Mobilizing Fear and Misinformation: Anti-SOGI and ‘Parent's Rights’ Movements

Equity + Justice, Media + Information, 2024, Make a Difference for B.C., Engage in Global Challenges

As ‘parental rights’ movements resurge within the political right and far-right, the LGBTQ2S+ community, specifically transgender youth and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) inclusive education, are becoming their latest lightning rod issue. As a result, youth in Canada who identify as LGBTQ2S+ are being targeted by the anti-trans and anti-SOGI movements. The spread of misinformation and stoking of moral panic serve these groups in their efforts to deny queer and trans youth recognition and resources. 

This panel event identified the harm of these campaigns for queer and trans youth. The expert speakers and skilled moderator discussed the ways in which inaccurate and harmful messaging can be resisted, and showcase how prioritizing ‘parental rights’ within schools, communities, and our society, comes at the cost of the rights and well-being of queer and trans youth.

Wed, 07 Feb 2024

Online and In-person event

This event was hosted at the SFU Vancouver campus.

About the speakers

Dr. Victoria E. Thomas (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Media and Public Engagement in the School of Communication. As an interdisciplinary scholar of Black Popular Cultural Studies, she primarily analyzes popular media to articulate how visual culture represents Blackness and Black identities. Her research is committed to political and civic engagement, diversity, and inclusion in public institutions to transform societal conditions. Dr. Thomas’ current research examines the communication practices of Black cisgender and transgender women in our contemporary media moment of hypervisibility of Black transgender women and intersectional feminism.

Dr. j wallace skelton is Assistant Professor of Queer Studies in Education at the University of Regina. j’s currently engaged in several research projects, one learning from parents of trans, nonbinary and two spirit youth who identify as advocates for their children and several projects that are interested in ways trans, nonbinary and two-spirit children and youth resist and are impacted by transphobic movements and legislation. j is interested research with children as co-researchers and in using comics to make academia more accessible

Dr. Travers (they/them) is a Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University. Their recent book, The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution, situates trans kids in Canada and the US, white settler nations characterized by significant social inequality. In addition to a central research focus on transgender children and youth, Dr. Travers has published extensively on the relationship between sport and social justice, with particular emphasis on the inclusion and exclusion of women, queer and trans people of all ages. A current research program in this field focuses on gender equity in youth baseball. Travers is also the leader of an interdisciplinary research team examining electric micro-mobilities (electric scooters/skateboards/unicycles/bikes) from a mobility justice perspective. 

About the Moderator

Michelle Eliot (she/her) is an award-winning journalist and the host of CBC British Columbia’s weekday call-in show, BC Today, where she engages in conversation with listeners on the day’s top stories and on issues important to British Columbians.

Michelle has hosted numerous CBC news specials, including election and provincial budget coverage on both local and network programs. She has also tapped into her Filipino heritage as part of CBC’s Mabuhay B.C., an ongoing initiative to share stories from the province's Filipino community. Born in the Philippines, Michelle moved to Canada at 12-years-old, settling in North Vancouver. Her experience as a young immigrant inspired a yearning to tell the stories of people whose lives are changed by new circumstances.

Active in the community, Eliot has hosted numerous events and forums throughout the Lower Mainland, including panel discussions on proportional representation, basic income, costs of caregiving, and anxiety and motherhood. When not in the host chair, Eliot enjoys hiking and exploring Metro Vancouver’s diverse culinary landscape with her husband and two children. As a parent of a child with special needs, Eliot also participates in events in the disability community.



Continue learning

  • Parents’ Guide to SOGI in Schools: Created in collaboration with educators and parents to address some of the most common questions being asked about SOGI-inclusive education. Available in English, Mandrin, Punjabi, and French.
  • SOGI-Inclusive Education Resource Guide: For educators, this guide shares practices recommended by educators who have been actively supporting students of all Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities (SOGI).
  • ARC Foundation: Learn more about ARC and SOGI, as well as access resources for teachers, students and parents.
  • Out In Schools: An award-winning 2SLGBTQIA+ education program in B.C. They use film and facilitated group discussion to engage youth in building safer, more inclusive communities.
  • Gender Identity Information—Canadian Paediatric Society: Access trusted information on gender identity and childhood development, as well as resources for parents.
  • It Gets Better Canada: With a mission to uplift, empower, and connect 2SLGBTQ+ youth across Canada, visit their site to access resources, reports, and stories.

Supports for SFU students/staff

There are many more supports available. Please visit Simon Fraser Student Society's website to find more resources.

Supports For Community

  • Trans Lifeline: A grassroots hotline and non-profit organisation offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis. For the trans community, by the trans community.
  • QMUNITY: A non-profit organisation based in so-called Vancouver, BC that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives.
  • Foundry: Offers health and wellness resources, services, and supports for youth ages 12–24, online and in-person, across British Columbia.
  • The Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN): An organisation by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada.

There are many more supports available. Please visit What's On! Queer BC for further resources.