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.