Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 16 York Region

GSMA e-Source for Members

Intended as a Teacher Resource ONLY

OSSTF and the Canadian labour movement stands in solidarity with the struggles of LGBTQ communities across the country. This alliance has resulted in an impressive record of victories for LGBTQ rights at work, in the legal arena and within our own trade union movement. While Canadian unions have a solid record of support, we know that much remains to be done - in particular we must work hard to win legal protection for trans people under our human rights laws and collective agreement rights at work.

This “LGBTQ e-Source" will be a useful tool in our ongoing work to educate ourselves and each other about LGBTQ realities and to strengthen our resolve to create a truly equal society which celebrates and embraces all of its members. We need our LGBTQ members to know that the union belongs to them as much as it belongs to anyone. We need non-unionized LGBTQ workers to see that unions are a viable way of making change in their workplaces and society. And, we need our own members to recognize that diversity makes us stronger, more creative, and more able to challenge employers and government. This e-Source is intended to provide some ‘basic answers to basic questions’ that our lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) members are routinely asked, as well as responses to questions that aren’t asked, but perhaps our allies would like some answers to.  Contents include definitions of terms used in the LGBTQ community, and valuable resources. 

There isn’t necessarily consensus within the LGBTQ community about everything in this e-Source, but we’ve tried to present a range of views. The LGBTQ community within the union movement relies on our allies to make our workplaces and our union safe and respectful. In turn, we contribute to building our unions and being part of the broader movement for social justice that includes all of us.  

The Q&A Section of this e-Source was adapted with permission from the CAW.