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Dented Blue Mercedes: Paths of Pain, and the Ownership of Language.

Marc Maron recently ran a follow-up interview with fellow comedian Todd Glass, who had come out as gay on Marc’s podcast, WTF. Marc’s podcast has often been strikingly introspective, and a moment came up that epitomized this. Glass started talking about language, the way that words can be weaponized, and the way he’s experienced this since coming out as gay:

(at 20:12) GLASS: But for me, I want to keep evolving. I don’t want to be the type of person who drops one word out of my act and then the other word and then goes ‘oh (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Oh The Dumbf …

Over at “Crosswalk.com” (no, it’s not a site about crossing roads), we find a Dr. White going off on gender identity in the wake of Time’s June 9 article “America’s Transition”  (hiding behind a paywall, a copy has appeared on Scribd here).

It’s a somewhat appalling excuse for writing, especially considering that Dr. White holds a PhD.

Not surprisingly for Time, the author’s bias was thinly veiled:  “Almost one year after the Supreme court ruled that Americans were free to marry the person they loved, no matter their sex, another civil rights movement is poised to (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: 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: 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: 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: Nova Scotia Extends Health Care Coverage for Reassignment Surgery

After originally saying that it would not fund genital reassignment surgery, the Nova Scotia government has now said that it would extend health care funding coverage for the procedure.

Health Minister Dave Wilson is quoted as saying, “This is the right thing to do.”

I’ve written previously about why GRS is recognized as being medically necessary by medical experts, specialists in trans health, social agencies and human rights organizations. Here is a snippet:

… There is more. Current legislation asserts that most forms of identification and legal documentation can only be changed to reflect one’s new gender after (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The non-operative word is not “sorry.”

I’m going to be writing about transition regrets and/or reversal of transition (sometimes from folks who remain trans-identified). Before I do, though, it seemed necessary to finish and put this article out there, as it lays the groundwork. I’d written about the decision to be non-operative previously, and had intended to leave it at that, but it remains one of the most hotly-contested and misunderstood subjects that I touch upon.

When it comes to genital reassignment, the non-operative word among trans people should not be “sorry.”

That’s not a very popular statement in transsexual communities. But (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: C-279: First Hour of Second Reading Debate, Tues. April 16, 2013

The gender identity-specific human rights bill C-279 had its first hour of Second Reading debate on Tuesday April 16, starting with an extensive speech by Senate sponsor Grant Mitchell. The full Hansard is online, and I’ll repost his speech below the fold. There was one interesting little exchange after the speech began which went like this:

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin (The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Honourable senators, it is now six o’clock. Is there agreement that I do not see the clock?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: We do not see the clock. Senator (Read more…) please continue.

And then Second Reading continued for another half hour.

Bill C-279 is scheduled to have its second hour of debate at Second Reading this Tuesday, and then it will be up to Conservative Senate majority leader Marjory LeBreton whether to allow the bill to go to a vote. If . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279: First Hour of Second Reading Debate, Tues. April 16, 2013

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279 Passes Third Reading (Hansard)

C-279 passed Third Reading, on a vote of 149 – 137. Aaron Wherry gives the early breakdown:

“Randall Garrison’s bill was supported by the New Democrats, the majority of Liberals (Judy Sgro and John McKay abstained), the Bloc Quebecois, Bruce Hyer, Elizabeth May and, by my unofficial count, 17 Conservative MPs: Erin O’Toole, Bernard Trottier, Terrence Young, David Wilks, Laurie Hawn, Michael Chong, Chris Alexander, Shelly Glover, Kellie Leitch, Cathy McLeod, Deepak Obhrai, Gerald Keddy, Jim Flaherty, John Baird, James Moore, Lisa Raitt and John Duncan.”

Before the Third Reading vote, there were three votes on clusters

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279 Passes Third Reading (Hansard)

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 amendments made, in afternoon of impassioned speeches.

Update / Correction: The amendments were given a voice vote, but not actually passed. Because there was visible opposition, it’s subject to recorded division, and the amendments will be voted on, on March 20th.

More twists and turns than a mangled slinky.

It’s official, the amendments to drop gender expression and define gender identity have been made. To me, whatever happens, it will all be bittersweet.

The debate, however, was very good. Keep the kleenex close by. From Hansard, here are the highlights:

David Anderson brings up the obligatory “bathroom bill” panic:

One concern

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279 amendments made, in afternoon of impassioned speeches.

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: Trans Depathologization: the spark of change.

I watch a lot of news stories unfold, reading left-wing, centrist and right-wing media alike. In the course of a news story, issues ignite, blaze hotly and then smoulder into memory. After awhile, one develops some sense of when a campaign will spread like a prairie fire or when it will extinguish itself. The quest to depathologize transsexual and transgender people (or more likely just transsexed individuals) has smouldered for several years, but recently, something is happening. It reminds me of looking at a match at the moment of ignition. Flame shoots out in every

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans Depathologization: the spark of change.

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.