Hundreds of people came to counter-protest an anti-SOGI123 rally in Vancouver on Monday, to speak out against what participants called “abhorrent” and “bigoted” views of gay and trans people.
SOGI123 was brought in by the B.C. government last fall to help teachers create inclusive classrooms for LGBT students.
Among the counter-protesters was Michael Boyd, 9, and his grandmother, Susan Thomas.
“We’re here today to support the SOGI resources,” said Thomas.
This isn’t Michael’s first pro-SOGI rally, but this one had a special meaning for the third grader and his grandmother.
The nine-year-old Surrey boy first came out as transgender to his family six years ago but has stayed “in” at his Surrey school.
“No one really knows except the adults that we need to tell,” said Michael.
“He’s been telling us since he was three-and-a-half, since as soon as he could talk,” Thomas said.
But on Monday Michael told his grandmother that “I want to say it,” offering to give his name and come out publicly to give a face to the movement that’s helped him avoid bullying at Walnut Road Elementary.
“[The teachers] have been awesome. SOGI123 gives families like ours the security that they’ve got our backs,” said Thomas.
“We’re just trying to support Mike in his journey and love him for who he is. It’s something that as a grandmother, I feel like I need to have his back and speak up for him.”
|Michael Boyd, 9, and his grandmother, Susan Thomas, say that his the teachers at his Surrey school have been supportive. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)|