A 10-year-old girl held her own as she spoke to politicians and activists on Tuesday about her personal experiences being transgender. She said she feels “much safer” after the federal government proposed legislation that would protect Canadians who are transgender against discrimination and hate propaganda.
Charlie Lowthian-Rickert, a young activist from Ottawa, said she felt happy after Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould introduced Bill C-16 on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
“It will protect us from, as the minister of justice said, hateful propaganda, assaults, rape — stuff like that. It could protect us and stop the people who would have just gone off and done it in the past, and discriminated or assaulted us but now it could be stopping them and basically punishing them if they actually do it,” Lowthian-Rickert said at the announcement.
In an interview with CBC, the tween said that she realized she was transgender at three-years-old. She explained that kids at school used to physically and verbally bully her because of her gender identity.
Lowthian-Rickert and her mother, Anne Lowthian, were in the news last year fighting the “bathroom bill” — an amendment to Bill C-279 that would force transgender people to use the public bathroom that corresponds to their biological gender.
“These six other moms and my mom are all going in the face of danger for us transgender people to save us from living a life of grief,” Lowthian-Rickert told CTV. Her mother had vowed to use the men’s bathroom in solidarity for her daughter’s rights.
Lowthian-Rickert is confident that Bill C-16 will pass, and she thinks that this will limit the number of assaults on gender non-binary Canadians.
She told CBC that she wants to be an activist for transgender equality when she grows up.
"What I want in the world is justice. I want justice and peace."
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