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Dented Blue Mercedes: Google Trends on “Transgender”

Posted for discussion and interest value.

Out of curiosity, I plunked the word “transgender” into Google Trends. It’s not my terminology of choice, but it’s what most people use and what the general public is most likely to search for. Here’s what I got:

The numbers aren’t an exact value of something, but a comparative value versus the highest peak on record, which is apparently right now. Or as Google Trends puts it:

Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart. If at most 10% of searches for the given region and (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Google Trends on “Transgender”

Posted for discussion and interest value.

Out of curiosity, I plunked the word “transgender” into Google Trends. It’s not my terminology of choice, but it’s what most people use and what the general public is most likely to search for. Here’s what I got:

The numbers aren’t an exact value of something, but a comparative value versus the highest peak on record, which is apparently right now. Or as Google Trends puts it:

Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart. If at most 10% of searches for the given region and (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: On the Detention of Trans People

“… in a way that is not inconsistent with one’s gender identity.”

Remember that phrase. It’s going to simplify something that might otherwise seem like a complicated issue.

So this British comedian walks into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Some of you have heard this one before…

The treatment of trans people (particularly trans women) in detention facilities, in the correctional system and in border security has come under re-examination recently, following the story of 25-year old Avery Edison. The British comedian had overstayed her student visa during a previous visit to Canada, and so upon her return, (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: On the Detention of Trans People

“… in a way that is not inconsistent with one’s gender identity.”

Remember that phrase. It’s going to simplify something that might otherwise seem like a complicated issue.

So this British comedian walks into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Some of you have heard this one before…

The treatment of trans people (particularly trans women) in detention facilities, in the correctional system and in border security has come under re-examination recently, following the story of 25-year old Avery Edison. The British comedian had overstayed her student visa during a previous visit to Canada, and so upon her return, (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Difficulties in Remembering Rosa

In the early morning hours of November 24th, the body of a possibly trans person was found in Edmonton, Alberta.

I say “possibly trans” because it’s unclear how this person identified, and to my knowledge, no one in the trans community has met them or would be able to shed light on who they were. And unfortunately, for this reason, I need to open with the following preamble:

The victim has been identified by the Edmonton Police Service as Jon Syah Ribut. However, she also used the names Rose, Rosa and Dido. In the Edmonton Journal, Paula Simons noted (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Difficulties in Remembering Rosa

In the early morning hours of November 24th, the body of a possibly trans person was found in Edmonton, Alberta.

I say “possibly trans” because it’s unclear how this person identified, and to my knowledge, no one in the trans community has met them or would be able to shed light on who they were. And unfortunately, for this reason, I need to open with the following preamble:

The victim has been identified by the Edmonton Police Service as Jon Syah Ribut. However, she also used the names Rose, Rosa and Dido. In the Edmonton Journal, Paula Simons noted (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Janice Raymond, and Healing Old Wounds

This post is a personal reflection on Janice Raymond’s visit to Vancouver during a memorial for the victims of the massacre of women at L’École Polytechnique, which took place in Montreal 24 years ago. For an overview of the controversy, why Janice Raymond’s presence (as well as some other aspects of that day’s program) drew anger from trans and sex work communities, and the different facets to that situation, please refer to my article at Rabble. What follows is my personal reflection, recorded separately.

This blog post was originally going to be something very different, a personal recollection (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Janice Raymond, and Healing Old Wounds

This post is a personal reflection on Janice Raymond’s visit to Vancouver during a memorial for the victims of the massacre of women at L’École Polytechnique, which took place in Montreal 24 years ago. For an overview of the controversy, why Janice Raymond’s presence (as well as some other aspects of that day’s program) drew anger from trans and sex work communities, and the different facets to that situation, please refer to my article at Rabble. What follows is my personal reflection, recorded separately.

This blog post was originally going to be something very different, a personal recollection (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Guest Post: El Feministo’s Open Letter re: Janice Raymond at Vancouver’s Ecole Polytechnique Massacre Memorial

On November 30th, a “Montreal Massacre Memorial 2013” event is being held in Vancouver to remember the victims of the massacre at l’Ecole Polytechnique, and to seek ways to end violence against women. It’d be the kind of thing I’d be happy to promote, if it weren’t poisoned with this: sponsor Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR) has invited Janice Raymond to provide a lecture entitled “Prostitution: Not a Job, not a Choice” — hijacking the very real and urgent problem of violence against women, to try to win support for the abolition of sex work. Raymond (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Guest Post: El Feministo’s Open Letter re: Janice Raymond at Vancouver’s Ecole Polytechnique Massacre Memorial

On November 30th, a “Montreal Massacre Memorial 2013” event is being held in Vancouver to remember the victims of the massacre at l’Ecole Polytechnique, and to seek ways to end violence against women. It’d be the kind of thing I’d be happy to promote, if it weren’t poisoned with this: sponsor Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR) has invited Janice Raymond to provide a lecture entitled “Prostitution: Not a Job, not a Choice” — hijacking the very real and urgent problem of violence against women, to try to win support for the abolition of sex work. Raymond (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Reblog: A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism

This is how you decolonize activism.

A wide swath of people have demonstrated how to decolonize activism: not with negativity, but with constructivity. The following is being reblogged from Feminists Fighting Transphobia, and you will need to follow the link to see the ever-increasing number of signatories who have signed on. I did not take part in authoring this, but gladly lend whatever support I can — M.

A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism

We are proud to present a collective statement that is, to our knowledge (and we would love to be wrong about this) the (Read more…)

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: “Sex by deception” and the shades of yes

A series of recent rulings (and the media circuses that have accompanied them) in the UK has raised questions about what is being termed “sex by deception” — that is, instances where people who are possibly trans are said to lie about their gender, in order to seduce another person. In these cases, it’s often unclear whether the person in question is trans or if the gender representation is for other reasons, due to media ignoring questions of self-identification, using mixed pronouns and sensationally portraying people with phrases like ”sex fraud woman who posed as a boy to seduce a girl.” Even after a (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: A Real Bathroom Bill.

The Bathroom Bill was supposed to be voted on today.

No, I’m not talking about the human rights bill that opponents have tried to tag with that nickname — C-279, which proposes to clarify and enunciate legal protections for most transsexual and transgender Canadians (although the removal of the class “gender expression” has opened some doubt). Although C-279 says nothing about washrooms, opponents have tried to fearmonger about bathrooms, conflate trans people with sexual predators, and/or claim that human rights inclusion would somehow grant legal cover to predators. Bill C-279 passed, today, on a vote of 149 to

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: A Real Bathroom Bill.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Intersex Conditions within the Transsexual Brain / Why “Born This Way” Is Not the Point

A bit of point and counterpoint here, to provoke some thought.

I thought this portion of a lecture given by Robert Sapolsky at Stanford University, given in 2010, would be worth posting for folks who found this blog recently, and/or aren’t familiar with some of the medical discoveriess since the late 1990s. It gives a very quick overview of some of the developments that have been happening in studying transsexualism.

This comes via Transadvocate, and h/t Zoe Brain.

As a counterpoint, I was going to link to an article I wrote called Why “Born This Way” Is Not the

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Intersex Conditions within the Transsexual Brain / Why “Born This Way” Is Not the Point

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279: To amend or not to amend?

… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we still don’t know what Bill C-279 is going to be when it’s voted on at Third Reading.

The bill, which proposes to add trans people to human rights legislation, had an hour of debate at report stage. Randall Garrison requested that amendments be added to the bill, and the Speaker decided that they should be debated and voted on by the House, prior to Third Reading. This was the first hour of that, with a second to follow. Consequently, we still didn’t get any yes / no answer on whether those changes would be

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279: To amend or not to amend?

Dented Blue Mercedes: Guest Post: Teacher plays scene from Disney Movie to Humiliate Student in Class

[This post comes to us courtesy of Michelle Boyce at the Alphabet Community Centre. -M]

Anna Saunders is a mature student who attended a summer school class at Saunders Secondary School and a teacher decided she was a “guy in a dress”, beginning to use male pronouns and “Sir” when addressing her. The students picked up on the teacher’s behaviour and started harassing Anna during class and following her after school. Anna was left vulnerable and scared. After school officials spoke to the teacher twice about his behaviour, the teacher decided to play the scene from the

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Guest Post: Teacher plays scene from Disney Movie to Humiliate Student in Class

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans Human Rights in Canada: Progress, Stalls and Confustication.

The Province of Nova Scotia passed Bill 140, the Transgendered [sic] Persons Protection Act, today. The Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project (NSRAP) commented on Facebook: “Bill 140 passed today with unanimous support in the Nova Scotia Legislature. “Debate” isn’t the right word to express what happened – it was an outpouring of support for adding . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans Human Rights in Canada: Progress, Stalls and Confustication.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Dear anonymous guest.

Hi. On Sunday November 18th, 2012, you attended the Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony commemorated in Calgary, Alberta. Thank you. You also left a small tribute. I wanted to let you know that we’ll make it a permanent part of our display for you. It’s a small thing, but hopefully it will help let everyone . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Dear anonymous guest.

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: The Mask of Gender

Normally, I’m not one to promote something if I’m in it. That kind of thing is horribly self-aggrandizing. So I’ll apologize right off for doing that here.

But given the recent focus on trans issues due to the comments made by Rob Anders, I thought it would be a good moment to give average Canadians a chance to get to know a little bit about trans people, and why clear human rights inclusion is necessary. This is a documentary that was put together last year, and features people in Calgary and the greater Calgary area.

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: The Mask of Gender

Dented Blue Mercedes: Rob Anders, the transsexual bogeyman, and the weird phenomenon of MPs petitioning their constituents.

Rob Anders is on a mission. Hot on the heels of having to halfway apologize for alleging that NDP leader Thomas Mulcair drove former NDP leader Jack Layton to his grave, Anders is now sending at least one church (possibly more) a letter asking them to petition MPs to oppose Bill C-279, which would (in its current form) extend human rights protections to transsexual and transgender people. You’d almost think he needs an easy deflection, and trans people are the punching bag du jour.

It must be important, too. For a Member of Parliament who has

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Rob Anders, the transsexual bogeyman, and the weird phenomenon of MPs petitioning their constituents.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Basic human rights should not be “controversial.” Jacksonville, this means you, too.

“After dismantling Apartheid, when we sat down to write our Constitution, we quite deliberately ensured that gays, lesbians and bisexuals were included in South Africa’s Constitution.

“Having ourselves suffered terribly, we did not want to inflict discrimination on any group that lived within our borders and we explicitly stated this for the world to know that we have learned the lessons taught by our unforgettable and regrettable history.”

- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in a letter to Jacksonville City Council, 21 June, 2012.

Human rights should not be controversial.

And yet, the ability of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Basic human rights should not be “controversial.” Jacksonville, this means you, too.

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