Advocacy in Ontario
CCGSD reaction to recent violent homophobic attack at Hanlan’s Point Beach, Toronto, and that Ottawa Redblacks player was suspended for alleged involvement.
June 10th, 2021
Content Warning: homophobia, violence, assault
In response to the recent news of an aggravated assault on a man at Toronto Islands this past weekend in which homophobic slurs were used, and the subsequent suspension of an Ottawa Redblacks player as a result of his alleged involvement, Adriana Bravo, Advocacy and Campaigns Coordinator and Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, said the following:
CCGSD shares the immense rage of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Ontario following this attack. This hate crime reminds us of the saddening reality that 2SLGBTQIA+ people living in Canada are still vulnerable to homophobic and transphobic violence. This assault, particularly during Pride Month, highlights the need for continued awareness of anti-2SLGBTQIA+ violence across Canada.
As an organization that has worked directly with sports teams and athletic institutions through our Sports Inclusion program, we are reminded of the widespread homophobia and transphobia that often exists in sport. Through our work in Sports Inclusion, as well as through our core educational programs, we have heard accounts of sports teams, gym classes, and athletic facilities being a major site for homophobic and transphobic violence.
While we commend the Ottawa Redblacks for the quick suspension of Chris Larsen for his alleged involvement in the attack, we acknowledge that homophobia and transphobia exist beyond one individual or incident. Sports organizations, small and large, have a shared responsibility in shaping and sustaining safer spaces on and off the playing field with a zero tolerance policy for any form of discrimination, including homophobia and transphobia.
CCGSD wishes the survivor of this horrific attack a speedy recovery and we extend our love and solidarity to members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Toronto and throughout Ontario who may be fearful of their safety and well-being. Our commitment to a world free of discrimination is vital, now more than ever.
While we continue to work towards a focus of activism through education, we call on community members and allies to educate themselves on the pervasive homophobia and transphobia within our communities and to reflect on why pride is protest.
For information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Advocacy and Campaigns Coordinator