Senator Sinclair Speaks from the Heart

Senator Murray Sinclair and Kathleen Sinclair and Harlan Pruden at the University of British Columbia taken on March 18, 2016
Senator Murray Sinclair and Kathleen Sinclair and Harlan Pruden at the University of British Columbia taken on March 18, 2016

(OTTAWA, Ont.) On June 13th, after a moment of silence in Canada’s Senate for victims of the Orlando shooting, one of Canada’s newest Senators, judge, aboriginal leader, former head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, proud parent, husband, Senator Murray Sinclair offered a moving reflection and address in the Senate on the tragic events that happened early Sunday morning in the gay club Pulse in Orlando, Fl. 

Early that same evening, the Sinclair family were celebrating their daughter’s 33rd birthday, an out and proud woman.

Mr. Sinclair recounted those events, “Eventually, over a period of three hours, he hunted down all those he could find in the bar and killed 49 young men and women, whose only reason for being targeted was that they were celebrating Pride month and were openly gay.”

Sinclair reflected on what he and his wife, Kathleen, said their daughter when she came out to them, “We told her about the fact that among Indigenous people, being a Two-Spirit was traditionally a position of respect and honor. Ceremonies, we have been taught, are enhanced if done by or with Two-Spirit people present, for it is believed that they embody the strengths and spirits of both man and woman and bring a special healing power and medicine to every special event.

Sinclair continues, “She has brought great respect to our family. We are said to be blessed by having her as a daughter because she is Two-Spirit, and we feel so. We adopted another Two-Spirit daughter into our family as well, whose partner just gave birth to our newest grandson. He will be raised by two-spirit parents.”

“As parents of Two-Spirits, we want to protect our children from the bullying, the offensive comments, the disparaging remarks and the physical and verbal abuses that every member of the LGBTQ2S experiences. We have learned to shield them and to heal them when our shields prove insufficient,” said Mr. Sinclair. 

“What we fear the most is that someone will murder them just for being gay. The belief that such an event could occur would be enough for many to discourage their children from coming out, and it would also discourage the children themselves,” declared Mr. Sinclair.

Mr. Sinclair concluded his powerful, moving and personal address with, “So in our moment of silence, I thought of the parents. We as a society have all lost something as a civilized people in this act of mass murder, but they [the parents of the 49] have lost more than we can ever know.”