Canadian trans activists are calling for a boycott of an Ontario food bank after one of its board members spoke out in support of an Ottawa father who raised concerns about males in female spaces at his daughter’s school.
Open Sesame, an online “progressive” book store, announced they would be pausing donations to the Food Bank of Waterloo as long as trans-identified male director Julia Malott sits on the board.
Malott’s supposed crime is speaking out in support of Ottawa father Nick Morabito who was shut down at an Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) meeting earlier this month when he raised genuine concerns about male students being allowed to access the female washrooms and changing rooms at his daughter’s school. Morabito was cut off in the first minute of his speech and eventually asked to leave the building.
Malott, while not commenting on the content of Morabito’s speech, expressed support for his right to finish his delegation. This, according to Sesame Books, and other trans activists, amounts to transphobia.
Activist Fitsum Areguy, who claims to have a “diverse and rich history of work in the social service sector” then called on others to follow suit and deprive the region’s most destitute of food as a way to silence Malott.
“I strongly urge everyone in Waterloo Region to follow suit and pause their donations/support for the @FoodBankWatReg until Julia Malott is removed from the board. Local trans + queer students are not safe as long as organizations continue to legitimize and work with Mallot,” Areguy tweeted.
Activist Sam Hersh, of Horizon Ottawa, tweeted to say Malott "doesn't care about people with diverse opinions and prefers to allow people with openly transphobic views to have a voice.”
“I personally, not that I agree with everything that trustees do, I think that this was the right call,” Hersh told City News. “I don't think we should tolerate that sort of thing. I think it's important to say the rights of trans people to live in dignity is not up for debate.”
Waterloo trans activist Cait Glasson also “vigorously opposes” Malott’s stance.
Glasson believes Malott is “part of a small subset of the trans community” known as “transmedicalism,” which according to Glasson wants “trans identity to be defined as tightly as possible, and tied as tightly as possible to suffering.”
Glasson also declared a boycott of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region for as long as Malott sits on the board, and Hersh told City News he did not see a problem with a boycott as a way to make a political statement.
“It is certainly disappointing that there are individuals who are willing to cause hardship to our most marginalized citizens in the interest of 'punishing' an individual whose views they find unpalatable,” said Malott in a statement to The Post Millennial.
“Personally, I can't fathom how anyone would even consider attacking a food bank in retaliation for any statement, but it is all the more egregious given that what I stated was simply that we must protect an individual's right to free speech.”
“With respect to the matter that started this cancel campaign, I spoke in support of Nick Morabito's right to speak at the OCDSB meeting. I have made no comment with regards to the position Nick advocates for. That individuals are willing to launder a cancel campaign in response to my support of Nick is a shocking display of disregard for the tenets of our democracy,” Malott added.
Morabito’s delegation on the issue of single-sex spaces was shut down by OCDSB trustee and mask-enthusiast Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth on March 8. Kaplan-Myrth had assumed the role of acting chair after the trans-identified male chair of the board, Lyra Evans, left the board room almost immediately after Morabito began his speech.
A petition has since been launched calling for Kaplan-Myrth to be removed from the board.
“By arbitrarily taking away this parent’s right to express his concerns, Nili Kaplan-Myrth is threatening the integrity and severely undermining the entire schoolboard’s reputation including other board member’s reputations that may not share her views or approach and can only serve to generate more hate and division in our community,” states the petition that at the time of writing had garnered almost 7,000 signatures.
Kaplan-Myrth responded by calling for the petition to be taken down, citing “transphobia” among other reasons.
Morabito has been given permission to finish his delegation at the upcoming OCDSB board meeting on March 28.
In a statement to The Post Millennial, Morabito condemned the accusations of hate directed at Malott.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like navigating this society with such a mindset that someone advocating for respectful dialogue between opposing ideas is somehow the advocation of hate speech,” he said.
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