Conservatives expect cookies for axing opposition to gay marriage in federal policy


*Checks watch*

Yep, it’s definitely still 2016. Never mind that the Cons both had, and lost, the debate on gay marriage back in 2005. Let’s beat a dead horse, 11 years later. (Something to look forward to, Americans)

The Conservatives, the right-of-Canadian-centre federal party in Canuckistan, has only now removed its “definition of marriage” from their policy handbook:

VANCOUVER — The Conservative party wiped a policy opposing same sex marriage off its books Saturday, proof many said that the party is truly setting a new course on the road to the next federal election.

A motion to delete sections of the party handbook supporting legislation to define marriage as being between a man and a woman was adopted by a vote of 1036 to 462 delegates at the party convention on Saturday afternoon.

Nearly one third of your party has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era, but whatever, you made the right decision in the end.

Oh wait.

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Trans people illustrate their dysphoria


Buzzfeed has an article which features artwork from trans folk who were asked to illustrate their gender dysphoria. The results are pretty remarkable:

“To me, dysphoria comes mostly from people’s gazes and words. They see me as a ‘girl’ and call me as such — even in the most innocent way — simply because they don’t know. Being called that, because of my body shape, feels like being trapped into a tight envelope made out of ‘girl’ stereotypes and expectations. A ‘girl suit’ that is slowly choking me. The more they call me girl, the more the ‘girl suit’ takes over, covering my real self, my real colors.”





The original hashtag, #MaybeHeDoesn’tHitYou, was an attempt to expand the conversation on abuse to include emotional abuse and not just physical violence. It was a heterosexual-centric strategy. I’ve heard plenty of anecdotal stories about queer women not seeking help for domestic violence because, of course, queer DV is seldom represented, so they get odd ideas about abuse that rely on the assumption of a straight man and straight woman being together.

So here’s my version:

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she threatens to leave you if you dare to mention your boundaries again.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but you can’t remember what conversation you started because she made it about her again.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but you can’t finish a sentence without being interrupted and told you’re being oversensitive.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but you find yourself apologizing for trying to explain why you’re upset.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she convinces you to try risky things and then blames you for being scared when she offers no support.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she takes your consent for granted and feels entitled to push your buttons without discussion.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but you feel like you deserve to be hit.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she calls your life passion a waste of time.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she psychoanalyses you without invitation and suggests motives to you that were never there.

I get to go to the domestic violence women’s survivor group this week. We’ll see how it goes.


Alberta MLA suspended over Facebook comment


On issue #1,232,191 of “politician puts foot in mouth:” Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt was suspended from his party caucus after approving a comment which stated, “Mr Wynne or whatever the hell she identifies as.”

Earlier Friday, a person commented on Fildebrandt’s official Facebook page, congratulating the MLA on telling the truth about “Mr Wynne or whatever the hell she identifies as,” referring to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is openly gay.

In a reply to the post, Fildebrandt wrote: “Proud to have constituents like you!”

Hours later, Fildebrandt took to Twitter to apologize for the comment, saying he felt terrible at the thought that anyone in the LGBTQ community thought he shared the original commenter’s views. He said after re-reading the original comment, he “entirely misread it. 100 per cent against my views.”

Fildebrandt goes on to say he missed the “Mr” portion of the comment, a deliberate dig not only at Ontario’s openly gay Premier, but also the trans affirming policies being debated at the federal level. Even if this is true, the latter portion of the comment, “whatever the hell she identifies as,” is a little harder to miss.

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Pastor collects $700,000 in relief donations, disappears


On today’s issue of “Shady White People,” Holly Renken has been accused of running off with $700,000 in Houston flood relief donations:

The Houston flood victims have reached out to me because, apparently, you don’t answer your phone or respond to emails, and they are DYING to know:


Over $700,000 was raised and not a PENNY has been given to these displaced families. So tell me, my good friend, can you fill us in? I’m not accusing you of shit, but there’s quite a lot of SHIT going on and the people need answers — and dollars.

Everyone else, here’s what’s going on:

– In mid-April, Houston suffered a catastrophic flood that damaged over 12,000 homes.
– Thousands of families were displaced and in response, the city of Houston sent them to various hotels and motels nearby
– But out of nowhere, these families received eviction notices from the hotels.
– With no home to go back to, families all over the city are HOMELESS.
– Mothers, babies, and children are living out of their vehicles or struggling to find a temporary place to stay.

Everything Looks Good!… Right?

– Unknown to the flood victims, the city of Houston set up a massive charity event called “Houston Recovers Live.”
– Organized by Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner, TV Superstar/Pastor Joel Osteen, and singer Clay Walker, this musical event brought in big stars like Yolanda Adams and Brian McKnight to raise money for the victims.
– In addition to this event, the Houston Rockets donated $500,000, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings donated $100,000, and JP Morgan Chase tossed out $50,000.

Enter: Holly Renken

– Out of nowhere, Holly Renken, an event organizer and “activist” of God, reached out to the Black community of Houston for help.
– And by help, I mean MONEY. MONEY. MONEY
– Holly organized charity events, took photos and broke bread with local Black Houstonians, and received donations through her personal website.

This Is Where Things Get Really, REALLY Fucked Up:

– After receiving eviction notices from the Hotels, families reached out to Holly Renken for help.
– But according to her posts on Instagram, Holly is LONG GONE.
– Holly and her team LEFT THE COUNTRY
– Families contacted the Mayor’s office for more information on the donation money and their answer was simple:
– “We don’t know because we don’t handle the money — only a non-profit organization can. But if you want, you call 211 to locate the funds.”
– The families called 211.
– 211 has NO IDEA what’s going on.
– PLOT TWIST: Holly Renken has a non-profit organization.

Where Are We Now:

– AT LEAST $700,000 is missing.
– Not a SINGLE Black family in Houston has received relief funds.
– Mothers with disabled children and elderly parents are HOMELESS.
– The city of Houston advised families to seek refuge in a HOMELESS SHELTER.
– People have been contacting Holly Renken NON-STOP
– Holly ain’t picking up.

So, Holly,


We need answers.
And we need it yesterday.

I can’t corroborate much right now (I’m on a limited budget and would rather not deal with the number of long distance calls that would take to the States). I will update if other media outlets find anything that changes the story.

In the mean time, enjoy this example of racist, opportunistic, religious assholery. And they call us predators.


First Update: LLAG, the Facebook page reporting on this, is collecting comments from others that state they are familiar with Renken and corroborate a long history of exploitation and theft. Same link as above.

Comprehensive sex ed and GSAs: The Horror


A protester of Bill 10, which obligates all schools to support a Gay-Straight Alliance if the students request one, has found another concern about the education curriculum:

“We must say no to Bill 10 as it is written,” Trimble told protesters.

If we do not make our voices heard we will soon find comprehensive sexual education foisted on schools next. I am here to let you know that sexual education is undergoing a rewrite in the province of Alberta as we speak,” she said.

The utter horror. Facts! Supported by evidence! IN OUR EDUCATION CURRICULUM!!!

“As long as Bill 10 remains on the books as written, the government knows that is can continue to violate religious freedom, it can continue to violate parental rights and it can continue to violate the relationship that is sacred between parents and their children.”

I can hear those dog whistles. “Religious freedom” to do what, exactly? Molest kids? Teach blatantly incorrect sex ed? Bully queer youth?

Interestingly enough, the same protest also helpfully provided their interpretation of Bill 10, just in case you were second guessing those dog whistles:

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Trans activist shot; neglect by hospital leads to her death


A trans activist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a province in Pakistan, passed away after the hospital she was admitted to delayed and denied her emergency treatment for gunshot wounds she had sustained in an altercation:

Shot seven times in an altercation Sunday, the activist — who went by one name, Alisha — was brought to Lady Reading Hospital, one of the largest medical facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where staff dithered over whether to place her in the ward for male patients or female patients.

A friend and fellow activist, Farzana Jan, said men at the hospital taunted them outside the emergency room.

One asked whether Alisha’s blood was HIV-positive, while another asked for Farzana’s phone number and invited her to dance at a party.

Alisha underwent medical procedures Monday and Tuesday to stanch heavy internal bleeding but died Wednesday morning, according to hospital spokesman Zulfiqar Babakhel.

At least five transgender activists have been attacked in recent months in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a socially conservative province next to the country’s northern tribal areas.

All the victims, including Alisha, were members of Trans Action, an advocacy group that has been increasingly vocal in seeking equal rights for transgender people in the province.

The group estimates there are at least 45,000 transgender people in the province, and at least half a million nationwide. Although most live in the shadows, some are hired to dance at weddings and parties, where they are viewed as novelty acts and harbingers of good luck.

Others have little way to make a living, except through begging or sex work.

Qamar Naseem, a member of Trans Action, said that about 45 transgender people had been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the last two years.

Alisha wasn’t the first.





Breaking news: Game developer calls a racist mod racist; white tears ensue


Content Notice: Racism, white fragility, waaahhh censorship.

Paradox Interactive released a speculative fiction strategy game called Stellaris. PI is one of my favourite game developers because their games play like live action puzzles. It tickles a problem solving part of my brain that I haven’t been able to exercise in years. PI’s shtick is usually historical fiction, but when they tried Stellaris, a Sci Fi game, they did a lot to implement in-game content creation tools to allow players to invent their own galactic societies. They also released modding tools if players wanted to attempt something more technical than the in-game editors allowed.

Cue a user by the name of Progeny of Europe (I’m sure you can see where this is going), who made a mod to remove the in-game human portraits that weren’t white.

This, by itself, was apparently not what made Paradox Interactive pull the plug on Progeny of Europe’s mod. Rather it was the–prepare to be shocked–racist description and remarks accompanying it.

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Breaking news: City spends pennies on empty gesture, bigots freak out; dogs bark


We’re coming up on summer in the northern hemisphere, which for many places means a Pride festival. Now, I’ve got a lot of opinions about my local Pride festival, but I can acknowledge on a very pragmatic level that, if nothing else, an event of this calibre generates some nice business (and by extension, revenue for the city). This means that whatever my city spends in preparation for the Pride festival is almost surely covered by the enormous profits raked in by the city’s taxation.

Back in 2015, Edmonton decided to paint three whole crosswalks with a rainbow in preparation for Pride. In a recent Facebook post, the City reported that the crosswalks would be renewed for another festival.

Three crosswalks, which might take an hour to paint each (if that), and $200 of paint. Not a terribly expensive gesture. And I guess it’s nice that the government is conceptually supportive of your rights and whatnot but Edmonton still has gaping deficiencies in Queer support networks and I’d love for city council to put their money where their mouth is. And the Pride festival is kind of dominated by cis gay white dudes and corporations and the comfortably middle class so the whole political rebellion thing is kind of losing its edge these days… ehh, I don’t think anyone cares.

I mostly have an excuse to wear thigh-high rainbow socks.

Anyway, so the city spends ~$200 on a throwaway gesture of support. How do people respond?

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