Over a hundred Londoners gathered at Victoria Park in support for trans and intersex rights in response to the PC Government’s recent resolution proposing to remove ‘gender identity theory’ from the Ontario Sex-Ed Curriculum.
Jai Wareham, the coordinator of the event, is a high school senior and said that the “Still Not Erased” march is a direct response showing the government that complacency is not an option. Wareham says that this action from the Ontario government is harmful to queer communities as the communities affected are people that exist.
“It’s dangerous because it brings forward people that have very extreme ideologies. You see that with Trump, he’s brought forward a lot of people who are so extreme and I’m really scared of the same thing happening with Doug Ford and there are already people who aren’t being the best about LGBTQ issues.”
The trans community is statistically more likely to be targets of LGBTQ-based violence and Wareham also pointed out that their community was violently attacked during a previous march by an individual who did not agree with the purpose of the event. Wareham says that although being scared of those in opposition is ‘giving what they want,’ safety is the number one concern.
Tanya McRae is a support worker and facilitator for the YOU Belong group that provides a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth or allies where individuals can discuss issues of interest. McRae says that a lot of the youth that she works with come from unsupportive backgrounds.
As a response to the consideration to remove gender identity and related topics from the curriculum, she says that this education is vital. She argues that education as it is already is inadequate,
“There is not enough education whatsoever around these areas there are so many people that have no idea what they’re talking about [..] education is what teaches people what is right and what is wrong. We [could] actually educate people so they have the proper knowledge on what transgender individuals go through, what it means, and the science behind it.”
Overall, a point that both McRae and Wareham made were that they are peaceful in their events in trying to ensure that people are aware that trans and non-binary individuals exist and won’t be erased.