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  • Olivia Baker

Commemorate the 30th anniversary of the end of the LGBT purge in Canada with the RLQ

Montreal, October 6th - The Quebec Lesbian Network, Egale Canada and Fondation Émergence will host an evening of commemoration on October 13th in honour of the 30th anniversary of the end of the LGBT purge in Canada. This event, beginning at 5pm at the ideal bar & contents, aims to commemorate the painful history of the LGBT purge and its impact on the survivors‧e‧s of it. This occasion will also celebrate the historic battles of the LGBT movements, which led to the implementation of fundamental systemic changes for universal human rights for all‧tes in this country.

The evening will begin with an audio taping before an audience, moderated by Florence Gagnon and featuring guest speaker Michelle Douglas, human rights activist, Executive Director of the LGBT Purge Fund and former officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Her experience in the military marked the beginning of 30 years of social justice and human rights activism. Ms. Douglas led a landmark legal challenge against the military's exclusionary policies against its LGBT personnel, which ended Canada's discriminatory policies in 1992.

Ms. Douglas will be joined by a second guest, Martine Roy, a leading LGBT rights activist who was unjustly dismissed from the Canadian Armed Forces at age 19 because of her homosexuality. Ms. Roy led a class action lawsuit, including with Ms. Douglas, to expose the LGBT purge, which ended with an apology from the federal government in 2017.

The audio recording will be followed by a question-and-answer period as well as a screening of the trailer for the documentary "The Fruit Machine." The documentary tells the harrowing story of the period that would come to be known as the "LGBT Purge," during which individuals were surveilled, interrogated, abused and traumatized, and LGBT members of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP and the federal public service were systematically discriminated against and harassed. The event will close with a festive evening in honor of Ms. Douglas as well as all‧tes who have advocated for this. This event is made possible through the financial support of the LGBT Purge Fund as well as TD Bank.

About the Quebec Lesbian Network

The Quebec Lesbian Network is a national autonomous community action organization that has been working on collective advocacy since 1996. It brings together sexually diverse women, including cis, trans, two-spirited, gender fluid, queer, agender and non-binary women who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual or questioning. The Network represents these women from all regions of Quebec, of all ages, from all social classes, from all cultural communities, from different political viewpoints, with or without disabilities, etc.

About Fondation Émergence

Fondation Émergence is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, inform and raise awareness about the realities of people who identify with sexual diversity and the plurality of gender identities and expressions. The Foundation fights against homophobia and transphobia through various actions, notably with the establishment of programs such as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the seniors' awareness program For Aging to be Gay, the workplace awareness program ProAllié, and Family Choices - a program to help caregivers‧e‧s.

About Egale Canada

Egale is Canada's leading organization for 2SLGBTQI+ people and issues. The organization improves and saves lives through research, education, awareness and advocacy for human rights and equality in Canada and around the world. Their work helps create societies and systems that reflect the universal truth that all people are equal and none are different.

About the LGBT Purge Fund

The LGBT Purge Fund is a non-profit corporation. It was formed to administer a portion of the funds from the class action settlement of survivors of the LGBT purge in the federal public service.

About the TD Ready to Act Promise

TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of our customers, colleagues and communities. Through its corporate citizenship platform, TD Ready to Act, TD aims to give a total of C$1 billion (US$775 million) to communities by 2030 in four key areas to open doors to a more inclusive and sustainable future: Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Inclusive Communities and Better Health. Through the TD Ready to Act Promise, TD aspires to connect our businesses, philanthropic initiatives and human capital to help people feel more confident, not just about their finances, but about their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world.

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