MLA Throness encouraged to learn about diversity

Re: MLA Laurie Throness weighs in on SOGI

I have been struggling with trying to find the right words or to use the most educated language to respond but instead I just decided to write from the heart. With regards to the many articles, comments and opinions going back and forth about SOGI, I have to respond with a simple, mind your own business. I am a 42-year-old, two-spirited, cis-woman that was born and raised in Chilliwack. My experience being a part of the LGBTQ2 community has been mostly amazing and accepting. Back in the day my friends and I would head down to Vancouver to catch the ‘scene’ that was mostly underground, but the fun we had can’t even be explained in words. All of my friends that went with me to the clubs, concerts and dances were heterosexual and still are today. They were not influenced by myself, or the scene, or the language, or the incredibly amazingly colourful people. Some married, some divorced, some have kids, some don’t…but they all knew who they were and were comfortable in their own skin, because, I believe, they came from parents that loved them, trusted them, and accepted who they were and are no matter what.

There is nothing I can say or write to explain what it feels like to just be who you are, happy in your skin, accepting of your body, loving and kind to yourself and others. However, unfortunately there are too many people that do not feel safe or comfortable being who they are. Kids just want to be kids, play with anyone that wants to play with them, regardless of gender, race or religious belief. We, the adults make it awkward, weird, and hateful so we teach our kids based on our own fears and the response to these teachings is our kids get bullied, beat up, and some eventually kill themselves over all of this.

We use the words “hate speech” so freely because we just can’t agree on a topic or have others just agree with our opinion, but really it just comes down to ignorance. Everybody has a story, some stories are much harder than others, but I challenge you to learn them. We all need to change the language and get educated on what goes on for kids and how we can help treat and be better for them. All kids!

Learn about diversity and ask yourself if you’ve ever felt uncomfortable, marginalized, unsafe, judged and put yourself in a child’s shoes. Also, at what age did you know you were a boy? Or a girl? Our kids, transgender or not, know as well, STOP being scared about what you don’t know about and educate yourself.

If a child, transgender, goes to school and feels safer there than at their own home, ask yourself why and how is this okay? The school has a legal obligation to protect that child, at all costs, and I hope that they are doing their due diligence to look in to the situation and find out why they need to. This is my understanding of the confidentiality policy that is in place.

Laurie Throness, I cannot speak on behalf of the transgender community, but I can tell you that “transgendered” is very much the wrong word. Again, please educate yourself and help be the start to changing the language, conversation and culture around the LGBTQ2 community.

Shayla Hall

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