TORONTO, May 16, 2012 /CNW/ - On the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario and the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line have launched a campaign to challenge discrimination on college and university campuses across the province.
"When students study in unsafe spaces, their access to quality education is compromised," said Rodney Diverlus, Queer and Trans Commissioner for the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario and President of the Ryerson Students' Union. "Bullying, discriminatory language, lack of queer and trans positive spaces on campus and physical violence make our campuses unsafe for everyone."
The campaign includes outreach materials and a comprehensive campus guide for student activists with legal information, local resources, campaigning tips and other resources and for organizing anti-homophobia and anti-transphobia campaigns and initiatives. A public service announcement was also launched and can be viewed here.
"This campaign aims to empower students and youth by giving them the tools to create change on their own campuses and in their communities," said Bernice Chau, Outreach Coordinator for the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line. "Students and youth are already the leaders driving real on the ground change. Investing in and supporting youth is a powerful move against homophobia and transphobia."
"As students unite to fight all barriers to post-secondary education, we must also challenge discrimination and oppression as a vital part of that fight. Regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity, challenging homophobia and transphobia takes all of us," Diverlus said.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students in every region of Ontario.
The Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line is a toll-free support service offering support, information and referrals provided by youth for youth 26-years-old and under in Ontario.
For further information:
Rodney Diverlus, Queer & Trans Commissioner, Canadian Federation of Students- Ontario: 647-456-8476 (mobile)
Lauren Snowball, Campaigns Coordinator, Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario: 416-878-7129 (mobile)
Bernice Chau, Outreach Coordinator, Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line: 416-962-2232 ext 229