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-> The 2012 campaign
Sexual diversity in the workplace, it pays off!
The 2012 Campaign | A welcoming workplace | International Day Against Homophobia | Campaign objectives | Resources

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2012 Campaign

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A word from the
Labour Minister of Quebec

On behalf of the government of Quebec, it gives me great pleasure as Labour Minister to support the campaign to fight homophobia called Sexual diversity in the workplace. It pays off!

Our workplaces must be welcoming places that are open to sexual diversity so employers and, most importantly, all workers are given a chance to reach their full potential. The fights led by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities have reaped their rewards and our workplaces are now more accepting of sexual diversity.
There is still work to do and I would like to commend initiatives like yours that directly contribute to achieving social equality. Congratulations!

Lise Thériault
Labour Minister

>> The 2012 Campaign

The theme of the 2012 International Day Against Homophobia campaign is: Sexual diversity in the workplace, it pays off!

The goal of the campaign is to point out the positive aspects of sexual diversity in the workplace as well as its benefits for employers, companies, institutions and workers alike.

This is true for all workplaces. Although it is almost impossible in our social context to know exactly how many LGBT people there are, it is commonly thought they make up about 10% of the population.

The same should be true in the workplace even if it is not outwardly visible. What employer, company or institution can afford not to care about the wellbeing of 10% of their human resources?

Staff retention pays off!
More often than not, companies who provide a workplace that does not welcome LGBT lose workers without knowing why.
Productivity losses cost a lot!
Research generally shows that homophobia in the workplace can lead to lower productivity, undermine people in sexual minority groups and impede their full potential at work.
Discrimination costs a lot!
Any kind of discrimination in the workplace is expensive for companies. Mental harassment and psychological disorders, bullying and professionnal psychological illnesses are just a few of the damaging side effects of discrimination.
Self-realization pays off!
It is well known that the best way to motivate workers is to give them a path to self-realization. Feeling good in the workplace and comfortable in their relations with their employer and co-workers are invaluable factors of self-realization. And an open-minded workplace is an incentive to join a company.

Please, consult

About the International Day
Against Homophobia

What is homophobia?

17 FAQ on May 17

Teaching Tools

The Bee
Social and productive creatures, bees are the quintessential symbol of work. A beehive is like a little factory.
Like heterosexuality, homosexuality cannot simply be reduced to sexuality. It has more to do with a person’s identity.

Sexual orientation: Sexual orientation is a sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex, the same sex or both – heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. Gender identity: Gender identity refers to people who identity with the opposite of their biological gender. Sexual diversity: Sexual diversity and sexual minorities are expressions used to describe people who are: lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and transsexuals (LGBT).
>> A welcoming workplace
It’s about attitudes
In open societies where the law protects LGBT rights, workplaces are adjusting to this reality. Much progress has been made and no one would dare be openly hostile toward sexual diversity or sexually diverse people. But beyond the law, it’s about attitudes.
A positive work environment happens through positive attitudes. The worst enemy is still indifference. Saying nothing, seeing nothing and doing nothing. This indifference usually comes when people are uncomfortable with the sexual orientation of workers and it prevents closer relationships and full integration.
Balancing work and family
Gay men, and to a greater degree gay women, also have to balance work and family. We should not always assume that someone listed as single in the employer’s records does not have parental responsibilities.
Feeling good in your environment
Feeling good in your work environment is crucial. LGBT do not choose their sexual orientation. But they do choose whether or not to hide it. People who trust their co-workers usually choose to tell them and feel relieved when they do. It helps them build complicit relationships and gain everyone’s trust.
Coming out in the workplace
Companies, institutions and employers can provide welcoming workplaces by reflecting a positive attitude and creating work environments that are conducive to their employees being free to reveal their sexual orientation. Lastly, it is always up to the person to disclose their sexual orientation to whom they want and when they want.

>> International Day Against Homophobia

The annual campaigns to fight homophobia come to a head on May 17 with the International Day Against Homophobia.

It is a symbolic date. On May 17, 1990 the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses.

The idea to hold an annual day to fight homophobia originated in Canada. It was started by Fondation Émergence in Quebec in 2003. With the participation of partners, this national day has spread to Belgium and France and a host of other countries, making it an international day.

The annual campaigns to fight homophobia belong to everyone. Fondation Émergence chooses the annual theme, produces promotional materials and invites people from all walks of life to take part in the campaign, organize activities and spread the word.

Themes of the annual campaigns
2012 Sexual diversity in the workplace, it pays off!
2011 Same-Sex Couple: A Story of Love
2010 Speaking about Silence - Homophobia in the Sports World
2009 Homosexuality Knows No Borders
2008 STOP - Homosexuality is NOT a sickness!
2007 Sexual orientation is not a choice
2006 Hiding its face - Becoming more subtle
2005 Presumed Heterosexual
2004 Declaration of War against Homophobia
2003 Shocking? Only for the homophobes!

>> Campaign objectives

For the workplace

The objective of the campaign Sexual diversity in the workplace. It pays off! is to:


promote the idea that fighting homophobia in the workplace is profitable for companies, institutions and employers;


help gays, lesbians and transgender people reach their full potential in the workplace;


motivate more workers to stay in local towns instead of fleeing to big cities because of their sexual orientation;


inform and raise the awareness of all workers and employers about the consequences of homophobia;


encourage employers to adopt policies that discourage homophobia in their workplace;


make LGBT workers feel even more included in the businesses they work for;


motivate people to start LGBT committees in the workplace, for example Workplace Pride Committees and LGBT Committees in labour unions.

>> Resources

Registry of Homophobic Acts (RHA)

Never accept being a victim or witness of a homophobic act without reporting it, no matter what type of act it is. Many people are afraid of the repercussions if they file a complaint. You can submit an anonymous confidential statement, which will be filed in the Registry of Homophobic Acts so we can form an accurate depiction of the problem and figure out how to resolve it.

International Day Against Homophobia - May 17


Official Partner


Gouvernement du Québec Desjardins


Arrondissement de Ville-Marie (Ville de Montréal)

Media Partners





Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada
Chambre de commerce gaie du Québec
Confédération des syndicats nationaux
Centrale des syndicats du Québec

Fédération autonome de l’enseignement

Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec

Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique

Syndicat de la fonction publique du Québec

Fierter au travail

In collaboration with


Aide aux trans du Québec (ATQ) | Aînés et retraités de la communauté (ARC) 

 Association québécoise de gérontologie (AQG) | CAEO Québec

Centre communautaire des gais et lesbiennes de Montréal (CCGLM) | Centre LGBT Paris-ÎdF 

Coalition d'aide aux lesbiennes, gais et bisexuels-les de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue | Coalition des familles homoparentales  

 Conseil québécois LGBT | Day of PinkEgale Canada | ENSEMBLE pour le respect et la diversité 

 Espace Gregg | FADOQ, Région Île de Montréal 
Fédération Inter-LGBT (France) | Fierté Montréal | Franco Queer | GLBT Québec/Lutte à l'homophobie 

GRIS-Mauricie/Centre du Québec | GRIS-Montréal | GRIS-Québec  

 International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) 

 International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) |  JersVision 

 Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d'orientation du Québec (OCCOQ) 

 Ordre des psychoéducateurs et des psychoéducatrices du Québec (OPPQ) 

Ordre des psychologues du Québec

 Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ) 

 Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec (OPPQ) | Ordre professionnel des inhalothérapeutes du Québec (OPIQ) 

PFLAG Canada | QMUNITY | Réseau des lesbiennes du Québec (RLQ) | Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) 
SOS Homophobie (France) | Table de concertation des aînés de l'île de Montréal (TCAIM) 

The 519 Church Street Community Centre | Vision Diversité

Fondation Emergence

The opinions expressed in this web site are those of Fondation Emergence
and do not represent those of the Government of Québec.

© Copyright Gai Écoute / Fondation Émergence 2012. All rights reserved.

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