Why we’re so damn prickly

Katelyn Burns penned a piece last year reviewing why the trans community tends to be prickly and persnickety. It’s not exactly rocket science–being anti-trans is a prolific industry, filling the airwaves and distorting people’s perception of you. Asshats spreading misinformation are paid ludicrous sums of money, even as the trans community struggles to scrape enough money together to fund a queer youth crisis shelter. Of course we’re mad. Cis people can’t stop showering asshats with accolades and hundred-dollar bills, meanwhile we’re lucky if we can keep our dead end job.

Content Notice for transphobic slurs.

Now take a step back for a second and imagine the majority of people you run into every day denying you this basic descriptor of yourself. Every day the media runs a fresh story that denies your existence down to your most basic level of being. Every day some white knight actor is claiming credit for all the hard work and advocacy that you and your peers are doing. Imagine that any time someone tries to go on television to defend your most basic self definition, the producers grab the most hateful person available to sit opposite and argue against your existence “to be fair and balanced.” Think of this happening every day. Imagine you had to defend yourself from Twitter trolls every day who seek to deny you the right to describe yourself in your most basic terms. Pretend for a second that every online newspaper article has a comment section filled with the most hateful words thrown at you that you could ever imagine.

I wrote a piece on my experience as a closeted trans woman who grew up playing sports that ran recently on The Cauldron by Sports Illustrated, a site with thousands of regular readers. The next day, someone wrote a fifteen hundred word WordPress blog post calling me a “tranny” (it was in the headline), repeatedly called me a man and suggested that I’m mentally ill and should be locked away. One of the author’s followers suggested he deserves a Pulitzer for it. I felt sick. Here was maybe my proudest professional achievement of my life, and trolls decided that I deserved to be erased from society. I was upset, you would be too. How would you feel running into that every day of your life?

And, of course, if I were to express any frustration or upset at this state of affairs, it would be screencapped by TERFs and hailed as evidence that trans women are inherently violent creatures.

-Shiv

Silver-lining-in-genocide Senator: “binders of letters”

Lynn Beyak, in continuance with her proceedings to divorce from reality, has defended her statements by saying she could make a binder full of women letters in support of the genocidal residential schools Canada ran until 1996.

“I’ve suffered with them up there. I appreciate their suffering more than they’ll ever know,” she said. “The best way to heal is to move forward together. Not to blame, not to point fingers, not to live in the past.”

Beyak, who sits as a member of the Senate’s Aboriginal Peoples committee, said she has received hundreds of positive remarks after she delivered a speech in which she chastised the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for not “focusing on the good” of the “well-intentioned” institutions.

“There were two sides to every story. We have 700 letters, we’ll make it a binder, we’ll make it all available,” she said Monday. “Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of letters.”

Somebody get this leaky bagpipe all the god damn seats.

-Shiv

Fact check: Deaths of despair and “white working class”

The Brookings Papers on Economic Activity published a report about its findings on so-called “deaths of despair”–overdose, suicide, and other sort of high-risk activities taken up by those with an inclination to self harm due to severe depression. This report divided the subjects by their racial demographics and found that it was the “white working class” who was actually dying the most, proportionately, from these deaths of despair. The news followed suit. But I had spotted a sleight of hand shortly after opening the report that made me suspicious of the methodology: White people were divided by whether or not they had attained a high school diploma, yet all other racial demographics were generalized into a single measurement.

[Read more…]

My recommendations for Trans Day of Visibility

Today you’re supposed to signal boost your favourite trans writers, artists, creators, etc. in celebration of Trans Day of Visibility. So here’s my list, and please feel free to add to it in the comments:

  • Life of Bria Comics: A serial with witticisms on current events.
  • Assigned Male Comics: A semi-serial cast of surprisingly cogent children navigate societal prejudice.
  • Katelyn Burns: Parent, writer, and professional shade-thrower at allegedly liberal transphobes.
  • Sam Hope: A transmasculine enby who is my portal to UK trans issues. Organizer and counselor.
  • Chase Ross: Transmasculine YouTuber who discusses the sociology of gender (albeit in an informal way)
  • Ania and Alyssa ‘Splain You a Thing: Joint blog by Alyssa and Ania, covers LGBT, immigrant, racial & oft-overlooked disability issues, as well as the intersections between any and all of these. Oh, and really tastey recipes.
  • Trans and Godless: Exactly what it says on the tin.
  • Safe Accommodations for Queer Edmonton Youth (SAFQEY): A queer/trans-specific youth homeless shelter on the cusp of launching. It needs donations. (hint hint)

Who would you like to signal boost?

-Shiv

Baptist schools told to stop being a dick; say “no”

The poor persecuted Christians are in the news again. After a lengthy investigation conducted against the two Baptist schools who refused to follow Bill 10, a Progressive Conservative law that obligated all schools to permit the formation of a gay-straight alliance should the students request one, the Education Minister has finally issued a “Ministerial Order” to comply with the law.

The schools, of course, said no.

Society chair Rev. Brian Coldwell admitted last year in an interview with a social conservative publication he had worked behind the scenes with representatives of both opposition parties. He is also member of the board of Parents for Choice in Education, a supposedly non-partisan group that advocates home schooling and private schools and enjoys loud support from the Opposition parties.

So it is hard to believe there is no political side to Rev. Coldwell’s insistence the schools will never comply with the law’s requirement students be allowed to form GSAs.

Determined to proceed cautiously, even at the risk of leaving LGBTQ students vulnerable, Eggen appointed Edmonton lawyer Dan Scott in September last year to inquire into the activities of the two schools. Mr. Scott handed his report to the government in November 2016 and nothing much happened until yesterday, when the report was released to the public and Mr. Eggen ordered the schools to comply with the law.

Now, this is a rural Baptist school with little political clout other than its convenience for conservative martyrdom. The bigger problem will be what we do about the constitutionally-protected Catholics (yes, we are talking about Canada) when they, too, disclose that they intend to inject psychological abuse and misinformation into their curriculum. Politically, it would be effective self-sabotage–and yet, the only Catholic school board to have met all human rights requirements was Red Deer.

Clearly it is possible for Albertan Catholics to enjoy their special snowflake status without violating human rights laws as a matter of policy. It’s just that most are choosing not to.

-Shiv

Yes. Please. Go.

For once, the Christians have produced an idea I can get behind.

Following my cover-to-cover read, my takeaway is that he wants Christians — by which he means only those who share his conservative sexual ethics (i.e. not you, you moralistic therapeutic deist, you) — to withdraw from society and form cult-like communes for the sole purpose of rejecting queer people and “the toxins of modern secularism” (i.e. me).

I don’t have much to add except a massive yes.

Fuck off already. Separate. Disappear into obscurity. Buy your own island and never build a port.

Read more about The Benedict Opinion here.

-Shiv