The Alliance of BC Students and the BC Federation of Students are heartbroken to hear about the recent attack on a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo. It is extremely alarming to see such hateful violence towards gender identity and gender expression target a place of learning. This violent incident targeted one gender studies class, but has added to the ongoing harm being caused to 2SLGBTQIA+ folks, women, and everyone challenging patriarchal norms everywhere. The Alliance of BC Students and the BC Federation of Students stand with everyone directly and indirectly affected by this act of hate-fuelled violence.
This is not an isolated event; it is connected to the rising transphobia, homophobia, queerphobia, and misogyny in public life. Educational spaces are being targeted because they are places of learning and change. We must continue to do the work of fighting back against hate - providing educational opportunities, supporting survivors and marginalized communities, and standing up to hate in all its forms.
Post-secondary spaces must be inclusive and safe for everyone.
Addressing this one incident will not be enough. People from marginalized communities have been targeted with violence for generations, and until we address the systemic issues that allow hate to foster, there will be no safety for any of us.
We all need to actively work to dismantle the thought processes within ourselves and those around us to get at the roots of the issues of queerphobia and gender-based violence that is so pervasive in our society. Such behaviours can only persist in the shadow of queerphobic, misogynistic mindsets and the open feelings of hate towards certain communities being targeted just for existing.
For years, the Alliance of BC Students and the BC Federation of Students have been working to end sexualized and gender-based violence on and off campuses. Whether by lobbying the provincial government for funding and legislative changes or working with provincial and national partners to advocate for policies focused on prevention and supporting survivors, the Alliance of BC Students and BC Federation of Students will continue fighting gender-based violence at its root causes because everyone deserves to not only feel safe but to be safe on campus and in their communities.
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