Bill C-16. Passed!

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Photo credit: (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Today the Canadian Senate passed Bill C-16!!

This bill adds gender identity and gender expression as protected grounds to the Canadian Human Rights Code, and correspondingly changes the Criminal Code allowing protection to trans and gender non-conforming people experiencing discrimination, harassment and hate crimes.

Today, my trans child is now protected and has equal rights to my cis-gender child.  Both my children have equal rights and protections in the eyes of the law of our country.  As a parent, this means SO much to me.  We’ve advocated for this.  Our community has advocated for this.  Our community members across the country have advocated for this. For years, these proposed protections have been struck down and previous bills died on the floors of Parliament.

Today I’m proud to say that my country has become a better and safer place.  Today I’m proud to say that my country is leading the way, demonstrating globally the value of tolerance, diversity and equality.

Thank you Canada!  Thank you advocates in the trans* community! Thank you those who have come before us, trans folks who risked their own safety to fight for the rights of the trans* community.

Today, I am a thankful parent.  Thankful that my trans child will be growing up in a better, safer, more respectful world.  Today, we witnessed a historic moment.

Trans rights are human rights.

No words.

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I don’t have words to express my thoughts and feelings today.  50 queer folks shot, and as many as 50 more injured, in a mass shooting in Orlando.

It saddens me, as a queer person and as a human being, to think that I live in a world that is  filled with deadly homophobia and transphobia.  And let’s not forget racism and Islamophobia.  Please remember that the majority of folks killed and injured were queer People of Colour and the shooter is likely to be vilified as a Muslim terrorist, rather than a homophobic misogynist.

It’s terrifying to think about the magnitude of this crime, the number of lives impacted.  Marginalized folks, trying to relax, share love and have a great night in what they thought was a “safe space.”

I don’t really know what to say.  I’ve been disturbed and upset by the oppressive, ignorant and transphobic laws that are being passed and debated in some USA states.   The fact that governments think these types of bathroom laws are protecting people would be laughable, if it weren’t so damn offensive.  When governments stir up hate…it’s a dangerous situation.   Transgender folks just want to pee in peace.   Just like those queer folks in Orlando just wanted to dance with friends and loved ones and enjoy a Saturday night out.

At the end of the day, transphobia and homophobia don’t make a lot of sense.  Neither does racism.  I won’t start with that “all people are the same” nonsense.  No, people aren’t all the same.  People have different lived experiences. People have different paths and different options.  But that’s okay, it’s great, it’s a wonderful thing.  Diversity  should be celebrated.  It shouldn’t be erased with a colour blind attitude, and it shouldn’t be erased through violence.  Diversity should not be feared.

You can’t make a rainbow with only one colour.   You can’t bake a cake with only one ingredient.  You can’t solve every problem using one approach.

Diversity is what gives humanity it’s strength and resilience. All people’s voices must be heard, and that often means that dominant groups need to speak more quietly and listen carefully.

Oh, and ban guns.