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

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Festival of Trees returns to West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Winery

The fundraiser for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation will run Nov. 23 to Jan. 4

Proportional representation vote continues to draw low numbers

Only 6.5 per cent of eligible voters have cast ballots so far in B.C. referendum

Kelowna Skating Club skaters take home 10 medals and three provincial titles

Ava Sanderson was among the winners of the 2019 B.C and Yukon Sectional Championships

Kelowna to host World Junior pre-tournament game

Team Russia will take on Team Sweden at Prospera Place on Dec. 18

Your weekday weather update

Flurries and more rain anticipated for the Okanagan - Shuswap

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Okanagan pickleball pair win bronze at nationals

Vernon and Kelowna players reach podium in California

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Couple allegedly caught staking out Okanagan home

The man and woman were seen in a black Suzuki Tracker with a white back

Most Read