On April 8, wear pink in solidarity with LGBTQ2+ people

The second Wednesday in April is the Day of Pink. By wearing pink on April 8th, we challenge harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ2+ people, and show solidarity with survivors.

Exclusion and violence against marginalized communities are ongoing problems that are amplified in crises like pandemics. LGBTQ2+ workers may experience homophobia and transphobia in their jobs, public spaces and sometimes personal spaces. Transgender workers are disproportionately denied jobs, healthcare and housing and face high rates of bullying and violence. LGBTQ2+ workers who are also marginalized by class, white supremacy, colonialism and ableism, are even more likely to have precarious employment, low income and insecure housing. At the same time, they’re also more likely to face surveillance, over-aggressive policing and assault.

With COVID-19, disparities have grown. Employment conditions have worsened.  Racism has spiked. Safer spaces are closed. In these and other areas of life, the LGBTQ2+ community is unevenly hit.

Unfortunately, equity measures are being put on the back burner at the very time they’re needed most. Initiatives to build cultural competency (greater organizational understanding and better practices) around gender and sexual diversity have been postponed. Employment equity initiatives in some workplaces have been paused. Equity offices are working short.

Attention is rightly focused on pandemic-related safety, but decades of underfunding and privatization have left public services short-staffed and under-resourced. Before COVID-19, equity measures were a patchwork. Now that patchwork is stretched even thinner.

CUPE members working with LGBTQ2+ seniors know the particular challenges this community faces. CUPE is working with Egale and researchers at Carleton University to identify ways the public sector can be made safer for LGBTQ2+ seniors and workers. Read more here, and support health coalition campaigns for better seniors’ care in this crisis, including health equity.

CUPE has joined with over 90 LGBTQ2+ organizations to call on the federal government to support communities marginalized by sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression or sex characteristics (SOGIESC) in its COVID-19 response.  

On April 8, take a stand against bullying. Wear pink and post a photo on social media #dayofpink.

Here are some resources for union locals and members:

Let’s work together to stop bullying and harassment. Visit https://cupe.ca/lgbtq2 for more info.