Di­a­logue as a tool to­ward equal­ity

Sackville Tribune - - OP-ED - Gerard Veld­hoven Re­fo­cus Com­ments and in­for­ma­tion: lgbt­con­nec­tion­sgv@gmail.com.

In a world where equal­ity is unattain­able in most of our so­ci­ety, the time has come and over­due to en­gage in pos­i­tive di­a­logue with those who are de­ter­mined to ig­nore or in­deed squash any at­tempt at al­low­ing equal­ity.

We can­not con­tinue on the path of turn­ing a blind eye. Asa so­ci­ety, we must come to­gether re­gard­less of back­ground, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, true gen­der iden­tity, the lan­guage we speak, the re­li­gious be­liefs, the colour of our skin or any other facet that makes each of us unique.

Our in­di­vid­ual makeup must be re­spected and cel­e­brated.

Many of us stand up to dis­crim­i­na­tion and are proud of our unique­ness. We can no longer sit idly by, hear­ing and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the dif­fi­cul­ties, the op­pres­sion across the world, the at­tacks, the deaths, the im­pris­on­ments of those who are deemed as not wor­thy as equals. such ac­tion.

Where do we be­gin? Well, we should be­gin within the fam­ily unit where love, un­der­stand­ing and ac­cep­tance are formed from an early age.

Par­ents who have been ex­posed to the world’s phobias and ob­served the dis­crim­i­na­tion that ex­ists are more apt to in­stil strong feel­ings in their off­spring. Church doc­trines must change to bring teach­ings into the present in­stead of hold­ing stead­fast onto an­cient ideas which are the ma­jor cause of ho­mo­pho­bia, bi­pho­bia and all other phobias. Con­struc­tive, se­ri­ous di­a­logue must be ini­ti­ated by all par­ties.

Gov­ern­ments that in­sist on sep­a­ra­tion of their cit­i­zens be­cause of not con­form­ing to the “nor­mal” must be erad­i­cated.

Again, that is an al­most im­pos­si­ble task. Our places of ed­u­ca­tion, the med­i­cal care we re­ceive at hospi­tals, by our doc­tors, nurses and oth­ers, are not al­ways sym­pa­thetic to the needs of LGBTQ pa­tients, as well as many other mi­nori­ties.

The ques­tion is how to solve this univer­sal prob­lem. Justin Trudeau has made a sin­cere ef­fort in ap­point­ing the Spe­cial Ad­vi­sor to the Prime Min­is­ter on LGBTQ is­sues. This is a first any­where and Randy Bois­son­nault is reach­ing out to in­di­vid­u­als and groups through­out Canada in an ef­fort to lis­ten to the con­cerns that ex­ist.

This is one ex­am­ple of what can be ac­com­plished through di­a­logue be­tween peo­ple of all back­grounds. We must do so or stand to lose what has been a dif­fi­cult road over the years.

We are not done. On a world scale, Canada is a leader, but it will take many more years around the globe to even ex­pe­ri­ence solid re­sults.

Let the talks be­gin. Email: sdo­herty@sackvil­letri­bunepost.com Fax: 506-536-4024

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