|LGBTQIA+ Migrant Workers gather in Leamington for a Trans Rights & Justice workshop
Leamington, Ont. – September 13, 2023 – UFCW Canada partnered with Vivi’r LGBTQ+ to hold a workshop for LGBTQIA+ migrant workers on Trans Justice and Trans Rights at the Agricultural Workers Centre in Leamington this August.
Over a dozen migrant workers who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community participated in the workshop. The workshop was facilitated by two proud trans Latina women: Jaziel Bustamante Hernandez, a human rights defender from Mexico, and Viviana Santibanez, founder of Vivi’r LGBTQ+.
Participants spoke about working in the fields and greenhouses around Leamington and struggling against discrimination. This is one in a sequence of workshops which have been led by UFCW Canada to protect and defend the rights of LGBTQIA+ migrant workers.
The workshop provided education on gender diversity and sexual orientation and the different ways of knowing and being able to identify within the community. In addition, a community health advocate provided sexual health resources and kits in the community. Lastly, the workshop focused on immigration and refugee rights.
"The request for this workshop came from LGBTQIA+ migrant workers themselves, because many have faced compounded barriers in the workplace due to race, gender identity and sexual orientation” says Emmanuelle Lopez-Bastos, UFCW Canada’s Human Rights, Equity and Diversity Coordinator. “Due to the experience of hate, workers have faced difficulties accessing their rights at work.”
Viv’r LGBTQ+ supports LGBTQ+ newcomers to Canada in their settlement needs, including the provision of information and referrals, arrangement of shelter, employment, legal and health care support.