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

Penticton bartender recognized in national cocktail book

Four bartenders from Kelowna and one from Penticton are recognzied in Great Northern Coocktails

Penticton WorkBC all-access centre officially opens

Human component an important part of the all-access WorkBC Centre officially opened Wednesday

Fortify Conference returns to Penticton Nov. 19

The conference is for anyone in the brewing, distilling or fermenting industry

VIDEO: Penticton man shares footage of alleged attempted mail thief

The video shows a woman walking up his sidewalk, checking the mailbox at 1 a.m. on Wednesday

Athlete of the Week: Harjas Bansoota

Harjas Bansoota plays on hockey for the Elite 15 Okanagan Hockey Academy

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Salmon Arm pilot takes part in Remembrance Day flyovers

Hamilton McClymont and other pilots pay aerial tribute at several North Okanagan-Shuswap ceremonies

Most Read