Letter regarding Trudeau, marginalization and gender identity.

Tuesday, August 16 2016

This letter is in response to the ongoing conversation spurred on by Jane Reddington’s piece about Trudeau marching in the pride parade, and the amazing dialogue that we are witnessing unfold. I am so happy to live in a place where these conversations can happen respectfully, despite the many feelings attached to such personal and public issues. As a member of the Gabriola community and mother of a kid being raised here, I want to say in solidarity with Jack and Leaf, that while intentions are very important, they are not the solution. 

If you want to be an ally you must take responsibility in this age of information to be educated on your own time. 

It is very common for cisgendered folks to expect infinite patience from transgendered folks as they go from innocently ignorant to responsibly informed. I remember how intimidating these issues seemed, especially because it is a common tack to take things personally, and to worry that you’re being blamed/attacked. Oppression is a system, one that we can choose to challenge together, by supporting each others’ learning journey, but not by expecting the people we’re learning about to help us. Google is an amazing start: try “being a good ally” or “transgendered 101”. Or maybe a mediated Gabriola discussion group. I for one would be willing to participate in a consciousness raising effort. Any experienced social justice mediators up for the challenge? I give so many thanks for every person brave enough to be involved in this conversation. I am 

~ Julia Hilton