Transgender matters have been in the news a lot recently and there are an increasing number of cases that will be hitting our courts in the coming months.

There have been cases about sports and washrooms and attire to be worn at graduation ceremonies. But I don’t want to talk about any of those today because I want to discuss a matter that’s important from a legal perspective and also close to my heart.

That matter is the Judicial Review between Carolyn Burjoski and The Waterloo Region District School Board, which will be heard this coming week at the Ontario Superior Court in London, Ontario

For those who haven’t been following, Carolyn Burjoski made news headlines across Canada in January 2022 when the Waterloo Region District School Board shut down her presentation to the School Board Trustees. At the time, Carolyn was a teacher within the board and her presentation brought forward concerns about the contents of certain books available in her school’s library. Some of these books were LGBT resources, while others were sexuality explicit without centralizing LGBT matters.

Carolyn’s concerns were centralized around age appropriateness for their target audience and—in one case—trivializing and glamorizing the impact of transitioning.

Following Carolyn’s presentation, she was placed on administrative leave and news of her cancellation was national headlines across the country. Statements were made by the board that accused Carolyn of perpetuating ‘transphobia’ and causing harm to transgender individuals. I learned about this through a board email that apologized for the ‘transphobia’ that transpired in their recent board meeting.

Anyway, I’ll gloss over the details, but in time Carolyn launched two causes of action against WRDSB and the chair of the board. One is a defamation suite for 1.75 million dollars, and the second is a judicial review to ask the court to make a ruling on whether cutting Carolyn’s presentation off was justified within the law. That judicial review is the case that will be heard next week.

This is the kind of tantalizing news headline that I would be interested in no matter what. But this case is especially noteworthy for me because Carolyn is a dear friend of mine.

Julia Malott

Julia Malott is a Canadian based transgender individual who advocates for bridging the gap between diverse viewpoints on gender identity and ideology. Julia is the host of Alotta Thoughts Podcast which features bi-weekly long form discussions exploring the complexity of sex and gender.

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Julia Malott

Julia Malott is a Canadian based transgender individual who advocates for bridging the gap between diverse viewpoints on gender identity and ideology. Julia is the host of Alotta Thoughts Podcast which features bi-weekly long form discussions exploring the complexity of sex and gender.