May 14, 2014 10:03 pm

Speak Up and Speak Out fights back against homophobia, transphobia

About 150 people gathered in downtown Halifax Wednesday night to rally together in the fight against homophobia and transphobia.

Julia Wong/Global News

HALIFAX – About 150 people gathered in downtown Halifax Wednesday night to rally together in the fight against homophobia and transphobia.

The rally in Victoria Park was called Speak Up and Speak Out and is meant to align with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which takes place on Saturday, May 17.

Event MC Rebecca Rose said the province has made strides in helping the LGBTQ community, such as financing sex reassignment surgery, but there is still a long way to go.

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“I think as a province, city and community, we still need to work on trans rights,” she said.

“We still need to make sure we’re working on gender markers [on ID], which really makes it difficult for trans folks that don’t fit into the gender binary or whose biological sex doesn’t match up with the gender they’re presenting. There’s still a lot of work we can do with trans issues, gender identity and gender expressions.”

The rally also featured Scott Jones, who made headlines last year after saying he was attacked because of his sexual orientation.

Scott, who is now paraplegic because of the attack, is spearheading Don’t Be Afraid, a campaign against homophobia.

“This is phenomenal and it really speaks volumes of the support in Halifax,” he said looking around at the crowd. “It means more support and gives us more momentum.”

Rose said everyone needs to work together to make sure LGBTQ people feel included and wanted in the community.

“We need to work on ending transphobia and homophobia and making queer and trans members of our community feel safe in all aspects of our society, in our schools, on our streets, in our public parks sand in our hospitals.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Rebecca Rose as the event organizer. The story has been updated to reflect that she was actually the event MC.

 

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