Family support is essential: Send love to your LGBTQ+ relatives

Montreal, May 11 2020 - The 18th edition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia will be held on May 17. Fondation Émergence, who initiated this day that is now celebrated worldwide, will launch its 2020 campaign completely online. This campaign, called “Family support is essential: Send love to your LGBTQ+ relatives”, will focus on the importance of having a loving, caring family. Visuals illustrating this theme and an awareness raising video will be unveiled on social media in the week leading up to May 17.

These uncertain times with fewer interactions have reminded us of the importance of being united and sharing our unconditional love with our loved ones. The love of a family is essential and should not depend on someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

“Having the support of family can make a big difference for an LGBTQ+ person’s personal growth and happiness. That’s why it is vital for parents to support their children in asserting who they are. But it’s just as important to support all our LGBTQ+ family members: parents, siblings, grandparents,” said Patrick Desmarais, president of Fondation Émergence.

“The theme of this year’s campaign really spoke to us. Family support is a key contributor to the well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals. That’s why National Bank will once again act as the official partner of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Year after year, we have the opportunity to raise public awareness about issues that may prevent members of the LGBTQ+ community from fully expressing their individuality. Together with Fondation Émergence, we’ve taken up this challenge with pride for many years,” said Vicky Wistaff, Vice-President – Sales, Strategy and Performance at National Bank and sponsor of the IDEO Network, a group of Bank employees who are allies of the LGBTQ+ community.

According to our survey of 1,508 Canadians conducted in April 2020, the vast majority

of the 27% of responders who knew at least one person belonging to a sexual or gender

minority in their immediate family said that they very easily or pretty easily accepted the

coming out of their family member. However, homosexual and bisexual/pansexual orientations were more easily accepted by family members than trans/non-binary identities or other identities belonging to a sexual or gender minority (e.g.: intersex, asexual, two-spirit, etc.).

Also, the situation seems to be improving. In 2005, 57% of Canadians indicated that they

were in favor of the idea of marriage between a close family member and someone of the same sex. In 2020, the number rose to 70% (83% in Quebec), a significant increase.

However, there is still work to be done regarding awareness to ensure that everyone can be loved and accepted by their family as they are. (See all the survey results)

On May 17, Fondation Émergence invites everyone to send a message of kindness by sharing this campaign. Take a moment to contact LGBTQ+ loved ones you know to show them your support. Catch up with certain loved ones who have not spoken with their family about their identity or who have strained relations with their family. It is important to remember that it is difficult for some LGBTQ+ people to be with their family, especially during the lockdown. Fondation Émergence is especially concerned for LGBTQ+ people who are or have been isolated in a toxic environment with homophobic or transphobic people or people who simply don’t accept them. May 17 is also the perfect opportunity to reconnect with certain family members if there was tension after a difficult coming out.

About Fondation Émergence

Fondation Émergence works to fight homophobia and transphobia through various awareness programs, such as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which takes place on May 17 and which the Fondation initiated, and ProAlly, for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. For over 10 years, the Aging Gayfully program has been defending LGBTQ+ seniors’ rights and offering tools and training for more inclusive senior settings. Also, the Chosen Family program was

created to reach LGBTQ+ informal caregivers who help seniors in order to support them, inform them about existing services and assist them in developing skills that will help them in their role.

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