As we enter Pride Month, it is more important than ever to remember that homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of hate remain present in our community. Earlier this month, a young man enjoying a spring weekend on the Toronto Islands was left with serious injuries after he was the target of a vicious and homophobic beating. More recently, Peel Police and the Peel District School Board are investigating the burning of a pride flag by a group of high school students. These acts of hate are completely unacceptable and have no place in our city. I will continue to stand with and work with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Toronto to ensure that everybody is safe to be themselves, regardless of who they love or how they identify.
The month of June offers us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and all they have done for our city. I was happy to see the City of Toronto raise both the rainbow and transgender flags at city hall earlier this month. While the COVID-19 pandemic means in-person celebrations are not currently possible, I encourage you to virtually participate in pride this summer. The 2021 festival runs from Tuesday, June 1 to Sunday, June 27, culminating in a virtual Pride Parade that honours Pride’s history, highlights Toronto talent and fosters community. For more information on virtual pride events, please click here. I was also pleased to travel to Oakwood Avenue for the opening of a mural dedicated to the celebration of Queer Black Lives. I encourage you to check it out!
Please feel free to contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to offer any comments or feedback on your experience as a member of the 2LGBTQIA+ community in Toronto. If you experience or witness a hate crime, please call 416-808-3500 to connect with the Hate Crime Unit. 2LGBTQIA+ youth in need of support can call the LGBT Youth Line at 1-800-268-9688 or Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.