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Toronto, June 20 (Canadian-Media): City of Toronto (comprising of Toronto and its adjoining cities) in collaboration with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) -- comprised entirely of racialized transgender youth -- launched a public awareness campaign on June 19 to promote Torontonians’ perceptions of transgender and non-binary people, media reports said.
Highlights of this campaign are to differentiate between gender and sex among the trans and non-binary Torontonians, specifically trans youth of colour. Trans women of colour form the most vulnerable groups in Toronto.
Trans is an umbrella term, the report continued, that describes the gender for people who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Although trans youth of colour, are part of Toronto’s LGBTQ community, but are underserved and often neglected and experience bias and violence because of transphobia and racism.
"Toronto continually strives to be a place that provides opportunities and supports the well-being of all its residents," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "This campaign, which emphasizes that members of the transgender community are part of Toronto, is very timely. The City is committed to developing gender-inclusive services and policies to ensure we serve all of our residents."
Tatiana Ferguson, Project Lead for Black CAP also emphasized that in order to understand the needs of trans youth of colour, we must take into consideration various aspects of these youth identities and understanding how race, gender, sex and class interplay and create barriers for trans youth of colour is a fundamental component required to identify and address the needs of trans youth in Toronto.
Shannon Ryan, Executive Director of Black CAP said he was confident that this campaign will lead to important conversations about gender and sex and reduction of barriers that trans youth of colour in our city experience in their homes, schools, workplaces and beyond.
The campaign was created by the social impact agency PUBLIC Inc, and features real Torontonian racialized trans youth and uses transit ads and social media to educate and encourage respectful and meaningful dialogue about transgender and non-binary individuals.
The campaign also motivates trans people to get involved in educating others about trans-specific issues and provides extensive information and resources to educate Torontonians about non-binary people and with the aim to eradicate biases that trans people, specifically trans youth of colour, face in their daily life. This also fosters more understanding and advocacy amongst the cis gender community. (Cis gender individuals are those whose gender identities match with the assigned sex at birth.)
This is the fourth phase of the City's Toronto for All campaign which aims for Torontonians to say "no" to all forms of discrimination and racism.
Phase 1 ran in the summer of 2016 and focused on Islamophobia. Phase 2 was launched in the fall of 2016 and addressed anti-Black racism. Phase 3 ran in the spring and addressed the discrimination of homeless men. All campaign phases have successfully encouraged conversations among Toronto residents and media regarding the relevant issues.
The City of Toronto (Toronto and its adjoining cities) is hosting an Open Dialogue on Transphobia in North York Civic Centre on Thursday, July 27, 2017 (9am to 12:30pm) free of cost as part of a series organized by the City’s Specialized Program for Interdivisional Enhanced Responsiveness (SPIDER).
The aim of SPIDER is to increase public awareness on issues impacting vulnerable Torontonians and teach general public -- through a panel discussion, community organizations and community members -- on the multiple issues trans youth of colour experience.
Registration is free and is recommended.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)