The Anti Trans Campaign Mobilizes Hate Against Everyone's Democratic Rights
By John Wilson - The ongoing right-wing campaign against trans rights and trans kids and youths has been generated by an avalanche of lies and slanders. These have been picked up by opportunist politicians looking to attract more of the bigot vote to their base, amplified ceaselessly by the growing hard-right sector of the corporate media. Even sectors of the corporate media thought of as "liberal" repeat them mostly without even examining the most obvious lies and distortions. All in the name of "free speech" and "balance" of course, terms that never apply, to ignoring leftist candidates in elections or non- coverage of major events. It is important for trans rights supporters to be aware of these issues.
"Parental rights" was the watchword of the ludicrously misnamed 1-Million March, and that of its much smaller successor. It has no basis in existing law. It reflects the concept that parents own their children; an idea openly put forward by many in the original "March". What about the rights of children? They don't exist according to these people. But even existing law says otherwise.
In the not that distant past, arguably the most outrageous example of "parental rights" was the attempt of the Jehovah's Witnesses to claim that they had the right to deny their children the right to blood transfusions on the basis of some obscure biblical reference, even when that denial could result in the death of the child. Courts totally rejected their claim at least twice (the last time in 2017) and ordered the hospitals to perform the transfusions.
The barrage of anti-trans propaganda has already resulted in three provinces (New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta) passing legislation denying the rights of trans youth. Teachers are required to notify parents about changes to pronouns wanted by students under 18. Essentially teachers are required to act as informants on their students; their training and experience ignored by right-wing governments which are hostile to teachers in the first place. There are legal challenges underway which may be promising but are subject to very time consuming appeals. As you are well aware, such governments are endlessly willing to waste millions of our money to pursue appeals that have no realistic chance of success. But already teachers in Saskatchewan are considering ignoring these laws, and this will likely spread to other provinces.
On the federal scene, the ever opportunistic Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has now embraced anti-trans politics as well. No surprise there.
But the anti-queer, anti-trans bigots aren't satisfied, they want more. They demand control of what is taught to their children. And all children for that matter.
They have attacked sex curricula as being intended to "sexualize" their kids and facilitate "grooming", again raising the time-worn slander that queer people are out to get their kids. And they're the same people who organize "protests" against drag shows, which include intimidation and even physical attacks. Tearing down and/or burning Pride flags is another of their activities.
They rely on fear to intimidate people and lie like there is no tomorrow. Gender transitioning is attacked as "dangerous" despite the fact that the percentage of those de-transitioning(without surgery) is low. Even when transitioning involves surgery, those de-transitioning are only 1%, according to scientific research. Puberty blockers, claimed to cause sterilization, have been declared by scientists to have no irreversible side effects. They are a temporary procedure.
What all this demonstrates is that the anti-trans campaign and the forces behind it are dangerous. Dangerous to democratic rights and to the working class. Defeating it will require determined and consistent mass mobilization against it by unions, the NDP, social movements, trans activists, all of us.
Photo: People protest outside a Netflix office in Los Angeles, during a walkout over a recent comedy special by Dave Chappelle. The special has been criticized for anti-transgender comments and comes at a time when some members of the trans community are feeling under fire by coverage in the media. (Damian Dovarganes/The Associated Press)