Finding your voice is about having the confidence to know you matter so you can use your voice. – Cammi Granato
An estimated 900 000 people living in Canada are members of the LGBTQ2s+ community and face significant challenges on a daily basis.
In fact, youth members of the LGBTQ2s+ community are more likely to be bullied, sexually harassed, physically abused, and face a greater risk of social isolation in the school environment. There is also a high risk of drug and alcohol abuse, depression, aggressive behavior, and suicide for this group.
Members of the LGBTQ2s+ community are also three times more likely to be victims of violence than heterosexuals. To make matters worse, this statistic does not represent reality. Victims, out of fear of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, and identity, do not always report to the police.
Furthermore, older members of the LGBTQ2s+ community, particularly men over 65, are twice as likely to live alone, thus increasing their risk of social isolation and, consequently, their risk of hypertension, heart disease, obesity, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.
We live in a country characterized by diversity and inclusion, but we still have work to accomplish. To do so, we all need to be braver. Brave enough to be compassionate, to pay attention and to engage in someone else’s suffering. It is much easier to ignore the pain and problems of other people, than to deal with them. So let’s be brave enough to make the world a better place and to give others a voice to feel worthy and to remind them that they are valuable and that they matter.
We want to say to the LGBTQ2s+ community: We are here to help and support you. We are here to help you find your voice. Know that you can be your true you with us; from the moment you first walk in or call us. You are always welcome and you deserve to feel safe to be who you really are.
June is Pride month and we are renewing our commitment to the LGBTQ2s+ community by raising the Franco Pride flag for the fourth year in Welland and the second year in Hamilton.
To make the world a better place we need to be brave enough to be compassionate. We need to give people a voice to make then feel worthy. We need to tell everyone that they have a purpose.
Because it’s impossible to find your voice if you don’t dare to be yourself, we are here with open arms and hearts, with courage and compassion, and because, after all, love is love.
France Vaillancourt, Executive Director
Phone. : (905) 734-1141