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  • Protests Against Transphobia - queer history - transphobia protest at toronto public library
    Media Credit: The Canadian Press

    On October 29, hundreds gathered outside the Toronto Public Library to protest the library allowing their space to be used for an event by a controversial feminist writer with transphobic views. Toronto library officials have defended renting out the room for Megan Murphy’s appearance by saying she does not fall under the library’s definition of hate speech. Murphy believes trans women should not use public washrooms designated for women or compete in sporting events against cisgendered women. She claims trans women endanger cis women and women’s rights.

    Having a transphobic speaker at the library endangers me because among other things they advocate ... that I'm a threat to other women. These statements cause people to fear trans women and act violently toward us in public spaces.

    Gwen Benaway, author

    In the aftermath of the protests many authors and queer organizers have refused to do events or engagements at the Toronto Public Library. The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians issued a statement asserting that the Toronto Public LIbrary in allowing the talk in the name of intellectual freedom failed to adequately consider the impact that decision would play in perpetuating discrimination against the transgender community. It further committed to re-examine how the library community understands and deploys core values and principles.

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