Ajax Library Welcomes LGBT Community

Durham, ON, Canada / channel12

The Ajax Public library wants everyone to feel welcomed in its space regardless of a person’s sexual orientation.

Ajax Public Library users will notice a new logo displayed on a sticker leading into the main branch.

The Positive Space logo was unveiled Monday afternoon.

Library Manager of Public Services, Cindy Poon says the library is proud to become designated as a positive space.

“We decided to make the designation formalized to let the public know and especially the LGBTQ community aware of their welcoming and our staff understand all the issues and concerns and we’re here to serve everyone.”

The library received the designation after meeting standards that identify its branches as spaces where human rights are respected and where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited as well as asexual, and their friends and families are welcome and supported.

Poon admits they’ve faced some challenges in the past.  She said one man used to visit the library wearing dresses.  Another patron, a father, complained to staff.

“Why my children has to be seeing this behaviour.  I said well it’s not really a behaviour issue.  It’s a human rights issue, anyone can wear anything as long as they have outfit on and we welcoming them.”

Poon says one of the library’s strategic priorities is to ensure customers have a welcoming space to interact and meet with others or to read or work quietly.  Patron Cecil Ramnauth likes the idea.

“It is part of who we are and what we are and to be inclusive is the Canadian spirit of welcoming, of living together, of understanding each other and this is really the basis of creating vibrant communities.”

The library announcement comes as gender issues continue to make headlines south of the border.

Canadian Bryan Adams recently canceled a show in Mississippi after the state passed a new religious liberty law which allows religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay people.

In North Carolina, rocker Bruce Springsteen canceled a show over a similar law which requires transgender people to use washrooms based on their biological sex. The law also prohibits lawsuits for any type of workplace discrimination.

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