Life has no smooth road for any of us; and in the bracing atmosphere of a high aim the very roughness stimulates the climber to steadier steps, till the legend, over steep ways to the stars, fulfills itself.

W. C. Doane

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ad in the National Post....I am appalled

I don’t have much time to write about this but i did want to post this in as many of my networks as possible. An enraging and disgusting ad was run on September 19th 2011 in the National Post by a the right leaning Christian group "Institute for Canadian Values" asking that children not be taught to question their sex, gender or sexuality, particularly in the classroom. The National Post has since released an apology, and are donating money to an LGBTQ organization. I am nonetheless horrified and disgusted.  The damage has already been done and to apologize for it now does nothing to diminish the fact that it was published in the first place. I just want to clarify that when i mention that this ad was placed by a Christian group it is not an attack on any religion, but on people who use religion to as a means to discriminate against others. These are not part of the teachings of any scripture.

According to Loschiavo, The National Post, Senior Account Director they “generally wouldn’t run this [and will] probably take a stance on not running it again.” As a reader I am completely dissatisfied with this ridiculous excuse for an apology. Was that really any way to take accountability for their actions? He goes on to defend these actions by stating “We obviously don’t want to offend anyone, but I also understand that everyone has a freedom of speech” How shocking that a member of the public media would hide behind our basic rights to free speech. While I very strongly believe in those rights I believe just as strongly that we should not abuse it by spreading hate and this ad was very clearly an act of discrimination and bigotry. The use of a little girl, asking the reader not to confuse her is manipulative. It insinuates that you should never explore or question your sexuality and that children dont have the intelligence to make deductions of their own. The ad also advocates to end LGBTQ inclusive curriculums in Toronto schools,  quoting directly from the Toronto District School Board Curriculum resource document called “Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism,” which suggest that several optional lessons to become mandatory.

When groups hiding behind “Canadian family values” push for the reduction of education surrounding issues their children will deal with throughout their lifetime, not only within themselves but amongst their peers, you deny them the tools they require to understand and cope with these situations as they present themselves throughout the course of one's life. Allowing these children the space to explore the ideas of non-traditional family structures, gender and sexual identities in safe(r) environment such as a classroom, creates a normalization of such notions which can then prevent confusion later in life. It by no means forces children to adopt these values, it simply opens their eyes to different ways living. It is oppressive to silence the voices of the vast population we have in this beautiful country, and to use “Canadian family values” can only be seen in my eyes as a form of cultural appropriation. Those are not the values this great nation teaches.

The Canada I live in , does not promote homophobia and in fact teaches acceptance in having laws that allow for same sex marriage. My Canada is not transphobic, it certainly isn’t perfect however does cover sex reassignment surgery in several provinces. This includes hysterectomies, mastectomies chest contouring for womyn wishing to become men in Ontario Quebec and BC (other surgeries are covered in other provinces). For men who wish to become womyn, in Quebec, Ontario, Sakatchewan and BC  they are eligible for coverage for a penectomy, orchiectomy (removal of testicles), and vaginoplasty. Though our system is far from perfect, I feel as thought this country makes great strides towards progressive values. The Canada I know and love says that discrimination against anyone based on sexuality is punishable by law.

I will end my post with this, a quote from an article on Gawker “Am I shocked and outraged that this ad ran? No. Not really. This is the same awful, religious-tinged advertising that gay [and trans] people have been subjected to for years and that some news outlet or another is always willing to run. Am I surprised? No. Saddened. Yes.”

If you or anyone you know is looking for information regarding SRS this is a great starting point. It's not the most official place to look but it has all your basic information in one area:

The Original ad places in the paper

A Closer look at what exactly it says...

Trans activist Chase Joynt launched a spoof ad. in response...

Again a closer look.... The bottom part is exactly the same so all you need to see is this

Just a few stats showing why we need an inclusive education system:

33.2% of transgender youth have attempted suicide. (Clements-Nolle K., Marx R., Katz M. 2006).

55% of transgender youth report being physically attacked. (GLSEN. 2003)

74% of transgender youth reported being sexually harassed at school, and 90% of transgender youth reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression. (GLSEN. 2001)

In a survey of 403 transgender people, 78% reported having been verbally harassed and 48% reported having been victims of assault, including assault with a weapon, sexual assault or rape. (Wilchins, R., Lombardi, E., Priesing, D. and Malouf, D. (1997)

If you’re interested in reading the apology:

Where I got alot of my information: