Dear Canada, Letter #6 (Trans-Canada)
This morning I woke to the news that the current United States administration has banned trans-gender people from serving in the military, except for limited circumstances.
I'm sorry for starting my letter with such a heavy topic but I'm sitting in my kitchen drinking my morning coffee and I'm feeling mad. And concerned. And worried. And just...well, pretty much shocked at how a government can openly discriminate against a segment of its own population.
It's maddening, concerning, worrisome and shocking because I'm a parent.
Remember my first letter when I told you about how I have kids now? Let me tell you a little more about our son Trey. He's 5-years old now and it's only been in the last six months or so he's actually started wearing typical boy clothes. He liked to wear dresses, he wore tutus to his ballet class and for a long time wanted to grow his hair long like his big sister.
He's even verbalized on more than one occasion he wants to be a girl. Some of our friends and family have said not to worry because he's probably just mirroring his big sister.
First of all, I'm not worried...second of all, maybe they're right and maybe they're wrong. So just in case they're wrong and Trey actually does genuinely have these feelings my wife and I have discussed, researched and explored the topic of gender issues for young kids. We've even joined Facebook groups of other parents who went through the same thing. We want to be prepared to give Trey all the love and support he needs.
Up until the past presidential election, I had only lived in the USA under a Democratic President. I felt happy because the country was filled with hope.
Our family was in Myrtle Beach the night Donald Trump was elected. I saw the final results and went to bed knowing the country would probably be changing, at the time I didn't know what to expect or just how much it would change. My wife stayed up and had to go to her parents hotel room because she was in tears while I unknowingly slept, she knew what would be coming because she had lived through this before.
In the following months, the country switched from being full of hope to being full of hate.
We read the news, saw the changes and started to have genuine concern for Trey. We knew we would always support him and provide a safe and loving landing spot for him at the end of the day but we didn't think our country felt the same way. What an odd situation to have to worry about your child being discriminated against by its own country.
Since being married in 2009, the first time we openly discussed the option of moving back to you was after Trump took office.
We've decided to stay in the USA for now because the timing isn't right for us to move, and we're gonna wait to see what happens in the coming years with Trey. If he starts to get persecuted by his peers or his teachers or even worse, by his government then we'll definitely move to be with you.
It's strange how a country and its families can be turned upside down depending on who lives in the White House.
Canada, thanks for being stable. And thanks for always offering a safe and loving landing spot.