Today, we're joined by Chantal Ruel, the Civilian Interim Co-Chair of the Defence Team Pride Network. Chantal is speaking with us today about the newly created Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization as well as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Chantal, welcome. And I wonder if you could start by telling us a little bit about the inception and the launch of this new Advisory Organization.
(CR) Thank you, Esrom. I'm really excited to be here and I'm happy to be here to talk about this, but I have to say, in a sense, I feel like I'm riding on the coattails of my predecessors. On all the many LGBTQ2+ members of the Defence Team who came before me and did decades of organizing work and advocacy work to get us to where we are today, which is quite a momentous occasion, of launching a national level structure of Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization to represent LGBTQ2+ members around the decision-making table along with the other Defence Advisory Groups and Employee Networks that represent visible minorities: Black employees, Aboriginal employees, Defence women and employees with disabilities, CAF members and employees.
(ET) If you could maybe shed some light on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and what it represents and how best we can commemorate and celebrate that event within the Defence Team.
(CR) Yeah. I'm glad that you asked. May 17th is a really important day for our communities. In some ways, it's the opening of what then follows as the Pride Season where cities and countries and provinces all the way around the world celebrate pride, celebrate our diversity. And, you know, members of our community come together to declare that we're here and that our diversity contributes to something important to society. But I also think it's really important that it starts with the day of commemoration to remind us of those who came before and those who are still experiencing violence, discrimination, harassment, bullying, exclusion.
(ET) Thank you so much, Chantal, for that context and May 17th is definitely a day that we should all reflect deeply on exactly what you said: those who came before us and the sacrifices made before launching into a period of celebration. So, once again, thank you so much for your efforts and your time today. Thank you, Chantal.
(CR) Thank you.