Tuesday, June 26, 2012

McCreath officially disowns the transsexual label!

Well, as reported earlier today on this blog, the American Psychiatric Association has announced their intentions to declassify Gender Dysphoria (AKA transsexualism/transgenderism) as a mental illness. They have also announced their intentions to disassociate it from fetishism.  They have also announced their intentions to include a 'specifier' that indicates that patients who have transitioned will recognize a state of permanent remission.

With this in mind, I have decided that it is in my best interest, and in the best interest of the trans community, that I no longer refer to myself as a transsexual. Instead, I will use the terms 'post-transitioned' and 'woman born transsexual', as I see no reason to hold onto a label that does not accurately reflect my status, in the eyes of global industry leaders. As Jenna Talackova once said: I am a woman with a history.

This doesn't necessarily mean the end of my advocacy work, but it does mean that I will be tackling it from a different perspective, and that my primary focus will be on action that will serve the best interests of the post-transitioned.

Gender Dysphoria - the latest in the DSM-V development

It's been a while since I reviewed the latest draft of the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual, Version 5 - the encyclopedia of recognized psychiatric conditions by the American Psychiatric Association.

It comes with plesant surprise to take note that transsexualism has been completely separated from transvestic fetishism.  It's great to see that this committee is finally listening to global experts on this matter.  Traditionally, transsexualism was considered a mental illness in which it was assumed that the patient was undergoing an uncontrolable impulsive sexual fetish of percieving oneself as the opposite sex.  This theory was coined by Ray Blanchard of CAMH fame, and even given specific terms - Autogynephilia (for lesbian and bisexual identified transwomen), and Homosexual Transsexual (for straight identified transwomen).

While many trans patients and experienced trans medical professionals may not have doubted the existence of said 'diseases', it has been proposed that this is not the only reason why one might identify as trans or gender-dysphoric.

The latest draft now indicates that Gender Dysphoria and Transvestic Disorders are two completely separate categories.  the draft also goes on to specify that Gender Dysphoria will be declassified as a mental illness and will now sit as an unclassified condition - neither psychiatric or medical, which is commonly accepted as a condition that requires physical intervention via hormones and/or surgery, to resolve.

The document also makes reference to the term 'specifier' which indicates that post-transitioned patients can be considered in partial or full remission, due to the lack of symptoms for Gender Dysphoria.

In short, transsexuals will no longer be recognized as mentally ill, nor will they be directly linked to fetishism.  These proposed changes to the DSM-V were tabled back in May 2011, and can be expected to become official in May 2013 - the date of the next APA annual conference.

A complete listing of the latest drafts can be viewed here on the APA's page for Gender and Sexual Identity Disorders.

As an aside, I find it disturbing to see such a huge list of newly-created mental illnesses - many of which would appear to be biological conditions. Nonetheless, from the scope of reviewing this as someone who retroactively would have been labeled with Gender Dysphoria and without Transvestic Disorder, and who would retroactively be classified as in remission, I can't help but feel estatic and elated to have the APA doctors apply labels that are congruent with what I have been saying all along.

Bottom line, I am not, nor have I ever, been 'mentally ill' nor a 'fetishist' for being trans. As a post transitioned patient, while I may be labed with an unclassified medical condition for life, I can also lay claim to permanent remission - hence the medical condition has absolutely no negative factor as far as my mental health is concerned.

So, what does this mean? I'd like to hope that this can validate the claims of trans health professionals that transition is medically necessary, and diagnosis of transsexualism can be made by any psychiatrist. I can only hope that this will bring an end to the CAMH monopoly in Newfoundland, as far as gatekeepers for sex reassignment surgery funding, and bring an end to province's refusal to recognize sex reassignment surgery as a medically-necessary procedure for all patients diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria.

Finally, what this also validates, is the concept that rather than 'being trans', I may simply refer to myself as a 'woman with a history' (to steal a line from Jenna Talackova's now infamous Thailand youtube interview).

So where do I go from here? Having just recently lost my battle with the Newfoundland health care and human rights system over funding for said-mentioned surgery, notwithstanding a future civil law suit against these offices, it would appear that I have run out of things to fight for, at least from the perspective of me as an individual.  I could fight for others, then again, those others who may or may not exist, showed absolutely no interest in alligning with me, while I undertook these battles. It would seem that the time has come for me to distant and severe myself from the trans label and the trans community, and focus on the rest of my life as simply, a woman.  But I will save any formal announcement for my next blog post.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Home 6/20/2012

Well, I finally found a good enough excuse to get myself off this island for a few days. Ever since going full time as Jennifer, I have come to totally hate traveling. Transsexualism and airports have generally never proven to be a match made in heaven. I hate being out of my comfort and safety zone. As clued into the world as I may be, I have not left the eastern part of Newfoundland for almost a year.

Well, after a rather last-minute and secret trip to New Brunswick for two days, I found myself not wanting to come back here. Seems I have only been fooling myself into thinking I am happy here. As much as I love Newfoundland and wish it felt like home, truth of the matter is that it's not home, it doesn't feel like home, and it will never be home.  the people, their politics, their culture, their values...  none of them are congruent with me.

Home is Nova Scotia. It is where I was born, an where I was removed in 1983 with no real chance to prepare to leave or say good bye. 29 years later, I can only look back and wonder what life would have been like had I never left.  I know it ain't the same as it was 29 years ago, but it's home, and it is time for me to go home. 24 years in Ontario were 24 years of confusion. 5 years in Newfoundland has been an amazing adventure, but it feels like a business trip. my apartment feels like a hotel. and the people around me feel like locals who are constantly staring at a tourist - a stranger.  I don't feel welcome here, I don't feel accepted here. I have been unable to find suitable employment here; I have not found true love here, and I feel as though I have no true friends here.  A stranger in a strange land.

As much as I didn't want to have to admit this to myself, I want to go home - and now it's time to take steps to make that a reality.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bill 29 ATIPPA Protest lands major coverage

Well, it is certainly not every day that a rather dry piece of complex government legislation leads to such a major outburst of public outcry. Bill 29, an Act to amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, did just that, here in Newfoundland.

Governments world-wide have been challenged with public scrutiny over trust and integrity issues. the terms Transparent and Accountable are ones we often here government preach, yet fail to do as they say.  While many of the amendments to the ATIPP Act are good, there are a few changes that certainly appear to allow Government to become more secret with their work, and this may open the door to allow potential corruption to be hidden from public view.

Even worse, appears to be an abuse of power by nature of immoral use of the political process.  As no standing committees exist, the Government has litertally tabled a bill out of the blue and insisted that they will ram it through the House - notwithstanding a mandatory 3rd reading committee discussion, which they could and did shut down when they felt it benefitial for them politically.

The tabling of this bill found government facing scrutiny from international access and privacy experts, opposition parties, the media, and concerned citizens from all political stripes - including some of their own.

Yesterday, a protest was held to raise further public awareness to this controversial bill, as well as to express public outrage and disgust. the event took place on the steps of Confederation Building in capital city St. John's, Newfoundland. It was organized by non-profit group Occupy NL - a movement that voices concern over Government and corporate control of society.  All major media outlets appear to cover the story, including VOCM, CBC, and the Telegram.

Speakers included reps from the Occupy NL, the provincial NDP Party, the Council of Canadians, and the Newfoundland Patient Association for Transsexual Health (former ATIPPA analyst - yours truly). Also present at the rally were student union reps, local musicians, and sympathizers of the quebec student tuition protest movement.

Later in the day, I was invited into CHMR 93.5 FM radio for a live in-studio chat about the Bill and the protest. The interview lasted 20 minutes long.  A video of this interview, as it happened live, can be viewed here.

A video of the speech I delivered at the protest can be viewed at this link here. Forward to 3.30 to see my piece.

In the week that was, I also had an opportunity to do media during the amazing filibuster debate.
Here's me commenting on NTV news, and here's CBC's coverage of the protest - with me on the megaphone in the background.

From a personal perspective, I am elated to finally gain mainstream recognition from society and media for being a credible subject matter expert on something other than transsexualism. I feel my public profile in terms of respect and credibility grew substantially today.

Cummings Report & Bill 29 - A Neutral Critical Review from an ATIPPA Professional

OK, before I get into  the protest story, I want to sit back and take a serious look at the recommendations of the Cummings report, as well as the steps taken by Government to implement much of the recommendations. Yes, most of the coverage on Bill 29 - an Act to amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, has rightly so, focused on a few very controversial regressive steps. However, there are many good things that came out of this process, and as a privacy/access professional. I'd like to offer my thoughts.

Cummings was commissioned to conduct a review of the ATIPP act.  First off, the public consultations were not very well advertised. only 10 people attended a net total of 8 meetings. I didn't even know the meetings had taken place.  This is not good enough to be considered public consultations.

Many executive/administrative recommendations were made in the report that fall outside the scope of the Act. I generally agree with much of what Cummings has done with these matters.  To summarize:

1 - every department should have a policy on routine disclosure of frequently-request public info. this will limit the amount of requests for such info.

2 - increased privacy training for public body staff and development of privacy policies specific to each public body is needed.

3 - public bodies should adopt many information management and information technology best-practices with regards to access and privacy. access coordinators in each public body should be an information management specialist. All bodies serviced by Office of Chief Information Officer should consult said office in the implementation process of these recommendations.

Ironically enough, our provincial government chose to eliminate a civil service position in the OCIO where these three matters were all part of their primary duty. It would be my humble recommendation that they reinstate the position of Senior Policy & Planning Analyst for Information Protection, and reinstate me to that position, given my direct work experience in that field.

moving on..

Cummings recommends more money for opposition parties. not sure how this relates to access and privacy, but I won't disagree with this one!

The fee structure should not be changed - well, minor changes were made. This will make simple request cheaper but complex requests more expensive. I tend to support the fee structure change with a caveat that government do more proactive disclosure to ensure fewer requests are needed.

Reasons why a public body may request an extension of time needed to process requests have been modified.  Personally, I think 30 days is ample time to get a request processed. I recognise that many civil servants who process requests are doing so off the side of their desk, but I feel each public body should have a staff member whose primary job includes access, privacy and other information management duties.  I tend to support the previous time extension rules.

I like the idea that public bodies may dismiss frivolous and vexatious requests; however, I feel appeal to the independent Information and Privacy commissioner, under these grounds, should always be an option. I disagree with the dismissal of requests for this purpose should require an appeal to the supreme court.

The definition of cabinet record is the most contentious matter in this bill.  while I support accepting the definition listed in Management of Information Act, I do not support the loose clause that essentially allows the Clerk to declare almost anything as a Cabinet record.  If this is the way things are going, then an appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner should be on the table, as forcing people to go directly to court is overkill.

I am also not supportive of the limitations that have been put on the Auditor General. The AG needs full access to everything and anything in Government, end of story.

I agree that third parties should always be notified when requests for info are made that affects them.

The length of time for which the Privacy commissioner is appointed is 2 years. Cummings recommended this be changed to 5 years. seems the Gov wants to make it easier to get rid of a commissioner who does his job well and becomes a thorn in the side of gov.

Amending Act to become congruent to Personal Health Information Act, in some cases, is also something I support.

Moving onto the Bill:

The previous definition of Personal Information included opinions about said person by others. This has now been changed. I find this to be concerning. Yes, people in general should be allowed to expression opinions about me in a private setting; however, in the context of a government public body, this should not be the case. This opens the door for all sorts of problems. Government can now express discriminatory opinions about people and it will be covered up - including in areas of the hiring process, and in workplace investigations.

Reducing the power of the independent Information and Privacy Commissioner is not good for transparency or accountability. Allowing Public Body Heads to make decisions will essentially turn access and privacy into a political issue, rather than a right. This is not good. If anything, I would have increased the commissioners power.

Seems more appeals will have to initiate at the court. this will make it tougher for many folks to access info or fight for protection of their privacy, due to financial reasons. this is not right at all.

Anyway, those are my brief thoughts for now. I am sure to have more to say in the future.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Trans Rights proclaimed in Manitoba 6/15/2012

Lost in all the excitement of the Ontario Human Rights Bill Toby's Law, was the formal signing off of Gender Identity into the Manitoba Human Rights Act. "Royal Assent" is the final step of amending parliamentary legislation, and Manitoba, has technically beat Ontario to the punch.

A press release on May 23, 2012 from the Manitoba Government - an NDP majority Government, announced the tabling of a Bill that would add Gender Identity (but interestingly enough, not Gender Expression), to their Human Rights Act. Of note, there is no formal definition in the Act for gender identity (much like there is not one in Ontario). 

Critics of explicit trans rights state that a lack of a definition could open the door for gender identity/expression to be cited as an excuse for the initiation of criminal activity in public spaces - such as sexual assaults in washrooms. However, there does not appear to be any global reports of this happening, from any of the many jurisdictions that have proclaimed such rights.  Furthermore, definitions are rarely, if ever, cited in Human Rights Acts, as this would risk limiting the protection to only some of the people affected by such situations.

It's been quite the week for trans rights in Canada, as in addition to Ontario and Manitoba joining the Northwest Territories with providing explicit Human Rights, Alberta announced plans to re-instate provincial government health care funding for Sex Reassignment Surgery.

Next for Canadian trans advocates, will be working with Federal MPs to attempt to secure support for Bill C-279, as it continues to work its way through the parliamentary system.  Furthermore, work still needs to be done to ensure human rights and health care for all remaining provinces - including my native Nova Scotia, and my current home Newfoundland.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Toby's Bill passes in Ontario 6/13/2012

An historic day for trans rights in Canada today as a trans-rights private members bill in Ontario that was co-sponsored by all three political parties, passed third and final reading in the House today. Gender Identity and Gender Expression will now be added to the Ontario Human Rights Code as explicit grounds of protection under the Act.

This is huge news as it will demonstate that a major jurisdiction has recognized the unique existance of the gender variant community, as well as recognize the inappropriate oppression and discrimination that this community has faced. While amending a government Act won't immediately guarantee rights and protections, it will send a strong message of moral suasion to society. 

Finally, trans rights are recognized as human rights issues and not as a political matter.  Meanwhile, Manitoba and the Federal Canadian Acts are also currently faced with tabled legislation of a similar nature. Meanwhile, in Newfoundland, the Minister of Justice refused to make similar amendments when asked to do so, as recently as last month.

Mainstream media in Newfoundland has taken notice of this issue, and they are going to air stories about this. Ultimately, the provincial government is going to look bad for refusing to follow suit, and their pitiful excuses will only further serve to make them look like idiots.

Filibuster in NL 6/13/2012

Filibuster is a parliamentary proceeding term that defines when opposition parties keep the house open for many hours continuously as a form of protest towards the tabling of contentious legislation by the governing party.

Access to Information and Protection of Privacy is a field for which i was professionally employed from 2007-2009. With this in mind, i take a keen personal interest in the current state of Bill 29.  The Government has tabled a bill to drastically change the scope of this matter. the opposition feel they are taking steps too far to limit transparency and accountibility.   as of 7 pm tonight, the house has continuously been debating this matter for 55 hours! lots to ask from such a small group of opposition members.  While the Government has authority to end debate and ram the bill through, they feel it is politically correct to allow the debates to run their course. 

technically, the debates won't affect the governments' ability to pass the bill, given their majority; however, the opposition parties have done a good job demonstrating the problems and concerns this bill will bring to citizens and businesses of the province.  as a critic of the bill, i have not only vlogged and tweeted about the matters, but i have personally attended the house in the audience for several hours this week to demonstrate my concerns.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Video Upload - Out of the Fog Interview

Well, here it is: my full-lengthed feature interview for Out of the Fog - a local news program on Rogers TV, St. John's. Taped 5/15/2012, aired 6/6/2012, re-aired 6/8/2012

Part One - Producers Introduction
Part Two - Pre-Jennifer 1973-2007
Part Three - Jennifer 2007-2012

Trans Human Rights in Newfoundland - 2 years later 6/9/2012

Wow, I was going through an old jump drive and came across an old interview that i did on CBC Radio Noon on June 22, 2010, discussing the latest internal review of the Newfoundland Human Rights Act by the Department of Justice. I specifically spoke about the refusal of the Government to add the terms Gender Identity or Gender Expression to the Act. The interview can be downloaded here:


Here we are two years later, still fighting the same challenges and still living in a province without explicit protection. The most obvious affect of this lack of protection was my loss at the Human Rights Commission with regards to the failure of the Provincial Health Care System (AKA Medical Care Plan - MCP), to refuse to cover the costs of transsexual surgery, even when deemed medically-necessary by my doctors.

A secondary issue has been my failure to secure gainful employment that allows me to maximize my earning and career potential. As Bills work their way though the Government legislatures of Ontario and Canada, I can only hope that the day will come when Newfoundland finally gets on board and takes steps to ensure equality for all, trans or not.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Open Letter to New Brunswick Politicians re Crandall Scandal 6/8/2012

Greetings New Brunswick Canadian Members of Parliament, New Brunswick MLAs, Moncton City Council, and Prime Minister of Canada; and greetings CCed stakeholders of interest,

I am writing to introduce myself and to raise awareness of a national concern about an issue that is taking place locally in Moncton, that involves all three levels of Government.

I am a transsexual woman from Newfoundland who is a co-founder of St. John's Pride Inc., and a soon-to-be-founder of Newfoundland Patients Association for Transsexual Health Inc. I am also a journalist for Wayves Magazine.

As a local, provincial, national, and global activist for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, I am writing to express disgust and concern regarding the Government funding of a non-credentialed educational institute known as Crandall.

Not only is it suspicious that Government would be funding a non-credentialed institute; it is even more suspicious that funding would go towards a private business of this nature. Even worse, is obvioiusly, the fact that Government is supporting an organization that has recently been exposed for having a blatantly discriminatory hiring policy: specifically, their refusal to hire individuals who are involved in 'homosexual relationships'.

As a resident and Federal tax payer of Canada, who identifies as a member of the LGBT Community, i am extremely disgusted that my hard-earned tax money is goin go an organization who is blatantly promoting hate and discrimination again me and many others like me.

In case you are not aware, this is the year 2012. Times have changed drasticallt since this "school" opened for business. Provinces are constantly eliminating special separate religious-sanctioned schools. Heck, even here in Newfoundland, our Catholic school board was eliminated in the 1990s.

While I have no issue with religious folks running their own private institute, in now way, can i support government tax payers money being given to any organization who has a blatant policy that violates globally-accepted human rights protocols.

On a personal note, my best friend in the entire world is a transsexual woman who lives and works in the Moncton, New Brunswick area. She has struggled to find acceptance for equality from both society, and in terms of Government policy. Ironically enough, she is currently recovering from a medically-necessary transsexual health procedure, for which the provincial government refuses to recognize in their poliices. Hence, my friend was forced to sell her house in order to finance this $18K procedure out of her own pocket.

As Canada works towards implimenting Bill C-279, and as provinces push similar transgender human rights bills through their respective legislatures, I think it is time Moncton gets on board and takes action to ensure they don't face any further outcry from society, nor have to deal with human rights complaints.

In addition to asking that all three levels of Government cease from funding Crandall University, i would also like to take this opportunity to ask that the Province of New Brunswick's department of Health take action to recognize that trannsexual health care is indeed a medically-necessary situation, and to consider putting a policy in place to ensure that care recommended to trans patients by their doctors, is covered by provincial health care.

One thing that supposedly makes Canada so great is our apparent record on health care and human rights. I ask you all to take steps in the right direction to eliminate the gaps that are still felt harshly by members of the LGBT community.

As a trans advocate, i am more than welcome to offer my consulting services, free of charge, to help move these matters forward.

please do not hesitate to get in touch with me,

thank you for your attention to this matter,

Respectfully and Sincerely,

Jennifer McCreath
M2F Transition Consultant

Sent today to:

mayor@moncton.ca, arnold@moncton.ca, crossman@moncton.ca, henderson@moncton.ca, hicks@moncton.ca, landry@moncton.ca, boudreau@moncton.ca, theriault@moncton.ca, charles.leger@moncton.ca, bourgeois@moncton.ca, pellerin@moncton.ca,

mike.allen@parl.gc.ca, keith.ashfield@parl.gc.ca, yvon.godin@parl.gc.ca, Robert.Goguen@parl.gc.ca, dominic.leblanc@parl.gc.ca, rob.moore@parl.gc.ca, tilly.oneillgordon@parl.gc.ca, Bernard.Valcourt@parl.gc.ca, rodney.weston@parl.gc.ca, John.Williamson@parl.gc.ca, stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca,

Greg.Davis@gnb.ca, donald.arseneault@gnb.ca, roland.hache@gnb.ca, brian.kenny@gnb.ca, Ryan.Riordon@gnb.ca, Hedard.Albert@gnb.ca, paul.robichaud@gnb.ca, denis.landry2@gnb.ca, claude.landry@gnb.ca, serge.j.robichaud@gnb.ca, bill.fraser@gnb.ca, Robert.Trevors@gnb.ca, Jake.Stewart@gnb.ca, Bertrand.LeBlanc@gnb.ca, Shawn.Graham2@gnb.ca, claude.williams@gnb.ca, victor.boudreau@gnb.ca, mike.olscamp@gnb.ca, bernard.leblanc@gnb.ca, Roger.L.Melanson@gnb.ca, chris.collins@gnb.ca, Sue.Stultz@gnb.ca, Marie-Claude.Blais@gnb.ca, johnw.betts@gnb.ca, Sherry.Wilson@gnb.ca, bruce.fitch@gnb.ca, wayne.steeves@gnb.ca, bruce.northrup@gnb.ca, bev.harrison@gnb.ca, Blaine.Higgs@gnb.ca, Glen.Savoie@gnb.ca, Glen.Tait@gnb.ca, Carl.Killen@gnb.ca, trevor.holder@gnb.ca, Dorothy.Shephard@gnb.ca, Jim.Parrott@gnb.ca, rick.doucet@gnb.ca, Curtis.Malloch@gnb.ca, jody.carr@gnb.ca, Ross.Wetmore@gnb.ca, Troy.Lifford@gnb.ca, Pam.Lynch@gnb.ca, Craig.Leonard@gnb.ca, Brian.T.Macdonald@gnb.ca, jack.carr@gnb.ca, carl.urquhart@gnb.ca, kirk.macdonald@gnb.ca, david.alward@gnb.ca, dale.graham@gnb.ca, Wes.McLean@gnb.ca, Danny.Soucy@gnb.ca, Martine.Coulombe@gnb.ca, madeleine.dube@gnb.ca, Yvon.Bonenfant@gnb.ca

CCed to:
jack.harris@parl.gc.ca, Ryan.Cleary@parl.gc.ca, thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca, bob.rae@parl.gc.ca, Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca,

BCCed to: UnSurDix & Moncton River of Pride

#crandallscandal #nbpoli #cdnpoli

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jennifer McCreath 20 Questions The Telegram 05/12/2012

Review of Bill C-279 2nd Vote 06/06/2012

Well, last week Randall Garrison shocked everyone by announcing his willingness to remove the term "gender expression" from this bill, and add a definition for "gender identity"

well, whether or not this will prove to be the right thing, it may have helped get this Bill past a second vote.  The house passed the vote 150-132 on the strength of 15 Yes votes from Conservative Party members. 

Of note, Conservatives was the only party to have any negative votes cast, as all Bloc, NDP & Liberals voted yes, who were present, as did Elizabeth May of the Green Party and Bruce Hyer, an Independant.

Over the past week, I found myself reaching out to certain Conservatives for whom I had some sort of personal connection with, in hopes of gaining support.  While I have no idea whether or not my letter was influencial or not, I would like to personally thank one of my targetted MPs, Bernard Valcourt, for supporting the bill.

Later tonight, I will be Vloging about those targetted ones who voted no. I will also have some choice words for the various other No voters who I have highlighted below. So, stay tuned.  Meanwhile, here's a review of some key votes:

Conservative Yes:

Chris Alexander - Ajax Pickering
Michael Chong -Wellington-Halton Hills
John Duncan - Vancouver Island North
Kerry-Kynne Findlay - Delta - Richmond East
Jim Flaherty - Whitby-Oshawa
Shelly Glover - St. Boniface
Laurie Hawn - Edmonton Centre
Gerald Keddy -South Shore - St. Margaret
Cathy McLeod - Kamloops/Thompson/Cariboo
Lisa Raitt - Halton
Michelle Rempel - Calgary Centre North
Bruce Stanton - Simcoe North
Bernard Trottier - Etobicoke Lakeshore
Bernard Valcourt - Madawaska—Restigouche
David Wilks - Kootenay- Columbia

Notable No Votes:

Peter McKay
Tony Clement
Julian Fantino
Diane Finley
Brian Jean (Ft. McMurray/Athabasca)
Peter Kent
Denis Lebel
Bev Oda
Peter Penashue (Labrador)
Gail Shea
Vic Toews
Ted Opitz (Etobicoke Centre)
Robert Goguen (Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe)

Did not Vote:
Stephen Harper
Rona Ambrose

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

30 minute interview to air Wed on Rogers Out of the Fog

Wednesday June 6, 2012 at 7.30 pm NDT, my 30 minute up-close-and-personal interview with Anna Delaney will air on Rogers TV Out of the Fog.  it will rerun every 30 minutes all evening.  Don't miss it!

BIll C-279 in Trouble 06/04/2012

Time to write MPs to let them know of the importance of keeping this bill on the table. Passing of the second reading would send this bill to committee for further in depth review, which many in the House say is needed for it to be accepted.  a vote against it will kill it and transsexuals, transgenders, and other gender-variant people will continue to face explicit lack of human rights protection in this country.

you can find a list of MPs here:


the vote takes place Wednesday night.

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.