2SLGBTQ+ advocates meet with Alberta government

Tuesday, the Alberta Government held a meeting with those in favour and against new gender identity and sexual orientation policies for students.

Alberta held a meeting on Tuesday with members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

While this was not specifically to do with proposed policy changes impacting transgender youth, those speaking against the policy say the room was emotional.

“We are queer and trans people. These decisions are being made by policymakers who are not a part of our community. The air in that room was heavy,” explained Cheyenne Mihko Kihêw, the executive director of the Edmonton 2 Spirit Society.

Members of Alberta’s 2SLGBTQ+ community met with Alberta’s minister for the status of women on Tuesday for a round table discussion.

It comes nearly a week after Premier Danielle Smith announced sweeping new policies around gender identity, sexual orientation, and parental notification, which sparked outrage from many people in the community. 

Premier Smith is in Ottawa and did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

“I don’t know if any of us walked out of that meeting feeling like, ‘yeah we accomplished something today.’ I think if anything we have more questions,” said Kihêw.

Others say they don’t know if the province heard what they had to say and believe the new policies will impact a generation of trans students.

“Why are we using trans youth, trans kids as a platform for political gain? All the policies were made from trans-ideologies, which was wrong,” said Adebayo Katiiti, a transgender activist.

Tuesday’s roundtable also heard from those who were consulted by the province and who support the province’s new parental rights goals.

“When I was a child, if somebody had presented me the choice to become a boy, I would have been all over it. I would have been so glad because I was very gender non-conforming. I thought I was a boy, turns out I’m just a lesbian. I’m in my 30s, and I would like to have a child,” said Eva Kurilova, a writer who was invited by the province to the meeting.

In response, the province’s minister for the status of women told media in the legislature Tuesday that the new provincial policies were made to give students options.

“I think it’s about letting these decisions happen when they’re mature adults and have more time to realize the consequences and the outcomes,” said Minister Tanya Fir.

Student-led protests are scheduled for Wednesday morning.

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