The Alberta Federation of Labour’s Pride and Solidarity Committee has launched a new campaign in an effort to reclaim words used in a derogatory manner by children and youth, often without realizing the negative impact it has on the GLBT community.
“This project is part of our efforts to preserve history in the GLBT movement, and prevent discrimination,” explains Timothy Hunt, member of the AFL’s Pride and Solidarity Committee and GLBT Representative on the PSAC Prairie Region Council. “I was pleased that the other members and other unions also recognized the importance of this issue and wanted to work together on this project.”
The “That’s Gay” poster campaign also aims to educate Albertans about the history of the struggle, from Everett Klippert being jailed indefinitely as a “dangerous sex offender” in 1965 simply for admitting he was gay, to the Alberta Gay Rodeo Association becoming the largest organization of its kind in the world.
A series of five posters has been designed, showing distinctly Albertan images, along with a timeline of gay-rights milestones. The headline “That’s Gay” makes people wonder, “why is that gay?” and is meant to help youth realize the term represents years of struggles and achievements, and its meaning shouldn’t be confused or misused as an insult.
“The expectation is to have this in schools by year’s end,” explains Hunt. “I hope it helps youth recognize that saying ‘that’s gay’ is bullying, and bullying is not accepted in today’s society.”
The posters will be handed out at events around the province, including Pride celebrations throughout Alberta, and will be made available to post-secondary educational institutions and high schools. To order copies, email the AFL or download below.
For more information on the work of the Pride and Solidarity Committee, please visit the Alberta Federation of Labour website.