LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANS
TO GROW AS A COMMUNITY
To combat the discrimination the members of the Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Trans Gendered community face, we as a
community need to focus on education to current and future
generations. As well as education, cracking down on bullying
against the LGBT community and being understanding of an
individuals sexual orientation regardless of whether we agree with it
or not is the key to their acceptance. We are all human; and we all
DID YOU KNOW?
21% Of LGBT students say bullying is biggest problem at school
51% of LGBT employees are not out at work
40% of homeless teens are part of the LGBT community
25% of LBGT teens are rejected by their own family
22% of LGBT members living in nursing homes feel they can be
open about their gender identity with staff
LGBT community is 1.5x more likely to have social anxiety or
depression than their heterosexual counterparts
WHAT TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION
PLAGUES THE LGBT COMMUNITY?
Discrimination against the LGBT community includes, but is not
Abuse (Both Physical and Verbal)
Exclusion from social or professional events or activities
Ignoring claims of LGBT members regarding physical or mental
Unfair treatment in the workplace by employers and co-workers
Indirect abuse, such as graffiti or gossip
WHAT HAS THE CANADIAN
GOVERNMENT DONE TO PROTECT
THE LGBT COMMUNITY?
THE INTRODUCTION OF SECTION 15
TO THE CONSTITUTION OF CANADA
Section 15 was included in the Constitution of Canada in 1985
Section 15(1) reads: Every individual is equal before and under
the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of
the law without discrimination and, in particular, without
discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour,
religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
As section 15 covers ‘Every Individual’, they have included
protection for both the straight and LGBT community equally
BUT HOW DOES SECTION 15 HELP
PROTECT AGAINST LGBT
DISCRIMINATION IN CANADA?
SECTION 15 IN THE WORKPLACE
Section 15 prohibits discrimination and harassment on several
grounds (including race, sex, religion, sexual orientation) in
private and public sector employment.
These are quasi-constitutional acts, meaning they override
ordinary pre-existing laws, regulations, contracts and collective
agreements an employer may have in place.
Section 15 does not apply if a consumer is making a claim against
a business. These claims would be filed under the federal or
provincial anti-discrimination legislation
SECTION 15 IN EDUCATION
All publicly owned schools are liable for any bullying towards
LGBT students or staff members
All public schools are responsible for providing an environment
free of discriminatory harassment (e.g. racism, assault, bullying)
to all students.
All students must be treated as equals.
If a complaint is to be made against a public school it may be filed
under section 15, as all public schools are responsible for
upholding section 15’s outline of basic human rights.
Often times it is social or personal beliefs that cause the LGBT
community to face constant physical and emotional attacks. We are
often told what we are supposed to believe, and do not question
what it is we are told. We are brought up to be afraid of things that
we don’t understand, but how can we simply judge something
without first learning. Here is some important information about the
LGBT community you may not know.
BRINGING CHANGE THROUGH
Many schools are stepping forward to stop LGBT bullying dead in its
tracks, the creation of ‘Gay- Straight Alliance’ (GSA) clubs in schools
are becoming more and more popular. These GSA groups consist
of both straight and LGBT members; including both teachers and
students, and act as a support group for anyone who needs
someone to talk to about their struggle. They promote inclusion in all
aspects of schooling, both social and educational, as well as
focusing on educating the masses that the LGBT community is no
different than the heterosexual community; we are all equals.
Many schools in Canada are in the process of amending their
curriculum’s to include LGBT topics for the first time. This is coming
forward as a serious debate because many parents are against
homosexuality for religious or personal reasons; and feel their
children should not be exposed to these topics. The backlash is of
no surprise as often times older generations have a harder time
adjusting to change the way young minds do.
There are loads of celebrities, both straight and LGBT, that are stepping
out against discrimination against the LGBT community in hopes that
they can influence their fans to educate themselves that being gay is
okay. Here are a small selection of celebrities standing up for the LGBT
Singer Lady Gaga has started the ‘Born This Way’ foundation which
works to create a more accepting society for the LGBT community.
Actor Josh Hutcherson teamed up with the Gay-Straight Alliance
Network to help end homophobia in schools.
Rapper Macklemore wrote a pro equality song titled ‘Same Love’ that
was played worldwide in hopes to promote equality among all
people, regardless of sexual orientation
Anti-LGBT slurs have become a
social norm. Walk down the
hallway’s at any high school and
you will hear someone calling
something bad ‘Gay’. This is
unnacceptable. We need a change.
ACCORDING TO A RECENT CANADIAN
70% of students reported hearing “That’s so gay” EVERY DAY in
48% reported hearing someone being called a “Faggot” or “Dyke”
64% of LGBT students felt unsafe in their OWN school
61% of students with LGBT parents felt unsafe in their OWN
21% of LGBT students reported being physically harrassed or
assaulted because of their sexual orientation
These numbers are alarming. Section 15 was put in place to protect
Canadians from discrimination. That includes in your workplace,
your home, your daily life and at school. So why do these students
have to go to school day after day and face this beratement from
their class mates? A common argument is that they are “Just kids”
and they don’t realise the damage that their words or actions are
causing. If that is the case why do the people in charge sit back and
let these kids act this way without being reprimanded? How are
these people supposed to learn what they are doing is wrong if no
one is telling them what they are doing is wrong?
IN THE WAKE OF THE JUBRAN
The Jubran case was a case where Mr. Jubran brought his school to
court because he felt he was unprotected from the constant
harrassment he faced from his classmates. They called him
“Faggot” and physically assaulted him for years even though he was
straight. After a very long court process, the courts sided with Mr.
Jubran and found the school guilty of not providing Mr. Jubran with a
discrimination free learning environment.
After this case schools were encouraged to up their anti-discriminatory
efforts, particularly relating to homophobia. But many
schools have done nothing at all.
SO HOW DO I COMBAT BULLYING?
There are many ways to stand out against bullies of the LGBT
community, some ways include:
Inclusion: Simply look past their sexual orientation and include them
in your daily activities
Speak up: If you see someone being bullied or hear someone bad
mouthing another person, stand up for them, there is strength in
Gay-Straight Alliance: Join your local GSA Network to stand with the
LGBT community and show you care
Word choice: Realize that saying something is “Gay” when you mean
it is bad is derogatory and use an appropriate word
Homosexuality is not a choice.
The same way that
heterosexuality is not a choice. It
is your duty as a good human
being to let people be who they
HOMOSEXUALITY According to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic
Research, 20% of people polled are gay
Many LGBT members are leaders in their field of work, such as
Kathleen Wynne. Kathleen is the premier of Ontario
The average age of when people are feeling comfortable enough
to ‘Come Out’ is dropping. A recent British study found that people
over 60 came out on average at 37, whereas people in their 30s
came out at 21 and people under 24 came out around 17. This is
a good sign as it is pointing towards the fact that society is
becoming more accepting towards the LGBT community
“MY FRIEND JUST CAME OUT TO ME,
WHAT DO I DO?”
Someone chose you to be the first person they come out to. This is
a good thing, it means you are likely a trustworthy and close friend
or family member. Here is what you should and shouldn’t do!
Be appreciative: This is a huge deal for them, thank them for opening
up to you. Support them as they are fretting you’ll reject them
Be civil, whether you support it or not: Even if you do not support the
idea, be understanding and positive, do not belittle their honesty.
Ask questions: Asking questions shows you are interested, questions
like “Who else knows” and “are you seeing someone?” show you
Offer your ears: The person will surely have things they’d like to talk
about, and will be looking for someone to support them.
Get information: There are many resources for you if you have
questions or are having issues accepting the information they shared
Gossip: Don’t go around and tell other people unless given
permission, it isn’t your job to inform others that your friend is out of
Ignore bullies: You are now a lifeline for your friend, it is your duty to
help this person with their new realisation, do not let people bully the
LGBT community as it will make the person uncomfortable with their
Be ‘fake’: Don’t pretend that you support their decision to come out
and then turn around and mock them behind their backs. They need
Use old pronoun: If they come out as transgendered, referring to
someone who has come out as a man by using ‘she’ is offensive. This
may take a lot of getting used to, but they will notice you trying and
truly appreciate it.
BUT MY RELIGION SAYS
HOMOSEXUALITY IS WRONG!
You are allowed to believe in whatever you feel like, so why aren’t they
allowed to believe what they like? Many religions do not support
homosexuality and it is your decision whether to follow that decision or
not. There are many resources to get more information about
homosexuality and it is your duty to make an informed decision on how to
handle the situation of someone coming out to you.
MY RELIGION SAYS HOMOSEXUALITY
IS WRONG, BUT I THINK I AM GAY
Understand that people in your religion may not support your
decision, but there is a massive reform happening throughout many
belief systems that is coming in support of homosexuality in religion.
Understand that it will take time for people to adjust to you coming
out. If you need more information on your feelings and your fears of
coming out, the internet has many resources available to you. A
great example for Christians who are trying to come to terms with
their feelings is https://www.gaychristian.net/
Remember that all the LGBT community wants is to be accepted
and treated the same as the heterosexual communities. They do not
want to feel excluded from daily life. Whether you agree with their
sexual orientation or not, it is your job to be a decent human being
and to everyone with respect. It is none of our business what others
do inside their own bedroom’s.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The only requirement you as a good person needs to do when interacting
with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Gendered community is that
they are no different than you. They are simply flesh and bone, as we all
are. All they are looking for is to be treated with respect and to live their
lives as we all do. They are looking for equality, peace and acceptance. It is
everyone's right to live a long happy life free of discrimination.
“At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won't be an issue, and
everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as
George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from
entering the University of Alabama because he was black.” – George
Brenemen, C. (2014, November 7). LGBT rights in Canada.
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Canada
United Nations of Human Rights. (n.d.). Combatting Discrimintation
Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Retrieved
Goffin, P. (2014, July 18). CCLA Creates Guide to LGBTQ Rights in
Schools. Retrieved from http://ccla.org/wordpress/wp-content/
Roca, T. (n.d.). 7 celebrities who stand up for gay rights. Retrieved
Canadian Human Rights Reporter. (n.d.). Homophobic Harassment
by Student Breaches Code . Retrieved from http://www.cdn-hr-reporter.
Parikh, D. (n.d.). How to Understand Gay and Lesbian People.
Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Understand-Gay-and-
Eveleth, R. (2013, October 24). What Percent of the Population is
Gay. Retrieved from www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-percent-
SECONDARY SOURCES (CONT.)
Friedrichs, E. (n.d.). What is the Average Age to Come Out.
Retrieved from http://gayteens.about.com/od/quesitons/f/What-Is-
Petrow, S. (n.d.). How Should I Respond if a Friend Comes Out to
Me. Retrieved from