Toronto – The 519, Canada’s largest LGBTQ Community Centre, today welcomed the Government of Ontario's changes that will make it easier for people in the trans and non-binary communities to have important documents that align with their gender identity.
We welcomed the Hon. Marie-France Lalonde to The 519 this morning to announce these changes.
The 519 has long advocated for these changes through our programs and services and our education initiatives. We have provided inclusion training to thousands of individuals, from the Toronto and Ontario public service to a broad range of non-profit and for-profit organizations. This advocacy and education work is supported through Creating Authentic Spaces: A Gender Identity and Gender Expression Toolkit to Support the Implementation of Institutional and Social Change.
“The 519 understands the anxiety and frustration that a person can feel when their public documents are out of sync with their gender identity”, says Maura Lawless, Executive Director, The 519. “The 519 will continue to work tirelessly, in partnership with the community and the Ontario Government to support these immediate changes, ongoing consultation and future steps to better reflect diverse gender identities and gender expressions.”
The 519 has been an inclusive space for trans and gender-diverse people for decades. Its work is developed and delivered with, and by, trans and gender-diverse community members and activists.
“Our programs and education initiatives are delivered by trans and gender-diverse staff with the lived experience to bring authenticity to our work,” Jack Hixson-Vulpe, Education and Training Specialist, The 519.
“This is the start of real and meaningful change across Ontario with the removal of the sex field from the face of the Ontario photo health card, changing the Ontario driver’s licence early in 2017 and committing to further consultation and changes. The 519 will continue to advocate, in partnership with the community, for truly inclusive environments and services that ensure the health, happiness and full participation of trans and gender-diverse people in Canadian society,” says Jacob Porpossian, Chair of The Board of Management, The 519.