Monday, February 28, 2011

February 27, 2011 - back at it

Well, the antibiotic topical ointment that i got from the doc a few days age really seems to be helping. the raw and tender skin on my outer surgical site area has really improved in the healing process. i was able to run at about 70% effort today, so i ventured over to kent's pond for the first time since returning home from surgery. there was about 4 feet of snow covering the trail, and some snow piles as high as 20 feet, where it had obviously been shoveled. but it was nice to see one of my favourite sites, even if it was all snowed in. i actually walked across the ponds as the ice was clearly over a foot thick. there were several dozen ducks over by the river where water flows into the pond. afterward, i dropped into the animal shelter to visit the many young and baby cats they have available for adoption. those poor cats spend most of their time alone, so they really love human contact during visitng hours.

meanwhile, my two cats continue to love having me at home all day, as i continue to recover. i am scheduled to return to work on march 22, and at this point, it looks like i should be very close to 100% come then. i am hoping to get in light runs every day until then, as i hope to rebuild up my fitness levels to where they were before i left for surgery.

one of the highlights of my day was a phone call to my first of three roommates that i had in montreal. it had been about 3 weeks since we last spoke. we had a wonderful chat, reminising about the many laughs and inside jokes we shared. she has a similar sense of humour like i do, and loves sarcasm. oh my.. i really miss her. it was great to chat with her about the surgery recovery process too, as it seems comforting and reassuring that we are both dealing with similar issues in terms of raw skin areas, internal stitches disolving, etc.

well, after two really good sleeps, i am awake at 4.30 am and can't seem to get back to sleep. oh well, those two great sleeps were two more than i expected to have all year... lol Oh well, more time to enjoy this last day of February that we have ahead!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 2011 - Music News

Gordon Lightfoot's longtime guitarist, Terry Clement has passed away, at the age of 63, ten days after suffering a stroke. Terry met Gordon in 1970, and joined his band in 1971. The band will never be the same. I had the opportunity to see them play together live on 5 occasions. They definitely made musical magic together.

In happier news, founding member of Poco, Rusty Young, celebrated his 66th birthday this week, as did long-time Poco guitarist, Paul Cotton, who turns 68 today. Paul overcame a heart attack in 2005. He retired from Poco last year to spend more time at home in lovely Key West, Florida, where he continues to partake in other music projects, including the occasional local gig. Rusty is in fine form and lives happily in rural Missouri. As the only remaining founding member of Poco, he has become the musical and business leader of the band, which continues to tour regularly. They are also in the process of recording new material for what will soon become their first full album of new material since 2002.

After becoming a fan of California-rock supergroup, the Eagles, my musical research lead me to discover that the sound for which the Eagles have, was initially created by Poco. In fact, Poco lays claim to being the pioneers of of country rock. Poco was founded in 1968 after members of folk-band, Buffalo Springfield, decided to part company. In 2004, I saw Poco live for the first time at the historic Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, TN, where they reunited with founding member of Buffalo Springfield and Poco, Richie Furay, for a full gig of music that was recorded for a DVD. This would be the first of many Poco concerts i would attend over the next 4 years. I was fortunate enough to not only see the band live over 30 times during this span, but i got the chance to become friends with members of the band. They are a great group of guys, who even in their 60s, continue to love making music, and they genuinely respect and appreciate their music fans.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22, 2011 - Danny and Dasher being playful!

Here's some pics I captured last night while my cats were grooming each other and play wrestling!

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21, 2011 - C-389: Countering the Rhetoric

I didn't write this (in fact i don't even know who did). but i wish i did. this precisely illustrates how transphobic fear-mongering continues to be a problem, and points to the reason as to why Bill C-389 and explicit Human Rights protection for transgender people is necessary:

C-389: Necessary Exactly Because This Persists

You know you're less than human in the eyes of society when people are debating about whether you should be allowed to use the same public restroom as anyone else.

If that sounds a little melodramatic, you'll need to bear with me. You see, I'm transsexual, and have been using the womens' restroom ever since I transitioned, years ago. It has never been illegal for me to do so. Making it an issue at this point in time is archaic on a level that is mind boggling. People who struggle with the idea of transsexuals in womens' restrooms should know that the Transgender Law and Policy Institute notes around 130 jurisdictions in the US where explicit legal inclusion for transgender and transsexual people exists (some back to 1975), and yet there has never been any washroom issues of the kind being suggested by opponents to trans human rights. The conflation of trans people with sexual predators is a fallacy, and it's also ludicrous to speculate that some other sexual predator would risk drawing attention to himself by crossdressing, in order to access a washroom that he'd have better luck just sneaking into when no one is looking. Considering that washrooms have already been a non-issue for decades and aren't even addressed in Bill C-389 at all, there is no rational argument here, but rather a meme designed to generate a quick panic response.

In the US south, decades earlier, there was reluctance to desegregate washrooms because of “delicate sensibilities” and beliefs in the inferiority and impurity of entire groups of people. In the advent of HIV, there were ignorant comments about gay men in washrooms, borne by fears that had not yet been dispelled by science that AIDS could be contracted from a toilet seat. And every time, there was hysteria. Every time, it was unfounded. Every time, our society ultimately moved toward progress, inclusion and accommodation, anyway. And every time, we looked back and realized that the potty panic was just plain offensive.

One of the Conservative government’s stated reasons for opposing Bill C-389, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression), was that it was “unnecessary.”

But it IS necessary. It's necessary exactly because this irrational fear of the unknown persists. Exactly because trans people still get conflated with sex predators and child predators, or labelled as "sick," "perverse," and "freaks." Exactly because people become so clouded with assumptions and myths that they seize upon entirely irrational and unfounded fears. Exactly because people are willing to fabricate or conjure these ideas from nowhere, to argue for our deliberate exclusion from human rights under the pretext that granting them would be "dangerous" or "scary." Exactly because this bias is so entrenched that people think nothing about broadcasting it openly as though fact. Exactly because it is so pervasive and out in the open that discrimination becomes not only likely but inevitable.

What bothers me, however, is that the washroom scare approach has practically overwhelmed the conversation to the point where it probably seems like human rights protections aren't necessary. With a few exceptions, we've largely not heard from trans people at all, nor any of the real troubles we face.

When a friend began her transition, the company she worked for, for nearly twenty years, requested that she delay presenting as female in the workplace until a policy on trans people could be developed. After delaying for three, four, five and eventually seven months, she crashed emotionally from having to return to the closet every day for work. She went on stress leave. After three months, she requested to return, but received no replies. After six months, she was terminated by default... At first. The company she was with eventually agreed to have her return at a reduced position, reduced pay and further deductions to reimburse them for the cost of her short-term disability period. She agreed to this, because her alternative was to lose 19 years of employment on her resume, to a name change. And to this day, said company does not have a trans policy: She's been told that because they're consistent with existing legislation, it isn't needed.

Someone I know in the trans community was in a car accident while traveling in rural Manitoba. She was half conscious, but remembers receiving excellent care, until emergency personnel began to cut off her clothes. At that point, people froze, and emergency care stopped until she was transferred to a Winnipeg hospital. The rural facility told her that they "didn't have a means to accommodate" her.

Someone very close to me experienced an extended campaign of harassment, verbal threats, rumour-spreading and incitement within the small town she lived in. She contacted the RCMP a number of times, and nothing was done about it. Eventually, she was told that, "This doesn't classify as a hate crime. You're not in one of the protected classes. We checked with our legal department." Ultimately, she was able to obtain a peace bond, and the situation was resolved. However, if the government's position is that transsexuals are "already protected" by existing legislation, they might want to inform their law enforcement and legal departments.

These stories have gone unreported largely because they come from a community that has been disenfranchised within a society that doesn't know what to do with us and doesn't want to be bothered to figure out a solution. If we aren't too discouraged to pursue justice, then we're discouraged by those around us, because it's easier to make our existence the problem than actually finding a way in which we can reasonably coexist. These things continue unnoticed because this bias is so pervasive in our society that without a definitive statement from the upper echelons of power, and that because we are "unnecessary," it is perfectly fine to continue to discriminate.

Affirmation in the form of C-389 is necessary exactly because this persists.

(Author Unknown)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Febryary 20, 2011 - my long-awaited reaction to the new BAA standards

Alright. So the Boston Marathon reached capacity after just 8 hours from when registration opened. This can only mean two things: there are more people than ever before who want to run the boston marathon, and there are more people who have been willing and able to do the work necessary to qualify.

So the axe finally fell on the old standards. for 2012, the qualifying times will stay the same, and for 2013 and beyond, they are 5 minutes faster. but here's the kick: there will be a four tier rolling registration program. those who have run 20 minutes faster than the qualifying time, will get first crack at registering. a few days later, if there are any spots still left, the those with 10 minutes faster will get in. stage three wll be for 5 minutes faster, and the final stage will be base qualifiers.

bottom line, with the growth and interest in this sport and in this race, it's safe to say that the standards just went up 20 minutes next year and 25 minutes the year after.

some people complain that they don't like the limbo of not knowing whether or not they qualified, well, train harder and break the 20 minute barrier. simple as that!

some folks have complained that female qualifying times are easier than males, and that these changes further give then an easier time to qualify; but i am not buying it. that is just sour grapes.

boston is supposed to be the bench mark for the greats in the sport. traditionally, only the top 10 % of marathon finishers are qualifiers. this won't change a thing. it makes sure that only the best will get there...

has it just gotten tougher to qualify for boston? Yes! are the changes equally fair to everyone? probably not. will everyone have to train extra hard to get in? absolutely. so c'mon folks. stop whining and start training harder.

so what does this mean for me? well, if i want a guaranteed shot at getting first crack at the registration process on Sept 12, then i must run a 3.25.00 or faster. the most logical time and place to attempt a qualification would be a late August run, perhaps Quebec City.

so, what's it going to take to get myself running at that level? well, one heck of a lot of work. once i am sufficiently recovered from my surgery, i will have to take on a text book 4 month elite-level marathon running training program. but do it in 6 months instead, to allow for more weight loss. this is definitely doable and i am definitely going to make it a priority. should be an interesting challenge. in fact. it make be my toughest challenge ever, and that's saying a lot!

February 19, 2011 - Grudge match at the Scotties

Well, it's no secret that I have been a big fan of Canadian curling since I first took an interest in the sport back in 1990. It's also no secret that I have always admired Jennifer Jones, since she first broke on the scene and won the Canadian juniors in 1994. It should also come as no surprise that one small part of the reason I decided to name myself Jennifer was because of my admiration for Jones, both as an athlete and as a person.

But you know, respect and dignity are very important in athletics, as far as I am concerned, and I was shocked and saddened to learn that not only had Jennifer dumped her third, the legendary Cathy Overton-Clapham, but that she did so in a 'blind-sided' manner. It is very rare for a three time defending champion to make such a major line up change in any sport. It would be like the Patriots dumping Tom Brady, or the Penguins dumping Sidney Crosby.

Obviously, I have no idea as to the internal issues that this team faced. Who knows? Perhaps there was some conflict between Jones and Clapham. Bottom line, Clapham was winning world championships with Connie Laliberte when Jennifer was hitting herself in the head with a broomstick in the juniors. There seems to be a lack of respect here.

Clapham didn't wallow in pity for long though. She quickly regrouped and miraculously, put together a new team and showed up at the provincial play downs and won the entire thing. Now Clapham as skip will lead their province's best into the Scotties this week in Charlottetown. Among other match ups, her team will take on the new and so-called improved Jennifer Jones team on Feb 23. I can't help but sit here, as many sports fans often do, and cheer for the underdog. Wouldn't it be something to see Clapham not only beat Jones in the round robin, but go all the way to win the tournament? Seems like poetic justice to me!

Furthermore, as much as I have always liked Jennifer Jones, my personal loyalties in this sport have to lie with my original home province, and we all know that the greatest women's curler of all time is Nova Scotia's own Colleen Jones. Jennifer is attempting to match Colleen's record of 4 consecutive Canadian championships, and you know, part of me really wants to see Colleen keep that record all to herself. Several years ago, Colleen found herself ousted from her winning team, who went on to play with a new skip (without any major success, I might add). Colleen, at the age of 50, has once again put together a new team and lead them to greatness. Amazingly, Colleen has fallen ill with meningitis, and she was forced to recruit a new skip for her team. This team qualified for the Scotties and are in the draw as well. Once again, wouldn't it be an interesting case of poetic justice if Nova Scotia, now lead by Heather Smith-Dacey, were to knock off Jennifer Jones and go all the way?

Ahhh, drama. It's what makes sports even more exciting to watch. Well, let the games begin, and may the best team win!

(Depicted in the photos are me, very early in transition, with Jennifer Jones, and Cathy Overton-Clapham, when their team visited Newfoundland in April 2008, to play in the Tylenol Player's Championship).

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011 - a blast from the past

well, this should be fun!

i haven't been online much in the past few days because i have been glued to a very good book. i have never been much of a reader, but now and then, i get my hands on a good biography and can't put it down. and that was the case with andre agassi's book.

long before i became a runner, i was a huge tennis fan, both as a fan of the pros, and as a high school athlete. the book brought back many memories of both watching agassi as well as some of my own classic matches with high school friends back in the early 1990s.

can you see just a little influence here in terms of style, attitude and swagger? that's andre on the left from 1991 (age 22) and me on the right from 1993 (age 19).
Ironically enough, i tried to pattern my game after John McEnroe, both in terms of having a strong serve-and-volley style offence, and in terms of my notorious outburts on the court! throw in the cockiness and flamboyance of pro-wrestler, Ric Flair, and i had created my own super hero!
on the court, i was in my zone. i was the greatest tennis player, not only in my school, but in my neighbourhood. i would go out to the courts early saturday morning and stay there all day, playing match after match, against anyone who thought they had what it took top beat me. i often went home in the dark undefeated, having thrashed as many as 5 different opponents - usually 4 which were a joke, and one which was a serious rival.
now, i did lose my share of matches, and i did break my share of rackets in disgust, but unlike life itself, on the courts, i had confidence, i had a sense of self-importance, i had a sense that i fit in.. little did i know that this was my daily escape from the gender role that i hated and couldn't stand.
fast forward 18 years and here i am rededicating myself to marathon training as i finish up my recovery from sex reassignment surgery. after squandering much of hid talent for many years, agassi went thru a traniton of sorts off went the long hair, and brooke shields was replaced by steffi graf. andre went on to win 6 of his 8 grand slam titles on or after the age of 29, which is ancient for tennis!
now here i am, at 37, looking to start what is essentially a brand new running journey. although i played tennis and golf somewhat seriously as a teen, i never truly reached my athletic peak. fast forward to 2007, and within months, i go from couch potato to marathon finisher. one year later i qualify for the first of 2 Boston Marathons. one year later i 'win' the world outgames by virtue of being the only one in my sex category, the first time in world history that a 3rd sex category has been created and treated on par with the other two.
i have a legacy as a fast male runner who ran a 3.16.59 just 14 months after running my very first marathon. i ran 2 marathons in 2 days in 2 countries, and re-qualified for boston on the second half of that double duty weekend, the next year. i have the world outgames title that is sure to always be a part of my legacy. but i feel, as agassi did when he was 29, that he had lots more in the tank due to many years of not taking sports seriously and not putting that constant wear and tear on the body.. i feel very much the same way. i'm 37 going on 25. i feel that the best is yet to come, and although i know it will be tough to schedule training around vagina dilation, returning to work, and all the advocacy work i do, but i am going to make it a priority to get back to boston for 2012. and then set even higher goals for 2013.
....meanwhile, i've had a good couple of days... less pain than earlier in the week. still dealing with very tender skin on the lower outer vaginal area, and still having some pain and difficulty with dilations, but generally doing better.. a visit to the family doc for the first time since i returned went well. she put me back on some anti biotics as a precautionary measure due to the rawness of the tender skin. hopefully those won't sap what little energy i have.

the light jogging continues to be a part of my afternoon routine. i hobble along like terry fox, but it is generally pain free. it's nice to finally be getting some cardio in after three weeks of none. it's a long road back from surgery, but so far, the plan is on schedule.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feb 15, 2011 - World Outgames revisited

i recently ran into a canadian marathonner from the mainland who has apparently met me and a few of my other frontrunner friends, while in copenhagen. this colleague will be in town later this week so we are going to plan a social event, to catch up on news, and to perhaps talk about the state and future of the LGBT sporting scene.

the world outgames marathon results are hard to find, as they only appear deep in the games website, and not on any other results site that i can find, so i decided to transpose them here:

2009 World Outgames Marathon Results

rank - bib# - name - hometown - time


1 M4 Cornelia Schindler Germany 8349 03:15:09
2 M6 Cinta Groos Netherlands 03:28:03
3 M8 Janny Dekker Netherlands 03:55:28
4 M5 Tina Ruiz USA 03:55:32
5 M2 Kristin Magnussen Norway 04:23:03
6 M9 Dusty Rhodes United Kingdom 04:49:33
7 M7 Patricia Dubler Germany 05:11:11


1 M1 Jennifer McCreath Canada 5937 1 04:19:53




1 M40 Hansmartin Spatzier Germany 02:40:00
2 M30 Frank Bassin Germany 03:04:57
3 M29 Ian Mcpherson USA 03:08:07
4 M23 Stephen Souch Canada 03:09:30
5 M31 Steffen Faerber Germany 03:12:58
6 M63 Daniel Laster USA - Seattle 03:19:14
7 M59 David McConkey Canada 03:20:07
8 M32 Warren Brown USA 03:21:22
9 M56 Nils Øksnevad Norway 03:25:15
10 M57 Sylvain Barbeau Canada 03:26:37
11 M53 Martin Abele Switzerland 03:28:14
12 M33 André Ahrend Germany 03:31:05
13 M58 David Hazzan Canada 03:31:22
14 M20 Douglas Lawrence Canada 03:33:23
15 M34 Peter Kummert Germany 03:35:04
16 M60 Erik Winther Olsen Denmark 03:40:06
17 M36 Jeff Barbier USA - Sacramento 03:40:44
18 M21 Dennis Grouleff Denmark 03:41:40
19 M62 William Barrett USA 03:45:41
20 M45 Per Horn Rasmussen Denmark 03:45:43
21 M52 David Bush USA Seattle 03:45:45
22 M61 Jan Roffelsen Netherlands 03:48:05
23 M37 Kjeld Hansen Denmark 03:49:37
24 M12 Karel Tichy Czech Republic 03:50:46
25 M65 Ray Bisson Canada Toronto 03:52:52
26 M55 Cletus Durkin USA DC 03:53:41
27 M50 Robert Klein Germany Frankfurt 03:54:59
28 M15 Ruairi O'Connor United Kingdom 03:58:05
29 M24 Mohan Sharma Canada 03:58:35
30 M54 Roberto Gomez Mexico 04:07:22
31 M68 Robert Lyons USA NY 04:10:01
32 M44 Jan René Rasmussen Denmark 04:15:05
33 M39 Billy Stewart India Delhi 04:23:03
34 M28 Deo Jaravata USA L.A. 1 04:24:19
35 M13 Lars Boye Andersen Denmark 04:29:39
36 M38 Robert Bartolo USA DC 04:32:41
40 M67 J Ford Huffman USA DC 04:39:00
37 M64 Daniel Suman Panama 04:50:07
38 M16 Sumit Baudh India 05:18:37
39 M49 King Chow Toh Netherlands 05:21:17

note these results only include officialy registered athletes, not charity runners.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 13, 2011 - you can't keep a good advocate down!

Well, the past few days have been extremely challenging for me. The healing skin and stitches on the lower outter area of my surgical site, have become irritated by the constant requirement for vaginal dilation. this has caused constant pain, and makes walking, standing, and sitting, a severe challenge!

But through all of this, and even with the buzz from the somewhat helpful pain-killers, i have managed to take on and complete, a great deal of advocacy work with regards to Bill C-389, the trans human rights bill. i have recently joined a team of 17 trans people from all across Canada, who have conducted a media blitz in hopes of getting our side of the story broadcasted to the country, so everyone may become better educated about the truths and myths of what the implications would be to the trans community with or without this bill. we have all offered up our personal life stories of discrimination, in a way to illustrate the challenges we face, and the desperate need for human rights protection.

In addition, i wrote up a very detailed personal letter to 98 out of the 105 Senators in Canada (the ones who have published e-mail addresses), to demonstrate to them as to why this Bill is needed.

It will be very interesting to see if i get a response from anyone.

Meanwhile, i am trying my best not to get too frustrated at my lack of mobility. it's rather tough reading the facebook posts of my many friends and colleagues who went out for their infamous weekly long run today. oh well, my day will eventuallyt come again!

In the meantime, i am making the best of my time at home inside, enjoying the company of my two cats, and welcoming short visits from some of my friends, and enjoying corresponding by e-mail with the many new friends that i made in Montreal 2 weeks ago.

Until next time,


Thursday, February 10, 2011

generic letter to senators re importance of bill C-389

With the passing of Bill C-389 through the third and final stage of the Canadian House of Commons, it will now move onto the Senate for review and consideration for adoption into law. If adopted, this bill will change the Canadian Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code of Canada to include 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' as grounds for human rights protection, and grounds of hate crime. It is critically important for the trans community of Canada that this Bill get passed into law as soon as possible. With this in mind, i urge everyone to contact every Senator and relay such thoughts. A list of Senators and their contact information can be found here:

Here are 98 of the 105 e-mail addresses:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I have drafted up a generic letter of support. Please everyone feel free to copy, paste and edit as you see fit, and send to these Senators. They need to hear from Canadians about the importance of respecting Human Rights for all Canadians....

Dear Senator,

As I am sure you are aware, Bill C-389 passed third and final reading in the House of Commons on February 9, 2011, and will now be moved onto the Senate for debate and consideration for adoption into law.

Amidst the controversy that surrounds this Bill, I am writing as a concerned citizen of Canada to provide testimony as to the importance of adopting this Bill into law.

Prior to coming out to themselves and others, transsexual and transgendered Canadians lead what many would consider a rather normal life. Many go to school, have jobs, have a family, and make significant contributions to society. However, many are burdened with internal emotional confusion, denial, and turmoil. This often leads to depression and even suicide.

Unfortunately, the medical community in Canada has refused to recognize this for what global experts have determined it to be, a physical birth defect. Instead, transpeople are inappropriately labeled as mentally ill. In order to receive public health treatment, 7 of the 10 provinces require transpeople to under go treatment at the infamous CAM-H mental institution in Toronto, where they have often reported that they were disrespected and treated as if they were sex criminals or mentally ill fetishists, and ultimately denied a recommendation for the help that they need: hormonal and surgical treatments. These folks have gained respect even though they received no formal training on transsexualism in their education system (even as of today, there is practically no formal training on transsexualism anywhere in Canada's education system).

Once coming out, many transpeople face loss of employment, and/or challenges in finding employment. Many face rejection, ridicule, and exile from families and social circles. Many are refused public services that others take for granted, such as access to housing, insurance, and inclusion in social clubs. Many face constant verbal abuse, and on occasion, physical abuse by members of the general public.

Most of all, transpeople face a significant challenge with regards to health care. Many are refused health care products, services, and funding, both for trans-specific and non-transpacific issues. The failure of most provinces to create and implement a transsexual health protocol, leads many transpeople to find doctors who were either unwilling, or supposedly unable, to help them. The majority of health care that transpeople receive comes from private medical clinics, both in and out of Canada, and has been funded by the few dollars that they have managed to save up over the years. Even worse, many transpeople cannot afford the health care that they need, and suffer because of this.

Some have filed Human Rights complaints at the provincial level on the basis of 'sex' with regards to transphobia and trans-discrimination, and have gotten no where with said Human Rights systems. Hence, this proves clearly that without explicitly-recognized protection under 'gender identity' and 'gender expression', their rights as a transpeople are not recognized. As I believe Prime Minister Harper once said "justice delayed = justice denied".

To dispel some of the myths that have been floating around about this Bill, it should be noted that many transwomen and transmen have been using public washrooms on a regular basis, without any incident. In fact, in the many jurisdictions around the world who have already adopted 'gender identity' and/or 'gender expression' into their Human Rights legislation, not one incident of bathroom predators has been reported with regards to this matter.

While some have raised concern over the fact that definitions for gender identity and gender expression have not been clearly defined in the Bill, as Mr. Siksay has pointed out, no other term within the Human Rights Code has been explicitly defined either. He has also gone onto explain the values of allowing definitions to remain interpretable by the judicial system. Furthermore, the internationally-recognized Yogyakarta Principles have clear-cut definitions that have often been applied and adopted in global legislative and judicial settings.

Transpeople are not asking for special rights, they just want equal access to the basics of life: food, shelter, health care. Many transpeople are forced to resort to the underground community of drug dealing or sex work, in order to pay the most basic of bills. Many transpeople struggle with depression, and even suicidal thoughts, due to the stressful challenges life has given them.

Amending a piece of Human Rights legislation won't necessarily guarantee immediate societal acceptance, and it won't guarantee the elimination of discrimination, but history has shown that legislative changes has helped to persuade public perception of a variety of issues. Many people were concerned when Human Rights protection was granted to members of the gay and lesbian community, but history has shown that this addition has only done positive things for society.

Canada has often boasted a great record on health care and human rights. Sadly, Canada lags far behind dozens of other countries with regards to these matters from a transsexual context.

As this Bill now makes its way into the Senate, I ask you to please think carefully about everything I have told you about my challenging life. By allowing this Bill to pass into law, you will help all transpeople of Canada, and their societies, to take a huge leap towards acceptance. You can help build a foundation that will hopefully lead to the gradual elimination of stigma and prejudice against transpeople of Canada. You have the power to provide, for the first time, direct, indisputable human rights protection, for one of the most vulnerable, exploited, and misunderstood minority groups in the world, the trans community. You have the power to set a benchmark for which will hopefully lead to the creation and adoption of proper health care for Tran people in this country, based on global best practices. You also have the power to set the table for transsexualism to be taught in school curriculum, so that the citizens of our country can learn to be accepting of this type of diversity, and gain an understanding that tranpeople are not mentally ill or sexual fetishists.

Finally, the power is now in your hands to uphold the excellent global reputation that Canada has as apparent world leaders in health care and human rights.

If you still have any reservations about supporting this Bill, I urge you to get in touch with any number of publicly out transpeople and trans-advocate organizations around the country, so that they may provide you with first-hand details of how their lives have been negatively impacted by transphobia, and how this Bill is desperately needed.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 2, 2011 - ground hog day!!

wow, it's been a while since i logged in for an update. well, as some of you may know, i have been away from home for the past 12 days visiting Montreal Quebec to have sex reassignment surgery performed by Dr. Pierre Brassard. it has been an amazing experience for me. i plan to write a book about this entire experience, so i won't spoil all the details. but briefly, this place should be the benchmark for which all over health care programs are measured. the most amazing care i have ever seen. excellent pre-op consultation, comfortable residence to live in pre and post surgery. great friendly and knowledgable staff, great food... tv, computer, etc. the hospital was top-notched. the surgery went well and after 9 days, i am already healing up well. i really like what i see so far in terms of results. it is still swollen and numb down there, but that was to be expected. not very much pain amazingly enough. the best part of the experience has been to share this residence with several other transpeople. when i arrived, i was matched up with a room mate who was already a few days post op. so she became, not only a friend, but a mentor and advisor. when she departed, i became the veteran and i have now acted as friend and mentor to the next batch of patients. i have made many close friendships with transpeople who have literally come from all over the globe.

more soon,