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National Post apologizes for running transphobic ad

National Post apologizes for running transphobic ad

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Activists called for action in response to 'Stop Corrupting Children' campaign
SECOND UPDATE, SEPT 30 - The National Post apologized on Sept 30 for printing an advertisement from the Christian-right group Institute for Canadian Values and pledged to donate the proceeds from the ad sales to a group that works to advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
 
The Post’s apology stresses that while it does not shy away from publishing unpopular political opinions, ads must “meet a standard of tone and respect that is consistent with furthering constructive dialogue about important public policy issues,” which the ad failed to do.

"Where the ads exceeded the bounds of civil discourse was in their tone and manipulative use of a picture of a young girl; in the suggestion that such teaching “corrupts” children, with everything that such a charge implies; and in their singling out of a specific group of people who have made choices about their sexuality with which the group disagrees," the unsigned apology originally said.

Some activists complained that the Post's apology was also offensive because of its references to "people who have made choices about their sexuality," implying that sexuality is a choice and because the original ad attacked people for their gender, not their sexuality. 

The Post quickly revised the apology to remove the reference to choice, referring instead to "people with whose sexuality the group disagrees."

A call to the Post to ask which queer organization would be receiving the donation was not immediately returned.

UPDATE SEPT 30 - Reports surfaced on blogs that the offensive ad first appeared in the Saturday, Sept 24 print edition of the National Post and that the ad ran nationwide, a fact confirmed by the Post's manager of advertising sales, Enzo Loschiavo.

Loschiavo says the Post is weighing its options and may run a retraction or apology for the ad.

A coalition of queer community groups has also drafted an open letter in response to the ad. The signatories, including Egale, the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line, the 519 Community Centre, Sherbourne Health Centre, Rainbow Health Ontario, Queer Ontario, Fife House, Ontario AIDS Network, Black CAP and the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, call on the leaders of Ontario's political parties to denounce the ad and clarify "where each party stands on the position advanced" in it.

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SEPT 29 -
Social media outlets lit up on Sept 29 after a transphobic ad from the Institute for Canadian Values ran in the National Post.
 
The ad revives the “Stop Corrupting Children” campaign that launched last year to protest proposed revisions to the physical and health education curriculum that would include more sex education for younger children.
 
Under a picture of a young girl, the ad reads, “Please don’t confuse me. I’m a girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transexual [sic], transgendered, interesexed, or two spirited [sic].”
 
The ad calls on the leaders of the three major Ontario parties competing in the Oct 6 election to “stop teachers from confusing” the little girl, as she “face[s] enough in the world already.”
 
It then quotes extensively from a Toronto District School Board curriculum resource document called “Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism,” presenting these optional lessons as mandatory.
 
Hundreds of tweets about the ad went out under the #canqueer hashtag on Twitter in less than 24 hours.
 
The National Post’s manager of advertising sales, Enzo Loschiavo, says the newspaper has received many complaints about the ad, and he’s not sure how it ended up in the newspaper.
 
“The Post wouldn’t generally run this,” Loschiavo says. “We’ll probably take a stance on not running it again.”
 
Loschiavo says the Post is investigating how the ad got booked and printed without being stopped, but he wouldn’t specify what the Post’s advertising standards entailed.
 
“We obviously don’t want to offend anyone, but we also understand that everyone has a freedom of speech,” he says.
 
Trans activist Chase Joynt was quick to respond to the ad by creating a spoof of it with his own face in place of the little girl’s.
 
“I thought it was manipulative to use the face of a small child,” he says. “Where the ad is doing the most damage is in not only presenting trans identities in any form as invalid and shameful, but also to rely on the education system to disseminate these lies.”
 
The Canadian Values campaign is particularly disappointing given that the province has yet to restart consultations or reintroduce its new curriculum as it had promised when it postponed the launch last year.
 
At the time, the Progressive Conservatives wanted the curriculum scrapped, and the New Democrats wanted it implemented. The Liberals have said that they would revise and reintroduce the curriculum following wider parent consultations. Former education minister Kathleen Wynne has told Xtra she expects the curriculum to survive consultations unchanged.

Joynt says the curriculum is necessary to help kids understand their own identities and how queer people fit into the community.
 
“What’s crucial about any curriculum in regard to identity politics is that it’s providing a breadth of options and potentially the inclusion of LGBT rights in any curriculum at any level is that it affords another opinion,” he says. “While I think there is opportunity to speak to things such as when is age appropriate, the ability to learn about those identities is integral to our success as educators.”
 
Charles McVety, whose Canada Christian College houses the Institute for Canadian Values, says he doesn’t believe the ad is homophobic or transphobic.
 
“We’re upset that the Ministry of Education would force our children to learn things that we don’t agree with and, secondly, that they will not allow us to withdraw our children [from the lessons],” McVety says. “Eight-year-olds are very impressionable, and to confuse an eight-year-old is egregious.”
 
He also says the new curriculum is not an appropriate way to deal with homophobic bullying or the rash of gay teen suicides.

“If you are going to deal with the issue of bullying, which I think needs to be dealt with, you deal with bullying. You don’t deal with other topics in the name of bullying. My daughter has red hair; she gets bullied because of her red hair,” McVety says. “There’s so many reasons why a child can be bullied; you don’t teach every little aspect. That appears to be the wedge to get this indoctrination into our classrooms, and we’re upset about it, and I don’t think it’s civil. I don’t think it’s respectful.“

The ad is not currently running in any other newspaper or magazine, but it is viewable on the campaign's website. McVety says he is "not sure right now" if he'll try to place the ad elsewhere in the future.
 
Joynt has created a Facebook page to organize critics of the ad to coordinate a response. More than 150 people have joined.
 
He says his hope is to raise enough money through the group to buy a full-page response ad in the Post.
 
Queer Ontario has also urged its members online to file complaints with Advertising Standards Canada, the national advertising self-regulating body.
 
In an open letter to the National Post, Cliks lead singer Lucas Silveira writes that he is asking the Ontario Human Rights Commission to pursue a hate propaganda investigation against the Post and the Institute for Canadian Values over the ad. Current interpretations of Canadian human rights legislation tend to exclude consideration of advertisements in the media, according to Silveira's lawyer. 

Comments

Gender studies ennui
Savannah, you are perhaps the most tiresome person I've ever had the displeasure to read on these pages. It's obvious you've spent too much time honing your p.c. narratives and not enough in the real world of working people and common sense. You ability to take offence at the order of words in a simple phrase like "homophobia and transphobia" reads almost like a parody. And in a way, you are. Self-erasure? Fuck you, you troll.
Savannah Garmon's post above
People like Savannah Garmon of QuAIA and members of the Pride Free Speech Coalition argued for unrestricted freedom of speech during the recent controversy on whether QuAIA should be allowed to march in the Toronto Pride Parade. In particular, they argued that QuAIA should be able to march and chant in the parade, even if their signs and their chants were deeply offensive or hurtful to Jewish LGBT people. They can't have it both waives. If they argue that QuAIA should be able to make hurtful and hateful statements regarding Jews in Israel, then people like Charles McVety and the Institute for Canadian Values should be able to make hurtful and hateful statements against trans people.
re: Jack
Yeah you're right I should just ignore xox but I so enjoy poking at him/her! xox makes it so easy, and I do admit sometimes I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, especially when it comes to bigots of any sort and especially on this site where I expect most people to know better, well LGBTQ people at least. Plus it just annoys me when right wingers claim they are the salvation of LGBTQ people when they've done squat for us.
Leave it to Rich to bait the trolls
Leave it to Rich to bait the trolls. Now xox will go and find an article in which some Muslim leader made statements against trans people.
Toronto Sun ran same ad today
Apparently the Toronto Sun ran the exact same ad today in spite of the massive protests against it. Its hard to believe that the Sun could out right wing the NP but apparently they have managed to do so. I certainly don't expect the Sun to apologize, but I do encourage everyone to go back and file complaints against the Sun running this ad with Advertizing Standards Canada. Hey xox, notice how only right wing newspapers agreed to run this ad?
Dr? McVety
As I read the news story last night about this ad, without time to follow the leads I already knew who was behind this. Dr. McVety, PhDnothing (Find out about falsified credentials: www.religiousrightalert.ca/2009/04/25/dr-charles-mcvety ) has been meddling in the political arena for years now. The current K-servative government have employed the good "Doctor" for years now. As Mulrooney learned years ago, the job of getting a conservative vote in Canada is a juggling act keeping the various shades of Crazy, Hateful, and Racist all happy enough to vote Kservative without offending the mainstream swingvote. Current Kserves have succeeded where the old Progressives did not, mainly due to a new appetite and capacity for dirty tricks and cheating. McVety is essentially courting Crazy and Hateful vote at your community's expense. Mainstream swing voters will not take offense because on the surface it's not a prospective government making the noise out their hateholes, it's just a religious nut. Meanwhile Canada's growing Willinfully-Ignorant demographic has been well courted. Unfortunately, our justifiable outrage and subsequent outcry only increases the exposure the ad got. I even find the apology from NP is likely as or more cynical than the original decision to post, as it continues to add exposure in excess of it's original reach. Sadly, the more we challenge this the more free advertising our social conservatives will get for this despicable display. Not being a religious person myself, I am even thwarted the comfort that the hypocrisy will be severely punished by the big wizard in the clouds, and I sincerely doubt McVety troubles himself with this worry either. Not because his conscience is clean. No, not being an idiot, McVety knows he is being dishonest. I simply refuse to believe that this man can be genuinely Christian and still be so hateful. Oh well. There goes my country. wikipedia for more
various responses to transphobic ad
I would like to thank Xtra for its coverage around the transphobic that recently appeared in the National Post and the ensuing fallout. In particular I would like to acknowledge that Xtra handled the language around trans issues with competence and care. Unfortunately, some responses from other corners in the queer and trans community have been less clever. Some have called the ad "homophobic and transphobic" (prioritizing homophobia) or simply "homophobic." Certainly the ad contains implied homophobia in the fine print, however transphobia is the consistent theme throughout. This is not accidental: opponents of queer and trans liberation believe that they can use more vulnerable elements of our community as an entry point to attack it in its entirety. The appropriate response is not to ignore trans and intersex people or trans issues, but to stand up unflinchingly and defend everyone in our community. Further, any response to this ad that merely refers to homophobia participates in the act of erasing trans identities and trans bodies. Quite ironic considering that the entire goal of the ad is to shame trans and intersex people into silence and self-erasure.
Gender-Sexual Binary Mental Disorders...
Gender-Sexual Binary Dysphoria or Sexual-Gender Binary Dysphoria, Gender-Sexual Binary Confusion Disorder or Sexual-Gender Binary Confusion Disorder, and Gender-Sexual Binary Fetishistic Disorder or Sexual-Gender Binary Fetishistic Disorder. Each individual suffers from a mental disorder of believing SEX is what defines GENDER (SEX=GENDER). Even though in the natural world, more than TWO (Binary) SEX+GENDER combinations exist throughout all of human history. They, most in the WORLD, need help, they need treatment, it is called EDUCATION. That's a TWIST in what is in effect happening with a world that is still oblivious to what is biologically natural. This way, the conventional 'binary only' members (Müllerian Sexed Females and Wolffian Sexed Males) cannot say they alone exist, but that all others exist NATURALLY TOO: Müllerian Sexed MALES and NEUTROIS, Wolffian Sexed FEMALES and NEUTROIS, and of course, Müllerian-Wolffian INTERSEXED (Females, Males and Neutrois).
CHILDREN KNOW what their GENDER Identity IS...
CHILDREN KNOW what their GENDER Identity IS... They cannot be confused internally. BUT, they can be confused externally, if their parents or teachers force them to DENY what their own senses tell them, or force them by scaring them to not question who they are and how they NATURALLY ARE compared to how others NATURALLY ARE gender-wise, the EXIST for REAL out in the world. No 'hush-hush' LIES of concealing natural realities of VARIATIONS of the gender spectrum (for those who may have atypical gender identities for their sexed bodies; cerebral intersexuals) or of the sex spectrum (for those who may have atypical sexed bodies for their gendered minds; genital intersexuals).
Cerebrally Intersexed... (instead of genitally)
The oppressively pathologizing notion of 'trans-sexed', which otherwise would be more precisely, biologically, and developmentally 'Cerebrally Intersexed' (instead of genitally, as in the case of those considered CONVENTIONALLY 'Intersexed') should be pointed out that it (transsexuality) is, like, any intersexual condition, not a option one can choose. It's a way you are DEVELOPED (birth is just a part of that process) IN THE UNCHANGEABLE GENDER AREAS OF THE BRAIN (that finalizes-for-life in early INFANCY AFTER BIRTH). Intersexuals are included for the simple reason the ignorant public treat them as physically sexually unnatural, and think they are mentally or socially susceptible to 'evils' or 'sins' of gender expressing atypically, or having atypical (read: homosexual) sexual preferences. Which is absurd, for either Cerebral Intersexuals (transsexuals) or Genital Intersexuals (the more conventional intersexuals). What Cerebral Intersexuals (labelled 'trans' or 'transsexuals' and others 'transgenderals' (yes, i have to make up these terms to communicate effectively and precisely)) must go through due to societal IGNORANCE is FORCED CONFORMANCE to a GENDER EXPRESSED LIFE totally out of alignment from their very real BRAIN GENDER IDENTITY (BGI) that is not usually 'associated or equated to' their SEX PARTS. This is the unscientific concept that SEX=GENDER. The Cerebral Intersexuals (so called 'trans'-sexuals have ATYPICAL GENDER for their SEXED bodies, and IS NATURAL, not a mistake, not a 'freak' and not 'mentally ill', nor 'evil or sinful'). Their INNATE GENDER sense is REAL, not imagined nor FAKE. What Genital Intersexuals go through due to societal IGNORANCE is FORCED CONFORMANCE to a SEX CONFIGURATION with the butchery of surgery, where their atypical genitalia does not fit the 'most common' genitalia of the GENDER or SEX they are assumed should be 'natural'. In their case, their physical genitalia is in fact NATURAL.

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