DATE: Nov 11
TITLE: Not your decision
Yesterday was beautiful in southern Ontario – sunny, 13 degrees (about 55F) – so I decided to get the cameras out and get some final photos of the fall colours. One of my favourite spots is a pedestrian bridge over a creek near my home. This bridge approximates the route of the original highway, so the original abutments are still there and, as with most man-made surfaces in an urban area, have been used by graffiti artists. One in particular caught my eye, so with some careful gymnastics, I took this photo.
I was hanging off the side of the bridge trying not to drop my cameras into the creek which accounts for the angle. If you’re having trouble reading it, it says “We don’t want your kids to be trans”. First of all, who exactly are the anonymous “we”? And why in hell is my kid’s status any of their concern?
Should any of my children or grandchildren be trans, how exactly will that impact the life of the person who painted this comment? Oh, I know some people are offended by trans people for no reason other than someone being trans doesn’t fit with their view of the world and “the way things should be”. Well, tough!
The gender identity or sexual orientation of someone isn’t the decision of anyone other than the person involved. As a parent of course I’d like to have a discussion about the choice with the child involved, but in the end, it’s still the child’s decision and I would support that decision. It isn’t and never will be, the decision of some anonymous graffiti artist.
I have lived in this area for a little over seventeen years and there have been very few incidents of anti-trans actions. I’ve been called names from a distance and never to my face, but nothing more. The only other indication of anything related to trans I can recall was this: one day I noticed that someone had taken a broad-tipped felt marker and printed the words “I wish I was a girl” on the back of a bus stop. Other than that, it has been a quiet and picturesque little village.
According to an article I read on the CBC News website this past weekend, there has been a significant increase in transphobic activity in Canada in the past couple of years. The article mentions that this seems to be seepage (my word) from similar activities taking place in the UK and US over the past few years. At face value, this sign would appear to be a clue it has struck my quiet little corner of Ontario.
So to the unknown paint can artist, that is none of your business and not your decision.