Today, we embrace love’s diversity in celebrating LGBTQI2S+ people, families, and communities. We recognize their resilience in the face of murderous acts of violence perpetrated by Bruce McArthur. We reaffirm our solidarity in their struggle against the oppression of the Ford PC government and wider societal homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.
In Nazi Germany, thousands of LGBTQI2S+ people were sent to concentration camps where they were identified by a pink triangle. To commemorate those victims and as a reminder that they are still targets for oppression, members of the LGBTQI2S+ community reclaimed the Pink Triangle as a symbol of pride.
In Canada, the Pink Triangle is also used to symbolize a major victory in the fight for LGBTQI2S+ rights. In the 1970s, three gay activists were charged with indecency for an article that appeared in the Toronto-based magazine The Body Politic. On February 14, 1979, The Body Politic’s publishers were acquitted of all charges. Pink Triangle Day was proclaimed by the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition to mark that victory.
Despite that victory and others, the fight for LGBTQI2S+ rights is far from over. In Ontario, the Ford PC government recently scrapped modern sex-ed in favour of an outdated curriculum that does not acknowledge LGBTQI2S+ people or issues. Doug Ford’s work with homophobic extremist Charles McVety has legitimized and amplified his hatred for queer people. LGBTQI2S+ people continue to face hate in their schools, workplaces, and communities. The recent trial of Bruce McArthur for the murders of Abdulbasir Faizi, Skandaraj Navararatnam, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, and Kirushna Kanagaratnam shows that justice is still out of reach for the victims’ families and for LGBTQI2S+ people in Toronto.
CUPE Ontario is actively challenging the Ford agenda and combating anti- LGBTQI2S+ persecution. CUPE Ontario’s Pink Triangle Committee is working to create safer, fairer workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirited, intersex and queer-identified union members. Through political action and key events, they advocate for harassment-free workplaces and communities. Visit their website at cupe.on.ca/committees/pink-triangle/ and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cupeoptc.