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The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Why You Should Ignore The American College of Paediatricians

The latest tactic in the far right fight against Transgender rights and equality is to cite various declarations from the American College of Paediatricians (ACP). At first glance, this sounds like a reasonable source to cite. Except it isn't…. . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Why You Should Ignore The American College of Paediatricians

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Bishop Henry Returns …

It has been quite some time since I felt a need to address something that Calgary’s Bishop Fred Henry has written.  Then I happened to wander past the Calgary Diocese website and read his latest “pastoral letter” (or whatever his columns on t… . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Bishop Henry Returns …

Dead Wild Roses: Rebecca Reilly-Cooper On Germaine Greer – Identity Politics Has Become a Cult.

I would suggest that you go read the full article by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper on politics.co.uk right now, as it describes the situation facing many feminists today. Increasingly there is no debate, there is only complete acceptance of a set of views or you’re marginalized. This is not a rational give or take situation, but rather an inquisitional drive for purity.

But I skip ahead – The article is about Germaine Greer deciding not to speak at Cardiff University because of concerns over her personal safety and the resulting fallout surrounding the event.

“In a Newsnight interview (Read more…)

Joe Fantauzzi: A Brief Note On #Elxn42 And Moving Toward A New Left

This much is clear: with the NDP’s federal collapse last night, the neoliberal Third Way experiment can clearly be declared a failure. But now what? Now, to build ─ not rebuild on a broken foundation. But also this: pillory me as a post-structuralist if you must, but I’m not here for the construction of any next […]

Dead Wild Roses: One Woman’s Examination of Trans-Racial versus Trans-Gendered

Hmmm. This is a delicate topic, but one worth investigating. For context, the people being referred to in the video are Bruce Jenner and Rachel Dolezal.

Filed under: Feminism Tagged: Biology, Social Constructs, Transgender, Transracial

Art Threat: Performing Aloha in Queer Times

In 2001, filmmakers Kathryn Xian and Brent Anbe broke new ground with their documentary Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place. The film, which documents the lives, struggles, and aspirations of several queer and trans Kanaka Maoli (Indigenous Hawaiians), also made an important and, at the time, novel effort to explore how the ongoing exercise of settler-colonial rule in Hawai’i shapes gender and sexual identities. An evocative and important project, Kulana He Mahu was released to much critical acclaim, and has since screened at festivals and community events throughout Hawai’i and around the globe.

But while Xian and (Read more…)

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, accommodation or premises that is restricted to one sex only, such as a correctional facility, crisis counseling facility, shelter for victims of abuse, washroom facility, shower facility or clothing changing room.” The amendment passed with six of the committee members supporting it, four opposed, (Read more…)

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, accommodation or premises that is restricted to one sex only, such as a correctional facility, crisis counseling facility, shelter for victims of abuse, washroom facility, shower facility or clothing changing room.” The amendment passed with six of the committee members supporting it, four opposed, (Read more…)

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 they felt was intimidation, specifically pertaining to discussions on trans* issues and sex work.

As a freelance writer and journalist, I could normally understand the concern of what they term no-platforming (alienating speakers like Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel because of past (Read more…)

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 they felt was intimidation, specifically pertaining to discussions on trans* issues and sex work.

As a freelance writer and journalist, I could normally understand the concern of what they term no-platforming (alienating speakers like Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel because of past (Read more…)

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 a suicide note online. Some of the links to it are no longer working, but the text is archived at Slate. In it, she relates a heartbreaking story of a kid who learned what “transgender” meant at the age of 14, (Read more…)

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 a suicide note online. Some of the links to it are no longer working, but the text is archived at Slate. In it, she relates a heartbreaking story of a kid who learned what “transgender” meant at the age of 14, (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: An Open Letter To Margaret Wente

Dear Ms. Wente,

I thought that as a journalist you were supposed to do some research before you go writing stories. In the case of your August 2, 2014 column in The Globe and Mail, it is painfully obvious that you haven't even bothered to try. As a child, Lindsay Leigh Bentley desperately wanted to be a boy. She refused to wear dresses and adored going hunting with her dad. She loved sticks, guns, motorcycles and monsters. She chopped the hair off her Barbies. Her parents had to cut her own hair short because she refused to let them (Read more…)

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: When Is A Policy A Non-Policy?

When it involves the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese making a policy on "accommodating" transgender students.

At first glance, this almost seems like a reasonable document. There are lots of "The schools shall do this" and "shall provide that" statements, and it almost looks as though they made reasonably well informed effort.

Almost? Why do I say "almost"? Like most documents, you have to read it through a couple of times before you see the gotchas in it.

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…)

Art Threat: My Playwright Sister: a play about a play about a transgender sibling

My Playwright Sister, written and performed by James Diamond and Johanna Nutter, is a sequel of sorts to Nutter’s earlier work, My Pregnant Brother.

My Pregnant Brother sets Nutter’s struggle to assert herself against her instinct to help her pregnant, transgendered brother. While this autobiographical piece is exquisitely well-performed, it has also been the target of much criticism claiming that it exploits Diamond’s experiences for the sake of Nutter’s own fame and fortune.

My Playwright Sister breaks down that criticism in a way that clearly explains how some of the language and thoughts in My Pregnant Brother are troublesome (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On RuPaul And The Use Of Language

I’ve seriously tried to stay away from the fracas that has developed around RuPaul’s use of the word “Tranny” (and a couple of other terms which I think are both denigrating and offensive to transitioning transsexuals that I will not repeat here because they are straight out of the fantasy world of pornography).

However, after his latest outburst, I cannot remain silent on the subject any longer.

RuPaul is giving the entire drag community a bad name as far as the rest of the Trans* community is concerned.

Here’s why.  Drag is seen as performance art first and foremost.  In (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: What David Reimer’s Story Really Demonstrates

Over at LifeSite, we find one of their editorial staff grossly misunderstanding the tragic story of David Reimer.  

His tragic death emphasized the total failure of one of the most famous gender alteration cases in modern medicine.…David Reimer’s traumatic life and horrific death testify that no matter what elaborate theories the unscrupulous attempt to justify in the name of science, nature will always have the upper hand, often at the expense of human life.

The story of David Reimer is important in the canon of understanding gender identity, but not in the way that LifeSite’s commenter’s seem to (Read more…)

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…)