Where are you?

Dear editor,

The following is an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal party leaders Jagmeet Singh, Elizabeth May, Pierre Poilievre, and Yves-François Blanchet:

As pride month has started and we have been seeing increased hate against the 2SLGBTQ+ community, we are wondering, where are you?

We have been facing an ever-increasing amount of hate at events, drag story times, and online which involves bullying like nothing before. We are again asking, where are you?

We have been asking since 2018, to participate in a roundtable/federal leader’s debate or whatever you would like to call it, to which you all seem to just sweep under the rug, except Elizabeth May. Some of you even said you would participate, but again no follow throughs again we ask, where are you?

Many prides have also emailed all of you supporting North Bay Pride and this request, which has Sept 17th available for this discussion. Not one of you has acknowledged this request. Not one of you has said, we hear you, and we are working on it, nothing. This is very concerning for many of us in the 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

Folks, we are tired of asking for things to not be heard. You have a chance to hear and talk to actual people that live in our communities every day. You have a chance to hear what people are experiencing in our communities across Canada. You have a real opportunity to work with prides across Canada and connect in ways you never have before with thousands of people in their communities. Our question is again, where are you?

The United Nations has said the following on May 16, 2023, “We call on States to uphold the inherent dignity of all persons, without any distinction, by adopting measures to eradicate racial discrimination, exclusion, intolerance, hatred, bigotry, violence, and stigmatization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender diverse (LGBT) persons.” Which raises the question again, where are you?

Do we need to organize and be in Ottawa on your doorstep to get responses? What will it take? Someone to be killed as a hate crime in Canada, because it will happen at some point especially the direction we are going? School boards refusing to fly a pride flag, attacks and protests in school board meetings, how many children have to be homeless, or commit suicide before you say yes and stand with us and actually talk to people who have no self interest? Again, where are you?

We are still asking, we are still waiting. Where are you? Because we are getting tired of no answers, no commitments, and no real movement for our community. As many are starting to say within our community, we are getting tired of scraps. Smiling and waving from a parade while being protected is not good enough any more.

Where are you?

Jason Maclennan
North Bay Pride