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Quebec provincial government invests $23.7M to fight transphobia, homophobia

The government of Quebec has unveiled its plan to fight transphobia and homophobia for the next five years.

While some measures are welcome, activists say fundamental needs were left unaddressed.

The minister responsible for the file, Martine Biron, says she’s seen a rise in violence against the LGBTQ2 community.

“This plan is a response to the rise of the hate speech,” Biron said.

One of Biron’s main moves is offering $11 million to community organizations. It’s more than half of the total $23.7-million investment.

James Galantino from the Conseil québécois LGBT calls the funding historic and helpful as community organizations struggle to keep up with demand.

“Right now, we’re pretty much overrun; there’s a high, high demand for the services that the groups offer. There’s a lot of burnouts, a lot of changes in the personnel because we can’t keep up,” said Galantino.

The plan also includes training for public sector workers such as those in the medical system and in the police force, as well as awareness campaigns aimed at the general public.

But there is reigning mistrust and confusion about Quebec’s approach to fighting transphobia and homophobia.

Mylène de Repentigny-Corbeille from community organization Les 3 Sex, says the government is full of contradictions.

“Definitely,” she said. “And it’s hard for an organization to understand how we work together.”

The province recently put in place a committee to study gender identity issues. However, the committee does not have a single LGBTQ2 member.

Quebec also delayed the implementation of X gender markers on provincial IDs.

Biron says she wants consensus.

“Why not? I think it’s important that we reflect,” Biron said. “The idea is to see what is done everywhere in the world.”

Victoria Legault, executive director of Aide aux Trans du Québec, says it’s not a matter of everyone agreeing.

“It’s a matter of rights, not a matter of acceptability by the majority of people,” Legault said.

While community organizations work through the details of the plan and the government’s contradictions, leaders say they are hopeful that advancements in protecting their rights will be made.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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