Tag Archives: centre for inquiry

Update: CFI Covers Up Transphobic Pride Parade Plans

21 Jun

In an apparent attempt to obtain an ally cookie from the trans* community of Toronto, Centre for Inquiry planned to dress their members in drag and march in the Pride Parade.

This year we’re going to have a bit of fun- and show our support for the trans community BY DRESSING IN DRAG. Transphobia is an insidious and often overlooked problem which effects thousands of Canadians.

CFI apparently had no idea that their effort was actually the transphobia they were trying to avoid in action. The complicated history between drag communities and trans communities is not one which has a place for an uninvited atheist community.

Several members of the trans community, as well as allies, started a small e-mail campaign to bring the organization’s attention to their blatant transphobia. In response, CFI quietly removed the offending statements with no acknowledgement to the complaints.

The now removed transphobia from CFI

This is not good enough. CFI is perpetuating the invisibility of the trans* community by refusing to comment on the legitimate concerns of trans* people. Instead of using this as an learning opportunity for their diverse following, CFI is silencing trans* voices in hopes of covering up their transphobia.

And don’t get me started on the problems associated with straight people dressing in drag at Pride to begin with.

UPDATE: Almost immediately after this post hit Twitter and Facebook, Jaimy Warner responded on the CFI @Pride event page – excerpt:

I admit that I could have worded the content better-it was not my intention to suggest drag and trans are the same … I can see how the juxtaposition of ‘drag’ and ‘trans’ could have easily been interpreted as offensive, and I have since removed that particular content from this event, the website and our newsletter.

A typical not-pology, placing the blame on queer people for being offended instead of owning up to the fact that the staff at CSI is still learning about the oppressions that trans* people face.

My advice to CFI members: Skip the drag and celebrate Pride like the rest of us do – being proud of who we are.

UPDATE 2: Warner has posted another apology, cancelled the drag event, and promised to look into the situation further.

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