International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – May 17, 2019
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit (LGBTQ2) people in Canada, and all over the world, continue to experience bullying, discrimination, stigma and violence to the detriment of their health and wellness. On May 17, we mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and unite in our collective efforts to promote a safe, inclusive and stigma-free society for all.
LGBTQ2 people in Canada report higher rates of substance use, poorer mental health and higher rates of suicide attempts compared to the rest of the population. Furthermore, men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
The fear of disclosing one’s sexual orientation or being judged by health and service providers prevent LGBTQ2 people from accessing the resources, sexual health supports and health care services required to promote and maintain good physical and mental health. Our government is committed to reducing the health inequalities and stigma experienced by members of the LGBTQ2 community.
We are committed to supporting community-led efforts to improve access to comprehensive health services in safe environments. We will continue to work with members of the LGBTQ2 community to ensure their realities and perspectives are included in federal policies and programs that affect them and ensure that they have the resources to lead the initiatives that will improve their health outcomes.
As part of Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, the Government of Canada is also investing in initiatives that are building supports for LGBTQ2 communities to address the root causes of gender-based violence and provide support for survivors in ways that are sensitive to their needs and relevant to their experiences.
Today, on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, I call on all Canadians to consider how they can help reduce stigma and other forms of discrimination to support the health of LGBTQ2 communities in Canada.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
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