turnipHed is the Chief Editor at TURNIPSTYLE, Presenter & Producer of THE VOICE OF TURNIPSTYLE. The lifestyle magazine and podcast for [GBTQ+] Men.
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Earlier this evening, a very close friend of mine stumbled upon this link to a news story and shared it with me and it had a huge impact on me and I need to share it with you.
This excerpt below is from an article published on the Global News website, please do go and read the rest of the article.
EDMONTON – When 11-year-old Wren Kauffman goes back to school this week, he won’t be hiding the fact that he’s actually a girl.
Teachers, friends and other students at his Edmonton school know the truth – that he’s a girl on the outside but feels like a boy on the inside. And that’s why, even at such a young age, he has chosen to live in the world as the opposite sex, and not keep it a secret.
“If you’re not yourself, then it kind of gets sad and depressing,” says the freckle-faced kid with short-cropped hair.
“I’m glad that I told everybody.”
More students these days are not just coming out in school as gay but also as transgender or transsexual, and they’re doing it at younger ages, says Kris Wells, a researcher with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta.
Some studies shows six out of 1,000 students experience transgenderism. About one out of 170 teachers are transgender.
I wanted to fully and publicly publish my thoughts and feelings about this article on here and hopefully encourage some of you to examine your thought process, feelings and the way you look at and treat other people.
Here is what my response was;
This makes me very proud to be born an Edmontonian. Growing up there without any protection and whyI didn’t fit in, I was not able to figure out why. Well until much later. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Sexuality was not discussed at home; nor at school, in a way that was helpful at all. Sex Ed was pathetic, it was more like when the “change” happens you need to shower because you will stink if you don’t. You are gonna start growing hair in certain places. (Gee thanks for the warning but you are a little late with that warning!)
When I came out there was no protection under the Alberta Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on Sexual Orientation even though there was in the Canadian Charter. See LGBT Rights in Canada.
It wasn’t until a friend, when I was still living there, was fired from his job for being gay, and took his employer and the province to court for not including sexual orientation. See Vriend vs. Alberta.
Nonetheless two things stand out here. My congrats to EPSB ((Edmonton Public School Board)) for standing up and being mature, responsible, sensible and supportive.
Also, I am so jealous of anyone that got to, or gets to go to Victoria for their education. I wish when I was growing up I lived closer because I so would have gone there in a second.
Ironically, it wasn’t until I was older that I lived across the street!
Most importantly, Wren, my heart goes out to you and I bow my head and am in AWE at your strength and courage. You amaze me. I wish I could have been as strong as you are when I was 11.
Next, Wren’s parents are due a lot of credit for their true courage and exercising the unconditional love a parent should always have for their children.
I have never been able to comprehend how a parent could not love their children unconditionally and realise they are looking at their own flesh and blood yet they can easily throw that away and equate their child to a piece of rubbish they can toss in the can without even thinking about it.
Harsh to say, parents that actually behave in such a callous, immature and irresponsible manner do not deserve to have children at all.
It breaks my heart when others have to struggle like I did, and for those that continue to struggle and live in fear. I remember that sadness, despair and darkness and NO ONE ever, EVER deserves that.
I really hope you do take a few moments out of your busy day to read this article and then take the time to reflect on your life, the struggles you have had, whether big or small, and help that motivate you to be a better person.
Treat those around you differently and see how much different they treat you and how much happier and so much more fulfilled you will be.
A wise woman says every day, “Be Kind to One Another” and there is wisdom in that simplicity.
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