United Against Hate ~ Trans Youth Are Sacred

A message from Pam Rocker, Director Affirming Connections

Pacific Mountain region shares this message, with solidarity and support for Trans and Non-Binary and gender diverse children and youth.


Friday, February 2, 2024

“Dear friends,

We are shocked at recent announcement of the unconstitutional, unfounded, and unscientific “parental rights” policies from Alberta’s Premiere, Danielle Smith, and the magnitude of damage that will result if these policies are enacted.

We categorically denounce these policies and recognize their ties to extremist groups and ideologies that are deliberately attacking 2SLGBTQ+ people and their rights, across the US and Canada. These are the same talking points that have been touted by movements like ‘1 Million March 4 Children’ and their anti-2SLGBTQIA+ rallies across Canada last fall. The Alberta government consulted with the “Alberta Parents’ Union”; which is a FOR PROFIT extremist organization that openly platforms anti-2LGBTQ+ ideologies and conspiracy theories.

Unlike anything we’ve seen before, the Alberta policies ruthlessly target trans youth, and will have far reaching impacts on all youth, supportive parents, and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

The damaging impacts include:

  • Effectively removing fundamental sex education from schools and opportunities for all students to learn about healthy relationships, reproductive health, and consent
  • Removing the social visibility of 2SLGBTQ+ people, sending the message that being 2SLGBTQ+ is shameful and should be obliterated or invisible
  • Removing the rights of trans youth to have access to life-saving, gender-affirming, and age-appropriate medical care, even with a supportive parent’s consent
  • Removing the ability for a supportive parent to make their own healthcare decisions with their trans child under the age of 15
  • Forcing teachers to out trans youth to their parents, which puts many young people in dangerous situations where they are at a much higher risk for suicide and homelessness

In a Canadian survey of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth aged 14–25 years, 64% of participants reported that they had seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months. Trans youth are already at an increased risk of bullying at school, social isolation, discrimination in mental health and medical settings, and a lack of familial support. We know this: the policies will be fatal to many trans youth if they are enacted.

We firmly believe the proven fact that trans people of all ages benefit immensely from access to affirming medical care and mental health support as THEY choose, while navigating their own journey.

As people of faith, we proudly affirm and will protect the rights of 2SLGBTQIA+ people of all ages to flourish in the fullness of who they are, to seek and find supportive healthcare, and to find belonging in their homes, schools, places of worship, workplaces, and society.

We MUST be Publicly, Intentionally, and Explicitly vocal about what we believe and who we are called to protect. There’s no time to let the well-lit voices of vitriol own the platform. We have the ability to gather together in a united voice and declare the good news, that all people are created in the image of God, which includes the beautiful lives and expressions of 2SLGBQTIA+ people.

We send a message to all trans youth today – you are loved, and cherished, and deserve sovereignty over your own body and expression.

We stand with you and will fight for you. You are not alone.

Pam Rocker
Director of Affirming Connections



We are coordinating efforts with queer organizers/organizations, faith leaders, and  Affirming regions across Canada. We will release more invitations for actions in the days to come, but immediate solidarity can be shown in the following ways:

  • Communications
    • Use all of your available communication channels to show your support: church signage and property, e-newsletters, websites, social media, and connections with local media. We have created images that you can download and use in your messaging.
  • Presence
    • Join demonstrations in your area, using the advice found in the Pride Defense Guide, and Safety Plan. Find out what is happening in your city and make plans with community partners. Bring flags, signs, wear rainbow colours, sing, play music, combat hate with joy!
    • If you’re in Alberta, demonstrators are gathering in several cities this weekend and we’ve included the posters below. Be sure to read the Pride Defense Guide to prepare before you go.
    • Plan anything from a coffee hour to a vigil, simply – a place for those who are hurting and scared to connect and find solace.
  • Advocacy 
    • Connect with your local faith community or advocacy groups and work together to find out what you can do together.
  • Community Relationships
    • Reach out to local 2SLGBTQIA-led and solidarity groups and ask how you can be of service and what kind of allyship would be most helpful to them. Building these relationships and trust can take time, but it’s well worth it.
  • Pastoral Care 
    • If you feel equipped to offer support to those who are being targeted by these policies, be sure those around you know you’re available.
    • Ask for support! This is an extremely worrying and intense time for queer folks. Find contact info for Affirming Ministries through Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble here, and resources from Affirming Connections here. You are not alone.
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