Friday, June 25, 2010

June 24, 2010 - PRIDE (and education) in St. John's

Although exhausted, i spent 2 hours this evening attending a St. John's PRIDE planning meeting, and then spent 4 hours doing some planning work for what we hope will be an amazing LGBTQ conference event, that will feature a variety of interesting speakers and topics..

although the official St. John's PRIDE schedule will be finalized and published in a few days, it's 99% that i will be invited to speak at City Hall for both their flag-raising event, and their opening reception events. It's also 99% that i will be asked to speak at the finale event (which includes a medley of a pride parade, a BBQ, and Drag performance from the infamous Doris Anita Douch).

although my relationship with St. John's PRIDE committee executives was rocky in 2009, and although better this year, is still rocky, i am optimistic that 2010 St. John's PRIDE will be the best one yet in terms of not only celebrating, but in providing education and awarness to mainstream society regarding LGB, and yes, T issues.

i am generally supportive of much of what this amazing group of people have planned, and i am pleased to have been a part-time member of the steering committee, who was given a chance to play a role at the decision-making table, at least in most cases, when i bothered to show up to their meetings.

Although there are a few things that i don't like, i will plan to suck it up and be a team player, as i think it's critically important for our city's LGBT community at this time, that we all stand together showing solidarity. and likewise, important for the St. John's T community to come together and celebrate ourselves, as well as blend in with the rest of the LGBs. (yes, there's even a chance that we will see transsexuals, transgenders, transvestites, and drag performers, all together sharing our unique stories and sharing a laugh and a drink!)

Meanwhile, i can't help but feel no PRIDE for our Newfoundland Human Rights Commission. Not only did our Minister of Attorney General and Justice refuse to repackage this entity as a crown corporation, they took advise that apparently came from them, that transgender people should not be granted recognized-protection under the new Human Rights Act. Having met with Carey Majid, their executive director, on numerous occasions, and having had gained great respect for her as a person and as a professional, i take personal offense and hurt over this. Carey, you have betrayed me and you have betrayed the entire transgender community, if this really was indeed your idea.

rather than express exclusion, you should have taken the lead from the Ontario Human Rights folks. CBC radio noon interviewed an Ontario Provincial Politician today regarding what they have done, and what their reactions were to these backward steps Newfoundland has taken. Cheri Dinovo's interview is here as is a link to my interview from a few days ago.



Ainsley said...

Cheri DiNovo is an admirable and dynamic member of the Ontario Legislature. Her Private Member's Bill, The GENDER IDENTITY BILL, seeks to add "gender identity" to the prohibited grounds for discrimination in the Ontario Human Rights Act. Cheri indicates there is a Federal bill on the table as well. How long will Newfoundland and Labrador lag behind the rest of the country. Cheri says..."laws evolve because communities evolve"...Does the Newfoundland Government understand this?

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