Andre Goh is not going to stop talking about marginalized queer Asians, he said.
“There’s still homophobia, racism and transphobia. It’s here,” said Goh, who is being acknowledged for his years of activism with the 2010 Pride Award at the City of Toronto’s Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards Nov 25 at City Hall. “The same issues that were relevant 30 years ago are still relevant today.
“It’s sad, but there’s lots of work left to be done.”
The Pride Community Advisory Panel member will join 12 individuals and one group who will be recognized for their ongoing efforts to build a city where everyone can participate fully in the social, cultural, economic, recreational and political life of Toronto, the city states on its website.
The awards, presented in five categories, will be handed out at 6:30pm in council chambers.
Goh, who admits he’s uncomfortable with the spotlight, told Xtra he’s feels honoured to be recognized for his efforts.
Goh, manager of the Toronto Police Service’s Diversity Management Unit, is one of nine members of the Pride Community Advisory Panel, which is beginning community consultation sessions Dec 2.
While he’s pleased the community will meet on Dec 14 to discuss racialized issues, Goh says the need for the specific session indicates that Pride is being “fragmented.”
“As Pride matures it is becoming more fragmented. The (racialized session) shows the separation,” he said. “Divide out and we fall. In the 80s we fought as a united front, but we had less rights then.
“Overall I think it’s empowering to have a session devoted to racialized issues, but I do think they should be discussed more often.”
The Pride Award was established in 2003 to mark the 13th anniversary of city council’s decision to adopt a human rights policy to provide protection on the basis of sexual orientation.
The award honours volunteer contributions of people or organizations whose efforts have been significant to the advancement of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual and two spirited communities in Toronto.
On Nov 26, Goh will be the guest of honour at Dreams of Tomorrow: Celebrating Asian LGBT Leadership Excellence at the 519 Church Street Community Centre from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.
For more information on Dreams of Tomorrow, contact Trisha at 416-963-4300.
Past Pride Award recipients:
2010 André Goh
2009 John Campey
2008 Anna Willats
2007 Rupert Raj, Deb Parent, Central Toronto Youth Services - "Pride and Prejudice Program"
2006 Dick Moore, PFLAG Toronto (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
2005 The Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal, Supporting Our Youth (SOY), The Triangle Program
2004 Martin Bourgeois, Susan Gapka, Pride Toronto
2003 Rev Dr Brent Hawkes, Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line, TEACH (Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia)
City of Toronto’s Human Rights Award 2010 recipients:
Aboriginal Affairs Award
Angela Connors – Recognizing her work on the frontlines and her leadership work across organizations to address issues of importance to the Aboriginal community.
Kenn Richard – Recognizing his accomplishments within the Aboriginal community and in particular his overall leadership, his advocacy and diligence in pursuing issues of importance to the community, particularly with respect to the child welfare system.
Access Award for Disability Issues
Catherine Leitch – Recognizing her efforts and a lifetime of dedication to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Asif Syed – Recognizing his voluntary and professional contributions to achieve inclusion for people with disabilities in all facets of civic life.
START Smart Program at Centennial College – Recognizing the significant contribution towards helping people with disabilities gain access to and successfully complete college education.
Constance E Hamilton Award on the Status of Women
Cindy Cowan – Recognizing her advocacy efforts and her leadership role in providing services aimed at improving the lives of the most marginalized women in the city.
Tam Goossen - Recognizing a lifetime of leadership,