Canadian Nationalist Party uses 2SLGBTQ+ suicide rates as a selling point

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Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more repulsive.

CW: discussions of homophobia, transphobia, and racism.

When I log onto Facebook in the atrocity of a year that is 2020, the last thing I want or expect to see is a homophobic petition being circulated by a Canadian political party. But here we are.

“I’m tired, okay?” That was my immediate thought going in to read the document. I’m tired of, yet again, having my community demonized and stripped of our right to exist in peace.

But then I actually read the petition, and oh man. It was far, far worse than I had imagined it could be.

The Canadian Nationalist Party (CNP) aims to “discontinue publicly promoting homosexuality.” Their website states that the petition has been created “in the belief that this type of development (the utilization of public utilities/finances to promote homosexuality) may not be in the best interests of our community”. The party mentions specifically that the city of Redvers approved an LGBTQ2+ crosswalk to be painted in their town, and is concerned that the crosswalk will “inflame the issue.”

To summarize the reasons supplied for the CNP’s concern, the party believes that homosexuality is “counter-intuitive to the inspired Word of Christian religious scripture” and also to the “national continuity of our country.” However, it’s their final point that infuriates me the most. They state that this crosswalk being placed near a high school “demonstrates intention to target our children.” Why is that? Because “those who identify as LGBTQ2+ have statistically significant higher rates of suicide, drug use, and depression. Normalizing this narrative amongst children is dangerous.”

I am so utterly blown away by the lack of education in this final statement. The existence of this petition is repulsive as it is, but to include a comment like this is unforgivable.

What the CNP fails to mention is that, as numerous studies have shown: “adolescent youth who have been rejected by their families for being LGB are over 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.”

They fail to mention that a study held at the University of Winnipeg found that “68 per cent of trans students, 55 per cent of LB students and 42 per cent of GB students reported being verbally harassed about their perceived gender identity or sexual orientation” and, in addition, that “20 per cent of LGBTQ students reported being physically harassed or assaulted about their perceived gender identity or sexual orientation”.

Taking that into account, it is no wonder that “33 per cent of LGB youth have attempted suicide in comparison to 7% of youth in general.” The statistics are even more dire for transgender youth who are often implicated in the same harassment. Yet, the Nationalist Party has decided to speak as though homophobic preachers like them are not a part of the cause of these issues to begin with.

Homophobic and transphobic violence, discrimination, harassment, ridicule, disownment, and assaults are only a margin of what has contributed to the ever-growing number of at risk 2SLGBTQ+ youth. Yet, they write as though these high rates merely come with same-gender attraction, and have nothing to do with the discrimination homophobic individuals such as them have inflicted on or community.

Acting as though high depression, anxiety, and suicide rates are connected to the 2SLGBTQ+ community due to anything other than the homophobic violence these parties perpetuate is foolish and wildly ignorant. Because that’s the blatant truth: The Canadian Nationalist Party promotes violence by merely existing. By existing, and creating petitions such as this, they promote violence and discrimination against our community.

Around 2016, when coverage of the American election was at its peak, a slew of articles all along the lines of “where did America’s racist underbelly come from?” began circulating.

In reality, the reason this “underbelly” began to expose itself was because Trump’s speech and actions were misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, racist (and so forth), and he made those who had been this way all along brave enough to come forward. The “underbelly” had always been there; Trump just gave those individuals permission to become more vocal with their beliefs. He was vocal with his, wasn’t he? And he was, and is, leading their country.

The same thing applies to groups like The Canadian Nationalist Party, and their influence intensifies with their platform. Their loud presence encourages others with like-minded views to take action and charge. Petitions like these encourage people to be more vocal with their discrimination, promoting further violence, divide, and leading to death. We cannot let this stand anymore.

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