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How many others took a while to stop using “gay” in a derogatory way?

7 Mar

If someone had laid it out this clearly 10 years ago, maybe I would have moved a bit faster on this particular topic.

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Canada (Quietly) Commits $200K to Gay Ugandans

7 Mar

Hm, maybe Baird is getting better at ignoring the wails of hellfire from the Conservative backbenchers.

Canada is quietly financing a concerted grassroots effort to aid gay Ugandans’ fight against their country’s proposed anti-homosexuality bill — and preparing them in case it passes, says a senior Department of Foreign Affairs source. Since November, when the Ugandan Parliament renewed its effort to pass the legislation, which Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has called “abhorrent,” Canada has spent $200,000 to kick-start several gay rights initiatives in the region. The source confirmed that the Canadian involvement was specifically focused on fighting the Ugandan bill. – National Post

As the Post article goes on to point out, this involvement is not being advertised by the government. Guess saving gays from death isn’t as palatable to the Conservative voter as grammar. It is great news that our country is committed to those facing injustice elsewhere, but a stark reminder of what our government really thinks of us gender and sexual minorities.

Let’s Talk Mental Health

12 Feb

We don’t need #BellLetsTalk to give permission to talk about mental health. But today, lets start the convo, it’s a good a time as any.

This is CAMH, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/Pages/home.aspx. They’re supporting Bell’s marketing campaign, piggybacking on their dollars to help destigmatize and open discussion on mental health, both in the public sphere and for some individuals, with their community.

CAMH is also promoting “The New Normal” – a look at how people who aren’t “neurotypical” are now being counted as normal, which is a very good thing.

For the eggheads, this is TVO’s “Mental Health Matters” round up. They cover many topics in many videos, and if you’re still learning about mental health or want to know pretty much where we are as a society regarding mental health, this is a digestible place to start.

If you’re ready to talk to a professional about your mental health, here is the CAMH contact page. For anyone not in Toronto, here is a crisis directory.

“Can we talk?”

“Are you okay?”

“I love you.”

Lets support each other by making it clear that it is okay to talk mental health in our communities.

In Loving Memory of Kyle Scanlon

12 Jul

This blogger has nothing to add to the words being printed about the tragic death of Kyle Scanlon.

The 519

Torontoist

Advocate

 Xtra

Gender is…

5 Jul

Found this picture on the LGBT News Facebook page this morning and thought it would be nice to share here.

What is gender to you?

Zealots Boycotting Oreo Because of a Picture

28 Jun

Get ready to blow a gasket.

Last night, Oreo posted the following the picture to their Facebook page:

What followed was a slew of homophobic and idiotic comments from assholes:

“Boo…This makes me sad that oreo’s support homosexuality.” – Toni Lipford, 1 Like.

“gays need to leave america.” – Dylan Arsenault, 3 Likes.

“This is absolutely disgusting. Your attempt to “normalize” the behaviour of homosexuals has cost you a customer.” – Desean Washington, 4 Likes.

“don’t support gays or the companies that do, and hell yea i’m a hater! being a fag is just wrong and always will be!!!! you should all be exiled to some island where you can all share aids together!! no more oreos for this family!!!!!” – Robert Hunter, 1 Like.

“Homosexual ‘love’ is not real love. ‘Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life his friends.’ — Jesus Christ. You are supporting the wrong things Oreo. Won’t be buying your cookies no mo’ in my house. ENjoy your new lack of sales!!!! :)” – Crystal Walker, 1 Like.

And that’s just a sample of them. Buzzfeed has compiled a list of them if you want to get your blood boiling even more.

Personally, I think Oreo is better off without these people. Actually, a lot of things would be better off without these people. But I’m not going to call for them to be exiled to an island where all bigots can share diseases together because that’s just wrong… and I’m not an asshole (I’m looking at you, Robert Hunter).

What really scares me though is most of these people are parents and have families. These are the “values” (and I really hate to use that word here) that they’re passing on to their children. “Homosexual love is not real love”!?!?! Where do they even come up with this shit?!

This morning, the Oreo page was flooded with more positive comments in support of the company’s stance on gay pride. Most of these commenters also denounced the ‘haters’ who will no longer be buying Oreos. Good riddance.

Thank you, Oreo, for taking a stand and for not backing down in the face of bigots and bullies.

Update: CFI Covers Up Transphobic Pride Parade Plans

21 Jun

In an apparent attempt to obtain an ally cookie from the trans* community of Toronto, Centre for Inquiry planned to dress their members in drag and march in the Pride Parade.

This year we’re going to have a bit of fun- and show our support for the trans community BY DRESSING IN DRAG. Transphobia is an insidious and often overlooked problem which effects thousands of Canadians.

CFI apparently had no idea that their effort was actually the transphobia they were trying to avoid in action. The complicated history between drag communities and trans communities is not one which has a place for an uninvited atheist community.

Several members of the trans community, as well as allies, started a small e-mail campaign to bring the organization’s attention to their blatant transphobia. In response, CFI quietly removed the offending statements with no acknowledgement to the complaints.

The now removed transphobia from CFI

This is not good enough. CFI is perpetuating the invisibility of the trans* community by refusing to comment on the legitimate concerns of trans* people. Instead of using this as an learning opportunity for their diverse following, CFI is silencing trans* voices in hopes of covering up their transphobia.

And don’t get me started on the problems associated with straight people dressing in drag at Pride to begin with.

UPDATE: Almost immediately after this post hit Twitter and Facebook, Jaimy Warner responded on the CFI @Pride event page – excerpt:

I admit that I could have worded the content better-it was not my intention to suggest drag and trans are the same … I can see how the juxtaposition of ‘drag’ and ‘trans’ could have easily been interpreted as offensive, and I have since removed that particular content from this event, the website and our newsletter.

A typical not-pology, placing the blame on queer people for being offended instead of owning up to the fact that the staff at CSI is still learning about the oppressions that trans* people face.

My advice to CFI members: Skip the drag and celebrate Pride like the rest of us do – being proud of who we are.

UPDATE 2: Warner has posted another apology, cancelled the drag event, and promised to look into the situation further.