News Week 29 – 2014

I like to do the news on Sunday, or Monday at the latest. Today is Tuesday and I’m scrambling to compile the weeks trans* news. Sorry about that. I’m taking part in Camp Nanowrimo, it’s sucking up all my writing energy like some lame sparkly vampire. Compiling news by hand takes forever, if only I had more hours in the day!

The order for you skim readers is Canadian news, USA news then International news. Lots of news this week, so here we go:


Transgender man to represent Toronto at Gay Games

MacKinnon, a transgender man, is preparing to represent his hometown, Antigonish, and his adopted city at his biggest contest yet: the international Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio. He will compete in the 75.0 kilogram weight class of the 24 to 34 year old division on Aug. 10.

I learned two things, this guy is awesome and that you need to be on HRT to compete, which cuts out a LOT of trans people. How about just letting people compete if they are good enough? Or is that to simple a solution to work?

Source: The Star

Vancouver Catholic schools first in Canada to have transgender policy

Tracey Wilson shyly concedes that some people might think of her as a hero. Of course, she says, her brother says you can only be a hero if you have super powers.

Super powers or not, the petite 11-year-old with dreadlocks is the reason the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese are the first Catholic schools in Canada with a policy aimed at accommodating and supporting students with gender dysphoria. “No other kids in the world deserve anything like I’ve gone through … I don’t want anyone else to feel that they don’t belong,” says Tracey.

Tears trickle down her face as she names the friends whose parents no longer allow them to speak to her. This is because two years ago, after lots of counselling and discussion, the little boy began living as a girl.

Also see ‘Catholic Transgender Policy Doesn’t Go Far Enough‘ It’s great that policy now exists, it’s a shame it had to be won in a Human Rights Complaint. The school states that “Gender transitioning is contrary to Catholic teaching, and therefore the Catholic school cannot support any transitioning actions.”

It’s ‘the same love the sinner, hate the sin’ religious speak taken toward lesbian, gay and bisexual students in Catholic schools. Paraphrase: We support you because we have to, but we’re going to make it clear that we’re against this.

Well, thanks 🙁

Source:  Vancouver Sun


Queer Arts Fest extending its reach, drawing top talent

This year’s Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver has reached around the world with its new Queering International program.

Queering International curator and multidisciplinary artist/teacher Laiwan, who immigrated here from Zimbabwe in 1977, has pulled together 30-plus works from 21 artists (new and established) from South Africa to Iran to Russia.

The new section fits under the festival’s umbrella theme ReGenerations. The term is a defiant reflection on the censorship of artists through time and then how art in turn can become dangerous and ultimately revolutionary.

Go Vancouver!

Source:  The Province


LGBT Characters Missing in Films – 2014 Studio Responsibility Index

– Out of the 102 releases GLAAD counted from the major studios in 2013, 17 of them (16.7%) contained characters identified as either lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Last year, GLAAD counted 14 inclusive films, however this is also the first year that Lionsgate Entertainment was included in the tally. Lionsgate released 3 inclusive films in 2013.

– More than half of those inclusive films (64.7%) featured gay male characters, while another 23.5% featured lesbian characters, 17.7% contained bisexual characters, and 11.8% contained transgender female characters (better described as impressions). Male LGBT characters outnumbered female characters 64% to 36%.

– Of the 25 different characters counted (many of whom were onscreen for no more than a few seconds), 19 were white (76%) while only 3 were Black/African American (12%), 2 were Asian/ Pacific Islander (8%), and 1 was Latino (4%).

Good news everyone! That is if you are white and a gay male, and like to be represented in 9% of moves by just a few seconds of screen time. What’s not surprising here is trans men are invisible and trans women are abused as jokes. Nice to see Hollywood keeping up its traditions.

Source: Glaad

‘The Switch’ Transgender Comedy A First For TV

All transgender roles played by trans actors

“It’s a fantastic transgender comedy,” Fox told Rick Cluff on CBC Radio’s The Early Edition. “It’s shot and set in Vancouver. It’s politically sharp, but also funny. It deals with different, intersecting problems that affect transgender people’s lives, and it does so with levity and hope.”
Julie Vu stars as Sü Phan, who loses her job after coming out as a trans woman — an all-too realistic scenario, according to Fox.
And the difficulty faced by out trans actors in finding work, means it is important that all the transgender roles on the show are played by trans actors, Fox says.
“It’s extremely difficult, if you’re out,” says Fox. “If you take a look at other transgender actors, I mean, Laverne Cox, a lot of her CV was playing prostitutes before she played her [Emmy nominated] character on Orange is the New Black. Candis Cayne was rejected from commercials because she’s transgender. If you’re out, it’s very difficult.”

We also covered this over here. I’m going to contact the makers of this and request a review copy, would be great to cover this more in depth as the series progresses, it’s only a ferry ride away.

Source: Huffington Post

USA: 5th Trans Woman of Color Murdered in 41 Day

It is important to note that these murders are taking place during the same time our nation celebrates the 45 Anniversary of Stonewall Rebellion. How can we fight for equality when we are fighting for our lives everyday!

I wrote out an annoyed sarcasm filled response regarding the ‘Marriage equality means we’ve won!’ statements that I’ve been reading, then I deleted it fearing it could be taken the wrong way. Instead I’ll say this; we’ve not won, we’re hanging on. If you’re a black trans woman even hanging on can be impossible. If you’ll pardon the language, that’s fucked up.

Source: AGurlzGuide

USA: Transgender Pagliacci Employee Fired, Then Offered Job Back, After Complaining About Customer Harassment

Paul later told her managers about the disrespectful customer. She expected an apology from him, or for the restaurant to deny him service—especially since, she explains, she’d felt supported by the restaurant before. Paul says managers told her she should go to the back of the restaurant if the customer came in again, and someone else would serve him.

She decided to turn in her two weeks notice, but by the time she went up the stairs to inform her two managers, one of them “was there with my discharge papers.” Another manager, she says, “told me, ‘You were saying Pagliacci doesn’t care, and I can’t have you doing that. This is your last day here.’ That’s when it hit home for the first time that Pagliacci really didn’t care, and I said as much to [one of the managers], signed my papers, changed, bid farewell to my coworkers, and stepped outside into unemployment.”

The owner of the business made this right, they disciplined the manager in question and ran a trans education course for all employees. That’s a really good response. I wanted to post this one for two reasons: First, employers can make good, this is an example. Second, never read Internet comments on transgender articles outside of trans friendly websites. NEVER. Two examples:

‘They did this for attention!’ and ‘This person loves drama!’ – Ah yes, the much sought after ‘attention of getting abused in public and then losing my job.’ Everyone craves that.

‘Get a thicker skin!’ – This is the age old argument of you must conform, don’t make waves, take your abuse and smile. This starts from school and becomes a part of overall society, it stems from the selfish childish notion of ‘I want to push you, but you can’t push back.’ Some people never grow out of that.

Source: The Stranger

USA: Obama’s order protects gay workers; Hatch wants religious exemption

President Barack Obama signs executive orders to protect LGBT employees from federal workplace discrimination in the East Room of the White House Monday, July 21, 2014, in Washington. Obama’s executive orders signed Monday prohibit discrimination against gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, without a new exemption that was requested by some religious organizations.
Obama signed the order, in part, because a nondiscrimination bill has been stymied in Congress.
“I’m going to do what I can, with the authority I have, to act,” Obama said moments before signing the measure, which also expanded federal workplace protections on the basis of gender identity.
The Democratic president said it isn’t hyperbole to say some lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees have lost their jobs because of their sexual orientation.
“This is not speculative. This is not a matter of political correctness,” Obama said. “Their livelihoods are threatened, their families are threatened. In fact, more states now allow same-sex marriage than prohibit discrimination against LGBT workers. So I firmly believe that it’s time to address this injustice for every American.”

Good move Obama, but can we just slap the (normally good) Supreme Court please. This notion of corporations having ‘personhood’ is insane.

Source: SLTRIB

Int: A Crime to be Gay in Majority of Commonwealth

As the Commonwealth Games get under way in Glasgow, new research highlights that the modern Commonwealth of Nations is home to some of the most homophobic countries in the world.

Of the 80 countries, which still criminalise homosexuality; more than half belong to the Commonwealth, with the geographical spread including Africa, The Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Monash University research published this week in The Alternative Law Journal, says that 42 of the 53 countries that make up the Commonwealth continue to criminalise homosexuality, and these laws pose a serious threat to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.

The commonwealth of nations, of which Canada is a part, is utterly broken and for some reason it’s just getting dragged along in post colonial inertia. Can we drop this particular dead horse please? It’s not doing anyone any good. Fun fact: England has invaded every nation on earth, barring only 22 nations. It’s the only country to have invaded so many other nations on this planet.

Source: ProbonoAustralia

Female geek, author and blogger. Non-cis, non-straight, non-single, non-asshat.



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