We need to right past wrongs, not repeat them

The Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, yet every day I come across stories of discrimination because of race, religion, sex, and LGBQT status. The culture wars of fear are targeting specific groups of people. Somehow that famous Golden Rule often falls on the deaf ears of many US state legislatures. This past weekend, a Mississippi judge ruled that a senior could not go to her graduation ceremony wearing a dress and high heels because she was transgendered. That would be the appropriate dress code for girls at high school graduation. She could go if she appeared as a male in traditional “male” clothing. Yet for her whole high school career she was transgendered.

It is not a single example. In Canada we have finally come to understand that “Every Child Matters” recognizes the harm that occurred to Indigenous children in making them go to residential schools and the scoop of the 1960’s. And the scoop happened in our district. It is an embarrassing wrong that we finally admit to.

The “Red Dress” week recognizes that in Canada, we chose to ignore the disappearance of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and many other women who fell on hard times and failed to investigate their deaths or disappearances.

In Florida, an elementary school teacher is being investigated for showing a PG rated Disney movie to her class because one of the characters in the story was “Gay”. Conservative law makers across the United States have intensified their efforts and passed laws denying gender confirming health services to transgendered youth. In Florida, the state passed a law “Don’t Say Gay” that restricts teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation. The Florida legislature has even withdrawn funding to colleges for teaching the issues and harms of slavery.

That state is not alone. Eleven other states are passing similar legislation. Women are also being targeted in denying them the opportunity to make their own decisions about their health and reproductive choices. Fifteen states have passed laws that either have banned or severely restricted abortion rights.

Borderland Pride 2SLGBQTIA+ has put forth a major month-long celebration of activities. New signs one side says, “everyone is welcome here” and on the opposite side “Trans rights are Human Rights” are now available and recognize those specific communities. In a press release the groups states “Those vulnerable groups include racialized people, trans people, members of the drag community, and gender diverse folks. These communities have been increasingly targeted by hate speech, legislation legalizing discrimination and social exclusion, harassment, and violence mobilized by far-right political forces.”

It is unfortunate that groups in our district and across Canada face similar discrimination actions. It is important that the district supports Borderland Pride in recognizing the diversity of our community and supporting persons who are included in the 2SLGBTQTIA+ culture.  Maybe there will come a time when we are more welcoming of all people.