Man Accuses 9-Year-Old Girl of Being Boy at Track Meet

'Let's keep calling out transphobia,' says BC premier after grandparents banned from future events
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2023 9:00 AM CDT
Man Accuses 9-Year-Old Girl of Being Boy at Track Meet
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/WoodysPhotos)

A Canadian school's track-and-field meet turned distressing for one young athlete after an attendee accused her of being a boy. The incident, first reported in Castanet, took place Thursday at Kelowna's Apple Bowl Stadium, where Heidi Starr's 9-year-daughter was preparing to compete in the meet's fourth grade shot-put event, Starr tells the local news outlet. "As my daughter was preparing to get up and throw, a man came out of the crowd, stepped forward, and walked [toward] a parent volunteer and said, 'This is a girls event—why are boys throwing?" Starr tells the CBC. Starr was initially confused, per CTV, until she realized the man was pointing at her child, a girl with a short pixie haircut.

Starr says the man, the grandfather of another competitor, also thought another little girl with short hair was a boy. She notes that when she tried to correct him, he insisted her child and the other girl were either boys or transgender and demanded to see a certificate proving her daughter was a girl. Starr adds that the man's wife then jumped into the fray, screaming that she and her ex-wife, Kari Starr, were "genital mutilators" and "groomers." Starr says her daughter was in tears for the rest of the day, her birthday. She also says her daughter thinks she would've placed in her event had the man not been yelling about her.

The man, since identified as Josef Tesar, is now denying Starr's account of what happened to Castanet. Tesar says he walked up to an official to quietly ask if the event was co-ed, and that Starr was the one who approached him yelling and cursing, asking him if he wanted "to see [the girl] naked" or inspect her genitals. "I said, 'No, the certificate is OK,'" he tells Castanet. He says he's not sorry for asking whether the event was co-ed, and that Starr and her ex-wife made up "lies and hate toward us." His wife, Krista Tesar, denies using the words "genital mutilator" or "groomer," but concedes she may have yelled something like "F--- off."

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Kevin Kaardal, superintendent of Central Okanagan Public Schools, says the Tesars have been banned from any future school events taking place on district property. "We expect that adults who are invited to celebrate student success govern their behavior and conduct themselves with the civility and respect we expect from students," he notes in a statement. "This kind of hate is not acceptable or welcome in British Columbia," David Eby, British Columbia's premier, tweeted Tuesday. "Let's keep calling out transphobia when we see it." (More transphobia stories.)

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