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knitnut.net: Gender Failure: Highly readable, highly recommended

I got an advance copy of Gender Failure, by Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon. It’s not quite available in the stores yet, but it’s coming soon and I urge you to get yourself a copy. It’s an extraordinary book.

I loved the show Gender Failure so I knew before reading it that I’d love the book. The book is just like the show except it’s got a bunch of extra goodies.

Ivan and Rae take turns telling stories about their experiences of being trans throughout their lives. Some of the stories were illuminating, like “How to Be Gay When (Read more…)

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 an outcry. Ms. Edison was moved to a female facility, but a number of other experiences that trans people have had with CBSA and Correctional Services Canada (CSC) have also come to light.

On Friday, I’d posted an article discussing some of the issues (Read more…)

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 an outcry. Ms. Edison was moved to a female facility, but a number of other experiences that trans people have had with CBSA and Correctional Services Canada (CSC) have also come to light.

On Friday, I’d posted an article discussing some of the issues (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: An Act Of Aggression Is Still Wrong

I’m angry beyond words at this:  Transgender Woman’s Jail Treatment Prompts Complaints Baxter said Griffith was concerned about her safety and asked to be put into protective custody. 

Guards moved her to the protective custody section and placed her in a cell with two accused male sex offenders, Baxter said.

We’ve heard this kind of BS before, and not long ago.

Let me be abundantly clear on this:

Placing a transgender woman in a male prison facility is just plain wrong.  It puts the prisoner in a situation of unprecedented danger.  Placing such a prisoner in the same (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: 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: “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: 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…)

knitnut.net: This is not a post about being sick, although I am

I’ve been sick for 10 days now. I’m tempted to go on and on about my symptoms, but you can only get away with that if you blog regularly about interesting things, and blog only occasionally about being sick. Since I haven’t been blogging much lately, I don’t think I can get away with a sick post. (But if I could blog about my symptoms, I’d probably start with the laryngitis and headaches and then move on to the sore throat, hot flashes and general fatigue, and finish up with the annoying cough that flares up every evening and goes (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…)

knitnut.net: Human rights all round

Ever have one of those days when all the good stuff is happening at the same time but you can’t be everywhere at once? Last night was like that for me. I had to decide between going to my writing class, going to Irene’s Pub for the Chopper McKinnon tribute, or going to Parliament Hill to watch politicians vote on whether to extend human rights to transgender people.

I decided on Parliament Hill, and GC came with me. We’ve been to Parliament Hill many times, but this was our first time in the public galleries, watching democracy unfold. We sat

. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Human rights all round

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?

knitnut.net: A day in the life

This is what my day looks like so far:

9:00-12:00 – all-staff meeting at work to do a SWOT analysis of the organization (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

2:00-3:30 – Conference Call

3:30 – meeting with funder

5:30-6:30 – House of Commons to watch Bill C-279 being debated. That’s the private member’s bill to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code with respect to gender identity and gender expression. (Or, as some notable Conservatives so crassly refer to it, the Bathroom Bill. They claim it will permit perverts to use the ladies’ room, where they will ambush

. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: A day in the life

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.

knitnut.net: Gender Failure

I’ve set up a google alert for ‘transgender’ so I can keep abreast of transgender news and activity on the internet, since my favourite part of my new job is about transgender stuff.

So, on my first day with the new Google alert, I was google-alerted that Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon were playing a FREE [...] . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Gender Failure

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.