By Sarah Watson
The city of Toronto, partnered with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (CAP), launched a new ad campaign on Monday aimed to educate people on issues relating to transgender youth of colour.
“In order to understand the needs of trans youth of colour, we must take into consideration various aspects of these youth identities,” said Tatiana Ferguson, Project Lead for Black CAP, in a news release. “Understanding how race, gender, sex and class interplay and create barriers for trans youth of colour is a fundamental component required to identify and address the needs of trans youth in Toronto.”
Each poster features a different person with the caption, ‘My gender lives here,’ above their heads, and ‘Not here,’ over their pelvis.
This is the fourth phase of Toronto For All, a City of Toronto campaign that has previously tackled Islamophobia, anti-black racism and homelessness.
Through consultations with the Toronto youth council as well as two Toronto youth equity strategies and community conversations, they discovered that trans youth of colour specifically experience gaps in service and access, according to Jennifer Wing, a senior communications advisor at the City of Toronto.
Black CAP was chosen as the City of Toronto’s community liaison for the project, because they already had an established network of people that the city wanted to work with, said Wing.
“They had a community advisory committee that was comprised 100 per cent of trans youth of colour,” said Wing. “So we thought that they would be a great focus group and great advocates and a great partner to help us form this campaign and ensure that we were understanding what the communities needs were and making sure that we were representing the community in an appropriate way and in a positive way.”
Wing expects the ads to start conversations, hopefully leading curious viewers to check out the Toronto For All website, which features educational material and a list of resources for trans youth.
Wing said she thinks the minimalist design of the campaign will draw people in, as well as the fact that all the models are local trans youth of colour, chosen by Black CAP’s Trans Youth Advisory Committee .
“It really shows them in a very positive light,” said Wing. “They’re real people with smiling faces.”
The campaign, launched during the middle of Pride month, comes the same day the transgender flag was raised for the first time at Queen’s Park, and days after Canada passed a bill protecting transgender rights.
More information about the campaign can be found at torontoforall.ca/trans-youth-of-colour.