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Homophobia and transphobia

Every person counts, whatever their age, physical appearance, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity. 

However, according to a telephone survey conducted in May 2017 (PDF 505 Kb), Québec society does not yet offer full recognition for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) individuals. Prejudice is still common:

  • around one person in three believes that it is easy to recognize homosexual or trans individuals in a group; 
  • with regard to single-parent families, 32% of the population considers that a child’s proper development requires two opposite-sex parents;
  • over 40% of the population surveyed has witnessed an act of homophobic or transphobic discrimination.

Homophobia and transphobia are negative attitudes that can lead to discrimination against anyone who is, or is perceived as being, LGBTQ. This can be traced back to a poor understanding of the realities connected to the various gender identities and sexual orientations. 

We all have a role to play in ensuring that the rights of LGBTQ individuals are recognized, by keeping an open mind about sexual diversity and gender identities.

« During a discussion about homosexuality and adoption in the Moral Education program, my oldest son, Jean-Philippe, spoke out in front of the class: “My dad is homosexual and he’s just as good at bringing us up as a straight dad.” […] One day, at the ticket office for a place we wanted to visit, we asked for the family rate. The girl at the counter said: “No, you’re not a family.” I still remember that Justine, who was still young, answered: “We’re not the kind of family you usually see, but we’re still a family! »
Réjean Hébert, 59, homosexual

« When I was in Secondary V, I didn’t tell anybody anything about my sexual orientation. It was too complicated. At parties I sometimes kissed girls, and sometimes boys. […] The problem is that being bisexual is often seen as a fad or obsession, and not as a sexual orientation. […] There are no models to follow, either. […] I know lots of girls who thought of themselves as lesbian when they were with a girl, and now say they’re straight because they’re with a boy. Bisexuality seems to be the biggest closet of all! »
Anne B-Godbout, 25, bisexual and a volunteer at GRIS

« When I told my mother that I wanted to change my name, as well as coming out as a trans, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life, almost as hard as finally accepting that I was trans. I didn’t want her to think I was rejecting what she had given me at birth. »
Sam Lajeunesse, 37, trans and a volunteer at GRIS

« The more we normalize homosexuality and the more we talk about it, the less discrimination there is. And the less we keep it a secret, the less people have to hide, and the more normal it becomes. »
David Testo, 33,gay

Some testimony is taken from a book by Robert Pilon, Modèles recherchés : l’homosexualité et la bisexualité racontées autrement, Canada, Guy Saint-Jean Éditeur, 2015, 224 pages.

Last update: December 5, 2019

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