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POSTED

April 2nd 2018

News

April 2024

MEDIA ADVISORY: The 519 joins Rainbow Week of Action to march for LGBTQ+ refugee rights

November 2023

TDoR 2023: Statement from 2Spirit, trans, and non-binary youth / Déclaration des jeunes bispirituels, trans et non-binaires

September 2023

The 519 Board of Management Candidates 2023/24

July 2023

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2023

Call for Nominations – The 519 Annual General Meeting 2023

May 2023

[Media Advisory] The 519 Presents 'Enough is Enough!' a panel discussion addressing anti-2SLGBTQ+ hate

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Green Space Festival 2023: Neighbourhood Information

[Media Advisory] Toronto’s queer and trans communities to protest against anti-2SLGBTQ+ hate on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBT)

March 2023

Trans Day of Visibility: How can we commit to being visible allies?

[Press Release] The 519 to Honour Esteemed Author John Irving with Ally Award

International Women's Day 2023: Women, Life, Freedom

February 2023

Re: Sentencing of Colin Harnack in murder of Julie Berman

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The Trial of Julie Berman

In Solidarity with Ontario's Drag Performers

November 2022

City of Toronto, The 519, and Homes First Society announce Toronto’s first dedicated shelter for 2SLGBTQ+ adults

In Solidarity; A Community Vigil Honouring Colorado Victims and Survivors 

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September 2022

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Status For All: Letter to PM Justin Trudeau and Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser

The 519 Board of Management Candidates 2022/23

August 2022

Notice of The 519 Annual General Meeting 2022-23

[Press Release] 2SLGBTQ+ communities release Media Reference Guide as a tool for more inclusive journalism

June 2022

Call for Nominations – The 519 Annual General Meeting 2022-23

World Refugee Day: Support LGBTQ+ Refugees Every Day

Green Space Festival 2022: Neighbourhood Information

Green Space Festival announces 2022 lineup: a Pride-weekend party in support of 2SLGBTQ+ communities

Pride 2022 at The 519: Upcoming Programs and Events

Joint public statement about police participation in Pride Toronto’s 2018 parade

Joint public statement about police participation in Pride Toronto's 2018 parade. Signed by: Pride Toronto, The 519, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, Black Coalition for Aids Prevention, People with Aids Foundation, and Sherbourne Health Centre.


Dear LGBTQ2S communities and our broader community of Toronto,

We write to you today both as individuals, deeply touched by the violent loss of people in our communities, and on behalf of those we serve in our respective community-based organizations.

It is an incredibly complex and difficult time. The arrest of Bruce McArthur, the alleged serial killer, has added a new poignancy and a new pain to the fears that sit at the heart of anyone who lives a life of difference. At the end of June, we will come together, as we have for decades, and we will be seen. We will rally and rise, but it will be with heavy hearts, as we have not yet begun to grapple with our anger, shock, and grief.

Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Skandaraj Navaratnam, and a man who remains unidentified. These men were part of our communities and so a part of our family. The fact that we did not have the chance to know some of these men as members of our communities speaks to the invisibility and vulnerability that go hand-in-hand with shame and stigma. The disappearances and deaths of Alloura Wells and Tess Ritchie also speak to the marginalization of our communities and the silencing of our concerns.

The individual stories and lived experiences of each of these people were unique. But what they did share was that the investigations into their disappearances were insufficient, community knowledge and expertise was not accessed and despite the fact that many of us felt and voiced our concerns, we were dismissed. This has severely shaken our community’s already often tenuous trust in the city’s law enforcement. We feel more vulnerable than ever.

We recognise steps have been taken to work in collaboration and transparent consultation to understand what we need to be safe. This will not be accomplished in one day. The relationship cannot be mended through a parade. Marching won’t contribute towards solving these issues, which are beyond the reach of symbolic gestures. Our communities live with ongoing, deeply rooted, and historical trauma which has too often been caused by the institutions that claim to represent us . People are scared for themselves and for the lives of their friends and families. We are at a pivotal moment where those who suffer from the deepest shame and scantest forms of support could be pushed further from view, deeper into darkness, and closer to danger as a result.

We request that the Police withdraw their application to march in the 2018 Pride Parade. We believe that our resources are better invested now in shared efforts that focus on deeper dialogue, collaborative action, and sustained institutional change. Only a significant commitment and meaningful action can start the critical work of making our communities safer.

Sincerely,

Olivia Nuamah, Executive Director – Pride Toronto,
Maura Lawless, Executive Director – The 519,
Haran Vijayanathan, Executive Director – Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention,
Shannon Ryan, Executive Director – Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention,
Murray Jose-Boerbridge, Executive Director – People with AIDS Foundation, 
Hazelle Palmer, Executive Director – Sherbourne Health Centre.


 

 
 

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