Statement from the Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture in response to the shooting in Colorado Springs

It is heartbreaking that, once again, the University of Toronto community and 2SLGBTQ+ communities around the world are mourning lives lost to violence and hatred. This weekend’s shooting at a 2SLGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs reminds us that we cannot be complacent in our efforts to name, denounce, and actively address homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and sexual and gender-based violence. It is especially devastating that the attack occurred on the eve of Trans Day of Remembrance and Resilience, a time to remember and honour the lives taken and impacted by transphobic violence.

We extend deepest condolences to the loved ones of the five individuals killed, compassion for the 25 wounded, and gratitude for those who acted swiftly at Club Q to prevent further violence. We also recognize that many members of our own community have been profoundly impacted, and require support.

If you feel vulnerable or need support, please consider accessing one of the resources identified below. Within and outside the U of T community, there are people who can help connect you with the assistance you need. The Sexual & Gender Diversity Office is organizing a Community Gathering Space for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and will post updates shortly on their website.

All members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities have a right to live free and full lives in public and private spaces. Hatred can be countered with education and advocacy, and by being unwavering in our opposition to homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and sexual and gender-based violence. We can express defiance by fostering care and compassion within and beyond our University community.


Resources & Supports

Our Sexual & Gender Diversity Office (SGDO), the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Offices at UTM and UTSC, the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre, and the Community Safety Office are available to provide support to students, staff, faculty, librarians, and community members. 

Additional support is available 24/7 through the Mental Health portal (for students) and the Employee & Family Assistance Program (for faculty, librarians, and staff). 

Beyond U of T, the following local resources are also available for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community: 

  • The 519 The 519 is committed to the health, happiness and full participation of 2SLGBTQ+ communities. A City of Toronto agency with an innovative model of Service, Space, and Leadership, they strive to make a real difference in people’s lives, while working to promote inclusion, understanding, and respect. 
  • LGBT YouthLine LGBT YouthLine is a Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit youth-led organization that affirms and supports the experiences of youth (29 and under) across Ontario. They offer confidential, non-judgmental and informed 2SLGBTQ+ Peer Support resources. 
  • Toronto PFlag Toronto PFlag promotes the health and well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals by helping to keep families together through Support and Education. They host regular support groups, currently being conducted virtually. 
  • Trans Lifeline Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community.  
  • Friends of Ruby Mental Health Services Friends of Ruby is dedicated to the well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ youth (aged 16-29) through mental health services, social services, and housing.