Let’s talk about bullying. Bullying can take a wide range of forms such as harassing, picking-on, intimidating, maligning, discrediting, insulting, victimizing and the list goes on. In children it can be the result of hair color, weight, funny accent, skin color, strange beliefs, the manner of dress, strong religious beliefs and any number of others including sexual orientation. We should try to teach our children to be tolerant and to accept a wide range of differences as normal.
The column by Tyler Olson in the Friday Chilliwack Progress was a bit of a disappointment. The percentage of transgender or transsexual people in the population is relatively small. While the research is not strong it appears somewhat less than two per cent of the population are in this category even using the broadest interpretation possible of transgender or transsexual. When I looked at all the research I could find it indicated only about one person in 1,500 had scientifically definable or measurable medical indications they were transsexual. This does not mean the problem is insignificant or that it should be ignored but it should be kept in perspective.
With respect to suicide among young people I think it is important to look at the broader issue. Bullying in all its forms has an impact on suicide rates. A concern I have is the publicity given to activities such as the “Gay Pride Parade” and the transgender issue has the potential of creating gender uncertainty in normal young people. How many young people have been driven to suicide by the confusion that is being created? I have no idea but the potential exists.
Olson suggests critics of the SOGI program have not offered solutions. He, like so many SOGI proponents, is simply not listening. In fact they are acting like the worst sort of bullies in not considering other opinions and by denigrating their opponents. What I have heard from the opponents of SOGI is that creating gender confusion among young people is a potential danger in itself and that rather than focusing on the gender issue we should be dealing with bullying in a much broader and more balanced way. This, in my opinion, is a reasonable alternative.