Several national 2SLGBTQI+ organizations are denouncing the recent violent online attacks directed toward OutLoud North Bay.
The Enchanté Network, JusticeTrans, Egale Canada, and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) say the hate-filled messages came primarily from the United States, illuminating a cross-border spread of the hate that has accompanied recent anti-trans legislation across the US.
Jyssika Russell, Manager of Public Affairs and Communications at The Enchanté Network, says they’re seeing a trend of increasing hate-related incidents and while they’re monitoring it, they’re also disturbed, especially considering the volume of attacks with this incident.
“The scale of this, in terms of thousands of messages many of them coming from across the border, is fairly unique,” says Russell. “Although a lot of us are very aware of hate attacks happening both in person and online for their events and community gatherings. But, this is definitely a different scale than I’ve seen.”
People are being encouraged to show their support for OutLoud North Bay.
“The love and support really help to drown out the hate,” says Russell. “In this particular instance I would encourage anyone to send a quick message online, we’re using the hashtag #IStandWithOutLoud on social media.“
Jaime Sadgrove, Manager of Communications and Advocacy at CCGSD, says they’re dismayed at the rising tide of hate being directed at 2SLGBTQI+ spaces, particularly those reserved for youth.
“Having a safe and supportive space to be creative is essential for all young people, especially for those who are vulnerable,” Sadgrove says.
Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada says these types of incidents happen all too often.
“Many never get reported,” Kennedy says. “We need to recognize these incidents for what they are; they are hate-motivated and they’re harmful.”
OutLoud North Bay, a member of The Enchanté Network, earlier challenged everyone in the community that believes in love and acceptance to stand with them.
Officials said the attacks came in response to a Youth Drag Show event, which was requested by the youth.