Trish Kelly, a prominent member of Vancouver activism and a self-described sex-positive" and "queer" resigned her nomination as a candidate for park board in the city's upcoming municipal election, because of the surfacing of a humorous and risqué Fringe Festival video she made about masturbation from way back in 2006. As a male, I struggle with the guilt that something like that would not be nearly as damaging to my public figure.
I recently ended up on a talk radio show based in my hometown of Calgary. "Is this Rae Spoon?" asked the interviewer. "Yes, it is," I replied. "And you are transgender, right?" "Yes, I am." "And we're supposed to use a different word for you?"...In over 10 years, through the hundreds of interviews I'd done with people firing questions at me about being transgender, I had always tried to avoid answering the ones that sounded like they were something off of Jerry Springer.
The truck driver tells us to trust him (apparently, this was enough for us to believe that he wasn't a serial killer) and opens up the back of the truck. And of course, anytime the back of a truck opens, you're obliged to look in. Sure enough, costumes. An abundance of them, along with heels I made sure to take note of and purchase later on.
Here in Canada, we tend to think of ourselves as claiming a sort of moral high ground when it comes to social justice issues. And then, every once in a while, an event occurs that proves just how awful and backwards we really are. Monday morning, 25-year-old British comedian Avery Edison tried to enter Canada through Toronto. She was denied entry and detained by Canadian immigration officials, a fact which she admitted was her own fault. It was decided that because of her male genitalia, she would have to go to Maplehurst Correctional Complex, an all-male facility. This, in spite of the fact that her passport lists her as female. And this is where I lose it.
It was a gruelling schedule. I came to deeply respect the life of the touring musician as I battled reoccurring ear infections and worriedly Googled the symptoms for scurvy after eating at McDonald's three times in one day, and enlisted our coats and bags to construct makeshift bunks on the overnight bus rides.
When newly-sentenced Wikileaks source Pvt. Bradley Manning revealed he would be pursuing gender reassignment while in prison, the announcement was met with a raft of reaction, some of it supportive, much of it venomous. Some 1,700 km northeast of the cell where Manning will serve 35 years for leaking U.S. military secrets, Canadian legislators have been at work since June 2011 to expand the Canadian Criminal Code to include gender identity and gender expression on the list of characteristics protected by hate crime law