Once upon a time, Canada had a reputation for being a country filled to the brim with kindness and acceptance. Unfortunately, it seems like we are drifting further and further away from this once beloved reputation. Marginalized groups have been attacked and discriminated against for years now, and with the election cycle coming up, it seems one group in particular is being targeted as the go-to topic to debate over in order to win votes—that is the transgender community.


For years now, transgender individuals simply existing has sparked countless debates when it comes to their right to live as their authentic selves. Ranging from whom should be allowed to play on what sports team, to who gets to use what bathroom. The conversations were countless but for the most part they were just that, conversations. That was up until recently, when policies and bills are being created to make the existence of transgender people even more difficult and terrifying.


For example, you have policies in provinces such as New Brunswick and Alberta which forcibly outs trans kids to their parents regardless of their home life. It also creates and fosters an uncomfortable environment for said students to exist in, straining the mental health of trans youth. 


Adding to the existing anti trans policies that are being rolled out, politicians like Pierre Poilievre, the leader of the Conservative party, intend to add more harmful policies.


Some such examples include the exclusion of children from gender affirming care until they are 18, stating on February 7th, “Puberty blockers for minors? I think we should protect children and their ability to make adult decisions when they’re adults.”


“I think we should protect the rights of parents to make their own decisions with regards to their children.”


In another interview, asked if he planned on introducing legislation banning transgender women from female spaces if elected prime minister, Poilievre responded, “A lot of the spaces … are provincially and municipally controlled, so it is unclear … what reach federal legislation would have to change them.”


“But obviously female sports, female change rooms, female bathrooms should be for females, not for biological males.”


Statements like these coming from the Conservative party leader, alongside anti-trans policies, it is clear that transphobic rhetoric is on the rise. With that comes violence against that transgender community. 


Transgender people both young and old, want to exist as their authentic selves. Yet day by day that option is being aggressively torn away from them. If Canada wants to return to being recognized as a country of peace, it begins with protecting and supporting marginalized groups, such as the transgender community.

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