*** La version française suit ***
May 5, 2021
MLA, Copperbelt North
Leader, Yukon Party
Sent via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Currie Dixon,
RE: Addressing Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in the Yukon Party
Queer Yukon Society was deeply disturbed and profoundly disappointed to learn of recent comments made by Yukon Party MLAs about their own colleagues. In addition to being a form of bullying and harassment, jokes about “women with penises'' are blatantly transphobic. These comments and their focus on an individual’s genitalia are not only rude - they are dehumanizing and promote a dangerous culture of transphobia in the Yukon. We are deeply disappointed to see Yukon Party MLAs and their supporters attempt to demean and humiliate anyone with lewd references to our community.
The 2021 Yukon Party Platform promised a “bold vision” and “new thinking” for the Yukon and we want to see that applied to your party’s work on addressing homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. These words from Wade Istchenko and Stacey Hassard were a betrayal of campaign promises to “stand for and represent all Yukoners” and a betrayal of the trust and hope we had for a better Yukon Party. When we surveyed political parties on LGBTQIA2S+ issues during the campaign, the Yukon party committed to “show leadership to ensure that we build a more inclusive Yukon by seeking the views and respecting the input of [our] community.” We are therefore calling on the Yukon Party to give us “Action for a Change” when it comes to addressing homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.
Queer Yukon Society is specifically calling on the Yukon Party to take the following actions:
In 2021, we are profoundly disappointed to find elected officials who are more concerned with an individual’s genitals than with their ideas, passion for community, or integrity.
Mona Luxion (They/Them)
Queer Yukon Society Board of Directors
Le 5 mai 2021
Député territorial, Copperbelt North
Chef du Parti du Yukon
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Cher Currie Dixon,
OBJET : Lutte contre l’homophobie, la biphobie et la transphobie au sein du Parti du Yukon
La Queer Yukon Society a été profondément troublée et déçue d’apprendre les récents commentaires faits par des députés du Parti du Yukon au sujet de leurs propres collègues. En plus d’être une forme d’intimidation et de harcèlement, les blagues sur les « femmes avec un pénis » sont manifestement transphobes. Ces commentaires et l’accent mis sur les organes génitaux d’une personne ne sont pas seulement grossiers — ils sont déshumanisants et favorisent une dangereuse culture de la transphobie au Yukon. Nous sommes profondément déçu·e·s de voir les député·e·s du Parti du Yukon et leurs partisan·e·s tenter d’avilir et d’humilier quiconque en faisant des références lubriques à notre communauté.
La plateforme 2021 du Parti du Yukon promettait une « vision audacieuse » et une « nouvelle façon de penser » pour le Yukon et nous voulons que cela s’applique au travail de votre parti pour lutter contre l’homophobie, la biphobie et la transphobie. Ces mots de Wade Istchenko et Stacey Hassard sont une trahison des promesses de campagne de « défendre et représenter tous les Yukonnais·es » et une trahison de la confiance et de l’espoir que nous avions d’un meilleur Parti du Yukon. Lorsque nous avons interrogé les partis politiques sur les questions relatives aux personnes LGBTQ2+ pendant la campagne, le Parti du Yukon s’est engagé à « se poser comme meneur pour s’assurer que nous construisons un Yukon plus inclusif en recherchant les points de vue de [notre] communauté et en respectant notre contribution ». Nous demandons donc au Parti du Yukon « d’agir pour le changement » lorsqu’il s’agit de s’attaquer à l’homophobie, la biphobie et la transphobie.
La Queer Yukon Society demande spécifiquement au Parti du Yukon de prendre les mesures suivantes :
Mona Luxion (iel)
Conseil d’administration de la Queer Yukon Society
For Media Inquiries, please contact Edwine Veniat (She/Her), Head of Communications, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pour les demandes d'entrevue, veuillez contacter la responsable des communications, Edwine Veniat (elle), par courriel à email@example.com.
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence
What is Transgender Day of Remembrance?
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester's death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
"Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people -- sometimes in the most brutal ways possible -- it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice." -Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
Reposted From: GLAAD: Transgender Day of Remembrance
Image Credit: https://www.glaad.org/tdor
SELECT virtual tdor events in canada
TDOR 2020: Open to Expression
Nov. 20 @ 4pm (Yukon Time)
Hosted by: UBC Okanagan
Open to Expression is focused on community, resilience, and the exploration of gender and identity through diverse expressions of art. Drawing from our local context on the unceded, traditional territory of the Syilx Peoples, TDOR kick off the event with a discussion on art as a medium for gender expression and the exploration of resilience, pain, and joy. The discussion will be followed by an open mic where individuals can choose to read poetry, essays and short stories, perform a music, drag, and spoken word piece, and/ or create a live visual art piece.
Trans Day of Remembrance Online Vigil
Fri. Nov. 20 @ 12pm (Yukon Time)
Facilitated by Victoria Bucholtz
Hosted by Queer Education Foundation (Calgary)
Watch online (Facebook Live) at: https://www.facebook.com/Queer-Education-Foundation-112014950656968
TDOR 2020: 2Spirit Transgender Day of Remembrance
Fri. Nov. 20, 2020 @ 6:30pm (YUKON TIME)
Calling of Names
Sponsored by Two-Spirited People of Manitoba Inc. and Manitoba Moon Voices Inc.
Register by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Queer Yukon Society for our upcoming Annual General Meeting. Find out about all of the exciting things we've been working on over the past year, including the Yukon Pride Festival and the Yukon Pride Centre.
Meeting happening on:
Tues. Nov. 17, 2020 @ 7pm.
Being Held via Zoom
To get the Zoom Link for the upcoming meeting, please complete the Membership Application Form below
2020 Queer Yukon SOCIety AGenda Package
Join our board!
This is also your chance to join the Queer Yukon Society board and make a difference in your community!
Although everyone is welcome to apply, Queer Yukon Society encourages applications from members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, including but not limited to: those living in Whitehorse and Yukon's communities, francophones, People of Colour, people with disabilities, trans/non-binary people, two spirit / indigiqueer people, and women.
To find out more about joining the board, please contact: email@example.com
Special Meeting of members
Immediately before the AGM starts, we plan to hold a Special General Meeting of members to vote on:
1. Motion to Waive the Membership Fee for the 2020 AGM
2. Special Resolution to Waive the Financial Review for 2019-2020
What does the Special Resolution Mean?
The Societies Act says that Queer Yukon does not have to have a financial review if the members agree not to have one. In past years, members have agreed not to have one.
We plan to have a financial review done by a professional accountant, but it takes a long time to prepare and won't be ready in time for the AGM. This is the first year we are doing a financial review.
This motion says that:
We will share the financial review with members once it is finished.
The full agenda for the upcoming Special General Meeting is attached below.
Bylaws & Proposing motions
The QYS board is committed to hearing from our members. In order to add an item to the AGM agenda, QYS strongly encourages members to contact the board by Tues. Nov. 3, 2020 @ 11:59pm to give the QYS board enough time to provide the required notice to members in advance of the Annual General Meeting.
Items submitted after Nov. 3, 2020 can still be discussed at the AGM, but according to our bylaws, resolutions submitted after this date cannot be voted on by members at this meeting.
You can contact QYS using the contact form on this website or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
The QYS board is committed to transparency in the proceedings for the upcoming AGM. Items submitted for the AGM Agenda by members will either be:
1. Added to the AGM Agenda OR;
2. Identified and communicated to members as not being on the AGM Agenda. Items not placed on the agenda will include the board's rationale for not including that item (e.g. trans/homo/biphobic requests, items proposed "in bad faith", items requiring an additional special general meeting of members).
The AGM agenda will be sent out to members in advance of the meeting. At the AGM itself, the AGM agenda can be confirmed or amended by a simple majority vote of members. However, items submitted to QYS after Nov. 3, 2020 cannot be voted on at the AGM, as it does not allow us enough time to provide notice to members.
Queer Yukon Society bylaws are largely identical to the default bylaws outlined in the Societies Act. The only difference is that a motion was passed at the 2018 AGM limiting the number of board members to 8. The bylaws can be found here, starting on page 13:
Drag bingo to follow the agm!!
The AGM will be followed by Drag Bingo featuring guest host, Jolene Queen!
Play a free round of bingo on us and you could win one of several amazing prizes! You must have have an internet connection to play and must be present on the zoom call to win. We will send all players the link to play during the call.
We encourage you to treat this free Bingo as any other entertainment activity. To learn more about how to recognize if your Bingo play is becoming anything other than the game it should be, read Learn the Facts: Keep it a Game.
August 9, 2020
This statement is to let our community members know that there was an unwelcome RCMP presence at Yukon Pride Flag raising ceremony on July 31, 2020.
We personally told the RCMP that uniforms and other symbols of the RCMP were not welcome at the Yukon Pride Festival on July 15, 2020. The officers we spoke with included the Chief Superintendent of the RCMP “M” Division.
On July 31, 2020, the same officers we spoke to at length broke our agreement and attended the Progress Pride Flag Raising Ceremony at the Yukon Legislative Assembly in uniform.
This visible police presence at the event caused confusion, anxiety and a sense of intimidation for some community members who were there. Queer Yukon Society sincerely apologizes to our community for not taking immediate action. It is our responsibility to create safer spaces at our events by clearly communicating our policies and implementing them. We have made a plan to respond immediately to any future police presence at our events.
Following the incident, we took the following actions to express our concerns:
In response to the second letter, the Chief Superintendent finally offered an apology and took some responsibility on August 5.
However, the other high-ranking RCMP officer involved in this matter also responded to Queer Yukon in an email. He apologized at first and then justified his presence at the flag raising ceremony, clearly demonstrating that he did not respect or understand why we have a policy on police participation in Pride. He also accused Queer Yukon of “practicing an ‘eye for an eye’ approach” and “discriminating” against police before adding that we should “show more tolerance.” The officer also insisted that Queer Yukon help the RCMP without mention of financial compensation.
Neither officer explained why they did not attend the event in plain clothes.
We call on the RCMP to reflect on what happened, the impact it had on community members, and why we, like many Prides, do not allow their symbols at our events. We are deeply disappointed with the RCMP’s commanding officers, who chose to disrespect our clearly stated wishes, and felt entitled to attend our events in uniforms and with other symbols of their police force without the consent of our community.
To our community members, we welcome your thoughts and concerns regarding this issue as we continue to work to keep our community safe for everyone. Comments can be sent to email@example.com or made anonymously at: https://www.queeryukon.com/community-safety.html
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
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.