Since When is Anti-Transgender Propaganda a Canadian Value?

Last week, the Institute for Canadian Values placed a nationwide advertisement in the National Post denouncing Toronto’s LGBT-inclusive school curriculum. The right-wing Institute has apparently been taking notes from Chaz Bono’s critics, perpetuating the myth that being transgender is somehow contagious or “teachable.” It also strongly implies that teaching respect for LGBT people will “corrupt” children.

“Please! Don’t confuse me,” the ad read, above a photo of a little girl. “I’m a girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transexual[sic], transgendered, intersex or two spirited.”

The transphobic ad is part of a campaign called Stop Corrupting Children. Canadian LGBT website Xtra reports that the Institute and its campaign quote extensively from a Toronto District School Board resource called Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism, which promotes respect for gay, lesbian, bisexual and gender diverse people as a way to combat bullying in schools. The ad, Xtra says, “[presents] these optional lessons as mandatory.”

Trans activist and educator Chase Joynt agreed that the ad is misleading. “[It's] manipulative to use the face of a small child,” Joynt told Xtra. “Where the ad is doing the most damage is in not only presenting trans identities in any form as invalid and shameful, but also to rely on the education system to disseminate these lies.”

“[T]he ability to learn about [gender diverse] identities is integral to our success as educators,” he added.

After stirring controversy and outcry from advocates across the continent, the Post pulled the ad and issued an apology:

“Where the ad exceeded the bounds of civil discourse was in its tone and manipulative use of a picture of a young girl; in the suggestion that such teaching ‘corrupts’ children, with everything that such a charge implies; and in its singling out of groups of people with whose sexuality the group disagrees.”

The Post also announced that it will donate all proceeds from the ad to an LGBT charity.


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Image credit: PhotoComiX (Creative Commons)


Beth M.
Beth M7 years ago

If the National Post wants to lose readers...

Kanra O.
Kanra O.7 years ago

If I may be so bold as to comment here, I will start by saying that I was actually at the National Post's office in Toronto earlier today. The lady that was in charge of advertisements that go in the newspaper explained to us that that particular advertisement had come in late that day and had not been checked before simply being sent out. In short, it was a mistake on their part and they have apologized for it.

Mary L.
Mary L7 years ago

I've always liked Canada and Canadians, they been special to me for decades.

To see some of them turning into the worst of American "values" is too depressing to contemplate.

Please Canadians, Please come back! I miss you, your kindness, gentleness, intelligence. Wake up and come home!

Michael MacDonald

sorry for getting off topic.
I couldn't help but respond to that comment

Michael MacDonald

every damn thing that we predicted that would happen with harper
happened so far.
everything from the over-the-top crime bills to the technical recession we're heading into.

You won't be laughing come next election,
because by then the people who didn't believe us are going to see what conservatives are like for themselves.
they already are.

Michael MacDonald

@Steve R.

You to talk.

With everything you say about democratic obama supporters in the states you have no place complaining about people calling you stupid.

I don't personally call any people stupid for voting in harper.
The right word is ignorant anyways.

Also, in a FPTP system
you can't really say that the majority makes up the majority of voters
because if I vote NDP in my district for example and the liberals get voted in..
my vote doesn't even get counted towards the federal party..
that's one of the major things the NDP was going to change.

It sure must be nice being on the side of the political spectrum that is merged and doesn't have to compete with other parties in order to win your wings vote like we do.

So you must be really happy seeing as liberals like me are soon going to be going to jail for using marijuana and get tougher sentences than people who rape children.
That is unless we are able to defeat it on the grounds that it's completely unconstitutional.
I hope you're real damn happy with yourself.

You never had your basic freedom in question during this last election so you have no idea about how much this is going to destroy the lives of me and my brothers/sisters.

you must really hate us.

sad part is,
I don't even hate you guys back.
I just wish you and your conservatives had the decency to at least respect us enough to think that we deserve basic freedom from excessive punishment like everyone else.

Debbie Brady
Debbie Brady7 years ago

I consider adds like this the last gasps of a dying breed. This sort of bigotry and intolerance is becoming less acceptable in democratic society as witnessed by the Post pulling their add and apologizing.
Those of us, myself included, who do not fit into what many think of as normal society are not going to go away, nor will we hide in closets.
As Popey used to say "I am what I am" and I am here to stay.
A wise lady once told me that normal is a setting on your clothes dryer.

Leslea Herber
Leslea Herber7 years ago

A hint. In Canada there are advertising standards. Newspapers are NOT exempt from them. They include prohibiting ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION and HATE CRIMES.

Hate speech is NOT free in Canada. Nor should it be.

The National post is taking the 30 grand or so they were paid to run the ad, and putting it ALL toward LGBT organizations. The Toronto Sun, are fighting it, as they're a reich wing douche-nozzle paper and they want to eliminate the human rights act, so they can attack ANYONE. Christian, muslim, gay, trans, women... ANYONE they want to treat like shit.

Freedom of speech in Canada, does NOT extend to permitting hate speech.

It wouldn't be allowed against racial or religious groups, and it's illegal against TS folks, gay people and even the shriners for riding those little motorcycles in parades.

Too bad so many people making comments, fail that point. Hate crimes and hate speech, unlike the USA, are ILLEGAL in Canada.

Leslea Herber
Leslea Herber7 years ago

First off, being Trans is not an oddity. Trans & what we would call trans people in a historical sense, have been around as long as humans have walked on 2 legs instead of 4. Oddity, is that gender is NOT a binary fact. It has multiple variations, upward of 6 in some cultures. Only North American culture assumes it's somehow wrong, mostly due to religious propaganda and sheer ignorance.

Religion is a choice. Being trans, is not. No more so than having brown eyes or being left handed (both of which are ALSO things that a certain religious cult has tried to "fix" in the past, come to think of it).

What is normal, is 100% irrelevant. What IS relevant is that two newspapers have run an ad that crosses the line from opinion, into that of hate speech in this country of Canada. Hate speech, contrary to many opinions, is NOT protected in Canada. Promoting hatred against ANY minority, in this case, TS folks, IS A CRIME. Suffice to say, there are dozens of organizations and hundreds, perhaps thousands, who are taking both the Toronto Sun & the National Post to task over their decision to IGNORE hate crimes laws in Canada & to run these illegal advertisements.

THAT is what should be noted here. NOT the typical hatemongering excuse-making for the haters.

Linda McKellar
Past Member 7 years ago

Embarrassing, but the Post is so out of it that it's ridiculous...BUT, there is freedom of the press.Let them say what they want. People who buy the Post already have their minds made up so it's more or less preaching to the choir.