BOOK

Episode #10: Be the Change, Not the Archie Bunker

Season #1

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.

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'I saw that video and although I've never been beaten like that... I could certainly relate to what that child was experiencing, in some way.

And my questions are really about:

  • What is happening there?

  • Where was the staff?

  • Why are these kids cheering them on?"

This Podcast we are joined by the President of Pflag Vancouver, Colin McKenna

As a 13-year-old, Colin was kicked in the back in a homophobic assault in B.C. while at a phone booth on a call to his mother.  In 2020, Cynthia removed her 13-year-old from their public Jr. High School in Nova Scotia because of transphobia.

This. story. is. not. new.

It is happening across Canada. And many of these hate crimes go unreported.

This month a 13-year-old, Grade 8 student experienced a vicious assault on Jan. 11th in British Columbia. 

The scene is too familiar:

A person lies on the ground covering their face; tucking in their head; while being physically assaulted. A circle of bystanders gather around mocking and videoing. A bet was shouted out by a bystander on where she would be kicked next.

Nobody intervened.

'That playground situation was painful in so many ways...Nobody wants to see 13-year-olds being arrested. But if they're assaulting other people, that's the consequence,' says McKenna.

It is a conversation deserving of everybody's attention; especially cisgender folks across Canada.

The first response by the Mission Schools Super Intendant was that it could have been Covid-instigated, when it was transphobic bullying. And not bullying - it was a full on assault.

The story also remained provincial - meaning many Canadians aren't aware this even happened - or does happen, in our Canadian schools. CBC didn't air the story until a rally took place in an action of solidarity to support the young girl, four days after the attack.

Be the change:

We asked Colin what can Cisgender parents and caregivers do.

  • Those parents can be the ones who explain to the kids what it means to be LGBTQ;

  • Explain to your children the fact that beating someone up for being differently is inherently wrong;

  • Call out the bigotry you hear.  'If you're in a parents group and you hear somebody say something about gay, trans, coloured people; call it out and be the person who really owns that. Squash it.'

 

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.