Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Justin Trudeau and the LGBT Apology

When I heard that Justin Trudeau was going to deliver an apology to LGBT Canadians  I arranged to get the day off.

I wanted to watch all the speeches, and hear what the survivors had to say about those dark times when gay people had no rights, and were treated like criminals.

But I wasn't sure how I might react. 

Would I be moved like Justin? Or would I explode with anger at those stories of injustice? 

So when I finally watched the speeches yesterday I was surprised by my reaction...

I was moved by the occasion, I thought Trudeau's speech was great. 

I thought Andrew Scheer also delivered a good one.

Even though that religious fanatic was and remains part of the problem.

With a record of opposing each and every gay rights bill ever to come before Parliament.

And the Cons are, and always will be, the Bigot Party of Canada.

But my overwhelming reaction to the historic apology was a mixture of anger and sadness.

Anger over the way so many gay lives were so casually ruined, while so many people looked on and did nothing.

Sadness over the fact that so many of those victims didn't live to hear their country say sorry.

And of course, both sadness and anger that I could be killed tomorrow, in a country where hate crimes are out of control. 

Police-reported hate crimes in Canada rose in 2016 for the third year in a row, and became much more violent, according to new data from Canada's national statistical agency.

And no group of Canadians is attacked more violently than the LGBT community.

The most violent hate crimes targeted sexual orientation. There were 176 police-reported hate crimes against sexual orientation in 2016, an increase of 35 from 2015, spread across the country from British Columbia to Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. 

Almost three-quarters of hate crimes motivated by hatred of the victim's sexual orientation were violent, police data show, compared to 45 per cent targeting ethnicity and 27 per cent targeting religion.

Or has a greater percentage of its youth sleeping in the streets...

With about half of them thrown out of their own homes by their own parents just for being who they are.

While other gay kids are still being bullied to death in our schools...

Which is where I began my history of resistance, fighting for my life and the lives of others.

But despite all of the above, I'm proud of my country for doing the right thing at last. 

I hope it will help give strength to the millions and millions of LGBT people all over the world who are still fighting for their freedom.

I'm proud and happy to have a Prime Minister like this one...

The best Prime Minister LGBT Canadians have ever known.

I'm grateful to all those who kept the candles burning during the darkest of times.

And until the day when we are all free, the struggle continues..


  1. This all needs to be put into a historical context. Homosexuals were a security risk. The soviet union exploited both teams with honey pots. However as we have seen just recently with suicides in the Labour Party homosexuals were facing
    insufferable humiliation.

    Society was wrong, not the goverment. PET came out with the not in the bedrooms statement. Obviously the deep state could not handle that statement.

    Just like you can not condemn George Washington for owning slaves. You can not condemn people facing Nuclear War for being paranoid about what everyone considered at the time deviants.

    It was a different time, a different place. What bothers me is that the principal actors of indignity get a free pass. It was not the goverment, it was the churches that taught hate.

    I never actually did it. However if given the chance I would have thrown eggs at queers in the seventies.

    Now I am all who cares. Equal rights means equal rights.

    1. Homosexuals were a security risk.

      Indeed, that is why Alan Turing was never able to get a security clearance to work at Bletchley Park.

      To get a security risk, all you have to do is demonize homophobia, make same sex acts illegal and voilà you have managed to create a security risk that did not exist before.

      In some ways it's analogous to criminalizing marijuana. Before, some people smoked it. After, we have masses of "criminals" arrested and in some cases given horrendous sentences for minor possession and in no time at all we had drug gangs and so on.

      Create a new crime and you get unintended but easily foreseeable consequences.

    2. Hi Steve....what absolute nonsense. No Canadian gay person was ever blackmailed by any foreign power. And bigotry isn't time sensitive. Also your admission that you would have attacked gay people makes me wonder what kind of person you are. It's certainly not something you should be boasting about. But it does help explain why you supported the pervert Trump...

    3. hi jrkrideau...well said. Maybe Steve can read it fifty times and it might sink into his thick homophobic head. The crime was making being gay a crime. And in the case of Alan Turing and so many others, everyone paid the price...

    4. I'm a boomer and understood far less about "homosexuality" as a child than children are learning now, but still I was furious when people got mocked as "fairies", even though I had little idea what it meant. It was one of many terms used to taunt and shame anyone who was "different". As for Turing, he was physically tortured and hounded to death by Britain, after his heroic work against the racist and homophobic murderous Nazis...

  2. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Canada should do something about cyber-bullying and hate speech too. There are innumerable postings on everything from white-supremacist "private" Facebook groups, to Reddit, to Twitter, Instagram, your own CBC "Comment Board Chaos," petitioning the Russian government to send an assassin Justin Trudeau's way out of speculation that he too is gay. We all know Putin hates gay people (and people even "accused" of being gay) arguably even more than Trump does. Trump really doesn't care about "social issues" -- or any issues -- inasmuch as pandering to the hate base will consolidate his cult, and allow him to make a buck and/or get "ratings" and attention for himself.

    Trump even made a sick joke at a private gathering of GOP types that Mike Pence, not he, was the go-to guy for "the gay agenda" because "he's the guy who wants to hang 'em all." For purposes of "newsworthiness," this sociopath has not and probably never will be banned off Twitter. Not that the social media companies care about social responsibility over making a buck either.

    Rights and freedoms come with responsibility attached to them, which is something Scheer and his bigoted whiner ilk like Peterson, Kenney, and Levant don't understand -- and outright refuse to understand, because their salary depends on them not understanding it (h/t Upton Sinclair). Germany banned swastikas for obvious reasons. The world didn't implode because Germany realized that some people's "memoirs" just shouldn't be published. In fact, it nearly did as a result of that guy's "memoirs" becoming so popular. If the GOP or the northern cons had their way, Paragraph 175 would become law over here. When instead, what you really need is Sections 86 and 130 of the German Criminal Code.

    Canada needs a Netiquette law. The Internet needs an international Netiquette law, with the civilized countries setting the parameters rather than regressive backwaters like Saudi Arabia or the United States. This anarchization of everyone deserving a megaphone because they paid for a data plan, in that it's just "business" and "data" with no real-world impact on human beings, has to stop.

    The Internet has become too Americanized for its own good. It should be Europeanized with hate speech regulations -- and Canadianized, in terms of offering apologies for wrongdoing and then taking action to Make the Internet Polite Again.

    People's lives literally depend on it.

    1. hi anon...I absolutely agree. Canada urgently needs to do something about the rising tide of hate in this country, for as the story I linked to shows it's totally out of control. And one way to begin would be if our useless Con media let more Canadians know that it is out of control, instead of ignoring it. Like you I believe that the laws governing hate speech in Europe need to be adopted here, so we can throw people like Ezra Levant in jail. Unfortunately far too many Canadians model themselves after Americans, use American arguments to defend hate speech, even though it's all too obvious what that is doing to the United States, and the decent people who live there.
      I have never received so many vile comments and barely veiled death threats as I do now. And although I am well protected and can laugh them off, I wonder what they might do to others. Which is why I report them all to the police, so they can build up a previous record while I wait for our laws to be changed. It will probably take some tragedy before that happens, but when it does I want to see those hate mongering Cons screaming and begging for mercy, as we slip the rope of justice around their necks...

  3. Anonymous2:07 PM

    JT has once again shown that he's a leader who truly cares about the well being of all Canadians who were and still are being mistreated by the ignorant and hateful in our society. Those that continue to do so are the ones who should be called out by name and ostracized for their dark ages beliefs.
    Let's begin with the missing Cons from yesterday's speech. I'm sure some had valid excuses for not being there but those who didn't show without a valid excuse speaks volumes of their lack of character and compassion. They simply couldn't stomach it.
    Simon, we have a right to know who these MPs are and more importantly, their constituents deserve to know who they are.

    1. Anonymous5:31 PM

      Standard operating procedure. In 2013 not one Republican showed up for Obama's commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech either.

      Conservatism may have been respectable at one point, but as a movement it's since purged itself of any sensible or respectable personalities or ideologies and become a mutant hybrid of the Old South, 1930s Europe, and the Dickensian Era. Greed, hatred, and theofascism, pure and simple.

    2. hi JD...I think that Justin Trudeau is well on his way to becoming the greatest Canadian Prime Minister of all time. He has brought decency and nobility back to our government, and of course that's why the filthy Con scum hate him so much. And don't worry I will get back to those missing Cons, and use them to reinforce my strongly held belief that Scheer and his gang are still the Bigot Party of Canada....

    3. hi anon 5:31 pm...I didn't know that the Republicans had failed to show up at the anniversary of the great Martin Luther's King's "I Have a Dream" speech. But then why should anyone be surprised? As you say, Conservatives are not what they once were, in the U.S., or Canada, or anywhere else. Now they are indeed greed, hatred, and theofascism. And unless we destroy them, they will destroy us...

  4. Anonymous4:28 PM

    I read that Justin Trudeau is being considered for Time magazine's Person of the Year award. I can't think of anyone who deserves it more. That hypocrite Scheer must be screaming with frustration.

    1. Anonymous5:36 PM

      Trump too would drop a load in his pants if that happened.

      The biglier question -- and concern -- is whether he would react by dropping a MOAB on Ottawa.

    2. hi anon 4:28...I didn't know that, but when I think about it I believe he deserves it. In this dark world, where filthy Cons and Trumpkins are running wild, he stands out like a beacon of decency. And yes, I would love to see the look on Schmear's face if that happened. I bet his creepy grin would be have to be held in place with crazy glue...

    3. hi anon 5:36...well that's true too. Trump would have to walk around in diapers for days. But he would have one consolation. Now that the Koch brothers have bought time magazine, he can expect to make the cover a lot, until the day he ends up in jail...

    4. Anonymous11:03 AM

      I think Harper would have the shittiest pants of all though most Cons heads and or asses would explode as well.
      Then again, if the Koch brothers take control before Time make's their decision, then it'll be oaf of the year Trump.

  5. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Evolutionary change and win-win are foreign concepts in a Con's world. Their vision of the ultimate destination is locked in biblical times and someone is to blame for any hiccups along the way. The bigger the hiccup the more urgent and pronounced the blame. The 1960's were one of those times. The wars and associated female independence combined with surging industrial/economic growth resulted in loss of visionary control and someone had to be blamed and eliminated as society was going to hell. Soulless communists and gays were the convenient targets.
    After all the unnecessary pain and suffering they caused,now,some 60 years later a new threat that not only tarnishes utopia but could destroy it is on the horizon. Although they have had to adopt a more indirect strategy as the numbers supporting the biblical vision have diminished the thought of an everybody wins outcome is still totally beyond their grasp so bring on the blame. Someone is going to pay even if it is eventually themselves. That's just the way it is in a Con's world.

    1. Anonymous12:41 AM

      This has actually been studied by neuroscientists. Cons literally have a different brain structure than liberals. Simon wrote about this here a few days ago. We're literally talking about a collective hysteria, a cluster syndrome that is equal parts religious psychosis, severe anxiety disorder, and an almost OCD/autistic phobia of change or difference.

      Another good read is The Authoritarians, by a Canadian professor of psychology named Robert Altemeyer of the U of Manitoba (who could undoubtedly school Jordan Peterson on a few things). It's mentioned in the comments of this Raw Story article. He originally wrote it in 2006 during the height (or nadir -- Nader?) of the Bush era and the war in Iraq, but has since released a number of follow-up addenda about Obama's election, the rise of the Tea Party, and what was then the mere frightening prospect of a President Trump on the horizon.

      2006 was also when Canada went crazy with the Harper election (or got bamboozled, bigly). At least you folks were sane enough to reverse that curse. The U.S., however, is in a permanent downward spiral regardless of whether Trump dies in office, gets impeached, gets institutionalized, or shoots himself in the middle of Fifth Avenue. The real problem is his deranged cult mob that isn't going away and is only getting angrier.

      We are living in disturbing times. The 49th Parallel is going to look like the border between North and South Korea or East and West Germany. I wouldn't be surprised if Trudeau's second term sees a flood of a million or more ordinary Americans crashing the northern border, or just saying "fuddle-duddle it, we'll do it live" and taking a permanent plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

      The bonobos and Herbert Marcuse had one thing right. Make love, not war.

    2. Does RT stand for Russia Today? Nice broad brush of the biblical vision (which is not the same vision shared by the far-right Christian Cons.)

      Check out:

      Citizens for Public Justice: inspired by faith to act for justice

      Vision and Mission

    3. hi RT...yes homophobia is the fetid product of evil religion. It is speed by different faiths all over the world, and in North America the flames of hatred were fanned by the religious right. What roughly five percent of humanity does, motivates them more than anything else. They are Trump's most loyal supporters, and as far as I'm concerned they are the new Nazis...

    4. Hi anon 12:41...good comment, and thanks for mentioning the book The Authoritarians. It sounds like required reading for progressives in these dangerous times. As you know, I am a bit more optimistic about the future of America than you are, although I don't blame you for feeling like you do. I think things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. But if progressives can unite, and deal with the Republican scum as forcefully as General Sherman marched through the south, then the flames will touch the sky, and a new and better America will emerge from the ashes. Don't lose hope, we are with you, and we are going to win...

      P.S. If only our hairy ancestors had gone with the bonobos instead of the violent cannibalistic chimpanzees, imagine how much better life on earth would be today...

  6. In historic apology Trudeau promises LGBTQ soldiers that, from now on, they’ll only be mistreated for being veterans

    1. hi David...I've tried to like The Beaverton, but I just can't. I don't find it funny, and that skit is a good example of what's wrong with it. It stinks of Con, and I hope it goes under soon. Canadian comedy was once great, but not any longer...