DDSB celebrates International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

Posted On Wednesday May 17, 2023

DDSB celebrates International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

Check out the DDSB’s YouTube channel to view the video statement from Director of Education Camille Williams-Taylor

The Durham District School Board (DDSB) is proud of our commitment to fostering inclusive and supportive learning and working environments for all students and staff. As part of our ongoing efforts to champion Indigenous rights, human rights and equity, the DDSB celebrates the raising of the Progress Pride Flag across all our schools and workplaces leading into the upcoming Pride Month. 

The DDSB has been raising the Pride Flag since 2015, symbolizing our unwavering support of our 2SLGBTQI students, staff, and community members. It is also representative of the commitment of strong allies to stand up against prejudice and bigotry toward 2SLGBTQI communities. It represents a powerful affirmation of the rights, identities, and experiences of 2SLGBTQI peoples. It also represents our firm rejection of exclusion, discrimination, violence, and hate. 

The DDSB believes that every student deserves an education that affirms their identity, values their talents, and celebrates their achievements and contributions. Every staff member of the DDSB family deserves to come to work, engage in learning, and enjoy their work networks with pride and dignity.  

Raising the Progress Pride Flag is a powerful community building experience that encourages dialogue, awareness, respect, and inclusion.  

As we look to the promise of the future, we should consider lessons of the past. In 2009, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an official apology for the treatment of famous mathematician and inventor of the modern computer Alan Turing. Despite his contributions to his country, and the work that he did to protect liberty and democracy during the Second World War, Turing was persecuted because of his identity as a gay man. Many years later, the British government issued an official apology to acknowledge the debt of gratitude that he is owed and to recognize the genius of his work and the injustice that he experienced. 

The DDSB recognizes that promoting rights and inclusion goes beyond raising the Progress Pride Flag. We are keenly aware of the rise in homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic comments and conduct and the ongoing harm to 2SLGBTQI students, families, staff, and community members. On this day and every day, we have a responsibility to act. We continue to challenge prejudice and stereotypes and work toward building an inclusive system that authentically and intentionally includes and affirms Two-Spirit and LGBTQI peoples and is free from all forms of discrimination and hate. 

We will continue to work collaboratively with members of our communities to dismantle the barriers erected by ignorance, hate, and fear. Learning combats ignorance, compassion replaces hate, and community neutralizes fear.  

As the DDSB raises the Progress Pride Flag at our schools and work sites, we encourage community members to join us in this celebration of inclusion. Together, we can learn, we act with compassion, and we can build a community where every person can be successful, is cared for, can be who they are, and know that they belong here at the DDSB.