Canada continues to be one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to LGBT+ rights. From introducing legislation to protect transgender Canadians, to giving legal rights to LGBT+ families, and having the first world leader to take part in a gay pride march.
Now, the City of Toronto—in collaboration with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention— is trying to educate people about the importance of creating a safe and inclusive environment for transgender youth of colour.
The ‘Toronto for All’ campaign features real trans people of colour on posters around the city to help the community “understand the complexities of gender and race as well as the difference between sex and gender”.
The images are accompanied by messages such as: “Trans youth of colour are part of Toronto. Transphobia is not.”
The campaign points out that 26 percent of trans people of colour have experienced police harassment due to their race/ethnicity and that 22 percent have been turned down for a job for the same reason.
Tatiana Ferguson from the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention says: “In order to understand the needs of trans youth of colour, we must take into consideration various aspects of these youth identities.”
“Understanding how race, gender, sex and class interplay and create barriers for trans youth of colour is a fundamental component required to identify and address the needs of trans youth in Toronto.”
The City of Toronto’s Senior Communications Advisor, Jennifer Wing says the campaign was aimed at providing support for youth who have been victims of “crime, violence and discrimination.”
"Through conversations with the youth community the vulnerability of trans youth, especially trans youth of colour, became very apparent,” says Wing.
“This is owing to poor public and institutional understanding, transphobic attitudes and behaviours and key gaps in services and supports.”
‘Toronto for All’ was first launched in 2016 and has also addressed Islamophobia, anti-Black racism and homelessness.
“With all phases of the campaign, the objective has been to encourage education and discussion which hopefully leads to people challenging their own biases,” says Wing.