A nine-year-old girl was publicly berated during a track and field competition in British Columbia, Canada, last week by a man who wrongly accused her of being transgender.
“She was shaking and sobbing,” Heidi Star, the mother of the nine-year-old girl, told iNFOnews.ca on Monday. “All the kids that were there went ‘this is gross. this is rude, why would he be doing this?'”
The news outlet also reported that the man also accused a second nine-year-old girl of being a boy. “The other child he pointed out just ran away altogether,” iNFOnews.ca noted.
The man has now been banned from all school district properties and events, according to school superintendent Kevin Kaardal.
Star says her daughter was lined up for waiting for her turn during the shot put event with the man’s granddaughter standing behind her.
“He stopped the entire event, declaring that my daughter was a boy,” Star posted on Facebook about the incident. “My daughter is a girl, was born female, and uses she/her pronouns. She has a pixie cut. (The man) proceeded to say that, if my daughter was not a boy, then she was definitely trans and should be disqualified from competing.
“In the meantime, his wife was shouting that I was a genital mutilator, a groomer and a pedophile. (The man) then demanded that I provide a certificate proving my daughter was born female. My daughter was so shaken up. She has never witnessed this kind of hate before.”
Organizers decided to move the event to another shot put pit at the Apple Bowl, but the man followed, crossed his arms on his chest and stared at them. He refused to leave when teachers demanded him to go.
Star said she is a gay woman, her daughter has had a transgender coach and theatre teacher, and Star’s brother has a transgender child.
“She (her daughter) completely understands the spectrum of gender and of diversity,” Star said. “She’s always understood and never had concerns with that.”
“I checked in with her a lot about it,” Star said. “Mostly, she feels very sad whenever she thinks about it. It was really sad to be asked for a certificate to prove she’s a girl.”
Star says she did file a report with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police but was told that since they were not called in to witness what was happening, there is nothing they can do about it.
She considers the verbal attack a hate crime.
“The biggest thing I’m really hoping is that policies will be put in place so that, when stuff like this happens police are called right away,” Star said. “There was no protocol on what to do and we have to kind of accept that this is the world we live in and you’re going to get people who feel emboldened enough to do these atrocious things. It’s not fair to the parent volunteers at these events to be expected to navigate what are really criminal harassment matters.”