PrideHouse Toronto has announced plans to ensure next year's Pan American Games are the most inclusive multi-sport games in history for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) athletes, coaches, trainers, spectators and visitors.
The plans, which have received the full support of the Province of Ontario, City of Toronto, lead partner CIBC bank, and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organising Committee, are hoped to make athletes from all 41 countries feel at home when they make the trip to Canada next year.
PrideHouse Toronto hopes its plans will allow athletes to feel like they can be themselves on the field of play and in the Athletes' Village, and let spectators who attend events know they will not be subjected to homophobic jeers and language.
"Given that 11 Pan American nations competing at the Toronto 2015 Games still criminalise LGBTQ activity, it's important to send the message that there is a place for all in sport," said PrideHouse Toronto spokesperson Ryan Tollofson.
"Along with public art projects, the PrideHouse Pavilion will be a safe welcoming space for people to watch these Games, and learn about LGBTQ participation in sport as well as human rights in the Americas."
PrideHouse Toronto is also building on the energy and excitement of the Toronto 2015 Games to issue a call to action to make sport inclusive at school and community levels across the province.
Trained PrideHouse ambassadors are activating regional celebrations to promote LGBTQ inclusion in sport through panel discussions, sports days and film nights.
An educational outreach programme to elementary schools across the province will be launched in April 2015.
For further details on PrideHouse Toronto's plans for the Pan American Games, click here.
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