The founder of a Nova Scotia-based trans advocacy group says Transgender Day of Remembrance is especially important this year amid rising incidents of violence and hatred targeting youth.
Veronica Merryfield, founder of the Cape Breton Transgender Network, made the comments today as she participated in a ceremony to raise the trans flag outside the provincial legislature, marking the day of remembrance.
Merryfield says that in the past two weeks she’s received requests for help from five sets of parents whose children have recently experienced transphobia in school — more than she has ever received over such a short period.
She says transphobic rhetoric originating in the United States has infiltrated Canada, and is evident in school-based policies such as New Brunswick’s Policy 713 and Saskatchewan’s Parents’ Bill of Rights.
Both policies require students to have parental consent to be able to use a preferred first name or pronouns at school, rules LGBTQ advocates say are harmful to trans students.
Merryfield says that while Nova Scotia has not given any indication it would introduce a similar policy, transgender kids in the province are at a high risk of experiencing transphobia and violence.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2023.
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