Awareness, Statements

“We’re here! We’re Queer! Get used to it!”

Spectrum strongly opposes the 1 Million March for Children who spread anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate under the guise of protecting parental rights.

Parental rights are not under attack. Religious freedoms are not under attack. Queer and trans youth are under attack.

2SLGBTQIA+ children and youth have the right to express their gender identity to whomever they feel safe doing so with. No one has the right to out a 2SLGBTQIA+ person to anyone else without consent.

Queer and trans people have always been here and will always be here. Queer Nation’s 1990 slogan “We’re here! We’re Queer! Get used to it!” was well chosen. 2SLGBTQIA+ people will not be erased or made invisible.

To the 2SLGBTQIA+ people – especially youth – who may feel hurt, or scared because of this coordinated hate movement please know that you are seen and loved. You are not alone.

Spectrum will participate in the Queer Youth Defence rally on September 20th at 9am. There is #NoSpaceForHate in Waterloo Region. We are grateful to GroundUpWR and the University of Waterloo Solidarity Network for their work in organizing this event.

Find GroundUpWR’s Queer Youth Defence Safety Guide here. If you plan to attend the rally, please be careful and protect yourself.

Allies – this is your time. If you want to be an ally to 2SLGBTQIA+ people in your community then it involves more than putting up a rainbow sticker during Pride month. Amplify queer voices, and speak out against hate.

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Awareness, Statements

In Response to the Stabbing at University of Waterloo

We are not surprised by yesterday’s targeted attack of a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo. It is an escalation of the rise in hate speech targeting trans and non-binary people which 2SLGBTQIA+ people have been ringing warning bells about.

It is past time for our leaders to act for queer safety.

Coming as it does, on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, this attack only further galvanizes us. Pride has always been a protest. Queer people have always been here, and will always be here. For decades, we have fought for liberation, rights, and safety. Our visibility is key to our safety and we will not be erased.

To our leaders, how will you now take action to make people in your community safe against this violence? A statement about hate having no place here is not enough. The queer community of Waterloo Region demands that action be taken to keep our community safe.

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Awareness, Events, Statements

In Response to the Attack at Club Q

We grieve with the loved ones of the people who were murdered at Club Q this weekend and wish speedy healing to those who were injured.

These tragic events are just the latest in a long line of examples demonstrating that normalizing hate speech has deadly consequences for 2SLGBTQIA+ people. The few spaces that 2SLGBTQIA+ people are able to create for ourselves should be safe places for us celebrate and support one another. This should have been especially true on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to memorialize transgender people whose lives have been lost to violence.

The trauma of every homophobic comment, transphobic attack on the rights of trans and non-binary people, and act of queerphobic violence makes our lives much more difficult but we will not be silenced. Canada – and Waterloo Region – are not immune to this kind of violence. Our governments and leaders must be held accountable for allowing increasing incidents of hate speech and hate crimes to endanger 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

The fight for the rights and safety of 2SLGBTQIA+ people is not over. We have always been here and will continue to fight until we can all live safely as our authentic selves.

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A statement about Chick-fil-A’s opening in Kitchener

SPECTRUM is aware that a new Chick-fil-A franchise will be opening in Kitchener this weekend. As we expressed in the 2020 interview linked above, we have significant concerns with this company and its CEO who continues to donate to anti-2SLGBTQ+ organizations including the National Christian Charitable Foundation, a massive organization which is currently engaged in a campaign against a 2SLGBTQ+ equal rights bill in the United States and which has pushed anti-2SLGBTQ+ bills in over 30 states this year. 

These bills have had a direct impact on the lives and safety of transgender people, especially youth. They include efforts to ban transgender student athletes from sports, support for conversion “therapy”, provisions to block trans youth from receiving transition-related medical care, and even some bills that call for genital inspections of children to ensure compliance with these regulations.

Conversion “therapy” is torture. As an organization that serves and affirms 2SLGBTQ+ people and works to ensure their well-being and belonging in Waterloo Region, we cannot support organizations that advocate for the torture of queer people. Conversion “therapy” is still happening in Canada, and in our own community. Bill C-6, an act that would amend the criminal code to ban these practices, has yet to pass in the Senate.

We would respectfully ask that individuals and organizations who are considering relationships with Chick-fil-A do some research about the company and consider the impact that working with them or shopping with them might have on their 2SLGBTQ+ friends, family members, and co-workers.

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Mission BC Gender Violence Statement

Mission BC Gender Violence Statement

SPECTRUM was shocked and saddened to learn of the apparent transphobic motivated violent attack perpetrated against a student attending Ecole Heritage Park Middle School in the Mission Public School District, Mission BC, and the lack of support or intervention that that student received. We at SPECTRUM Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space stand in support of the transgender members of our community and condemn the hatred and ignorance that led to this attack. SPECTRUM wants every possible effort taken to put an end to all acts of violence and bullying and to support ways to address their cause.

SPECTRUM is researching this specific incident and conducting conversations with community members and partners in order to compose a more detailed response in the near future.

Jim Parrott
Executive Director
SPECTRUM Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space

Melissa Paige Kennedy
Development Office, Transgender Support Program Manager
Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space

On behalf of all the members of the SPECTRUM Board, SPECTRUM Volunteers, SPECTRUM employees and our community at large who do not and will not tolerate such acts of violence and abuse.

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Awareness, Statements

Territorial Acknowledgment

Spectrum acknowledges the truth that we are situated on the Haldimand Tract, which is the land of Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Anishinaabe nations, and the traditional territory of the Chinonton Peoples, a people entirely eliminated by the colonisation of this land.

The land on which we meet, live, love, and work is land that was originally shared with open arms by the Indigenous peoples who have always called this place home with the settlers of this region. We recognise that our presence here has disrupted thousands of years of culture and belonging. The very land upon which the Spectrum space exists is at the edge of a great wetland that served as a hunting ground and overwintering space, and is no more than a short distance from villages, feast and ceremony grounds, and settlements.

We also acknowledge that the Indigenous Peoples of this land recognise Two Spirit as a sacred way of being, an individual who carries in them the medicines and teaching of many genders and sexualities. We recognise that this traditional regard for Two Spirit peoples has set them apart in their knowledge but also that they have been always regarded as important, respected, and fully accepted members of their communities. We recognise that the histories and teachings of Two Spirit peoples have always influenced and added to Indigenous ways of knowing.

This territorial acknowledgement alone cannot accomplish justice and we are committed to working towards reconciliation and ensuring that our programs, services, and practices are culturally relevant and accessible to Indigenous peoples in our community.

This territorial acknowledgment was drafted in consultation with a paid Indigenous Two Spirit
consultant, Terre Chartrand.

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