Fundraising email from Brian Jean interviewed by the LGBTQ2S+ community

Advocates call an email sent by United Conservative Party leadership candidate Brian Jean transphobic and dangerous to members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Jean’s campaign sent an email Friday morning to supporters who took issue with letting transgender and non-binary athletes compete in sports using their preferred identity.

“There should be two categories in sport,” the email read. “One for biological men and one for biological women. Going through puberty as a man brings permanent and undeniable changes to your body.

“That shouldn’t be a controversial thing to say for a common-sense person,” he added.

The email was aimed at Danielle Smith’s comments during an Aug. 25 leadership debate hosted by the Alberta Prosperity Project and Rebel News.

Smith, another candidate for the UCP’s top job, said biological men should be allowed to compete in women’s sports in some cases if they’ve made the transition, suggesting testing the testosterone levels of those. athletes.

At the bottom of Jean’s email, he asked his followers to “consider” donating to his campaign if they thought he was “on the right track”.

Anna Murphy, a community advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ and women’s issues, said her transphobic comments were not only “unacceptable” themselves, but disappointing to be used as a fundraiser.

“We’re not just going to talk about it, but we’re going to raise money to lower your protection,” Murphy said. “What Mr. Jean is doing is dehumanizing and comes completely from the base of total intolerance and ignorance. It’s hurtful.”

“You have to imagine that you receive an email indicating your identity, that your existence is not valid, Murphy added.

April Friesen, president of the Trans Equality Society of Alberta, told CTV News Edmonton the email showed he doesn’t care about vulnerable trans youth and adults who already face barriers to acceptance.

“He has no real empathy here for the people who are affected by it, and he shows that he doesn’t understand the science because the science is not with him on what he says,” Friesen said. .

“He’s engaged in all this misinformation and arming all these people with all these things that aren’t true, and they’re now coming out into the world and acting on it.”

Kristopher Wells, Canada Research Chair in Public Understanding of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth, said Jean should know that gender identity and expression are protected by provincial human rights legislation. the person for nearly a decade.

“(He) creates a problem where there is no problem,” Wells added. “Trans youth have been able to participate in sports in this province and in this country for many years without the kind of incidents or hysteria that Brian Jean’s emails say will occur.”

“Brain Jean only opens up a problem that has long been addressed in Canada by politics and sports governing bodies.”

Wells, also an associate professor at MacEwan University, says Jean’s remarks can help legitimize harmful rhetoric and reintroduce stereotypes.

“It’s about trying to score cheap political points at the expense of the vulnerable,” Wells said. “It has real consequences because it legitimizes discrimination and, in some cases, violence.”

“It’s obviously false. It’s dishonest,” added the professor. “Those kinds of comments are harmful and have no place in Alberta politics.”

For Murphy, who identifies as a transgender woman, the real consequences are on children growing up and learning or questioning their gender identity.

“I remember what it’s like to be them,” Murphy said. “I have the scars to prove it.”

“It is important that we challenge this ignorance,” she added. “So ultimately, we can become better neighbors with each other in the community that we all need to inhabit.”

CTV News Edmonton has reached out to Brian Jean for comment.

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