(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…)
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…)
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…)
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
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.
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:
. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: C-279 amendments made, in afternoon of impassioned speeches.
… 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?
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
[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
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
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.
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
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.
Yup, big Rob is at it again! This time he is trying to stop transgender folks from using women’s washrooms. Seems that this is a huge problem in his world. You know that world – the one with green skies, angels and dragons? That one. Gotta say, though, he’s great fodder for blog posts! Thanks, [...]
Rae Spoon (Photo: JJ Levine)
In his remarkable 2009 text, Cruising Utopia, José Esteban Muñoz fixates on the ways in which queer bodies exist outside of and subvert what he calls “straight time.” Straight time, for Muñoz, is what tells queers that “there is no future but the here and now of our everyday life.” It grounds the fragmentation, suppression, and elision of queer histories, and denies futurity to those not counted under the rubric of a “reproductive majoritarian heterosexuality.”
Straight time has, as it were, no time for queers beyond the present, a moment that
. . . → Read More: Art Threat: Finding (Queer) Time – Book review: First Spring Grass Fire by Rae Spoon
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 gender-neutral? Why or why not? Or, is this going to far in the quest for equality between genders? Does changing the language make a difference?
Speaking for myself, I’m not terribly oppressed by “she.” The only times I was ever close
. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: CBC: Should we use gender-neutral pronouns instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’?