The “Mother Teresa” of trans people in Quebec died

News 16 July, 2017
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    Marie-Marcelle Godbout


    Vincent Larin

    Saturday, 15 July 2017 23:37

    Saturday, 15 July 2017 23:48

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    The pioneer of the defence of the rights of transsexuals in Quebec, Marie-Marcelle Godbout died in the night from Friday to Saturday.

    “We can’t even quantify the number of people who have avoided suicide because Marie-Marcelle Godbout answered the phone in the middle of the night,” says the president of the organization Using the trans du Québec (ATQ), Julien Leroux Richard.

    One of the first

    73-year-old at the time of his death, Marie-Marcelle Godbout was made known to the general public through a television interview that she conducted with Jean-Luc Mongrain in 1980. It was one of the first people in Quebec to speak publicly on the subject.

    In the same year, she founded the ATQ and set up a telephone line to assist transsexual people. At the time, this condition was still considered a disease.

    Herself transsexual, Marie-Marcelle Godbout wanted to combat the prejudice against the people who are in this situation. This is also the post operative deaths of a friend transsexual who pushed to create the ATQ.

    “Regardless of the time when people called, she was always there to answer them and to accompany them in their steps [sex-change],” says Julien Leroux-Richard about what he describes as the “Mother Teresa” of transsexuals in Quebec.

    Still Saturday, you could hear his voice pre-recorded in response to the calls destined to the telephone line of the ATQ.


    “If it wasn’t release publicly, there would still be people gangs. We could not even walk in the street, or would still have fear of being imprisoned,” says Melissa Legault, a member of the Board of directors of the ATQ.

    The law 103, adopted in June 2016, provides for children of transgender persons to change the designation of sex, male or female, that appear on their birth certificates.

    Died “in peace”, according to Julien Leroux-Richard, the lady was survived by her spouse with whom she still lived and her boy and her grandchildren.

    “She kept telling us that we could have a normal life, in spite of our condition, that it was the perfect example,” recalls Melissa Legault, a member of the board of directors of the ATQ.