MONTRÉAL, May 16, 2018 – Interligne, the first response centre providing help and information to those concerned with sexual orientation and gender diversity, received more than 20 000 service requests in 2017-2018, a 30% increase from last year. Rejection, solitude and isolation are at the heart of the sharing heard over the helpline.
“If this increase is partly due to the launch of our night service and text messaging service, it definitely shows how there was a lack to make up for,” explains Pascal Vaillancourt, Executive Director of Interligne. “During the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, it is important to remember that, despite advances, there is still a lot of awareness to raise,” he adds.
“The population tends to underestimate the difficulties encountered by LGBTQ+ people,” adds Mireille St-Pierre, Services Coordinator. Day after day, the staff on the listening line observes that homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia are very real in Québec. Their impacts are manifested by the high percentage of the requests for help (85%) in relation to the requests for information. In 2017-2018, Interligne also saw an increase in calls from trans people. The five most frequent reasons to call Interligne are:
- Rejection, solitude and isolation (20 %)
- Discovery, questioning and acceptance of sexual orientation or gender identity (11 %)
- Intimate or loving relationships (11 %)
- Psychological health (11 %)
- Family and friend relationships (11 %)
In a contribution to raising awareness and encouraging individuals to ask for help, Sophie Paradis, Simon Boulerice, Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay and Nicolas Ouellet have recently accepted to join the team of Interligne’s spokespersons. They shared a few words on their vision of LGBTQ+ realities and the reason for their involvement with Interligne. Here are some excerpts:
“I think that what I would say to those who think that there are no more prejudices regarding sexual orientation in Québec […] is that there have been improvements because that’s what societies do, we improve, we progress. But to go as far as saying that it no longer exists is a little heretic, in my opinion. We still have to continue our work.” – Nicolas Ouellet
“Becoming a spokesperson for Interligne today is extremely important for me because there are still many people who are in distress because they are struggling and they are not able to get out of their shell and live. So, if I could help bring some hope to some people, it would be “mission accomplished.” – Sophie Paradis
“I see myself, back when I was a teenager, and I was very fragile. I always felt the judgement that others had about me. I think that we have evolved. […] I often visit schools and what I see is far from what I went through. And it’s very reassuring, in fact. But I know that inside of some of them, it’s not going well at all. In some cases, there is real helplessness because there is latent homophobia, subtle and insidious, that’s ongoing.” – Simon Boulerice
“I experienced a lot of bullying in high school because, being a trans woman, I didn’t really fit in with people’s expectations. […] I became a spokesperson for Interligne because I think it is important that my trans community can identify with this service and confide without fear.” – Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay
View the video clips at: http://interligne.co/en/spokespersons/
On May 17, Pascal Vaillancourt, Executive Director of Interligne and Sophie Paradis, spokesperson for Interligne, will hold an information booth at the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), located at 1601 de Lorimier Avenue in Montréal.
Support Interligne: Michel Tremblay: Beyond the Words
To continue helping as many people as possible, Interligne needs help. On June 3, 2018, the public is invited to support Interligne by participating in the watercolour auction Michel Tremblay: Beyond the Words. More than 250 watercolours will be auctioned at this event, which will take place at the Saint-Nom-de-Marie boarding school in Montréal. Michel Tremblay and Interligne’s spokespersons will be at the event to welcome the participants. http://interligne.co/en/micheltremblay/
Maryse Bézaire – Director of Communications
Interligne (formerly Gai Écoute)
514 866 6788 ext. 129 or 514 738-7322
- Photos and video clips: Interligne spokespersons: http://interligne.co/en/spokespersons/
- Video clip: Interligne – The Inner Voice: https://youtu.be/hZLAt8kwdVo
- Helpline: 1 888 505-1010