Pride Toronto stands in solidarity with the LGBT YouthLine in opposition to the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s (TCDSB) censorship and decision to remove the organization as a critical resource for 2SLGBTQ+ students.
This shameful action is yet another example of systemic homophobia and transphobia that continues to run deep within the publicly-funded school board. As LGBT YouthLine has stated, the 2SLGBTQ+ community has long endured homophobic and transphobic attitudes through accusations attempting to link 2SLGBTQ+ people with pedophilia and of “corrupting” children and youth.
The TCDSB’s decision harms 2SLGBTQ+ youth by creating barriers to much-needed services and resources, including peer support, youth training, and online resources to help youth make informed decisions. These resources are particularly critical during the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person supports are limited.
The strict public health measures implemented to combat the pandemic bring additional mental health and safety concerns for many 2SLGBTQ+ youth. The timing of the removal of LGBT YouthLine during a time of increased need for these types of services is further deserving of strong condemnation.
We call on the TCDSB to reverse its decision and reinstate LGBT YouthLine as a resource for marginalized and vulnerable 2SLGBTQ+ youth within the TCDSB’s system. Further, we call for a formal review of the systemic homophobia and transphobia that persists within the TCDSB.