WINNIPEG —; Manitoba officially welcomed its first transgender judge Friday afternoon.
Kael McKenzie was appointed a Provincial Court judge in December, but was sworn in at the Winnipeg Law Courts along side Anne Krahn.
READ MORE: Manitoba appoints first transgender judge
But this was no ordinary swearing in ceremony. McKenzie is the first transgender judge in Canada.
Manitoba appoints first transgender judge
“That is something to be celebrated,” said Chief Judge of the Provincial Court, Ken Champagne.
McKenzie was a prosecutor for five years after graduating from the University of Manitoba in 2006 and called to the bar a year later. He’s been an active member of the legal and LGBTQ communities.
He says since his appointment to the bench in December he’s received messages and letters from across the country.
“Most moving was the outreach I received from parents of transgender children across the country,” said McKenzie, “they acknowledged their fears for their children’s futures and somehow my appointment elated their fears.”
Mckenzie is also metis. Judges and dignitaries say his appointment brings more diversity to the provincial court bench.
“It sends a message as well, especially to youth that the world is for everyone,” said Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh.
Anne Krahn, who grew up in Winkler was also sworn in Friday. She was promoted to associated chief judge in December. She started her career as a Crown attorney in Thompson and has served as a provincial judge since 2013.