According to estimates, up to 10% of the population of Saskatoon is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or queer (LGBTQ). LGBTQ people still face discrimination in many sectors of society although that discrimination is lessening as society comes to realize that LGBTQ people are really no different than the rest of the population. They are family members, neighbours, co-workers, the nurses or doctors taking care of our health, our teachers, the clerk at the grocery store or the police officer walking the beat. LGBTQ people make significant positive contributions to the quality of life in Saskatoon.
Unfortunately, LGBTQ people still experience a higher rate of hate crimes directed at them than do the average citizen. Because of the fear of stigmatization, these crimes are generally under-reported. The Saskatoon Police Service is working to develop mechanisms to record and track hate and bias crimes, and is working to encourage LGBTQ people to file a report when they have been the victim of a hate or bias crime.
The LGBTQ members of the Saskatoon Police Advisory Committee On Diversity work to build understanding, trust and communication between the LGBTQ community and the police. They provide education to the police on the facts of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or queer as well as on the numerous issues that LGBTQ people face in the community. Officers from the Saskatoon Police Service have participated in events occurring in the LGBTQ community. These actions are helping to improve communications and strengthen relationships between the LGBTQ community and the police.
The Saskatoon Police Service officially opened a public, gender-neutral washroom in the lobby of the headquarters building on September 22, 2016. The washroom is available to any person regardless of their gender expression or gender identity. Plans are also in place to provide diversity training to members of the SPS, with a focus on how to make spaces safer and more inclusive for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) staff and the public. Pictured here are Chief Clive Weighill, Rachel Loewen Walker, Executive Director of OUTSaskatoon, and Miki Mappin, Board Member of TransSask Support Services Inc.
LGBTQ people can also be the victims of domestic violence by being physically, verbally, financially, emotionally or sexually assaulted, threatened, harassed or stalked by a partner or ex-partner. Police in Saskatoon have been educated on same-sex domestic abuse and LGBTQ people are encouraged to report such incidences. If you feel you have been discriminated against or mistreated because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, please call 306-975-2278.
The Saskatoon Police Service recruits from all diverse communities. To learn more about a career in policing, visit our Recruiting page.
"It Gets Better" video - produced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (BC)
"It Gets Better" video - produced by the San Francisco Police Department