Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Transgender Day of Visibility - NL Flag-Raising Tour March 30-31, 2015!

For Immediate Release!

Commemoration of 7th Annual Transgender Day of Visibility to take place at Six Newfoundland Town Halls!

International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual event occurring March 31, dedicated to celebrate trans people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by trans people world wide. Michigan-based trans activist Rachel Crandall launched the event in 2009 as a response to concern that the only 'day' in which the world recognized trans people, was Trans Day of Remembrance, Nov 20. Rachel wanted an event that brought attention to those living, rather than just the dead. The day has since been recognized by trans communities all over the world.

The East Coast Trans Alliance is a grass roots organization run by and for trans people in the four eastern-most provinces of Canada: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador. The organization has been active since 2010, as they have hosted educational, activism, political policy influencing, and social events in over two dozen cities and towns in all 4 provinces; and representatives have given lectures to universities, high schools and colleges. Co-founder, and head of NL affairs, Jennifer McCreath will be embarking on a cross-provincial tour, March 30 and 31, for a series of flag-raising events at town halls, educational networking round table meetings, and social meet n greet events, to commemorate this occasion.

While based in St. John's, Jennifer feels it is extremely important to do events all over the province, so that education towards trans people and trans issues, can be taught province-wide, "There are many trans people around the province who have reached out to me. Many feel too afraid to come out publicly as trans as they fear that they might be the only out trans person in their town, and that the society around them is completely unaware and unprepared for the challenges facing trans people. Having Town councils demonstrate acceptance and a willingness to learn, understand, and embrace us, is a huge first step towards making all parts of the province of NL a better place for trans people to live their lives to the fullest," said McCreath.

Jennifer is excited to see that most of the the Town Halls that she recruited to co-host flag-raising awareness events, agreed to partake. The trans flag (which has pink, white, and blue stripes), will be raised at five town halls in this province for the very first time: Torbay, Harbour Grace, Carbonear, Grand-Falls Windsor, and Gander, as well as raised at the town hall of Logy Bay/Middle Cove/Outer Cove, for the second time (the first being July 2014 as part of Pride Week).

Local trans activist Sara Pinsent will emcee the Middle Cove event, while Jennifer will emcee the other 5 events.

Torbay mayor Ralph Tapper was quite excited to receive the initial invite from Jennifer "While every individual has the right to achieve ultimate happiness, for some to accomplish this, it is very, very challenging. The Town Council of Torbay recognizes Trans Day of Visibility s an opportunity to bring awareness on the issue of diversity to our community in the hope that all of us will educate ourselves and support transgendered people who strive to achieve and accept their genuine identity. Hopefully other communities will join us in supporting this event," said Tapper.

One of the key goals of the ECTA is to develop strong working relationships between trans community organizations, and women's organizations, "Status of Women Central believes in 'Equality For All'. Let's raise up and honour all transgendered people as valued citizens of our society," said Stephanie Bartlett, on behalf of the organization.

Jennifer has significant concerns that some Conservative members of the Canadian Senate are hesitant to provide Human Rights Protection for trans people, due to myths and unfounded fears regarding apparent increased risks of sexual assaults in washrooms, "there are many jurisdictions all over the world that have had trans rights for quite some time, and there have been no documented reports of any people being assaulted by a trans person or by someone pretending to be trans. Sexual assault is already illegal, and providing human rights to trans people is not going to change that," said Jennifer.

Jennifer also hopes to raise awareness to some NL provincial policies that are out of date and harmful to trans people, "trans people who do not require surgery, are unable to have their identification documents amended to their correct gender identity. This not only causes privacy issues, but it can lead to unnecessary profiling and other types of discrimination. Meanwhile, trans people who do require surgery, are unable to take advantage of the recommendations of the many qualified doctors here in the province, because the MCP funding policy (last updated in 1998) requires trans people to travel to Clarke Institute (aka CAMH) in Toronto, for assessment, which is unnecessary, given that global experts, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, (wpath.org) have launched transition protocol that can be applied to trans patients by any team of doctors that include a general practitioner, and a psychiatrist or psychologist," said McCreath.

Flag-Raising Schedule:

Monday March 30, 2015

- Torbay Town Hall - Flag-Raising - 9 am

- Harbour Grace Town Hall - Flag-Raising - 12 noon

- Carbonear Town Hall - Flag Raising - 1.30 pm

Tuesday March 31, 2015

- Logy Bay / Middle Cove / Outer Cove Town Hall - Flag Raising - 9 am

- Grand Falls-Windsor Town Hall - Flag-Raising - noon, Social Networking in Boardroom afterwards

- Gander Town Hall - Flag-Raising - 3 pm, Social Networking Event at Gander Women's Centre afterwards


Questions or Interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
http://www.jennifermccreath. com
http://www.eastcoasttransalliance.org
info@jennifermccreath.com
www.twitter.com/Jenn_McCreath
709-753-9529

Saturday, March 21, 2015

NB PhD Student seeks trans NL, NS, PEI, and NBers for research!

NB PhD Student looking for trans folks in NL, NS, PEI, and NB for a research study... contact me or Gloria directly....

I am a PhD graduate student at the University of New Brunswick and am writing to invite you to persons who identify as transgender. This project is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada. I invite you to be part of an exciting project that will highlight the unheard trans experience here in the Maritimes.

The first phase of the research invites participants to photograph and document your daily lived experience as a transgender person. Initially, participants will be asked to attend an information session where the method of Photovoice will be explained and the project will be outlined. I will ask interested participants to photograph aspects of their daily experience as a transgender person. This is an opportunity to explore what you would like to say and show visually from your perspective as an act against typically voyeuristic and sensationalized accounts of transgender life. This is a photovoice project; I am interested in your voice, your photos and what you have to say about them.

The second phase of the research invites the participants to select photographs to discuss with the facilitator of the research project in a focus group. This phase seeks to further understanding of the issues raised by contextualizing the images with personal narrative. I will also invite those interested to participate in a face to face interview to elaborate on certain themes and discussion topics.

There will be an optional invitation to be part of a public display of images after completion of the research project.

Photovoice is a research method that maintains full collaboration between participant and researcher seeking mutual knowledge sharing and social change. Photovoice has three main goals: to enable people to record and reflect their communities strengths and concerns, to promote critical dialogue and knowledge about personal and community issues through large and small group discussion of their photographs and to reach policy makers to effect social change.

Invitation to partake in this study is voluntary. The information gathered in this study will remain confidential and all efforts will be made to ensure your privacy. All participants will receive copies of their photographs and a summary of the Photovoice project when this project is finalized. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Gloria Nickerson
gloria.nickerson@unb.ca (506) 643- 0820

Friday, March 13, 2015

International Transgender Day of Visibility 2015 Newfoundland Tour!

I'm excited to announce the soft launch of a mini tour of the Province of NL to commemorate the 7th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 29-31, 2015. Several municipal townships have accepted a formal offer to co-host a flag raising with the East Coast Trans Alliance. Formal details will be announced March 23, 2015 on this blog.

More info:

Jennifer McCreath
East Coast Trans Alliance
www.eastcoasttransalliance.org
info@jennifermccreath.com
709-753-9529

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dusty the Gerbil!

I am excited to announce that I have a new friend, Dusty the Gerbil. She was born in early December along with her five siblings, and I was asked nicely if I could take her in. It's been almost a year since I said goodbye to my last rodent, so I decided it was time for another one!











Tuesday, December 2, 2014

McCreath commends NL trans activist for filing Charter Challenge

Mega kudos to Newfoundland resident Kyra Rees and her lawyer Kyle Rees for filing a Charter Challenge with Supreme Court of NL regarding the discriminatory NL provincial law known as Vital Stats Act Section 26. When successful, the Court will order the Provincial Government to amend this law to current global norms, which will make provisions to allow trans-identified people to change ID documents without having to have surgery.

Also, take note that they elected to go the court route, rather than the Human Rights Commission route, which is sadly, the right decision given, that the Commission does not have order power.

Meanwhile, let's not forget that access to surgery for trans folks who need it, is still not accessible as per global norms. Let this be a reminder and a call for trans activists to continue the fight for fair access to health products and services that they need.



For more information, local radio station VOCM has a story on their web site.
Follow @Jenn_McCreath

Thursday, November 20, 2014

McCreath says NL Vital Stats Act Sec 26.1 Discriminatory Against Trans People

Here are excerpts of an e-mail Jennifer sent to then Minister Brazil on July 21, 2014.

-----------------------
Dear Minister,

The NL Vital Statistics Act Section 26.1 does not allow transgender individuals to have Identification documents changed, unless they complete 'transsexual surgery'. Unfortunately, not all transgender people identify as transsexual. Many do not pursue surgery on their genitals. Others cannot have it for various reasons, even if they would like to.

There is a recent trend in which other provinces are loosening their laws regarding transgender ID changes. The Ontario Government recently lost a Human Rights Case against a trans person, who successfully won a judgement stating that it was discriminatory to not allow one to have ID documents that matched their gender identity.

As gender identity is covered under the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act, it is reasonable to suspect that a similar judgement could be won here, should a case be filed. Interestingly enough, shortly after the Ontario judgement, Alberta proactively changed their laws.

I would like to see Newfoundland continue to demonstrate its leadership towards diversity and pro-actively change section 26.1 as well. Alternatively, I know there are at least a dozen transgender people right here in St.John's, who are ready and willing to not only file Human Rights complaints, but take their fight to the media.

Rather than see the Government embarrassed by having to go through a Human Rights complaint process, I'd love to work with you to find a way to get these changes made pro-actively, while at the same time, doing so in a manner that would not harm government or make it look bad.

I would love to have the opportunity to meet and work with you or your staff, to initiative a policy review process that could make this change occur in a manner that would be as painless as possible for all.

I will look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely
----------------------

While there was an initial response indicating a willingness to collaborate, no further follow-up occurred. As today represents Transgender Week of Awareness, Jennifer feels the time is right to take this issue public.

Jennifer is aware of more than two dozen trans people who live in the St John's area alone, who suffer hardship due to their inability to have ID documents that match their gender identity. Jennifer also says that she knows it would be fairly easy to get these people to collaborate on a massive multiple Human Rights Complaint and/or class action lawsuit. Jennifer, once again, puts a call out to the Government of NL to please reconsider and take proactive steps to follow the leads of Ontario and Alberta, and change this Act.

For more information Jennifer has released a ten-minute video on the topic today on her youtube site:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-PxcksFNjw


Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
http://www.jennifermccreath.com
info@jennifermccreath.com
www.twitter.com/Jenn_McCreath
709-753-9529

Friday, October 31, 2014

Newfoundland Trans Activist tours Nova Scotia!

East Coast Transwomen Awareness and Visibility Tour:

Although many Government entities have started to add human rights for trans people, and while some Governments have pledged to improve health care policies and ID changing policies, it appears many transwomen in Nova Scotia, are being given the run-around when they seek action.

Trans activist Jennifer McCreath from St. John's, Newfoundland will be travelling to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for a two day trans awareness and visibility tour. Jennifer will be accompanied by Rad Pride Halifax representative, and transwoman activist, Trina Conrad.

While originally from Nova Scotia, Jennifer has lived in St. John's, Newfoundland since 2007, and has undergone her transition while living in Newfoundland. She is in the early stages of launching the Jennifer McCreath Foundation, a soon-to-be non profit organization that will carry out educational, activist, and peer support work for members of the trans communities all over Canada, with a core focus on Newfoundland and Labrador.

In recent months, McCreath has made several appearances in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, to undertake trans education and awareness work, during the recent summer Pride season. Jennifer has actually focused little attention on Nova Scotia, given that she thought Nova Scotia was miles ahead of the other three eastern provinces. However, McCreath takes note of several recent news stories involving Nova Scotia transwomen facing discrimination or red tape. With this in mind, Jennifer has decided to focus this tour mostly on Nova Scotia towns. "It seems almost daily, there is a new story going viral on news sites. In a matter of weeks, Jessica Dempsey, Jainey Lee Bresson, and Jessica Durling all had to take their cases to the local media, and this resulted in their stories going national. I am ashamed to see Nova Scotia appear as leaders on paper, but in practice, it appears they are treating transwomen poorly. The time is now for me to come home and lend a hand and a voice as transwomen of Nova Scotia seek acceptance and equality," said McCreath.

Trina Conrad has been transitioning while living in Dartmouth, Moncton and Halifax, in recent years. She knows first hand what it is like to face Government red tape. "Everything from access to medical resources, access to name change, and access to appropriate ID documents, has been an ongoing struggle," said Conrad.

Trina looks forward to rejoining McCreath for this tour, after a very successful tour together this past summer in Summerside and Charlottetown PEI. "Jenn and I seem to be on the same page for the most part, in terms of understanding what it is going to take, to promote positive change for east coast trans people," said Conrad.

Trina has also recently become a leader in the grass-roots movement known as Rad Pride, in Halifax, a group of LGBTQ community members who feel that Pride movements have become too corporate and tend to not pay enough attention to the struggles still faced by many members under this umbrella community.

McCreath co-founded St. John's Pride Inc in 2010, but left the organization in 2012, due to reasons similar to those concerns of Rad Pride Halifax. "While there is definitely a roll for our cis allies, trans activism needs to be lead by trans people,"said McCreath.

Jennifer and Trina will be holding ceremonial trans flag waving events at the following times and places:

Sackville, NB - Town Hall - 31 Main Street, 3.30 pm, Monday November 3, 2014

Springhill, NS - Anne Murray Centre - 36 Main Street, 10.00 am, Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pictou, NS - Town Hall - 40 Water Street, 12 noon, Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Truro, NS - Town Hall - 695 Prince Street, 2.30 pm, Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halifax, NS - Province House - 1726 Hollis Street, 4.30 pm, Tuesday, November 4, 2014

note: lunch/supper social events will also take place concluding the events in Sackville, Pictou, and Halifax.

More information:

Jennifer McCreath Foundation

http://jennifermccreath.blogspot.ca/2014/07/jennifer-mccreath-foundation-inc.html

Jennifer McCreath Bio

http://jennifermccreath.blogspot.ca/2014/06/jennifer-mccreath-bio-november-2013.html

questions or interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
info@jennifermccreath.com
709-753-9529