Saturday, August 11, 2012

McCreath rescues pregnant Cat 8/11/2012

Well, I had noticed a stray cat loitering around the neighbourhood lately. The other day, I saw her right outside my apartment window. So I decided to go outside and see if I could pet her. It was then that I noticed a bulge in her belly.  She ran away before I was able to catch her.

Well, I saw her again today and decided to head outside with some cat treats and my cage.  Well, I successfully managed to capture her and took her over to the City Humane Services for a medical review. The animal shelter now has her under their care and they will make sure her babies are delivered healthy, and that all of them are nurtured. Eventually babies and mommy cat will be put up for adoption.  The mommy cat will be named Jennifer in my honour. How lovely! hehe. 

For more information on adopting any of these, or any of their other cats, check their website.

Monday, August 6, 2012

McCreath declares intent to Swim and Run at Gay Games 2014


Perhaps a mere formality given my last 4 or 5 blog posts, but let's make it official:

Jennifer McCreath intends to compete at the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio.
Jennifer intends to compete in the following events:
  • 42.2 km Marathon run
  • 3200 Metre Open Water Swim
  • 1500 Metre Freestyle Swim
  •  800 Metre Freestyle Swim
  •  400 Metre Freestyle Swim
Jennifer is also considering other events, including team events. All participation is pending good health at the time of events, which is August 2014.


McCreath reviews 2014 Gay Games gender policy

Ok folks, the Gay Games 2014 gender policy might not be perfect, but it's a heck of a lot better than the 2003 Stockholm Consensus policy currently in place for the International Olympic Committee. Obviously, the issues here are to find a balance between respecting the dignity and identity of the athletes vs ensuring a fair competition. 

the IOC essentially requires the following:

- gonadectomy not less than 2 years prior to competing
- consistent hormone therapy within so-called normal ranges for not less than 2 years
- an independent medical review by IOC officials to ascertain that no competitive advantage exists
- full genital sex reassignment surgery performed
- sex/gender change legally recognized by government officials

Bottom line, the last 2 are totally unnecessary and have no barring on competition.

The gonadectomy is also NOT totally necessary to remove competitive advantage, nor is 2 years any particular type of magic number. as I have stated in this blog before, I was sufficiently disadvantaged within 1 year of hormones and just 6 months after gonadectomy.

As other trans activists have pointed out, this system also only addresses binary transsexuals and does not help resolve matters pertaining to transgender, non-op trans people, intersexxed, genderqueer, or cis athletes who have some sort of hormonal 'disorder'

So what the Gay Games have done to improve? well:

- full srs not necessary
- legal recognition of sex change not necessary
- gonadectomy not necessary

Right there, you've opened the door to include many athletes who do not have a competitive advantage, who would have been ineligible under IOC policy.

Furthermore, to quote:

- A participant may demonstrate his or her gender by providing proof in the form of a letter or certificate from the participant’s medical practitioner that he or she has been undergoing uninterrupted hormone treatment for at least one year unless there is a medical reason that may have resulted in short breaks from that treatment. Any breaks in treatment should be outlined in the medical practitioner’s letter;

or,

- A participant may demonstrate his or her gender by providing documentation that he or she has been living as the chosen gender for at least two years. Proof may be provided by legal documents such as a driver’s license; evidence of employment as the chosen or self-identified gender; substantive personal letters, testimonials or statutory declarations; bank or brokerage accounts; or property-related documents such as leases, property titles, etc. The final decision about the participant’s gender status will be within the sole discretion of Gay Games 9.

....so, they are letting folks participate with one year of hormones, instead of two, which i think is more than reasonable.

Furthermore, they are also accepting trans people in the female category who have had absolutely no hormonal intervention, so long as they can demonstrate that they have been living life full time in the woman gender role for two years. this actually does open the door to problems. a male full of testosterone who is simply wearing women's clothing and has undergone a legal name change, does indeed have a competitive advantage!

However, having said that, I think the chances are very slim that one would show up using this policy without at least having started hormones. and if not, you know what? I don't care.... competitive advantage or not, I'd rather allow these transwomen to compete as females, rather than force them to compete as males, or not attend at all. Furthermore, there could be other medical reasons for why they can't take hormones, hence, perhaps a disadvantage.

I still think the 3rd category is a fair and reasonable compromise. then again, not all athletes want to be outed as trans, and for that, I can see why most would like to fit into the male/female binary - and be specifically fitted into their desired sex category.

So who's being left out? who's at an unfair advantage? Well, I'm sure there may be someone coming forward with a complaint - not much dissimilar to how I came forward to IGLA in 2008, but I honestly think the Gay Games have done a great job, not only with this policy, but with the fact that they were very open and inclusive of obtaining feedback from all athletes, into this process.

McCreath won't defend titles nor attend 2013 Outgames

I received much compliments and much criticism, all at once, for successfully convincing the 2009 World Outgames to create a third sex category for those who fell outside of the gender/sex binary classification scheme, and for those athletes in transition who had not yet met the 2003 gender policy standard from the International Olympic Committee, that had been adopted by the Outgames.

As has been well documented in this blog, while agreeing to the category, upon attending the Games, I not only felt invisible, but unwanted. Fast forward ahead three years, not only has the policy been removed, but there is no new policy in place (either new, or reference to reverting back to the old), on the website of GLISA.org - the entity who oversees the Outgames. "gender policy under review" is what you will find there now.

This lead me to contact them about a week ago to inquire as to what was going on, and I did not receive a response. meanwhile, I see these folks tweeting that they are trying to prevent transphobia at the Olympic games that are currently taking place. Well, sorry folks. you have demonstrated to me that you are all talk and no action. With this in mind, further to my announcement of my plans to attend the 2014 Gay Games (mostly given the fact that they have a new gender policy that I feel works great for the trans community), I will further announce today that I will NOT be making the trip to Antwerp in 2013 for the next edition of the Outgames. 

As it seems likely that the 3rd sex category will now be defunct, I find it interestingly ironic that I will likely go down as not only the first, but the ONLY formally-sanctioned transsexual marathon runner in world history,  (a label that I am starting to hate more now, than embrace, by the way). Likewise, the other 12 athletes who participated in the 3rd category, may lay claim to the same for their sports.

Ironically, I would not have competed in said 3rd category, had I decided to attend next year. I would have competed as a female - as I will in 2014 at the Gay Games.  While it was unlikely that I would have attended anyway, I hope that this public boycott statement sends a message to GLISA that they are not doing a good enough job at making trans athletes feel welcome nor comfortable attending.

Furthermore, for those of you not familiar with the history. GLISA was created when the Gay Games decided to cancel their previous plans to hold their 2006 event in Montreal. While the Gay Games pulled the plug and moved their event to Chicago, a separate group launched themselves and hosted the premiere Outgames in Montreal. The two organizations have been considered rivals ever since.

Ironically, I did not attend the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany, due to similar concerns with regards to the gender policy they had at the time. But I am excited to see a much-improved policy for the 2014 Gay Games.  I can only hope that GLISA will get back on board and start to re-engage trans athletes, so that myself and perhaps many more, will attend their games in 2017.


Cape to Cabot Streak to continue

Sometimes I can be too stubborn for my own good. After initially planning to take the rest of the year off road racing to focus on swimming, my pride got in the way of what many might consider to be common sense. After what seems like a year of can'ts and dont's... a year where it seems so many things have been taken away from me, I literally decided to put my foot down.

One thing I desperately do not want to lose is my dignity. Running has been the one thing that nobody could take away from me over the last 5 years. I've had my job taken, my home, my family, my friends, my human rights, my health care, and my supposed mental sanity.. yet i've always been able to lace up the running shoes.

I struggled through a half marathon in May in much worse shape than I am in now, so I figured, heck, why not throw my name into the Cape to Cabot and remain one of only 20 who have ran them all.

I actually had a very strong 11k run yesterday, that followed an awesome 80 minute swim on Saturday. So heck, as long as I feel I can meet the 3 hour time limit requirement, and as long as I feel the ankle ligament is able to handle it, I am going to give it a go this October in the 6th annual Cape to Cabot.

Even more exciting, is a new focus and meaning I now have on life, once again, as a runner. I technically un-retired from marathon running, for the third time, a short while ago, so now it's time to put up or shut up, as they say.

I've had an excellent week of swimming, and I can already see how it has started to help my endurance. I have also dropped a few more pounds this past week, which is great news.

So as I stated on Facebook the other day, I will continue to register for, and run, the Cape to Cabot, each and every year. The next and only times I will miss this race, is when I am dead.

Let the hill-training  begin! 69 days til race day!