TORONTO – A transgender help group in northern Ontario is honouring LGBTQ veterans on Remembrance Day for his or her sacrifices in previous wars. 

Rita Olink, a member of the TG Innerselves group and chair of Northern Ontario Pride Network, will assist lay a wreath with a Pride flag to honour LGBTQ veterans on the cenotaph on the Onaping Falls Community Centre in Sudbury, Ont., on Monday.

“We’ve lived in oppression for so long and it’s so nice to finally come out into the daylight and say ‘us too, we contributed to the freedom that everyone enjoys today,’” Olink advised InternetNews Channel Sunday. Olink had six members of the family – her father and 5 uncles – serve in the Second World War.

For troopers stationed abroad in previous wars, sending and receiving letters from family members was a routine, however Olink factors out: “if you were gay, how could you possibly get a love letter from home? How could you even talk about your loved ones?”

“They served in silence, but they served,” she stated. “They were wounded and they died just like everyone else. But they had to do so quietly.”

In November 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued an emotional apology in the House of Commons for the federal authorities’s previous remedy of the LGBTQ neighborhood.

“It is with shame and sorrow and deep regret for the things we have done that I stand here today and say: We were wrong. We apologize. I am sorry. We are sorry,” stated Trudeau.

TG Innerselves laid a wreath final 12 months on Remembrance Day in honour of LGBTQ veterans for the primary time. Olink hopes that it turns into a norm in the approaching years.

“I’m looking forward to the day that this is a normal part of Remembrance Day ceremonies across Canada,” she stated.

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