The aftermath of nationwide anti-trans march
McMaster organizations and 2SLGBTQIA+ support groups offer services to process anti-trans hate group gatherings across the country
A nationwide rally was held in many major Canadian cities protesting the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity education in public schools and featuring other anti-2SLGBTQIA+ sentiments. Protesters gathered on Sept. 20, outside the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board headquarters.
The protests and school walkouts were organized by 1 Million March 4 Children — a hate group that aims to eliminate pronouns, gender ideology and mixed bathrooms from schools to protect their children.
Counter protests were organized in support of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and 1 Million March 4 Children protesters were met face to face with opposition.
The march may be over, however the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, including those at McMaster University, continue to face the repercussions of the country-wide event.
Kuhu Trivedi, research coordinator at the Queer and Trans Colour Club, explained that the repercussions of this protest have resulted in a more guarded and apprehensive environment within their service.
“We're a lot more cautious and we are definitely looking at that aspect of things more because we, I guess it was just an unwelcome reminder that people aren't as accepting as we would like to believe,” said Trivedi.
Statements were released by several McMaster University services and organizations, including the Pride Community Centre.
“Queer, trans and questioning students: you are worthy and loved. You deserve to be surrounded by individuals who celebrate and embrace you for exactly who you are,” stated an excerpt from the PCC’s Instagram statement from Sept. 19, 2023.
The PCC declined when asked for further comment for this article.
Trivedi explained that the protest group’s misleading branding around protecting children and maintaining patriotic values in schools is used as a mask for homophobia and transphobia.
“I think you have to look behind the words and you have to see what the implications of what they're saying really are and look at why they're saying the things that they are because education is the first step to acceptance and tolerance, and if they want to take that away, then I don't know what's left,” said Trivedi.
McMaster groups such as the QTCC and PCC recognize that members of the McMaster 2SLGBTQIA+ community that may be feeling scared or disheartened in light of the recent protests and encourage students to access their services for support.
Local Hamilton 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations such as speqtrum held a support group for trans and gender diverse individuals to process and recuperate from the rally.
Additionally, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network posted a guide for debriefing and practicing self-care post-protest.
Trivedi shared her thoughts and sentiments for the McMaster 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
“While it's really sad to be reminded that there's still people like that around and enough people like that around to organize such a widespread rally, but there's still a lot of people in your corner and there's still a lot of people who are fighting to keep things safe and accept people for who they are.” said Trivedi.