Each year the INSPIRE Awards selects a community or charity organization to honour with the title Inspiring Community Organization of the Year. Our LGBTQ community is championed by many wonderful and inspiring organizations and we hope over the many years to come we will get to honour as many of these organizations as we can.
The HSSE is a heterosexual voice of equality in regards to same-sex issues.
Our mandate is to bring a message of acceptance and understanding to society, by correcting misinformation and cultural myths which negatively affect civil rights surrounding same-sex issues.
We enable heterosexual participation, providing the means for all people to develop and demonstrate their support for same-sex equality.
Among the many initiatives that the HSSE is immersed in, the jewel in our crown is our "Equality Check" presentations. Equality Check delicately mediates a back-and-forth discussion between all groups and helps chip away at common misconceptions about homosexuality. Our "Equality Check" presentation promotes acceptance before intolerance, a refreshing standpoint rather than an accusatory diatribe. Students and teachers from across the province find the HSSE's presentation to be accessible, uplifting and relevant to their schools commitment to safety, inclusion and character development.
A lot of people wonder why this organization needs to have the word "heterosexuals" in its name. This is a perfectly valid question, and one that raised a tremendous amount of discussion before the decision was finally made about the name.
The reason for this seemingly exclusionary title is, in fact, inclusivity. For too long, in the eyes of bigoted people, the battle for same-sex equality has been that of a (wonderful) dedicated minority. Furthermore, in a battle against that minority, organizations and governments have claimed the support and voice of the majority in their unjust and relentless denial of equal human and civil rights for members of the LGBTQ communities.
In short, for far too long, officials have been spreading the horrible lie that the majority are unjust, intolerant, and hateful. It is simply time for the truth.
Most of us are compassionate, loving, tolerant, and hopeful for the future. And we are the majority.
To learn more, visit StraightNotNarrow.ca
To show your support, "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheHSSE
Michelle DuBarry is a drag legend in the LGBTQ community and a pioneer of the art form at a time when it was frowned upon, and one who had spent many decades of helping, fundraising and doing great work in the community. At 80 years old, he is still going strong.
Boyd is a transsexual activist and is integral in the history of fighting discrimination in the work place. Before Jan transitioned to Boyd she fought and won a precedent setting that made it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people at work. Jan transitioned to Boyd in the 90s and continues to work very hard on issues relating to transsexual rights.
We honour Jack Layton for his long time support of LGBTQ people and championing many of the community's causes since his election to Toronto City Council in 1982 and throughout his entire career. Jack was a friend of the community and it's an honour to be able to thank him for the work.
Monica Forrester is a transgendered woman of colour born and raised in Toronto and has been a visible member of the LGBTQ community for 23 years. Monica brings awareness to Trans issues and is a voice advocating inclusion and acceptance. Monica works with many community organizations, has starred in numerous short films, and is continuously working to advance the rights of people in the Trans community.
Jacques St.Pierre is a grade 12 student at Etobicoke school of the arts and is the president of the Art student council. Jacques hastaken many initiatives and stands against bullying in the LGTB community after being bullied himself. At the first annual "I Will Make It Better" assembly Jacques managed to have celebrities such as Rick Mercer and Lady Gaga to send a video saying how proud they are of what Etobicoke School of the Arts is doing for the LGBTQ community.
Known all over the world and is one of the most respected and longest standing businesses catering to the LGBTQ, leather, and kink communities, Northbound Leather has donated in excess of $500,000 to causes, events, and charities.
HSSE was created by Derek Forgie, a married heterosexual male to champion the equal rights of people in the LGBTQ community. HSSE created a calendar in support of gay rights, has many videos on the internet speaking on the topic, and does frequent talks in high schools to students about equality.
LGBTQ Person of the Year Nominees
LGBTQ Youth of the Year Nominees
LGBTQ Positive Business of the Year Nominees
Inspiring Community Organization of the Year Nominees