LGBTI people in Canada are outraged after a Catholic school district decided to cancel a play about gender identity meant to be performed in elementary schools.
The play, ‘Boys, Girls and Other Mythological Creatures,’ was on tour and had already performed at 22 other elementary schools in the Niagara area. It was booked to be performed at five elementary schools in the Niagara Catholic School District before news of the cancellation broke.
The play, written by Mark Crawford, is about 8-year-old Simon/e who feels ‘boxed in by gender restraints.’
According to a curriculum approved last year by the Ontario Ministry of Education, Canadian schools (both public and Catholic) are meant to teach gender identity and expression.
The curriculum states: ‘It is also critical to student success to create an atmosphere in which students of all body shapes and sizes, abilities, gender identities and sexual orientations, and ethnocultural, racial and religious backgrounds feel accepted, comfortable, and free from harassment.’
Jessica Carmichael, creative director of Carousel Players, the group responsible for the production, published an open letter on the theater group’s website questioning the cancellation.
‘I fear these cancellations may be based on misinformation, grown out of fear, intolerance, transphobia, homophobia and misogyny,’ she wrote.
Spokespeople for the Niagara Catholic School District declined to comment on this issue.
‘It turns out the Canadian government believes it’s appropriate to discuss transgenderism with small children – without their parents being present. I’m surprised the actors didn’t try to give the kids condoms,’ writes Todd Starnes for Fox News.
Other conservatives have had similar criticisms, claiming on Facebook that the play would ‘teach children that if a boy plays dress up he might be a girl.’
‘Seeing as the Catholic school system is funded by taxpayers, I do not think they should granted special power to suppress the free expression of LGBTQ people,’ says Elise Pallagi, a transgender woman from Saskatchewan, Canada. ‘By suppressing this play the Catholic school board is essentially sanctioning discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual identity.’