Courage in the Face of Hate

In our continued fight to prevent discrimination, bullying and hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression, Egale Canada presents the project and feature video Courage in the Face of Hate.

Courage in the Face of Hate (CFH) aspires to reduce isolation amongst victims of hate crime, decrease the overall number of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression, and build knowledge and awareness of the impact of victimization.

From the fall of 2011 to the spring of 2012, the CFH team conducted focus groups and individual interviews with victims of hate crime based on their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.

Hate crime can be defined as any crime which is motivated by hate. This can include crimes such as vandalism of property, verbal assault, physical assault, harassment, and even, in some instances, cases of bullying in schools and work places.

The victim focus groups were intended to create a network and community of shared experience where victims could tell their stories, help each other on their journey to self-restoration, and access helpful services and interventions for victims. The interviews focused on individual experiences with hate crime and provided the opportunity for victims to share in depth their stories.

Some of the focus groups and all of the individual interviews were filmed and that footage, along with Egale’s research, was used to compile the video that you are about to watch. It has also been distributed to high schools across Canada, and an accompanying lesson plan is available to help facilitate and guide discussion in classrooms around the occurrence of hate crimes based on a person’s real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. Through the video and accompanying lesson plan, available for download at courage.egale.ca/lesson-plans/, we hope to educate and engage youth across the nation to help in the fight against hate crime.

The project is a joint venture between Egale Canada, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust and Prof. Barbara Perry, a leading Professor of Criminology with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Prof. Perry is a specialist in hate crime research and prevention and she facilitated the focus groups and individual interviews. This Project has been made possible by grants from the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Department of Justice Canada’s Victims Fund.

Let’s stand together in the fight against homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and bullying.