‘We Still Demand’ is on the street
August 2021 – As I was walking on Elgin Street the other day, my eye spotted a series of posters attached to assorted poles in the vicinity of the Human Rights Monument. The banner at the top of each one read “We Still Demand”, a reference to the first demonstration for gay rights held on Parliament Hill in August 1971, but the social justice message underneath varied for each poster. They were clearly put up by members of LGBTQ community, but why did my spidey sense start tingling and suggesting this was an initiative by trans folks in particular?
The first one I saw was not about LGBT issues at all, but rather a call to return land to Indigenous people. The further I walked the more they focused on issues relevant to LGBTQ folks: here was one calling for “queer inclusive sex ed”, another demanding “no banks” at Pride. But as I walked further, my spidey sense seemed to have been correct. Here was one demanding “gender neutral options” and another for “trans health care for youth”. There’s one last one at the corner of Lisgar Street that has been torn down, but that’s to be expected. We know there are angry people out there who don’t like that people are demanding to be heard.
I may be wrong and this is not a trans initiative, but I have noticed that trans youth, being the most oppressed of the LGBT community, also have fire in their bellies for all social justice issues. Regardless, you have to love the passion necessary to engage people on the street with these posters. Cheers to the perpetrators, whomever they may be!