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International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and  Transphobia 

May 17, 2024

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia is observed annually on May 17th. First commemorated in 2005 as the International Day Against Homophobia, it has since expanded to include Transphobia (2009) and Biphobia (2015). Louis-Georges Tin, a French academic, gay rights campaigner, and anti-racist activist, initiated it to remember the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. 

This year in Canada, the Rainbow Week of Action (May 11th-May 17th) was launched by the Society of Queer Momentum in partnership with Fierté Canada Pride and the Enchanté Network. Local advocates and organizations nationwide were also included in this week of advocacy. It is meant to bring together to speak for a "more free, equal and socially just future — for 2SLGBTQIA+ people and everyone in Canada".

In commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, PeerWorks wants to highlight the work of Outloud North Bay, an after-school program and safe community space for 2SLGBTQ+ and other marginalized youth. It was founded in 2019 by Seth Compton, this year's keynote speaker at our Lighthouse Awards. Outloud North Bay's work includes advocacy and awareness-raising regarding the barriers faced by the 2SLGBTQ+ community. 

The centre is a community hub for youths ages 6-19 that provides workshops on mental health and wellbeing, harm reduction, and suicide prevention. It provides tutoring, life skills programming, job readiness strategies, and employment opportunities. There is a space where the youth can learn to skate and participate in arts and crafts, talent shows, etc. All are welcome regardless of identity, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, culture, or abilities. Their website states, "We are here to create a community of love, respect, understanding, acceptance, and education." The space is entirely volunteer-run through community members. 

Please visit this link to learn about OutLoud North Bay's memberships, including ways to support their programming. For a list of resources for the 2SLGTQIA+ community, please check out our blog from last year.