On Wednesday, June 28, 2023, a professor and two students were attacked in a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo by a former student. The local police service believes this “planned and targeted attack” was motivated by hate related to gender expression and gender identity.

Hate towards the 2SLGBTQIA+ community is pervasive in Canada. Recent data from Statistics Canada saw a 64% increase in hate crimes targeting those based on their sexual orientation. Transgender and Two Spirited peoples are not included in this statistic, but we know that these communities are facing a crisis of targeted violence. A Trans Pulse survey found that “experiences of transphobia were nearly universal among trans Ontarians, with 98% reporting at least one experience of transphobia”.

The Commission stands in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. The Commission also stands with those who were targeted and impacted by these horrific events. This was not an interpersonal and random act of hate – it was premeditated and targeted attack, symptomatic of larger systems functioning on homophobic, patriarchal, and colonial ideologies.

The gravity of recent events reminds us that there is more work to do to create a Yukon and Canada free from discrimination, harassment, and violence. Those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community deserve to be safe. The Commission would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm this and to call upon all levels of government to take swift and substantive action to fight and prevent anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate.