In the summer of 2016, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made history as the country’s first leader to march at a Gay Pride event.
Now, the Liberal Party politician is marking another milestone as Canada’s first Prime Minister to appear on the cover of an international LGBT magazine.
In a world exclusive interview and shoot in the January issue of Attitude – available to download and in shops from Friday 8 December – Mr Trudeau, 45, opens up about the growing fear and division in world politics, equality, his first two years in office, and how his work at a student sexual assault centre shaped his political career.
“If you allay people’s anxieties and fears about their own economic future, about their jobs and about their kids’ futures, it’s easier to build a cohesive, inclusive and positive society,” he says.
“The politics of fear and division don’t work that well.”
Arguably the world’s most pro-LGBT political leader, Mr Trudeau invited Attitude to spend the the inaugural ‘Canada Pride 2017’ in his hometown of Montreal with him in August, where he famously marched alongside Ireland’s first openly gay Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and his partner.
Mr Trudeau tells tells Attitude: “The LGBT+ community has become emblematic of the fight for human rights. The fact that so many people have gone for so long feeling that they had to be ashamed, or hide something about their core identity to fit into society is a lesson for everyone to push against.
“Every time someone says to me, ‘Why do you still feel it’s important to walk Prides?’ [I say] it’s because there’s so much more to do, and the more that we are exposed to stories that reveal our own biases, the privileges we take for granted, that other people don’t have, the better we’ll be at standing up for other people’s rights and opportunities.”
The Canadian leader’s appearance on the cover of Attitude comes just days after he issued a heartfelt apologised for the historic persecution of gay people in Canada, and introduced previously-announced legislation to pardon those convicted of historic gay sex offences.
“Attitude is honoured to have been invited to join Justin Trudeau at the inaugural Canada Pride event,” says Attitude Editor Cliff Joannou.
“At a time when too many countries in the West face division and conflict, Canada is a shining example of how diversity and inclusion can build a stronger, more cohesive nation.”