As Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equality, Chilliwack Kent MLA Kelli Paddon released a statement honouring Transgender Day of Visibility on Friday, March 31.
Paddon said on Transgender Day of Visibility, the province and all of Canada recognize and celebrate the transgender, non-binary and Two-Spirit communities.
“Visibility matters,” Paddon said in a statement released Thursday, March 30. “Everyone deserves to see themselves and their contributions represented in our communities. And yet, so many transgender people continue to be marginalized and discriminated against.”
Paddon stressed the need for British Columbians to recognized unconscious biases against these marginalized groups. Though not necessarily intentional, these biases can affect a number of aspects of life, including career advancement, securing a home and fair treatment in general.
“The reality is that we are all different, which makes us stronger as a society,” Paddon continued. “Attempts to erase the existence of trans people and to block their participation in society is the basis for transphobic discrimination — and, too often, violence. This is why, as we focus on making visible the lives and contributions of trans people, we also continue to raise awareness of the discrimination and barriers faced by so many trans people every day.”
The transgender flag has been raised on the lawn of the B.C. Legislature in honour of March 31. The current government is the first in B.C. history to raise this flag at the Legislature.
Paddon said the fight against transphobia, unconscious bias and violence is far from over.
“B.C. has a strong trans community with people who are making a difference for so many others in our province and around the globe,” Paddon stated. “In solidarity, I am committed to helping make B.C. a safe and welcoming place for transgender, non-binary and Two-Spirit people where everyone is free to be themselves.”
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