LGBTQ activists, allies in Victoria counter anti-SOGI protest with rally of their own

Lower Mainland activists plan to protest SOGI on legislature lawn, Sept. 29

After anti-SOGI activists announced they would rally on the lawn of the B.C. legislature next week, members of Victoria’s LGBTQ and education communities have countered with plans for a rally of their own.

Kelli Kraft, a teacher with School District 23 in the Central Okanagan who taught in Victoria last year said people reached out to her to help organize an event to counter the anti-SOGI rally scheduled for Sept. 29.

Kraft designed handouts with information about SOGI – an online based resource tool designed for inclusive learning, open to any B.C. teachers who choose to use it – to disperse to the crowd the last time Smith and Thompson held a similar event at the legislature in April.

RELATED: LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

“I thought it was really important that people [are] informed,” Kraft says, because so much of the anti-SOGI rhetoric is false.

“I’ve heard a lot of people calling it a curriculum or a sex-ed policy,” she continues. “That is not at all what SOGI is about. It’s more education-based and student-centred.”

The Sept. 29 event, called “Free B.C. from SOGI 123” has been organized by transgender speaker Jenn Smith and includes Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, a parent, blogger, author and former co-host of The 700 Club Canada with former ties to Culture Guard, a right-wing Christian group.

Smith and Thompson were among a crowd of protesters who took to the legislature lawn in April in protest of SOGI. Hundreds of LGBTQ people and their allies showed up as well, and the peaceful protest ended in a dance party.

RELATED: Lower Mainland activists to hold anti-SOGI rally at B.C. legislature

It’s heartbreaking, Kraft says, to watch as the kids who SOGI is designed to support, experience this kind of hate. “Having to defend your existence frequently can absolutely bring about trauma.”

As for the misinformation circulating province-wide, Kraft remains confused as to the purpose of events like the planned rally because SOGI is already in place.

Thompson, who is running for a school trustee position in School District 41 in Burnaby, told local media “the most important issue facing schools is that parents are highly alarmed and very upset that children are being taught gender-fluid ideology.”

“It’s interesting that it’s a platform now,” says Kraft, who is unable to attend the event Sept. 29 but is sending her support along with other SD23 teachers making the trek to the Island to show solidarity.

On the Pro SOGI 123 Rally Facebook event page, it reads:

“Once again, while we recognize that it is so incredibly not fun to be around these folks while they’re saying hateful things, we think it is so important to have a presence there that celebrates all genders, orientations, sexualities, and family/relationship configurations, in order to show this group (and our city, and our students/children!) that we stand for equality.”

“No matter what you think about these policies,” Kraft says, “they’re going to save some kids’ lives.”

@kristyn_anthony

kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Alleged Abbotsford crime boss loses bid for jail release while awaiting extradition hearing

Jazzy Sran is accused of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into Canada from the U.S.

Family of Chilliwack pilot killed in Honduras crash creates memorial scholarship fund

Parents, sister of Patrick Forseth fundraising to pay to send aspiring pilots to flight school

RCMP use helicopter and police dog to search for suspect on Sts’ailes First Nation

Man known to police fled an allegedly stolen vehicle and firearm on the reserve north of Chilliwack

Public hearing Monday for huge development near downtown

A 599-unit development has been proposed for a large site just north of the historic downtown

Golf tournament raises $74,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters

Money goes toward mentorship programs for 500 Fraser Valley children

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read