This Is What Happened When I Stood Up Publicly for Trans Rights to the Toronto Public Library Board by Gwen Benaway (Flare Magazine)

I spent the days after my meeting with the [Toronto Public Library] being attacked on social media by “gender critical” activists who called me a man, said I was ugly and called my speech “narcissistic” and “nuts.” The connection between the TPL’s decision and the emboldening of transphobic speech and attacks on trans women in public life seems to have been lost on most commentators, but it’s clear that the TPL’s actions have already resulted in significant harm to trans folks in Toronto and beyond.

Under these conditions, explaining the difference between free speech and providing a publicly funded platform for thoroughly discredited viewpoints that are likely to cause significant harm to an extremely vulnerable community seems pointless. Debates like these serve to offer up trans life for public discussion, as something that people can have an opinion on—but other people’s humanity should not be subject to your opinion.

Trans people shouldn’t have had to beg the TPL Board to not grant publicly funded space to promote misinformation. I shouldn’t have had to ask Vickery Bowles if she thought I should use a men’s washroom or if she considered me a woman. Yet talks like Meghan Murphy’s are designed to normalize questioning trans folks and the notion that recognizing our fundamental human rights is causing harm to others. And they work.

Read the entire article here.

Editor's note: Much has been written about the Meghan Murphy event at a branch of the Toronto Public Library, the protest against it, and the city's subsequent review of community space policies. It would be impractical to summarize everything but librarians Jane Schmidt and Meredith G. Farkas both authored blog posts on the topic. This statement by the TPL union is worth reading and there was even a comic depicting the protest.