Lethbridge UCP candidate Torry Tanner does not understand the falsity of her beliefs on gender identity. She claims teachers are helping children “…change their gender identity…”. The core of her problem is her false belief that gender identity can be “changed”, or as some who agree with her say, that it is a lifestyle choice, loosely akin to choosing to wear a red shirt in the morning, but changing to a green one in the afternoon.
To Ms. Tanner and to anyone who agrees with her I say I will not prove you wrong, you will prove yourself wrong if you genuinely and truthfully answer the following two questions. Please try.
Firstly, gender identity is at the core of a person and their personality. It is foundational to one’s sense of self and to one’s social interactions. If you identify as straight (male-female mutual attraction), please tell us all what the date was on which you chose to be straight? That is question one. Such a deeply personal and momentous choice would certainly be remembered by everyone making it. If you can’t tell us the exact date, perhaps an event or an important occurrence, e.g. high school graduation, resides in your memory as the defining moment you made your choice on your gender identity.
Secondly, a harmless experiment. Please participate. If gender identity is a choice, or if it can be changed, as Torry Tanner believes, then to her and to all who agree with her I issue a challenge: choose to be gay, as an experiment. Try it wholeheartedly for ten minutes, or an hour, or for a day, or a week – for whatever length of time you choose. If you find you do not like the change you can always go back because you are sure it is a choice, right? The second question comes after the experiment. What is it like to be gay?
Please answer both questions fully, after diligent consideration, then write a letter to the newspaper to have your answers published if you wish.
The truth is no one knows the answer to question one, because there is no answer, because gender identity is not a choice, and no one can do the experiment in question two, because gender identity is not a choice, which you will prove to yourself if you try to answer the questions. Do you have the courage to try? Do you have the courage to understand that gender identity is what it is? Do you have the courage to respect everyone as they are, regardless?
Gregory R. Côté, Irvine
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