(OTTAWA), Wednesday, February 25, 2015.
Hello, my name is Chris Rickert and I am a retired Canadian Forces Communications Research Specialist, and a native of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
I have served my country for over twenty years, and during this time I had two partnerships that blessed me with two children. My daughters are my pride and joy. One of my girls was also my first born son. I am willing to answer your questions, as one dad/parent to another, about what I have learned from my kids.
If you agree to Senator Plett’s amendment today, the new law will likely try to force my daughter to use a boy’s public washroom or change room, then you will become an agent of injustice to another. My daughter is a (young) woman, and she deserves protection too. Please pass this important legislation without amendment.
Gender identity has nothing to do with sexuality, or deviant behaviour. Identity expression is not pathological. If you pass the amendment, you are effectively demonizing my nine year old child, and increasing the already dangerous odds that she, (and over 1.5% of Canada’s population) will die by violence. According to nobullying.com, transgender people are 400 times more likely to be assaulted or murdered than the general population, and in Ontario, are 6 times more likely to take their own life. Does that mean my beautiful girl has a 50/50 chance of survival?
If this specious amendment should pass, many families from across this country are ready to begin an active and purposeful campaign of civil disobedience, against what we are afraid may be, an unenforceable and unjust law.
Whatever the outcome today, my daughters will continue to use the washroom door with the symbol of a superhero on it. They are girls, and they are superheroes. My job as a father is to protect my children from laws that offer impunity to those perpetrators of violence who would express their fear, ignorance and hatred of my kids, simply because of their physical features.
Christopher Rickert, M.S. (Retired), RCN
“If a plant cannot live according to its nature, then it dies; and so a man.” (H. D. Thoreau)