Ottawa father Nick Morabito was recently labelled as transphobic for expressing safety concerns for his young pre-teen daughters around the implementation of a school policy that allows anyone who self-identifies as female to use the gendered washroom.
Morabito’s microphone was cut off and he was asked to leave the property after he attempted to share these concerns during an Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (CDSB) meeting last week.
Acting chair and renowned hypochondriac family doctor who famously wears a mask alone in her office during virtual interviews, Nili Kaplan-Myrth, told Morabito that his concerns create an unsafe environment for people who identify as gender diverse.
“How does this provide an unsafe environment? Can anyone answer me that?” he is heard asking to no avail.
This display of democratic oppression generated a groundswell of support, according to Morabito who says he has received hundreds of messages from teachers, parents, lawyers, who are fed up with radical identity politics permeating publicly-funded institutions.
One such display was when trans female Julia Malott took to social media to denounce the actions of the OCDSB.
“What the Ottawa trustees did in this weeks meeting perpetuates the mindset that transgender individuals are so vulnerable that speech must be censored for their protection… we have to talk about whether we’re allowed to talk at all and that is a scary place to be,” explains Malott.
Morabito says that ”under the current policy anyone can pretend [to be], or identify as, anything that they like to gain access to these facilities. To ask parents to accept that risk is a big ask and I don’t think it’s fair. We need to have a dialogue so that’s what I was trying to do.”
He believes that the schoolboard is trying to uphold the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Accommodation and inclusive design criteria which specifies that trans-people do not need to “ask” to use the washroom as “they have the right to use that one that matches their lived gender identity.”
“Yet the facility has to be equipped to accommodate that in the best way possible,” says Morabito about the fact that gender-neutral bathrooms already exist, appear to be easily accessible, and would alleviate the safety concerns he and other parents have with this policy.
Of course no one knows with certainty because the discussion ended before it could even begin.
Morabito says the school board shut him down in anticipation of what they thought he was going to say, not what he had said up until the point when his microphone was cut off.
“I don’t wish to show any disrespect. I just wish to have a dialogue,” he said.
Still, Morabito was labeled as transphobic for simply wanting to have a discussion to reach to a resolution that truly includes everyone, which would mean acknowledging the safety concerns and discomforts of students like his daughters.
“There are glaring discomforts with the way that it is right now and it can’t be ignored.”