CBRC Summit 2021: Disrupt and Reconstruct
October 27 - October 29
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge disruptions and innovations, alongside significant loss, preventable death and increased criminalization. Measures previously thought impossible – large-scale income supports, stay-at-home orders, restrictions on travel – were swiftly implemented. Now, as vaccination rates rise and cases fall across Canada, a growing sense of optimism is emerging about a “return to normal.” Yet reactions range as restrictions ease, depending on what our lives looked like before and during the pandemic.
For many gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit and queer (GBT2Q) people, that reclamation of the status quo does not inspire hope. We’ve spent decades pushing back against a so-called “universal” health care system that has often failed our communities – even more so for those of us impacted by systemic and intersecting oppression based on race, income, ability and more. The pandemic, in many ways, amplified the injustices and inequities embedded within our systems and society. Rather than a “return to normal,” we must leverage the disruption caused by COVID-19 to re-imagine a system that addresses the gaps in care that existed before the pandemic and were heightened during it.
This includes addressing persisting gaps like:
- The uneven coverage of, and access to, critically important care, including medications to treat and prevent HIV/STBBIs, gender-affirming care, mental health and harm reduction services, and more.
- The lack of cultural competency in our healthcare system, including providers who often know little to nothing about our bodies, sexual relationships and drug use, and who are unable to understand the importance of our pronouns and partners.