourselves and each other during this difficult time. We want all LGBTQIA2S+ Yukoners to know that there are ways to connect with community online and that we will be here when it’s safe to gather again. Although we can’t be together right now, please know that you’re not alone!
There are still many ways folx can celebrate Pride:
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.