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

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

SOGISOGI 123

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lifestyle Cafe, located on South Fraser Way, opened its doors earlier this month. It aims to provide Abbotsford diners with healthy eating options. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Lifestyle Cafe arrives in Abbotsford

New establishment on South Fraser Way offering healthy food options

The Abbotsford Community Foundation has a total of $160,000 available to award in 2021 through its Agricultural Enhancement Grants Program. (Submitted photo)
Applications now being accepted by Abbotsford Community Foundation for agricultural grants

Total of $160K available for projects that support agricultural innovation

Construction has begun on the new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford. (Screengrab from video by CHP Architects)
Construction begins on new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford

School, including childcare spaces, is set to open in September 2022

Bill Hireen joined Remembrance Day celebrations in Abbotsford in 2019. The veteran and long-time civic supporter passed away on Dec. 31, 2020. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Long-time Abbotsford city council supporter dies of COVID-19

Bill Hireen was a frequent visitor to council and police board meetings

Uber Eats has announced that it is now delivering food orders in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Submitted photo by Justin Walker)
Uber Eats announces expansion into Abbotsford

Food-delivery company is staring with 60 local restaurants

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in waters south of Vancouver Island

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes confirms 1st death amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay)
B.C. teacher gets 1 day suspension after ‘aggressively’ throwing dumbbell at student

Documents show the weight would have hit the student if they didn’t catch it

Most Read