Last week, president of the Institute for Canadian Values, evangelical Christian leader Charles McVety, ran a transphobic ad in The National Post with a doe-eyed little victim and the message “PLEASE! Don’t confuse me. I’m a girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transexual, transgender, intersexed, or two-spirited.” The paper has apologized for the ad, but why did they even run it in the first place?
The paper’s apology reads in part:
The National Post has procedures in place for vetting the content of advertising, especially advocacy advertising. The procedures are intended to ensure that such ads meet a standard of tone and respect that is consistent with furthering constructive dialogue about important public policy issues.
In this case, those procedures were not followed…
Where the ad exceeded the bounds of civil discourse was in its 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 its singling out of groups of people with whose sexuality the group disagrees.
OK, so someome was asleep at the wheel. At least the paper has agreed to donate the ad’s proceeds to an LGBT organization.
Meanwhile, we have contacted the Ontario School Board Department of Curriculum to see if the ad’s central premise—that kids pre-K through third grade are in fact learning about gender identity—is in fact true. If it is, it will be interesting to see how the district handles that curriculum and its overall educational utility (ie. what they are learning and what the desired results are).