Father’s rejection of daughter to become a boy is an act of violence, B.C. court told

The B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.Arlen Redekop/Postmedia/File

Vancouver – The top court in British Columbia was told yesterday that a father’s rejection of testosterone therapy for his daughter to become a boy is an act of “family violence.”

The father went to court in order to block testosterone treatment for his 14-year-old daughter who began identifying as a boy at the age of 11. A psychologist at B.C. children’s Hospital said the child had a case of gender dysphoria and that it was best if the girl received hormone therapy and be referred to with male pronouns.

In February the B.C. court ruled against the father, saying the child was entitled to the treatment. The father appealed the decision, saying it was a “rush to judgement.”

The ultimate disposition of case is expected to have national ramifications on parental rights, freedom of expression and child autonomy.

In February the high court not only rejected the father’s attempt to deny the testosterone treatments, but said the father must also refer to his daughter in her preferred pronoun. Any attempt to do otherwise, Supreme Court Justice Gregory Bowden said, “shall be considered to be family violence.”

“For a transgender person, having the world refuse to accept the gender identity that you say you are is the most profound harm because it’s a denial of your human identity,” the child’s lawyer, Barbara Findlay, told the court.

Even though child had already begun hormone treatments earlier in the year, the girl still suffers from depression, Findlay said. The father’s refusal to accept the girl’s transitioning into a male was partially blamed for her despondency.

The mother, who supports the girl’s decision, claims she has held her daughter’s hand throughout the legal process, unlike her father.

The father, said the mother’s legal representative Jessica Lithwick, has shown a “shocking lack of discretion and consideration towards (the child).”


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