On Wednesday September 20, 2023, a nationally organized “Million Person March for our Children” is scheduled to take place. One of the locations is Queens Park – in other words adjacent to and on the campus of U of T for its Toronto location. A counterprotest is also being mobilized, given the potentially hateful ramifications for 2SLGBTQ communities and supporters.
The WGSI is in communication with the Office of Campus Safety, who is actively engaged in monitoring the situation and will continue to share safety information or advice with us. If any members of the WGSI community has concerns that they would like to raise, they can reach the Community Safety Office at 416-978-1485.
If you prefer not to go to – or go directly to – the CSO, please know you can reach out to our faculty admin team:
Alissa Trotz, Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dina Georgis, Graduate Co-ordinator: email@example.com
S. Trimble, Undergraduate Co-ordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the transphobic hate attack at the University of Waterloo this summer, WGSI joined the WGSRF Statement of Solidarity, which can be found on our homepage. There we also provided a list of WGSI student generated resources that was put together with Trimble a few years ago; please see the link here: https://wgsi.utoronto.ca/about/resources/
Finally, it is very clear that a senior administration statement, posted prominently on the U of T website’s homepage, is required, given the attack at the University of Waterloo earlier this summer, the proximity of this event on our campus, and the anti-2SLGBTQ sentiment undergirding the March, which for us includes targeting educators, academic programs like WGSI and SDS, and others who support the rights of trans people or having 2SLGBTQ curriculum. We have reached out to ask when such a statement will be forthcoming and are awaiting a response to our query, but we invite you all to also write to the office of the VP, People Strategy, Equity & Culture email@example.com
We also share, below this message, the notice that was sent out by the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office (SGDO) about the March.
Looking forward to your response, and thank you to Professor Michelle Murphy for taking the lead on this.
Director of the WGSI
Message from the SGDO
“We are aware of the planned anti-2SLGBTQ+ march at Queen’s Park on September 20.
Queer Orientation events are planned annually for this time of year, and we hope that QO events will serve as supportive, necessary, joyful, refuge spaces for queer and trans folks this week. There are many ways to show up as 2SLGBTQ+ communities in these times. For some, there are organized counterdemonstrations and actions to defend the community and challenge the violence of anti-2SLGBTQ+ hate. For others, there are events away from the planned march to make positive space and connect with community in other ways. All are valid and important. We hope that everyone makes decisions that align with their own sense of safety and well-being.
Your safety and well-being are important. Please note the safety tools and resources available at https://safety.utoronto.ca/ including the U of T Safety App. This unique app integrates with U of T’s safety and security systems to help students, faculty, and staff move more safely on and off-campus. It also provides campus safety alerts and access to academic and mental health supports — all tailored to your campus of choice. The Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre has created a list of tips and resources for practicing self-care while advocating.
Queer Orientation was developed to make spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ folks who have otherwise been marginalized. Its purpose is to celebrate and centre diverse 2SLGBTQ+ communities at U of T. The spaces created this week are intended to be an antidote to historical and ongoing hate, and to foster a deeper sense of belonging for 2SLGBTQ+ communities on U of T campuses. We invite our allies to show up for 2SLGBTQ+ folks on campus this week – whether by challenging some of the rhetoric and misinformation being spread, offering support or space to peers/colleagues/friends, or considering how to foster inclusion and belonging for 2SLGBTQ+ folks in your slice of U of T.
Throughout the week, but particularly on Wednesday, if anyone is finding the need for some extra support, please consider the support resources outlined on our website, including same-day mental health services, or at https://safety.utoronto.ca/. “