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  • Olivia Baker

Ending LGBTQphobias for Good

Montreal, May 2, 2023 - The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), which Fondation Émergence began in Quebec 20 years ago, is undergoing a complete transformation. The Montreal-based organization’s awareness campaign, which is presented by the National Bank, focuses on LGBTQphobias and irrational fears with a playful and casual visual approach. With humour but an always relevant message, Fondation Émergence tackles all the negative attitudes, acts and words against sexual and gender diversity, and their effects on LGBTQ+ communities in Quebec and elsewhere.

‘‘The fears outlined in our campaign are just as irrational as LGBTQphobias,’’ begins Fondation Émergence President Patrick Desmarais. ‘‘A phobia is an excessive fear of something harmless. And LGBTQ+ people are in fact completely harmless,’’ he continues. ‘‘On the other hand, LGBTQphobias have a serious impact on the people who experience them. We erase them, we assault them, and we try to correct them. A quarter of the world’s population believes that being LGBTQ+ should be a crime, which is a troubling reality.’’

Worrying Numbers Attesting to the Undeniable Importance of the IDAHOT

According to Leger 20231, 42% of Quebecers are either indifferent to or do not understand the importance of LGBTQ+ issues. Yet, in Quebec, more than a third of the population expresses discomfort with two men kissing; one in five when it comes to two women. Furthermore, one in four Canadians would feel embarrassed going to an appointment with an openly trans professional. Lastly, 37% of Canadians are uncomfortable intervening when witnessing LGBTQphobic behaviour.

Sharing Responsibility: Getting Informed to Better Support

Nearly one in three people in Quebec support the cause but are unwilling to show it. This number needs to change if we want the LGBTQ+ community to feel supported by a strong network of allies. One way to feel more equipped to support the cause publicly is to learn more. Fondation Émergence has therefore created a general knowledge test on the LGBTQ+ community and issues, available to the public, and encourages everyone to get informed to better support.

“We are very proud to support the efforts of the Fondation Émergence as part of the May 17, 2023 campaign. National Bank is firmly committed to creating a more inclusive society that is accepting of sexual and gender diversity by taking a three-pronged approach through dialogue, daily action and commitment. Our partnership with Fondation Émergence aims to support education and awareness and help end LGBTQphobias and their real impact on the LGBTQ+ community,” stated Vicky Wistaff, Vice-President, Strategy, Advice and Performance, Personal Banking, and sponsor of the MOI Network, the employee resource group that supports members of LGBTQ+ communities at National Bank.

About Fondation Émergence

Fondation Émergence works to fight homophobia and transphobia through various awareness programs, such as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which it instituted on May 17; ProAllié, for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace; Aging Gayfully, promoting LGBTQ+ seniors’ rights; and Chosen Family, which seeks to raise awareness about the realities of LGBTQ+ caregivers.

Ending LGBTQphobias for Good
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