Artists including Tegan and Sara, Carly Rae Jepsen oppose Canada’s anti-trans legislation

April 2, 2024

The Tegan and Sara Foundation published an open letter with more than 400 Canadian artists publicly disavowing anti-trans legislation in their country.

The open letter was released Sunday, when people across the globe observed Transgender Day of Visibility, and was signed by artists originally from Canada or who live there now.

The list includes Alanis Morissette, Neil Young, Sarah McLachlan, Carly Rae Jepsen, Elvis Costello, Elliot Page, Colbie Smulders, Tegan and Sara, The Strumbrellas, Peach Pit, Priyanka and more than 300 others.

“We, the undersigned artists from Canada, stand against these alarming and destructive policies, and call on the general public to turn their attention to a growing problem in our country,” the letter read.

“The government should never put themselves between parents, their kids, and evidence-based healthcare and supports. We are trending towards more harmful anti-trans legislation in Canada, and we call on our communities and local and national policymakers to put a stop to this concerning surge in anti-trans policy,” it continued.

The letter comes amid a wave of anti-LGBTQ policies. The province of Alberta has proposed youth bans on gender-affirming care including hormonal treatment, puberty blockers and gender-confirmation surgery, according to the letter.

The letter also says New Brunswick and Saskatchewan announced they would require parental consent before schools may honor chosen names or pronouns of children under 16.

“For those outside of Canada, the country is often seen as a human rights haven. However, the reality is that Canada is not immune to the global attack on the trans community and their access to inclusive spaces, healthcare and freedoms,” the letter read.

“Everyone deserves access to crucial healthcare services that affirm them. Anyone holding a historically-excluded identity knows what it’s like to be treated differently because of who they are,” the letter said. “The anti-trans policies taking root in Canada go beyond discrimination — they present a clear risk to the mental and physical well-being of trans individuals throughout the country.”

In recent years, several states across the U.S. have introduced bills targeting LGBTQ rights.

The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ civil rights group, said there were more than 315 such bills targeting LGBTQ rights in state legislatures across the country in 2022. In 2023, there were at least 510 bills introduced in 46 states, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). More than 80 became law.