Robbie Watt goes online to support Inuit gay rights

An openly gay man from Kuujjuaq, Que. has launched a Facebook page to support LGBT people across the Arctic after some controversial comments by elected officials in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
Robbie Watt, an openly gay man living in Kuujjuaq, Que, has launched a Facebook page for LGBT and Queer Inuit in the Arctic. "We're family here. I am not a mockery. I am no less. I am equal to every one of you guys who are listening out there.'

An openly gay man from Kuujjuaq, Que. is hoping his new Facebook page will put a stop to the controversy that's been brewing over homosexuality in Nunavut. 

On February 11, Iqaluit City Hall raised a rainbow flag supporting gay rights during the Sochi Winter Olympics.

That night, city councillor Simon Nattaq questioned raising the flag, saying it was "not Inuit custom to be gay,” and prompting a lot of discussion in the territory.

At a meeting of the Baffin mayors in Iqaluit last week, Nunavut Tunngaviik President Cathy Towtongie added fuel to the fire by saying she supported Simon Nattaq for speaking out against the flag-raising.

That's when Robbie Watt decided enough is enough. 

"Cathy Towtongie, I considered her my friend,” Watt said. “She's gone too far." (Click the link on the top left to hear Robbie Watt speaking on CBC North.)

Watt has since launched a Facebook page for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in the Arctic.

He says he did it because he doesn't want fellow Inuit to go through what he's gone through the last 46 years.

"We're fellow Inuit,” Watt said. “We're family here. I am not a mockery. I am no less. I am equal to every one of you guys who are listening out there.”

Anubha Momin organized the flag event. 

“It's definitely not all rainbows,” she said. “I felt a great sense of personal pride when the flag went up. I choose not to feel personal pain through these comments."

In addition to Watt’s site, someone anonymously donated rainbow-themed cupcakes to the NTI office in Iqaluit last week.


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