On October 21st, the Quebec Government tabled Bill 2 proposed by Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette. This bill came with many backlashes, essentially being called the most transphobic bill ever proposed. Basically, the bill would change the civil code and allow only transgender people who undergo gender-affirming surgery to file a request to change their sex on their birth certificate. While on November 8th, the bill dropped this so-called requirement after immense backlash, the fact that it was ever proposed is still a problem.
Let’s talk stats. According to a report done in 2020 by Trans PULSE Canada, trans and non-binary Canadians face an increased risk of physical violence, harassment, and sexual assault. Furthermore, according to data on the Quebec government website, over 40% of the population has witnessed an act of homophobia or transphobia.
This bill would essentially make it so that trans people who choose not to have gender-affirming surgery will have different answers under their birth certificate’s sex and gender sections. Activists were worried that this would make trans people threats to violence since when they are showing ID, they are revealing to that person that they are trans.
Let’s also not forget that while sex and gender are two different things, no trans person owes you a change to their body for them to receive the pronouns, name, and changes in legal forms that they desire. Transgender people, especially youth, are in extreme danger in society, and the only trans issue the government should be involved in is implementing social programs and curriculum in classrooms to keep them safe.
While we sort of dodged a bullet, remember that this was still an attack on the trans community and recognize that respecting people’s pronouns is the bare minimum. We need to be better.
By Isabella Del Grosso