A Canadian father who had helped coach his son's hockey team for three years has been barred from coaching because he questioned the mandatory gender identity training course imposed by Hockey Eastern Ontario. The course was required of all coaches following a 2017 legal settlement involving a transgender hockey player.
The website Quillette reports the man claims that since 2018, the world of hockey for young people has become another venue for the spread of culture war propaganda.
"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," the former coach, whom the website called John Doe for security reasons, explains.
Doe told Quillette he took the number of mandated courses required for coaches and supports the anti-discrimination efforts by the hockey league that oversees almost all of the players from the age of six years up. But he said he decided not to proceed when he saw the slide presentation on gender in the required gender diversity course.
"I would be fine taking an awareness course if it were factual and based in science," he said. "But I felt it was too ideological."
The lawsuit that resulted in the new requirements was brought by Jesse Thompson, a biologically female child who identified as a boy. Thompson complained that she had been prevented from using a boys' locker room due to her female anatomy. Ultimately, the hockey league caved to the complaint and asked an LGBT activist organization called Egale Canada to write up the league's new training materials.
According to Quillette, Egale, a Toronto-based group 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 hockey league, it ratcheted that age down to "between 18-30 months."
Several of the slides from the course on gender argue "the gender binary … was imposed on Native societies … including on the land we now know as Canada."
Quillette goes on to describe other slides in the presentation:
"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." Later in the presentation, there are hockey-themed quizzes ("Drag and drop each puck into the corresponding net") to test coaches' understanding of these rarified terms."
"They're putting this in a training course that's mandatory for me to volunteer with my son?" Doe told the website. He said he asked the league for a temporary exemption to explain his objection, but it was denied by the league.
He also wrote to Egale Canada and challenged some of the material in the course, but his complaint went nowhere.
"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," Doe concluded.