OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Québec

Québec Commits $7M To Fight Homophobic Bullying

November 9th, 2011

A man rides a pink unicorn through the clouds carrying a Quebec flag.

How about I share some encouraging news for a change? The Québec government has officially launched their Lutte contre l’homophobie, a five-year program to combat homophobic bullying and discrimination.

The program, which was announced in 2008 but came into effect last month, has seven million dollars allocated toward over 60 anti-homophobia measures, including support for independent community organisations. (Organisations that would like to apply for financial support have until December 1st under this program.)

While I don’t expect this will rid the province of homophobia overnight, I’m confident it will help—and it’s a far cry from government policies that actively oppose equal rights for GLBT citizens.

Good for Québec!

Tories Snub Pride Parade Again

August 18th, 2010

Stephen Harper marches at a gay pride parade shirtless.

Last Sunday was Montréal’s 18th annual Pride parade, and it was fantastic! Organizations, businesses, churches, sports groups, hobby groups, and tons of other equal-rights supporters marched down a brand new parade route in view of over 100,000 spectators. The parade even included politicians from every party—except one.

As in previous years, politicians of all stripes were invited by Pride organizers to come and join in the celebrations, and—like the years before it—the Conservative invitees ignored it entirely. Their absence didn’t go unnoticed, either. Speaking to the media in French, author and television personality, Jasmin Roy, was particularly succinct: “I don’t think we could speak of this as indifference; it’s clear the Harper government doesn’t like gay people.”

Indeed, Stephen Harper’s Tories have fought against equal rights for gay people at every conceivable step, opposing everything from marriage equality (even after it had become law) and protection from hate crimes, to smaller offensive gestures like removing all references to homosexuality from their new immigrant guides.

Given their behavioural history, I never really expected to see Tory party representation in the parade. Actually, I would have been shocked to see it and probably would have joined in a chorus of boos—an appropriate gesture of no where near the level of disrespect and consequence that this government has already displayed toward us gays.

Still, this is a very public example of what our government doesn’t represent, and that’s all Canadians. Whether Tories like it or not, the government is here to represent everybody—not just those that voted for them. And while Harper’s Tories may have a profound lack of sensitivity and understanding toward gay people, we’re still a large and vibrant community whose contributions to the country should have been acknowledged with representation at our biggest and most important cultural event. Honte à vous, Monsieur ‘Arper!

Texan Posters Launch 44 Tiara Brains

May 29th, 2009

Ew.

In my web travels, I often collect stories that I intend to share, but then become distracted by newer, shinier stories—or feel too lazy to illustrate them individually. This is what becomes of those stories: a Pile o’ Slaps!

A Texan mayor has announced that he’s leaving the States to legally live with his lover, a gay, illegal immigrant. In other news, conservative Texans have been mysteriously exploding.

A progressive church in Québec has embraced the silly “Adam and Steve” play on words, erecting a large anti-homophobia poster with the slogan: “Si Jésus aimait Jean, pourquoi pas Adam et Steve?” Or, if I may flex my translation skills: “If Jesus loved John, why not Adam and Steve?”, referring to a popular French expression about John being “the disciple Jesus loved.” Already, the sign has caused controversy as some residents complain about its proximity to a school bus stop, and one enraged mother declaring “I don’t care what people do in their bedroom but I don’t have a picture of my husband and I naked with a fig leaf in front of our crotch outside my house.” Err… Does that mean she doesn’t use the fig leaf?

Still on the topic of Québec, the province has announced that they will be launching an anti-homophobia campaign by the end of the year. The campaign has been confirmed to be province wide, hopefully referring to Alberta—where it’s needed most.

Speaking of which, the Alberta legislature is very, very close to passing the inappropriate Bill 44, legislation that will require teachers to receive parental permission before mentioning any gay topics in class, and to pull out any students whose parents don’t approve. A good clue that this is a terrible idea: The National Post, Canada’s largest right-wing newspaper, is already referring to it as hillbilly human rights.

Slap reader John writes in with a story about a gay student who successfully ran as his high school’s homecoming queen, complete with tiara rights. Congratulations!

Finally, Canada’s capital city is examining the health of its arts scene and nightlife as more and more gay Ottawans leave for larger neighbouring cities, such as Toronto and Montréal. It’s what city officials are dubbing the “gay brain drain,” but, uh, are they absolutely sure it’s due to the arts scene and not, say, proximity to Stephen Harper?

Well, that’s all for this Pile o’ Slaps! Until next time, have a great weekend kids!

Québec Funds Help For Gay Seniors

May 4th, 2009

It's either here or Unbridled Horror Meadows

Gay seniors have had to endure more homophobia than younger generations can imagine, yet those brave enough to finally come out are still often treated with abuse and disdain by peers and retirement home workers.

In recognition of this, the Québec government has taken the applaudable step to fund a $500,000 education campaign about gay seniors and the discrimination they face. The education program is so badly needed that the cabinet ministers responsible for it couldn’t find a retirement home willing to host the program’s press announcement, opting instead to use a community centre in Montréal’s gay village.

This is a wonderful idea, and one in which all provinces should follow suit. The first step, I think, shall be to popularize a new hit television program, Queer as Folk: The Golden Years.

Tidbits From The (Pink) Road

November 14th, 2007

Road Slap

Well, I’m on the road—gone to Atlanta, U.S.A. for a lovely few days of unbearable boredom, followed by a trip out west to see family before flights get expensive.

Hey! Let’s do the news roundup thing!

Québec’s “gay baby” campaign, featuring a picture of a newborn with a “homosexual” hospital armband, has been imported to Europe. While the campaign was praised in Canada, LGBT groups in Italy have criticized it for correlating homosexuality with disease. Conservative groups in Italy have also criticized the ad, presumably for, oh, not condemning gays to the sulfurous caverns of purgatory.

Canadian Blood Services met with students at the University of Western Ontario to clarify their policy to permanently bar gay male blood donors. Apparently, instead of “traditional” blood, gay men feature a different, incompatible circulatory fluid: homo-bismol.

A special Remembrance Day wreath honouring Canada’s gay veterans was laid during Ottawa’s ceremonies on Sunday. Instead of poppies, the wreath featured pink carnations. Next for the wreath-laying organization: trademark the carnation image and legally threaten anyone else who tries to honour war dead with the flower.

Until Friday, kids!

That Gay Politician in Quebec Calls It Quits

October 17th, 2007

Openly Gay Politician

André Boisclair, the former leader of the Parti Québécois, has announced that he will leave politics on November 15th.

And the Nod-o-th’-day award goes to The Globe and Mail for reporting on this story without using the phrase “openly gay.” (Something I clearly can’t resist.)

Community Speaks Out Over Gay Bashing

July 16th, 2007

Quebec Community Support

Quebec City’s gay community is assembling to denounce homophobia after a local man was severely beaten. The 24-year-old man, who wishes to be known only as Philippe, said four men followed him after he emerged from Le Drague, a gay bar. After being called derogatory names, he was pushed to the ground and kicked several times. Eight screws were required to reassemble his jaw.

In a display of solidarity, several gay rights organisations are holding an anti-homophobia brunch at Place d’Youville, the site of the beating, during the city’s Pride festivities.

On a personal note, I’ve refrained from posting physical gay-bashing stories in the past because I felt the tone and title of this site (and certainly the illustrations) would make it an inappropriate venue to discuss such terrible events. That decision was a mistake. As I’ve become increasingly bothered by the lack of attention these stories receive, I’ll no longer hesitate to post them.

Woman Kicked Out Of Gay Bar

June 1st, 2007

A Girl in a Gay Bar

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A woman walks into a gay bar and sits down for a beer. The waiter comes up to her and says: “This establishment is for men only; please leave.” (rimshot)

Not busting a gut? Neither was Audrey Vachon, who filed a human rights complaint after she was asked to leave Bar Le Stud in Montreal’s Gay Village.

Now, I’m a gay Montrealer and I’ve never felt uncomfortable having women frequent the gay bars here. Last year, I walked into a bar with a group of gay friends. We ordered drinks, were talking, laughing, and having an all-around great time when someone noticed something peculiar… The place was packed to the rafters with lesbians. (Our theory: As gay guys, we’ve been genetically wired to not notice women, so it was perfectly natural for us to not realise we were in a lesbian bar.)

My bottom line: Gay-friendly doesn’t have to mean gays only. If a group of gay guys can enjoy a drink in a lesbian bar, a straight gal should be able to do the same in a gay bar. Why not?

Can We Address The United Nations?

August 11th, 2006

Consultive Status

Montreal gay groups are anxiously awaiting a decision from the UN Economic Social Council on whether or not three gay rights organisations will get consultive status at the UN. Consultive status would allow the groups to formally address the international community.

Encouragingly, Lousie Arbor, the UN high commissioner for human rights, spoke at the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights last month.

I hope that [my speech] will send a signal to the entire world community that we have to be very present to those who historically and currently today are still—if not totally—voiceless and very much the victims of exclusion and marginalization.

Well, here’s hoping for a positive outcome! Addressing the UN would be a powerful statement. I can see it now… “Dear countries that oppress and harm us: Seriously, stop it.”

Athlete Weddings Galore

July 19th, 2006

Speed Weddings

Well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Numerous gay couples and athletes attending the 1st World Outgames in Montréal this month have chosen to wed while they’re here!

Canada is, of course, only one of four countries with equal marriage rights, and this gives Outgame participants the perfect opportunity to get a real wedding. (You know, none of that “civil union” nonsense.) In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some couples even seek refugee status from their home(ophobic) countries while here. (I hear it’s all the rage in India, after all.)

So, to all the soon-to-be-wedded couples, congratulations! I’m sure you’ll be very happy together with proper recognition! Uh, provided our new conservative government will issue you your visas