The decision to wear a tiara shouldn't depend on gender norms, the church says.
Andrea Zanchi via Getty Images
More than one-third of young trans Canadians have attempted suicide.
Jen Sungshine/Copyright: Joshua M. Ferguson 2016
Today, May 17th marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) -- a global celebration of gender and sexual diversity. This year, 2017, the theme is focused on families. We know that family support is critical to the health and well-being of LGBTQ2S young people. We also know that not all LGBTQ2S young people receive support from their families of origin, and that the consequences of family rejection can have a lasting negative impact on youth.
Rawpixel Ltd via Getty Images
Trans people are diverse, but we are not all the same. Non-binary trans people have been largely excluded from the discussion about trans people, and this erasure delegitimizes our identity. What troubles me is that some people are acting out dangerous forms of transphobia to erase non-binary trans people.
Homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia remain rampant in most institutional settings, including schools, healthcare facilities, and shelters and housing programs. LGBTQ2S youth remain largely overrepresented in the homeless youth population, with estimates as high as up to 40 per cent of homeless youth identifying as LGBTQ2S.
Hemera Technologies via Getty Images
"Some people fit into girl and boy, and some people don't. And that's OK, because they're still people."
The holiday season is truly a magical time of year. It is a time for giving, reflection, and appreciation. Many individuals and organizations come together and show thanks by donating what they can to those in need. Unfortunately, the holidays will not be magical for everyone, especially not for a high proportion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth who have experienced familial, societal, and institutional rejection. The holidays can be an especially lonely time for many, particularly for those without a safe place to call home.
ARNE DEDERT via Getty Images
Transphobia has ingrained itself subtly in the entire system across many Caribbean countries. Magistrates do not impose harsh enough penalties on people who commit hate crimes against trans people. We don't even have hate crime laws here on our books.
Medioimages/Photodisc via Getty Images
If it is not right to host Islamophobic or white supremacist speakers, then it is not right to host Muslim supremacist, homophobic and transphobic speakers. Indeed, all zulm (oppression) is connected. Muslims overwhelmingly condemn ISIS. However, according to Muslim human rights activist, Shafiqah Othman Hamza, it is not enough to quote Qur'anic verses on peace while ignoring the systemic persecution and discrimination of minorities.
r_drewek via Getty Images
How can Muslim LGBT lead the dialogue if a majority amongst them segregate their lives from conservative spaces? The importance of dialogue within conservative Muslim communities cannot be over-emphasized. Such a dialogue will have to be part of a much-needed internal critique, for outside solutions may be rejected as anti-Muslim bigotry.
DIBYANGSHU SARKAR via Getty Images
Both conservative Muslims and Catholics talk of mercy and compassion, but it seems they draw the limits at LGBT persons. While they have been able to get past difficult texts on slavery and concubinage, they have not been as successful on texts that are used to repress sexual minorities. Given the Prophet's teaching of "doing no harm and accepting no harm," it is clear that any Muslim position in Canada should not be based on the fear-mongering of transphobic "Muslim" and "Christian" groups. Indeed, justifying one's transphobia under the guise of religious freedom is unconscionable.
nito100 via Getty Images
Several provinces have reconsidered their rules about changing sex on birth certificates in recent years.
Aol On/Vanity Fair
The month of Pride is a time for LGBTQ2S individuals to not only say who we are; but to also celebrate and be proud of who we are. Pride month is meant to remind us that we are real and that we matter, however, not all members of our community are seen; not all are celebrated; many are silenced and marginalized, made to feel that they are not real and that they do not belong.
Rex Ziak via Getty Images
Writer Elinor Burkett, in this past weekend's New York Times, takes it upon herself to define womanhood, which she feels is under attack from trans women. Instead, Burkett only succeeds in viciously grinding an anti-feminist axe with the intent of severing trans women from our rightful womanhood. Transmisogyny is where transphobia and misogyny meet, each intensifying the other. It is a form of gendered oppression experienced by trans women, central to which is the vicious lie that we are, or ever have been, men. This is violence, a violence which all too frequently ends in a trans woman's death.
Carl Court via Getty Images
On March 11, 2015, Toronto City Council finally approved funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and 2-spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth transitional housing. Although I am extremely disappointed that LGBTQ2S youth homelessness has been inadequately addressed for so many years, I am grateful that there is more understanding and awareness of this social justice crisis. I am also grateful that more organizations are now committed to developing campaigns and programs for LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness.
Avery Edison Twitter
WARNING: Some explicit language! (After all, it is Russell Brand...) Last week, the cover of In Touch magazine featured Bruce Jenner as we've never seen him before: dressed like a woman with a feminin...
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.
Life is an ongoing exercise in empathy. As a human being, your job should be constantly learning how to make your own way in this world while causing as little harm as possible. Which is why I'm ultimately baffled when people wonder aloud if they're supposed to look at everything critically and worry about its potential to harm others. Because yes, that is exactly what you are supposed to do.
The youth I have spoken to over the years have described Toronto's shelter system as a dangerous place for LGBTQ youth because of prolific homophobia and transphobia. I have heard stories of youth living in parks because they did not feel safe in the shelter system due to daily threats of homophobia and transphobia.