Tegan and Sara, Alanis Morissette, Carly Rae Jepsen, More Sign Letter Protesting Anti-Trans Legislation in Canada


Tegan and Sara are spearheading an open letter campaign that opposes anti-transgender legislation in Canada. The letter, which was created by the duo’s foundation for LGBTQ+ equality and justice, was published on March 31 in observation of the International Transgender Day of Visibility. Over 400 artists have signed the letter, including Alanis Morissette, Carly Rae Jepsen, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Feist, Mac DeMarco, Pup, Peaches, and Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew.

“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,” the letter reads. “As artists, we know the danger of a social and political environment that restricts expression, exploration, individuality and self-determination. We want to keep living in a world that celebrates the beauty of difference, because difference and art go hand in hand. We also believe in the power of using our voices for those who aren’t being heard.”

The long list of artists who signed their name in support of Tegan and Sara’s initiative also includes Buffy Sainte-Marie, Metric, Julie Doiron, Andy Shauf, Backxwash, Owen Pallett, Badbadnotgood, Rufus Wainwright, K.D. Lang, Allison Russell, Sum 41, Stars, Metz’s Hayden Menzies, Alexisonfire, Ryan Hemsworth, Tokyo Police Club, the Rural Alberta Advantage’s Amy Cole, Chad VanGaalen, Chet Porter, Coeur de Pirate, and Jasmyn.

Currently, anti-trans legislation has not been signed into law in Canada, but various policies have been proposed in a handful of provinces. In February, Alberta premier Danielle Smith proposed bans on gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth, such as hormonal treatment and gender-confirmation surgery, reports CBC. Smith also submitted proposals about parental notification policies for students changing their name or pronouns, and a ban on trans women competing in women’s sports leagues.

Months prior, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan announced that parental consent is required before schools can honor the chosen names and pronouns of children under the age of 16. “The government should never put themselves between parents, their kids, and evidence-based healthcare and supports,” the Tegan and Sara Foundation’s open letter continues. “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.”

Read “The Fight for Queer Nightlife in an Era of Political Violence.”