In 2019, Canada recognized the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality, a crucial milestone in the history of equal rights for LGBTQ2S+ Canadians. As Lieutenant Governor, I’ve identified inclusion, diversity and gender equality as one of my key themes, and so it was important to me to celebrate this landmark anniversary. With funding from Heritage Canada, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor launched Commemorate 50 (C50), a year-long series of events and initiatives celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and championing their tireless work done to advance equality, past and present.
Last year we assembled an advisory committee of leaders and advocates representing organizations advancing equality and inclusion for the LGBTQ2S+ community. This advisory group guided the development of the C50 Timeline, illustrating significant dates, events and figures of the past 50 years, and highlighting current trailblazers and best practices for inclusion. The group helped develop categories, selected subjects and events to feature in the timeline, and supported the development of an inclusivity toolkit.
The goal of this project is to celebrate and give thanks to the hard work, sacrifices, and resiliency of both LGBTQ2S+ trailblazers and current advocates. Pride been quiet this year, with most major events cancelled or going virtual in the wake of COVID-19. But there are still opportunities to celebrate how far we’ve come, and to discuss how far we still must go.
Over the course of the next week, I’ll be sharing the categories of the C50 Timeline, outlining the work, sacrifices and resiliency of both LGBTQ2S+ trailblazers and current advocates. You’ll meet innovators in arts and culture, leaders in the fight for civil rights, challengers of the definition of gender identity, and more.
Myself and my team at the Office of the Lieutenant Governor learned a tremendous amount working on the Commemorate 50 project. LGBTQ2S+ is not a monolithic entity, and I am so grateful to all of the unique voices and experiences that have contributed to this work over the past year. The complex history of LGBTQ2S+ people in Canada cannot be captured in a single timeline, but by sharing these select moments, you may be inspired to learn more, and, most importantly, understand that no matter who we are or who we love, we all deserve equality.
This project is funded by the Government of Canada