Recently, Toronto School Board trustee Sam Sotiropoulos began facing backlash after tweeting that he "reserve[s] the right to not believe" in transgender identity until it is "scientifically proven" that trans people are not "mentally ill."
When Canada's Global News confronted him on the meaning of his comments this past Friday, the uncomfortable interview below ensued. As the interview repeatedly asks Sotiropoulos for clarification, he eventually falls entirely silent, before walking out of the room.
Evading the interviewer's questions, Sotiropoulos repeatedly stated that "I have not formed at opinion [on whether trans people are mentally ill], but I reserve the right to form an opinion."
Sotiropolous explained that such opinions are based on research, but added that he hadn't yet done any research of his own.
Already under fire for April comments in which he suggested that there might be nude pedophiles at the LGBT Pride Parade, Sotiropolous' most recent Twitter vitriol has found him answering direct complaints from dozens of his constituents, notes the Global News.
In the wake of criticism, Towelroad reports that Sotiroplous has returned to Twitter to defend his opinions by claiming that the Toronto school district is ignoring other kinds of bullying while over-focusing on the "rarest" types: homophobia and transphobia.
While lamenting that transphobic officials can remain in office, local trans right activist Susan Gapka pointed the upside to this situation to Global News: "The terrific thing is that there are non-trans people, like allies and supporters, leaping to the defense."
"There was a flurry on Twitter, and social media, the news has covered it," she continues. "That shows you how far we've come in the last five or ten years."
Watch Sotiroplous' bizarre interviewbelow.