(Ottawa, March 8, 2017)
Thank you so much for giving me this award. Thank you to Kayla Spagnoli, who nominated me, a big thank you to the selection committee, and thank you to so many other people who have had such a big impact on my life. From Dillon, to Jackie, Amanda, Janne, Linda, Beck, and the Feminist Twins, to Justice Minister Jody, and Chief Commissioner Landry, to Senator Mitchell, Senator Jaffer, and my friends and family, I am very lucky to have so many super hero feminists beside me.
I want you to know how important your support is to me. In a big way, this award says that my little world, here in Ottawa, accepts me as the outspoken girl that I am. That my rights, no matter my age, are your rights too. That we are in this together, that we share the understanding that it’s not easy being a girl, and we help each other to make things better.
Today, Senator Mitchell said some very kind things about me in the Senate, he, like all of you, have been such amazing allies to me. So in a way – this award is about all the ways you helped me raise awareness that trans rights are human rights. Even when the conservatives tried to stop the legislation that would protect us a few years ago, we did not give up. Back then – you all helped me launch the “Occupotty” protest, and we brought toilet seats and microphones to Parliament Hill to sing “Let Us Pee” as loud as we could. I kinda want to do that again, because today we are still trying to ensure new Bill C-16 passes, and again we are facing opposition. I don’t know what else to do to get Senators to finally vote to pass a law that would protect thousands of women in this country. Maybe they don’t yet realize – we will persist.
And to the critics I say, as Maya Angelou says:
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Just as all of you continue to rise, and because of all of you who don’t give up – I won’t give up either.
So if you ask me about the future of feminism, for me, it shines in the eyes of those I see around me. Thank you for inspiring girls like me, to love ourselves enough, to never stop helping each other.