Canada’s prime minister apologized to LGBTQ2 community

On 28 November 2017, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau apologized for historical injustices against Canada’s LGBTQ2 community. During the Cold War, hundreds of gay men and women were fired from their government jobs and the military. Trudeau gave his address in Parliament and stated: “Today, we finally talk about Canada’s role in the systemic oppression, criminalization, and violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit communities.” According to the speech, those that suffered systematic discrimination will receive reparations and a bill is being proposed in parliament for their criminal record – many were charged with crimes for their sexuality – to be expunged. “We are all worthy of love, and deserving of respect. And whether you discover your truth at 6, at 16 or at 60, who you are is valid.”

Our logo: a re-interpretation of the knot of reconciliation

Our logo draws on the mpatapo, a West African (Adrinka) symbol for reconciliation. The original knot represents the act of peacemaking amongst conflicting parties. The segregated loop symbolizes a severed relationship between societies – a break that needs mending. This is where our research focus comes into play. Can political apologies – as one of the instruments within the transitional justice toolbox – help bridge this gap?

We thank Rosa van der Velde for designing our logo.