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Melissa Fong: What is satire responsible for? #CancelColbert trending & Colbert not apologizing for racism & transphobic tweets

Is it satire if it hurts millions of people it intends to defend? Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Repor is receiving a lot of heat for recent racist and trans-phobic […]

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: 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 battle cry over religious freedom.

It’s very common for far-right ideologues (who I try to distinguish from “Christians,” because they don’t speak for all Christians) to hide behind religious freedom, and cry censorship when they are called out for transphobic and homophobic comments. (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: 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…)

Sketchy Thoughts: Mtl: Captive Genders Discussion and Letter-Writing

Friday, March 293:30pm1800 Létourneux

Join the Prisoner Correspondence Project for a reading from Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex and conversation with two California-based queer anti-prison activists. What are some of the uses and limits of a queer framework in anti-prison organizing? What does it mean for queers to “act local” as prisons become increasingly removed from urban centres? What are the resources and strategies that can be shared in our cross-border contexts?

Eric Stanley is visiting faculty in Critical Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute and coeditor of the anthology Captive Genders: Trans

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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

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Sketchy Thoughts: Pathology of Patriarchy: A Search for Clues at the Scene of the Crime

Another excellent essay by Sanyika Shakur, who was released from Pelican Bay SHU last August. As he wrote before his release: i was born Nov 13, 1963. Raised in South Central Los Angeles, by a phenomenal single, working-class, mother. Cut my teeth in the hostile gang culture in South Central from the mid-70′s til the late 80′s. Was introduced to the New Afrikan Independence Movement, by way of the Spear & Shield Collective, in 1986, while in the SHU at San Quentin. It was also in 1986 that i became a Shakur. I am a founding cadre of the August

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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Dented Blue Mercedes: Montreal LGBT couple beaten in Paris

I’ve heard via Michelle Blanc that on the afternoon of Wednesday August 1st, a Montreal trans advocate (who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting) was assaulted with her partner in Paris, in view of the couple’s children. Marie-Ève is with l’association Fierté Montréal Pride and has been active within Montreal’s transgender community. Claire, who has French citizenship, is a member of the board of la chambre de commerce gai du Québec and is actively involved in LGBT activism. [Trigger warning: discussion of violence follows.]

Two people in an old model Renault Clio with a Rottweiler and a

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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 speak generally and with varied examples — but I’m reminded of this most recently by the claims of persecution over a confrontation that happened at the New York dyke march, by Cathy Brennan, so will probably focus there most frequently.

(Oh dear god, I

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Dented Blue Mercedes: Hypocrisy on Free Speech and “Protecting Freedom.”

On June 6th (the same night that the trans human rights Bill C-279 advanced to committee) Conservative MP for Westlock – St. Paul, Brian Storseth’s Private Member’s Bill C-304, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom), passed Third Reading in the House of Commons, and advanced to the Senate for ratification. Bill C-304 abolishes Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which pertains to electronic communication of hate speech.

Sun Media commentator Ezra Levant barely got through taking credit for the bill’s passage before taking advantage of a recent censure of

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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, and consequently didn’t catch up on things until today when I was preparing to post the Hansard and looked at the discussion that took place.

IF Randall Garrison carries through on his promises to make the amendments stated at the end of Second Reading

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