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Dented Blue Mercedes: Pitting “identity politics” against class struggle is backwards, and the path to self-defeat

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that one of the first things America’s political left would do during the 2016 election post-mortem is to attack minority groups like trans* people, and “identity politics.” That narrative says Americans decided a potential fascist (when you consider his policy proposals, unilateral rhetoric, media manipulation . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Pitting “identity politics” against class struggle is backwards, and the path to self-defeat

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 . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Free speech, and the cruel shackles of empathy and mutual respect

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 [&hellip . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s forthcoming “drop your pants” trans* blood donation policy

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Problem is Fundamentalism, Not Islam (or Christianity).

When I started my transition, the first troubles I had were with the tenants in my building, though the conflicts weren’t overt. Instead, it seemed as though I’d had the plague: neighbours shunned me. Someone talked loudly in the hall on more than one occasion (probably deliberately) about how they didn’t think I “should be . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: The Problem is Fundamentalism, Not Islam (or Christianity).

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

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

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s Trans* Rights Bill Now Endorses Bans in Washroom and Gendered Spaces

Canada’s trans* human rights bill C-279 was amended by a Senate committee, in a way that makes it legal to ban trans* people from washrooms and gendered spaces appropriate to their gender identity.

Sen. Donald Plett, Conservative member of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, added a legal exemption for “any service, facility, . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s Trans* Rights Bill Now Endorses Bans in Washroom and Gendered Spaces

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s Trans* Rights Bill Now Endorses Bans in Washroom and Gendered Spaces

Canada’s trans* human rights bill C-279 was amended by a Senate committee, in a way that makes it legal to ban trans* people from washrooms and gendered spaces appropriate to their gender identity.

Sen. Donald Plett, Conservative member of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, added a legal exemption for “any service, facility, . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s Trans* Rights Bill Now Endorses Bans in Washroom and Gendered Spaces

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

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

Dented Blue Mercedes: Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide, Parents’ Rights… and Kids’ Rights.

On Sunday, December 28th, 17-year-old trans* Ohio teenager committed suicide by stepping in front of a tractor-trailer on the interstate. She was killed instantly.

Her tragedy says something profound which has been almost completely missed in the discussion about LGBT-inclusive education and Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) currently wafting across Canada.

Before Leelah Alcorn’s death, she posted . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide, Parents’ Rights… and Kids’ Rights.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide, Parents’ Rights… and Kids’ Rights.

On Sunday, December 28th, 17-year-old trans* Ohio teenager committed suicide by stepping in front of a tractor-trailer on the interstate. She was killed instantly.

Her tragedy says something profound which has been almost completely missed in the discussion about LGBT-inclusive education and Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) currently wafting across Canada.

Before Leelah Alcorn’s death, she posted . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide, Parents’ Rights… and Kids’ Rights.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Legislatively “Balancing” Human Rights

There is a simple, time-honoured rule about attempting to “balance” human rights classes in legislation so that it works out a particular way every time, and it goes like this:

You can’t.

That is a court’s role. When two human rights classes are put into conflict in a way that creates hardships for both, a . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Legislatively “Balancing” Human Rights

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

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 . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: On conscience-based medical exemptions

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

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 . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Google Trends on “Transgender”

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 . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Google Trends on “Transgender”

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

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 . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Keeping safe at the corner of trans* and BDSM

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 . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Keeping safe at the corner of trans* and BDSM

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Protective” Custody

The way that trans people are housed in detention and correctional settings has come to attention recently, after British comedian Avery Edison was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for having previously overstayed her visa — and then she was initially sent to a mens’ prison while the issue was sorted out. After . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: “Protective” Custody

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Protective” Custody

The way that trans people are housed in detention and correctional settings has come to attention recently, after British comedian Avery Edison was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for having previously overstayed her visa — and then she was initially sent to a mens’ prison while the issue was sorted out. After . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: “Protective” Custody

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 . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: On the Detention of Trans People