So, it looks like I won’t be running for City Council after all – at least, not as a Green. My application to put myself forward for nomination with the Vancouver Green Party was rejected.
While I never was given a specific reason, it was my distinct impression that it was because I was called transphobic online, and attempted to defend myself.
A well-known, longtime trans activist stated online that I shouldn’t be allowed to run due to my association with Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, for whom, as most of you are aware, I’ve volunteered as a fundraiser for nearly 20 years.
Here’s a good summary of the background on this and why some trans activists “have it in” for Rape Relief.
Faced with comments from this woman and her supporters on Facebook that called me “vile” and “transphobic”, and stating I should not be allowed to even be considered for candidacy as a Green, I naturally responded – and not with further insults. I tried to be calm, reasonable and fair in my responses.
But my impression (they would not be specific) after meeting with the Green Party of Vancouver is that the way I managed this (minor) “controversy” made me unsuitable to run with the Greens. My sense of it, though, is that it was the mere fact I was attacked that made me too much of a risk.
Naturally, I don’t agree. But I really have no choice but to accept the decision.
So what next? I’m considering my options. I’d preferred to run with the support of a civic party with whose policies I mostly agree, among whose members I have some good friends, and which I feel closely connected to.
I had supported the Greens for what I perceived as their progressive policies. I thought they did politics differently than the rest, but I realize now that nobody is immune from political calculations, and they appear to have chosen to obey and appease the loud voices of a small, angry minority who do not even represent the range of opinion within the trans community.
I should emphasize that I have the utmost respect for Adriane Carr and fully support her whether on council or if she chooses to run for mayor. She will get my enthusiastic vote no matter what.
However, if the Greens would fold so quickly in reaction to intimidation by one group, I have to wonder how they would collectively react in Council to the same situation. Would they act the same way?
At bottom, I think it’s important for you to know that good people with a genuine desire to serve, like myself, are shouted down, shut down and shut out due to the actions of a few.
I thank you and everyone for their enthusiastic support, and especially those who joined the Green Party on my behalf. As members, you have a say in the operations of the Green Party, and I you are certainly free to use this ability to let them know how you feel about this decision.
In the coming election I hope we’ll see a more progressive approach, and help turn the page from the top-down, developer-friendly approach of Vision Vancouver. I would like to be part of the solution. If the support is there for me to run as an independent, I’m certainly willing to consider that route.
Thanks and all the best,