After years of gains for gay rights in Canada, the Vancouver Pride Society is pushing for transgender Canadians to enjoy the same freedoms.
The society has launched its Trans Equality Now (T.E.N.) campaign, which, among other things, requires all entries into the pride parade this year to publicly support transgender equality legislation.
The society’s Bry Leckie says although the laws do technically protect all LGBT people, it doesn’t work out that way in everyday life.
“Transgender and gender-variant Canadians still face significant hurdles. It’s just not the same level playing field yet in terms of actual court cases, in terms of actual outcomes for trans people, in terms of people walking down the street.”
Leckie says at the very least, transgender people are called names on a regular basis. Often, she says, that turns into physical aggression, not to mention being discriminated against when looking for work or a place to live.
Politicians and Parades
In past years it has been commonplace to see politicians and political floats during Vancouver’s well attended Pride Parade.
But thanks to the initiative announced today, it will be harder to march in what’s considered a must attend event, if you don’t actually support transgender rights. The society says only those who sign the pledge will be allowed to take part.
Among those at today’s announcement who signed the pledge were Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry, and Vancouver City Councillors Tim Stevenson and Andrea Reimer.
Personal cause for Reimer
Transgender rights is a cause close to Reimer’s heart.
Her 18-year-old child Roan is becoming a well known trans rights activist in Vancouver.
Reimer spoke to CKNW’s Simi Sara about her family’s experience. Listen here:
Sign the pledge
The Vancouver Pride Society is also asking members of the general public to sign a pledge supporting transgender rights.
You can find more information about the society’s T.E.N. (Trans Equality Now) campaign here.