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Steve Weatherbe

Opinion,

‘Call him Bella’: Trans politics comes to East Winnipeg

Steve Weatherbe

WINNIPEG, Canada, September 22, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Transgender correctness, the latest oppressive variant of liberal orthodoxy, has come to the working-class school district of east Winnipeg, east of the Red River, north of the old Canadian Pacific Railway yards, called River East Transcona.

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission has pondered how the practical people in charge of the River East Transcona School District accommodated a young boy who says he is really a girl named Bella – with a gender-neutral washroom – and found their solution wanting. Public hearings will reportedly be held to help the district come to its senses.

So say the parents of  "Bella," whose given name appears nowhere in the extensive news media coverage of the year-old dispute. Dale and Izzy Burgos first complained last year when their then-eight-year-old son returned to school claiming to be a girl. The staff let him use the girl's washroom until the mother of a real girl complained, loudly and on several occasions, to "Bella" and Izzy. And to the school authorities, evidently, for they instructed the boy to use a gender-neutral washroom.

The Burgoses complained to the MHRC about bullying by the other parent and mistreatment by the district. "Yes, it's just a bathroom," Dale told reporters, "but it means so much more. Basically, the essence of using the bathroom, the gender bathroom that you identify with, that means that you're just accepted as who you are."

While school districts across North America are slowly surrendering to the threat of human rights commission-imposed orthodoxy, River East Transcona had apparently not yet absorbed the key dogma: whatever a trans person says about his or her gender cannot be questioned. The MHRC asked the parties to accept mediation. They did, but the parents weren't satisfied with it. They wanted Bella to be accepted in the girls' washroom, and they wanted the school district to produce a policy expressing the proper fealty to trans orthodoxy.

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The latest act in the melodrama is the MHRC's admission that mediation has failed and its declaration that there is enough apparent evidence of discrimination against Bella on the basis of his "gender identity" to take the complaint to a full public hearing.

Mr. Burgos sees this as progress. "Most importantly ... it definitely justifies it and it almost feels like we've got somebody on our side, and it's a good feeling."

The school district has issued a careful statement: "River East Transcona is committed to making our schools a safe place for all students – and specific to this case – transgendered students. We're fully supportive of the process of a public hearing and we're committed to its findings." 

While the school district admitted to no wrongdoing, the news reportage reflects a struggle that at one level is already over. Every report terms the trans boy a girl without qualification or parentheses. The British journal the Spectator has produced a blog post about the new orthodoxy tied to the male-to-female trans celebrity Bruce Jenner: "Call Me Caitlyn – or Else, The Rise of Authoritarian Transgender Politics."

The post describes how it has become an ideological truth in progressive circles that a "trans" person's assumed gender identification must be accepted or even celebrated by everyone, with dissenters facing excoriation in social media. "Those who deny the gender of Caitlyn Jenner are hounded by bots into apologising for their moral error," writes blogger Brendan O'Neill. Even using male pronouns to recount Jenner's bygone Olympic feats against the best unrepentantly male triathletes in the world is forbidden. Indeed, it seems as though "people like Bruce/Caitlyn have always been women … even when they were 'fathering' children."

When LifeSiteNews reported the skeptical response of Toronto Psychiatrist Joseph Berger to the Carleton-Ottawa School District's draft guidelines for dealing with trans youths, several board members responded with links to scurrilous blogs attacking Berger's professionalism. Berger's take is that "[t]here is no such thing as 'transgendered children.' There are children of very mixed-up parents" incapable of telling their children to dress properly for school.

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