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Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans kids, washrooms and the new harassment

On October 13th, a story appeared at the Christian Broadcasting Network about girls being harassed by a trans youth in the washroom of a Colorado-area school. Soon afterward, the story was picked up by the Daily Mail, the Examiner, FOX News, and several webmedia outlets. One even embellished it with a claim that the girls were threatened with hate crime charges). After a few years of using the spectre of a fabled bathroom predator to scare people about the prospect of human rights law inclusion for trans people, it almost seemed like the far right was (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans kids, washrooms and the new harassment

On October 13th, a story appeared at the Christian Broadcasting Network about girls being harassed by a trans youth in the washroom of a Colorado-area school. Soon afterward, the story was picked up by the Daily Mail, the Examiner, FOX News, and several webmedia outlets. One even embellished it with a claim that the girls were threatened with hate crime charges). After a few years of using the spectre of a fabled bathroom predator to scare people about the prospect of human rights law inclusion for trans people, it almost seemed like the far right was (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: No Rainbow for Queer People: A Right-Wing Support for Russia Roundup

While much of the attention surrounding Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” law has been about whether there should be a boycott of the Sochi Olympics, the saga has continued to ripple outward in several directions, including statements being made in support of the law by Canadian and American far-right spokespeople. Here is a round-up of several developments outside the Olympics debate, and some thoughts about what these statements of support are actually saying.

(And before proceeding, I do want to make an important point clear. While many anti-gay / anti-trans groups phrase their revulsion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Not All Like That Christians Project

Christians are “Not All Like That” (i.e. anti-LGBT). I get it, and try to phrase my writing accordingly. Society, on the other hand, *doesn’t* get it, and the extremists have been successful in painting their position as the “Christian” position.

If it is not your position, here’s a way you can add your voice to those wanting to make this clear.

Dented Blue Mercedes: What LifeSiteNews’ attack on Pat Robertson says about religious freedom.

Last week, there was some curious notice given to American televangelist Pat Robertson, after he expressed support for transitioning trans people, and their access to sex reassignment surgery. Less noticed was the backlash from other far-right groups over the same comments. But it’s worth revisiting, because of what that backlash says about the far right’s battle cry over religious freedom.

It’s very common for far-right ideologues (who I try to distinguish from “Christians,” because they don’t speak for all Christians) to hide behind religious freedom, and cry censorship when they are called out for transphobic and homophobic comments. (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Porn opt-ins, soft censorship and buttbuttinating personal responsibility

On Monday, British Prime Minster David Cameron announced that internet service providers in the U.K. would be required to filter out online porn as part of several new rules to come into effect by the end of the year. Adults will still have the ability to opt in to view porn, but filtering will be the ”unavoidable choice” default that ISPs will need to provide. The same day, Twitter announced that it would be implementing a tagging system to fight porn, apparently at the British government’s urging.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), Tom Copeland, revealed (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Facts about trans youth

(Previously published in March 2012, and archived here for when it might be needed as reference)

Several in the Canadian media and the general public have become interested in trans youth. It’s probably inevitable that many opinions and emotions have circulated as a result. I’m concerned that some of the attention surrounding trans youth and kids is distorted by the (perhaps unintentional) omission of some important distinctions.

The medical profession has long recognized that gender dysphoria often first occurs in youth and childhood, and formalized this in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III) in 1980 with a (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Right-Wing Group Claims Trans Human Rights are a Plot to Normalize Pedophilia.

It has long been a practice of American far-right spokespeople and organizations that when sensationalistic rhetoric starts to fail, rather than try to polish it up and make it look more convincing, they often switch to something more sensationalistic and absurd, as a way of getting attention and scaring folks. The thinking seems to be that the public isn’t interested in anything beyond the tl;dr headline / soundbyte, so if something is said often enough and assertively enough, people will think it to be true.

Canadian far-right spokespeople and organizations are usually craftier, but when they aren’t, it’s revealing. (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Using scripture to rationalize slavery by the one percent

I grew up in a Pentecostal church, so I remember the beginnings of some of the dominionist doctrines that characterize far right faith groups today. There was never any one principal compendium of theology that every church got behind (just as there’s no single denomination in the dominionist movement, and divisions exist), but rather there were different streams of thought that flowed in and gradually changed the course of the river of belief teachings. It filtered in through books by C. Peter Wagner, sermons by Oral Roberts, through Maranatha Ministries publications, through Youth For Christ media, and various

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Using scripture to rationalize slavery by the one percent

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canadian Evangelical audio program comes out in favour of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Sort of.

Well, perhaps it isn’t a coming out per-se, since it’s questionable as to whether they were ever “in.” But RoadKill Radio commentators Kari Simpson and Ron Gray have more or less made their position known on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill during an interview with Christian Heritage Party leader Jim Hnatiuk, who tacitly agreed. The interview highlighted the growing antipathy among Canadian Evangelicals toward Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Office of Religious Freedom, which will be a topic for another post. But here’s what they said (starts at 4:54 in the video):

SIMPSON: The Minister responsible for this Office

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Canadian Evangelical audio program comes out in favour of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Sort of.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Defining human rights.

Next week or in the week following, Canada’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST) will be reviewing the trans human rights Bill C-279, to approve or amend it before deciding whether to forward it on to Third Reading. Following federal Member of Parliament Rob Anders’ disastrous attempt to lobby Canadians against the bill by . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Defining human rights.

Dented Blue Mercedes: MP’s trans predator fearmongering escalates.

On Friday, Sun News commentator Brian Lilley interviewed Rob Anders, the Member of Parliament who has drawn condemnation for conflating transsexual and transgender people with sexual predators in a petition he has been circulating on his website, and to at least one church in his riding. In “Children’s bathroom bill reaches Parliament Hill,” both doubled down on conflating trans people with sexual predators, and suggested that granting human rights inclusion will somehow enable and legally absolve predatory acts. Anders claims there is “all sorts of examples of this going on.” Which is news to anybody else.

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: MP’s trans predator fearmongering escalates.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Stephen Woodworth’s “science,” and why Canada’s far-right isn’t really interested in it.

Stephen Woodworth’s Motion M-312 is scheduled for its second hour of debate this Friday, and the vote on the following Wednesday. And over summer’s Parliamentary break, there has been an interesting change of direction from the Canadian far-right backers of Woodworth’s action. In a way, there’s some obvious desire to parlay M-312 into a personhood amendment — but along the way, it also reveals a likelihood that they could undermine his efforts, if the direction that Woodworth’s plan goes ends up being anything but. And more than anything, it shows something interesting about Stephen Woodworth’s “science,”

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Stephen Woodworth’s “science,” and why Canada’s far-right isn’t really interested in it.

Dented Blue Mercedes: On Persecution Complexes and Rage

The interplay of rage and persecution complexes works to shape trans, LGB — and in fact all — struggles against oppression. It can become an eternal feedback loop that can stymie any attempt to move progressive causes forward, if it succeeds in establishing its circuitous pattern.

This translates to many struggles, so I’m going to speak generally and with varied examples — but I’m reminded of this most recently by the claims of persecution over a confrontation that happened at the New York dyke march, by Cathy Brennan, so will probably focus there most frequently.

(Oh dear god, I

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: On Persecution Complexes and Rage

Dented Blue Mercedes: M-312 Doublespeak Decoder: the “toe in the birth canal” argument.

The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform has been sending its New Abortion Caravan from the B.C. coast to Ottawa — arriving in Toronto on Wednesday, where protesters attempted to deface the graphic posters on the truck using a coathanger. While the second hour of debate for Stephen Woodworth’s attempt to push Parliament to investigate ways to criminalize abortion (M-312) has been pushed back to the Fall, and looks destined to fail, that hasn’t stopped the far right from mobilizing efforts across the country to change the social conversation on the topic.

Others have definitively dissected Woodworth’s intentions and

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: M-312 Doublespeak Decoder: the “toe in the birth canal” argument.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Hypocrisy on Free Speech and “Protecting Freedom.”

On June 6th (the same night that the trans human rights Bill C-279 advanced to committee) Conservative MP for Westlock – St. Paul, Brian Storseth’s Private Member’s Bill C-304, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom), passed Third Reading in the House of Commons, and advanced to the Senate for ratification. Bill C-304 abolishes Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which pertains to electronic communication of hate speech.

Sun Media commentator Ezra Levant barely got through taking credit for the bill’s passage before taking advantage of a recent censure of

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Hypocrisy on Free Speech and “Protecting Freedom.”

Dented Blue Mercedes: When even silence fails: On affirmation (part 3)

This is part of a 3-part series on LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying education, centering around the Day of Silence, which encourages students to take a vow of silence for the day, to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. It occurs on April 20th.

Part 1: When even silence offends: on the 2012 push from the North American far-right to subvert and antagonize Day of Silence participants. and: When even silence “persecutes:” on the ongoing conflicts in Canada, and a new game of declaring “homophobia” a hate word.

Part 2: When even silence can be exploited: on how

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: When even silence fails: On affirmation (part 3)

Dented Blue Mercedes: When even silence “indoctrinates:” the “No Pro Homo” education model. (Part 2)

This is part of a 3-part series on LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying education, centering around the Day of Silence, which encourages students to take a vow of silence for the day, to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. It occurs on April 20th.

Part 1: When even silence offends: on the 2012 push from the North American far-right to subvert and antagonize Day of Silence participants. and: When even silence “persecutes:” on the ongoing conflicts in Canada, and a new game of declaring “homophobia” a hate word.

Part 2: When even silence can be exploited: on how

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: When even silence “indoctrinates:” the “No Pro Homo” education model. (Part 2)

Dented Blue Mercedes: When even silence offends. (Part 1)

This is part of a 3-part series on LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying education, centering around the Day of Silence, which encourages students to take a vow of silence for the day, to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. It occurs on April 20th.

Part 1: When even silence offends: on the 2012 push from the North American far-right to subvert and antagonize Day of Silence participants. and: When even silence “persecutes:” on the ongoing conflicts in Canada, and a new game of declaring “homophobia” a hate word.

Part 2: When even silence can be exploited: on how the

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: When even silence offends. (Part 1)

Dented Blue Mercedes: A Lesson in Spin: Minimizing the Issue

I’ve been thinking on doing a few brief posts on seeing through spin, considering the growing escalation of techniques in Canada, which mirror an epidemic of it in the U.S. While my examples tend to look at the far-right, no one side of the social discussion is entirely innocent of spin — although in my experience, some far right sources are guilty of deliberate total obfuscation in a way that few other news and media sources can parallel.

Anyone who writes generates spin. The moment you write, you’re selecting the words you use in order to maximize their

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: A Lesson in Spin: Minimizing the Issue

Dented Blue Mercedes: MARS Canada doesn’t want to be affiliated with homophobia / transphobia.

Not long ago, Charles McVety’s transphobic “Don’t Confuse Me” ads about a proposed LGBT-positive curriculum in Ontario made the rounds — first on the National Post (which apologized for running them) and then by Sun Media, which claimed they were free speech champions for doing so. The Toronto Sun and FoxNewsNorth SunTV, of course, ran the ads without questioning them, challenging them or giving any voice to a contrary opinion, even though they found multiple opportunities to mention the controversy and their heroic role in it. They believe in free speech… as long as Sun Media gets

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: MARS Canada doesn’t want to be affiliated with homophobia / transphobia.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Aarchive: Anti-Abortion Lobby Dances on the Graves

(This post previously appeared at The Bilerico Project)

Recently, leaders of Commonwealth nations met to discuss pressing international issues, and leaders from the U.K., Canada and others pressed for human rights reforms for LGBT people. British Prime Minister David Cameron went so far as to threaten to cut off aid to member nations that still criminalize homosexuality — something that was met with accusations of “bullying.” Nigeria responded by redoubling efforts to symbolically pass a bill to ban same-sex marriage (even though homosexuality is already illegal there), including witnessing, participating in and “abetting” a

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Aarchive: Anti-Abortion Lobby Dances on the Graves

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Occupy Calgary story you’re not seeing elsewhere.

“Nothing to see here. Nothing to see here.” Until the last couple days, that had been the mood in Calgary, as the Occupy Wall Street (#ows) movement seemed far from many peoples’ minds. Sure, by now, everyone’s seen the graphs coming out about American inequality that show 1% of that population controlling an exponentially widening . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: The Occupy Calgary story you’re not seeing elsewhere.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Dissecting Spin 101 and Parsing Ezra Levant on Occupy Toronto

Here’s a quick lesson on the human microphone. Because voice amplification in public spaces is banned in New York, where Occupy Wall Street (#ows) began, the large crowds attending have adapted by breaking speeches into short phrases, which those near the speaker repeat loudly, then those further away, and so on, so that the words . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Dissecting Spin 101 and Parsing Ezra Levant on Occupy Toronto

Dented Blue Mercedes: Hate Speech on Trial in Canada

If you lived in certain parts of Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto over the past decade, there’s a chance you’ve encountered or at least heard about flyers distributed by Bill Whatcott. These fliers are typically peppered with photos of naked or half-naked gay men kissing (or in at least one instance, engaging in oral sex), with . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Hate Speech on Trial in Canada