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  • Writer's pictureAlexandre L'Hour

Programming for the 2021 edition of the International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia

Programming for the 2021 edition of the International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia unveiled

The theme for the 19th edition, "For some, showing their colours isn’t a choice," denounces violence against LGBTQ+ people

Montreal, May 4, 2021 – Fondation Émergence today unveiled the details of the programming for the 19th edition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which will be held on May 17, 2021 and presented by National Bank.

This year's theme, "For some, showing their colours isn’t a choice," aims to denounce physical violence and emotional abuse against LGBTQ+ people that results from homophobic and transphobic behaviours and attitudes. In recent years, human rights organizations have witnessed a significant increase in violence against LGBTQ+ people in North America and internationally—sometimes leading to death.

Given the pandemic, activities for the 19th edition of the Day will be held online.

Awareness campaign and microsite

To grab the attention of people in Quebec, across Canada and internationally, an awareness campaign will be launched on urban billboards, social media and the web. There will also be a video. Fondation Émergence met with a dozen LGBTQ+ people who have suffered violence and who courageously agreed to tell their stories. The bruises from the physical wounds suffered by LGBTQ+ people were joined together to recreate the pride flag as a symbol of resilience and the triumph of equality over marginalization, exclusion, and violence.

The elements of the campaign are being unveiled today, along with the new microsite at Once again, the Rethink Agency, in partnership with the Foundation, developed all the tools and creative pieces for the campaign. The Day's previous campaigns have won awards in numerous creative competitions, including the One Show in New York, Créa from Infopresse, the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes and the Marketing Awards.

The new microsite also presents a number of ways to take concrete action and make a difference in the LGBTQ+ community by promoting the Day and its message to your family, friends and colleagues.

Awareness and engagement tools

Various resources including a brochure and posters can be downloaded or ordered in print form from the Day’s official website at These resources are available in over 20 languages.

Awards ceremony

As is the case each year, the Fondation Émergence will announce the recipients of the Laurent McCutcheon Award, the Janette Bertrand Award, the Prix Coup de Coeur and the Academic Tribute Award. These awards are given to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made a tangible difference in advancing LGBTQ+ equality.

The names of the recipients will be announced in the week of May 10 via press release. The recipients will also be featured and interviewed during a special program presented by Monique Giroux and broadcast on Fondation Émergence's social networks on May 17 at 6 p.m. ET. For more information visit (in French only).


"Statistics show that homophobic and transphobic violence has increased internationally in recent years. It was therefore only natural for the Day to make it its main theme this year. Through this choice, we aim to raise awareness and mobilize our elected officials, the international community and individual citizens. Concrete action can and must be taken to allow people to embrace the full spectrum of diversity. We want to everyone to achieve full equality—In their personal and professional lives and under the law—regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity," said Patrick Desmarais, President of Fondation Émergence.

"The Fondation Émergence has a positive impact on the LGBTQ+ community and on society at large. That's why National Bank is very proud to be teaming up with them to mark this Day for the 8th consecutive year. Inclusion and diversity are key values for our organization. We believe that if we work together, we can end discrimination and prejudice," said Vicky Wistaff, Vice-President – Sales, Service and Performance at National Bank.

About the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, presented by National Bank, was created in 2003 (originally known as the National Day) by Fondation Emergence. With increased outreach each year and the support of key partners, the day is now celebrated in many countries. May 17 is a symbolic date for homosexual people. Homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organization (WHO) list of mental illnesses on May 17, 1990.

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, including the creation of programs such as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the awareness program for seniors, Aging Gayfully, the awareness program in the workplace, ProAlly, and Chosen Family - a program to help caregivers.

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For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Hugues Mousseau 514-945-8358

Alexandre L’Hour 438-384-1058

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