Episode #15: T.R.A.G.I.C - The Real Tragedy
Hey, Cis; Hey, who? Cis = latin preface for 'on the same side as. Cisgender is someone whose gender identity aligns with their sex as assigned at birth.
Cisgender is someone who has the ability to make the world safer, brighter and more inclusive for trans people young and old. Cisgender is someone who needs to be an intentional part of the conversation -- so let's talk.
Cynthia Sweeney is the mother of three amazing children and lives with her husband and family in Halifax, Nova Scotia. One of her children is transgender.
Isaac Cook is a trans and non-binary social scientist, educator and lives with his partner near Truro, Nova Scotia. For more... see our About page.
This podcast is 100% volunteer-based and we appreciate your support and tuning in.
In this episode we were excited to be joined by the following guests:
Tristan Coolman (he/him)
Tristan Coolman is president of a Pflag chapter in York Region in Ontario.
Over the last three years Pflag YR has led the efforts in Ontario to lobby the provincial government to revert their curriculum back to a realistic model which begins to better equip our younger generations with the language and confidence to express themselves as they choose without worrying about the pressures of gender norms.
Megan Kean (she/her)
Megan (she/her) is a registered nurse with 12 years of experience working in pediatrics and a student in the Master's of Nursing program at Dalhousie University. She is a mother to 8-year-old twins, one of which is a proud transgender girl, Bri.
Bri socially transitioned in grade 1 and her peers were very supportive of her thanks to her amazing teacher Mme. Kelsey. Megan is grateful for the wonderful support of her teachers, friends, family, and the trans community over the past two years and is very proud of her family. Megan was a guest on Hey, Cis! episode 2, 'What would you want for your own child?'.
Kathy is from the Halifax area and a parent of 3 boys. When her youngest son came out in 2016 as transgender it was a blessing and welcome answer to questions they had been seeking for years. Her family could not have made it through 6 years of struggle prior to this without the help and support from his teachers, principals and his mental health team. The support of those folks in the school system are one of the main reasons Kathy's son is with us today. She knows the value of having teachers and school staff who are educated on how to help and willing to help and support students through some of their most challenging times in life. Especially when not all parents and families are as accepting.
Kelsey Myles (she/her)
Kelsey is currently a grade Primary/One French Immersion teacher within the Halifax Regional School Centre for Education. She has 10 years teaching experience both within Halifax and abroad in International Schools. Kelsey's been involved in Simply Good Forms Inclusive Reads program for 2 years now. She’s an educator who strives to ensure an inclusive learning environment in which all students feel accepted, safe and valued.
Maggie Barnhill (she/her)
Maggie is a lawyer, turned stay at home mom, turned teacher. She has 3 teenage sons whom I am (hopefully successfully) raising to be good humans. She teaches within Nova Scotia.
Canadian teachers received a deceiving and potentially harmful email this past week. It was written supposedly by 'a fellow teacher' and addressed all Canadian teachers.
The widely distributed email from Megan Giacomelli, calls upon teachers to join the project T.R.A.G.I.C. (Teachers Resisting All Gender Ideological Curriculum). It's mandate is simple and extremely dangerous for educators and all students:
'...to get teachers in touch within same boards and geographical areas so we may be able to speak up in solidarity and support to effect change at a board level.' 'I feel very concerned about the pressure to teach content regarding gender ideology, which I believe to be a harmful form of indoctrination and completely inappropriate for children.'
The email targets those who are not educated on gender identity beyond the binary and it is well disguised as 'informative' rather than for what it truly is: transphobic and baseless. Is the author really a teacher? We don't know. Do they stand behind their real name? Uncertain.
What is their background and their personal agenda?
In this episode, our panel of guests, with lived experience, with education and with fact-based, science-based and most importantly with human rights based information are coming together to share their reaction to the email and talk about why it is so potentially harmful.
Tune-in as we talk about protecting trans and non-binary children through policy and accountability; and we ask Nova Scotia Department of Early Childhood Education:
How can you ensure teachers know where to go to the information they need to support trans and non-binary students of any age? Because, current stats show the majority of Nova Scotia teachers are uncertain and uncomfortable finding these resources.
Hey, Cis! is a beyond binary conversation in being a better human.
We are about current affairs and gender-based issues affecting trans and non-binary youth, students and adults within our Maritime community.
We take on difficult topics; (and this week it is a difficult topic), breaking us out of the binary, smashing stigma and fostering greater connection between our cisgender community and trans, gender creative and non-binary community.