Here’s How Justin Trudeau Will Celebrate International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia

Tuesday was the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and while U.S. state governors have been busy demonizing trans people and denying them public bathroom rights, the Canadian Prime Minister has been up to something, too. On Monday, Justin Trudeau announced a law ensuring “full protection of transgender people was on its way, upon receiving the the Laurent McCutcheon Award in recognition of his work against homophobia and transphobia.

“I am proud to announce that tomorrow, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we will be tabling a bill in the House of Commons to ensure the full protection of transgender people,” Trudeau said. He didn’t delve into the specifics of the bill, but it will update Canada’s Human Rights Act by including transgender people as a protected class against discrimination and hate crimes.

“We have worked too hard for us to stop here,” Trudeau added. “Too hard to stop with the progress we have made because I sincerely believe that in Canada we can and we should do more.”

The progressive icon told his audience he believed “in a Canada where men can give blood regardless of their sexual orientation, where “transgender people are protected by the law,” and where “all prime ministers are proud to walk with the LGBT community.”

The last part of Trudeau’s idealized world might have something to do with his predecessor, the conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, who refused to walk in gay pride parades every summer while in office. On the other hand, Trudeau consistently made a point of showing up.

In the U.S., President Barack Obama recently responded to transphobia in North Carolina with a federal directive mandating that public schools allow students to use the restroom corresponding with the gender they identify as, rather than the gender they were born with.

This is great and all, but with the Department of Justice and North Carolina both suing each other literally over who can use what bathroom, and amped up rates of violence and harassment toward trans individuals, things are looking more optimistic in Canada.

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CREDIT: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

I’m inclined to believe if these bathroom bills were really about protecting innocent girls and women and not just blatant, unabashed transphobia, conservative politicians and activists would be focusing their outrage on the alarming rates of sexual assault against females by cisgender males, and punishing cisgender males instead. But alas, here we are.

There have been zero recorded incidents of transgender individuals arrested for misconduct in public restrooms. Transgender individuals more often tend to be the victims of harassment in public spaces, and, further, enacting transphobic laws really isn’t in the economic interest of any state that would rather not lose out on critical business deals. It’s pastime for the United States to join Canada in recognizing this.