Clicking Follow Back will add user to your friends list and may allow access to your Social News timeline..

HuffPost Social News

Badges:
Your Badges and the Badge Module will be removed from your profile

Mercedes Allen's Comments

View Comments:   Sort:
January Marie Lapuz, Transgender Victim ID'd In New Westminster Killing

January Marie Lapuz, Transgender Victim ID'd In New Westminster Killing

Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 22:10:42 in Canada British Columbia

“Here's a note for the benefit of journalists and editors, some of whom I think probably get it about names (I note that the web link and headline have it correct, so someone here *did* get it at one point), but names and pronouns are going to be a delicate issue when dealing with trans topics. I know that as a journalist or editor, you're trained to look for the facts, the tangibles, etc, so when given a legal name, the response is sometimes "okay, that's how they are recognized in law, so that's what we're supposed to run with." Even in that, this article fails, because it's indicated that January Marie had already legally changed her name.

However, old names and old pronouns are used as weapons against trans people. They're used to invalidate them, to disrespect them, to imply that who they understand themselves to be is somehow deceptive or delusionary. It's considered very disrespectful to do, unless that's what the person themselves directs you to do. It also fails to acknowledge who the person was, how they lived their lives, how their friends, family and acquaintances knew them. It fails on a multitude of levels.

I'm going to leave it at that, because this tragedy is not about names, it's about a person. It's about January Marie, and it would be horrible for this to overshadow her life, and the obvious strength she must have had to overcome challenges before this tragedy happened.”
Canadian Air Travel Regulations Over Gender And Appearance Spark Concern Among Transgender Rights Advocates

Canadian Air Travel Regulations Over Gender And Appearance Spark Concern Among Transgender Rights Advocates

Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 16:54:19 in Gay Voices

“It's too early to say for sure.

We have to be careful about leveling the accusation that we're "completely banned" from airlines, especially since we don't know yet if that's how this regulatory change will play out. It's been around since July, there's been no reports, and some of that can be explained by the delay in implementation, but we've not experienced a total ban -- at least not yet. There is even a portion that could be interpreted as an intended exemption.

It's true that with the way it's worded, it *appears* to be a ban. The wording is definitely concerning, especially because it would mean that if an airline allows someone to board with an incongruent gender marker, they'd be in violation of federal law. But we don't know that the implementation will play out this way, yet.”
Nobody Left  Behind

Nobody Left Behind

Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 22:42:15 in Impact

“It is an unending source of frustration that one of the highest risk groups, if not the highest (up to 49 times the rate of general population, according to http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099%2812%2970326-2/fulltext?_eventId=login) is that of trans women, and yet outreach materials, research, initiatives, programs, and everything else is keyed toward men who have sex with men (MSM). Trans women are lumped into that category without a care about whether there may be unique aspects to consider.

This is solely because a significant number of people in the field refuse to acknowledge trans women as women. We're assumed to have the same behaviors as cissexual men, be approachable in the same ways as cis men, be statistically similar to cis men, and if we need help, well, it's more or less a case of "shut up and take it like a man." I don't know if anything has changed in the last couple years, but I found it impossible to do HIV outreach among trans women, when everything that's available for support material, research, etc. requires accepting invalidating and paternalistic terminology and assumptions. It's impossible.

The most bizarre aspect of this is that "MSM" was coined by the CDC to respect the wishes of men who have sex with men but don't want to be considered gay or bisexual.

Until trans women are accorded the same respect, this hideous statistic will not change.”
When Being a 'NALT' Christian Ally Isn't Enough

When Being a 'NALT' Christian Ally Isn't Enough

Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 23:14:18 in Religion

“Thank you very much for this. While I'm encouraged by the NALT Christians project, Your statement is especially important:

"One of the things I've learned in anti-discrimination work is that I constantly have to confront my own privilege, and my internalized prejudices, and when I have a chance to listen to people who can help me do that, I need to stop talking..."

But yet, don't be completely silent. Silence allows the far right to continue to pretend to represent the "Christian" position.”
huffingtonpost entry

A Woman's Right To Choose Must Apply To All Women

Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 17:26:08 in Canada Politics

“Well, we can't change the last quarter century. We can change this quarter century, but if you're suggesting that others should back up or suspend their movement so we can catch up, you're in for disappointment. I'd rather move forward together than fight over who's first.

You wrote:
"I'm not arguing that they are. I'm saying they are specifically milquetoast on access to transition medicine."

When was the question asked of them?

I just don't see the value of reopening the wounds of Nixon v. VRR, and projecting that onto a group of people who very likely had nothing to do with that and some of whom would probably be trans-positive if you'd asked them. I'd rather build bridges than re-burn them.”

Maria Korovessis Sewell on Jun 16, 2012 at 00:05:39

“F&F'd. Had a look at your blog, and am learning lots.”

hp blogger Valerie Keefe on Jun 15, 2012 at 23:30:38

“I'm saying a pretty large swath of the cis feminist movement has a history of only supporting trans women when it costs them nothing. As a cis feminist friend of mine said of the issue: "Because you really need friends like that, right? Ones who never take your interests to heart."”
huffingtonpost entry

A Woman's Right To Choose Must Apply To All Women

Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 13:11:54 in Canada Politics

“First, a correction: M-312 was a motion, not a bill. The two processes are not to be confused. And while motions are usually not binding, this one includes an action that would put the question of reopening the abortion debate to a committee which by my calculation is composed of at least half by members of the Parliamentary Pro Life Caucus. So while you feel assured that the debate is settled, this is actually a very real attempt to undo that.

Secondly, as a trans advocate and writer, I do support reproductive justice and freedom. I don't buy the us-first argument that any one social justice movement should take priority over another. We are working toward ending oppression -- not just oppression of our group or selective groups. Please don't characterize your position as representing all trans women in a way that positions us against womens' rights advocates in general. It's a division that is not necessary. We can work toward social justice concurrently.

I've not seen any evidence that The Radical Handmaids (as a group) are specifically opposed to transition or trans health, or that they've even developed a position on that. I would hope that individuals who have -- like Ms. Rebick -- will have reconsidered since 2000, and the Nixon v. VRR legal fight. Not all feminists who describe themselves as "radical" subscribe to the transphobic position of the handful that have co-opted the "RadFem" designation.”

hp blogger Valerie Keefe on Jun 15, 2012 at 14:29:50

“One last note. While you are free to comment:

If you want to continue being a Very Serious Person in the trans rights movement, which is fine, since it's not like failing to be a witness to this kind of stuff will threaten your life or my life, just the lives of those trans people who have yet to navigate the current medical model whose goal is reducing, not increasing, bodily autonomy, I'd recommend you do it on your own blog, or denounce me through TESA. David Brooks doesn't leave comments on Paul Krugman columns. Instead, he passive-aggressively alludes to what Krugman writes. Just sayin'.”

hp blogger Valerie Keefe on Jun 15, 2012 at 14:12:26

“"I would hope that individuals who have -- like Ms. Rebick -- will have reconsidered since 2000, and the Nixon v. VRR legal fight. Not all feminists who describe themselves as "radical" subscribe to the transphobic position of the handful that have co-opted the "RadFem" designation."

I would also not that as for Ms. Rebick's hoped-for evolution on the topic, she can speak for herself and her 12 years of silence speaks volumes.”

hp blogger Valerie Keefe on Jun 15, 2012 at 14:09:30

“"The non-binding motion will be lucky to only lose 280 to 30. Stephen Harper and Gordon O'Connor have come out against it."

Yes, I referred to it as a bill. Forgive this two-time model parliament attendee for such a slip.

"Secondly, as a trans advocate and writer, I do support reproductive justice and freedom. I don't buy the us-first argument that any one social justice movement should take priority over another."

I think it's plain that my view is 'us-at-some-point-in-the-last-quarter-century-since-Regina-v.-Morgentaler-put-the-other-thing-to-bed-for-some-time' and it's disingenuous to assert otherwise.

"Please don't characterize your position as representing all trans women in a way that positions us against womens' rights advocates in general."

I don't know where to begin with this. I'm for a woman's right to choose. Regardless of the woman's birth assignment. Hell, I'm for a person's right to choose. Bowing and scraping, as we saw when it came to the fight for abortion rights, does not work. Confrontation of problem head-on does.

"It's a division that is not necessary. We can work toward social justice concurrently."

As said, I'm waiting.

"I've not seen any evidence that The Radical Handmaids (as a group) are specifically opposed to transition or trans health"

I'm not arguing that they are. I'm saying they are specifically milquetoast on access to transition medicine.”
huffingtonpost entry

A Woman's Right To Choose Must Apply To All Women

Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 13:10:39 in Canada Politics

“part 2 from previous comment:

Nixon v. VRR was a difficult issue. On the one hand, it isn't appropriate to discriminate against, invalidate or discount the experiences of trans women. It's not. On the other, when a woman has just been raped, that's not the best time to confront that bias, since there's a myriad of emotional traumas happening. That discussion goes in circles until no one is happy. I do believe that Kim Nixon deserved to win, but also realize that there are serious issues at play, and we can support the position Ms. Nixon had and still have empathy for the difficulty of the question, at the same time.”

Bianca S on Jun 15, 2012 at 14:44:14

“It's hard to have empathy for a group who sources an article that right off the bat, mocked a trans woman's appearance; " she looks a bit like a man in a dress, which is not surprising in that she is equipped with a full set of XY chromosomes", then goes on to say that she "decided to be a woman" as if it was on a whim, like "deciding" to change your hair colour. Any argument that comes after that is strongly diluted by their own blatant biases and bigotry against Ms. Nixon.”

hp blogger Valerie Keefe on Jun 15, 2012 at 14:02:25

“Kimberly Nixon's a rape survivor. I think this is a particularly germane time to confront that bias. Especially when VRR morphed into a hate-site while conducting it's 'defense.'”
Why I Did an About-Face and Boarded the Jenna Talackova PR Train

Why I Did an About-Face and Boarded the Jenna Talackova PR Train

Commented May 23, 2012 at 11:40:01 in Gay Voices

“I'm not a fan of beauty pageants either, but looking at all that has happened, I think this is probably one of those watershed issues that we as a movement hadn't really discovered yet -- sort of the way same-sex marriage is for gay and lesbian people. The issue is less about legal rights and recourse, and more about acceptance and accommodation... and does a lot in terms of long-term change in attitude toward trans people, even if it doesn't seem like a priority right now. It sent a signal that trans women are women, and kick-started the discussion of why.

It also helped that she carried herself well throughout the media mess, and kept her resolve. Early on, she could have accepted a concession to participate, but she pressed further for a rule change. That's worth some credit, too.”

oatc on Jul 8, 2012 at 15:44:03

“This is one of those moments that shows there is no single community or movement, and no single right approach. Pageants and other looks- and performance-based competition are huge in some girls, and women's lives, whilst totally unnoticed by the literati, and nerds. Jenny preceded Miss Universe with competing in one of Thailand's huge "katoey" contests, which are nationally televised and immense spectaculars. All the patronising, and begrudged approval of her endeavours back home in Canada, until the light properly dawned for most observers, were the result of a somewhat imperialist misapprehension of knowing a better and proper way to live one's life. We are all individuals, who have, and need access to equal rights, and each deserves respect. Back in 1972 I protested Miss World in London, when host Bob Hope totally lost it, but I'm glad I learned better.”
He, She, It -- Does It Really Matter What our Gender is on Passports?

He, She, It -- Does It Really Matter What our Gender is on Passports?

Commented May 17, 2012 at 14:47:08 in Canada

“It's not about a discrepancy between appearance and passport photo. The Aeronautics Act now has four components, all of which must be met in order to be able to board a plane. One is a photograph match requirement, and that's fine. Everyone has a responsibility to have an up-to-date photo of themselves.

A separate requirement is that the gender marker on a person's identification match a subjective visual assessment of their gender. Updating one's identification isn't as easy as it sounds. For a simplified three-page flow chart of this process, you might want to visit http://www.tesaonline.org/simplified-air-travel-chart.html

Worse, if you haven't changed your birth certificate because you haven't had surgery (and/or don't plan to), it doesn't help to have a driver's license or health care card with updated info, because another of the four requirements is that there be no discrepancies between ID documents.

I know this is a small distinction and not incompatible with your conclusion, but because people are not seeing this distinction, the public has the impression that this is a minor, irrelevant issue in which all anyone should have to do is keep their passport photo up to date like any other Canadian traveler.

The reason trans people are usually not barred from flying is because airport personnel have been mostly refusing to enforce the policy with trans travellers.

That's just for Canadian airports. These kinds of policies are being implemented all around the world.”
Working While Transgender: An Occupational Hazard?

Working While Transgender: An Occupational Hazard?

Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 16:13:31 in World

“Thank you for the link to DBM in this article. There is an update to it, however.

Since that post was made, Canada's Bill C-389 passed in the House of Commons, but was still awaiting debate and approval in the Senate when the federal election was called. Unfortunately, in Canada, election calls kill all legislation in progress, so the process has to begin from zero again.

That notwithstanding, human rights commissions still understand transsexuals to be "read in" to legislation via the categories of sex or gender (the word varies per province or federal statute), so there is some protection, although it is still potentially vulnerable to changes in legal precedents.”