St. Catharines Standard e-edition

What the ‘1 million march’ was really all about


As I approached the so-called 1 Million March 4 Children protest at Queen’s Park Wednesday, a woman was shouting into a microphone about the “totalitarian ideology” that had been allowed to take over Canada.

People were waving giant “F--- Trudeau” flags, and waving signs with the logo of the populist People’s Party of Canada on one side.

Someone was handing out newspapers warning of the dystopian globalist plot of 15 Minute Cities, and it was easy to spot T-shirts warning of the dangers of COVID-19 vaccines and the tyranny of medical masks.

Other signs warned that Justin Trudeau was a communist, and that the World Health Organization and World Economic Forum and even non-cash forms of currency are plots to impose a new world order.

So, in case there was any doubt, the chants of “Leave our kids alone” were nominally about the education curriculum regarding gender identity, but the turnout was heavy from the conspiracy-theory-of-theweek crowd.

They carried signs saying things like “There are only two genders” and “Parents are the rightful owner of their children” and “Stop confusing our kids.”

If anyone’s confused, it might be the protesters. Because, as far as I can tell — as the parent of three children — the “indoctrination” they (and the premier of Ontario) fear is taking place just isn’t.

As my Torstar colleagues reported, protest organizers “included significant misinformation about what is actually being taught at schools.”

One youthful counterprotester carried a sign: “Have you read the curriculum? Because I have.”

As far as I can tell, most youth find nothing much confusing about gender identity questions. My kids have friends who are trans and non-binary in both Catholic and public schools, and refer nonchalantly to the different pronouns used by some of their classmates. They are unconfused — and their generation seems to view this all as simply no big deal. The confusion seems to come from parents, who grew up in a world in which the existence of these gender questions — and the fact that some of their peers were struggling mightily with them — was essentially invisible.

An Angus Reid poll recently found 69 per cent of Canadians would accept and accommodate the wishes of their child if that child “showed an affinity for a gender identity other than the one they were assigned at birth.”

That poll and others show a lot of variation and splits on questions of appropriate language and the appropriate ages for various therapeutic options available to trans people. Most parents would want to know if their kid was using different pronouns than the ones they were raised using. But more than 70 per cent of us recognize that trans people face a lot of discrimination, most of us think reducing that discrimination represents social progress, and most of us want to accept and help our children if we can, how we can.

We live in a world, still, where kids who identify as trans — or those who identify anywhere on the LGBTQ spectrum — are thrown out of their house and disowned by their parents. That’s something kids need to be protected from.

That’s a threat to those children much greater than an education system that allows kids to use unconventional pronouns.





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