pamphlet by Oceanside Pride, Parksville & Qualicum Beach, 2023
Download this PDF
SOGI stands for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Gender identity and gender expression protections were added to the BC Human Rights Code in BC in 2016.
As of 2017, Bill C16 made discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression illegal anywhere in Canada.
SOGI policies were implemented in all BC schools in 2017 to reflect the BC Human Rights Code which requires all public institutions to be 2SLGBTQ+ inclusive and eliminate discrimination.
What SOGI looks like in schools:
“Mirrors”: All students should see themselves and their families reflected in their learning experience. This means that students of all diverse backgrounds, including race, disability status, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression and more must be represented in everyone’s learning. This approach requires representing diversity in student’s lives but also the diversity of their families. Everyone is welcome in BC public schools.
“Windows”: All students should learn about ways of life other than their own during their learning experience. This is how we ensure a society that is harmonious and inclusive.
SOGI policies and laws require schools to:
- Have diversity representation in learning materials
- Have anti-bullying measures in place to protect all students
- Take steps to include all students in all activities
- Provide dignity and privacy options for students, such as single-stall washrooms and changerooms
Looking at the BC Curriculum is a good source of information to find out what is actually happening in BC schools:
Spreading misinformation about transgender, gender diverse and sexual orientation-diverse people is dangerous because it causes youth and community members to feel erased, afraid and stigmatized. This fear and isolation causes us to have the highest self-harm, suicide and addiction rates in society. Hate speech and discrimination against 2SLGBTQ+ people violates our Charter Rights and the Canada Human Rights Code. In Canada, It is illegal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Instead of repeating disinformation, try to teach others to be welcoming and see the best in everyone.
By showing love, inclusion, acceptance and allyship you are creating a community where everyone can feel safe, included and respected. That’s all we want.
Please do your part to create an inclusive community.
SOGI – Truths and Lies
|The lies you may have heard
|“SOGI traumatizes kids”
|SOGI is only about inclusive and safe spaces for all youth, by making sure that all schools will welcome and protect them. The trauma that occurs is when 2SLGBTQ+ and their families are erased, marginalized or excluded.
|“SOGI is sexualizing kids”
|SOGI is not about sex. Teachers don’t teach kids how to have sex.
SOGI has nothing to do with sex education. Sex education curriculum in BC is included in Physical and Health Education and during those classes students learn, at grade-appropriate levels, about such topics as personal hygiene, STIs, safety and consent.
|“SOGI is sterilizing kids”
|SOGI is not about sterilization.
For the small proportion of students who are considering gender-affirming medical care, their medical and surgical transitions would be managed by doctors, not by schools or teachers.
In Canada, surgical transitions only happen when someone is 18+ for genital surgeries and sometimes 16+ for chest surgeries.
Puberty blockers are prescribed to some teens, but only by doctors when a youth can demonstrate over a long period of time that 1) going through puberty as the gender they don’t identify with will cause them irreversible harm and 2) they are mentally fit enough for the process. Puberty blockers do not cause sterilization, they are reversible and many people choose to go off of them so they can have children, for example.
|“Schools are keeping secrets from families”
|SOGI is not about secrets.
Schools will always involve families and parents of students as long as it is safe to do so. Schools are required under the BC Schools Act to put a student’s safety first.
|“Sexual orientation and gender identity are contagious; there is a gender ideology.”
|The Canadian Pediatric Society says gender identity forms in one’s mind around the age of 2-3.
Inclusion is not an ideology, it is a right.
Kids are never told to be anything other than themselves.
|“Including trans women in women’s spaces is
|Men pretending to be women to get access to private spaces are not transgender. They are criminals.
Trans women want to change and go to the washroom in privacy and security just like other women. Trans women want to be safe too. By forcing trans women to use men’s washrooms they become targets of violence.
Fear-mongering lies about trans women being violent are spread to justify hate against trans women.
Most public places in BC are moving towards providing private gender-neutral changeroom and washroom options to provide privacy for anyone who wants it.