Saturday, June 2, 2012

Trans Nova Scotian snubbed from Newfoundland Taavel Memorial

Now that the dust has sort of settled from the initial outburst of emotion from the murder of Ray Taavel in Halifax back in April, I thought now would be the time to raise issue with a rather unfortunate and disturbing situation that took place on April 24, 2012 in St. John's, NL. 

Two of the new members of St. John's Pride Inc Board of Directors, took the step to organize a memorial event for Ray.  They put on a great event and had many well-known members of the local gay/lesbian community in attendance to deliver a speech; however, noticeably absent was the presence of Nova Scotian born Newfoundlanders, as well as the lack of presence of members of the trans community. One after one, gay/lesbian speakers - most of whom represented youth support groups, used the LGBT term, yet no evidence of any trans presence was at the event.  While there has no doubt been friction between myself and supporters of the new Board members, a memorial event of this nature should have been a time to put differences aside. 

As a Halifax Nova-Scotian-born Newfoundland resident, and pretty much the only out member of the trans community, I can't help but feel disappointed that this new group decided not to invite me to speak.  Ray's death hit closer to home for me than it did for anyone else in attendance. 

Not only did this group miss out on a chance to prove that they could do a better job at being inclusive of the 'LGBT community" than myself and former Directors were, they completely demonstrated their lack of respect for me, for the trans community, and for Nova Scotian-born Newfoundland residents.

Fast forward now 6 weeks, and unfortunately, I do not feel this new group had made any further progress to demonstrate their ability to make me and other trans people feel welcome and included. It's a shame to see St. John's appear headed in the same direction as so many other cities - that being, that the trans feel alienated from Prides from the gays and lesbians.  Oh well, I knew there was this risk, but there was not much I could do. I have no regrets from leaving Pride and although it will be sad to think that there is a strong chance that I may not attend any of the Pride Week events, I can feel good about the fact that I have managed to put my time to other use in a way that will bring a much stronger and greater positive impact for the National and International Trans communities.

8 comments:

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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chelsea_ said...

The only out member? I have tried reaching out to you a few times but you never replied. This only leaving me feeling quite illegitimate as a non-op trans. I live my life this way. I am not living in a closet away from the rest of society. At the same time I have not participated in any LGBT events this far so maybe thats why I'm not considered a member. Would I not be a christian because I chose to not go to church? arguing and alienating only subdivides us. Deciding which subcategory you or I fall into only separates us further. "Us" meaning all of society. It's not our fault that some people will never accept us. But, subdividing ourselves is definitely not really gaining more acceptance or understanding either.
Either way, as humans, we are all alike in more ways than we are different from each other. You chose to have genital reassignment. Way to go! I want to keep my penis intact. That's awesome too. But really, it's no body elses business. If you choose to make personal things about yourself some one elses knowledge then prepare for feedback. That's life. Especially online.
I follow your blog and watch your videos. I respect and support you in many ways. I also disagree with you at times as well. But, I have a different view on life perhaps. people are dying every day over oil that we technically can start living without. why waste time arguing over such unnecessary things? Why not focus on all the positive and try to make the positive even stronger.
From what I understand. Ray Taavel was a huge supporter of the trans community but better yet, he was someone who connected with people t general. This shown by the mass of people who gathered outside in his honor. Gay, straight, male / female ....
labels asside, we are all humans. Why don't we all focus on being the best person that we can be. Save our energy for opening doorways together. Maybe help the government see we are just like anyone else and that deserve the same rights as anyone else.
just sayin'

Chelsea

torontonorth said...

Interesting responses I see. One you chose to remove (did they disagree with you?), one, from Unknown says it quite well I think - a memorial is NOT a place for your media-whoring grandstanding - you did not know the man, how dare you make it about you and your 'trans' vs 'gay' debate....some people just don't like you, and it has nothing to do with your gender definitions... and then there's Chelsea, wow, a trans person chosing to live outside the spotlight and quite ok with that. Interesting for sure. Maybe she has other interests or causes other than herself?

Anyhow, I guess you think they are all trolls since they don't applaud your 'in your face' mentality. I notice not one word about training, or running, or anything except twittering...such a great athletic accomplishment for sure. your favourite troll,

Jennifer McCreath said...

first comment was 'removed by author' it doesn't say who it was.

2nd i appreciate Chelsea's comments. although i have never received any e-mail from here that i recall. try me at info@jennifermccreath.com

to address her issue, i am very actively campaigning Randall Garrison to NOT remove 'gender expression' from the Bill C279. contrary to perceptions of me, i want this bill to support all trans people. surgery or not. the amendments will hurt the non-ops and non-passing folks the most. so hence, my action.

i don't see any comment referencing media attention.. r u sure that came from this site?

Jerry said...

Poor form Jennifer. I removed the first comment because I duplicated it by accident. You are the one who deleted the second.
Torontonorth echoes my original statement. How dare you trivialize the grief suffered by all those who attended the memorial for Ray Taavel.
You're using this tragic event to slam community members.
You have an awful lot of 'friction' in this city. Friction eventually burns. You have burned an awful lot of good will with individuals and organizations in this city for a self-professed ‘advocate’.
This entire blog post is in such poor taste.

Jennifer McCreath said...

i dare to tell the truth. poor taste is when folks let personal differences interfere with what's right for business and what's politically-correct. it's a shame that everything i said on CBC back in March is, is proving to be true. as long as gays exclude trans, i will continue to speak out when they claim to represent us.

torontonorth said...

talk about selective hearing.
not only did you completely try to make a very touching and heartfelt memorial about a man you did not even know about you, you also want to argue with the mourners about their use of words. Face it Jennifer, you pissed off enough people that they just don't want to hear you speak - contrary to what you think, the rights and challenges of gays and lesbians are of equal importance. The memorial was not about you or your personal fights with employers or landlords or medical people. It was about someone who, from what i can gather, fought the fight by not fighting at all, rather by trying to gain acceptance and instill change by seeing the good in people, and working with that. you approach every comment, every criticism of your egotistical persona as an affront to being transgender when it isn't. it is a comment or criticism against you, as a person who fights the very people you claim to want to help. Take some time, go for a run, clear your head. you will only continue to alienate yourself, and truthfully, leave a bad impression of what a transgendered person is about. it would be better if you didn't try so hard to be noticed, but, then again, that is who you are. Right?
Go ahead, hit delete, i really don't care one way or the other. i've got a race this weekend and need to plan my race carefully. it should be great fun.