To our community,
Although it has been a week, I realize that there are many who are still grieving the loss of lives and ongoing trauma caused by the attack that occurred at Club Q in Colorado Springs Colorado. Please know you have our solidarity, we grieve with you. This was an attack on 2SLGBTQA+ people and their allies. Such attacks are unacceptable and sadly the are also increasing.
To members of 2SLGBTQA+ communities, and to those who care for, and are in solidarity with 2SLGBTQA+ people, you have our care, our compassion, our commitment to work to create more places of welcome and celebration and to make those places safe. You deserve so much better.
To other members of our community, in the wake of the shooting and the murders, we ask you to personally consider what you can do to make more welcome and safety for 2SLGBTQA+ people. This act of hate did not happen in isolation, it happened in a climate where all too often 2SLGBTQA+ are targeted for hate. We need to be clear in our support. We need to be clear that homophobia and transphobia are never acceptable and are never welcome.
We want to acknowledge that attack and murders occurred just before the Trans Day of Remembrance. That a community needs a day to honour their dead, and to say the names of those killed by anti-transgender violence is already too much. We know that transphobic violence increases when other forms of hate increase, and that those targeted are often young, trans femme or visibly trans, and people of colour. We commit to taking action against racism, transmisogyny, transphobia and other forms of hate. Our freedom is all connected.
The Faculty of Education is not perfect. And, I am even less so. I have been slow to find the words. My silence was borne of grief at a time of unspeakable pain. Whenever members of our diverse Faculty of Education community are hurting or members of our diverse human family are struggling through their grief, they should not be left to feel alone. Fueled by a desire and commitment for safety, equity, and justice my colleagues in the Faculty and I are united as part of a global community in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Here are three tangible things we were already working on, but which feel important to name now.
1. We are working to be clear in all of our documents that homophobia and transphobia are never acceptable in education. We are ensuring this is part of teacher training, and part of our relationships with cooperating teachers.
2. We are working to increase the resources we have available in the TPC for teachers to do 2SLGBTQ work in schools. You can see the current list, and this list will grow and become more diverse across this year: https://library.uregina.ca/c.php?g=606332
3. Out of our commitment that this work must be embedded in teacher training, we have hired a faculty member to specifically do work in Queer Studies in Education.
These actions are not alone. This work is ongoing.
If you would like to receive periodic emails about 2SLGBTQA+ events, news and resources in education, we invite you to join this list serve: firstname.lastname@example.org
For our students, staff and faculty, if you need immediate mental health support, please visit the University of Regina Mental Health Hub https://www.uregina.ca/mental-wellness/
Staff and faculty can also reach out to the Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) through Homeweb.
If you want 2SLGBTQA+ specific supports you may want to connect with UR Pride. While not a crisis group, they offer a number of peer support programs.
Trans people in crisis can call the Trans Lifeline (English and Spanish) [https://translifeline.org/hotline/] Canada (877) 330-6366
Dean | Professor