Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia: IDAHTB. For those not familiar with the event, it has been around for some time and every year has significant global effort: as described on their web site. There have been hundreds of events sponsored around the world, not the least of which have been in Canada. Here in the Ontario Public Service, the Pride Network Speakers’ Bureau provided presenters for several of these across Ontario.
The presentation that I attended was at Queen’s Park, where the Executive Sponsor of the Pride Network, Deborah Richardson, hosted the Secretary of Cabinet to recognize the day. One of the Speakers was my friend Rose, who is a relatively new member of the Speakers’ Bureau, and who did a great job of sharing her story. Each of us on the Bureau has a different emphasis to what we talk about in our presentations, and Rose’s was no exception to being well tailored to describe her experience to the audience at hand. As appropriate to the day, she spoke about overcoming personal struggles and discovering who she was, particularly encouraged by different friends and family members. It was enormously encouraging: not only to those of us who are fighting homophobia in our own lives and trying to fully become who we were born to be, but to those of us who want to help others reach their full potential. We can all affect each other in ways that are both big and small on our journeys: Rose shared how different people did that in her life, and now as a Speaker is using these opportunities to help shift the world around her for the better.