Although Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said that he does not plan to “go forward” with a motion set to debate gender identity, the topic has sparked pain and fear for the transgender community.
“It’s devastating to me…This creates a dangerous atmosphere. I don’t care if he said he wouldn’t act on it. It’s out there. That sentiment is out there and that creates a validation for transphobic violence,” said Layne Clarke, Ally Western coordinator.
Despite today marking Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resistance, a day used to honour and demand justice for the lives of those who have been lost to transphobic violence, the day has been upstaged by the language used by the PC government this past weekend.
At a party convention, Tanya Granic Allen, a parental rights advocate, called gender identity a “Liberal ideology” and asked for it to be removed for the Ontario sex-veryducation curriculum. Delegates at the convention voted in favour of debating the topic at next year’s party gathering. However, at a press conference on Monday, Ford halted the motion.
“I’m not moving with that,” he told reporters.
Rosa Kalliokoski, PrideWestern coordinator, is in the early stages of transitioning. She says the provincial government’s talks over gender identity, not only invalidate her experience, but is an example of a “classic foot-in-the-door technique.”
“Even if they don’t act on it now, they might do it in a year from now. It’s the first-step in destroying our community,” she said.
Layne Clarke, Ally Western coordinator, believes more work needs to be done in having more people support the transgender community.
“Trying isn’t enough…Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resistance exists because trans people are being murdered every day. Saying ‘I believe trans people deserve the right to exist’ isn’t enough. You have to take action to support your trans neighbours,” they added.
— Sofia Rodriguez (@SofiaXFMNews) November 20, 2018