Letter: Writer appalled over online hate directed at Pride Manitoulin

But not surprised

To the Expositor:

I’m writing as a parent of a LGBTQ2S+ young adult. I can’t speak for the LGBTQ2S+ community and I won’t speak over them. I’d like to say I’m appalled at the hate spewed about Pride Manitoulin and the grant they received, but I’m not surprised that it came out. I’ve been on the receiving end of this type of vitriol just for being a parent of a transgender child. I’ve seen my child affected by the hate that is directed at him just for existing.

As a cisgender, heterosexual, white woman I know I have privilege and I like to think I use it in a positive way. It truly boggles my mind that other people have a need to direct their hate and anger at a marginalized group of people. It’s for this exact reason that Prides exist. It’s not just for the current people who are out, but also for the children coming who shouldn’t be afraid to be who they are and love who they love. 

As for the online comments, one person said he didn’t see any comments from children, implying, I guess, that his words won’t affect them. However, that doesn’t mean they haven’t seen the comments directed towards them. While my son is an adult, he saw your words and he was affected as he was a student at MSS when you taught there. Words can, very often, affect people even more than actions. I now wonder how safe was he at school when someone who was a teacher can be openly hateful towards our kids in a public forum such as Facebook. What does someone like that behave when alone with a child.

He wasn’t alone in his hate speech, though. There was a comment all in caps. Why would you need to yell at our children? Why would another person question the existence of so many Pride celebrations that take place in many Canadian cities? They take place because hate exists there, too, and people here can’t just up and travel somewhere else. 

Going back to the grant in question, there was a grant proposal written and sent because that’s what the money is for.  Events such as Pride Manitoulin are important to our government, therefore the people, otherwise the grant wouldn’t exist.  In the grand scheme of things, $18,000 isn’t that much when you consider the costs of a weekend long event.

It’s not just for “a parade.” It’s to put things in place so that the whole of Manitoulin can come and learn and celebrate with our LGBTQ2S+ community all weekend that, whether you accept it or not, exists here on Manitoulin Island.

So, love this wonderful community or not, it’s your choice, but I chose to love my kid unconditionally and all LGBTQ2S+ humans. Because, in the end, that’s what we are. Humans, with feelings. Love to all.

Sue Murphy