Statement from Essie's Place on the "One Million March for Children"
We, at Essie's Place, are deeply concerned about the upcoming "One Million March for Children" events taking place across Canada. While these mobilizations claim to advocate for children's rights, they are, in fact, part of an orchestrated effort by extremist actors to stigmatize and attack the transgender and wider LGBTQ2SIA+ communities, as well as inclusive education initiatives.
Make no mistake: the so-called "One Million March for Children" is not expected to have a million participants, and its true purpose does not serve the rights or protection of children. Rather, it perpetuates false and offensive narratives that allege the sexualization or harm of children through inclusive education. These claims are not only baseless but also deeply harmful, demeaning, and unacceptable.
Furthermore, such campaigns undermine the rights and protection of children, hinder gender justice, and threaten human rights. They create environments where LGBTQ2SIA+ children and young people are more likely to face bullying and less likely to report genuine safeguarding concerns. These campaigns also contribute to educational environments that are less safe for ALL children and young people.
Essie's Place vehemently denounces these harmful campaigns and calls upon elected officials, policy makers, schools, school boards, educational bodies, parents, young people, and allies to do the same. We have been closely monitoring these campaigns, including a protest planned for Salmon Arm's downtown area on September 20th, 2023.
We recognize the potential dangers of extremist actors attending protests and exposing our communities to violence and abuse. Additionally, we acknowledge the harm caused by being drawn into hateful rhetoric and situations.
For those who choose to counterprotest, we urge you to prioritize your safety and well-being. Avoid engaging in conversations or situations that could expose you further to misrepresentation or abuse.
In unity and resilience, we stand against these campaigns that threaten the LGBTQ2SIA+ community and the principles of inclusive education. We call for a society that fosters acceptance, respect, and safety for all, especially those who are most vulnerable.