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Tegan and Sara Foundation Launches Open Letter: Artists Against Anti-Trans Legislation in Canada

Tegan and Sara Foundation has announced the launch of the Open Letter: Artists Against Anti-Trans Legislation in Canada, on Sunday, March 31, Trans Day of Visibility via an open letter.

The letter is signed by more than 400 artists and represents a call-to-action from artists living in or hailing from Canada to turn attention to the concerning rise of anti-trans legislation in the country.” Signees include everyone from Alanis Morissette and Neil Young to Sarah McLachlan and Anne Murray.

We all deserve the freedom to be ourselves, to be safe and treated with dignity. 2SLGBTQIA+ people are our friends, family, neighbours and coworkers. But far right groups are tapping into fear and pitting us against each other so they can create a Canada where we’re afraid of difference. Right now, they’re using trans people as their punching bag, but the truth is that this community is their convenient scapegoat. Their agenda is the same it’s always been: for people in power to retain that power at the expense of the most marginalized among us.

For those outside of Canada, the country is often seen as a human rights haven. However, the reality is that Canada is not immune to the global attack on the trans community and their access to inclusive spaces, healthcare and freedoms. In Alberta, premier Danielle Smith has targeted transgender youth with proposed bans on hormonal treatment, puberty blockers and gender-confirmation surgery. Months before, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan announced that they will require parental consent before schools can honour the chosen names and pronouns of gender-diverse children under 16.

Everyone deserves access to crucial healthcare services that affirm them. Anyone holding a historically-excluded identity knows what it’s like to be treated differently because of who they are. The anti-trans policies taking root in Canada go beyond discrimination – they present a clear risk to the mental and physical well-being of trans individuals throughout the country.

As artists, we know the danger of a social and political environment that restricts expression, exploration, individuality and self-determination. We want to keep living in a world that celebrates the beauty of difference, because difference and art go hand in hand. We also believe in the power of using our voices for those who aren’t being heard. 

We, the undersigned artists from Canada, stand against these alarming and destructive policies, and call on the general public to turn their attention to a growing problem in our country. The government should never put themselves between parents, their kids, and evidence-based healthcare and supports. We are trending towards more harmful anti-trans legislation in Canada, and we call on our communities and local and national policymakers to put a stop to this concerning surge in anti-trans policy. 

Statement prepared by the Tegan and Sara Foundation Board of Directors with support from Fae Johnstone.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38061 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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