According to a report, a father who had assisted as a volunteer in coaching his son’s hockey team for three years has been barred from coaching because he refused to take a mandatory gender identity training course.
The Canadian man, identified by Quillette as “John Doe” because, as the Quillettewriter surmises, he could accused of transphobia for speaking to the media, completed a series of mandated courses, and says he supports anti-discrimination efforts led by Hockey Eastern Ontario and the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF). Those organizations supervise minor hockey in Ontario, from players as young as six years old.
Doe’s objections were triggered by a 33-slide module on gender in the required gender diversity course. He told Quillette, “I would be fine taking an awareness course if it [were] factual and based in science. But I felt it was too ideological.” Now, he states, “I can’t coach. I can’t be on the bench. I can’t help on the ice —even just to help on the ice, you need this training.”
As Quillette notes, the case that precipitated new training requirements revolved around Jesse Thompson, a girl who identified as a boy and complained about not having access to the boys’ locker room. Ultimately OHF deferred to an LGBT activist organization called Egale Canada to create new training materials.
Quillette notes, “Egale, a Toronto-based charity founded in 1986, has published materials indicating that children understand their gender identity ‘between the ages of three and five.’ And in the gender identity course that Egale produced for the OHF, it ratcheted that age down to ‘between 18-30 months.’”
Several slides from the module on gender argue “the gender binary … was imposed on Native societies … including on the land we now know as Canada.”
On another slide, amid a parade of variously configured pink and blue male/female stick-people, the concept of “polygender” is introduced to define “people who identify as multiple genders simultaneously and can be several genders all at once. Or they may alternate between their varying gender identities depending on the day or the week.” Coaches also get a slide on “genderqueer” individuals, who exist in an undefined extra-dimensional gender space that allows them to “reject gender altogether”—though this is not to be confused with “agender” (it gets its own slide), a label that applies to those who are merely “genderless.”
Doe asked for a temporary exemption so he could explain to OHF why he objected; that request was denied. Quillette writes that Hockey Canada’s Senior Vice-President for Insurance and Risk Management wrote back saying the course was required. That prompted Doe to write to Egale Canada and challenged some of the materials for the course, which yielded no different result.
OHF notes in their handbook, “In 2018-19, the OHF represented over 190,000 registered players. In addition to that playing membership, the OHF also involves in excess of 50,000 coaches and 7,000 officials. The main objectives of the OHF are: to foster, promote, encourage the sport of amateur hockey; provide opportunities for all players to play the sport; promote the orderly development of all categories, and to coordinate and conduct competitions for Branch, Regional and National Championships.”
Doe concluded, “The more I looked into it [on the Internet], the more I saw that I wasn’t alone. There’s a lot of people speaking out and who are unhappy with how the activists are controlling the narrative around this.”