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Justin Trudeau on Pride, LGBT acceptance and ending the politics of fear once and for all

The Canadian Prime Minister is helping his country lead the way on LGBT+ issues.

By Will Stroude

This article first appeared in Attitude issue 291, January 2018

Canada made history in December 2017 when it issued a formal apology to its LGBT+ community for past persecutions. In a world exclusive, Attitude Editor Cliff Joannou meets the country’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Montreal Pride.

It’s August in Montreal and it’s a wonderful 26C as the LGBT+ population gears up for a monumental Pride event. Montreal’s citizens are flocking outdoors, and the bars and restaurants extend out into the streets as the city embraces the sunshine. The main gay thoroughfare, Rue Sainte-Catherine, is closed to traffic. Rainbow baubles festoon the lampposts overhead.

The event, the first to be designated Canada Pride, is taking place in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s hometown, which is also marking its 375th birthday. In addition, the country is commemorating the 150th anniversary since confederation and Canada as we know it today was founded. There’s a lot for Canucks to celebrate in 2017.

That’s not to say life in the world’s second largest country is perfect. As with most nations around the globe, Canada has its fair share of internal issues, but by comparison and for a country often highly rated for its quality of life, it’s a relative utopia. It certainly isn’t having to deal with the level of crisis enveloping Europe as it struggles to maintain a fragile unity, the chaos engulfing the government of the USA, or the ongoing troubles in the Middle East and Zimbabwe.

Where strong and stable in the UK means weak and wobbly, Canada projects a confident and progressive image. Central to Canada’s positive PR is Justin Trudeau: an intellectual, charismatic politician who has seized › the world’s attention. And let’s be honest, it would be disingenuous not to suggest that his handsome looks aren’t what first attracted the media’s gaze. But what has held Attitude’s interest beyond that is his steadfast belief in equality, and the fact that he is arguably the world’s most pro-LGBT+ political leader.

Ahead of Attitude’s exclusive interview and photoshoot with the prime minister, I am invited to join him walking the route of the inaugural Canada Pride. On the morning of Pride, I arrive for a press conference at the Queen Elizabeth hotel.

Given that one of the G8 leaders is in the house, there’s a strange serenity in the air. I walk casually into the lobby and ask for directions to the conference room where our meeting is taking place. I make my way to the first floor to find our photographer setting up, in the company of a few suited security men, to whom I am introduced. Their demeanour is amiable, the atmosphere relaxed. I wonder whether this would be the case with Trudeau’s peers. I highly doubt it. Outside the window the crowds gather, lining the street in anticipation of the parade.

 The day before, I received the news that the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is in Montreal for meetings with Trudeau and will be joining the entourage on the parade route with his partner, Matthew. It’s the first time a foreign head of government has marched in a Canadian Pride event. Trudeau, meanwhile, has been a familiar face at Prides for a number of years.

The PM’s press team arrives to greet me and we discuss the day’s events. They seem unnervingly relaxed and loose about the schedule. I feel as if something will go wrong at any minute and months of planning will be for nothing. There are several news outlets here, too, but Attitude is the only media granted one-to-one access for an exclusive interview and photoshoot.

Minutes later, the press conference with Trudeau and Varadkar begins. They exchange pleasantries and share ambitions to build on the close ties between their nations — all the usual political formalities you would expect from two heads of state. When the press conference wraps up, the entourage leaves the hotel for the next stop a couple of blocks away; a second press conference, this time with invited guests from the LGBT+ community.

Flag bearer: Trudeau greets the crowds with Ireland’s first openly gay Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at last year’s Montreal Pride

Outside, people cheer and wave flags. Adults of all ages and backgrounds and face-painted children gather three or four deep waiting for Trudeau to join in the fun. When he arrives alongside Varadkar, the cameras start clicking and the parade begins its slow stroll along the street to the claps and whoops of the crowd.

Unlike previous years, Trudeau hovers around the middle of the parade route, flanked by his team and others from the LGBT+ community as well as Pride organisers.

Occasionally, he breaks away from the centre (pun intended) and throws himself into the crowd, enjoying enthusiastic selfies and hugs. I don’t know any other country in the world where the leader joins a Pride parade — and not just for a token annual visit. While most politicians might tick the box and participate the year before or after an election, Trudeau returns repeatedly.

I sense an authenticity behind his desire to spend his Sunday among the gays.

Following the parade, back at the hotel security is again strangely relaxed. His team inform me that the prime minister will be ready for the interview bang on schedule.

Right on cue, Trudeau strolls into the foyer, smiles broadly, shakes my hand and thanks me for coming to Montreal to meet him. Then we sit down for our interview, along with his team who listen intently.

“The first times I would walk one side, then the other side, shaking hands, taking pictures, actually connecting with people in a real way,” he tells me when asked if his experience of Pride has changed since he first took office. “It’s frustrating for me to be stuck in the middle, but people are really happy to see me. And I’m happy to see them.”

We talk about how surprised I am by the apparent low level of security, how the crowd isn’t separated from the parade by barriers, as it is at Pride in London. “It’s pretty good. It’s a good balance,” he agrees. “It’s my hometown. I’ve been coming to this parade for 10 years, since I began as a politician, so it’s nice to still be coming back every year as prime minister,” adds Trudeau, who turns 46 on Christmas Day.

While there’s little doubt he believes in the message behind Pride, there’s also a little piece of Trudeau that loves being one of the focal points of the parade. But his attendance in no way overtakes the festivities; when his entourage has passed, the crowds stay to watch the drag queens, bikers, topless boys, political walking groups and commercial floats that make up most Pride events. The presence of the PM does, however, deliver a strong message that his government values diversity and inclusion.

Yet, it’s clear that Trudeau is also a bit of a showman; you don’t see Angela Merkel arriving to work on Halloween in full Clark Kent/Superman fancy dress.

Superman: Trudeau in his Superman outfit for Halloween 2017

And where Vladimir Putin asserts an outdated idea of masculinity by posing topless on horseback, Trudeau relays a more modern perspective of maleness by performing yoga poses over desks at meetings.

That said, he’s not shy about making overt displays of maleness. In a 2012 boxing match, a year before he was elected to the leadership of the Liberal Party, Trudeau famously beat rival Conservative politician Patrick Brazeau, who was the favourite to win the bout.

It was a situation that won Trudeau headlines at the time, but came back to haunt him earlier this year. He was accused of “using indigenous people as political props” on social media, following a clumsy statement in a Rolling Stone magazine cover story in which he stated, “I wanted someone who would be a good foil, and we stumbled upon the scrappy tough-guy senator from an indigenous community. He [fitted] the bill and it was a very nice counterpoint. I saw it as the right kind of narrative, the right story to tell.”

It wasn’t the best choice of words and is a perfect example of the rough edges that still exist around Trudeau’s polished exterior.

Beyond his visage and vigour, he often deploys a quick wit that Theresa May can only dream of. Earlier this year, a journalist attempted to bait him by asking for an explanation of quantum computing, fully expecting him to pass.

Instead, the Canadian prime minister delivered a succinct breakdown on the benefits of quantum technology that drew applause from the crowd.

It’s two years since the Liberal Party won an overwhelming majority and took leadership of the Canadian parliament — after almost a decade of Conservative governance. Inevitably, the goodwill towards any political party that has enjoyed such success begins to wane. Accountability and action take centre stage, people start to demand results. Meanwhile, sights are also set on the next election.

“A good start, but still more work ahead of me than behind me,” replies Trudeau when I ask him to assess his first two years as his country’s leader. “There are a lot of things we’ve done that I’m really proud of, a lot of things that we’re working hard on that are gonna get done soon, and a whole bunch of things that I really hope we’re going to get to in the coming years.

“But we’re going to need another mandate to do that.” He cites the economic success story that Canada has become and the drive towards creating a more diverse and equal society as the achievements of which he’s most proud. Moreover, Trudeau recognises that when people feel secure economically, they also feel happier in their communities. “This idea of inclusive growth, growth for the middle class, tempers so much of the anxiety that’s out there in the world that’s getting bounced up in populism, in Brexit and things like that which are expressions of pulling away or closing off.”

He continues: “If you allay people’s anxieties and fears about their own economic future, about their jobs and about their kids’ futures, it’s easier to build a cohesive, inclusive and positive society. The politics of fear and division don’t work that well. So, bringing people together around a growing economy was the big thing we’ve been focused on.”

At a time when division is rife among too many countries in the West — from the UK to the USA, and from France to Spain and Germany — Trudeau tells me that his second goal was to “elevate the awareness” of the pride Canadians have in their country.

Packing a punch: Trudaeu taking on Conservative MP Patrick Brazeau in a boxing match in March 2012. Although he won, he came in for quite a lot of criticism

“We should be confident that we’re one of the places to have figured out that diversity is a source of strength. We have a positive role to play in the world, we can make positive choices that people can look at,” he asserts.

He’s also keen to highlight that this national spirit isn’t something new; he simply pushed a message that had been muted for too long back into the public sphere.

“There’s a national consciousness out there that I was able to tap into. People say to me, ‘Oh, you changed Canada in the past couple of years’. I didn’t change anything. Canadians didn’t change when the government changed, Canadians are what they are. I’m just very glad to be able to elevate what we saw outside [at Pride], what we’re seeing on the world stage, this positive view of engagement in a compassionate and open way.”

However, leadership brings its own challenges. With a schedule that frequently takes Trudeau across the country, and working extremely long hours, he says it’s important that he’s also there for his family.

Another key priority, he says, is “staying connected” and “not being too much in a bubble where you have everyone filtering what Canadians are feeling through to me, instead of me being able to get out there.” Last winter, Trudeau embarked on a tour which saw him visiting small towns, taking over community halls and gyms and answering questions from local residents.

“Staying connected with people, whether it’s trying to do it in a parade, or a street corner, or a shop or wherever, that’s the really big challenge for me. I’ve always been able to do that but it’s slightly harder when you get the motorcade and the bubble that surrounds a prime minister.”

As a way of staying connected to communities, Trudeau created a number of advisory groups and positions, including appointing MP Randy Boissonnault as Canada’s first special adviser to the prime minister on LGBTQ2 issues (“2” representing the two-spirited First Nation or indigenous people that fulfil a “third” gender role).

One of the greatest challenges facing a new PM is having to deal with the realities of the job in office versus promises made in the election campaign. His environmental policies were scrutinised this year when he failed to challenge the controversial Keystone XL pipeline extension across Canada, while others have criticised his reversal on a promise to introduce proportional representation at the next election — a policy that many believe has been dropped because it would effectively cost him seats in parliament, where the Liberals currently enjoy a huge majority.

It’s one thing to champion a liberal and progressive ideology when you’re an opposition party and you don’t have to keep the country running smoothly. It’s another thing entirely to deliver those ideals when you’re suddenly responsible for one component of a globalised capitalist system. “Again, I give a lot of credit to the citizens, to Canadians,” he says assuredly. “A great example is economy versus environment. You don’t say, ‘We have to protect the environment’, and forget the economy. Or you don’t say, ‘Oh no, we’ve got to build the economy’, and forget the environment.

Justin Trudeau, shot exclusively for Attitude by Christopher Wahl

“You have to fit them together in reasonable ways. That means figuring out the right path forward.”

Trudeau points out that the same challenges present themselves when it comes to legislation around equality issues. “On poverty, or activism, or marginalised groups, you have to figure out how to move things forward in a meaningful and incremental way, that leaves a bunch of people impatient, but is done in the right way so a future government isn’t going to be able to turn the clock back.”

It’s a sad truth that while there has been real progress in equality across the world, you only have to see the reversal of LGBT+ rights in Russia and the re-criminalisation of homosexuality in India to see how easy it is for freedoms to be taken away. In the USA, Trump is slowly unpicking Obama’s legacy, putting equal rights at risk.

Trudeau reiterates his belief that legislation needs to be watertight before it’s passed. “Real change to society is incremental. That means we have to do a lot of things meaningfully and we always have to be pushing further, but I think there’s an understanding that, unfortunately, some of these things take time if they’re going to last and if they’re going to have the right benefits.”

I ask whether the long game of politics, which can make progress so painfully slow, has sapped his passion for the job. He pauses, then says assuredly that it hasn’t and that the job remains a “total passion” for him. “I love what I’m doing. The reflection around the position is really important to me because I look at the crowds, I look at the security, everything that happens around the prime minister and it’s obvious they’re not there for me as a person; they’re there for the position, the respect of the position.

“Remembering that I am in a position to serve Canadians and having all that around me being a reminder and helping me focus on that is a good thing. It’s a passion, it’s a vocation, it’s a job, but it’s also a responsibility.”

In 1967, proposing legislation to decriminalise homosexuality, Canada’s attorney general said: “There’s no place for the State in the bedrooms of the nation.” Same-sex consenting sexual activity became legal in 1969 and a year later the nation’s chief law officer became the country’s 15th prime minister. His name was Pierre Trudeau and it’s a fair bet that he imagined his children might follow his footsteps into public office. It’s much less likely, however, he ever envisaged that some five decades later, his youngest son would be marking the final year of his first term as prime minister at the same time as Canada’s gay community celebrates the golden anniversary of that ground-breaking legislation.

In December, Trudeau’s government made history with a formal apology and offered redress for those people in the military and public service who lost their jobs under the old laws.

The government will also issue pardons for those wishing to have their convictions expunged. It’s the most comprehensive apology a national government has made for the historical persecution of sexual minorities anywhere in the world. “I am proud to continue to fight for human rights, as my father did,” Trudeau says.

From Pierre Trudeau’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 to the passage of the more recent Civil Marriage Act, Justin Trudeau underscores that the fight to end discrimination is not over, adding that “a lot of hard work remains”.

Heart on his sleeve: Justin Trudeau wipes away tears as he apologises for Canada’s historic persecution of gay people in parliament, December 2017

Policy can be changed over night, but society often moves at a slower pace. The government “acknowledging and apologising” for the role played by legislation, programmes and policies in the historical discrimination faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians is an immense driver for that social change. “We believe it’s essential to make amends for past wrongs, not to simply gloss over them,” adds Trudeau.

“The apology is an important step in the right direction. Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians and we’re proud to take concrete action to make that a reality.”

Following its own apology made in November, Scotland is set to issue pardons this month. Meanwhile, the government still flounders on the subject of an official apology in England and Wales.

Correcting years of injustice for the LGBT+ community, such as tackling issues around trans equality and the unequal age of consent, were priorities for Trudeau’s administration. He says his dedication to fighting for fairness in society was one of the greatest things that his father, who died 17 years ago, taught him.

“I grew up with my father impressing upon us the importance of standing up for people’s rights, in every situation. That’s why he brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It was always the default for us.

“You stand up against bullies, you stand up for people who are in difficult situations. One of our informal family mottos is to always provide counterweights: if there’s weakness somewhere go and add your strength to balance the scales. That was always a general theme for me.”

By his late teens, Trudeau embraced activism when he became a volunteer at the McGill University sexual assault centre run by the student society.

“The institution didn’t want to recognise there might be a problem around sexual assault. But it was the student society running it and it exposed me to all sorts of activism, these huge intersectionalities — although we didn’t know what to call it then — with different activist groups: the women’s union, the LGBT alliance, the sexual assault centre.

“That was when I became truly aware of the real challenges that different identities had with discrimination and unfairness, and I understood my own privilege of how I was raised, but also the privilege that went with being raised in my family. It opened my eyes to the struggle that is still going on.”

Canada has become a beacon of progress in a Western world that is currently undergoing a major identity crisis. The optimistic outlook with which many of us welcomed in the 21st century has become a grubby window through which we slowly observe a discontented world.

Walking the walk: Justin Trudeau with openly gay MP and special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues Randy Boissonault

New Labour’s promise of a reinvigorated discourse for a new kind of politics delivered us the Iraq war, the shadow of which we live in today. The financial crash of 2008 has seen the gap between rich and poor widen, while Europe has painfully navigated crisis after crisis — from the nearcollapse of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, to Brexit. Further wars in Libya and Syria have forced millions to flee their homes, fuelling populist discontent. Meanwhile, the so-called leader of the free world, Donald Trump, remorselessly feeds fear and intolerance.

With every advancement of LGBT+ rights we celebrate — the introduction of same-sex marriage in Germany, Taiwan and Ireland, and Australia’s “Yes” vote on the same subject — we witness a step back elsewhere as the community finds itself hunted down in Chechnya and Egypt.

Meanwhile, the rights of trans people are under attack in the USA. Amid all this turmoil, Canada seems an isolated haven of liberalism.

At last year’s la Francophonie, the international organisation of French-speaking nations, Trudeau openly promoted the importance of women’s and LGBT+ rights. “That’s enough. There is no excuse for such practices, for such violations of their fundamental rights,” he told a room of representatives from 80 governments.

He went on to say: “Because we’re all family here, let’s tell each other the truth. We owe them the same respect, the same rights and the same dignity as all other members of our society.”

While Trudeau’s words drew applause, he says the speeches are always hard to deliver at a gathering in which a considerable number of nations have extremely retrograde and damaging policies aimed at the LGBT+ community.

“I’ll say it and I’ll stand up for it and be very blunt about it. But inevitably, maybe not from the leaders — maybe from some leaders — but staffers and people around will say, ‘Thank you for standing up, thank you for adding that voice because it’s something that [people] need to hear’.”

Despite the challenges of winning over hearts and minds on queer issues, Trudeau is hopeful that change will come — if slowly. “The leaders are beginning to understand that the world is moving in that direction and we haven’t made it a direct condition of trade or aid or anything like that, but it’s starting to be a real pressure that you cannot continue to criminalise LGBT+ [people].”

Canada is also a progressive voice in the Commonwealth, which depressingly features more anti-queer nations than la Francophonie. Trudeau acknowledges there are huge challenges ahead in regard to encouraging these countries to begin to value all their citizens, regardless of sexuality. One solution he highlights is Canada’s aim to create an equality group at the Commonwealth, to push the issue from within. While it’s easy for these nations to gather in a grand hall and applaud each other’s calls for a better future, the conversations behind closed doors are where real opinions are shared.

“I remember an African leader said to me: ‘Justin, you spoke very well, but on the gays I just can’t go where you are’,” Trudeau confides when I ask how his comments are received in private.

“But,” he adds, “there was a recognition. [People are] blunt about it. They blame all sorts of things: society not being ready, or the Church; being a very conservative society — with a small ‘c’ — or having very traditional values.

Justin Trudeau used his appearance at la Francophonie in 2016 to openly promote women’s and LGBT+ rights.

“I think sometimes it takes friends, or allies, or partners, like another country leader, to say: ‘Give your people more credit than you have, and maybe the religious leaders don’t have the kind of impact that you think they have’.

“You need to give people a friendly nudge to move forward in the right direction, and I’m very glad to do it. But, yes, I’ve had some very candid conversations with leaders about the fact that they need to go there.”

A potential problem with the growing value placed on sexual and gender equality in Canada, Europe and Australia is how it is increasingly regarded as a creation of the West, resulting in anti-LGBT+ countries in Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East becoming more determined to protect their “traditional” way of life.

“There will always be small groups of people who have power, whether it’s religious groups, or political groups, who will protect that status quo and will resist change as it gets closer to them,” Trudeau goes on. “But I trust people, I trust citizens, and I know that the direction that we need to move is in respectful ways, in meaningful ways [and] is something that we need to keep pushing.”

One of the most violent instances of anti-queer activity came earlier this year when the horrific stories about the torture and detention of gay men started emerging from Chechnya. Assisted by LGBT+ charity Rainbow Railroad, the Canadian government quietly accepted more than 30 gay men and women fleeing the conservative Muslim region that is a federal subject of Russia. Tanya Lokshina, Russian programme director for New York-based Human Rights Watch, told one of Canada’s national newspapers, The Globe and Mail: “The Canadian government deserves much praise for showing such openness and goodwill to provide sanctuary for these people. They did the right thing.”

As Canada’s 2015 election approached, Trudeau seemed to invigorate national politics, his youthfulness and charm enthusing the population in much the same way that Tony Blair and Barack Obama did during their initial campaigns. But it wasn’t until Trudeau won the election that the world’s media took notice of the new poster boy of international politics.

It’s fair to say that despite its G8 status, most people would be hard-pressed to name any notable Canadian prime minister before Justin Trudeau, with the possible exception of his father. Again, it would be true to say a lot of the attention zeroed in on Trudeau’s dashing looks, such is the power of image in the age of social media.

Does Trudeau ever think that this attention becomes an obstacle to his message? He pauses before he answers. Admittedly, it’s a loaded question. “First of all, I am happy in a parade full of people, that’s not an image, that’s me. This is who I am. I like people. I’m someone who is comfortable in the social media world, all these things.

“What actually helps is that I’m comfortable in my own skin and that shines through. Even when I fall out of a kayak and I’m embarrassed, it ends up [with] people thinking, ‘Oh that’s just who he is, he’s out there being active’.

Photography: Christopher Wahl

“There’s no contradiction between someone who likes to get outdoors, likes to goof around with friends, and be a real person, and the hard work we do on policy, doing things right,” he explains.

Trudeau is clearly aware of the focus that is placed on his image. His response to this at the election was to put forward a platform that he believes connected with what Canadians wanted, earning their trust through policy.

“If people get too fixated on image then they’re not capturing the rest, and quite frankly, I give Canadians a lot more credit than some of my political opponents do.”

He continues: “Canadians understand the difference between what we do substantively and what ends up being image, and the fact that they’re linked around an authentic person is part of what helps. You can’t have image without substance for long; people figure that out.”

As the honeymoon period of his first term ends and the lead up to the next election begins, Trudeau’s policies and actions are starting to fall under increasing scrutiny from voters and his nation’s media. It is in the polling booths where his ability to do the job will ultimately be judged.

In the days before meeting Trudeau, I spoke to people in the LGBT+ community to hear how they see their prime minister. The majority praise Trudeau’s work and ethics. Eleazar, a waiter in his twenties who works in a cute French bistro on Rue Saint-Paul, has a unique memory of meeting the PM. “He came into our canteen at McGill University the day after he won the election and asked if he could sit with my friends and me,” Eleazar recalls.

“Everybody was a little awe-struck, but we spoke for almost an hour. He asked what our concerns and priorities were. I found it quite impressive that he took the time out to meet students and get their opinions when he could have been doing a hundred other things.”

Stephen, a young gay-venue manager from Toronto, is more critical, telling me: “It’s easy to be a great leader when the economy is doing well. He’s broken a few promises.” Helen Kennedy, the executive director of LGBT+ rights charity Egale, praises the positive actions that Trudeau has already made but raises concerns for LGBT+ equality on a more practical level.

With 23 per cent of young homeless people in Toronto identifying as queer, there is a clear issue regarding access to support for people who have to come out in less-accepting families, and those with mental health issues. Plus, the disparity of inclusive sex and relationship education in schools still leaves the relationships of LGBT+ people invisible in the school system.

Helen appeals to Trudeau to meet her team. “I always say if you’re not invited to dinner, you’re on the menu,” she says with a grin.

Meanwhile, Christian Tanguay, the executive director at Montreal’s LGBTQ+ Community Centre, says his main concern is the decreasing number of safe spaces available to young LGBT+ people, citing rising rents and gentrification as the principal factors that force centres that receive little or no government assistance to close.

Budding politician: A nine-year-old Justin Trudeau, with his father Pierre, meets Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street in 1980

He is also concerned for the many queer refugees who find sanctuary in Canada, many of whom suffer post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the difficulties they have had to face, and find little support following their arrival in a challenging new society.

The LGBT+ community in Canada still has many mountains to climb and the recent changes to legislation are just the beginning of that journey.

As Trudeau himself states, his ongoing support at Pride is indicative of the many battles still to be won.

As my time with the PM draws to an close, one of my parting questions is what he feels straight people can learn from the queer community.

“Oh God!” he exclaims. “We all have so many identities, privileges and challenges. Just learn from anyone who is different to you, understanding their challenges.

“The LGBT+ community has become emblematic of the fight for human rights. The fact that so many people have gone for so long feeling that they had to be ashamed, or hide something about their core identity to fit into society is a lesson for everyone to push against.

“Every time someone says to me, ‘Why do you still feel it’s important to walk Prides?’ [I say] it’s because there’s so much more to do, and the more that we are exposed to stories that reveal our own biases, the privileges we take for granted, that other people don’t have, the better we’ll be at standing up for other people’s rights and opportunities.”

In a world dishearteningly lacking in progressive and inspiring political leadership, Trudeau stands apart from other world leaders. Next year, when he attends the gathering of Commonwealth nations in the UK, he will be present as a champion of the international LGBT+ community, a man unashamed to be seen walking sideby-side with his LGBT+ Canadians at Pride, or working to challenge the oppression of our brothers and sisters who suffer in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and Eastern Europe.

In a world that seems fraught with fear and division, in Justin Trudeau we can be assured of one ally who’s determined to fight our corner.

Selected back issue of Attitude are available to download now here.