Friday, June 16, 2017

LGBT Rights and the Trudeau Legacy

After fighting for years for their human rights, and having to endure the most disgusting discrimination and violence, this was a good week for transgendered Canadians.

A few days ago at a ceremony to mark Pride Month, they saw their flag raised on Parliament Hill for the first time.

And yesterday they finally got their transgender bill of rights. 

Transgender Canadians will soon have the same human rights protections as everyone else, after the government's attempt to add gender identity to the Canadian Human Rights Act passed in the Senate Thursday afternoon.

And for both of those things they can thank Justin Trudeau.

Who isn't letting bigots, or religious fanatics like Andrew Scheer, stop him from trying to heal the pain and the anger of years of discrimination.

In the midst of national Pride celebrations, the federal government announced new plans to expunge criminal convictions against Canadians once charged with crimes based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

But is willing to apologize to those who were brutalized by the state just for who they are or were, and who they loved.

And by so doing help those who are still being victimized by cowardly bullies.

Transgender youth experience bullying at much higher rates than their cisgender (non-transgender) peers. Indeed, a 2015 University of British Columbia study of 923 transgender youth in Canada found that more than one in three younger had been physically threatened or injured in the past year (36 per cent) and nearly half of older youth reported various types of cyberbullying. 

Given that many of these kids also experience homelessness, poverty and, in some cases, familial rejection, it's little wonder that 65 per cent of younger participants in the study had seriously considered suicide and one-third had attempted it at least once.

And at a time when gay rights are under assault all over the world, is making Canada proud.

As well as being without a doubt the best prime minister the LGBT community has ever known...

Except of course for his dad, who fifty years ago introduced a controversial omnibus bill to decriminalize abortion and homosexuality. 

If Pierre Trudeau was around today I'm sure he would be angered by the way his son is attacked by some of the rabid Trudeau haters in this country.

I'm sure he would understand, like I do, that much of that hate is caused by Justin's support for gay rights and the rights of women.

And I'm also sure that he would wish that his son had more of a mean streak, like he did, to put those haters in their place.

But Justin is doing it his way, and doing it very well, with an exuberance even Pierre could not match...

So I'm pretty sure his old man would be really proud of him... 

Justin and Pierre.

Two great prime ministers.

And one great rainbow coloured legacy....


  1. Anonymous11:41 AM

    As well as being without a doubt the best prime minister the LGBT community has ever known...

    Not sure about that, Simon. I'm willing to bet that Harper had more members of the LGBT community in his cabinet, staff and home than Trudeau has.

    1. Hi anon...I don't know how many closet queens Harper had in his cabinet, but none of them did anything to advance the cause of LGBT rights. On the contrary, he stealthily discriminated against against gay people from the day he came to office....

    2. Anonymous5:10 PM

      @ anon 11:41

      You mean Leitch the Screech, the deplorable xenophobe and white nationalist? She wouldn't pass her own "Canadian values" test. A more articulate, female version of Trump, but a Trump acolyte nonetheless. Canada's version of Ann Coulter.

      Ezra Levant's hate cult is her fan club, and probably the only advertiser they'll have left if Sleeping Giants is as successful in their #GrabYourWallet campaign as they've been with Not-So-Bright-Bart.

    3. Anonymous5:39 PM

      That was some pretty stealthy discrimination, because I didn't see it and I found fault with Harper at the drop of a hat.

      Far from discriminating against gays, Harper actively surrounded himself with and promoted "single white males," as the euphemism went. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, helped gay men and women escape discrimination in Iran. Jason Kenney, Minister of Defence. Ray Novak, Harper's consigliere, lived over the garage at Stornoway. Nigel Wright engineered the Duffy payoff. And let's not forget Laureen, holed up at the Chateau Laurier. There are probably a few others I've missed.

      In fact, if I had to guess, I'd say Harper is likely gay, but given his church and party unable to express it. A sad existence really.

      But what about Justin? How many LGBT members surround him? I see a load of symbolism, but not much substance. Marching in a pride parade, big whoop for a Liberal in this day and age. Same with the trans bill, since discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation are already against the law. It's all symbolism, which Harper actively eschewed. But given a choice between symbolism and power, I'll go with the latter every time.

    4. Hi anon 5:39 you can compare Harper and Trudeau on the issue of gay rights is beyond belief. Harper forced a second vote on gay marriage which on a matter of human rights was simply outrageous. He also cut funding to anything that had the word LGBT in it. And let's not forget that he fought to prevent LGBT people from being protected from hate crimes. As for whether he was surrounded by closet queens that means nothing, and only makes his lack of action only more disgusting. And as for Justin many of his acts may be symbolic, but to an oppressed community symbolism means a lot. For a LGBT teenager to see a prime minister in a Pride Parade means the world. And unlike the Harper regime, the Liberals are also doing something about bullying, which remains a huge problem. So your argument makes absolutely no sense...

  2. Anonymous12:26 PM

    This is why I get so upset when people say Trudeau is Harper. That is some extreme hyper privilege.

    1. Hi anon....people who say Trudeau is Harper are suffering from some kind of mental illness, or dementia. And the most disgusting are those so-called "progressives" Trudeau haters who are nothing but Cons....

    2. Anonymous2:35 PM

      They are suffering from extreme privilege. They want to burn it down to the ground so they can play revolutionary. No thought about those who would suffer.

  3. Anonymous2:28 PM

    PET tolerated homosexuals, as long as they weren't in the military, RCMP, the civil service or frankly do anything important.

    1. Hi anon....Trudeau stopped gay people from being sent to prison, which was a monumental achievement. And what made it even more praiseworthy was that he was a devout Catholic. Did institutional anti-gay bigotry continue even after his omnibus bill finally passed? Yes. But the stage was set for a new and better era...

  4. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Point well taken about the trolls, Simon. I lost count of how many troglodytes at Brainfart and Deplorebel Media call Justin a "flaming bundle of sticks" (rhymes with maggot), and make all kinds of homophobic puns on his last name. The worst I've seen yet is "Justin Truvada," which is a medication for AIDS. They've gone beyond mere teasing in the vein of "nice hair, eh" and were never interested in civil disagreement or debate. They hate just to hate.

    Coming from the U.S. myself, and seeing what kind of things that the degraded discourse online leads to "away from keyboard" vis-a-vis yesterday's shooting at the congressional baseball game, I worry about Justin and his family a lot. Yet the Internet didn't even exist in 1963, and look what happened to an optimistic young leader then.

    It's fitting, then, that he's a Star Wars fan, and that his previous career was a schoolteacher. (Two things that are not respected here, BTW -- geeks and teachers.) He does not fear, nor hate, the "other" but seeks to embrace them as equals, and to teach others to do the same. He knows the reason why the suffix "-phobia" means both fear AND hatred: "Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering." (Master Yoda) The young Jedi has been taught well. Us Americans, well, we're living in the Spaceballs universe. We're surrounded by a&%wh*les.

    1. Hi anon....thank you for your excellent comment. I don't object to people who criticize Trudeau and his Liberals for this or that. What I object to is the kind of Trudeau hate fest that is becoming far too common in this country, and makes me fear we could end up like the United States where hate is out of control. It blows my mind to see how Justin has improved our image only to have some Canadians whining that he's worse than Harper. Waaaaah!! Canadians do have a tendency to tear down their own, but this hate fest must be brought under control before it leads to tragedy....

  5. Anonymous5:36 PM

    Thanks for acknowledging the transgender rights bill Simon. I'm not trans but my best friend is and she's having a difficult time, so that vote was a big deal. But while I knew I could count on you, I'm disappointed that nobody else on Progressive Bloggers saw fit to mention it.

    1. Hi're welcome. I'm sorry your friend is going through a hard time, but just tell her that it will get better. Ignorance and bigotry will give way to tolerance and reason. As for Progressive Bloggers don't be too disappointed. The sad fact is that most of those who publish their blogs on it these days are progressive in name only. But I'm not going anywhere so I will continue to stand up for the rights of the victims of bigotry...

  6. I am all for human rights but can we not agree with a handful of genders and the fact that there are just males and females as far as the hand of God reaches?
    How the human mind assorts one self is still a mystery. There is no normal
    but every exception should not be a rule./

    1. Hi Steve....human beings are complex creatures, and do not fit neatly into the boxes our rulers would have us live in. Trans people have always existed and the only reason you and Inmight not have heard of them when we were growing up is only because they were forced underground by bigotry. And bigotry is still a problem. I've had to delete three comments so far because they were so foul, which only convinces me further that I am on the right side of history....

  7. Anonymous12:30 AM

    You are on the right side of history, Simon.

    Haters always gonna hate. Fear is a powerful motivator. I like "Sunny Ways"....they can't kill, steal, or destroy our sunshine, can they?
    Our laughter--they can't touch that! ;~)

    Remember during the campaign, when PM JPT plainly told his supporters-
    be kind to the CON people. They're our neighbours. Family. Friends.
    I thought that was so unusual and most gracious, and made me happy and grateful to be a Liberal. And loving it!
    (LIBS are all about 'freedom to choose', aren't we?)

    Great photos, too. Thousands of words, there!

  8. John B.7:05 AM

    Fixation on the single issues or sets of issues that are the most important to us can impair our judgement. That's the source of most of my personal ignorance and I'll bet it applies to many of us. Self-delusion isn't intentional, but neither is it passive.