Respect existence or expect resistance

On Political Intolerance,

Over the past year, in almost every single issue of the Mirror, there has been at least one article concerning the new SOGI123 curriculum being introduced in BC schools.

The majority of the articles are detail the “concerns” of anti-SOGI individuals. Not once have I seen an article commenting on how beneficial the new SOGI123 curriculum will be for students of all orientations and identities, nor have I read about how the health classes will now offer broader education on health and language.

Every single article about SOGI focuses on the bigots who wish to continue to erase queer existence and ignore queer history. Most of these people no longer have school-age children who will be exposed to the curriculum. They are nothing more than individuals filled with hatred and disgust towards the LGBTQ+ community, when the community did nothing more than exist. These people hide behind shrouds of lies, claiming that their opinions are not being respected, that those who continue to support SOGI123 are “bullying” them, by tearing up their bigoted propaganda and ushering them off public school grounds. They turn around and call us bigots for promoting tolerance and tearing down their queerphobic reigns.

The question I have for these people is; How does it feel? How does it feel to have your thoughts and opinions completely ignored? How does it feel to have people fire back when you promote your messages? It’s not great.

For decades, the LGBTQ+ community has been fighting tooth and nail for minor victories. The right to love, to be ourselves, to educate others. We’re allotted these small victories, but it’s never made easy. We haven’t given up yet, and we’re not about to just because you think you’re being “bullied.” SOGI123 will prevail, and acceptance will win. When the anti-SOGI bigots promote their intolerance, it will not be tolerated.

There seems to be more concern regarding the recently-disfigured signs rather than when anti-SOGI groups from out of town came in with their ignorant propaganda covering the license plates on their cars, to distribute even more ignorance to educational administration.

As a queer student who recently graduated from Carihi, it pains me to see anti-SOGI candidates running for school trustee. It pains me to see this intolerance being tolerated.

We are not the bigots for fighting back and defending ourselves. These anti-SOGI individuals are the bigots for disrespecting education, tolerance and acceptance.

Respect existence, or expect resistance.

After all, intolerance should not be tolerated.

E. P. Penman

Campbell River