A messy legal dispute between a 14-year-old transgender boy and his father, who rejects the child’s gender identity, has expanded into a fight over freedom of expression. […] In a recent decision, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ordered the father to stop publicly discussing the case after finding some of his actions, including interviews with conservative media outlets, exposed his child to significant harm and constituted “family violence.”
There’s so much to unpack in this story. I’ve been reading about it for a while now, and there is no clear answer. No single person is right. No single person is wrong. That said, I can completely empathize with the father and his wish for his child to wait a few years before making any efforts to biologically change gender. We don’t allow teens to vote, smoke, drive, change their name, or undergo elective cosmetic surgery. A person must be 18 — a legal adult — to make those decisions.
Changing one’s gender is not to be taken lightly. I fully support a person’s right to make their own decisions in life when they are in a position to also deal with the consequences. If a 14 year old cannot legally do something as trivial as change their name, then something with lasting implications should also be prohibited, as arbitrary as it may sound.
As for the father not being allowed to talk about this issue or to label his speech as “family violence”, this is compelled speech; a dangerous slope for any society to find itself on.Legal dispute between trans child and father takes new turn over freedom of expression