Canadian comic Colin Mochrie says he welcomes his new role as a champion for transgender rights after speaking out in support of his daughter.
The “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” star says he didn’t expect to receive much attention when he took to Twitter on Sunday to ask why some people can’t accept transgender people, like his daughter Kinley.
“I think I’ve gotten like 2,000 followers over the last day…. It’s pretty cool,” Mochrie says from his home in Toronto.
“If I can do something to help anyone who is perceived as different, then I’m always there. I truly don’t understand prejudices against colour, religion or gender or sexuality because I’ve met (jerks) of every race, creed and culture and I’ve met wonderful people from the same.”
The funnyman says his tweet was partly prompted by the upcoming U.S. presidential inauguration, and the divisiveness that seemed to surround the election campaign.
“My 90-yr-old mother-in-law and 87-yr-old mother love and acceptance of our trans daughter warms me. Wonder why some who are younger can’t,” Mochrie tweeted.
He says his 26-year-old daughter Kinley, who was born Luke Mochrie, revealed she was transgender last April. The year before, she told them she was bisexual.
“We knew this is something that she didn’t jump into lightly, she’s taking some therapy and is looking into hormones,” he says.
For his part, Mochrie admits that he and his actress-wife Deb McGrath have needed time to adjust to using a new pronoun when referring to their child.
“We knew Luke for 26 years so it was very hard to quickly change that. And even now, there’s still times when we slip. We’re certainly a lot better,” he says, adding that he’s noticed a generational divide among friends who learn about Kinley.
“It’s unusual because all the young people we tell, they all go, ‘Congratulations!’ The people around our age, they all go (adopts a deep intonation), ‘How are you doing?’ They get very serious, like, ‘Oh. You’re going to lose a leg,’ or something.”
Mochrie says his daughter came up with the name Kinley after consulting him and McGrath.
“We had a bit of a bump at the beginning where she picked a name and it didn’t seem to go with her and we were all kind of pussyfooting around it. Finally, Deb said, ‘That name says nothing. All it reminds me of is my best friend’s dog.’ And so, again, Kinley went away and thought about that for a long time and came back and said, ‘You know what, I should have had you as part of this process because we’re all going through this together.'”
McGrath suggested the Irish name Kinley to reflect her Irish heritage, and it stuck.
“So we now have a Kinley,” says Mochrie.