Medavie Health Services Messenger

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Stories of Pride & Progress

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Disclaimer – Some of the content may be triggering and/ or sensitive as some topics include discrimination and harassment

I want to share my brother’s journey as part of the LGBTQ2S+ community. He would be fine with me telling his story as it has been very public for many years. First, I would like to say that I am very proud of him and all he has accomplished. It is an honour to be his sister.  

He was with his employer for many years, when my brother was diagnosed with HIV and identified as LGBTQ, they treated him as a risk and made him do things that were inhuman and unthinkable. In the end, he was wrongfully dismissed, with no pension or compensation stating, “not fit to work.” At this time, he secured a position as a manager in a retail store proving that he was still able to do a job. 

Moving forward, his previous employer was taken to court citing human rights violations for his inhumane treatment and wrongful dismissal. My brother was brave enough to be very public with very private parts of his life and as a family, we’re proud to support him. Human rights lawyers came in from other countries to view the case and after a few years, he won his case. 

He did not get much compensation after paying the lawyer’s fees, etc. But it was not about the money but more about setting a precedent for others in his situation, as the LGBTQ2S+ communities were treated very poorly in those days. The transcripts from the case are now in the human rights museum. It took only one person to stand up to a large establishment and win rights for many going forward. 

He has been an advocate for those that did not have any one to stand by them, especially when in the hospital and disowned by family members. My brother would be a source of support and sit with them so they were not alone in a great time of need.  He was told that he would not live past 40, I am glad to say he will be 60 years old in August this year. 

We celebrate every year being with him as he is an example of someone that is proud of who he is and lives life to the fullest. He has taught us all to treat everyone without bias and with kindness.

Submitted by Selina Farrell

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