This year at Congress, the Federation hosted a four-part series dedicated to equity issues, which included the following sessions:
- Challenging casual homophobia in schools, sports, and society
- Sochi and beyond: Russia's anti-gay legislation, human rights and the practice of history
- The nuances of Blackness and/in the Canadian academy
- What are “Canadian” and “Quebec” values? A conversation on (conflicting) rights
In the first of four panel discussions, Kristopher Wells, Director of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, and Wade Davis, former American Football player and Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, explored the evolving nature of homophobia and heteronormativity, how social media can be an innovative educational tool for social change, and how the You Can Play Project and NoHomophobes.com initiatives have brought worldwide attention to the shocking use of casual homophobia.
Language like “That’s so gay”, “No homo”, “Dyke”, and “Faggot” has become ubiquitous in schools and sporting communities, yet is rarely addressed by teachers, coaches, and parents. It is also a form of microaggression, causing the continued isolation, harassment, and negative mental health of LGBTQ students and athletes.
Listen to Kristopher Wells and Wade Davis as they discuss how language plays a key role in inclusivity, and the profound effects that homophobia and discrimination can have on those in the LGBTQ community.
Also, be sure read an earlier blog from Congress about this panel, entitled “Challenging casual homophobia”.