Trans Manitoba

Trans Manitoba is a grassroots collective of folks who believe the radical idea that Two Spirits, nonbinary people, and transgender folks should speak for ourselves and be seen as critical stakeholders in decisions made for our lives. We believe the personal is political. We advocate for systemic change to improve the lives of Manitobans of all genders through outreach, education, and political and legal action.

Trans Manitoba's response to the Conservative Bullying in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly on Monday, March 18th, 2024

Written by Charlie Eau on behalf of Trans Manitoba, in partnership with West Central Women's Resource Centre 

In the Manitoba Legislative Assembly on Monday, MLA for Kirkfield Park Logan Oxenham had a bill on the agenda that would recognize the Two Spirit and Transgender Day of Visibility every March 31st in Manitoba. This bill designates a day to recognize the resilience, creativity, and contributions of Two Spirits and trans and nonbinary people.

Before this legislation could be introduced, the Conservative opposition used procedural tactics to deliberately block the introduction of this historic bill. With a gallery full of invited Two Spirits, trans folks, and our allies to witness their vitriol, Conservatives Grant Jackson of Spruce Woods, Interim Opposition Leader Wayne Ewasko, and Fort Whyte MLA Obby Khan, stalled an entire day of the legislative assembly, by positioning themselves as victims of bullying after having their actions called transphobic by NDP MLAs. The transphobia in question ranges from the “repeated misgendering” of Deputy Premier Asagwara on record to the support for “parental rights” over trans children’s autonomy in public schools (see Hansard for record). 

The accurate labelling of these views and behaviours as transphobic or oppressive is not in itself an oppressive or bullying act. Since the provincial election, the Conservative party openly positions “parental rights” as more worthy of protection than the lives and safety of transgender children.

A day of stalling, and for what? To prevent a bill that simply asks for the recognition of a group of people who are living through erasure every day. The Conservatives intentionally blocked a bill to call for trans visibility by centering themselves as victims. This is a violent act of erasure and demonstrates the need for the Two Spirit and Trans Day of Visibility. This day of visibility has been celebrated in community since 2010 and will continue to be recognized regardless of when this bill passes. 

In their coverage of the Conservatives’ stall tactics, every media outlet failed to acknowledge this historic bill as one of the ones blocked by these insidious actions. Despite participation from MLA Oxenham and representatives from the trans community in a media scrum on Monday, media chose to omit any mention of the impact of preventing the introduction of The Two-Spirit and Transgender Day of Visibility Act. There was no mention of transgender people at all. This is a further act of transphobic erasure by the media. The media needs to do better by trans people, rather be complicit in silencing us. 

Monday’s message from media and the Conservative opposition to Two Spirit and Transgender Manitobans and our families is that we are not welcome to be safe or visible in Manitoba. Our response is that we have always been here, and we always will be. 

The transgender flag was raised Monday despite the opposition in the assembly, and the Two Spirit and Transgender Day of Visibility will still occur every year on March 31st until our presence, voices, and power in society are so ubiquitous, uplifted, and treasured, that the day of commemoration is no longer needed



Manitoba Legislative Assembly Hansard, March 18, 2024: Body

Winnipeg Free Press: Body