LGBTQ2+ Inclusion Promoted in Military, Police

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 10:57 a.m. May 21, 2019

Deputy Chief Barbara McLean and other Toronto Police Service members joined security and law enforcement officers at an event on May 15 to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

A group of people some in military and police uniform
Organizers and panelists in a International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia panel

IDAHOT, which is marked each year on May 17, aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBTQ2 rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBTQ2 rights work worldwide.

“It’s good for us to get together in a space like this to talk about how organizations are moving to become more inclusive, more empathic and more aware of the importance of how we can be more open and welcoming to all members of all of our communities, particularly those within the LBGTQ2,” McLean said, at the event held at the Downsview Park Armoury. “These are key organizations that really speak to the health of a city, a province and a nation.”

McLean was a member of a panel that shared their stories and the work their organizations are doing to make changes.

The theme was ‘Leading Change Together.’

“The key message is that we are interested in members of LBGTQ2 communities bringing their whole selves to work because when they do that, all of our organizations – whether they are first responders or military personnel – are stronger and better able to serve our communities,” she added.

Rear Admiral Jennifer Bennett and Chief Warrant Officer Necole Belanger were the keynote speakers.

“The Canadian Armed Forces and the Emergency Services partners are a very inclusive and diverse organization,” said Belanger. “That message needs to be really reinforced. Anytime we have the opportunity to do so in an event like this, it’s a good day.”

Toronto Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Armed forces collaborated to host the event.

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