A candidate for the B.C. Green Party was outed as transgender during a news broadcast Monday.
Nicola Spurling, who is running for the party in Coquitlam-Maillardville, was featured in a Global B.C. story about four transgender candidates aiming "to make history" in this year's provincial election.
Global said it got the names of the B.C. Green Party candidates, Spurling and Veronica Greer, from the party itself.
But in a Facebook post, Spurling said she didn’t give her consent for the party to release that personal info or for it to be included in the news story.
She suspects her name was brought up in conversations between a reporter and the party’s communications team because of her work as a vocal LGBTQ rights advocate.
"I was not directly contacted, because an assumption was made that I was out."
She learned about the TV segment when others saw the broadcast and sent her messages.
"Now that it is out, I will own this, and continue to advocate for trans people, as I have been doing," she said.
B.C. Green Party candidate Nicola Spurling with party leader Andrew Weaver. (Photo: Nicola Spurling/Facebook)
She said it was a miscommunication and she's not placing blame on anyone. Instead, she's using the accident to remind people of the repercussions of outing someone without their consent.
When reporters had asked her for previous stories if she was comfortable being identified as transgender, she had said no because she didn’t want it to be the focus of her campaign, she told News 1130.
"A simple Google search of my name prior to this would have revealed that my name and the word ‘transgender’ did not come together. I think there needs to be due diligence going forward, and that’s the case for all sides here," she said.
The B.C. Green Party's communications director told News 1130 they will now check with candidates before revealing personal information.
Outpouring of support on Facebook
Many commenters on her Facebook post berated Global B.C. and applauded her for handling the situation with grace.
"You've worked hard and with a lot of class to ensure that great policies and a terrific candidate are the story of your campaign," wrote one person.
"I hope this doesn't create a distraction you weren't seeking."
But others said they wished being transgender wasn't news at all.
"Wishing you the best in the election and longing for the day when having an identity other than one assigned at birth is not news," wrote another.