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Canadians came out in force to rally for trans kids against forced outing policy

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A float in the 2022 Riverside Pride parade in Jacksonville, Florida Photo: Shutterstock

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan has become the latest battleground over the rights of transgender people.

After conservatives in the local government passed a bill requiring schools to out trans children to their parents, residents poured out in support of the trans community. The law would require parental consent for kids to request that schools use their chosen name or preferred pronouns.

Protests occurred in the regional cities Saskatoon, Regina, and Lloydminster in opposition to the policy. Hundreds attended, including trans kids and their supportive families.

“Kids are full humans. They’re not partial humans. They have the same rights as any other human, and those rights cannot be trumped or overridden by the political whims and desires of adults. There is just way too much at stake,” Saskatoon city councilor Mairin Loewen told a group of protesters.

“There is a power (and) safety and freedom that is created when kids can be themselves, truly and authentically; when they can share the names and pronouns of their choosing,” said Loewen.

“Ultimately, we all need this. We all need this sense of safety and freedom in order to be ourselves and to become ourselves, which is a lifelong process. For kids who don’t have this safe space at home, having this safe space at school is so critical.… It’s so tragic to think about schools being removed from the landscape of places where kids can be themselves,” they continued.

“The evidence is clear,” Loewen added. “This legislation is harmful. Expert after expert has been emerging to identify the risks of this legislation, and the very real harms it will create.”

“With the new legislation, more students will face this — and worse — with no choice in the matter,” rally co-organizer Blake Tait told the Saskatoon StarPheonix. “No opportunity to go at their own pace. … Youth are going back into the closet, and youth are terrified for the lives of their friends.”

The defenders have no intention of backing down either.

“We are a community built on protest and standing up for what is right,” he said.

“I just feel angry that anybody could believe that punishing children for expressing themselves could possibly be a good thing,” one 15-year-old protester told the paper. “I would like everyone to realize that trans people are truly hurting nobody. They’re simply making people who feel like they should have control over everyone around them uncomfortable.”

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