Statement from the Fyrefly Institute for Gender and Sexual Diversity on the Government of Alberta’s Discriminatory Transgender Policy

The Fyrefly Institute for Gender and Sexual Diversity resolutely opposes the newly announced policy by the Alberta government, which represents a direct assault on the rights, safety, and well-being of 2S/LGBTQ+ youth across the province. This shameful policy, unprecedented within Canada in its scope and harm, stands in stark opposition to reason, equity, and dignity.

Despite the profound implications for young people's lives, there has been no consultation with children's advocacy groups, supportive parents groups, queer organisations, health care providers or teacher groups. This government’s refusal to hear the voices of the people who will be most harmed by these policies exposes their utter disregard and contempt for 2S/LGBTQ+ youth and their families.

In sharp contrast to Premier Smith’s ostensible goal of "depoliticizing the situation”, the lack of a clearly articulated problem that this policy aims to solve reveals its true nature as a shameless and odious political maneuver targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society.

This policy goes beyond any existing measures in the country in its explicit attack on the rights and safety of 2S/LGBTQ+ youth, making all youth less safe by restricting access to sexual health materials and effectively silencing educators from speaking on 2S/LGBTQ+ issues despite the reality of queer lives and history. This enforced silence in educational settings further marginalises queer identities and denies students access to supportive, inclusive, and affirming information.

The provisions targeting transgender youth are both discriminatory and lack any justification or merit. This policy is unconscionable in its hypocrisy; there will be no restriction on materials that include heterosexual experiences and relationships, there will be no restrictions on children changing their names as long as the teacher doesn’t think it is related to gender identity, and there will be no restrictions on cisgender youth who have parental permission from getting gender affirming care such as breast reductions, while simultaneously criminalising families of transgender youth who seek similar forms of care.

The Fyrefly Institute calls upon the Alberta government to retract this deeply harmful  policy immediately. We stand in solidarity with 2S/LGBTQ+ youth, educators, and all who are committed to fostering a society where every individual can live authentically and safely. We will continue to fight against policies that threaten our communities and we will continue to work tirelessly to support the well-being and rights of 2S/LGBTQ+ individuals based on research and evidence-based policy recommendations.

We urge all Albertans to join us in condemning this policy and advocating for the protection and respect of all youth, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The future of these youth depends on our ability to uphold the values of compassion, understanding, and equity for all.

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