We are alarmed and dismayed by the growing surge of anti-trans and anti-queer organizing in Canada, including calls for a protest against sexual orientation- and gender-inclusive (SOGI) education on September 20th both nationally and here in Whitehorse.
Inclusive educational spaces are vital to the safety and wellbeing of youth of every gender and sexual orientation. Seeing themselves, their friends and their families reflected in the curriculum has been shown to improve youth mental health, drastically reduce suicide risk and improve educational outcomes. This is true for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, but also for their peers and for every child, teen and young adult who learns that they will be supported no matter who they turn out to be.
In the Yukon, we are lucky to have strong youth leadership and supportive educators creating safe Gender/Sexuality Alliances and Rainbow Rooms across the territory. The Yukon Government has enshrined protections for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth through Bill 304, adopted last year, and the Department of Education affirmed their commitment to inclusive schools with an updated SOGI policy this fall. Nearly 500 of you marched in this year’s Pride parades, with many local businesses and organizations stepping up to sponsor and support the events.
However, we cannot be complacent. Supporting youth requires ongoing action, and we call on our political leadership, local business and nonprofit partners, neighbours, friends and allies to take action now to show support for trans and queer youth and the educational environments they need.
Here’s how you can show up next week:
In Dawson City:
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.