Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31, 2012 - It Still Stings Three Years Later

"Thanks for all your great work, but we're not renewing your temp assignment due to some changes in the org structure and business priorities."       Hmmmmmmm, so much for what was supposed to be a safe and secure job that was going to be made permanent. So much for the suggestion that i go out and get a mortgage and buy a house. 

Perhaps we'll never really know for sure, how much of a factor my coming out as a transsexual was in the decision for the phasing out of my job as a Senior Policy Analyst.  Two weeks later, not surprisingly, it was front page news that Government had suddenly let go of the transsexual.  As I predicted, finding work at the same level in the future would prove practically impossible given the stereotypes in society about transsexualism and given our lack of human rights protection.

well, three years later, i find myself having spent one year out of work and two years in a job paying half as much.  I suppose i am not alone in this world in the category of underemployed.  I should also feel fortunate that i have managed to not only retain this job, but earn a reclassification to a slightly higher level - something almost unheard of in 2012 in any public service.

For three years, i have had to go back to basics and essentially prove myself all over again, starting pretty much from scratch. i have had to stick my nose deep into volunteer work to re-invent myself and build up a resume and reputation as a leader in business development, policy writing and compliance, community engagement, and change management. A detailed look back through this blog will give you an idea of the many great things i have done. Now i am hoping that this will finally open some doors for me. 

Let's hope year four of my post pre-transition employment, turns out to be the year that provides the break-through opportunity i have been waiting all my life for.

Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012 - Hamie the Hamster

Well, sad news was brought to my attention wednesday morning, as it was reported that the mommy of my hamster Scooter, had died - seemingly all of a sudden. Hamie was never supposed to become  a mommy, but she somehow ended up in Charlie's cage, and well... things happened.... lol

3 weeks later, there were 6 baby hamsters, and I was fortunate enough to obtain one of them. Scooter was a spitting image of mommy.  Although I only met Hamie once, I received countless updates over the phone as I learned about the amazing process of how Hamie mothered her 6 babies. It felt as if she was a part of my family.  Hamsters are very small rodents, but they have a rather sofisticated brain. Scooter has adjusted very well to being in my home, and sharing it with two very curious cats, Danny and Dasher. 

Hamie's human family all feel quite saddened and devestated by her sudden death, but the fun memories will last forever, and her spirit will live on with my Scooter. (depicted here is Scooter at a young age).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012 - McCreath to help launch Troy Adams Cross Canada Run for Brain Injury Awareness

Troy's Run (Cross Canada Run) - For Brain Injury Awareness
Kicks off in St. John's on April 1, 2012, 10 am

Cabot Tower, Signal Hill, St. John's, NL

Brain injury is the NUMBER ONE killer and disabler for people under 44, and an estimated 1.3 million Canadians are living with an acquired brain injury. Troy Adams is running a marathon-a-day across Canada to get people talking about the silent killer - brain injury.

Photo Opp / Interviews:
  • Troy Adams, 30 foot branded RV (backdrop)
  • Troy Adams' parents
  • Special Guest Appearance: Jennifer McCreath (local | 30-time marathoner)

Troy's official Media Advisory Here

Troy's interview on Rogers Out of the Fog
Troy (right) with Josh from Rogers Television

March 28, Out of the Fog TV in-studio sit-down interview!

So i arrive at the tv studio an hour early to give myself some time to get cleaned up and put on the make up. Then the interviewer, Anna Delaney meets me in the lounge for a brief chat about the logistics and the framework for the interview.  Only 8 minutes to jam in about 10 questions. Anna is really good. She did her homework and her list of questions and my pre-written list of suggested comments were almost perfectly in concert. 

The other guests were nearby and I had a chance to speak with Randy Edmunds the Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament in Labrador who was involved first-hand in the Burton Winters search and rescue mission.  Burton was a teen who got lost while snowmobiling and ended up breaking down and having to walk.. 19k and several freezing hours later, he died,  government entities have been harshly critisized for not being there to save him...

Poor Randy. I knew I recognized his name but didn't honestly remember who he was.. so one stupid question after another (revealing my lack of knowledge about who the MHAs are in lab, and I finally realized I was chatting with a very important person who's trending these days in the province.

Anyway, Rogers had several student interns in there learning the ropes of the tv business, and part of their job was to serve as my assistants as I get ready.  Of course i'll never turn down a chance to chat trans 101, even before doing television for trans 101.  So here we are 20 minutes deeper into the conversation, and we are chatting about orgasms. lol  ahhh, being trans can be so much fun. It is so easy to break out into deep intimate sexual conversations with people you just meet!

Anyway, then Anna Delaney reappears, all dolled up in her new make up and outfit, and wow, I was stunned! If you want a beauty contest or beauty demonstration, look no further that watching Anna every day on this show!  But anyway, we got down to business and entered the set and went over a few things, and away we went!  Realizing that I only had 8 minutes and 20 seconds to answer all the questions and make all the points I wanted to make, I was very poignant in my responses.

The interview covered general things, such as difference between sex and gender, transsexual and transgender, and the medical aspects of transsexualism; then dug deeper into societal myths about trans people and the truths. then we talked about the beauty pagaent industry in general, and how they have so many rules to focus in on the type of contestents they want. I spoke about how it is unfair to have rules that don't affect the contest and rules that are not published.  I spoke about reaching out to Jenna to make sure she knows she has allies across the country who are here to help her and support her. Then I spoke about the lame excuses that we have been hearing, such as Jenna is 6'1 tall and has an advantage, and that she lied about being a 'natural' woman.  Well, I ripped into these policies and pointed out that there was a double standard all over the place. In closing, I spoke about how getting this issue in the media is a good opportunity for dialogue so we can all find ways to understand and accept each other as a society.

So home I go and watch and well, wow!  I sounded better than i thought. the interview seemed too lecturish, but seemed like a more casual conversation. the worst thing was noticing how heavy I lookedTVtv does make you look fat but geeze, I thought I looked awful.. then again, tough to feel beautiful when I am sitting beside Anna Delaney and looking at pictures of Jenna Talockova.

Guess what matters most is that we are all decent people. beauty is only skin deep and it's ridiculous for these pagaents to put pressure on young women to be skinny. 

Anyway, a stressful but successful interview for me, which should add to my already huge public profile as a respected citizen who takes an interest in community issues and human rights issues.

The more I do this type of work, the more I am convinced that I was born to be a politician!

Anyway, thanks for reading..

Here's a video archive of the interview:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012 - Jenna Talackova story going VIRAL!!!

Well, it seems every week, a story breaks about somebody discriminating against a transsexual. and likewise, it seems mainstream international media picks up on the story! this is very good for the trans community as media has finally overcome their own internalized transphobia and finally sees us for who we are, human beings facing oppression for no good reason.

It didn't take very long for the entire world to take notice when myself, Josie Harding, Christin Milloy, and Mercedes Allen blogged about a controversial trans air travel ban policy created by our Federal Government. Within 48 hours, it went from twitter feeds, to blogs, to mainstrean newspapers, to all four of us getting interviewed on tv or radio.

well, same thing is happening again now that news has broke about Donald Trump's so-called Miss Universe pageant kicking out Jenna Talackova as a contestant because she was born trans.  today, Jillian Page, a  transwoman journalist and blogger for the Montreal Gazette was interviewed on CBC radio. Mercedes did TV, and tomorrow, i will be on TV.

while filing human rights complaints and law suits helps force change, gaining sympathy from the public via mainstream media sympathy is a very strong way to push for change.  Donald Trump, shame on you and your company!  I would have expected better from a so-called world leader.  Sorry to learn that your "universe" is not universal!

Catch me on Rogers TV's new journal show Out of the Fog, Wednesday March 18, 2012 at 7.30 pm, available all across Newfoundland, i do believe!

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012 - McCreath denounces Donald Trump's Pagaent for Transsexual Discrimination

For Immediate Release:
It's been widely reported that Miss Universe Canada recently disqualified Pagaent candidate Jenna Talackova, of British Columbia, because it was revealed that she was a transseuxal woman. The Pagaent, apparently owned by Donald Trump, has a discriminatory policy that indicates that all contestents must be genetically born females. Talackova was born male but underwent a complete transition to become female, including genital sex reassignment surgery.

She had apparently indicated on her application form that she was born female. The pagaent is trying to say she was disqualified for lying on the application form. However, this policy clearly points to discrimination.
McCreath has reached out to Jenna and encouraged her to file a Human Rights Complaint on the grounds of sex (gender identity is not currently listed as an explicit grounds for discrimination in any of the human rights codes in Canada).
If you are planning to run a news story on this matter and would like a comment from Jennifer, the most-recognized transsexual in the province of NL, please get in touch.

Jennifer McCreath
M2F Transition Consultant
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012 - Jennifer McCreath Endorses Niki Ashton for NDP Leadership

Well, for what it's worth, (probably not a heck of a lot, but you never know), I have decided on who I think should be the next leader of the NDP Party of Canada, and who I feel can lead the NDP to a majority Government victory in the 2015 Federal Election.

 I am voting for Niki Ashton!

All 7 leadership candidates have an amazing diverse resume of work experience both in and out of politics.  Since we are voting on March 23, I have made a list of 23 reasons why I am voting for Niki.
In no particular order:

- Her vision for Canada
- Her vision for the NDP party
- Her proposed strategy on how to revolutionize politics
- Her proposed strategy on how to lead change
- Her balance between familiarity with big cities, while living in a small town in a rural setting

- Her balance of experience and youthfulness
- Her ability to reach out to youth and make them take an interest in voting, and voting NDP
- Her knowledge and experience on Human Rights
- Her knowledge of LGBTT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual) issues
- Her specific knowledge about the difference between LGB and T, and her knowledge of T issues

- Her education (politics, global economy)
- Her poise and assertiveness when speaking
- The fact that she speaks four languages fluently, including french
- Her experience with volunteer and non-profit work
- I think Canada is ready to elect a woman Prime Minister and she's got what it takes
- I think Canada is ready to elect a young Prime Minister and she's got what it takes

- Her demonstrated ability to understand and push for issues that affect her constituents
- She recognizes and understands the issues close to the heart of NDPers
- As leader, I feel she will restore public confidence in government and the governance system
- As leader, I feel she will revitalize politics and connect with all demographics

- I think she is the candidate who I can best relate to
- I think she is the candidate who could best relate to me
- and well, she's kinda cute!

for more information about Niki:

to vote:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17, 2012 - Lovely Afternoon

well, after a much-needed 12 hour sleep, i decided to venture out into this lovely calm spring afternoon. I gave my torn ligament its strongest test yet - 4k of running (including a few brief walk breaks) in 30 minutes.  the support system that i have put in place via physio over the last 3 months (including muscle strengthening, electro and ultrasound therapy, and a change in running mechanics), have really built a strong crutch around the injury so that i can run on it without putting direct pressure on it.

this is likely an injury that will never heal, but i can learn to manage with it.  losing weight is now the next goal. at 38, my body is well past its healing prime, and yes, i will probably have to deal with ankle pain for the rest of my life. but this doesn't mean i can't find a walk to stay active.. walking, running, swimming - should all be in scope.

meanwhile, i spent a lovely 40 minutes at the animal shelter today, my first visit there in about 3 weeks. they have 4 new grey baby kittens who are 3 weeks old. they are apparently stray cats that were rescued somewhere and no mommy cat.  they were so cute as they were all cuddling together.  i also had a nice visit with several adult cats.  

then i had a nice walk around the wooded area at kent's pond, and got to see several of the infamous red squirrels.  lots of ducks at the still frozen pond too.  a lovely afternoon that i didn't want to end.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012 - Why I really did those TV and Radio spots yesterday

It seems sad that it is politically incorrect for most folks who are deeply involved and engaged with the St. John's LGBT community, to recognize the good things I do, rather than just the bad.

I guess i'm just one of those people who many love to hate and pin blame on.  I agree that I have many personality traits that make me a good villan. I am slick, savvy, crafty, cunning, and even ruthless, at times.  I also spit in the face of systemic and societal norms. I'm also bold, flamboyant, charismatic, confident, conceited and even narcissistic at times! heck, I've been told that I would make a great politician.. lol

While 6 people put their name on St. John's Pride Inc,. and did one heck of a lot of great work over the past 18 months, none of the good work got recognized, and Jennifer McCreath got critisized for 'stealing and ruining Pride'.  The other 5 are never even mentioned or on anyone's radar.
Well, if there's a perception that I am a power-hungry dictator, then they called my bluff, and I answered it, by stepping down from the Pride Board.  I feel this was a true demonstration of my leadership. people were so shocked to realize that I really was a kind-hearted altruistic person, that they were totally caught off guard and were now stuck like a deer in the headlights.

Well, I may not own the car anymore, but I still have my hand on the steering wheel. I knew I needed to find a way to get people talking. while I knew my tv and radio interviews would enrage certain folks, I also knew it would break down many of the communication barriers that were hurting Pride's ability to grow, and hurting my ability to get the positive credibility and recognition that I knew I rightfully earned and deserved.

Well, not only has this gotten many gays and lesbians to reach out to me to chat, but it has also brought some of the other trans people out of hiding and jumping into the conversation. seems to be a win win situation! My 2012 growth and development strategy for Pride is working perfectly. yes, I can and will take credit for this masterful plan.

People might not realize this, but I am now free and in control. I can and I will get the trans community the attention, respect, and equal playing-field, for Pride, that I knew it could attain. 

While stabbing people in the back may often lead to short-term success, stabbing yourself in the chest can be a perfect way to get people to not only pay attention to you, but doing exactly what you want them to do.  Manipulating? sure. Reverse psychology in there? Yes indeed. Mainstream media? Even though you screwed up many of the facts, and reported quite a bit of misinformation, you were still the perfect pawns in my game of chess, and I hope the game was as good for you as it was for me! 

Do I really feel that the Ts need to completely segregate themselves from the LGBs? No, not completely. In some ways yes, but in some ways, absolutely not. We need to stay together on certain things.

Ultimately, we now seem to have everyone on the same page.  We also have people realizing that I am, and always have been, a very important part of this community.  While I never really did steal or ruin Pride, I know that finally now, it really is mine, as much as it is anyone elses! 

Mission accomplished!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14, 2012 - My message to St. John's Pride Inc facebook members

hey folks.
yes CBC and most major media outlets love to portray conflict. that is what sells papers and gets people to watch tv. there were definitely some inaccuracies in their reporting today. the press release that went out to the media is viewable at there is nothing in there that discusses any of this, but they went digging and obviously found some old stuff i had written elsewhere and came knocking.

it's no secret that i have publicly butted heads with major lgbt orgs and challenged them to pay more attention to trans issues. it's also no secret that many prominent members of the local lgbt community boycotted pride over the past 18 months because they either have personal issues with me, or they just don't like me.

when media approached me, they seemed more interested in discussing the challenges trans people face within the lgbt community, than discussing pride. with so little media attention paid to trans issues, i hate to turn down a chance to talk about the very serious challenges i faced, such as losing my job and not getting MCP to cover my surgery. between lost income and having to pay medical bills, i am literally down about $200000 over the past 3 years, all for no fault of my own.

on the bright side, i am very excited to see so many people expressing interest in attending the march 21 meeting. i am also excited to see the media actually caring and paying attention to us at this time. pride media in the winter is unheard of! usually they only show up to the flag raising and parade. i also hope that my tv and radio work today will encourage even more people to attend the meeting.
i'll be the first to admit that i can be tough to get along with at times. yes, i can be a major bitch at times, and yes i can be spirited, passionate, and even savvy and ruthless when it comes to conducting business. i never intend to single out individuals. i am always careful to try and address concerns at organizational or process levels. if anyone has ever taken personal offense to anything i have ever said or done, then please let me offer a sincere appology.

This March 21 meeting is so important. Pam, Vannie, Brandon, and others have been working very hard over the past 3-4 months to get us to this point where we are able to hold such a big meeting and elect people to the board.  We are starting to gain momentum. I recently received an e-mail from a gay couple in Switzerland who just got married and want to celebrate their honeymoon by coming to St. John's Pride week, amazingly enough! True story folks! i've also heard from a couple in Labrador that are planning to be here during Pride week too. Let's make this Pride Week the biggest and best one in Eastern Canada! Let's step up to the plate and challenge Halifax's notion that they are the biggest and the best! lol

Anyway, I sorry if anyone was startled by all this media excitement today, but i truly believe and hope that this will make Pride stronger.  Oh, a big thanks and congrats to Pam for her awesome comments on CBC today! I can't tell you how amazing Pam has been to work with. I've never seen anyone show so much dedication and work so hard, as she has over the past while. Please give her a big standing ovation at the meeting folks!

March 14, 2012 - Media goes viral over my resignation from Pride!

wow, it took them a few days, but mainstream media has been all over the story of me resigning from St. John's Pride Inc.  in the past 24 hours, i have conducted interviews for CBC radio Newfoundland, CBC radio's, Gander, CBC radio St. John's, CBC tv St. John's, and VOCM radio.

Not surprisingly, the media loves any sort of conflict and will twist and turn stories into ways that will sell media. but i took advantage of these opportunities to raise awareness to challenges i have faced as a transsexual, a very small minority, among the LGBTQ community.  at the same time, i used this opportunity to raise awareness to pride and awareness to the huge meeting on march 21. i honestly believe that this coverage will benefit the entire city and more people will take notice and express support towards pride and the lgbt community.

will post hyper links to media as they become available..


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 7, 2012 - Why I'm Leaving St. John's Pride Inc.

So it seems on a somewhat regular basis, word gets passed on through the grapevine gossip line that folks are saying things like "Jennifer McCreath stole Pride"  and "Jennifer McCreath ruined Pride" and "Jennifer McCreath divided the LGBT community."  Well, i think folks, we need to put a little context into this.......

population of City of St John's and vicinity: 200000
LGBT people among that population: 20000
# of people who attended Pride parade 2010: 300
# of people who attended Pride flag raising 2010: 75
average attendance at 2010 pride planning meetings: 10
# of visibily out transsexual women in the city: 1

Ok folks, if i really did steal or ruin or divide the community, i'd like to see some sort of tangible demonstration to indicate what it is that i actually stole, ruined or divided.  These numbers clearly demonstrate that the LGBT community is mostly in the closet and completely hidden and that the majority of the city population at large had ignored or felt indifferent towards Pride.

Yes, it's public knowledge that on Sept 14, 2010, I and two other people filed paper work to incorporate St. John's Pride Inc.  And yes, by doing so, we technically grappled away control of a pride entity that had formerly been under the loose custody and control of 5 self-appointed individuals who seemed to have a strong sense of entitlement. While my group of 3 may not have ever had a public vote of confidence, neither did anyone else!

What my group would eventually do over the course of the next 18 months, is create an organization. An organization that has framework, structure, policies, and procedures.  An organization that has the legal responsibility to abide by the laws put in place by the governance structure of the land that we call the democratic process of Provincial Politics. We also put in place, corporate by-laws that would contractually obligate Board members to act in the best interest of an organization whose core mandate was to  provide transparent, accountible, and accessible access to products and services for the local LGBT community.

In 2011, we produced a Pride Week that would see a drastic increase in numbers, both in terms of Pride week attendees, and in local community sponsorship. Twice as many people attended the Flag Raising and Parade events, we got four times as much media engagement leading up to and during Pride Week. We secured financial and other resources from Municipal and Provincial Governments that had never been available before. We developed new partnerships with companies that carry strong international brand names, such as American Apparel and Good Life Fitness.  In the process, we created an organizational brand that brought many new folks to the table, including some key identified stakeholders who had felt alienated by the previous pride administration.

Unfortunately, the biggest mistake this organization made, was to have a transssexual woman activist, who also happens to be a non-native-Newfoundlander, who is not gay or lesbian, who does not support the Newfoundland seal hunt, who believes abortion is murder; acting as the face of the organization.

While these traits had no influence on this person's ability to develop corporate policies, to undertake research and analysis, to undertake legislative compliance, to undertake stakeholder engagement, to undertake marketing and advertising work, to act as the primary executive producer of an arts and entertainment variety show, two flag-raising media engagement exercises, and an educational panel discussion, and develop a new strong partnership with the Provincial Government's Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation; unfortunately, these traits negatively impacted this person's ability to gain respect and credibility for her work and the organization she represented.

I can only wonder if someone else had produced this work with these results, if they would be met with the same amount of hostility and negativity that i have? While I generally understand and agree that perception often equals reality, i honestly think that i have been very misunderstood. I also think that the grapevine gossip line has made me a much greater enemy than i really am.

It's sad and it's not fair, but it is a reality i can't change. Heck, i'm so bad, apparently, that it is apparently ok for someone who is perceived to be a leader in the local gay community to make public personal attacks against me and the trans community. This person was part of the former team of 5 who felt entitled to control Pride. This person hit me with several verbal low blows - including making a mockery of my status as a transsexual who does not have human rights, and as a transsexual who is inappropriately labeled mentally ill in the medical world. Heck, this person is currently employed as a social worker and apparently wants to mentor LGBT youth. Now THAT is very scary!

While folks local to St. John's may not be familiar with this, the relationship between the transwomen communities and the gay/lesbian communities, all over the world, is a very turbulant one.

There are many folks out there who seem to be under the impression that the transwomen community could be best served by accepting this umbrella label known as the LGBT community. It is assumed that LGB advocates are very suited to lead and manage the push for Trans rights. Well, quite frankly, we are talking about two very different communities who have very different issues and priorities.

First of all, the gay community has already fought some battles and have been successful, so they have moved onto other new priorities.  They fought to have Sexual Orientation added to the Human Rights Codes accross Canada, and they were successful.  They fought to have homosexuality removed from the DSM as a recognized medical mental illness. They fought for the right to have same-sex marriage.

Well, transsexuals are still looking to have gender identity added to human rights codes, and we are still stuck with the mental-illness label, even though it appears quite clear that this is a physiological issue that can only be rectified via physical intervention such as hormone replacement and surgical procedures.

Furthermore, they have never had to fight for the right to use public washrooms. They have never had to fight to be allowed on airplanes.  They have never had to fight a government that insisted on assigning them a gender based on their sex. they have never had to face a situation where staying in the closet was not an option. They have never had to risk public embarassment or humiliation by simply showing someone their ID.

Furthermore, they have never had to fight a health care system that would not recognize there needs. Never had to pay their own health care bills, never had to travel internationally to find doctors willing to provide those services.

Another major problem seems to be the advent of the "transgender umbrella". This is a ficticious community that attempts to hide transsexuality behind a cloud of gender expression by non-transsexuals.  Drag Queens are men who dress up as women to entertain others. Cross dressers are people who like to wear clothing of the opposite gender for various reasons. Transvestites are folks who get sexually arroused by wearing clothing of the opposite gender. Transgender people are those who want to adopt the gender role of the opposite sex yet do not request or require sex reassignment surgery.   I'm all for diversity and all for each and everybody in these community's rights to live a happy and discrimination-free life..... however, these are not transsexuals. Anyone who claims they are transsexuals are doing a disservice to those who need timely and affordable access to sex reassignment surgery.

Seems many organizations who were initially created with gay/lesbian agendas have attempted to adopt the perception that they now speak for and work for the Bs and the Ts.  Well, having observed their actions, I took exception to this, and i called them out publicly.  Nothing against Egale and Pflag's gay/lesbian work, but it is my opinion that these organizations hold no legal or moral right to claim that they hold exclusive rights to oversee transsexual work.

While it would be nice for organizations like these to pay equal attention to trans issues, fact of the matter, is that they don't.  Seems gay blood donation and providing social support for gay youth (via creation of gay/straight alliance groups in high schools), seems to be what Egale is primarily focused on these days. Based on what i have observed locally, Pflag has merged with a youth group who operates under the umbrella of an organization whose primary mandate is to provide birth control and abortions.

Sorry folks, but when i am sitting here with $75000 in medical needs, and nobody to provide them for me, donating blood is not high on my list of concerns. When i find myself unable to have fair access to housing and employment, blood donation is not a priority. and when i and most transwomen find themselves coming out as trans and going through the transition process at an average age range of 30-45, high school social support organizations really can't and don't offer much to us. Likewise, if you can't find housing, employment, or health care, what good is a marriage license going to do for you?  Heck, what good will any romantic situation do if you do not have the correct genitals needed in order to engage is sexual activity?  that's an issue many transsexuals face.

Ok, i get that issues like the seal hunt and abortion are ones that we can all get passionate about, but if your an organization whose primary mandate is to take on one side of these issues or another, then you can hardly be a neutral and welcoming LGBT service provider to everyone.

So, by the very nature that i point all these issues out, gets me all sorts of negative labels. How dare Jennifer question highly respected gay/lesbian organizations? Well, how would you all like it if i created the Canadian Trans Alliance Association, had a membership made up of mostly transwomen, and undertook work that was mostly specific to transwomen, yet proclaimed myself and my organization as "Canada's LGBT Human Rights organization" or "Canada's only organization that helps all Canadians who are struggling with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity."  Sorry Egale and Sorry Pflag, but i find your statements to be quite misleading, and not to mention, very arrogant.  You have not been there for the transsexual community nearly as much as you think you have, and that's why national trans-specific organizations, run by and for transpeople, are starting to pop up.

It saddens me that the gay/lesbian community can't look beyond their own blinders and recognize that the trans community needs to lead its own issues. If you'd like to support us, that is great, but you can't lead us. Sorry, but a teenage gay youth social support group is not going to solve the problems of the average 40 year old transwoman.

I look all over the world at Pride organizations, and see a sad reflection of this. even close to home in places like Halifax and Toronto, trans communities have felt isolated and excluded by the gay and lesbian Pride movements so much, that they are creating their own Trans Pride marches and trans pride events.  I see Pride organizations who have no transsexuals among their leadership. I see Pride Weeks whose idea of a trans event is to have Drag Queens.

According to statistics, a city the size of St. John's should have about 150 transsexual women. Well, other than a one week visit last summer from my friend Josie from New Brunswick, who came all the way here to be a part of a trans-inclusive Pride week that i had coordinated, I have never seen any transwomen step out publicly into the LGBT community to take part in endeavours such as Pride Week. So where were the other 149? Did they already know something that I had yet to find out? Perhaps so.  Now, i do know some of them. Over the course of my near 5 years in this city, i have heard privately from at least 6 transwomen. I have even met some of them. However, they are totally closeted.

They are pre-everything - meaning they have yet to start their transition journey. Quite frankly, they tell me they are too afraid to start it. They watched me transition here and watched me suffer so much. They saw me lose a great job, and see me still struggle to regain employment of that nature. They've watched me travel all over the continent, spending my own money, on health care. They have watched on as i fight so hard for trans rights, while facing mostly indifference and hatred from many of the prominent gay/lesbian leaders of this town. 

So where do i go and what do i do? Well, as much as i would like to spend time building better rapport and helping build stronger services for gay/lesbians in this town, i have my own issues to deal with.  I am not going to spend time and energy in the fight to donate blood. I am not going to fight for the rights of gay people in Uganda. I am not going to help organize drag queen events. I am not going to volunteer to make abortion more accessible for those who want it.  And quite frankly, i am not going to invest any more time into building this Pride. These are all worthy causes, but i trust that there are others here who will take all of these things on.

As a transsexual and a transsexual rights activist, i will focus on the issues that most-effect our community.  the trans community needs me more than ever, and I need a trans community to be there for me, more than ever.

When a federal government lawyer recently questioned the validity of same sex marriage performed in Canada on foreign visitors, there was a massive outcry. But days later when I of all people, brought to light a fairly new government policy that bans gender-varient people from flying on airplanes, hardly a peep out of anyone, other than transsexuals.

While I worry greatly that by leaving Pride, I leave it outsided the hands of people who understand the trans community, I leave at least knowing that I have left it in good shape and in at least some good hands.  My fellow business partners are very hard-working and very open-minded. I hope none of you reading this will ever judge any of them negatively, because they chose to work with me.

I certainly hope that this new era of Pride will create a Pride Week that is inviting towards transsexuals.  If you do manage to do this, you can definitely count on my attendance.  On the other hand, if it does not, then i will simply take my attention elsewhere.

While some say transsexual should be collaborating with gays and lesbians, some feel we shoul allign ourselves with other communities who are fighting the same issues - such as fight for human rights, health care, and elimination of a false mental illness label.  A perfect example of some of the partnerships I am working on has been collaborations with native Canadians and a collaboration with another minority group who is unable to secure government funding for a medically-necessary medical procedure.

I recognize that my people skills aren't the greatest. and folks, you'll have to give me some space and patience with this. transsexuals undergo a very challenging and unique social transition, just as they are going through a very challenging physical transition. Hormone replacement therapy really screws with your emotions. and going from presenting oneself as a man, to presenting oneself as a woman who used to be a man, and as a woman who is trying to gain medical access to feminization, is not easy. This world has much to learn about transsexualism. heck, even some of my closest friends and family members have turned their back on me because they don't understand what this is all about.

Learning to communicate as a woman, who is pretty much this city's only transsexual woman, has not been easy for me. if you think adjusting to my transition is hard, guess how hard it has been for me?

Anyway, whether you are among the 600 active members of the local LGBT community, or the 19400 closeted, i am one of these people who don't feel welcomed.  I am removing myself from Pride partly because i think it needs a break from me, but mostly because i need a break from it.

There is a national transsexual women community who is very much in need of my support and my advocacy, and this is where i plan to devote the majority of my free time, in the near future.

Ironically enough, while there are very few folks out there who have vocally expressed support and recognition that my contributions to St. John's Pride have been valuable, there are folks in other cities who are managing or leading Pride entities who do. I have been engaged by several other Prides who have asked me to provide advice and guidance.  Rather than stay somewhere i am not wanted, i am going to help out those Pride's who do want what I have to offer.

Anyway, they say that if you love something, set it free, and well, St. John's Pride Inc - you are free! I hope you will come back to me with open arms some day. But until then, good bye and good luck!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

McCreath resigns from Pride, Board to expand via Public Election!

McCreath resigns from Board! Public Elections to come!

St. John's Pride Inc. is excited to announce a growth expansion exercise that will attempt to demonstrate and capture a stronger sense of public stewardship. Jennifer McCreath will resign her seat, and it will be replaced by three seats that will be filled via public election. These new three will join the remaining two members, Brandon Jenkins and Vanessa Woodford, to form a new Board of five, who will have responsibility for the organization until Sept 14, 2012, the company anniversary date, when all five positions will be up for renewal. Their immediate attention will focus on continued progress of the planning for Pride Week, which will take place July 16-22.

As Pride currently has no formal membership program, we are opening the doors for a public meeting on March 21, and anyone who attends, will have the option to vote. Voting attendees must be greater than 25, not including nominees and existing Board members, otherwise, Pride will consider that the public is not supportive of expansion and will continue to operate under existing Board. Prospective candidates must attend the meeting in person and be nominated and seconded by their colleagues, who must also be present. The election system will be 'first three past the post'. After all candidates have been identified and had a chance to introduce themselves via three minute presentation, all voters will be asked to vote for three candidates, via secret ballot. All five board positions will initially be considered at-large positions, but at their discretion, may self-appoint titles.

St. John's Pride Inc., was founded on Sept 14, 2010 by three members of the local LGBT community upon advice and consultation with several community members. The main objective of the founders was to create a formal structure that adhered to Government regulations, and to create a program that would build credibility, challenge community indifference, and attempt to bring more prominent members to the table. The core values of the organization include a commitment to transparency, accountability and inclusivity.

After the elections have concluded, Pamela Sheaves will give a presentation on Pride Week planning to date. Then a general discussion will follow.

The meeting will take place Wednesday March 21 from 6 - 8 pm at the Sobeys Community Room, 320 Torbay Road, Fall River plaza location.

Media Inquiries:

Jennifer McCreath