April 22nd, 2024

Hatters rally to show support for trans youth

By ANNA SMITH Local Journalism Initiative on March 5, 2024.

Residents hold up transgender flags and signs of support at the Saturday rally outside city hall.--News Photo Anna Smith

asmith@medicinehatnews.com

Despite the weekend cold, Medicine Hat residents gathered outside city hall on Saturday afternoon with flags and signs in order to show support for youth in their community.

“We are out here today to show love and support to the local two-spirit, trans, non-binary and gender diverse kids who are being attacked by the latest proposed transgender and parental rights policy by the government,” said Kim Large, who organized the event.

The policy in question, proposed by Premier Danielle Smith, places a ban on gender reassignment surgery for those under the age of 17, and would not permit puberty blockers for those under the age of 15 who are not already undergoing this treatment.

The purpose of the policy has previously been stated to prevent youth from creating life-altering decisions before they are mature enough to do so, but many parents and professionals have spoken out against this reasoning.

“There have been over 60 professional organizations and professionals that are in the field or adjacent to the fields that have spoken out about this harmful policy,” said Large. “There’s also been 70-plus feminist groups that have spoken out about this, making it an intersectional issue.”

Large referred to the proposed policy as both “overreach” and “misinformation,” stating it would be “rolling back human rights.”

While the circumstances that caused the rally may be concerning, large was heartened by the number of people who attended to show their alliance to gender diverse youth.

“For how cold it is, it’s really nice to see so many people,” said Large. “I’m definitely pleased with the turnout. We’ve got you know, about 75-ish people here and (they) come and go and so, yeah, we also have some kids here, advocating for themselves and their peers. Their parents are teaching them how to be good humans, that’s for sure.”

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