As you may be aware, the Prime Minister of Canada has committed to issuing an apology to LGBTQ2 people living in Canada, their families, partners, and communities for discrimination and unjust treatment as a result of federal legislation, programs and policy. This process includes addressing the painful history of discrimination against LGBTQ2 communities and the federal role in it – including transmasculine individuals and all those living in Canada who identify as two spirit, transgender, and gender non-binary.
In my role as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues, I am leading these efforts to ensure that advice to the Prime Minister on the apology is as inclusive as possible. To ensure that this apology properly addresses the wrongs faced by LGBTQ2 communities, the government is engaging LGBTQ2 communities in various ways. This includes solicitation of input from community organizations and individuals as well as the creation of an Advisory Council.
As a part of this process, Dr. Aaron Devor has graciously offered to facilitate outreach with transmasculine individuals. It is important that the process meaningfully incorporates input from transmasculine people – you are integral to LGBTQ2 communities, but the ways in which you have been and continue to be affected by federal legislation, programs, and policy may be distinct. I invite you to reflect on your experience and expertise, and reach out to others in your communities.
To assist with your reflection and potential outreach, we are providing the following four questions as a framework for what kind of information the government is seeking:
- From your perspective, why should the Government of Canada apologize to LGBTQ2 people living in Canada?
- Are there specific examples of wrongs that you feel should be addressed?
- What actions can the Government undertake in order to promote awareness of the issues LGBTQ2 people have faced and foster understanding going forward?
- What can the Government do to demonstrate ongoing commitment to promoting equality for LGBTQ2 people?
Randy Boissonnault, MP Edmonton Centre
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues