Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tweeting on Twitter - rubbing virtual shoulders with Celebrities 2/23/2012

well, i have finally discovered twitter and understand the value and difference between twitter and other social media entities such as facebook.  i initially snubbed twitter thinking that 140 characters was not nearly enough for an outspoken person like me to make a point to anyone.  but then i realized, well, a quick and consice sound byte is probably all that celebs may have time to read. heck, they all have thousands of followers.

the trick is to be on twitter live during real time, when they are on line. make sure you tweet them when you know they are online and reading their screen. differentiate your message from the other hundreds of messages you think they are getting at the same time from others, and maybe, just maybe, they will not only read your tweet, but reply directly to you.

well, it works! i have managed to gain responses from some of the best known national and global celebs. including Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, pro-wrestler The Blue Meanie, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, The Score's tv personality Renee Paquette, Manitoba curling champion Kaitlyn Lawes, Nashville Country Music star Mike Jeffers of Pinmonkey, and Republic of Doyle actors Allan Hawco & Marthe Bernard. In one of these cases (i won't reveal which one, the tweeting has lead to a possible businesss relationship!). 

meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, by 'following' people, and tweeting at them, i have managed to get them to follow me back. this includes over 200 important media reps. so now, if i have something important to say, people will likely hear it faster!

so folks, it's time to get into the game. go to and sign up for an account, then go to and 'follow' me!

Why do we need explicit trans gender rights? 2/23/2012

been sick this week and haven't felt like typing much, here's a comment i posted on when one of their journalists questioned the value of Toby's Law...

"symbolism adds strength - with explicit protection in the codes (federally and provincially) it would be much tougher for health care systems to get away with discriminatory policies and procedures that inhibit the ability of trans people to access timely and affordable hormone treatments and surgeries. also, it would make it much tougher for governments to justify inacting legislation such as transport canada's gender-variant trans flight ban. what's even worse is that implying that sex= gender and that the government has a right to classify gender based on sex, opens risk for the erasure and elimination of trans issues. we need gender recognized as distinct from sex and we need a definition in there that clearly states that gender is a state of mind of the individual, and that nobody else can or should have legal rights to classify one's gender based on sex or any other identifiable trait. legislation might not change everything over night, but it has proven to be the most powerful tool in terms of moral suasion to society.. Jennifer McCreath, St. John's Newfoundland 02/23/12 11:41 AM EST"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Feb 18, 2012 - first run in 3 months!

Well, the first semi-serious run, that is. after having my physiotherapist bust up scar tissue in the ankle, i figured i might as well run on it while it is already tender. i have taken on a couple of light 1k jogs already this year, but nothing above 4.5k since early November. so i ran 6k today at a very light pace, on new shoes. ran down to the pond, stopped to feed the ducks, then ran to the animal shelter to visit and cuddle with about 20 orphaned cats, then ran home. good cardio work with lots of breaks.  rolled the ankle a few times on the icy uncleared snowy walking trails, but no major issues.

spend the rest of the day watching some curling and cuddling with my two cats here at home.  i guess the official comeback is under way! not sure where it will lead this time, but i feel quite similar to where i was jan 1/2007 when i went out for the first random run with the idea of 'well, i just want to lose some weight and get in shape'. that is exactly where i am at now. well, we shall see how the foot is tomorrow, but i sense there may be another run!


Feb 19, 2012 - Joelle Ruby Ryan

Joelle Ruby Ryan is one of the most respected transwomen advocate in the world. She currently works as a Women's Studies lecturer at University of New Hampshire.  here are some videos of her great work.
2003 documentary about trans issues in a social world

2008 National Womens Studies Association's Panel on Dr. Michael Bailey's controversial transphobic writing

her blog:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feb 13, 2012 - Trans Air Ban featured on CHRW radio! is a bi-weekly one hour radio talk show that features Human Rights issues. This week, members of the trans community took over to discuss the controversial Canadian Government Federal Regulation that essentially bans transgendered people from boarding aircrafts.

It was my honor to join Toronto trans activist, blogger, and aspiring politician Christin Milloy, and London Ontario trans advocate and radio host Michelle Boyce, for a detailed chat about the implications and affects this rule will have, and in my case, has already had, on one's ability to travel while trans. The entire segment is downloadable via mp3 at the link mentioned.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Feb 9, 2012 - dealing with transphobia in gay community.

it sadly exists, and because it does, i have often spoke out against trans people sitting back and letting gays fight our battles for us. this often offends some gays who feel they are not transphobic. which is also a good point.  

anyway, i frequently face tons of hostile and childish personal attacks from many gays and lesbians here locally. ironically, i take much more abuse from them then i do from the straight people here. while i can be very harsh and blunt in my advocacy work, i like to think i always do so with respect, class, and dignity.  to have people who represent organizations such as Pflag Canada publicly support comments that suggest i should be committed and supporting Barb Kay's article from yesterday? it's really sad.

This leads into my next beef. the fact that Government of NL formed a $90000 partnership involving Egale Canada and the Department of Education and the Women's Policy office.  Seems nice on the surface, but while these entities may be up on gay issues, they are not up on trans issues. i know, because i have dealt directly with them all in recent years.

so my beef? where was the stakeholder engagement? this all went down with no invite to consult. not to me, not to St. John's Pride Inc., not the East Coast Trans Alliance. and not to other prominent provincial lgbt orgs, that i am aware of.  So folks, you want to vilify me for having the gaul or guts to challenge the mightly Egale? well go ahead. good government requires transparency and accountability. with this in jind, i am going to go digging for answers....  it will be interesting to see if i need Access to Information requests to get copies of the agreements. will keep you all informed


Feb 9, 2012 - LIVE Radio interview on Monday! CHRW 94.9 FM

 Catch me LIVE on CHRW 94.9 FM, a London Ontario radio station Monday 12.30 pm NST (11 EST, 8 PST) talking about trans air travel ban with Radio Host Michelle Boyce - who is also a trans advocate. a podcast of the interview will be archived.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feb 8, 2012 - Open letter to Barbara Kay & National Post re Transphobic Article

Dear Ms Kay:

With regards to the following article:

I respectfully write to express disappointed that you would write a piece based on out-of-date uneducated opinions.

In my opinion, it's because of rubbish like this, that gay and trans teenagers are getting bullied, and are commiting suicide.

Shame on you!

Jennifer McCreath

(the above was sent to and today)

for more info, see today's vlog.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Feb 6, 2012 - Transport Canada Security policy BREACHED!!!!

Well, according to the rules (which many have determined to be discriminatory and unnecessary), There was a security breach the other day, as a transgendered person was allowed to board an airplane in Canada.

My video vlog about the issue is both a serious and sarcastic way to demonstrate the stupidity of this policy.


Feb 6, 2012 - Christin Milloy blogs about my Airport Customs Debacle!

A big thanks to Christin Milloy for blogging about my story of being delayed by USA Customs due to what appeared to be transphobia.  It is important for politicians, policy-makers, and the general public to be made aware of just how much discrimination exists out there in the real world, and this is a perfect example.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Feb 3 2012 - Transwoman discusses trans air ban on NB CBC radio

A transwoman from New Brunswick, wrote the original blog post that started a chain of outrage against Government of Canada's new policy banning trans people from flying.  She interviewed on CBC Radio in Moncton. MP3 of the interview can be found here:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feb 1, 2012 - Trans Airline Ban news story goes VIRAL!

wow, in just a few days, the exposure of Harper's anti-trans airplane ban has gone from small blogs like mine, to big blogs, to mainstream news entities, and all the way to federal QP!  Christin Milloy's blog (which she wrote shortly after reading my tweet) was so well written that it caught the attention of City TV in Toronto, who did a feature profile on her and on this issue for their 6 o'clock news, which was likely watched live by more than  100000 people! an archive is here:

Liberal MP Justin Trudeau raised the issue in Ottawa today:

NDP MPs Dany Morin and Randall Garrison also got into the action:

meanwhile, i remained busy today doing interviews with an Ottawa publication that comes out of Carleton University's journalism program, as well as an interview for Sirius satellite radio Canada, which to my understanding is broadcast nationally!  ironically, the news story was ignored by mainstream media here in Newfoundland.

meanwhile, more ahead, as Susan Gapka and Christin Milloy have radio and tv gigs lined up for tomorrow, and Josie Harding will be addressing both CBC radio and tv in Moncton.

A human rights lawyer in Vancouver has stepped up to the plate and has stated that she agrees that this policy is discriminatory, and she will help any victim file a federal human rights complaint!

Milloy and a trans friend of mine in PEI are both due to fly next week, so it is going to be very interesting to see what happens. heck, i am very very tempted to jump on air canada's 50% seat sale and book a weekend trip somewhere, just to see what will happen!

other than the bigoted conservatives/republicans, it appears the rest of the world accepts trans people. CBC conducted a poll and got 90% feedback supporting trans rights.  the stats never would have been that good even 2 years ago.

i wanna give a huge shout out to all the major trans advocate leaders all across the country, who worked so hard in this matter this week, and so hard on every other major trans issue... from east to west: Jennifer McCreath (can't forget little old me), Alice MacPhee, Trina Hanson, Aimee Menard, Josie Harding, Nat Murray, Susan Gapka, Michelle Boyce, Christin Milloy, Marie Van Sprybock, Mikayla Schultz, Mercedes Allen, Catherine Em, and Tami Cosmic.... and all the others i have missed!  

and a huge huge thank you two (yes, and i genuinely mean it) Egale Canada and Xtra Newspaper for stepping up to the plate this week!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Harper's Policy essentially BANS transgendered from flying! 01/31/2012


Recently, the Government of Canada quietly amended the Identity Screening Regulations of the Aeronautics Act to include:

Sec 5.2(1)(c) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents.

This policy not only appears to unnecessarily single out transgendered individuals and keep them off airplanes, but it opens a whole lot of questions about the suitability of using gender (or sex for that matter) as a way to filter out security risks.

While there does exist a legal definition for Sex, none exists for Gender.  While the two classifications may appear similar, sex generally represents what's between your legs, but gender is between your ears. For many trans people, they are faced with a body that doesn't match their brain. Furthermore, there can be many road blocks that could prevent them from having corrective genital surgery. Furthermore, getting Government to recognize sex and/or gender changes in legal documents varies greatly across North American jurisdictions. It is even impossible in some.

As Eastern Canada's most visible and recognized trans person, I publicly denounce this unnecessary policy, that not only fails to add value to the public interest, but it adds unnecessary impediments to many members of the trans community who wish to travel by air. Most importantly, to have Government validate, and legislate transphobia and discrimination, can only do further harm to the world's most oppressed and misunderstood minority demographic.

Jennifer McCreath

Jan 31, 2012 - Reporting the Canada Transgender Air Ban - the Power of Blogs!

I find it ironic how a policy could go unreported for 7 months, until one particular person raises the issue on a blog. This blog gets read and blogged about and tweeted, and eventually the story multiplies until mainstream media and mainstream stakeholders gets a hold of the issue.

While I was aware of this new discriminatory policy before, I had not taken any steps to raise awareness of it, until the other day, when my friend Josie Harding blogged about it the other day.

For those of you who aren't already familiar, the Government of Canada quietly amended the Identity Screening Regulations of the Aeronautics Act, in July 2011. Specifically, they added the following:

Section 5.2(1)(c) "An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents."

This raises two major issues. One is that it appears Government is now attempting to classify gender, based on legal sex.  Two, this policy appears to unnecessarily discriminate against trans people, and more importantly, could make it illegal for airlines to allow trans people to travel on their airplanes.

Part of my story is to discuss the issue, and part of it is to discuss the way in which this story went viral!  

After reading Josie's blog, I decided to tweet a brief sound-byte in which I brought attention to the policy and the issues. I vlogged and blogged shortly there-after. Well, given my reputation, and my network of followers among the Canadian trans community, this issue was quickly picked up by certain trans activists in Canada who have global reputations. Within hours, blogs were written by the amazing Mercedes Allen and Christin Milloy.  Both of whom referenced my blog.  

Well, that really got the ball rolling! All of a sudden, I was fielding phone calls from mainstream media outlets from Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa! Likewise, several other key players entered the game. Several trans advocacy organizations started releasing public statements, and even gay/lesbian organizations as well.  Now, international mainstream media is starting to report on the story. Watch for articles to appear in printed publications tomorrow, including the Toronto Star, La Presse,  Vancouver Sun and the Washington Post!

Interestingly enough, as this story gets recycled and passed along, it is the trans people in Toronto who seem to be getting most of the attention, and credit, for breaking the story!  Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I think there is something to be learned out of this for the trans community, or any community for that matter.  It is critically important that when mainstream media takes an interest in a story, that they are coming to people who can accurately and credibly discuss the story.

While Josie and I appear to be the first two generations if this issue, it appears that we are being generally overlooked and ignored by most media outlets. Could this be because we live in small provinces in towns that nobody has ever heard of? or could it be that we still haven't earned our stripes in terms of reputation as trans go-to people in international media.

Ultimately, when there is a trans story, we need media to come to trans people. Whether it is the ones in eastern Canada, or the ones in Toronto, is secondary. Just so long as they don't keep going to members of our sister community - the gays and lesbians. it really upset me to see the ignorant comments made by gay male drag performer Ru Paul, recently, when he was asked about trans issues.

Anyway, props to Josie for being the true catalyst for getting this story in the radar!

Furthermore, back to the issue at hand. 

One of the main concerns that critics of trans rights seem to have, is a lack of a clear cut definition for gender. Well, now, Canada has just put this word into a policy document!  As we all should know, sex and gender are not the same thing. Simply put, sex is between your legs, and gender is between your ears!  while a doctor or a government official may be able to classify ones sex, based on a physical examination of the genital area, nobody other than oneself can classify ones gender. So first of all, the wording of this policy needs to be amended from gender to sex.

Secondly, is legal sex really an appropriate method to classify who may or may not be a security threat to an airplane?  Also, is legal sex really an appropriate method of identity authentication?

As all of these trans advocates have pointed out, gender presentation often differs from legal sex of many members of the trans community. some of us have had surgery and some of us haven't. some of us need surgery while some of us don't. Some of us are passable and some of us are not.  None of these issues have anything to do with airport security.

I am seeing a disturbing trend out of the Harper Government since he won a majority last year. First of all, he voted against bill C-389, a Bill that would have provided explicit Human Rights Protection under the grounds of Gender Identity or Gender Expression. Then a lawyer representing his Government questioned the validity of same sex marriages that were performed in Canada for people who lived outside of Canada.  Now, we see a discriminatory policy sneaked into a Regulation. Hmmmm folks. I do not think this is a coincidence!

Anyway, the biggest question people are going to ask, is: have any trans people actually been rejected from flying under this policy. Well, none that i am aware of as of yet. However, trans people have often faced additional and unnecessary scrutiny at airports, including me!  This policy now validates the mythological concept that trans people, by the very nature of them simply being trans, are a threat to security.

As I have well documented, I faced a near two hour delay at Pearson Airport in Toronto last year because an Airport Security Agent, who worked for USA Customs, appeared to be transphobic. I was taken aside, asked to give finger prints and have my picture taken, I had my bags searched, and I was subjected to dozens of very explicit personal questions about my health, my body, my hormones, my medication, and my genitals.
If that's not bad enough, in 2008, while driving across the Canada/USA border, I faced similar situations.

The very basic definition of phobia is 'irrational fear'. Transphobia is irrational and unnecessary. It's bad enough to have to face discrimination in my daily life, but to have a Government exhibiting and promoting transphobia, trans discrimination and fear-mongering? That is a clear violation of global human rights principles.

Anyway, after all of this, I felt it was important that I do blogging justice to this story, and the story about the story.  As an advocate, I can only hope that this blog post will go as viral as those written by my colleagues in the big cities!