Today Egale recognizes the 35th anniversary of the Toronto bathhouse raids, a day when Police raided four bathhouses in Toronto and arrested over three hundred men solely on the grounds of their sexual orientation.. The operation, code-named Operation Soap, marked a turning point in Canadian LGBTQ history, prompting mass protests and rallies which are widely considered to be the seeds of Toronto’s now world-renowned Pride Week festival.

While much has changed in Canada since 1981 in terms of LGBTQ rights, we must take pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by many in the name of advancing human rights in Canada. We must also acknowledge the work still left to accomplish in creating a fair and just society for all to enjoy. LGBTQ people still suffer violence, hate, and discrimination based solely on their sexual orientation and gender identity, and continue to find themselves marginalized by society at an alarming frequency.