The Canadian ban on conversion therapy has raised concerns among people who believe in the freedom to treat gender dysphoria or unwanted same-sex attraction through therapy. The legislation introduced by the Trudeau government aims not only to prosecute those who provide assistance in these areas, but also to have a chilling effect that discourages people from addressing these issues for fear of legal consequences. The latest incident at a church-run summer camp shows how this ban is impacting the discussion of authentic masculinity and the societal implications, as LifeSiteNews reports.
The Case of Caton’s Island Church Camp
In late May, the CBC reported on an “incident” at Caton’s Island, a church-run summer camp in New Brunswick. The camp had advertised its program as one that guides teenage boys toward “authentic masculinity – from confusion to clarity.” This description raised the concern of Vivian Myers-Jones, a “transgender woman” who saw it as an allusion to conversion therapy and immediately reported the camp to the RCMP.
Language used in the camp’s promotional materials, such as “cultural confusion regarding masculinity” and “authentic masculinity”, was found offensive by Myers-Jones and an allusion to an outdated era. This incident sheds light on the view of some that discussions of masculinity and the development of virtues are harmful per se.
Response from LGBT activists
The CBC article also solicited opinions from LGBT activists who shared Myers-Jones’ concerns. Amber Chisholm, who represents the youth organization Imprint Youth in Fredericton, expressed concern about the language used, claiming that certain gender roles and expressions could be restricted. Nick Schiavo, executive director of No Conversion Canada, also expressed concern about the inclusion of at-risk youth and said his organization would monitor the situation.
The chilling effect of Canada’s ban on conversion therapy
This incident is an example of the chilling effect of Canada’s ban on conversion therapy, where a transgender person’s complaint led to police involvement and media coverage, as well as interviews by LGBT activists expressing concerns about church camps for boys. It highlights how discussions of authentic masculinity and the exploration of virtues can be perceived as dangerous, suppressing open dialogue and self-expression. In essence, it all boils down to the fact that a biological man who thinks he is a woman was triggered because the summer camp for boys emphasized “authentic masculinity” which he has obviously struggled with in his life, though no one was making that particular person attend the camp or have anything to do with it.
But the mere thought that someone somewhere is doing something that someone else is being triggered by is enough to have it all cancelled, because not hurting someone’s feelings is more important.
The Canadian ban on conversion therapy has created a climate of fear and anxiety around discussions of gender dysphoria, same-sex attraction, and authentic masculinity. Incidents like the one related to the church camp on Caton’s Island show the consequences the ban can have. Even well-intentioned programs that focus on character building and biblical values can come under scrutiny and be seen as harmful. As Canada navigates the complexities of protecting individuals while preserving freedom of speech and the right to religious expression, it is important to create an environment that allows for open dialogue and understanding of different perspectives.