PRIDE month is a time to remember the struggle, to celebrate victories and to reaffirm our commitment to solidarity with the LGBTQ2+ community.
This global pandemic has certainly impacted how we mark PRIDE month this year. It has also shown us the existing disparities in our LGBTQ2+ communities. According to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, LGBTQ2+ people are more vulnerable during this pandemic. Please see their report at https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/LGBT/LGBTIpeople.pdf for a list of impacts of COVID-19 and actions governments around the world can take to ensure the safety, well-being and inclusion of LGBTQ2+ people.
There are many LGBTQ2+ youth living in non-supportive situations, either with family or room mates. Being locked into your home with those who do not support you, or who are actively hostile, increases stress, potential violence and can have an extreme negative impact on mental and physical health and well being.
In Nova Scotia, we know that there are many LGBTQ2+ youth who are homeless as a result of coming out to there families and no longer being welcome in their homes. It is difficult to know how many young people find themselves in this situation. Additionally, it can be difficult to find shelters where LGBTQ2+ people are accepted and openly supported. Living in a shelter, if one can be found, can also expose LGBTQ2+ people to violence and discrimination.
CUPE Nova Scotia members from the LGBTQ2+ community have been directly impacted by this crisis, underscoring the importance of addressing and opposing inequity and oppression.
For more information on how you can show your Frontline Pride, see CUPE celebrates Frontline Pride at https://cupe.ca/cupe-celebrates-frontline-pride.
You can also find local information at the Halifax PRIDE website. They are reimagining pride with virtual events. You can find more information at https://www.facebook.com/halifaxpride.
On behalf of the CUPE Nova Scotia Executive Board