HomeDomesticCity Council passes motion making Regina an LQBTQ2 friendly city - Regina

City Council passes motion making Regina an LQBTQ2 friendly city – Regina

Regina City Council unanimously passed a motion to make Regina more inclusive for 2SLGBTQIAP+ people.

Community members say the new guidelines could make the city a safer place to live, especially for youth.

I walk around every day with a tattoo of a trans flag on my wrist,” said Ariana Giroux, a delegate who spoke in favour of the motion before council.

Giroux and several others were at city hall on Wednesday to support a motion which calls for the city to explore new ways it can support the queer community and make Regina more welcoming and inclusive.

“The idea of doing that back when I was growing up — you know, the sheer harassment and violence I would have faced as an individual would have been, absolutely life-altering,”

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Giroux saidgrowing up in Regina wasn’t easy, whether because of the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms or the lack of understanding what being trans means.

She said that she often did not feel welcomed or included, but she’s hopeful that won’t always be the case.

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The motion calls on the city to explore a variety of actions, such as putting all-gender bathrooms in its facilities, creating funding streams for LGBTQ2-specific programs, and establishing an advisory committee to help analyze city plans for potential impacts on the queer community.

Another delegate was Whitney Blaisdell, the founder and director of Project Play YQR, which creates children and family programming.

“Transphobia and homophobia are play-depriving. They limit where people go, what programs they participate in, and where they might feel safe to be who they are,” Blaisdell wrote in her delegation submission.

“As someone with a special research interest in play, I appreciate that this motion has agency to protect child and human rights.”

Blaisdell highlighted Australian research that shows rates of suicide ideation and suicide attempts are several times higher among LGBTQ2 people than among the general population, with LGBTQ2 youth at greatest risk.

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“Notably, the authors found both community support and being accepted at work as important and ultimately life-saving factors for LGBQ+ members,” she wrote.

“I want to point out that the motion on the table directly implements both of these interventions and more. I do not want you to underestimate the weight of what this motion offers.”

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Ward 6 Coun Dan LeBlanc said, “What I hope would happen is our administration would consult with local leaders in the queer community about what could and should be done, as well as other municipalities who have done this sort of thing.”

“So, we’re not reinventing the wheel,” LeBlanc added. “Other cities are ahead of us on this and we need to catch up and become a queer-friendly city also.”

Mayor Sandra Masters said that work is already being done in the city in terms of becoming more inclusive for the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community.

“You’ll notice that there are washrooms being developed. H.R. is aware of issues related to queer issues, and so there’s stuff that’s being worked on. And I can’t make any excuses for bureaucracies other than sometimes they move a little slow.”

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“And really this was just about solidifying and signaling to administration that the work that you’re doing needs to continue. We absolutely endorse and support it and to be creative and also ensuring that you’re going to speak with the community and engaging with the LGBTQ community to that, that’s informing those,” she added.

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