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  • Writer's pictureToni Vonk

Targeting TERFS

By Toni Vonk

Dodging the darts of reality-denying thugs

The online activity and opinions expressed by Canadians who raise concerns about women’s sex-based rights and child safeguarding are being monitored and weaponized. Transgender rights activists (TRAs), intent on ousting those they disagree with from their jobs and communities, are targeting citizens who insist that no one can actually change their sex and that children should not be indoctrinated in gender ideology or subjected to dangerous “gender-affirming” practices or procedures.

A now-deleted tweet by Fae Johnstone, Director, Wisdom2Action. See the entire thread.

The persecution of BC nurse, Amy Eileen Hamm, continues to drag on this month, a full three years since the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives began its investigation of her off-duty and online conduct. Complaints leveled against Hamm, who helped erect a billboard in appreciation of J.K. Rowling’s statements in support of women’s rights, include her articles for recognized media outlets as well as her personal social media posts.

Underscoring the concept that the process is the punishment, the professional future of this single mother of two young children, who is unpaid for all the days the disciplinary hearing is conducted (presently running at 21), remains under threat, for "speaking unpopular truths."

Ongoing as well, is the attempted take-down of Dr. Jordan B Peterson, Canada's stadium-filling star psychologist. He was sentenced in June by the College of Psychologists of Ontario to attend, pass, and pay for social media acceptable-use training. He risks losing his license for tweeting certain words, including referring to a well-known movie actress by the name she used for over three decades before having her healthy breasts amputated and switching to he/they pronouns.

The miserable irony that Peterson should be punished in this fashion, himself an expert in 20th-century totalitarianism and the re-education camps of the Soviet Gulag system, cannot be understated.

These high-profile occupational harassment cases have bolstered the confidence of vigilante trolls who seemingly feel justified in scheming to destroy the lives of fellow citizens who do not share their delusions. Especially women who refute popular lies about biological reality.

A targeted attack

Georgina Eliot (alias used to protect the individual's identity) is an Ontario-based psychotherapist-in-training, now waiting on her licensing examination results.

Nearing the end of her qualifying period, Georgina’s clinical supervisor received an anonymous email informing her of Georgina’s gender critical opinions and activities shared online under an alias. Even while her social media handle did not identify her by name, and her profile images did not feature her face, the informer had been able to deduce it was Georgina through the web addresses of her account profile pages.

Attaching screenshots of her postings to the email, the informer decried Georgina’s concerns about the in-school exposure and manipulation of children in gender identity theory and practice. They pointed to Georgina’s planned attendance at the September 20th Million March 4 Children as proof of her anti-LGBTQ and transphobic sentiments. Then the informer made clear to the supervisor that they were watching her clinic (which is advertised online with a symbol indicating a progressive mindset) and stated that they did not think her clinic could provide effective care for queer clients if Georgina was employed there as a therapist.

Despite the fact that Georgina’s concerns about the dangers of gender self-identification are shared by a majority of Canadians, and a recent poll confirms that most Canadians do not agree with teacher-child gender secrets at school, the supervisor immediately took Georgina to task.

It didn't matter that Georgina’s social media posts did not identify her by picture or name nor associate her with the therapy clinic. The supervisor suggested that Georgina write an explanatory mea culpa of her off-duty, online actions. With just a couple of weeks to go before her licensing exam, and now under threat of losing her supervisory support and office accommodation, Georgina complied. She wrote a letter in which she acknowledged how her statements could have been interpreted by members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community as hateful, apologized for any pain the posts may have caused, advised that she would delete her social media accounts, explained that she would not be specializing in or providing 2SLGBTQ+ counseling services, and committed herself to taking diversity and inclusion training as part of her ongoing professional development.

The supervisor, however, declined Georgina’s hostage letter, demanding instead that Georgina “do the research” and produce something that proved she understood the hardships suffered by transgender-identifying persons.

Georgina then tried to present facts: that trans-identified persons are not all unified on the issue of self-identification and that not all agree with the SOGI school curriculum or with pediatric transitioning. But her supervisor doubled down, citing their code of ethics.

Georgina wrote a second capitulatory note and asked to discuss the situation further. It was Friday.

An anxiety-filled weekend followed, during which Georgina tried to calm herself by writing about her awakening as to what has transpired in Canadian society wherein deranged men may now run roughshod over women, and physically healthy children may be experimentally medicalized for life. She wrote about her decades-long support and advocacy for the LGBT community. She wrote about her family connections within that community, and her work supporting students in establishing a gay and straight alliance club (GSA) at the school at which she had taught.

Example GSA club banner, Lord Beaverbrook High School, Calgary

She documented how it was, in fact, “doing the research” that led to her realization of the homophobia and sexism inherent in gender identity theory and of the life-long medical and psychological damage being inflicted on unstable adults and youth through “gender-affirming care.” She had come to understand that it is now considered hateful, and sometimes even criminal, to assert that humans are a dimorphic species and that no one can change their sex through surgeries or medications. Furthermore, she had personally witnessed the hatred, threats and violence meted out to persons advocating for the maintenance of women's Charter rights and for the safeguarding of children. Her goal with her social media posts, she wrote, was to spread awareness of the negative consequences arising from the assimilation of gender identity theory in Canada.

Georgina decided that she could not agree to violate her own beliefs or invalidate her own reality by acquiescing to her supervisor’s expectations regarding her personal thoughts. Or apologize for ethical misconduct when there had been none. Nonetheless, she wrote, she would keep her beliefs to herself and deleted her social media accounts. Then she sent her thoughtful and honest missive to her supervisor.

And it backfired. Spectacularly.

Her supervisor’s response came within hours. She claimed Georgina was “unsafe” and that she had failed to uphold the values that she wanted for her clinic by conducting herself in a manner that reflected poorly on the profession and on her business. She advised that she would no longer provide the supervisory function needed for Georgina to obtain her license and directed her to cut all ties with the clinic by the end of the week.

The supervisor’s reaction was hardly unexpected. The aggressive negative public and media attention placed on other well-known advocates for free speech and biological reality, makes it clear that her ability to defend her business model could indeed be challenged if it became known that an actual TERF was providing service there.

Parliamentary underpinnings for the conflict

During the height of pandemic madness, the government unanimously passed its “conversion therapy” bill – an Act amending the Criminal Code. It is now mandatory for mental health professionals in Canada to immediately “affirm” a patient’s declaration of being other-gender – even a child’s – and refer them to medical treatment involving brain- and body-stunting puberty blockers, sterilizing opposite-sex hormones and mutilating experimental surgeries. All this to make their body align with that they imagine for themselves – so they may live their “authentic” lives.

Canadian law now criminalizes any kind of approach to mental health treatment for trans-identifying people that could be perceived as attempting to “change a person’s gender identity to cisgender” or to “change a person’s gender expression so that it conforms to the sex assigned to the person at birth.” Many citizens and experts posit, however, that instead, forcing a person into the transition process and disallowing therapy to assist one to come to terms with one’s bodily discomfort, is itself conversion therapy.

It is worth remembering that the Parliamentary committee that examined Bill C-4 shut down testimony about de-transitioned persons, declaring such testimony as “transphobic.”

What happened next for Georgina?

Georgina would spend the next couple of fretful weeks scrambling to find a new supervisor for her final qualifying period. Not an easy task given the ideological and legal capture of the profession.

Fortunately, a positive outcome: through the existing national network of women who are fighting to recover their sex-based rights, Georgina succeeded in finding a new supervisor, right before writing her licensing exam.

As more and more Canadians emerge to tell their stories of pain and regret, the need for mental health services for de-transitioned persons (those who come to realize the deceits of genderism and the futility of trying to become the opposite – or another – sex), grows. Therapists, new and established, who are considering their business interests, will do well to keep this in mind.

In Georgina’s words We end this story with Georgina's own words and ask, given her experience, awareness, and empathy, who would not want her therapy services when the wall of gender lies comes tumbling down?

Since 2021, I have been actively involved with women’s organizations that are trying to raise concerns about the adoption of gender identity theory in Canadian law and the public education curriculum in Canada. Looking back, I definitely have regrets about how I chose to communicate and engage with others on social media. My personal and professional reputation has been damaged by the perception that I am not the open-minded, caring, and compassionate person that I know myself to be. I’m not a radical extremist. I’m a mother and a therapist.

As a professional and in keeping with my own ethics, I would like to set the record straight about why I feel obligated to speak out on these topics.

In a diverse and multicultural country, everyone’s rights must be considered and all are important. Attempting to silence, intimidate, or punish anyone for speaking about their experiences and their rights is wrong. Everyone should have the right to speak and be heard when they perceive that their rights are threatened and people should also be free to speak on behalf of others. Peacefully defending one’s rights or the rights of others is never an act of hate or oppression. It is a non-partisan act of civic responsibility. The only people who feel threatened when someone is defending their own rights are people who seek to oppress or deny those rights.

Right now, there are women and parents who are not being heard in Canada. Women and parents who are trying to raise concerns related to women’s rights and the education and well-being of children.

These concerns should be heard and considered because we all have a responsibility to protect children and if there is a conflict between women’s rights and Self-ID policies in Canada, then it needs to be resolved. This does not mean that we should stop considering the rights, safety, or dignity of transgender-identifying people. It means that we have to find solutions that ensure everyone’s safety and dignity. The only way to do this is to come together in good faith and start talking.

Not having these necessary conversations is harming everyone as emotions escalate: we are all hurt by name calling and aggressive behaviour; we are all hurt by mischaracterization in the media and by our leaders; trans-identifying people are harmed by the unwanted attention; women and girls are put at risk when men claiming trans identities can gain unfettered access to women’s safe spaces; trans-identifying children are harmed by hearing that they are at risk of suicide and that people wish to hurt them; people of any age are harmed when they are not accurately assessed and fully informed by health providers; and everyone in the 2SLGBTQ+ community is harmed when the rainbow flag is associated with violent demonstrations.

Our communities are divided and people feel hurt and misunderstood. We need to work together to resolve our differences. We need to show each other that we care enough to listen. We need to speak carefully and we all need to be heard.

– Georgina Eliot, October, 2023


Fae Johnstone, Director, Wisdom2Action, leading the March for Trans Rights, Ottawa, August 25, 2023, demonstrating how willing he is to listen to persons who disagree with gender identity indoctrination of children.

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