As protests against drag queen story hours in Canada intensify, some cities have imposed laws to prohibit these demonstrations. However, the Canadian federal government has continued to lend its support to events like the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), which celebrates transgender people’s contributions to society and raises awareness of the discrimination they face globally.
The TDOV was established by U.S. transgender activist Rachel Crandall of Michigan in 2009 to address the lack of recognition of transgender people. Since then, the Canadian federal government and the City of Toronto have supported the event, and this year is no exception.
The new “Safe and Inclusive Access Bylaw” in Calgary disallows “specified protests” inside and outside all city-owned and affiliated public buildings. This includes protests against LGBTQ events held at public facilities like drag queen story hours. The bylaw means that pastors or concerned parents protesting against such events will be barred from getting within 100 meters of any such location.
Meanwhile, in Toronto, the TDOV is set to take place, dedicated to celebrating transgender people and their contributions to society. It is expected that the Canadian federal government will continue to show its support for this annual global event.
The TDOV will be held a day before the “Trans Day of Vengeance,” scheduled to take place outside the U.S. Supreme Court from March 31 to April 1. This event comes after a mass shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, by a transgender assailant who identifies as male. Audrey Hale, a former student of a Christian Covenant School, killed six people, including three children, before being fatally shot by police.
In Calgary, Christian pastor Derek Reimer was arrested and charged for protesting a children’s drag queen story hour at a public library a few weeks ago. He was released from jail after signing bail papers to attend to an urgent medical condition. However, he was re-arrested after he appeared to breach his bail conditions by protesting the new bylaw that bans the type of demonstrations that caused his initial arrest. Reimer has since been released on bail a second time and is scheduled to appear in court today.
In conclusion, TDOV plays an essential role in celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of the discrimination they face. Despite some cities’ attempts to prohibit certain demonstrations, the Canadian government’s support for events like the TDOV highlights the importance of creating a safe and inclusive environment for all members of society.