Quebec LGBT Council 30th Anniversary

4 min read

Quebec LGBT Council 30th Anniversary

The Quebec LGBT Council is celebrating its 30th anniversary, led by an ambitious young director at its helm. With a network exceeding 70 LGBTQ+ organizations in Quebec, the Council has emerged as a pivotal voice in our communities. Initially founded as the “Table de concertation des gais et des lesbiennes du Québec” 30 years ago, the Quebec LGBT Council has notably been a key dialogue partner with elected officials at both provincial and federal levels. The organization has played a significant role in advocating for same-sex couple recognition, civil unions in Quebec, and same-sex marriage across Canada.

Navigating Challenges: The Council’s Evolving Mission and Current Focus

Throughout its history, the Council has navigated numerous challenges and adapted to the evolving needs of our communities. Today, its primary mission focuses on supporting and enhancing the visibility of LGBTQ organizations, particularly in regions outside major urban centers. As the new executive director, James Galantino, highlights in an interview with Fugues, there is a palpable concern over the resurgence of hate speech in both Quebec and Canada.

James Galantino: A Path to Leadership in LGBTQ Advocacy

When asked about his journey leading to this role, James Galantino shares his academic background in clinical sexology, his extensive research on trans and non-binary issues, and his hands-on experience in various capacities, including a stint at ASTT(e)Q (Action santé travesti(e)s et transsexuel(le)s du Québec) and as a freelancer facilitating the integration of trans individuals in educational settings. His involvement with the Council began over three years ago as a coordinator at the Chair of Research on Sexual Diversity and Gender Plurality, eventually leading to a treasurer role on the Council’s board.

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Aligning Values with Leadership: Galantino’s Vision for the Council

Galantino’s decision to apply for the executive director position stemmed from a belief in aligning his work with his values and making a tangible impact on people’s lives. Despite initial doubts about his age, he saw it as an opportunity to learn and contribute, either in this role or continuing on the board.

Addressing Misconceptions: The Council’s Active Engagement and Initiatives

Addressing perceptions of the Council’s leadership in recent years, Galantino clarifies that these views may be somewhat misguided. His early observations in the role revealed the Council’s active engagement and strong relationships with its member organizations. Recent initiatives include a Quebec-wide tour to meet and discuss their needs, developing training programs to support their missions, and addressing the challenges of underfunding and media crises, including combating hate speech.

Proactive Approaches: Tackling Current Controversies and Building Alliances

Galantino discusses the Council’s proactive approach in dealing with current controversies, like mixed-gender bathrooms and parental consent for child pronoun changes. They work closely with elected officials, sensitizing them to the issues and ensuring a more organized and unified message. This approach is bolstered by strong relationships with allies like unions, school boards, professional orders, and municipalities.

Navigating Political Landscapes: Galantino’s Perspective on Government Policies

Regarding recent statements by the Education Minister, Bernard Drainville, about gender identity and the formation of a “wise committee,” Galantino believes there’s a misalignment with previous governmental guidelines. He stresses the importance of reassuring the public and keeping up with progress made in other provinces.

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Future Prospects: Sustainable Funding and Advocacy Plans

Galantino expresses confidence in the Council’s relations with various ministries and elected officials, emphasizing direct engagement for effective change. He also anticipates significant advancements in the upcoming Action Plan against Homophobia and Transphobia, hoping for sustainable funding models for community organizations.

A Renewed Mission: The Council’s Enduring Commitment to Advocacy

Finally, Galantino highlights the continued importance of the Quebec LGBT Council as it approaches its 30th anniversary. Amidst growing concerns about hate speech, particularly impacting the trans community, the Council remains committed to advocacy and support, signaling a renewed and enduring mission under his leadership.

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