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Statement on Toronto Public Library’s Decision to Host Transphobic Event

Posted on October 18, 2019

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October 18th, 2019

 

Sue Graham-Nutter, Board Chair
Toronto Public Library
c/o Library Board Officer Nancy Marshall (nmarshall@tpl.ca)

 

Dear Ms. Graham-Nutter,

 

On behalf of LGBT YouthLine, I am contacting you to express our concern about an upcoming
event at the Toronto Public Library on October 29, 2019 involving Meghan Murphy.
Under the guise of feminism, Ms. Murphy continues to contribute to a culture of transphobia and
violence that not only endangers the lives of trans women, but ignores the multitude of challenges
that contribute to social and economic discrimination against them purely based on their gender
identity. Through speeches, digital and in-print publications, as well as social media, Ms. Murphy
continues to promote transphobic and trans-misogynistic values that ignore the realities lived by
gender-diverse individuals, mainly trans women. Echoing the voices of our community members,
we fundamentally believe that this event contravenes Bill 33 Toby’s Law under the Ontario Human
Rights Code, as well as the spirit and intent of the City of Toronto’s Anti-harassment and
discrimination policies. The purpose of the event is to negate the lived realities and existence of
Trans Women – this is not up for discussion and is hate speech.

 

We understand that being in service to the public comes with great responsibility and complexity,
including space for complex discussions; however, the creation of such spaces cannot come at
the cost of greater violence and transphobia toward trans women and must be created with an
understanding of intersectionality, anti-oppression, and certainly trans-inclusion in mind. We
respectfully call on you to review the information related to this event in a much broader context,
including reviewing a similar event at the Vancouver Public Library and the background of the
speaker.

 

As an agency that continues to provide much needed peer support services to 2SLGBTQ+ youth
from across Toronto and the province, we request that you reconsider hosting the event scheduled
for October 29, 2019 and stand against further violence and transphobia toward trans women.

 

Sincerely,

 

Berkha Gupta
Executive Director