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Queer Ontario Statement on Pride Toronto Allowing Police to March in Uniform in 2019 Parade.

October 28th, 2018 Comments off

QO Statement on Pride Toronto and Allowing Police to March 2019

Queer Ontario Statement on Pride Toronto Allowing Police to March in Uniform in 2019 Parade.

Pride Toronto has released a statement and held a press conference announcing a shift in relations between the police and Pride Toronto via an on-going community conversation. This has perplexed many of us at Queer Ontario and leaves us with many questions:

  1. From our perspective, this decision goes against the wishes of Pride Toronto’s membership who voted on this issue in 2016 and 2017 and were not consulted regarding recent dialogues. Why was this decision made without the input of Pride Toronto’s membership and what authority did Pride Toronto have to make this decision without membership input and vote?
  2. Pride Toronto claims there have been changes in the Toronto Police without divulging any details. We note that Trans folks continue to be arrested and face the choice of being put in a mis-gendered jail or being put in solitary confinement (a cruel practice that endanger the mental wellbeing and lives of Trans folks); Police have not apologized for recent actions, such as park arrests of men (e.g., Project Marie), which continues today; No apology has been made for raids of bathhouses (just a mere regret), strip bars and sex clubs; Black, Indigenous and trans people of Color still face police harassment in their daily lives (e.g., carding); many LGBT folks have died due to the negligence of police such as the Bruce McArthur, and Alloura Wells cases and the recently started review was initiated by the community, not the police. What changes have Toronto Police made?
  3. Pride Toronto describes ongoing discussions with the police but offers no details. Neither Black Lives Matter, Toronto (BLMTO), who brought this conversation to the attention of LGBTQ communities and mainstream society, nor Queer Ontario were consulted or part of the discussions. Removing community-based groups whom contribute free labour to our communities and movements from these conversations erases the very voices that brought these issues to the fore (BLMTO) from the process and contributes to the anti-black racism that has been apparent in our communities. Whom are the ‘trusted community organizations’ that are part of these talks?
  4. Given the above and beyond discussions, we ask what does Pride Toronto think changed and what accountability measures are in place when Pride Toronto picks and chooses who it converses with, while ignoring the concerns of others, such as its own membership and community organizations
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Reverting to Old Sex Ed. Curriculum called ‘Regressive’

July 12th, 2018 Comments off

For Immediate Release                                                                                               July 12, 2018

News Release

Reverting to Old Sex Ed. Curriculum called ‘Regressive’

Toronto: Queer Ontario calls the Progressive Conservative government’s plan to scrap the existing sex education curriculum that was updated in 2015 regressive.  By reverting to the old 1998 sex education curriculum the new provincial government would be implementing a curriculum that is three years older than the oldest student in the system.

Not only is the 1998 sex education curriculum out of date with the current realities of 2018 and what children and youth face today, it is irresponsible to teach students dated material and dangerous to fail to teach students modern relevant material that directly impacts their lives.  From issues of recognition of body parts to varying gender identities, to same-sex relationships and consent to navigating social media, all are important to today’s children and youth, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ or questioning their sexuality or gender identity.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson announced that there will be a new round of consultations with parents.  Queer Ontario reminds the government there have been numerous past consultations on this issue that included parents on each round.  Queer Ontario also questions if in the upcoming round the government intends to include other stakeholders such as educators, professionals, community groups and NGOs that are also concerned about education in the province.  Restricting consultations to parents only would be unrepresentative of the views of all Ontarians concerned about these issues.

Queer Ontario is a provincial network of gender and sexually diverse individuals — and their allies — who are committed to questioning, challenging, and reforming the laws, institutional practices, and social norms that regulate queer people. Operating under liberationist and sex-positive principles, we fight for accessibility, recognition, and pluralism, using social media and other tactics to engage in political action, public education, and coalition-building.

Queer Ontario – News Release – Sex Ed. Curriculum – July 12, 2018

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Queer Ontario Recognises the Land on which we Gather

April 30th, 2018 Comments off

We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee , and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

This territory is also covered by the Upper Canada Treaties.

Today, the meeting place of Toronto (from the Haudenosaunee word Tkaronto) is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this territory.

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