Statement from Premier and Ministers on International Transgender Day of Visibility

Premier Ranj Pillai, Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity ...

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Premier Ranj Pillai, Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate Jeanie McLean, and Minister of Justice and Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee released the following statement marking the International Transgender Day of Visibility:

“Each year on March 31 we celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of the continued discrimination they face.

“Gender identity and gender expression have been federally protected from discrimination since the passage of Bill C-16 in 2017. In 2020, the Yukon became the fourth jurisdiction in Canada to ban conversion therapy and last year the Government of Yukon amended regulations to provide Yukoners with health insurance coverage for gender-affirming care in private facilities.

“The progress we have made in recent years is thanks to the tireless work of those on the frontlines: Gender and Sexuality Alliances and Gay-Straight Alliances, All Genders Yukon Society, Queer Yukon Society and Yukon Queer Film Alliance, as well as their supporters and allies.

“International Transgender Day of Visibility is a celebration of the tremendous work these organizations and the trans community have been doing, but it’s also an opportunity to acknowledge the work that is still ahead of us. Visibility does not mean equality. Being visible as a transgender or gender-diverse person means being vulnerable to bullying, discrimination and violence.

“Visibility is a part of equitable representation and representation can serve as an opportunity to find validation and community support. It can also help reduce harmful stereotypes. Lately we’ve seen a rise in legislation that targets the rights of transgender people outside of Canada. It’s one of the many reasons why we should make sure that transgender Yukoners feel seen and supported – not just today, but every day.

“We all have the power to create change. The territorial ban on conversion therapy stemmed from a petition started by Whitehorse youth. Let us all mark today’s occasion by stepping up as allies. Let’s go beyond creating a future where all Yukoners feel safe and respected, and aim for one where everyone is also celebrated, visible, and represented in all spheres of our society.”


Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications


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