WHAI’s Statement of Solidarity for the Rights, Safety and Protection of 2SLGBTQ+ Communities
Amidst the rise in local and international discrimination and violence against 2-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Non-Binary communities and those with other gender and sexual identities and expressions, WHAI acknowledges our solidarity and support for the safety and inclusion of 2SLGBTQ+ communities. Discrimination and violence against people in these communities is growing around the world. Globally, Trans Murder Monitoring, a project by TGEU (Transgender Europe), documented 327 murders of Trans and gender-diverse people in 2022, with 95% identified as Trans women or Trans-feminine people. Of those whose occupation was known, half were sex workers. Where race and ethnicity were known, 65% were racialized Trans people. In Canada, Amnesty International notes hate crimes against 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, with more hate-based actions being continuously documented in other provinces. These global and local realities continue to grow, and solidarity for safety, respect and inclusion is critical.
WHAI locates this violence and paralleling rhetoric and policy about gender and sexual identity and expression within a system of colonialism, racism and misogyny. WHAI work exists at the intersection of bodily autonomy, health and gender equity, and social justice. We recognize the foundational requirement for our work to confront the growing wave of violence against individuals and communities on the basis of gender and sexual identity. We demonstrate solidarity through our individual actions, community work, institutional and policy work, and by working alongside those fighting for legislative measures to address these realities. Liberation necessitates our deconstruction of the gender binary and heterosexual frameworks that extend the stigmatization and criminalization of identity, expression and, fundamentally, existence. WHAI is committed to working with all people who identify as 2-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Non-Binary. WHAI work fundamentally seeks to improve health outcomes related to HIV and empower community capacity to address and rectify the ongoing legacies of homophobia, transphobia as well as cis-heteronormativity.
We are committed to actively celebrating, amplifying and working alongside and in collaboration with 2-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Non-Binary communities publicly, without shame or restriction, and working actively against violent and discriminatory policy and rhetoric locally and globally. We are committed to honouring the lives lost to anti-Trans and 2SLGBTQ+ violence.
The movement for 2SLGBTQ+ liberation is centered on the fact that we have a right to self-expression and bodily autonomy. Against staggering odds and at incredible risk, we have always fought against the erasure of our lives, the silencing of our voices, and the criminalization of our love, identity, expression and very existence.
"...rarely has it been explicitly noted that this binary, not only marginalizes those who don't fall neatly into either category regardless of their race, but is itself one of the ways in which whiteness has maintained its domination."
(White Tears, Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad, page 124).