Dad Stands Up to Gender Ideology

Dad Stands Up to Gender Ideology

by Collin Wynter

“Dad, a human male who protects his kids from gender ideology,” is just one of the slogans Chris Elston has for his sandwich board when he goes out protesting. Known as “Billboard Chris”, Elston travels across Canada and into the United States to spread his message that “children cannot consent to puberty blockers.” Asked why he dons such a cumbersome item, he reasons, “they can take a billboard down, but they can’t take it off my back.”

Elston previously posted a billboard in Vancouver that read “I (heart) JK Rowling.” This was in response to the online hate Rowling received for her gender critical views. After just one day the billboard was removed. Multiple complaints, including one from city councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung, apparently influenced the decision.

Father of two girls, aged 9 and 12, Elston believes that “we should not be giving kids experimental drugs and hormones and permanently altering their bodies.” He points out that children are not “adults in little bodies, they’re kids”.

This may be the reason why Elston is willing to take the abuse hurled at him. At a recent protest in Ottawa, he was attacked by multiple individuals, even with police in attendance.

On Monday, October 18, Elston was confronted by Keith Chadwick. Chadwick is a parent of a child who is attending a local school. He verbally harassed Elston, then physically assaulted him. Police were called and Chadwick was arrested. 

Elston informed the police he would be returning the next day. 

When Elston arrived the following day, around 200 counter protestors were in attendance. They held aloft signs with slogans such as: “trans lives matter” and “protect trans kids”. 

Elston relates that during the morning the crowd mainly behaved itself with only a few attempts at disruption. The police were in attendance and provided crowd control.

However, in the afternoon, the crowd became unruly. The police stopped minding the crowd. Elston was physically assaulted and his sandwich board was vandalized with pink spray paint. 

Critics of Elston’s complained that protesting near Broadview Public School and Nepean High School in Ottawa was inappropriate.

Elston was also criticized for his three day protest at Bowmore Road Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto.

Dr. Rima Berns-McGown, MPP for Beaches-East York, is one of those critics. Calling Elston a “notorious transphobe” she demanded that legislation be introduced to keep “hateful protests” at least 150 meters away from a school.

Asking Elston what he thought of this, he replied that he’ll abide by any legislation, but “it won’t have any effect.” He is confident that “this will change as it gets bigger numbers, you can’t keep everyone silent.”

Ottawa school board released a statement calling Elston an “anti-transgender protester” and stated that:

“All students, families & staff have the right to feel physically and emotionally safe, welcomed and accepted at school, without questioning of or reference to gender identity and/or expression.” 

Elston says he “absolutely does not want to protest at schools.” But this is where the issue is.

In fact, his very first sign said: “Gender ideology does not belong in schools.” 

Published by Collin Wynter

Exploring rights of our freedom of expression and justice

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