Stop Hate Crimes Special Project
Bashing is a crime. Determined to make a difference for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Transexual, Two-Spirit, Intersex, Queer and Questioning (LGBTIQQ) victims of abuse, Marilyn Byers on behalf of PFLAG Canada-York Region and with the full support of York Regional Police, applied for an Ontario Government special project grant. The STOP HATE CRIMES PROJECT was approved by the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario Victim Services Secretariat.
With assistance from a dedicated group of volunteers, Byer's vision evolved, becoming a multi-faceted project which ran from January to June 2006 and included a Support Group for LGBTIQQ victims/survivors of abuse, an informational web site, posters, brochures, and billboard/transit shelter ads that appeared throughout York Region displaying the slogans, "Someone You know and Love is Gay" and "Being Gay or Lesbian is NOT a Crime, Bashing IS."
Byers stated that "even one victim is one too many". Statistics show that 1/3 of teenage completed suicides are due to sexual orientation and 40% of street kids have been kicked out of their home because of their sexual orientation.
In addition to this special project, PFLAG Canada-York Region makes speakers available for community groups and schools and hosts regular monthly meetings where families and friends of LGBTIQQ people come to find support and information about sexual orientation and gender identity. All are welcome.