Last updated March 20, 2011

Information / Archive


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COMMUNITY ONE FOUNDATION

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2010

Trans Activist Rupert Raj to Receive Annual Steinert & Ferreiro Award

Award to be presented at Community One Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Celebration

The Community One Foundation is proud to announce that Rupert Raj has been named recipient of this year’s Steinert & Ferreiro Award. Community leader, psychotherapist, researcher and trans activist, Raj has made an incredible contribution to the LGBTTIQQ2S community in Canada, particularly with respect to fostering a greater understanding and acceptance of the transsexual and transgendered communities. This marks the first time the Steinert & Ferreiro Award has been given to a trans person in its five year history.

The Steinert & Ferreiro Award was launched through a bequest from the Estates of Jonathan R. Steinert and Fernando G. Ferreiro in 2005. The $10,000 award is Canada’s largest recognition of leadership in the LGBTTIQQ2S communities. Previous recipients have included Rachel Epstein, Rev. Brent Hawkes, El-Farouk Khaki, Bev Bain and George Hislop.

A transformative figure in the trans community for close to 40 years, Rupert Raj has won numerous awards in Canada and United States for his tireless advocacy and support for trans rights. In his many roles, which have included counselor, psychotherapist, educator, professional trainer, consultant, gender specialist, clinical researcher, writer and activist, he has helped foster greater understanding of trans issues within the broader LGBTTIQQ2S and straight communities. He currently works as a mental health counselor at the Sherbourne Health Centre, and is an active member of the Rainbow Health Network’s Trans Health Lobby Group.

“The S&F Award was established to recognize leadership in the LGBTTIQQ2S communities,” says Rupen Seoni, Chair of the S&F Award Committee, Community One Foundation. “Rupert Raj embodies leadership and has made an outstanding contribution to our community, helping countless individuals better understand their identity. His list of achievements is exemplary and he is a fitting recipient of this award.”

Community One Foundation: Celebrating 30 Years

The Steinert & Ferreiro Award will be presented to Rupert Raj on Friday, October 22 at the Community One Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Celebration at the Bata Shoe Museum, presented by RBC Royal Bank. Thanks to our other sponsors – Celebration Sponsor: Whirl Inc.; Founding Media Sponsor: XTRA; Beverage Sponsor: Mill St. Brewery; Exclusive Wine Sponsor: WineOnline.ca; Event Supporters: A La Carte KITCHEN , Bata Shoe Museum, Church Wellesley Village BIA, Heather Pollack Photography, Mayflower Designs, Village Pharmacy and Woody’s.

Established in 1980, the Community One Foundation (formerly the Lesbian & Gay Community Appeal) provides grants to community projects in order to create a strong, vibrant and diverse community by supporting individuals and groups that enhance the development of the LGBTTIQQ2S communities in the Greater Toronto Area including Durham, Halton, Peel and York Regions.

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Contact: Barry Waite, Community One Foundation Board of Directors
416-707-8498; barry.waite@sympatico.ca OR
Julie Wajcman, Director of Development, Community One Foundation
416-920-5422; Julie@communityone.ca


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February 17, 2011
Honourable Donald H. Oliver,
The Senate of Canada,
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada


Dear Sir,

On February 7, 2008 I listened to your personal and very perceptive experiences of racism in Canada and how such experiences gave you the strength to fight back. You were the keynote speaker at the conference, Race and Diversity in Higher Education: Finding Strength in Difference, organised by the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment in Higher Education (CAPDHHE). At the same conference I presented my experiences of homophobia at the university where I was studying. As a racialised gay man I described how the intersections of racism and homophobia have been everyday experiences affecting my health and safety.

Bill C-389 reaching the Senate has powerfully reminded me of your voice for social justice and has urged me to make this personal and passionate plea for justice. It is to implore you to promote and provide your support for this Bill in the Senate. Furthermore, I am copying this email to all other members of the Senate.

The Bill will specifically provide for the protection of Gender Identity and Gender Expression under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Criminal Code. It adds both of these as prohibited grounds for discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Bill also amends the hate crimes and sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code.

I know you will agree with me that, as with racism, trans-phobia is also very much a reality in Canadian society! Trans persons are at the bottom of the social ladder when it comes to recognition, respect and safety. They are being subjected to various degrees of violence and harassment. According to research done by TransPULSE in 2010, among trans Ontarians, 50% have seriously considered suicide because they were transgender; 43% have attempted suicide at some point in their lives. A particularly sensitive issue is that there is a scarcity of toilets for transgender persons at government or any other public and private institutions. This is why supporting Bill C-389 is a human rights and social justice issue.

There cannot be, and will not be, a racism free Canada if we do not oppose transphobia, another form of social oppression. One only has to imagine the life of a racialised trans person! There are thousands of trans persons whose lives are even more endangered because they are people of colour. The compounding of such injustices is militating against the efforts that many Canadians are making for a safer, more inclusive, society. I am confident that all Honourable Senators are working towards this ideal.

I urge you, as a strong advocate of anti-racism and social justice, to support Bill C-389 and to actively promote it among your colleagues.

Yours truly,

Ranjith P. Kulatilake
Equity Coordinator, Rainbow Health Network


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Toronto Trans Dads Group

CALLING ALL TRANS DADS! Are you a trans / ftm dad who is interested in connecting with others? A new group has started and we get together once a month, sometimes with kids and sometimes without. A very broad range of trans identities are welcome as well as both prospective and current dads. Contact Jake at: jakecat@hotmail.com

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Transforming Family: Trans Voices on Parenting

Are you a trans person currently parenting*? Are you interested in sharing your experience?

Trans people who are parents of any kind (step-parents, adoptive parents, birth parents, non-birth parents, etc.) are invited to participate in this research study to explore the impact of discrimination on trans parents and identify some of the strengths trans people bring to parenting. The goal of this study is to create visibility around trans parents' struggles by sharing this information with service providers and the broader community.

All trans identities welcome

• Participation includes taking part in a 2 hour focus group
• An honorarium and childcare will be provided
• ASL interpretation will be provided upon request

The Transforming Family Project is a team of researchers and community members from the LGBTQ Parenting Network at the Sherbourne Health Centre. This project is funded through the Community One Foundation and the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health.

Focus groups are open to trans parents who are living in or able to travel to downtown Toronto. To participate or for more information please contact Jake Pyne: (416) 324 4100 x 5336 or jpyne@sherbourne.on.ca

*Eligibility also includes trans parents of adult children as well as those who are not currently in contact with their children.

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This is a second call for trans people from across Ontario to be members of a Provincial Trans Health Project Advisory Committee. Please note that we have received some strong applications but have not yet met our goals in seeking members from diverse communities particularly members of racialized communities. Please encourage trans people from these groups to apply for this committee. Full information in the application form attached.



Request for applications for membership on
Provincial Trans Health Project Advisory Committee


Sherbourne Health Centre, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, The Trans Health Lobby Group of the Rainbow Health Network, the Trans PULSE research study and a number of trans community activists have been working with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care over the last two years to develop a plan to improve trans health services in the province of Ontario for trans people. Through this process the Ministry of health has agreed to:

Establish additional assessor sites for trans people needing approval of OHIP funded SRS
Provide training for health care providers across the province in trans health care
Conduct an evaluation of aforementioned initiatives
Establish an advisory committee to oversee the development and implementation of these three projects.
We welcome applications from trans people with diverse backgrounds and experience to be part of this ground breaking initiative. We would like to especially encourage applications from:

people of colour & people from racialized communities;
immigrants and refugees;
Aboriginal and Two Spirit people;
people whose first language is not English
people living with (dis)abilities
Application Process
The application form is attached below - if you did not get the attachment or can't open it please contact the email below.
Email or mail your completed application form, including references to us by 5pm, October 27th, 2010

Email: atravers@RainbowHealthOntario.ca
Mail: c/o Anna Travers
Rainbow Health Ontario
Sherbourne Health Centre
333 Sherbourne Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5A 2S5

We thank all applicants for their interest, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted for a telephone interview. Applicants, please be sure to include a telephone number that we can use to contact you.

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Transforming Family: Trans Voices on Parenting

Are you a trans person currently parenting*? Are you interested in sharing your experience?

Trans people who are parents of any kind (step-parents, adoptive parents, birth parents, non-birth parents, etc.) are invited to participate in this research study to explore the impact of discrimination on trans parents and identify some of the strengths trans people bring to parenting. The goal of this study is to create visibility around trans parents' struggles by sharing this information with service providers and the broader community.

All trans identities welcome

• Participation includes taking part in a 2 hour focus group
• An honorarium and childcare will be provided
• ASL interpretation will be provided upon request

The Transforming Family Project is a team of researchers and community members from the LGBTQ Parenting Network at the Sherbourne Health Centre. This project is funded through the Community One Foundation and the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health.

Focus groups are open to trans parents who are living in or able to travel to downtown Toronto. To participate or for more information please contact Jake Pyne: (416) 324 4100 x 5336 or jpyne@sherbourne.on.ca

*Eligibility also includes trans parents of adult children as well as those who are not currently in contact with their children. Prospective trans parents may want to contact the LGBTQ Parenting Network for information about trans positive family planning classes: parentingresources@sherbourne.on.ca / 416 324 4100 x5276 or to participate in a current study on LGBTQ experiences with assisted human reproduction services in Ontario: creating_families@camh.net or 1 866 371 6667.

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Communication from the SRS and Trans Health Policy Group 29/06/2010

The SRS and Trans Health Policy Group was invited by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC) to provide consultation on access to health care for trans* people in Ontario. The group consists of senior managers at Sherbourne Health Centre (SHC), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and leaders/clinicians from Toronto’s trans communities including representatives from Rainbow Health Network and the Trans PULSE research study.

The SRS and Trans Health Policy Group met three times over an 18 month period with Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Adalsteinn Brown and Ministry staff to discuss barriers to accessible, equitable health care for trans people Ontario and to provide recommendations for improving services.

On May 31st 2010, the ADM stated that the Minister of Health is bringing forward the following initiatives to improve access to needed services for trans people in Ontario and to build greater capacity among health care providers to serve this population.

1. a. The addition of three more Assessors for OHIP–funded SRS surgery by next spring.

1. b. A slow and steady increase in the number of places where assessment for SRS will be offered. In addition to the service at CAMH, there will be:

1. b. 1 assessor at Sherbourne Health Centre
1. b. 2 additional assessors at locations to be confirmed.

1. c. World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) standards will be followed.

2. Increased funding through Rainbow Health Ontario for education and training in primary care centres to build capacity to deliver high quality, culturally competent health care to the trans community, e.g., including hormone therapy.

3. Funds to develop an evaluation tool for the two initiatives referred to above (additional assessors, greater capacity in primary health care)

4. The SRS and Trans Health Policy Group, which developed these proposals, to form the nucleus of a Provincial Advisory Committee which will oversee these initiatives and provide consultation to the MOHLTC.

The timeframe for this capacity building program is expected to be four years, beginning in the fall of 2010. The SRS and Trans Health Policy Group will continue to provide information on the development and implementation of these initiatives. In the meantime, we suggest that trans people continue to work with their current providers or assessment services.

* Trans refers to people who self-identify as transsexual, transgender, two-spirit, gender- queer, etc.

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The Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH) is an association of woman abuse shelters from across the province of Ontario. We work to lobby the government to make changes that will help and support women who have experienced violence in their lives.

We have recently received a grant from the province of Ontario to create some training tools for workers in women's shelters. So we are making two short films: one about "women and mental health" and one about "women and addictions".

We are looking for people who identify as female, including transwomen and transsexual women who would be interested and comfortable being in our film. We would like to meet with female identified people who have had some or all of these kinds of experiences:

* Violence from someone you trust, like: an intimate partner, family or caregiver
* Negative experiences with social services or systems, like: police, children's aid, hospitals, treatment programs and/or doctors
* A hard time getting or keeping housing or jobs and had to live in some unsafe situations
* Been in danger of losing your children to child protection
* Things gotten worse because no one would help
* Isolated, stigmatized and/or hospitalized against your will
* Experienced more violence because of your diagnosis

Mental Health Film
* A diagnosis and has been prescribed medication for a mental illness
* Feel you have been mis-diagnosed
* Feel that the medication is making things worse

Addictions Film
* Use substances (alcohol, drugs or others)
* Have been involved in addictions or treatment programs

If you feel that you or someone that you know has experienced some of these issues and would be interested and comfortable being in a training film, please email me oaithtraining@web.ca.

 

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From Bill Siksay:
Call for Action

I’m very pleased to inform you that my Private Member’s Bill (C-389), which would ensure explicit human rights protections for transgender and transsexual people will be debated for a second hour in Parliament on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 at 5:30 pm. The vote on Second Reading will be on June 9th. If passed, the bill will go to committee for consideration.

Bill C-389 would update the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) to include gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination, and update the Criminal Code of Canada to include gender identity and gender expression in the hate crime and sentencing provisions.

Transsexual and transgender people are often victims of discrimination, harassment, and violence because of their gender identity and gender expression. They often experience injustices such as denial of employment, housing, access to trans-sensitive health care, and face difficulties obtaining identification documents. Because there are so many barriers for transsexual and transgender Canadians, explicit rights and protections must be added to the CHRA and the Criminal Code.

Here’s what you can do to move this forward and help get this important legislation passed in Parliament:

• Call, write, or email your Member of Parliament and Party Leaders, and let him or her know that you support my bill. If you don’t know who your MP is, you can find out here:
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC
• Call, write, or email the Minister of Justice, The Hon. Rob Nicholson, P.C., M.P.
• Call, write or email the Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.

Letters to all MPs and Party Leaders can be sent postage free to:

House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

• Join my facebook group
• Gather signatures for my petition

Click here to view a sample letter.http://www.billsiksay.ca/images/issues/Sample%20Letter.pdf

Please let us know about your contacts.

Thank you,
Bill Siksay, MP

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From Bill Siksay:

Dear Friends,

I’m very pleased to inform you that my Private Member’s Bill (C-389), which would ensure explicit human rights protections for transgender and transsexual people just passed! The bill passed tonight "on division" (ie without a standing vote) in the House and now goes to the next stage at the Standing Committee on Justice. A victory toward full, explicit human rights for transgender and transsexual Canadians!

Bill Siksay, MP
Call for Action

Bill C-389 Canadian Human Rights Act

http://www.billsiksay.ca/default2.asp?active_page_id=1165

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Trans PULSE Update – A report prepared for the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care

Thank you for the positive responses to our first e-bulletin! We’re working away on the next several bulletins, so keep an eye out for them over the next several months.

The attached report represents other work we’ve been doing that we wanted to share with you all. We hope that these results are useful to you, either personally or in your work. The report was prepared for Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and is intended to provide information from Trans PULSE Project data to inform health systems planning with regard to sex reassignment surgeries covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP).

Also, to keep you updated on other project activities, preliminary results from the survey on housing, employment and discrimination were recently shared with the Ontario Attorney General’s office at a meeting regarding the addition of gender identity and expression to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the attached document or any other project news, please don’t hesitate to email us directly at info@transpulse.ca. And if you were forwarded this email or received it through a separate listserv and wish to be added to our mailing list, please send an email to info@transpulse.ca with the phrase “subscribe mailing list” in the subject line.

Thanks so much,

Trans PULSE

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The Creating Our Families Research Project

There is a new research project getting started in Ontario looking at the experiences of lesbian, bisexual, gay and/or trans people with fertility clinics and sperm banks. We are also interested in hearing from people who considered using the services of fertility clinics and sperm banks but then didn’t because of barriers or problems they encountered.

This project is a partnership between queer-identified researchers at CAMH (Lori Ross and Leah Steele) and Rachel Epstein of the LGBTQ Parenting Network of the Sherbourne Health Centre. The project team includes trans people as research staff and members of the advisory committee.

It is very important to us to hear about the experience of trans people with these services. We know from the stories we have heard in our communities that trans people can face particular challenges accessing these services when trying to build their families. However, the little research that had been done on this topic seems to be mostly limited to transphobic academic articles debating whether or not trans people should have access or not to these services.

The goal of this research project is to be able to describe both the positive and negative experiences LGBT people are having when accessing fertility clinics and sperm banks. We will share the research results with policy makers, service providers and LGBT community members in order to create positive changes within these services. Please include your stories and voices in this important project!


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Toronto Vigil for the Lives Lost Due To Homophobic Bullying

Seth Walsh - 13 years old
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/ybenjamin/detail?entry_id=73326

Asher Brown - 13 years old
http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/09/28/Antigay_Bullying_Prompts_Houston_Suicide/

Billy Lucas - 15 years old
http://theoriginalgreenwichdiva.com/billy-lucas-commits-suicide-after-being-bullied-at-greensburg-high-school/12692/

Justin Aaberg - 15 years old
http://www.queerty.com/teenager-justin-aaberg-killed-himself-over-gay-bullying-his-mom-wont-let-anyone-forget-20100914/

Chantal Dube - 17 years old
http://www.xtra.ca/blog/national/post/2010/10/04/Two-lesbian-youth-found-dead-in-Orangeville.aspx

Tyler Clementi - 18 years old
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/hold_new_rutgers_post.html

Raymond Chase - 19 years old
http://freddyo.com/2010/10/01/raymond-chase-3rd-gay-teenage-boy-dies-this-week-5th-death-from-suicide-in-less-than-three-weeks/

Jeanine Blanchette - 21 years old , Orangeville, On Canada
http://www.xtra.ca/blog/national/post/2010/10/04/Two-lesbian-youth-found-dead-in-Orangeville.aspx

Chantal Dube - 17 years old, Orangeville, On Canada

Shaquille Wisdom, 13 years old, Ajax, On Canada Oct.20th, 2007

The vigil took place Wednesday, October 6, 8:00pm - 10:00pm at the corner of Church & Wellesley. Here's the facebook event:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=164757066873468

Vigils around Canada
Toronto - Oct 6, 8pm - Church & Wellesley
Kingston - Oct 6, 8pm - JDUC, University & Union
Montreal - Oct 6, 8pm - Parc de l'Espoir, Beaudry Metro
Ajax - Oct 20, 6.45pm - Heritage Square, Ajax Town Hall (PFLAG Canada Durham)
Lethbridge - Oct 21, (PFLAG Canada Lethbridge)

Other events:
Oct 11 is Nat'l Coming Out Day
Oct 20 is the Antihomophobe Violence Day (Purple)

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The book, "Gender Journeys: Supporting Trans People Through Group Work," is now available again for $10.

The Gender Journeys group (offered at Sherbourne Health Centre) is an 11-week, psychoeducational group for people considering changing their ge

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The book, "Gender Journeys: Supporting Trans People Through Group Work," is now available again for $10.

The Gender Journeys group (offered at Sherbourne Health Centre) is an 11-week, psychoeducational group for people considering changing their ge

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New clinical guidelines to help family physicians to care for their trans clients

Toronto, Ontario, May 27, 2009 – The LGBT Health Program at Sherbourne Health Centre (SHC) is pleased to announce the launch of Guidelines and Protocols for Comprehensive Primary Health Care for Trans Clients, a guide to help Ontario clinicians in their day-to-day practice with their transgender and transsexual clients.

“These guidelines summarize the current clinical practice at Sherbourne Health Centre and they are meant to reflect our management of transsexual clients and to thus help other physicians by demystifying our practice,” says Dr. Kate Greenaway, family physician at SHC.

An earlier version of the guidelines was developed in 2003 by a working group of health care providers at SHC, working together with trans community members. This revision of the original document was created in response to the many requests from health care providers across Ontario and Canada for advice around providing primary care to clients receiving hormone therapy.

“We hope that this document will enable more family physicians to be involved in care of transsexual clients,” says Dr. Sydney Tam, family physician at SHC. “It is a rewarding experience to assist someone with the integration of their gender identity, and we feel privileged to be a part our clients’ transitions. We wish to share this experience with other clinicians.”

The guidelines include protocols for treatment with hormone therapy for both Male-to-Female and Female-to-Male transsexuals, as well as guidelines for providing resources, support and advocacy for trans clients. The guidelines also include sample letters and forms and a glossary of frequently used terms.

The guidelines are currently available as a PDF download on the Sherbourne Health Centre website at www.sherbourne.on.ca and in the online resource database at www.RainbowHealthOntario.ca/resources/searchDB.cfm.

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The book, "Gender Journeys: Supporting Trans People Through Group Work," is now available again for $10.

The Gender Journeys group (offered at Sherbourne Health Centre) is an 11-week, psychoeducational group for people considering changing their gender (transitioning) and/or those who are very early on in their gender transition.

This book is a how-to-manual for people (incl. group facilitators) who wish to start their own "Gender Journeys" group. Neither the group nor the manual is geared to individuals who have aleady transitioned as it primarily covers the basics.

Please direct all inquiries to Kara Babcock, Administrative Coordinator, LGBT Health, Sherbourne Health Centre
Ph: 416 324-4180 x 5235 Fax: 416 324-4262
kbabcock@sherbourne.on.ca

A copy of the book is available for review at our 2nd Floor reception if people want to look through it.

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New Name & Gender Change Process For Trans-Identified University Of Toronto Students

There is a new and transparent way for students to have their name and or gender changed on their academic records at U of T. Beginning May 2009 students can change their name and or gender on their academic record, class lists, ROSI by writing a letter addressed to your college registrar or the registrar of the School of Graduate Studies and request that your name be changed from A to B, or your gender to male or female. Please be sure to provide your student ID number (the University requires this). You will need to take the letter of request to the relevant registrar's office in person.

You do not have to offer a complete disclosure as to why you are making this request to the Registrar of your college or faculty - that is up to you. You can contact this office if you would like more information or support.

The new STATEMENT CONCERNING CHANGE OF STUDENT PERSONAL INFORMATION IN OFFICIAL ACADEMIC RECORDS and guidelines can be viewed here

Any questions from administrators or students can be directed to the office

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Following the news made during the week of January 12 about sexual reassignation surgery that should be covered in Quebec in the private sector, we ought to give you some facts:
The sexual reassignation surgeries were already covered by the RAMQ (Quebec health insurance) for several years BUT only if they were done abroad because no surgeons in Quebec were available in the public area and the government refused to pay for the private sector. Also, the only way you could have your surgery covered was to follow a therapy with the General Hospital of Montreal, until now…
From the last news given by the RAMQ and the Health Minister, the laws aren't completed yet. There's a high probability that only the people who will follow their therapy with the General Hospital of Montreal will have their surgeries covered.

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Trans Alliance Society Human Rights Petition to be introduced Into the BC Legislature

VANCOUVER – Trans Alliance Society Chair, Raigen D’Angelo, announced their Human Rights Petition will be introduced into the BC legislature On Monday February 23, 2008 by Shane Simpson, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. “The campaign to amend the British Columbia Human Rights Code to specify gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds for discrimination has received 743 signatures” stated Raigen D’Angelo.

The petition has signatures from Members of Parliament, mayors, city counsellors, doctors, lawyers, labour, students and average people from many party affiliations from across the province. Volunteers from the Trans Alliance Society and Allies have put in countless hours in compiling these signatures.

The campaign is the latest chapter in a 20 year long battle by numerous trans-community organizations to have their voices heard throughout British Columbia. Past efforts have been spearheaded by High Risk Project Society, Zenith Foundation, The Cornbury Society, BC FTM Network, and F.A.T.E, among others.

The Trans Alliance Society is a British Columbia wide non-profit organization committed to removing all forms of barriers that negatively impact the transgender community.

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The following email was sent to the Honourable Wally Oppal and the Honourable Attorney General, amongst others. If you are in BC, I strongly suggest re-writing and sending it yourself!

To: 'AG.Minister@gov.bc.ca'
Cc: 'leonard.krog.mla@leg.bc.ca'; 'carole.james.mla@leg.bc.ca'; 'premier@gov.bc.ca'; 'shane.simpson.mla@leg.bc.ca'; 'Victoria Stuart (Chair, TAS)'
Subject: Human Rights for Transgender, Transsexuals & Gender Variant People of BC

Honourable Wally Oppal, Honourable Attorney General,

I am writing this letter to determine how you and your party will help to amend the British Columbia Human Rights Code so as to include and to specify “gender identity and gender expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination for all purposes of that legislation in British Columbia.

On February 23, 2009 Shane Simpson, MLA Vancouver-Hastings introduced a petition into the legislature on behalf of the Trans Alliance Society with approximately 740 signatures. The time to act is now as the Trans-community is the only population not protected from discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.

Transsexual, transgender and gender variant persons in British Columbia regularly experience egregious harassment and discrimination in employment, in housing, in health care, in education and in accessing public services, all on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.

There needs to be a clear, visible and explicit statutory prohibition against harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression that will promote the dignity, equality and well-being of transsexual, transgender and gender variant persons in British Columbia.

I urge you and your government to take a stand on human rights for all.

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CALLOUT FOR SUBMISSIONS-- Trans Health Resources

The Trans Health Network of Quebec (THN) is currently working to launch its website in the fall of this year. The THN works to promote health, well-being and social justice for trans people in Quebec. It is currently comprised of four member organizations which include ASTT(e)Q : Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec, Stella, The 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy and Project 10*.

In order to work towards centralizing trans health resources, we are sending out a callout for submissions for resources, manuals, pamphlets, ‘zines, magazines, etc, surrounding trans health issues. We are looking to make these resources accessible by posting them on the website in PDF format. We are seeking submissions surrounding (but not limited to):

-how to navigate the (quebec) health care system to access hormones/surgery
-info about hormones (including street/internet/etc), how they work, risks, side effects, etc
-ID/documentation/legal name and sex designation changes info
-Information about immigration
-youth related materials
-sexual health/STIs/HIV/Hepatitis C/etc
-sex work (including information about working conditions, the law, etc)
-sexual assault/support & resources for survivors
-mental health
-drug use/addictions/detox & rehab
-know your rights & self-advocacy, (as it relates to doctors, cops, social services, etc) including how to file complaints (with the human rights commission/cops/etc.)
-resources and info for prisoners and recently released individuals
-housing information and resources
-employment & social assistance information and resources
-information for providers (training manuals, frequently asked questions, etc)

The deadline for submissions is August 30th, 2009, although we will continue to do outreach for resources. We are seeking resources in any language.


Please submit resources to: santetranshealth@gmail.com with TRANS HEALTH RESOURCES in the subject line.

As well, please feel free to contact us with questions at the above email address

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An open letter to all Trans community members in Ontario from Anna Travers, Director, Rainbow Health Ontario and formerly Director of LGBT Services at Sherbourne Health Centre

Greetings:
You may have heard of the TransPULSE Research Project or perhaps not yet. It is a study of the health and well-being of trans people in Ontario that has been four years in the making. I am writing to tell you why it is important and to ask for your help.

A Little History:
This study was initiated in 2005 when my organization, Sherbourne Health Centre, was overwhelmed with the numbers of trans people seeking health care - especially people from places far outside our catchment area of Toronto. At that time, I consulted with our Trans Advisory Committee and we decided we had to try to create more services where trans people could receive respectful health care, including hormones and social support, right across this province. SRS was still not available under OHIP then so we were also working hard to change that too.

Starting with a small seed grant, a group of trans community members with histories of trans activism and community service began to design a research project that would demonstrate the problems with our health care system and show the impact of gaps in services and discrimination on trans people's health and lives. Although many of us know about these problems first hand or through our work with the trans community, there have not been any large research studies in Canada that can demonstrate to the government, to funders and to health care providers how hard it is to access health care and other services and how difficult life can be for trans people in Ontario.

Our goal is to reach 1000 trans people, representing all kinds of diversity from across the entire province

Control by Trans People
The Advisory Committee knew that lots of trans people had lost faith in researchers because so many studies had not served the trans community's needs. They decided that our research must be designed and controlled by trans people. This is how it has been with this project - trans people have chosen the academic researchers who have brought needed skills to the project, recruited staff, held focus groups and spent hundreds of hours ensuring that every question is relevant and thoughtfully worded.

The Study
Now we have a study that is designed to capture lots of important information about the experiences of our diverse trans communities - with health care, housing, employment, education, etc. We also thought it important to learn about how trans people live their lives, deal with barriers and find fulfilment so there are also questions about childhood, school, sexuality, relationships and parenting. All is confidential, no one will be identifiable and you can use a computer, paper copy or the telephone to complete the survey - you can even request a translator. The TransPULSE Survey is a very long study - but there is so much that we need to know! (Know = have scientifically valid evidence; evidence = the power to persuade, educate and make change)

How You Can Help
The TransPULSE Study is designed to reach out to a very diverse range of trans people (not just those in Toronto or those who are well connected). As a result you have to wait to get an invitation (a ticket) from another trans person who is taking the survey to participate. This method, which works a bit like a chain letter, means that the results are much more valid and reliable. So how can you help?
• Talk to your friends know about the study and why it is important (send this letter out widely)
• If you get a ticket (invitation to participate) please put aside an hour or more to complete the survey as soon as possible
• Pass on the 3 tickets you will receive right after completing the survey to other trans people and encourage them to participate in building the evidence we need
• Check out the Trans PULSE website www.transpulse.ca for more information and to see how the survey is going.

After We Reach Enough People
The sooner we get enough surveys back, the sooner we can analyze the data and start sharing the results. The information we learn could make a huge difference to trans people's access to health care and other services. The Ministry of Health is aware of the study and is sincerely interested in our findings. We also have plans to provide feedback to trans people themselves in a variety of creative and useful ways.

Thank you for reading this. Please forward it on to friends and listservs serving Ontario.
Sincerely, Anna Travers, Rainbow Health Ontario www.rainbowhealthontario.ca

Let's show that 1000 trans people in Ontario care about their health and want to make change!

http://www.transpulse.ca/

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Gloria Nieto is an up and coming photographer from Spain who is in Toronto doing a documentary photo shoot. She is looking to show two faces of the drag community.

The basic concept being that she would photograph the model as a male and then as a female and then photoshop the two together. Please contact Gloria Nieto odei@care2.com

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Free Homeopathic healthcare as it relates to the special concerns of transmen. I am a final year homeopathic student working under the supervision of a licensed homeopathic practitioner. I wish to study the natural effects of homeopathy on pre- and post hormone and/or operative care for transmen. In exchange for your free health care, you agree that I may include your case history in a completely confidential manner in a final thesis presentation. For any further questions please contact: BetterTransCare@gmail.com or 647-887-5774.


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The Vancouver Missing Women Task Force have positively identified a body from years ago as Diana (legal first name Daniel) RUTTER who lived in the Toronto area in the late70's or early 80's. She lived with a male by the name of Stan Jensen and they are looking for any information that anyone may have on him. If you can assist, please contact Wendy Leaver of Toronto's special victims/sex crimes unit at 416-456-7259 or via email at  wendy.leaver@torontopolice.on.ca 

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From Kyle Scanlon
Trans Programmes Coordinator
The 519 Church Street Community Centre
416-392-6778
mealtran@the519.org

Update on Zucker, Blanchard and the Revision of the DSM

For those who are concerned about the establishment of an adherent to reparative therapy (Dr. Kenneth Zucker) and another seeking to entrench ìautogynephiliaî (a pathologization of treatment of non- ìhomosexual transgenderî transfolk) in the DSM-V, there have been some new happenings.

One letter writer reports receiving an email from the APA which states that:

ìThe Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group, chaired by Kenneth J. Zucker, Ph.D., will have 13 members who will form three subcommittees:

* Gender Identity Disorders, chaired by Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, Ph.D.
* Paraphilias, chaired by Ray Blanchard, Ph.D.
* Sexual Dysfunctions, chaired by R. Taylor Segraves, M.D., Ph.D.î

Additional information has come in about other participants in the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group (which, of course, oversees the entry for GID and several other conditions). Of these, Dr. Cohen-Kettenis appears to have a trans-positive reputation, and has reportedly pushed for liberalizing the WPATH standards of care. She has studied neuroanatomy and looked particularily at differences between male and female brain patterns.

While it is encouraging to know that we have a possible advocate on this panel, we continue to be concerned. Zucker is still directing the work, and Blanchard still retains the ability to entrench ìautogynephiliaî as a paraphilia in the DSM-V via his position.

Other members of the Work Group have mixed backgrounds and usually some kind of tie to the Clarke-Northwestern group (as the cadre including Zucker, Blanchard, Alice Dreger, J. Michael Bailey at. al. is often called, drawn from the clinics where some of them practice). Dr. Niklas Langstrom has treated mostly sex offenders and co-authored work with Zucker about transvestitic fetishism. Dr. Jack Drescher is the editor of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy (where Anne Lawrence publishes) and involved with the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA), which in turn supports the Clarke-Northwestern clique via Dreger) ó although he differs with Zucker in that he opposes reparative therapy (or at least with regards to gay and lesbian persons). Others have unrelated fields, or, like Dr. Heino Meyer-Bahlburg, are completely ambivalent to whether transgender people should even receive treatment.

Getting Involved

Organisation Intersex International (OII) has become active early on, and openly opposes the Clarke-Northwestern approach, which has continued to push for ìnormalizationî of intersex infants. Zucker himself still adheres unflaggingly to Dr. John Moneyís ancient theory that gender is entirely socially constructed via conditioning ó despite David Reimerís tragic story (alternate link), and other evidence to the contrary..

TransActive Education & Advocacy (TAEA) has issued a press release which is not yet on their website, but could appear there shortly. In it, they write:

TransActive strongly opposes the appointment of Dr. Kenneth Zucker to
Chair the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders work group that will
revise and develop the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric
Associationís (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-V). This position is based upon his approach to
clinical treatment of transgender and gender non-conforming identity
in children & youth.

Dr. Zucker, along with colleagues Dr. Ray Blanchard (also appointed to
the DSM-V workgroup) and Dr. J. Michael Bailey are proponents of the
theory that, in the vast majority of cases, gender non-conforming
identity in children and youth is merely an indicator of an eventual
homosexual identity in adulthood.

Ö Again his distinctly cissexist consideration of
transgender identity in children and youth as a ëbehavior-centricî
issue rather than an core identity issue is deeply troubling.

Philadelphiaís Trans-Health Conference is planning a gathering for Friday, May 30th to discuss a plan on the GID Reform issue. The meeting will be facilitated by Kelley Winters and Jamison Green.

Arianna Davis, of TAVA (which is also likely to weigh in on the matter) and Trans Mission International (in development) has developed a group, GenderID Coalition, to bring individuals together.

Additionally, a petition has been set up at The Petition Site.

What I donít yet see are our GLB and medical community allies (PFLAG, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, etc.) displaying interest, but this is still the early stage. Even the national trans organizations are still formulating their response. Hopefully, our allies are interested in adding a strong voice to ours.

Destigmatization vs. Coverage II

There has also been a renewal in the drive to remove the diagnosis of GID from the DSM altogether. This is something Iíve cautioned about on a few occasions, most recently in Destigmatization Versus Coverage and Access: The Medical Model of Transsexuality.

Make no mistake, the current entry is NOT perfect. What I believe that we need to do is push for an improvement on the existing model, in preparation for when the physical evidence is there (which I am certain that it will one day be), so that it can then be recategorized as a physical affliction (which shifts it to an entirely different caretaker, out of the APAís hands ó this is worth looking into down the road, as to how it would be treated as a biological issue). However, unless science really steps up research (which is unlikely, because the interest and $ arenít there), the ability to categorize transsexuality as a physical medical issue is not likely to be there by the time the DSM-V is expected to be published, in 2012 (for those whoíve seen me write ì2011,î the APA has corrected me on that). Which would leave at least some kind of gap in treatment (I also believe that when a biological trigger(s?) is found, it will be hotly contested for some time, so acceptance will not be instantaneous).

My concern is that the existing entry in the DSM-IV provides us basic access to medical services, from GPs to therapists, from HRT to surgery which could swiftly dry up without there being some medical acknowledgement whatsoever. Without legitimization in the medical community, our entire treatment becomes a ìcosmeticî issue, and some could make the case that things like HRT are ìharmful behaviours.î Additionally, without the existence of GID as a possible diagnosis, we will see more of our sisters and brothers (particularily the youth) diagnosed with other inaccurate things, such as Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Additionally, many of the rights and protections that we have, the financial subsidizations that we have in places of HRT meds, and those few places where surgery is covered or has a chance of becoming so ó these mostly exist because of the counsel of the DSM, which is then given modern context for the legislators or accountants who address these things.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 10th, 2008 at 7:04 pm.

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SC&LD Residence Life - TransGen Housing Option

Subject: York pilots transgender residence

York is planning a pilot project on Keele campus to make available a number private residence rooms to self-identified transgender/transsexual students enrolled in the fall 2008-2009 academic year.

Undergraduate students are asked to indicate their need/desire for transgender housing on the residence application form and answer a few related questions about housing preferences.

www.yorku.ca/stuhouse/undergrad/index.htm

Everyone deserves a safe space to call home, expressed Lynnette Dubois, external coordinator for TBLGAY (Trans, Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay Association at York).  Diversity is York strength  transgender housing with safe, private washrooms shows York understands and supports equality and security for students.

The housing project, created by the Centre for Student Community and Leadership Development (SC&LD), Calumet College and the SexGen York Committee, with consultation from TBLGAY, is one of the first of its kind in Canada.

For more information, please contact sexgen@yorku.ca.

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We are pleased to announce a new Pride & Prejudice/CTYS group for trans youth. TRANSformations is a group for youth 18-25 who have begun some form of medical transition (e.g., hormones, electrolysis, surgery).

This is not a group for gender-questioning youth, youth who identify as trans but are not transitioning, or youth who have not yet begun medical transition. Exploring these issues is the core work of Pride & Prejudice's Gender Play, which will begin another cycle this coming fall.

TRANSformations is a 12-week group that will cover issues including health and well-being, body image and bodily changes, self-advocacy, community, relationships, and sexuality. The group is co-facilitated by Nicola Brown, Ph.D., and Matthias Kaay, MSW. We are beginning this fall and are currently accepting referrals. Clients wishing more information or to schedule an Intake Interview should call our Intake Coordinator, Cori, at 416-924-2100 x245.

** It is not necessarily well known that Pride & Prejudice, CTYS is not bound by a particular geographical catchment area. We welcome those youth outside of Toronto who may wish to access this special programming.

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The Fred Victor Centre has some information about Trans and Employment

Trans Fact Sheet

TRANSSEXUAL TRANSGENDER 2 SPIRITED PEOPLE
Understanding your legal rights in employment

As a transsexual, transgender, and/or 2-spirited person you are protected in employment from discrimination and harassment related to your gender identity under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”). You are also protected from discrimination and harassment in employment because of your race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship (other than where Canadian citizenship is a requirement, qualification or consideration imposed or authorized by law), religion, sexual orientation, age, criminal record (other than a conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada for which you have not received a pardon), marital status, family status or disability.

If you are job searching, employers are only permitted to ask you questions that relate to the job qualifications on job application forms and in job interviews. Employers are not permitted to ask questions about information that may lead to discrimination. If you would otherwise be hired, an employer is not allowed to deny your job application based on your gender identity. This is true even if an employer says that your gender identity or expression might bother their employees, clients or customers.

If you are employed, employers are responsible to ensure that the work environment is free from harassment and other forms of unequal treatment expressed through demeaning comments and actions based on your gender identity. Your employer has responsibility not only for the employer’s conduct but for the conduct of coworkers too. Your employer is also obligated to keep your personal information private.

The Code also protects your right to wear clothes and use washrooms that are appropriate to your gender identity. Clear communication with your employer (and coordination in advance if you are transitioning on the job) will be helpful in letting your employer know what to expect, what your rights are, and how to deal effectively with any issues that may come up. It may help to give your employer a copy of the Ontario Human Rights Commissions’ Policy on Discrimination and Harassment because of Gender Identity. You can get a copy of the policy online at: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/Policies/PolicyGenderIdent

This information is for general information only and is not intended to provide a legal opinion. If you have any questions about what your rights are or how to protect/enforce your rights, you should contact the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a community legal clinic or a lawyer.

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As Toronto's Pride Week marks a series of events across the province to celebrate diverse sexual and gender identities, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is calling on nurses and health-care organizations to eliminate discriminatory attitudes and practices which create barriers to inclusive and appropriate health care.

Today, RNAO released a position statement entitled 'Respecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity' to address homophobia and heterosexism in the health-care system which can limit access to health-care services and compromise health. Up to 1.25 million people in Ontario identify themselves as members of gender or sexual minority communities. A Health Canada survey found that the rates of unmet health-care needs among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people were nearly double those of heterosexuals.

One reason this diverse population doesn't always receive the care it needs is because some avoid traditional health-care settings for fear that they will experience discrimination or be refused care, explains RNAO President Mary Ferguson-Paré. "We have to confront these issues head on and ensure that nurses and other health-care providers treat all patients respectfully," she says.

"Nurses want to provide the best care possible for all their patients. To meet the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, it is essential to understand the complexities of their lives. By issuing this position statement, we are asking nurses to examine their own attitudes and beliefs and to learn more about providing holistic care to members of diverse communities. As frontline health-care providers, nurses can play an important role in fostering respect for sexual diversity and making our health-care system inclusive," says Ferguson-Paré.

Health-care organizations must also adapt in order to meet the needs of diverse clients and the RNAO's position statement outlines steps they should take. "Organizations must assess the services they provide to determine whether members of all communities have equal access to care. The next step is to develop, implement and monitor policies to ensure that services, procedures and environments are respectful of sexual diversity. It is essential to include members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in this process," says RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun.

The position statement also stresses the importance of creating work environments where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender nurses and other health professionals do not experience discrimination from colleagues or clients. "Genuine respect for diversity is essential to building workplaces and societies where all people enjoy health and well-being. Nurses of diverse sexual and gender identities must feel as comfortable at work as
their heterosexual colleagues and must have the same opportunities for professional development and career advancement," says Grinspun.

To read Respecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, please visit http://www.rnao.org

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association for registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.

For more information, please contact:

Jill-Marie Burke
Media Relations Coordinator
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
Work phone: 416-408-5606
Mobile phone: 647-504-4008
Toll-free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.250
E-mail: jburke@rnao.org.

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New resources relating to trans issues at the GRCGED! The Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity (formerly The Women's Resource Centre) University Centre room 107 University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1

Thanks to a grant we received last year from the Gordon Nixon Leadership Awards, we have just acquired a whole bunch of really exciting resources relating to transgender folks! From personal narratives to historical accounts, presented in essay-style to fiction to visual art and back again, both about theory and practice, cross-cultural and multi-gendered, we've got a lot of really neat things!

Here is a selection of the materials we purchased through the Award. A complete list of titles is available in the centre.

Books, Anthologies, 'Zines:
- Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits, by Loren Cameron
- Both Sides Now: One Man's Journey Through Womanhood., by Dhillon Khosla
- DisIdentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics, by Jose Munoz
- Drag King Dreams, by Leslie Feinberg
- Dress Codes: Of Three Girlhoods - My Mother's, My Father's, and Mine, by Noelle Howey
- Just Add Hormones, by Matt Kailey
- Luna, by Julie Anne Peters
- Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender & Conformity, Ed. by Mattilda/Matt Bernstein Sycamore
- Queer Theory, Gender Theory: An Instant Primer, by Riki Wilchins
- The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism, and Transgender Rights, by Deborah Rudacille
- Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs, Ed. by Johnathan Ames
- She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, by Jennifer Finney Boylan
- Sons of the Movement: FtMs Risking Incoherence on a Post-Queer Cultural Landscape, by Jean Bobby Noble
- The Testosterone Files: My Hormonal and Social Transformation from Female to Male, by Max Wolf Valerio
- Trans/forming Feminisms: Trans-Feminist Voices Speak Out, by Krista Scott-Dixon
- Transgender Erotica: Trans Figures, Ed. by M. Christian
- The Transgender Studies Reader, Ed. by Susan Stryker
- The New Goddess: Transgender Women in the Twenty-First Century, by Gypsey Teague
- Toms and Dees: Transgender Identity and Female Same-Sex Relationships in Thailand, by Megan Sinnott

Young Adult/Children:

- Boy V. Girl?: How Gender Shapes Who We Are, What We Want, And How We Get Along, by George Abrahams & Sheila Ahlbrand
- Are You a Boy or a Girl?, ['Zine] by Karleen Pendleton Jiminez

DVDs:

- The Aggressives, Daniel Peddle
- Cruel and Unusual, Dan Hunt
- In the Flesh, Gordon McLennan
- Paris Is Burning, Jannie Livingston
- Toilet Training, Sylvia Rivera Law Project
- Transgeneration, Jeremy Simmons
- Venus Boyz, Gabriel Baur

Manuals:

- Beyond the Binary: A Tool Kit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools, compiled by the GSA Network, Transgender Law Centre, & the National Center for Lesbian Rights
- Peeing In Peace: A Resource Guide for Transgender Activists and Allies, compiled by the Transgender Law Centre
- Trans Inclusion Policy Manual for Women’s Centres, compiled by the Trans Alliance Society

There are also a variety of new pamphlets, booklets, and other informational materials available in the centre! Please ask us for more details regarding these.

The purchase of these wonderful resources was made possible through the generous donation of the Gordon Nixon Leadership Awards. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for us, and those who helped in researching new materials to purchase.

Please come by the centre and take a look, and help us spread the word about these new additions!

Naomi de Szegheo-Lang, Gender Inclusion Facilitator, GRCGED Collective.

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K-W doctor accepting new patients (LGBTQ-friendly practice)

Dr. Michale Lee-Poy has opened his practice in KW. Please see a note from him below.

Dave Vervoort M.Sc.
Registered Marriage & Family Therapist
www.RainbowTherapist.com
DaveVervoort@sympatico.ca
519-821-5163

Serving the LGBTTTSIQQ Communities

The following from him (Michale Lee-Poy): I have recently opened up my full-time family practice with the Centre for Family Medicine in Kitchener-Waterloo. I am currently accepting new patients. If you know of anyone who is currently without a family doctor in the Waterloo region, please have them call the office at (519) 578-2100 (Please note corrected phone number) and speak to Shirley to book an initial appointment.

I would like a well-balanced inclusive practice, but have a special interest in families, spirituality, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender health. I would especially welcome new patients of the GLBT community. Peace, Mike

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TRANSSEXUAL ACTIVISTS SUE POLICE

Two transgender activists who were recently intimidated and assaulted by officers of the Metro Toronto Police Service have filed a civil action suing the Toronto Police Services Board. They have also filed complaints with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. At a news conference on Sept. 29 they will call on other transgender individuals who have suffered any form of police harassment to come forward.

On March 24, 2005 Lorraine Tagalog and Adel Abdulrahim were sitting in the Bakers Dozen Donut shop at Wellesley and Sherbourne Sts., quietly drinking coffee and talking. Ms. Tagalog is a transexual and Abdulrahim is a cross-dresser. Soon after they arrived and sat down three plain clothes police officers entered the coffee shop. One of the officers immediately approached them and ordered them to leave the premises. When they asked why they were being thrown out of the coffee shop, the officer said simply “I don’t like people you people” and then violently pushed Abdulrahim out the door. While pushing them out the door, the officer informed Ms. Tagalog and Abdulrahim that they would be arrested if they did not leave immediately. While this was occurring, the other two officers laughed at them. Ms. Tagalog and Abdulrahim called 911 to report the assault, but the officers who responded to their call ignored them.

Less than one week later, Abdulrahim was again met in the coffee shop by the same officer who had pushed her out on March 24. Once again, Abdulrahim was informed that she would be arrested if she did not immediately leave the coffee shop.

We believe that these were not isolated events. Many transgender people have had similar experiences with Toronto police but have not brought formal legal proceedings because they are afraid they will be alone and will be further victimized. We call on all trans-gender individuals who have been similarly victimized to come forward with their stories.

For more information, contact: Christopher Reid, lawyer, at: 416-466-9928.

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According to a Ms McMillan at the Ministry of Drivers and Transportation, 416-246-7103 ext. 1503, all a person needs to make the correction of the sex designation on their drivers license is a letter from their doctor stating that it would benefit the person to have the designation changed.

The person does not have to have any surgery.

The reason it is this way goes back to the time in the 80s when all a person needed to change both the name and sex designation was a letter from the Clarke. But they claim that people were going in and changing it back and forth over and over again so they needed to change the policy because of that abuse. So now they only accept documentation from the registrars office of the change of name, and a letter from an M.D. advising them to change the sex. Or you can just use the new birth certificate, should you have a new one with the name and sex designation corrected. She warns that not everyone in the Licensing Offices may be aware of this, but this is the procedure.

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Passport Canada announced a policy change for Trans Canadians

According to Ian Mackenzie of Xtra! Canadian Citizens were able to get a limited validity passport with their gender changed provided they can supply medical documentation saying they will be getting Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) outside the country. Passport Canada will now provide the limited validity passport if the citizen is having surgery in Canada. But, the citizen must still be surgery track.

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The fundamental error of conflating intersexuality and congenital birth defects
by Curtis E. Hinkle

The fundamental problem with viewing intersex as a medical condition only is that unlike other congenital conditions which affect the body, sex is recorded on birth certificates. Intersex can often pose serious challenges in deciding which of the two official sexes to put on the birth certificate which then affects the whole life of the individual who has been placed in one of the two categories, often resulting in treatments deemed necessary to normalize their bodies so they fit the stereotypes of that sex and furthermore can result in assigning a sex which is totally alien to the person in the body which has been normalized. This can cause very serious trauma which affects many intersexuals and the underlying justification for these crimes is the legal need to impose one of only two sex categories on all individuals born. This legal requirement to sex all bodies as male or female is the one, basic justification that the medical community has for mutilating our bodies, putting us in boxes which may be totally unacceptable to us and coming up with a very rich set of pathological terms and labels to pathologize any deviation from standard male or female.

I like the analysis that Judith Butler has made about gender as performative. Many people have misunderstood her terminology and thought that the term performative was related to "performace". She did later incorporate that idea. However, the original use of this term which comes from the field of linguistics is the more fundamental meaning she gives to the idea of gender as performative. In linguistics, the use of the word performative refers to statements which cannot be categorized as true or false but which "perform" the action they state. For example: "I promise." "I swear." "I pronounce you man and wife." By saying these sentences, you have performed the act stated.

As opposed to people with other congenital conditions, intersexuals face a series of performative discourses which affect identity issues, not just their bodies. First, the statement, "It's a girl". The newborn in question is a girl because the person who writes this on the birth certificate has so stated. In other words the person's discursive power and authority over the infant has placed her in the category simply by stating it and then recording it. This is all about the use of language to make something so, whether it is or not in reality true or false. Such legal discourse is purely performative because saying it, makes it so and you are categorized without consent and for what purpose?

Then we are named, another performative use of language and these names are often "sexed". Then we might decide we wish to get married and once again we are faced with the use of performative language which often will not "pronounce us as man and wife" with the partner of our choice.

Medical, legal and religious discourse controls our lives in ways that other people with bodies that do not meet norms do not face and this is the serious problem with conflating intersex with just a body issue.

A person who is born without one arm is not faced with legal, medical and religious discourse which separates all people into one-armed and two-armed people and then sets very rigid norms which all the people of each category must adhere to. This is not recorded on the birth certificate. It does not require sorting through different lists of names, one for one-armed people and the other for those that are two-armed and it does not prevent a one-armed person from getting an artificial limb by making them agree to psychological treatments and being categorized as mentally ill for wanting to change their status from one-armed to two-armed people. Furthermore, it does not prevent a two-armed person marrying another two-armed person.

Conflating intersex with body issues merely objectifies the intersexual and overlooks the complexity of issues and the trauma that many intersexuals face trying to live in a world that has no place for them.

Our society has norms and these norms are not natural. They only appear to be natural because we have often unconsciously internalized them to such a degree that they seem not only "normal" but natural. Sex, gender and orientation are all part of the same basic problem which results from sexing bodies into just two categories. Some of us are granted the privilege of normalcy, while others are not and it all is based on our bodies and who owns those bodies - the state or the individual.

Intersexuality is one of the most challenging threats to this arbitrary division of people into just two categories because intersex is based on what is supposedly the very criteria for placing us in the categories male or female to begin with. In this respect, intersexuality is a body issue and very few people would challenge that and to understand the topic, one has to deal with the body and how many bodies do not fit the norms imposed legally, not naturally, which are then medicalized into conformity.

However, this need to normalize bodies and to categorize people into just two categories also involves gender norms and sexual orientation norms which affect intersexuals to a much higher degree we have found out than the population in general. To minimize the issues of gender norms and sexual orientation norms which are all based on the body we have been "normalized" into or legally defined by is a very serious disregard for the intersexual who has been placed in a legal category and normalized without their consent.

Until sex is no longer a legal category imposed on people, it is a very serious mistake to conflate intersex as just a body issue. It is about forced normalization, about people assigned genders they do not agree with. It is about people who love others that society sees as the inappropriate sex. It is about all of this. About mutilated bodies, mutilated genders and identities and often being deprived of legally marrying the partner of our choice.

I am not just a body. I am a person.

Hi community members,

Quite a while ago a group of really dedicated and concerned CAMH staff met to talk about CAMH's negative reputation in the queer communities, and what we can do to start to build stronger relationships. So they asked why. And still are asking why. But they've had some responses and a beauty was sent to us as well as Dale Kuehl - Chair LGBT CAMH Staff Caucus, 175 Brentcliffe Rd., Toronto, ON. M4G 3Z1 Dale_Kuehl@camh.net

Responses to the question: Why does CAMH have such a negative rep in the community.....

To Dale Kuehl - Chair LGBT CAMH Staff Caucus,

Many organizations within the queer community have embraced an intersectional approach to the fight against oppression.

The EGALE organization renamed itself to Egale Canada to support advocacy and become more inclusive of Bi-Sexual and Trans persons. Some of the narrowly focused groups such as Canadian Transexuals Fight For Rights (ctffr) interact and where possible participate
with other activists.

The groups whether broad or narrow focused, whether large or small have all agreed to respect the self-identification of their oppressed minorities. In my opinion this is the fundamental barrier to CAMH participation.

The Gender Identity Clinic at CAMH refuses to embrace a transpositive therapeutic model, a cursory glance at your website shows the contempt your organization preaches regarding transsexual persons.

”This includes those who wish to manage their cross-gender feelings and the expression of those feelings while remaining in their original gender role as well as those questioning their level of adaptation to the cross-dressing or transgendered behaviour.“

The quote clearly shows Blanchard’s poisonous assertions that are well documented elseware, if you are in any way unclear regarding this issue please read the report by Mistress Krista and Pandora at

“Clinician, Heal Thyself (Or, It's All Your Problem)”

http://www.trans-health.com/displayarticle.php?aid=86

The abuse of Transsexual persons by CAMH is systemic from Blanchard and Cantor to the reparative therapies of trans children by Zucker.

“A defining moment in our history by Andrea James”
http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/gender-identity.html

You ask what you can do to repair relationships between CAMH and the queer communities. The solution is simple take action against Blanchard, Cantor, Zucker and their apologists.

Dale, if the LGBT CAMH Staff Caucus is not visibly and actively for our rights you will continue to be regarded with contempt in the same vein that CAMH itself is.

line

There was the disgraceful treatment of Kyle Scanlon when he responded to their invitation to present at CAMH Staff Caucus. It led to Cantor's slap on the wrist Kyles complaint letter can be found about 25% down the page at

http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/james-cantor.html

The 519 offers marvelous trans programming facilitated by Kyles co-ordination there is a new Ontario Trans Support Resource Guide, well worth noting at

http://www.the519.org/programs/trans/ON_TS_ResourceGuide.htm

Personal experience and conversation with other ts persons regarding the Sherbourne Health Centre confirms that transpositive medical support for transition and beyond is available. Their approach is to minimize the gatekeeping something the CAMH GID fundamentally opposes.

Documented abuse of transsexual people by CAMH GIC is available within the ts community, are there members of other groups within this list that have or know of problems with other services at CAMH?

Bill Siksay re-introduces Bill to recognize the human rights of trans people Labour and transactivist participate in news conference

June 19, 2006


Ottawa--This afternoon after Question Period--after 3 pm eastern--Bill Siksay the NDP MP will re-introduce his private member's bill to add gender identity and gender expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

This morning he held a press conference to announce this--and, because of his low priority, offered the bill to any other MP higher up the list or to the Government for debate and passage.

Participating with Siksay was Ed Cashman of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and Jessica Freedman, a trans activist at the national, provincial and local level.

Siksay spoke of the real harm done to trans people in all areas of interacting with government institutions--including identity documents, health care, education and police.

He spoke of the roundabout way that the rights of trans people are now 'recognized' and his realization that a 'direct method' must be found: the reason for his re-introduction of the bill--and his commitment to keep introducing it until it is passed.

Cashman spoke of the support of the labour movement for the recognition of the equal rights of all people, including trans people.

Freedman spoke of the exclusion of trans people from the public recognition of their existence and the exclusion from society that is the existence of trans people in Canada.

It is ironic, she said, that the same week this legislation is introduced a group of trans people are coming to Ottawa to raise awareness of the elevated rates of suicide among trans people--one of the consequences of this exclusion.

She said there is a vast undercurrent of support and recognition of trans people but also a great reluctance to speak out publicly in favour of human rights legislation and other measures to accept trans people into the mainstream of society and greatly appreciates Siksay's courage in speaking out repeatedly.

Organisation Intersex International


I am very proud to announce that the City of Montreal made a historic declaration during the Outgames. Thanks to the work of the Organisation Intersex International, an organisation incorporated in the Province of Quebec, this document condemns surgical intervention of intersex infants without their consent.

The following is a translation of the original French text. Please note that OII did not have any input on the choice of words in the English translation. The original French version of the text reflects the documents and input from OII-Québec.

We are very thankful to the City of Montreal for having included intersex as part of this historic document. I also want to thank André Fiset, Joëlle-Circé Laramée and Lucie Gosselin for their efforts in making intersex issues part of this event and of this document.

A special thank you to Lucie Gosselin for assisting me in preparing all the texts for this event and for her assistance in all preparations and communications with the organisers.

In solidarity,
Curtis E. Hinkle
President, OII
www.intersexualite.org

For a split second I thought they got it.

MICHIGAN WOMYN’S MUSIC FESTIVAL SETS THE RECORD “STRAIGHT”


Hart, Michigan – Seeking to correct misinformation widely distributed by “Camp Trans” organizers, Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival founder and producer Lisa Vogel released the following clarification:

“Since 1976, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival has been created by and for womyn-born womyn, that is, womyn who were born as and have lived their entire life experience as womyn. Despite claims to the contrary by Camp Trans organizers, the Festival remains a rare and precious space intended for womyn-born womyn.”

The facts surrounding the interactions between WWTMC and Camp Trans organizers are as follows:

In the months preceding this year’s Festival, held August 8 – 13, there was communication between a Camp Trans organizer named Lorraine and Lisa Vogel. Letters from Lorraine continued during the Festival, when they were hand-delivered to the Festival’s front gate from Camp Trans, which takes place on Forest Service Land across from Festival property. On Tuesday, August 8th, Camp Trans organizers inquired at the Box Office about Festival admission. They were told that the Festival is intended for womyn-born womyn, and that those who seek to purchase tickets are asked to respect that intention. Camp Trans organizers left without purchasing tickets. They returned the next day and were given the same information. Lorraine at that point chose to purchase a ticket.

On Wednesday, August 9th, Vogel sent a reply letter to Lorraine which stated in part:

“I deeply desire healing in our communities, and I can see and feel that you want that too. I would love for you and the other organizers of Camp Trans to find the place in your hearts and politics to support and honor space for womyn who have had the experience of being born and living their life as womyn. I ask that you respect that womon born womon is a valid and honorable gender identity. I also ask that you respect that womyn born womyn deeply need our space -- as do all communities who create space to gather, whether that be womyn of color, trans womyn or trans men . . . I wish you well, I want healing, and I believe this is possible between our communities, but not at the expense of deeply needed space for womyn born womyn.”

Vogel’s written request that Camp Trans organizers respect the Festival as womyn-born-womyn space was consistent with information provided to Camp Trans organizers who approached the Festival Box Office. “Does this represent a change in the Festival’s commitment to womyn-born womyn space? No.” says Vogel. “If a transwoman purchased a ticket, it represents nothing more than that womon choosing to disrespect the stated intention of this Festival.”

“As feminists, we call upon the transwomen’s community to help us maintain womyn only space, including spaces created by and for womyn-born womyn. As sisters in struggle, we call upon the transwomen’s community to meditate upon, recognize and respect the differences in our shared experiences and our group identities even as we stand shoulder to shoulder as women, and as members of the greater queer community. We once again ask the transwomen’s community to recognize that the need for a separate womyn-born womyn space does not stand at odds with recognizing the larger and beautiful diversity of our shared community.”

* * *

In an effort to build further understanding of the Festival’s perspective, answers are provided to questions raised by the recent Camp Trans press release (which contains misinformation):

Why would the Festival sell a ticket to an individual who is not a womon-born womon if the Festival is intended as a space created by and for womyn-born womyn? From its inception the Festival has been home to womyn who could be considered gender outlaws, either because of their sexual orientation (lesbian, bisexual, polyamorous, etc.) or their gender presentation (butch, bearded, androgynous, femme – and everything in between). Many womyn producing and attending the Michigan Festival are gender variant womyn. Many of the younger womyn consider themselves differently gendered, many of the older womyn consider themselves butch womyn, and the dialogue is alive and well on the Land as our generational mix continues to inform our ongoing understanding about gender identity and the range of what it means to be female. Michigan provides one of the safest places on the planet for womyn who live and present themselves to the world in the broadest range of gender expression. As Festival organizers, we refuse to question anyone’s gender. We instead ask that womon-born womon be respected as a valid gender identity, and that the broad queer and gender-diverse communities respect our commitment to one week each year for womyn-born womyn to gather.

Did the Festival previously refuse to sell tickets to transwomen? The Festival has consistently communicated our intention about who the Festival is created by and for. In 1999, Camp Trans protesters caused extensive disruption of the Festival, in which a male from Camp Trans publicly displayed male genitals in a common shower area and widespread disrespect of women’s space was voiced. The following year, our 25th anniversary, we issued a statement that we would not sell tickets to those entering for the purpose of disrupting the Festival. While this is widely pointed to by Camp Trans supporters as a "policy," it was a situational response to the heated circumstances of 1999, intended to reassure the womyn who have attended for years that the Festival remained – as it does today – intended for womyn who were born as and have lived their entire life experience as womyn, despite the disrespect and intentional disruption Camp Trans initiated.

Is the Festival transphobic? We strongly assert there is nothing transphobic with choosing to spend one week with womyn who were born as, and have lived their lives as, womyn. It is a powerful, uncommon experience that womyn enjoy during this one week of living in the company of other womyn-born womyn. There are many opportunities in the world to share space with the entire queer community, and other spaces that welcome all who define themselves as female. Within the rich diversity now represented by the broader queer community, we believe there is room for all affinity groups to enjoy separate, self-determined, supportive space if they choose. Supporting womyn-born womyn space is no more inherently transphobic than supporting womyn of color space is racist. We believe that womyn-born womyn have a right to gather separately from the greater womyn’s community. We refuse to be forced into false dichotomies that equate being pro-womyn-born womyn space with being anti-trans; indeed, many of the womyn essential to the Michigan Festival are leaders and supporters of trans-solidarity work. The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival respects the transsexual community as integral members of the greater queer community. We call upon the transsexual community in turn to respect and support womyn-born womyn space and to recognize that a need for a separate womyn-born womyn space does not stand at odds with recognizing transwomen as part of the larger diversity of the womyn’s community.

What is Camp Trans? Camp Trans was first created in 1994 as a protest to the Festival as womyn-born womyn space. Camp Trans re-emerged in 1999 and has been held across the road from the Festival every year since. A small gathering of people who camp and hold workshops and a few performances on Forest Service land across the road, Camp Trans attempts to educate womyn who are attending the Festival about their point of view regarding trans inclusion at the Festival. At times they have advocated for the Festival to welcome anyone who, for whatever period of time, defines themselves as female, regardless of the sex they were born into. At other times, Camp Trans activists have advocated opening the Festival to all sexes and genders.

What is the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival? It is the largest and longest running womyn’s festival in the United States. Since the first Festival in 1976, tens of thousands of womyn from all corners of the world have made the pilgrimage to this square mile of land in Northern Michigan. The essence of the Festival is that it is one week a year that is by, for and about the glorious diversity of womyn-born womyn and we continue to stand by our labor of love to create this space. Our focus has not changed in the 31 years of our celebration and it remains fixed on the goal of providing a celebratory space for a shared womyn-born-womyn experience.


S. Lamble wrote: Trans inclusion at Michigan is long overdue and changes in that direction are definitely worth celebrating!

At the same time, I think its important to keep in mind that the struggle is not over. A friend of mine who was at the festival - and has been doing solidarity work with CampTrans - noted a few things that were not included in the press release, which seem worth mentioning.

1) The first time that the trans woman (the one who is mentioned in the press release) came to the gate, the anti-trans policy was produced and she wasn't admitted. The second time she went to the gate, they didn't show her the policy, but they also didn't sell her a ticket right away; they had a lengthy conversation about who the festival is for, and how her identity would fit into that.

2) After being admitted to the festival, she received a letter from Lisa Vogel (the owner of the festival) asking her to respect that the festival is for 'womyn-born-womyn,' and to not contact Vogel again until after the festival.

The way my friend understands the outcome is as follows: "the 'womyn- born-womyn' is now officially being presented as an expectation as oppose to a policy. it's a great opening for sure. i'd still be cautious though about saying the festival has abolished its policy. it still exists in many attendees and organizers' minds."

~S. Lamble

U of T Genderqueer Group needs bikes of all sorts. A lot of transpeople are living below the poverty line and thus do not have access to things like bicycles. By donating a bike to the Tranny bike initiative (hey it had to have a name of some sort!) you are not only helping us look great at pride, but are also giving someone the ability to travel around Toronto for no cost. This means a situation where all Trans people can easily get to doctors appointments, jobs, workshops, events, and also stay healthy! Everyone benefits!

We will gladly take donations of other wheeled-things such as scooters, skateboards, roller blades etc.

 

Menace T-Shirts Are Back!

Have you ever wanted one of those ever-popular black "Transexual Menace" T-Shirts, with the good ol' dripping blood red text? Now is your chance! A select amount of "Transexual Menace International" shirts are now available for a *mere* US $10 per shirt! That's cheaper than a CafePress.com knockoff!

These shirts are ready for the next time you want to march for equal rights, protest at the university of certain book-writing docs, or just want that cool "retro" look all the kids are raving about.

Interested? Drop Krya a line at culattina@yahoo.com to place yer order!

TrannyPUNK night 

The 3rd friday of the month is always the supreme  to take over buddies.  That's riiiiiiight - it's HALF-COCKED.  That means that you gotta get your trannypunk asses out to Buddies at 12 alexander at 10:30pm.  DJ catscratch spins the HARDEST rock punk shite.  Come out and party.  $3 cover - smoking (that's right!!) in the antechamber.  Special guest performers to be announced on the nite of.  Cool shit to give away - if you win the contest.  Can't get enough of that tranny punk  (you can never get enough).  call 416-975-8555

Bonnie Henderson, the transsexual ex-cop who both the Star and Egale recognise as a victim of police discrimination.

It is obvious that Bonnie Henderson was victimized solely on her gender, and in a day and age where this type of behavior should be left in the dark ages, it is even more distressing to know it came from a Police force that is suppose to recognize the rights of all its citizens. It is even more distressing to know Bonnie was an exceptional Police Officer. She came forward early in her transition to tell Officers of the Criminal behavior of others on the force and was instantly marginalized and treated as Gender trash.

She asks that you e-mail the Complaint department or the Professional Standards department or write the Toronto Police Service and voice your disgust regarding her situation. The mailing address is, Toronto Police Service 40 College St Toronto Ontario Canada M5G 2J3. Show your anger regarding Bonnie and to urge them to make things right for her. It's hard to imagine what she has been through and she would be most grateful.

Healthy Ontario, the Province of Ontario's health website had a booth at Pride Day. When I asked what information they have on the health care for Ontario's transsexual citizens we did a search on their site and found nothing. Perhaps they were too embarrassed to mention the group to whom the province is denying adequate treatment, even though (as stated in the London Free Press and Gilles Marchildon, executive director of the gay-rights group Egale Canada.) "It's something that has a dramatic impact on the lives of very few people, but it has a huge impact on their quality of life." Refusing to pay for the procedure is "short-sighted" since without the surgery, people with gender identity disorders tend to burden the health-care system.

Now, to add insult to inaction, they finally mention us on the Healthy Ontario website. After stating "men have more heart attacks than women" they finish with "Most of us don’t want to change our sex, but we can certainly change our habits!"

I think they enjoy making light of those they make suffer! It's sad the only decent Liberal, George Smitherman has to put up with those assholes.

 

The term Transsexual (or Transexual, both spelling are recognized) refers to someone whose mind and soul (the person's core gender, if you will) is out of alignment with their body. The only treatment that has consistently helped transsexual people with the extrordinary problems that come with this situation is living a life as true to their inner feelings as possible. This is most often done through cross-living, often including the use of hormones and surgery. This condition is unique with it's own needs, rituals and culture.

The term Transgender is an umbrella term used to identify a number of groups that express gender in a form considered inappropriate for their perceived natal gender. Included in this group is transvestites, drag kings and queens, gender benders, gender blenders and all people who step outside of the box. Transsexuals have been considered a part of this group but because of minoritization in the LGBTTIQQ world there is a growing movement of transsexuals who are disowning the transgender label.

Groups like the Canadian Transexuals Fight For Rights are pushing for separate Transsexual inclusion into transgender accepting groups, The Intersex Society of North America has even a harder time getting recognised. OII - Organisation Internationale des IntersexuÈs are noticing how alike transsex and intersex are.

The U.S. Government issued rules to airport security and law enforcement agencies, which will impact the transgender community. This most recent alert specifically mentions `males … dressed as females.'

According to the agency's Press Release #238, intelligence collected globally by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) apparently leads them to believe that soft targets, and more clever approaches including use of disguise are considered the next trend in terrorism.

Quoting the DHS alert to the pertinent agencies, "Previous attacks underscore Al-Qaeda's ability to employ suicide bombers – a tactic which can be used against soft targets and VIP's. Terrorists will employ novel methods to artfully conceal suicide devices. Male bombers may dress as females in order to discourage scrutiny."

The agency also noted that "Recent mass-casualty attacks in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Iraq used car bombs against hotels and housing compounds, suggesting that "soft" targets with minimum physical security measures could be viewed as attractive options in the U.S." Soft targets include apartment complexes, hotels, gas stations, shopping malls and restaurants. http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/press_release/press_release_0238.xml

For the transgender community, this means that airport screeners and other law enforcement agencies will be much more vigilant than usual. It also means they may be more likely to commit unwitting abuses. At the minimum, the transgender community should be mindful of the new alerts and prepare accordingly when traveling this fall, especially if flying.

Crossdressers should seriously consider doing any air travel in male garb until reaching their destination. With a focus on soft targets, even more casual pursuits such as shopping or going to restaurants could also potentially draw scrutiny.

Even for those who've transitioned, issues may arise if authorities suspect something. When traveling, it is advisable to consider
bringing your court-ordered name (and gender) change papers. While terrorists may make fake identifications, they won't carry name change documents signed and notarized by a court.

In either case, be prepared to openly explain the truth about your transgender status if stopped and questioned by authorities. As frightening as this scenario may appear, hesitation or evasive answers will only draw more intense scrutiny and could possibly lead to police holding one temporarily for further interrogation. Lack of cooperation with authorities will likely be treated unfavorably and unapologetically.

"This isn't a request for everyone to be `out and proud' or scare tactics," said Vanessa Edwards Foster, chair of the National
Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC). "We're trying to avoid having innocent transgenders jailed because a hesitant answer was inaccurately deemed as hiding terrorist motivations," as a result of the DHS security alert.

NTAC also asks for reports of any incidents where a transgendered party is forthcoming with all requests, and consequently is verbally or physically abused, or arrested under questionable pretense. If something of this nature occurs, we encourage those parties to keep a detailed report of all actions taken. An increased need for security should not give law enforcement a right to make personal character judgments and to abuse cooperative innocents.

"While the worst-case scenarios appear rather alarming, we don't want to discourage the community from traveling or conducting themselves as before." NTAC's Foster said. "There's still a good chance this won't affect most travelers.

"Live your lives," Foster suggested. "Just be forthright when the situation calls for it – and be prepared."

Travel smart – travel safely.

The Fifth Estate Programme; Becoming Ayden is a prime example of an asshole in action. Ignorance, rudeness and homophobia were expressed in letters written about the interviewer to the Menace. We're glad we missed it, and we're glad Gayle Roberts didn't for she wrote the following letter to the Fifth Estate:


As a transsexual person I looked forward to what I thought would be a well balanced and excellent educational documentary on transsexualism produced by the Fifth Estate. I recommended to my friends that they should watch it, fully expecting that they would see a thoughtful, sensitive and educational presentation regarding this extremely complex subject.

I must tell you that today I'm spending a good portion of my time explaining to them that what they saw was a highly distorted, biased and ignorant presentation of this subject. I can not think of a documentary that the Fifth Estate has ever produced that was so poorly done!

I believe your producers have an ethical responsibility to produce accurate, balanced and sensitive programming on topics that are not well understood by the public. After all, documentaries such as those produced by Fifth Estate are often where the public gets its "facts" and, from them, forms social judgments on what actions society should take around complex issues. I believe your producer, in producing such a program, must have been aware that many of her viewers would watch her documentary so they could gain insight into their own condition or that of a loved one. What do such viewers walk away with from her documentary?
That question is simple to answer. The impression is that if I think I may be transsexual then I'm mentally ill. If I transition, I will be extremely unhappy, probably regret transitioning, loose my family's support and most, if not all, of my friends. The impression I have if I am the parent of a child who is considering transitioning is that I am now informed enough to tell him or her of the adverse consequences of transitioning and that I now know for sure that he or she is mentally ill. I have
also come to the conclusion, as a loving and caring parent, that I must seek the help and intervention for my child of a psychiatrist. Your producer has not only produced an extremely poor documentary, she may have caused psychological and social damage to questioning transgender people and their loved ones!

Here are some points that I believe you should consider:

1.. Ray Blanchard, whom you presented as the authority on transsexualism in Canada, is now considered by many in the professional and "trans" communities as being out of touch with current thought on the subject. You should be aware that he recently resigned from The International Gender Dysphoria Association in a dispute with the Board of that organization. You could have easily found internationally respected researchers in this field who would categorically tell you that transsexualism is not considered to be a mental illness. (See URL and edited copy below.)

2.. While it is true that there is no universally accepted theory as to the cause of transsexualism, you could at least have had a respected expert tell the viewers that most researchers in the field believe, and have very good biological evidence, that this condition is probably caused prior to birth by irreversible patterning of the brain. (Again see article below.)

3.. It is my impression that your producer deliberately wanted to leave the impression in her viewers' minds that sex reassignment surgery (SRS) is "cosmetic". I came to this conclusion when she "corrected" the Canadian surgeon when he said he was a "plastic" surgeon. I find it hard to believe that she is unaware of The Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association's Standards of Care where, under "surgery", they make the following very clear statement:
Sex Reassignment is Effective and Medically Indicated in Severe GID. In persons diagnosed with transsexualism or profound GID, sex reassignment surgery, along with hormone therapy and real-life experience, is a treatment that has proven to be effective. Such a therapeutic regimen, when prescribed or recommended by qualified practitioners, is medically indicated and medically necessary. Sex reassignment is not "experimental," "investigational," "elective," "cosmetic," or optional in any meaningful sense. It constitutes very effective and appropriate treatment for transsexualism or profound GID

It certainly appears to me that your producer is grossly ignorant of her subject or has deliberately misled her viewers. Regardless of which explanation is correct, I strongly suggest you clarify this point with the viewers of Fifth Estate.

4.. You could have placed greater emphasis on the thousands of people who have received hormone therapy and/or SRS and now live happy and productive lives. (For evidence of this, I suggest you visit Lynn Conway's website at http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/conway.html).
Instead, you focus on a very unhappy man in Australia who is suing his surgeon because, for some mysterious reason, the surgeon should not have performed SRS on him. I was amazed that this man seemed to want to blame other people for his predicament and take no responsibility for his own actions. While I feel sorry for him, he went freely to the operating theatre! While there is much discussion about the role of "gate-keepers" in the TS community, this man would undoubtedly have been screened by psychiatrists after he chose to present himself to them as a transgendered person seeking their approval for SRS.

5.. The producer's harassment of Aden was unconscionable. No doubt the incident the viewers saw, actually occurred. However, you could have easily omitted it and, by doing that, treated Aden with respect and dignity. Does your producer have no sensitivity to what it is like to have to deal with being transsexual and having to make the decision to transition in order to reach peace of mind. (Is she completely unaware of the high suicide rate among homosexual and transgender youth?) Most people would find it extremely anxiety producing to be on national television revealing to others the most intimate details of their private life.
Your interviewer could have shown much more sensitivity to a brave young man who freely revealed to the world his most private feelings.

What can the Fifth Estate do to rectify such an appalling program? I believe you should consider the following possibilities:

1. You could read letters such as mine or similar ones from professionals and transsexuals on an upcoming program. At least they would give a little balance to your documentary and perhaps rectify a little the misinformation it contained and the potential psychological/sociological harm it may have caused.
2. Contact Ray Blanchard and ask him for a statement as to why he resigned from The Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association. You could undoubtedly find someone who is a member of that Association willing to comment on this topic too. Also, consider asking him why he would so categorically state on your program that transsexualism is a mental illness when he knows that that opinion is no longer held by most professionals in the field. (See item below.) The responses could easily be shown as you "sign off" at the end of an upcoming Fifth Estate program.
3. Produce another program that it is much more balanced, accurate and sensitive. There are hundreds of professionals and transsexuals who could provide you with insight. While I am not an expert in this field, I do consider myself to be very well informed. I would be prepared to assist you to the extent that I can with the production of a much more realistic program on this subject. I could put you in contact with some professionals and many individuals in the TS community if you took this action. I am a retired high school teacher who transitioned successfully six years before I retired. After transitioning, I returned to my "old" school to continue teaching physics and resume my post as Science Department Head. My e-mail address is roberts_gayle@telus.net should you wish to contact me.

I would very much like to receive a response to my suggestions and my offer to assist you in the production of a much more balanced, factually correct and sensitive program dealing with this extremely complex medical and social issue.

Yours truly,
Gayle Roberts

Please note that in my letter above, I make reference to the following article. The complete document (and other related material) can be found at the following website:

http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/transsexualism-causes.html

6. As stated, in trans people, a sex-reversed BSTc has been found. This specific sex-reversed brain organisation in trans people provides persuasive evidence of a biological predisposition for transsexualism. This evidence for an innate biological etiology is reinforced by other studies, one example of which, indicates a higher than average correlation with left-handedness (Green & Young, 2001). Where the predisposition for transsexualism exists, psycho-social and other factors may
subsequently play a role in the outcome, however, there is no evidence that nurturing and socialisation in contradiction to the phenotype can cause transsexualism, nor that nurture which is entirely consistent with the phenotype can prevent it (Kipnis &Diamond, 1998). There is further clear evidence from the histories of conditions involving anomalies of genitalia, that gender identity may resolve independently of genital appearance, even when that appearance and the assigned identity are enhanced by medical and social interventions (Reiner, 2002; Kipnis & Diamond, 1998; Diamond and Sigmundson, 1997). It is not possible to identify one single cause for transsexualism: rather, its causality is highly complex and multifactorial. The condition requires a careful diagnostic process, based largely on self-assessment, facilitated by a specialist professional.

7. In conclusion, transsexualism is not a mental illness but rather a neuro-developmental condition which, as such, cannot be overcome by contrary socialisation, nor by psychological or psychiatric treatments alone. (Diamond & Kipnis, 1998; Green, 1999; Kruijver et al, 2000) Individuals may benefit from an approach which includes well-integrated and co-ordinated psycho-social interventions as well as hormonal and corrective surgical treatments, depending on their particular needs.

Signatories {original authors are asterisked}

Dr Henk Asscheman, MD, PhD (The Netherlands)*
Professor Mike Besser, DSC, MD, FRCP, SmedSci. (UK)
Dr Susan Carr, MPhil. MFFFP. DDRCOG. (UK)
Dr Domenico di Cegli, FRCPsych., DIP. PSICHIAT (Italy) (Child Section) (UK)*
Professor Peggy Cohen-Kettenis PhD (The Netherlands)
Professor Mickey Diamond , PhD (Chair) (USA)*
Professor Louis Gooren, MD, PhD (The Netherlands)
Dr Frank Kruijver, MD (The Netherlands)*
Dr Joyce Martin, MRCGP, MB ChB, D.Obst.RCOG. (UK)*
Dr Z-J Playdon, BA(Hons), PGCE, MA, MEd, Phd, DBA, FRSA. (UK)*
Mr David Ralph, MBBS, BSc, FRCS, MS. (UK)
Mrs Terry Reed, JP, BA(Hons),. MCSP, SRP, Grad Dip Phys.(UK)*
Dr Russell Reid, MB. ChB, FRCPsych. (UK)*
Professor William Reiner, MD. (USA)
Professor Dick Swaab , MD, PhD. (The Netherlands)
Mr Timothy Terry, BSc, MB, BS, LRCP, FRCS (Urol), MS (UK)
Mr Philip Thomas MBBS, FRCS (Urol). (UK)
Dr Philip Wilson, DPhil MRCP MRCPCH FRCGP
Dr Kevan Wylie MB, MmedSc, MD, MRCPsych, DSM. (UK)

OII - Organisation Internationale des IntersexuÈs

Our societies have accepted a binary construct between male and female which does not reflect Nature and the enormous variety of possible sexes which overlap one another in various gradations on a spectrum with male at one end and female at the other. The arbitrary division of biological sex into only two categories makes all sex assignments of an individual impossible and problematic. Neither the genitalia, nor the chromosomes helps one determine the "true" sex of an infant. The gonads, hormones and the internal reproductive organs of the infant are also not reliable indicators for determining conclusively the sex of a child. Each child is born with a unique combination of all these factors and the different possible combinations are very numerous, makine all sex assigments of infants a mere conjecture.

As a coalition of intersexed and transsexed individuals which accepts the theory that transsexuality is an intersex condition at the brain level, we campaign against all surgical intervention of infants born with atypical genitalia that is not medically necessary and in favor of the right of all intersexed and/or transsexed children to determine their own sexual identity once they are capable of communicating it to us and we advise parents to respect the sexual identity of their children and to do all that is necessary so that their children can live as a boy or girl, according to their choice.
Once the child has communicated clearly his own sexual identity, it is crucial that his/her identity be respected both by the parents and the physicians and therapists who are caring for the child. The child should be raised as a boy or girl and all steps should be taken to assist the child in his/her choice by being given access to hormones at puberty and to other medical care necessary to facilitate his/her life in the sex the s/he considers most appropriate.

Therefore, we are campaigning in favor of changing the current medical paradigm concerning surgical intervention and against the diagnosis of gender dysphoria. As a coalition of intersexed and transsexed individuals, OII affirms that the true sex of the child is determined by his own innner psychological perceptions and that this ability to discern one's sexual identity is a result of the brain sex of the child.

One of our readers has been researching the man who wrote this article. Dr. W. Gifford-Jones is a pen name for Dr. Ken Walker of Toronto. He once pushed the government to legalize heroin use for cancer patients. Now he is unhappy that they only have access to marijuana.

The part we need to focus on is the last few paragraphs and ultimately the very last line of his article.

Dr. Gifford-Jones is a pen name for Dr. Ken Walker, a gynecologist in Toronto. Rather than sending a letter to him, write the editor of the Record
at; letters@therecord.com

Walker is apparently in South America for a few weeks so we should make contact with him thru the paper first. But here is his office information;

Dr. Kenneth Francis Walker

Tel #: (416) 368-6787 Fax #: (416) 368-7632

First Canadian Medical Centre
1 First Canadian Place
P O Box 119
Toronto ON M5X 1A4

For more reaction to this guy check out this Torchlight Page

Cynthia Coussens went into the Ctr. Hospitalier Registry, Outaouais, 116 Lionel-Edmond Hull, Quebec, at the Centre Hospitalier Des Vallees De L'Outaouais Hull (Hospital Emergency) for a serious condition on October 19. On October 21, she was told to leave after having informed them she'd had SRS.

She came back to Ontario where she was admitted to the Ottawa Hospital without incident.


Grits have ‘chickened out’: Churley

Ontario’s Liberal government has “chickened out “ of re-instating medicare coverage for sex change operations for fear of a public backlash, deputy NDP Marilyn Churley charged Thursday.

Churley accused the Liberals of backing off a pledge while in opposition to restore funding for the procedures, which left numerous patients in the lurch when they were delisted y the previous Conservative government in 1997.

“The promised they’d reverse that decision,” but backed out amid a storm of controversy over the more heavily publicized – and criticized – move last May to delist chiropractic services, physiotherapy and eye exams, she said.

“They reneged on their promise because they were cowards.”


Too much focus on atypical genitalia and Intersex genital mutilation.

In listening to Intersex people who have spoken with me or corresponded with me over the years, this has been one of the most common complaints.

Here are the reasons:
1) Most Intersex people do not have atypical genitalia and feel their needs are not being addressed.
2) The focus on Intersex genital mutilation usually overlooks masculinizing surgeries which are routine in many countries.
3) The focus on atypical genitalia often leaves those who were assigned male out of the picture.
4) Most countries in the world do not have hospitals which perform these surgeries. They sense a "US" imperialism which is imposing a view of Intersex that has no relevance to their situation.

I personally feel that putting an end to Intersex genital mutilation is the most urgent problem facing infants and therefore extremely important because infants have no real voice in the matter. However, infants grow up to be adults and our problems can be very different as we mature. Those problems are often not being addressed with the emphasis on atypical genitalia and Intersex genital mutilation.

From listening to Intersex people, I have found that the following are more pressing to many of them:
1) Gender identity issues
2) Body image problems
3) Isolation and lack of support and family
4) Infertility
5) Proper medical care for their Intersex bodies, all the parts, or care which does not respect their core identity
6) Legal issues concerning their "true" sex
7) Discrimination and marginalization
8) Sexual dysfunction
9) Guilt and self-hatred for being different

It is important that we listen to as many different Intersex voices as possible and that we deal with issues facing adults as well as children.

Defining Intersex.

One reason it has been difficult to build a large Intersex community is that the definitions for Intersex are often not clear or seem to be very restrictive. Many medical personnel only consider Intersex as dealing with genitalia. But when you look in most medical books, you find a whole list of conditions which are dealt with under the rubric of Intersex that have nothing to do with atypical genitalia.

Many people with these conditions do not feel they are "Intersex." Therefore, building our own community is very difficult because of contradictory definitions and the fact that we are not talking about an identity per se, but a physiological state based on hormones, chromosomes, genes, gonads and genitalia, etc. which many Intersex people have very little understanding of ourselves.

I have met XXY men who do not identify as being Intersex. They are men and they simply want treatment to deal with their health problems. I have met the same with CAH women.

We are erasing ourselves. We have a lot of education to do and in doing this we cannot become to closely linked to any one group which claims "true" Intersex status or too closely linked with sexual orientation issues which alienate many people with Intersex conditions. I know CAH women who are not in the least interested in being associated with lesbianism. Their problems have often been more with conception and maintaining a marriage and do not see how lesbianism has a really close connection to their daily lives. I have met the same with XXY men. At the same time, I have met many CAH women who are lesbians and many XXY men who are gay.

I do feel that there are very many common points that all of us who were born intersexed share. However, these common points can be difficult to find if we have a preconceived notion of what "Intersex" is.

Is their a definition that most Intersex people would accept? If so, that is what we have to start with and work within our own community to make sure that as many people as possible who accept that definition feel comfortable.

Transphobia

The continual assertion that Transsexualism is a mental disorder by many Intersex activist alienates Intersex adults who have rejected our assigned sex. We do not feel we are mentally ill or deluded. The intensity of many activists to draw very strict boundaries between Transsexualism and Intersex is not based on science. It is based on something else. Science has shown that the brain of a fetus is part of the overall sexual development of the child. To divorce the brain from the rest of the body may serve political ends of some activists but it has no scientific basis.

There are transsexuals who were born with Intersex conditions and there are Intersex people who have rejected their assigned sex. To state that Transsexualism is not an Intersex condition is to present a theory as if it were a fact. Modern research concerning Transsexualism does not support this theory in many cases and the research with Intersex infants is showing that the brain is most likely one of the important factors in determining the gender identity of the child.

From reading some of the studies and speaking with other Intersex people who have rejected their assignment, I think it warrants keeping an open mind and looking at the research that is available. But most of all, Intersex people who reject their assigned sex should be heard and accepted. Unfortunately, I have met hundreds who have not.

Lesbian domination of Intersex groups

Many of us are quite frankly tired of having lesbians speak for us. We are not lesbians. We do not share their vision of the world and it paints a very skewed picture of what we are about. I have heard countless people complain about the "old girl's club." Most of us are not girls and we aren't interested in all their feminist theories nor the male bashing and this is what many of us have encountered. I think these people would say the same thing if there were a majority of heterosexual male voices or female voices. This is not based on homophobia because many of the people who have told me this identify as gay men.

We need more diversity in our own circles.

U. S. Imperialism

In working with Intersex people in Africa, Thailand and India, this is a constant complaint. The Intersex activism which has relevance to the United States and its medical system does not have anything to do with their problems.

In corresponding with them, their main problems are:

1) Being forced into prostitution.
2) Being forced to lived as outcasts and untouchables
3) Not being able to present as the gender they feel they are
4) No access to medical care at all

A really complicated problem I have encountered is with Intersex people from Africa. The focus on Intersex genital mutilation concerns them very much because they do not usually have early surgeries and in many of their cultures, ALL children are mutilated.

The Intersex activism that has become popularized in the media and which is accessible to them in most cases does not correspond to their situations at all. Should we include them? I certainly think so. As a matter of fact, I feel their problems are much worse that what we face in the United States.

Intersex activism, in my opinion, should make very effort to include ALL Intersex people regardless of culture, language or ethnicity.

In solidarity, Curtis


GENDER PLAY An exciting new project brought to you by Pride & Prejudice at Central Toronto Youth Services!
What does it mean to be a man?  What does it mean to be a woman?  What is masculinity?  What is femininity?  What kind of woman are you?  What kind of man are you? What does gender mean to you? 
Join us as we explore these questions through theatre and art with community artists.Gender Play is an on-going theatre/arts project leading to a stage production.Come play with gender!  Express yourself!  Bring your stories!  Share your experiences!  Tell us what you think!No Theatre or arts experience necessary!
STARTING OCTOBER  Tuesday nights  6:30 to 9:00 pm  At Central Toronto Youth Services  Church/Wellesly Call LeeAndra for more information or to register @ (416) 924-2100 #256

Be Reasonable. I agree wholeheartedly with Brenda Cossman that feminism is about gender and power (Really Real Women, Jan 22 Xtra). Feminism is about sexism, heterosexism and transphobia and the ways they interrelate, and how they interact with racism, ableism and all of the other oppressions.

The focus on Kimberley Nixon's fight with Vancouver Rape Relief sometimes obscures the fact that though this battle continues, the struggle for feminists to understand and include trans women is largely won (Man I Feel Like A Woman, Jan 8 Xtra).

The BC Supreme Court set aside the finding of BC's Human Rights Tribunal that Rape Relief discriminated against Nixon. The results of that decision are far reaching, not just for Nixon and trans women, but for all women, and for men who are targeted by homophobia, trans phobia, racism, ableism or any other impression.

There are three choices for who decides what gender is: you, the state or Rape Relief. For Nixon, it was two out of three: she knew she was a woman and she has a birth certificate that says so. But the court said Rape Relief could decide. In another situation that would mean that a service for aboriginal people could refuse someone because they are not dark enough; a disability service organization could refuse to serve people who are HIV-positive because of their disability was self-inflicted; a women's service agency could decide that they would exclude prostitutes or women of colour.

Iin addition, the decision will compel anyone who files a human rights complaint to prove they are a member of a disadvantage group, and prove that the discrimination that they suffered was an "injury to dignity." As Cossman points out, the court said Nixon's dignity could not have been affected by being expelled from rape relief - because any reasonable transsexual would know she should not be entitled to volunteer at a woman's rape crisis center. Who knows what else a "reasonable queer" will be expected to know about what rights we cannot expect?

-Barbara Findlay, Vancouver BC.

Xtra! Editor's Note: barbara findlay is Kimberly Nixon's lawyer. An appeal of the BC Supreme Court decision has been filed. Finley is acting pro bono but there are major expenses. To contribute, send a check to Kimberly Nixon Defense fund, 635-1033 Davey Street, Vancouver. V6E 1M7.

March 12, 2004. The Lambda Literary Foundation announced that "The Man Who Would Be Queen" has been removed as a 16th Annual Lambda Literary Award finalist.

The change was prompted by a request from the panel of judges that is reading all the finalists in the transgender category, which said the book was not appropriate for the category. The Foundation does not identify the judges to the public or each other until the Awards banquet, which this year will be held June 3, in Chicago, IL. Upon receiving the request, executive director Jim Marks went back to the Finalist Committee, which had selected the book originally. A majority of the committee agreed to honor the request.

Because the action was unprecedented, it provoked heated discussion within the Finalist Committee. Finalist Committee member Kris Kleindienst said, "Removing the book from the list is not censorship. The book is widely available, has been widely reviewed and is not about to be denied to the public. What we are doing is behaving in a responsible manner to make sure the list of finalists is compatible with the Foundation’s mission. Having looked at the book closely, I am sure it is not." Several committee members echoed Kleindienst’s views.

Finalist Committee member Victoria Brownworth, along with several others, disagreed on the censorship issue. "Banning a book and censoring a book are two different things. While I hate to be the titular voice of the ACLU here, especially since I personally disagree with many aspects of Bailey's book, if we take the book off the list we are indeed censoring it. It doesn't matter what our reasons are."

"This has been a difficult and humbling experience for the Foundation," said Executive Director Jim Marks. "We’ve never before had a case in which a book, whose author and publisher both affirm their support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual rights, has at the same time been opposed by those who say its content in fact is antithetical to those rights."

"Throughout the controversy that has raged over the book’s selection as a finalist, we have struggled to maintain the integrity of the
process." Marks said. "Since the impetus for the change came from the within the category’s judges, and was reviewed and voted on by the Finalist Committee, we feel that the decision is consistent with our process."

The recipients of the 16th Lambda Literary Awards will be announced at a gala banquet to be held June 3, 2004 at the Chicago Mart Plaza Hotel. Tickets are $125 for the dinner, $175 for the dinner and gala reception, with discounts for tickets purchased before March 31, 2004. For more information or to order online, go to www.lambdalit.org or call 202-682-0952.

Toronto TG and professional therapist Timberlee Aarons invites your questions on marriage and alternative lifestyle unions and relationships. In her practice, she is a marriage counsellor and has counselling many couples where one of the people is TG. She has also counselled TGs in transition, Tgirls breaking out of the closet, etc. Timberlee is also a college professor and has been answering questions from TGs on many, many topics and doing a column for more than 3 years. She's like to hear from sisters anywhere. She provides free answers to questions from TGs from around the world on a wide-range of topics related to being a CD/TV/TS.

Questions and answers are posted on www.transgression.com, an on-line TG magazine. But anything that will identify you is removed before submission to the magazine. And answers to all questions are sent to your email. Why not check out the chat service, forum and articles on www.transgression.com for yourself.

Dear Timberlee provides this service totally free. You're invited to send questions to advice@transgression.com or
deartimberlee@sympatico.ca

Close to 100 people came to the 519 to honor the Trans Day of Remembrance on November 20th. The following are exerpts from the introductory speech made by Kyle Scanlon, the Trans Programmes Coordinator at the 519.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance first began in 1999 to honour the Life of Rita Hester, a trans woman in San Francisco. In the last five years, the day has continued internationally as an opportunity to mark the passing of those struck down due to "anti-transgender" violence.

We here at Trans Programmes at the 519 are choosing to acknowledge not only transphobia as a root cause of violence in our community, but also to specifically mark the various forms of oppression in our culture that increase violence, and limit protections for many members of the trans community. Racism. Ageism. Ableism. Stigma against Sex-workers. Classism. And Homophobia. Our society needs to change.

At this time we will be recognizing members of the transgender/transsexual community who have died as a result of violence. These names were compiled by the Remembering Our Dead Project, or were sent in by community members and allies.

Tonight we also take the opportunity to honour the following individuals whose tragic deaths hit us more personally here in Toronto. Many of them died years ago, but the losses still weigh heavy in our hearts. These were our friends, our lovers, and our family members.... they are still missed and loved.

Cassandra Do, Abigail May, Lauren Paige, Shauna, Chevrona, Shawn Keegan, Dianne Aubert, Lisa Janna Black, Grayce 'Candace' Baxter, Deanna Wilkinson, Gracie (James) Dexter, Shelby Tracey Tom, Charles Albert Lizotte, Philip Robert Philshie, Alberto, Chantel Gillade, Ricki Adamson.

Let us now take a moment of silence to remember our friends, and mourn our losses.

CASSANDRA DO HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION - Homicide #34/2003

According to the Toronto Sun, eight weeks after the Cassandra Do murder, another sex trade worker has been murdered. Although police haven't established a definitive link between the two murders, the similarities are all the proof sex workers need, said Anastasia Kuzyk, head of the Sex Workers Alliance of Toronto. A previous sexual assault of a sex worker in 1997 that has been linked to the Do murder by DNA evidence. In that case the assault victim was choked. As well, there are conflicting reports from police that a) she was contacted through an ad in a local paper, and b) that she was contacted through an escort agency.

The police held a community meeting with the sex working communities in the area at the 519 on Thursday October 16th which was attended by over 50 women. According to the Xtra! article "The frustrations for many people in the room was to keep coming up against the stock police answer, "We can't reveal that yet.""

According to the Toronto Sun of October 5th, four more sex trade workers have come forward to report "bad dates" with a man matching the description of the muscular suspect. "This is good information," said Det.-Sgt. Craig Sanson of the homicide squad. "It's nothing that's going to break the case open, but it's certainly more than we had a day ago." The newly reported cases took place around the same time and in the same area as the beating and sex attack of a prostitute in her Jarvis St. apartment in 1997.

Toronto Police new release tells us:

On Tuesday August 26th, 2003, at approximately 10:30 Pm the lifeless body of Ms. Cassandra Do was located in her apartment at 60 Glocucester Street in Toronto.

As a result of the continuing investigation, forensic information has been received by the investigators.

DNA that had been discovered at the scene of the murder has been linked via the National DNA Databank to DNA found at a sexual assault that occurred in Toronto in 1997.

That sexual assault case involved a female sex trade worker. The victim of that occurence supplied a description of her attacker at the time of the offence.

Based on that description, the investigators wish to advise members of the public, particularly sex trade workers, of the following description:

Male black, 30 to 40 years of age, approximately 6'3", heavy build, over 230 pounds, and may wear glasses.

In 1997 the male was described as having a muscular build and close shaved hair and no facial hair.

The investigators are hoping to speak with any person that may have information on this suspect or any other information that may assist the investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Homicide Squad investigators D/S Craig Sanson at 416-808-7414 or Det. Steve Bell at 416-808-7403.

Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477)

If anyone has any information at all, please contact the police directly, or contact Kyle Scanlon at the 519 if you'd rather not go to the police. There's a good chance that this person has been seeing other sex trade workers in Toronto and that someone may have information which could help identify him. (the kind of car he drives, his age, tattoos or scars, a name, etc)

The Menace is saddened by the murder of Cassandra Do, also known as Tula, dead at age 32.

Vigils were held at Allan Gardens on August 27th and 31st. 'Sandra's friends and community held a candlelight vigil where Cassandra the person was mourned and remembered.

Ms. Do was a pre-operational transsexual. Investigations have revealed that she provided sexual services from her apartment for monetary gain. Her working name was "Tula".

We at the Menace urge extra caution for all trans people working in the sex trade.

The Menace has received a letter from Renee of Alternative Moms Canada and Mommy Queerest concerning Adoption.

I received an interesting call today from a queer couple (bio-woman and trans man) who want to adopt a child. They are wanting to connect with other trans people and couples in Canada who have either already adopted or are in the process of adopting. Confidentiality is an issue for them, so I am wondering if people can contact me directly if you know of any such people so that I can forward the contacts to them? Please also feel free to forward this message to any other list-serves for feedback. Thanks.

The basic issue for them right now is that couples who want to adopt must go through a home study in which their entire history is examined by a social worker. (I had no idea.) One of the questions they must answer is regarding any medical procedures they have undergone in their history. This presents a dilemma for post-op trans people who have already transitioned and have all of their documentation in order. While the option is there to lie, or 'omit' this particular piece of information, this couple is very uncomfortable with lying and don't believe they should have to omit anything.

They have consulted with an adoption lawyer in Toronto who has advised them to divulge everything because if it were to be found out later that they were less than honest, then this may create a snag in the adoption process and they may be disqualified for being dishonest. The lawyer admitted that this question is in all likelihood a form of discrimination and a violation of their human rights but advised them to be honest nevertheless.

There are most likely a number of surgeries that a couple looking to adopt would not divulge, such as previous abortions just as one example, as it may then be assumed that they will be less than perfect parents - how many of us are perfect anyway? They are most likely looking for any medical procedures that will reveal poor health such as a heart condition whereby the parent is at risk for dieing prematurely, but then again, any one of us could go out tomorrow and be hit by a truck. Is this question valid or not? Hmmm....

This lawyer has also advised this couple that once they do divulge this information then there will be a number of adoption agencies, both local and abroad, who will not accept their application at all. China apparently is one country that will not allow trans adoptions. They will also not adopt to any parent who takes anti-depressants because the parent may go off of their medication and then their parenting ability will be affected. I disagree with this position. I also have to ask how it is exactly that a trans person will not be a good parent? Ignorance. Pure and simple. But that is the way it is. So what does this couple do? Are they honest or dishonest?

I promised them that I would help in any way that I can. If anyone knows of any other trans people going through the adoption process then please let me know.

I was asked about the Hassle Free Clinic and how they deal with transpeople. So I emailled them. Here is their response.

Hi Sarah, Our clinic has seperate hours for men and women, which we know may be challenging for some trans-folk. We suggest that clients choose which clinic they feel more comfortable being seen in and we will go from there. Our challenge is that the physicians have different areas of specialty (ie. doctors in the men's clinic may not be as skilled at pap tests and vaginal exams), but we do work hard to best serve our clients. Please ask potential clients to give us a call if they have specific questions or concerns.

Hope this is helpful. Jessica HFWC Counsellor

As gay marriages are legal now in Ontario! Transsexual marriages must be as well. Marriage licence requirements are here.

Although surgery track pre-op transsexuals should realize that most surgeons require the patient to be single or divorced (with concern over being sued by the spouse.)

The Menace has been asked about Immigration to Canada as a spouse of a transsexual Canadian. I've had a LOT of responses to this, the biggest being the National Association of Women and the Law's Bibliography and Case Law Summaries on Transgender Issues which I've posted in it's entirety because it's so interesting. I've asked the legal aid lawyer I've met at Meal-Trans and he did some looking up for me. He said in part, now that same-sex marriage is legal in Ontario, this is the easiest option for people who are trying to get partners into Canada.

www.legit.ca - Canadian immigration for same sex partners has written us saying:

The immigration law and regulations were written as gender free as possible. So if a couple meets one of the spouse, common-law or conjugal partner definitions (and all the other requirements) they should be able to use the Family Class sponsorship provisions to sponsor the foreign partner. At the moment if the legal genders of the couple are the same I think they will only recognize a BC or ON marriage made after the relevant legal decisions of mid 2003. This should change after the new federal marriage act expected in 2004. A common-law or conjugal relationship can be same or opposite sex.

If a person's legal gender changes during the processing of any immigration application all you have to do is provide the new documentation and request they make the required changes. This should not affect the success of the application. (With the possible exception of an opposite gender couple that switch to the same genders but who were not married in ON or BC after the relevant court decisions. Perhaps they could get remarried in BC or ON or request their application be considered as common-law or conjugal).

Although the immigration Guides and their manuals so far mention that spouses must be opposite gender, since same gender marriages are now legal in (parts) of Canada, immigration cannot discriminate against us. They must recognize same sex marriages. It is illegal to discriminate. However since this is so new we are not yet sure how they are treating same sex marriages.

Peter Bernier, LEGIT, Canadian immigration for same sex partners

LEGIT - Toronto
PO Box 111, Station F
Toronto, ON M4Y 2L4 Canada
Toronto@LEGIT.ca
416-925-9872 x 2211

www.legit.ca - Canadian immigration for same sex partners

A quiet trailblazer from Perth's Hills has become the first in Australia and probably the world to hold a passport acknowledging that not everyone is male or female. Alex MacFarlane, 48, is intersex and wanted a passport recognising it. Women have a 46XX chromosome mix and men 46XY. Alex is 47XXY, a form of androgyny shared by about one in every 1500 to 2000 babies. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade initially baulked, saying its computers could deal only with an F or M in the sex field of passports. For Alex, choosing M or F would have been lying. "I should not have to commit fraud because of a department's production inadequacies," Alex said. Late last year, after months of correspondence from Alex, and an inquiry from The West Australian, the department had a rethink, deciding to change its passport processing system to allow an X in the sex field. The X signifies unspecified sex or intersex and is the only other sex category allowed under International Civil Aviation Organisation guidelines for machine-readable passports. A spokeswoman told The West Australian that, after reviewing the issue, the department had decided to accommodate people whose birth certificates recorded their sex as indeterminate. Alex has since received the passport, with an X in the sex field. After making inquiries with intersex people overseas, Alex believes the move set a global precedent. "It means a great deal," Alex said. "I've been battling with 30-odd years of misrepresentation. It means I can now participate in more of the community." Alex is also believed to be the first Australian issued with a birth certificate acknowledging a gender other than male of female. Alex's says "indeterminate -- also known as intersex". It was issued in Alex's birth State of Victoria, which unlike WA, changed its policy to allow the category. Despite all this ground-breaking, Alex shuns the limelight, quietly chipping away at bureaucratic discrimination. "Finding a niche to crawl into has been impossible, so I've made my own," Alex said. "I do not want to change the world, but just the way some of it thinks. "Intersex individuals should not have to break the law, by pretending to be male or female, in order to vote, marry, hold a licence, or own property." Not all 47XXY people identify as androgynous. Some perceive themselves as male or female, and many, like Alex, were surgically altered at birth to appear male or female.

Vatican says 'sex-change' operation does not change person's gender.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After years of study, the Vatican's doctrinal congregation has sent church leaders a confidential document concluding that "sex-change" procedures do not change a person's gender in the eyes of the church. Consequently, the document instructs bishops never to alter the sex listed in parish baptismal records and says Catholics who have undergone "sex-change" procedures are not eligible to marry, be ordained to the priesthood or enter religious life, according to a source familiar with the text. The document was completed in 2000 and sent "sub secretum" (under secrecy) to the papal representatives in each country to provide guidance on a case-by-case basis to bishops. But when it became clear that many bishops were still unaware of its existence, in 2002 the congregation sent it to the presidents of bishops' conferences as well. "The key point is that the (transsexual) surgical operation is so superficial and external that it does not change the personality. If the person was male, he remains male. If she was female, she remains female," said the source.

This continues to show how people just don't get it. The key point is essentially correct, the operation does not change the personality. The personality, the very soul of a transsexual is different than what the body is. One doesn't have the operation to become the other sex, one already is the other sex and has the operation to become a truer version of ones self.

The British Columbia government has been ordered to pay a transgendered man more than $125,000 (Cdn) for sex reassignment surgery. Female to Male Transsexual Louis Walters took the B. C. Health Ministry to a British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal over their refusal to pay for sex reassignment surgery. He won! Big Time! A spokesperson for the government said the health ministry was reviewing the decision and may appeal. See 365 Gay for the full story.

In the November issue of National Post's Saturday Night magazine, Gabrielle Bauer writes an article about Dr. Kenneth Zucker, the head of the Child and Adolescent Gender Identity Clinic at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (formerly the Clarke). The full article is here! Cover Page, Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4. Dr. Zucker says that all children try out opposite -gender behaviours at some point in their development, especially before age five but if it dominates a child's play for six months or longer a diagnosis of gender identity disorder might apply. He believes in some cases gender dysphoria in children can be alleviated if appropriate birth-gender socialization is encouraged.  To the point of suggesting (for boys, the greater majority of patients he sees)  the mother step back and the father become more involved with parenting.  To the point of having a four year old equipped with a wrist counter and instructed to press it only when playing with 'boy's toys', with, at first, a tiny microphone in the boy's ear to allow investigators to cue the boy about what constitutes a boy's toy.  Also noted is if a boy can be encouraged to be less of a sissy, there is thought to be a better chance he won't be bullied and ostracized as much.  A hell of an article.

Stone Butch Blues has been allowed to go out of print.  However Leslie Feinberg has battled for and won the rights back to it. So she will be seeking another publisher. She will be posting updates about the novel to her web site: Transgender Warrior
In the meantime, professors have no idea how to get copies of the novel for their classes. That's why she needs your help to please circulate the following information as far and wide as possible on your campus.  Classroom use: The novel can be xeroxed in its entirety for $13.95 a copy, the cover price. Cheques should be made out to Leslie Feinberg and mailed to P.O. Box 8212, Jersey City, N.J. 07308.  Contact Transgender Warrior for details.

Cuts to health care have forced the closure of the specialized psychological, psychiatric, endocinological, urological, gynecological and social services at the Vancouver Gender Clinic (at the Vancouver Hospital and Health Science's Centre for Sexual Medicine). These services were used by people throughout the province who needed services relating to gender transition or crossdressing.

Trans-inclusion in the lesbian and gay community has often been debated, questioned, enjoyed, and hated.  Egaleís (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) email discussion group http://www.egale.ca/ has had some interesting posts.  The following is a particularly good post reproduced with permission.

 
List for Trans Jews and their Significant Others, Families, Friends and Allies:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TransJews

TransJews Transgendered(TG) / Transsexual(TS) / Genderqueer Jews and SOFFAs list. Discussing how Judaism affects our
gender/sex experiences and vice-versa. How do we live as a trans Jews? Do our trans experiences bring lessons to l'Kallal Yisrael (Jewish community)? Does being trans affect our Jewish observances? Do various Jewish traditions and texts address trans experiences? What are the trans experiences in different Jewish traditions, observances, ethnicities and locations worldwide? What is it to be partners or family members of trans Jews?  All levels of observance, backgrounds and viewpoints welcome. Understanding where there are 5 Jews, there are 7 opinions, standards of Leshan Charah (preventing evil speech) will be strongly upheld. Content must be suitable for those under 21 years old.

The GAIN newsletter has a segment about the FORGE newletter.  (For Ourselves: Reworking Gender Expression).
They describe the + sign.  As in, the Transsexual Menace is a website for Toronto's Trans+ community.  They say:

"FORGE is a national education, advocacy and support umbrella organization supporting FTM+s(1) (female-to-male transsexuals and transgenderists, and others who were assigned female at birth but who have some level of masculine identification) and SOFFAs (Significant Others, Family, Friends and Allies).

a "+" next to any word, is the way FORGE chooses to show respect and inclusion for people who step outside of the box, or who identify in ways that are not overtly listed or addressed in this publication. People are much more complex than a set of words and labels. "+" indicates an expansiveness that words cannot capture, recognizing and welcoming the beautiful diversity within our community."

Very cool.

Several years ago, there was a study done on a small group of male to female GID sufferers in Belgium. It was determined, by autopsy, that their hypothalamus gland was, on average, close to the average size of a real female hypothalamus and this was irrespective of whether they were or had been on hormone therapy. The male counterpart is twice that size.

Now what is exciting is that there is a doctor in Hamilton at McMaster who is doing research on the differences of brain structure between the sexes. Armed with the information done several years ago, perhaps the previous research can be verified using live subjects with MRI scans. If this is possible, it could herald a day, some time soon, where gender identity disorder can be verified physically, psychologically as well as via endocrine study, giving it and us more credibility in the medical field as well as society.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology& Metabolism published the full original report (search Specify Authors, Keywords: Text | Abstract | Title: Transsexual) of the brain study which found the number of neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc) of male-to-female transsexuals was similar to that of genetic females and the neuron number of female-to-male transsexuals were found to be in the male range.   Nature 1 - Nurture 0.  

Last year there was a Grand Rounds debate between Paul Fedoroff, MD Co-Director, Clinical Ethics Committee and Ray Blanchard, PhD Head, Clinical Sexology Department regarding whether the cost of sex reassignment surgery should be covered by public health insurance programs. This is now available on the Web. Interested persons can go to the following address, click on "Archives," and scroll down to "Psychiatry Rounds," Volume 4 Issue 2. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read it.   Mind you, the case against is offensive at times.

The Menace is saddened by the passing of legendary advice icon Ann Landers.  On Monday, October 29th, 2001, Ann Landers has another column in response to the washroom rights letters.   On Thursday August 24, 2001 Dear Abby had a wonderful letter from a transsexual in her column.  Ann Landers has had other letters concerning transgendered people.  One was published on Sunday, March 4, 2001 and  another on Thursday, April 12, 2001.  All can be read here.

Triangle Program at Oasis Alternative School. The Triangle Program is Canada's only classroom dedicated to serving the unique needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth who have been affected by homophobia in the mainstream school system.  The Triangle Program has continuous intake. This means that if they have space, they can register new students throughout the entire school year. 

There is a Transgender Scholarship and Education Legacy Fund. (TSELF)  http://www.tself.org/  Transgender Identified Students in the Helping and Caring Professions Including: Social Services, Health Care, Religious Instruction, Teaching and the Law are eligible.   Today a whole generation of out and proud transpeople have the power to create dramatic change in the world. The International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) want to honor that power with the support that education focused scholarships can provide.  A special component of TSELF is the aspect of visibility. All awardees must be "Out and Proud," both as members of the trans-communities, but also within the educational systems and professions that they are seeking scholarship assistance for.

According to a National Post article by Tom Lyons, City council will consider a plan to create a separate shelter for homeless transsexuals.  Proponents of the idea say regular shelters are inappropriate for the estimated 100 homeless transsexuals in Toronto, mostly men hoping to become women. Transactivists quoted in the article are not in favour of the segregation of pre-op trans women and genetic women in this setting.  It was the Salvation Army, contracted by Toronto to operate a temporary 120-bed shelter for couples and single women, who first banned transsexuals.

On May 3rd, 2001, Paul Gallant of Xtra! writes the John Jagt, the city's director of hostel services, last month suggested that a separate shelter might be a good idea.  That came as a surprise to the activists Jagt has been working with.  "We were miffed.  We were blown away.  They promised not to segregate." says Christina Strang, director of the Meal Trans program at the 519.  "A trans shelter would be acceptable if it was a choice, not the only option." Currently some shelters including Nellie's and the Women's Residence accept pre-op transsexuals while others like the 120 bed Salvation Army doesn't.  Gay city councilor Kyle Rae says he'd prefer a broader proposal.  "I see a larger need for a gay and lesbian youth shelter, which would welcome transsexuals.  If it's broader and deals with queer communities, it would be more sustainable."