Judge’s ‘transgender’ history worthy of note — this time

Congratulations to Kael McKenzie, who was appointed to the bench — as a judge — in Manitoba this past week.

Why the congrats?

Because Kael happens to be the first trangender person to be named a judge in that province and the first one in Canada. Says Kael in the CBC article I’ve been reading:

“I’m just one example of many of my colleagues and people who are attaining certain levels of notoriety that can show people we are just people. We are just doing what everyone else does and we can achieve whatever we want to do with hard work and dedication.

“I mean for my community, I think it means a lot. I think it means … we’ve hit that glass ceiling and broke through it. As a society, I think we’re pretty much there.”

Indeed, it seems Canadian society is “pretty much there,” though perhaps somewhat more in its acceptance of trans men than trans women, who are still struggling for basic recognition and acceptance in some federal institutions

The readers’ comments, where you often can get a sense of how the majority feels, to the CBC story are, overall, quite refreshing if not a little indignant — some people point out that Kael’s trans history is irrelevant, and that the appointment was made by an independent judicial nominating committee based solely on merit, exactly as it should be.

Those readers are correct, of course. But the appointment is still a milestone because of Kael’s transitional history and is worthy of note. In time, those sorts of details won’t be reported anymore.

The Globe and Mail has a more detailed report.

— Jillian Page

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