It is Pride Month and the Society is delighted to be planning a return to the Toronto Pride Parade, one of the largest parades in the world. Society members are welcome to join the union’s parade contingent.
While anyone can watch the parade, marching is a special experience that allows participants to walk, dance or move down Toronto’s Yonge Street as thousands of people cheer you on, spray water, and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and two-spirit inclusion, as well as the fights for equality that continue today.
To join the Society in the Toronto Pride Parade on June 26 and receive a special sleeveless Society pride t-shirt, contact [email protected].
Learn about Pride Month festivities in other communities across Ontario at: https://www.destinationontario.com/en-ca/things-to-do/arts-cultural-experiences/celebrate-pride-province-wide
Society rep attended ILGA World Conference
Leading up to Pride Month, the Society’s Pride & Solidarity Committee chair Morgan Koch attended the International Lesbian and Gay Association’s World Conference in Long Beach, California. Koch was one of more than 30 Canadian trade unionists to attend the conference as part of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) delegation.
Since 1978, ILGA has been committed to equal human rights for rainbow communities and their liberation from all forms of discrimination. ILGA supports lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) civil society worldwide through advocacy and research projects, and gives grassroots movements a voice within international organizations.
Koch had the opportunity to network with union activists from Canada and around the world and build alliances that the Society may be able to draw on in the future. Among the Canadian unions represented at the conference were CUPE, OPSEU, OSSTF, UFCW, and the United Steelworkers.
Held from May 2-6, there were at least:
- 9 pre-conferences on a range of thematic areas;
- 5 population group caucuses;
- 5 regional caucuses and 1 regional pre-conference;
- 4 plenary sessions with key-note speakers and panels;
- 12 Rainbow Talks;
- 16 mini-panels;
- 53 roundtables and interactive workshops;
- 16 self-organised spaces;
- 5 evenings of social programs
On May 3, there was an all-day World of Work pre-conference that was organized by the CLC. It focused on the work trade of unions and discussions on combatting discrimination in the workplace and discussed tools and action plans on working together and with ILGA to strengthen our allyship. This was one of the most attended pre-conferences. On May 4, there was a labour workshop where a resolution was brought forward to make labour a standing topic at the next ILGA conference. This workshop provided recommendations on dismantling workplace barriers and strengthening 2SLGBTQI workplace rights through a union perspective. This workshop had speakers from Canadian and US unions who are working to combat workplace discrimination and amplify worker voices in different ways.
Koch described ILGA as “an amazing experience,” and says she is “so thankful to the Society that I got to be a part of it.” The 2024 ILGA World Conference will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, and organizers hope to double the number of union representatives participating.