A response to Jack Bones and Leaf Kotasek

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, August 2 2016

When I first read Jack and Leaf’s response to my column on our Prime Minister participating in the Toronto Pride Parade, I was saddened. I realize, in reading Jack and Leaf’s letters to the editor that I offended Jack and Leaf and probably many others and for that I am sorry. 

In all my years, especially suffering from bipolar and depression, and feeling on the margins of society because of mental illness, I have felt a deep compassion for all people who feel different in some way. Having bipolar has made me interested in learning about people who are different because I love humanity. 

That was why I spent time watching the CBC documentary on the Passionate Eye, called Growing up Trans, because I want to understand and be informed. And that is why I write for this paper, to meet people, share life, live, laugh and explore ideas.

And so touched was I, by that program, that I included it in my column because I hoped others might seek out information too. We may never know what it is like to live a life in another’s shoes but we can start with compassion in our hearts and a willingness to try to see life from someone else’s point of view, even if we make many mistakes along the way in our learning. 

In raising my children, I want them to read stories that are positive about all people. I want them to understand that we can all make a difference in each other’s lives if we treat each other equally and with respect, and that we should always apologize if we cause harm, even if our action’s are well intentioned. 

For all people on this island, and in our greater community at large, I am inclined to think that this process has been educational for me and perhaps for others too. It was never my intention to hurt or offend. I will read more, and continue to learn more because that is a big part of being human. That being said, my nature is one of kindness, and sincerity and at every turn I will chose inclusion over exclusion, community over isolation and yes, love over hate. I am truly sorry any pain and anguish I have caused.