High School Has First Transgender Football Player

Kennedy Cooley, a Canadian teen, has become the first transgender player on his high school’s football team.  Cooley said to CTV News that he transferred to Halifax West High School in Halifax, Canada for his senior year because he’d heard that students there would be more accepting of his gender identity than his previous school.

Cooley said that he was initially apprehensive about joining the football team but he quickly learned that his teammates weren’t fazed by his presence.  Head coach of the team David Kelly told CTV News that Cooley, “seems to get along with everybody,” and is helping to give his teammates, “a perspective that they probably would not have had before.”

Robert Cooley, Kennedy’s father, told ABC News that he hopes his son’s story will encourage other parents of transgender kids to embrace their differences.


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Gay Day cancelled…over a hug?

Gay Day cancelled…over a hug?

Last week Brandon Hamilton and Barrett Morrison headed out on a casual summer day trip. They visited Wonderland, an amusement park in Canada on the park’s annual Gay Day, an event organized by PFLAG Canada (Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to highlight LGBT issues.

Since it was Gay Day, Brandon and Barrett felt they were in a welcoming environment at Wonderland.  While waiting in line for the lazy river, they expressed a typical and commonplace display of affection for a couple by hugging.  That’s when an employee of Wonderland instructed the couple to stop hugging because they were at a “family” establishment.

Brandon and Barrett told the employee the admonishment was offensive and based on Canadian law, illegal.  However the couple does not blame the employee.  Brandon and Barrett want more employee training on how to handle discrimination complaints and to make Gay Day a park-wide event instead of just a booth by the entrance.

Wonderland responded by stating that their employees receive “extensive” training on how to handle discrimination cases.  However, the amusement park also said they had no plans to make Gay Day a park-wide event. “We partner with more than 5,000 groups, communities and companies each season and therefore don’t designate a day to any given group,” Soulla Lindo of Wonderland told BuzzFeed Canada. “But we’ve enjoyed our partnership with PFLAG in hosting this annual event and we hope they will return again in 2017.”

PFLAG Canada, however, accused Wonderland of not being “interested in mending this relationship, and ensuring a safe environment” for LGBTQ visitors. President Bev Belanger told BuzzFeed Canada that her organization’s board “has decided to cancel future Gay Days at Canada’s Wonderland.”

Check out Hayden’s List reviews for LGBT friendly amusement parks.

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