In Canada, Zambia, and Uganda LGBTQI2S+ youth are affected by discrimination due to their gender and sexuality which is rooted in colonialism. Colonialism has played a major role in instituting gender binaries, heteronormativity, and patriarchy that work to oppress individuals who do not conform to these ideals. Indigenous youth as well as other racialized individuals who identify as LGBTQI2S+ have multiple marginalized identities and therefore experience oppression in distinct ways. In Zambia and Uganda, LGBTQI2S+ visibility comes with many risks including violence and the risk of being arrested.
All people, no matter their gender identity, gender expression or sexuality, deserve to live their life without fear of discrimination. The discrimination that LGBTQI2S+ people experience is in complete contrast with human rights. Canadian and international human rights laws state that we are all entitled to a life without discrimination regardless of our gender or sexuality. Despite the challenges that LGBTQI2S+ youth face, they are still showing how resilient and powerful they are. Kieran, a strong advocate for transgender rights and mental health, is one example of youth using their voices, and someone we can all learn from. Read about part of his story here.