October 4, 2023

Statement of Solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ Communities

In light of the recent and ongoing attacks on trans and queer rights across Canada, we want to share a statement of solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

Much of our work at FoodShare involves collaborating with students and youth, engaging in discussions around food growing, food rights, and the food system. What’s normally an exciting back-to-school time for many kids was disrupted this year for trans and gender non-conforming youth and the communities that want to keep them safe. We see how the type of hatred being perpetuated can impact young folks, and we denounce it. Every child has a right to be who they are and to have a safe, supportive learning environment. There is no space for hate in schools, and there is no space for discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the equitable food future that we are working to achieve.

We are deeply disturbed by the growing violence against 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. The Government of Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan Survey results indicated that:

  • 39% of 2SLGBTQI+ respondents reported experiencing violence due to homophobia, transphobia, biphobia or other forms of discrimination directed at their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression in the last five years.
  • Transgender and two-spirit respondents reported the highest incidence of discrimination when it came to access to stable housing and being denied employment.

In the future that we dream of, there is no wrong way to have a body. Yet today, we recognize that many people, including trans, queer, and gender non-conforming folks, often experience body policing that leads to real physical, emotional, and psychological harm.

In addition, recent studies have shown that:

  • 2SLGBTQIA+ Canadians have lower average wages and are significantly more likely to have low income, which is the primary cause of food insecurity.
  • 18% of trans Ontarians were turned down for a job because they were trans;
  • Another 32% suspected this was why they were turned down.
  • 13% of trans Ontarians had been fired for being trans;
  • Another 15% were fired, and believed it might be because they were trans.

(source)

In the future that we dream of, no one will suffer the indignity of food insecurity and poverty.

In the face of this growing discrimination and violence, it is more important than ever to unite and support the push for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights and safety, and demand justice for all.

Beyond continuing to raise your voice — at counter-protests and/or by sharing your views with elected officials in government and the education system — below are some tangible actions to consider taking in solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities:

As a food justice organization committed to a Toronto where all people can feed themselves, their loved ones, and their communities with dignity and joy, we recognize that food justice can only be achieved when justice is realized for everyone.