IRANIANS SEEK TORONTO REFUGE
TORONTO – Toronto has become a place for Iranian GLBT* refugees to build a community, according to the Toronto Star. The refugee program sponsored by the federal government has allowed more than 200 GLBT* refugees to make their way to Canada through Turkey and many of them end up in Toronto. Being GLBT* is punishable by death in Iran. The Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees is also helping queer Iranians come to Canada. The Toronto- based organization assists people with the immigration process, and provides support and counselling for refugees. The organization has helped resettle more than 450 people. While GLBT* refugees and immigrants may be more free in Canada, many are still having difficulties with employment and discrimination.
ANTI-GAY LETTER FUELS HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT
ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – The Newfoundland Herald published a letter to the editor in its Aug. 3 to 9 issue titled, “The Coming Christian Revolt,” according to CBC News. The letter, written by right-wing American blogger Matt Barber, is from a blog post where Barber calls for readers to stand against GLBT* rights. The letter includes other topics, such as abortion. The Western Pride NL, a Newfoundland and Labrador GLBT* group, filed a human rights complaint on the grounds of “propaganda and the incitement of hate towards an identifiable group.” The Newfoundland Herald planned to publish responses to the letter from readers in the next issues of the entertainment magazine.
LOUISBOURG SUPPORTS GLBT* PEOPLE
LOUISBOURG, Newfoundland – Parks Canada’s Fortress of Louisbourg in Newfoundland held its first gay-straight alliance youth conference, according to The Chronicle Herald. The military fort tries to re-enact daily life in the mid- 1700s, a time when attitudes towards GLBT* were far behind those that exist today. Junior high, high school and university students from across Cape Breton attended the workshop and participated in workshops that tackled topics such as how to make gay-straight alliances in schools more successful. The attendees also witnessed a performance from four former Halifax drag queens. Animators working at the fort were given the option of researching what life was like for GLBT* people in the 1700s.
FIRST TRANS ROWERS TO COMPETE IN CANADA
OTTAWA – TRANS-fusion, a five-person rowing team, competed in a 22-km boat race on the Ottawa River in August and its members hope they raised awareness about the inclusion of transgender people in sports. The race was the first time that openly transgender athletes competed in rowing in Canada. Two members of the team, Enza Anderson and Savannah Burton, avoided sports in the past due to discrimination. The team finished fourth. They were part of a pilot project at the Hanlan Boat Club in Toronto, which makes an effort to attract transgender individuals to rowing. The club wanted to create trans-inclusive teams to increase the number of role models for transgender youth.