Regina to consider ways of making city more 2SLGBTQ friendly

In a unanimous vote, Regina city council agreed on Wednesday night to study ways Saskatchewan's capital can be made more friendly to its 2SLGBTQ citizens.

Council unanimously approves motion to study the situation

Regina administration will create a report on how the city could improve the lives its 2SLGBTQ citizens. (CBC)

Aspen Huggins knows first-hand the hurdles faced by the 2SLGBTQ (Two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning) community in Regina.

Huggins, a former vice-chair of UR Pride, recently changed names but said their employer took a year to update the change.

"The result of that was that I was outed to every colleague that I work with, every external client I spoke to in every meeting that I attended for that entire year. I mean, that created safety risks for me being outed against my will," Huggins told Regina city council Wednesday evening in support of a motion to make the city more 2SLGBTQ friendly. 

The motion, brought by Ward 6 Coun. Dan LeBlanc, passed unanimously 9-0, with Ward 7 Coun. Terina Shaw absent.

City administration will now prepare a report on how the city could improve the lives of 2SLGBTQIA people.

Huggins says one improvement the city could make right away is streamline name-changing policies in the workplace.

Aspen Huggins, a former vice-chair of UR Pride, addressed council in support of a motion to create a report to look at ways of making the city more 2SLGBTQ friendly. (CBC News)

Waiting a year for their name change to be updated "created this daily grind and weight on me to have to out myself and share personal information."

"All of this could have been avoided if my employer had adopted a streamlined process."

Ariana Giroux, interim executive director of UR Pride, told council this diverse group of people has unique needs.

"Our culture, our needs, our health care, our access to mental health care … they're all different," Giroux told council, adding the challenges faced by 2SLGBTQ are not the same as the average white person. 

Giro says creating a report on ways to improve to us 2SLGBTQ people's lives will help make Regina a leader when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

The report will look into areas including programs and approaches the city can implement to improve the lived experience of 2SLGBTQ people, provisions for all gender change rooms and washrooms, and the inclusion of 2SLGBTQ people under all employee equity policies.

"I think that the needs of this community — the life ways of this community — are quite distinct from others, and so it's important to have distinct analysis around them," LeBlanc said.

"I think I heard that echoed from administration today, and hopefully we continue with that as we implement the work and get the report back."



Scott Larson works for CBC News in Saskatoon.

With files from Fiona Odlum