Trans Alliance Society chair applauds transgender-inclusive changes to B.C. Human Rights Code

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      Make no doubt about it—it's Morgane Oger's year.

      Oger was chosen as a 2016 Vancouver Pride parade grand marshal, won the inaugural trans-activist award at the 2016 Pride Legacy Awards, and flew to Ottawa to witness Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould introduce legislation to include the terms gender identity and gender expression in the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code.

      Meanwhile at the civic level, Vancouver city council approved a trans-inclusive action plan on July 13.

      What's more, Oger was amazed when the B.C. government announced on July 20 that they were introducing legislation to amend the B.C. Human Rights Code to be trans-inclusive.

      "Incredulity was my reaction," Oger told the Georgia Straight at the Vancouver Pride Society's Pride Premiere party at Celebrities Nightclub on July 21. "I thought that it was dead and the only way we were going to be able to handle this was through an election."

      Bill 27 passed unanimously on July 25.

      "Many people worked so hard to get this there and it ate so many years of peoples' lives to advocate for equal protection and it was so difficult to convince government to act," Oger said.

      As part of her devotion to the effort to lobby for trans-inclusive change, Oger said she started taking formal training in 2014, including public policy training in 2015.

      NDP MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert had previously introduced bills four times to request transgender people be included in the B.C. Human Rights Code.

      She applauded the provincial government's change in direction and encourages the Liberal party to continue on.

      "Even though I am trying to get myself into position to be an MLA for the BC NDP for the next election, in spite of that, I welcome what they have done and encourage them to go further, to weed out people who are intolerant from their organization, to stop looking to social conservative extremism for their powerbase and to start really represent everybody and to protect everybody in B.C., whether they are trans or a person that's racialized or a person with a disability or a person that's a newcomer or a refugee or a woman or a man or whoever they are. It's the job of government to do this and I'm extremely happy to see that government has taken a step forward to this."

      Oger invites all politicians, as well as any other trans allies, to walk with TAS at the Pride parade on Sunday (July 31).

      "I encourage them to come and march with us with the Trans Alliance Society at Pride. As we've always said, we welcome anybody that supports trans equality and anybody who voted in support for trans equality is welcome at the TAS floats at Pride in Vancouver and I would love to see them there."