Dented Blue Mercedes: Free speech, and the cruel shackles of empathy and mutual respect

In Canada, we tend to value freedom of speech very highly, and it’s often said that the best way to counter objectionable speech is with more speech. That’s the first thought that crosses my mind in the case of U of T professor Jordan Peterson, who declares in a series of YouTube videos that he ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s forthcoming “drop your pants” trans* blood donation policy

In addition to reducing the required wait time between having sex and donating blood to one year for gay men, Canadian Blood Services is poised to release its first-ever guidance on how CBS personnel should respond to potential trans* donors: if it’s in you to give, then drop your pants.  While the policy has not yet been ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Indiana put the lie to “religious freedom.” But Canadian Evangelicals hope you didn’t notice.

Everyone’s familiar with the old adage, “be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.” Which is why the Evangelical leaders who held a press conference on Parliament Hill calling for greater religious freedom laws and schmoozing with Conservative politicians last month might do well to remember Indiana. “Unfortunately, Christians in this ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Indiana put the lie to “religious freedom.” But Canadian Evangelicals hope you didn’t notice.

Everyone’s familiar with the old adage, “be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.” Which is why the Evangelical leaders who held a press conference on Parliament Hill calling for greater religious freedom laws and schmoozing with Conservative politicians last month might do well to remember Indiana. “Unfortunately, Christians in this ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“).  In it they call for universities to stand against what ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“).  In it they call for universities to stand against what ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: BDSM, Gender, Entitlement, and Jian Ghomeshi

Whether anybody wanted the conversation right now or not, it’s become time to have a conversation about BDSM, gender and entitlement. Over a week ago, Jian Ghomeshi, the then-popular then- CBC commentator, appeared to be coming out of the closet about engaging in what he referred to as “rough sex (forms of BDSM),” and claiming ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Sodom: Review of a Russian Anti-Gay Documentary

On Tuesday, October 28th, Peter LaBarbera re-entered Canada for an immigration hearing, then to speak at an anti-LGBT conference, and finally on Thursday to face charges for mischief (which stem from an arrest while distributing anti-LGBT leaflets at the University of Regina). LaBarbera (nicknamed “Porno Pete” by bloggers because of his penchant for filming pride ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Our destinies are bound together (even if our needs are diverse and sometimes at odds)

Monica Roberts at TransGriot is exploring the future of the trans* movement: “One of the things I was pondering recently was triggered by me seeing a pic of a five year old trans girl.  I began to ponder what her Trans World that we 2K10’s activists are fighting tooth and nail to shape, would be ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: On conscience-based medical exemptions

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is currently reviewing its Human Rights Code policy on conscience-based exemptions for medical professionals, and their effect on access to medical services. This review was sparked by a number of news reports of doctors in Ontario and Alberta refusing to prescribe birth control because of their religious ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Keeping safe at the corner of trans* and BDSM

Somewhere at the intersection of trans* and BDSM, this happened: “Three people have been arrested for allegedly keeping a transgender woman as a slave in the Ajax area of Natchitoches Parish. “… NPSO received a report Saturday night from a Robeline assistant town marshal that he had come in contact with a female who had ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Keeping safe at the corner of trans* and BDSM

Somewhere at the intersection of trans* and BDSM, this happened: “Three people have been arrested for allegedly keeping a transgender woman as a slave in the Ajax area of Natchitoches Parish. “… NPSO received a report Saturday night from a Robeline assistant town marshal that he had come in contact with a female who had ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work closes March 17, 2014. Although the questions appear to be stacked, it’s important that people who support decriminalization participate.  There’s certainly no shortage of people filling out the forms and calling for new criminalization.  The questionnaire is here, and Maggie’s Toronto provides some advice on answering positively, ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work closes March 17, 2014. Although the questions appear to be stacked, it’s important that people who support decriminalization participate.  There’s certainly no shortage of people filling out the forms and calling for new criminalization.  The questionnaire is here, and Maggie’s Toronto provides some advice on answering positively, ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

I’m putting on my op-ed hat for this.  The following draws from my own history, but I think it helps provide some insight into the left-wing divide over sex work.  I’m skipping over this very quickly, and I’m sure I’ll probably forget some important distinctions and nuances, so bear with me. This is two parts ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

I’m putting on my op-ed hat for this.  The following draws from my own history, but I think it helps provide some insight into the left-wing divide over sex work.  I’m skipping over this very quickly, and I’m sure I’ll probably forget some important distinctions and nuances, so bear with me. This is two parts ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279: When a victory for one can be a victory for… one.

The second hour of Second Reading debate for Bill C-279: An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression) occurred on Friday June 1st, and the Second Reading vote is to take place on Wednesday June 6th.  I missed any indication that the discussion was going to happen, ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: CBC: Should we use gender-neutral pronouns instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’?

CBC is asking the question, “Should we use gender-neutral pronouns instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’?“  Citing Sweden’s addition of a gender-neutral pronoun to the National Encyclopedia and a news story last year about a Toronto couple who wished to raise their child genderless until the child decides, and asks: Do you think language should be ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans human rights Bill C-279 Second Reading debate begins tomorrow

Second Reading for Bill C-279 comes up on Thursday April 5th, There will be an hour of debate at around 1:30 EST (11:30 MST). This is only the first part of Second Reading process, and there will likely be another hour of debate in May or possibly June. Three things could happen: The bill goes ...