17 May: International Day Against Homophobia in Montreal

May 11, 2011

Montreal is renowned worldwide for being a gay-friendly place and the city is crowned with the biggest Gay Village in North America. But it hasn’t always been this way.

Montreal’s queer community has developed over the years through protests and politics, parties and parades. Emergence Foundation organize each year the International Day Against Homophobia in Montreal to encourage gay and lesbian community organisations, unions, employers, private businesses, governments, public administration, professional associations, and all individuals seeking equality to get involved.

Why the 17th of May ?

May 17th is symbolic due to its significance in the improvement of the status of gays and lesbians. IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) proposed this date for annually holding a day set aside to fight homophobia. In removing homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses on a May 17, the World Health Organisation (WHO) put an end to over a century of homophobia in the medical field.

How to participate ?

Raise the rainbow flag wherever there’s a flagpole, make a symbolic gesture to initiate a dialog with your entourage (at MyStudioMontreal.com we will all wear pink that day ;-)), “come out” of the closet if you are gay or lesbian, teach your children respect and tolerance if you are parents…etc. And come visit the awesome Montreal’s Village !

Want to know more on Montreal’s gay life and gay history ? Visit the excellent Tourism-montreal.org’s blog, The Montréal Buzz, Gay Life section.

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