I am a lawyer with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.
Objectively harmful coercive practices that are designed to change a person's sexual orientation, as we've just heard, should be banned. That is what Canadians think of when they hear the phrase “conversion therapy”. But when it comes to gender identity, improperly conflated with sexual orientation in this bill, what we think we are talking about and what activists mean and are pushing for are not the same.
By conversion, they mean talk therapy or watchful waiting to help a child or adolescent become comfortable in their own body or that addresses other mental health concerns or past traumas, something that about 85% of them will do if given that space. That is what they want banned on pain of criminal sanction.
When they say “affirmation” they mean rejecting the body a child was born in and embarking on a path of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, multiple surgeries, and a lifetime of medication and dire consequences such as sterility and loss of sexual function. A whole industry is developing around this conversion of kids, and it is being encouraged through the influence of gender activists on social media and even in our schools.
Yes, that is the real conversion here that is endorsed and supported by this bill. The LGB Alliance Canada report, which I implore you to read, speaks of lesbians and gays saying to each other in whispered conversations, “Thank God I am not a gay kid growing up right now. If I had been, there's no question that I would have identified as transgender and been sent for sexual reassignment.”
Yet we have to pretend that talk therapy and a cautious measured approach is the danger. A free society that supports individual rights, as Canada is supposed to be, would allow parents, children and health professionals to find the best path for each unique child, not have the state preordain that transition is the only permissible option.
It is not for the government to dictate such outcomes, and doing so in our submission contravenes the rights of parents and children guaranteed under section 7 of the charter. The bill needs to remove gender identity entirely.
Other countries are beginning to realize the horrors that have unfolded from allowing and encouraging kids to self-diagnose at the behest of gender ideologues. Progressive Sweden has shifted course dramatically just in the last few months, and in the United Kingdom we are seeing positive signs of this.
The Keira Bell case last week was groundbreaking. It confirmed what many parents, therapists and other medical professionals have been warning about for years: The affirmation bandwagon puts kids on an irreversible path to permanent changes that will adversely impact their physical health, bone density and other complications and likely cause them sterility and an inability to experience sexual pleasure. The court reviewed the evidence with some horror and concluded that once children go on puberty blockers, they almost invariably proceed through all the stages of transition, and that children under 16, and those likely under 18, cannot possibly provide informed consent to those consequences.
Canada is going in the wrong direction. We're being steamrolled by an aggressive ideology that changes our language, undermines our usual safeguards relating to children, demonizes as bigots those who are cautious, refuses to consider evidence that counters the approved narrative, and demands complete fealty on pain of social cancellation.
Standing up to this is not transphobic. It is being child-centric and rational and it is necessary. It in no way prevents adults who wish to transition from doing so, or even children whose parents and a licensed health professional think transition is the best outcome for that child. But it isn't the right outcome for all children.
I was surprised to learn yesterday that the committee would not be hearing from important voices like LGB Alliance Canada and Detrans Canada. Detransitioners are ignored because they shatter the narrative. The preamble to the bill says that it's a myth that people can change their gender, but those who have detransitioned are proof that either their gender can be changed or that what some young people go through when they say they are transgender is indeed a phase that they might simply outgrow.
Detransitioners are usually homosexual, mostly young people who have gone through medical transition and have some serious regrets. Many self-diagnosed as having gender dysphoria as minors and subsequently accessed irreversible hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones and double mastectomy without any form of psychological assessment, all by the age of 16.
I invited a member of Detrans Canada to share my time today, but that was not allowed. They have three major concerns with the bill as written, which I share.
Affirming every single patient with gender distress or confusion as trans, including medical transition, will definitely result in more detransitioners in the long term.
It will be illegal for mental health professionals to support detransitioners because they do not seek affirmation, but wish to reconcile with their sex.
Minors who have experienced medical malpractice through unnecessary medical transition will have no course for redress because service providers will cite Bill C-6, which mandates affirmation as the only legal treatment.
I encourage members, as part of their due diligence in considering this bill, to read their excellent submissions and testimonials, as well as those of LGB Canada. It’s important to make fully informed decisions and get this right.