The president of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Vianne Timmons, was fired by the university’s Board of Regents in April 2023, according to an Epoch Times report. She had claimed that her father’s great-great-grandmother was Mi’kmaq. This claim was challenged by a CBC report, which led to further questioning by university authorities.
Timmons for years “listed membership with the unrecognized Bras d’Or Mi’kmaq First Nation in Nova Scotia in her professional credentials… In 2019, Timmons accepted an award from Indspire, a national indigenous-led charity celebrating indigenous education and achievement. The Indspire website says she is Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia.”
This report reminds us of other Aboriginal impersonators who have been identified and punished for their false claims. Included are former judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, whose claims to Cree ancestry were eventually rejected, and whose awards and honorary degrees were rescinded by the respective grantees. In 2022, Professor Carrie Bourassa, an Aboriginal health specialist at the University of Saskatchewan, resigned from her post after being challenged about her unsubstantiated claims of Metis ancestry.
Then there was U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a.k.a. Fauxcahontas, whose claim to be of native American descent was widely challenged. She had been proudly exhibited by Harvard Law School as the first female native American on the faculty. She was not fired, but widely ridiculed for her false claim. Her affiliation with the Cherokee tribe was not enthusiastically endorsed. According to the Washington Post, “The Cherokee Nation’s secretary of state, Chuck Hoskin Jr., released a blistering statement… in response to the test showing Warren was between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American.”
A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America. Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage
Individuals descended from white parents who have claimed black heritage and identity have been similarly exposed and repudiated. There are many well-known cases:
The president of the Spokane, Wash., NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Rachel Dolezal, taught Africana Studies at the University of Eastern Washington. She had claimed to be black for years, but in 2015 finally admitted that she had been born of white parents. But, in defense, she stated that she “identified as black.” In spite of that “identification,” she had to step down from her posts.
A history professor specializing in “Africa and the African Diaspora” at George Washington University, Jessica Krug, presented herself as black for many years. Successfully challenged, she offered this mia culpa:
To an escalating degree over my adult life, I have eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child in suburban Kansas City under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness.
So too Satchuel Cole, a pro-black race activist in Indianapolis:
I have taken up space as a Black person while knowing I am white. I have used Blackness when it was not mine to use. I have asked for support and energy as a Black person. I have caused harm to the city, friends, and the work that I held so dear.
Why can’t someone who identifies as indigenous or black be accepted as indigenous or black? The answer is that race is seen as a matter of biological descent, not subject to simple preferential identification. The biological reality of race is honored in category inclusion and exclusion. What category someone wants to or claims to belong to does not cancel the reality of biological, racial descent. It is this that accounts for the cancelling of those who impersonate a person of another race.
The situation with identifying with a different gender is being treated differently. Take the case of Dylan Mulvaney:
To help commemorate Dylan Mulvaney’s 365th day of being a girl, numerous brands, including Bud Light and Nike, have flocked to her support through major partnership deals. Bud Light partnered with Mulvaney for her 365 Days Of Girlhood video series, and now, Nike is making Mulvaney the face of its new women’s sports bra campaign.
But Mulvaney is only one of many trans-activists who are in the spotlight today and enjoying celebrity status.
The trans-female swimmer Lia Thomas was the star “female” swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania, winning many races by record-breaking times. The University nominated “her” for the National Collegiate Athletic Association woman athlete of the year award.
Among their women of the year 2023, one chosen for each state of the union, U.S.A. Today selected Leigh Finke, a trans-female member of the Minnesota legislature, who had lived most of his life as a man, as a “woman of the year.”
Among the eleven recipients of the “International Women of Courage Awards,” presented at the White House by first lady Jill Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, was Alba Rueda, a biological male trans-female who holds the post as the Argentinian special envoy for sexual orientation and gender identity.
The last example is the twenty trans-women who have won national or international competitions or championships in women’s sports, including volleyball, roller derby, snooker, ski sprint, darts, bench press, mountain biking, weight lifting, track cycling, long golf drive, disc golf, track hurdles, swimming, cyclocross, track racing, handball, MMA fighting, and others.
The transgender position is that a person can become whatever gender he or she decides to become. It is believed that there is no relationship between biological sex and gender. Sex is what a doctor said you were at birth; gender is what your feel yourself to be.
Where did this absolute division between biological sex and gender come from, and how is it justified? This division between sex and gender is a fundamental feminist doctrine. Feminists have claimed that gender is society’s imposition of power and customs onto biological sex. Their position is that gender is “socially constructed.”
Feminists view traditional female gender as imposed by “the patriarchy” and is intended to keep women in chains and subservient to males. Thus biological sex is seen as comparatively unimportant compared to the arbitrary strictures of imposed, socially constructed gender. Worse, reference to biological sex was used by males as a rationalization and justification for imposing restrictions on females. Therefore, biological sex was dismissed by feminists as little more than a plot by the patriarchy to oppress them.
Feminists and trans-activists have dismissed the well-documented biological and psychological evidence about the importance and multiple influences of biological sex. Female lives and preferences are, to a degree, tied to their biological foundation. Female genetics and neurology differ from those of males, as do preferences in relationships and activities. In practice, the freer females are from societal strictures in feminist countries such as Sweden, the more these differences assert themselves.
Trans-activists have taken the feminist exaggeration of the independence of gender from sex to an absurd degree. The claim that a man can become a woman and a woman can become a man by just saying so is ridiculous, an absolute rejection of scientific knowledge. A person’s genetics cannot be changed, and the medical “transition” of hormones and surgical mutilation produces at best a ludicrous replica if not a medical disaster of lifelong ills. Worse, the “gender affirmation” medical transition of underage children is criminal.
We have seen that identifying with another race has, in multiple cases, failed because biological descent disallows claims of being that race. If in these cases genetic relationships negate the change in race, how, in the case of gender transition, can people claim legitimately to have escaped from their own genes? And why should there be social pressure to accept a clear falsehood?
What clothes individuals wish to wear and what mannerisms they choose to exhibit is a matter of personal preference. That others should be forced by law to address people in terms that they prefer is despotic. Forced speech should never be required. Yet it is now against the law in many jurisdictions to “dead name” or “misgender” trans individuals. This is a travesty that should not be allowed.
Corporate Enthusiasm for Trans Individuals
Determined and systematic lobbying by LGBTQ2S++ groups such as the misnamed Human Rights Campaign, funded by George Soros to continue his campaign to destroy America, have ramped up pressure on companies by rating them according to a so-called Corporate Equality Index. This is the queer version of the Chinese Communist social credit score. Companies with trans campaigns are basically trying to pay off extortion threats from trans fanatics.
These lobbyists are further supported by the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) movement that has guided the world’s largest investment funds to cut off investments to “incorrect” industries and direct them to “virtuous” industries. This extreme moralizing bullying is distorting our economy, and is a violation of fiduciary responsibility by reducing financial returns to its investors.
Perhaps these companies endorsing trans fads are fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to their stockholders and owners by trying to protect themselves and their bottom lines. Still, they are setting a bad example by capitulating to political extremism and are well worthy of criticism and boycotts.
Trans Grooming in Schools
Radical, far-left faculties of education, departments of education, and teachers’ unions have been celebrating LGBTQ2S++ in K-12 classrooms under the label of “inclusion” and defense of children who are “vulnerable minorities.” They have pushed LGBTQ2S++ solidarity clubs and urged all children to champion the queer cause at least as “allies.”
But LGBTQ2S++ supremacism does not stop with solidarity. Teachers and counselors actively recruit and groom children to the queer world, particularly the trans world. On the lookout for allegedly vulnerable children, they encourage them to transition, to take a name of the other sex, and don the clothes of the other sex that the school keeps for this purpose. Then the children are coached to hide this “social transition” from their families.
From there, these children are sent for medical procedures, from puberty blockers to opposite-sex hormones, to surgery such as cutting off a girl’s breasts, a hysterectomy, and plastic surgery to paste on pretend male genitalia, or castration for boys and fake female genitalia. Bodily mutilation for minors is the final step in trans advocacy in schools.
Teachers and counselors may feel righteous for “protecting vulnerable minorities” by grooming children in the queer and trans agenda. But the road to hell is paved with woke sentiments, just as the detransitioners have told us.
A half dozen recent fatal attacks on individuals and mass shootings have been perpetrated by “gender diverse” or trans individuals. This should not be surprising. When confused or disturbed individuals are groomed to undertake extreme or terrible bodily procedures, it is no wonder that some suffer psychopathic breakdowns and turn their anger on others.
But now a number of trans individuals are forming a movement that is intentionally self-designated as violent. They rationalize this by claims of defense against an imaginary “trans genocide.” The “Trans Day of Vengeance” was proclaimed but apparently canceled, temporarily, after the mass murder by a trans-male of three children and three adults at a Christian school. Violent militancy by disturbed people is the last thing that we need.
People are barred from legitimately identifying with a different race because they do not fulfill the criterion of biological descent. On the other hand, people identifying with a different sex than their birth sex are validated in spite of ignoring and denying their own biological sexual makeup. This is beyond incoherent; it is the rejection of science and logic, and the elevation of nonsense.
Philip Carl Salzman is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. This essay originally appeared here.