On April 14, wear pink in solidarity with LGBTQ2+ people
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. This year, CUPE has released a report, co-written with Egale and Carleton University, on safer public services for LGBTQ2+ workers and LGBTQ2+ service users. The report finds that working conditions for LGBTQ2+ workers are related to service conditions for LGBTQ2+ clients, and vice versa. It also identifies several promising practices to make public services more inclusive for LGBTQ2+ workers and service users, including employment equity and safety standards tied to funding.
On April 14, take a stand against bullying. Wear pink and post a photo on social media #dayofpink.
- Fact sheets on Pronouns and Allies on Gender Diversity
- Guide and the pamphlet on workplace harassment.
- Checklist for bargaining LGBTQ2+ rights.
- CUPE’s report on safer public services for LGBTQ2+ workers and older adults
Let’s work together to stop bullying and harassment. Visit our LGBTQ2+ page for more info.