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Patrick Burke Predicts a Gay NHLer Within 18 Months

12 Feb

Patrick Burke, son of ex-Leafs GM Brian Burke and founder of the You Can Play project, predicted today that there would be an out player in the NHL within the next year and a half.

In an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the social news aggregator reddit.com, Burke wrote:

I believe within the next 18 months or so we will have an openly gay NHL player. It’s time. Our league’s ready.

Burke’s attitude regarding gender and sexual minorities in sport has always been positive and optimistic, however this is the clearest timline until someone in the league takes the responsibility of becoming the first openly gay sportsman in North America.

Burke elaborates a lot on his position as an advocate, as well as talks about his work in hockey. Read the AMA here.

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.

Beat the Heat!

19 Jun

It’s a hot one out there! Today’s anticipated high in Toronto is 32 degrees but it will feel more like 40 with the humidex. Now I wish I bought that air conditioner off that sketchy homeless guy in Yonge-Dundas Square.

Needless to say, the city’s medical officer has issued a heat alert. Get inside, people, and stay cool! If you’re like me and don’t have an air conditioner, several cooling areas have been set up around the city. How will you know it’s a cooling area? It has this chilly sign:

Cool down where?

Or, if you don’t feel like embarking on a cooling area hunt, just check out the map here.

And while you’re walking there, keep your eyes on those outdoor construction sites because the big guns come out in this kind of heat – if you know what I mean.

Follow Monday

18 Jun

Happy Monday, Bros!

I was out of town this weekend, camping in the wilderness away from high rises, cramped street corners, and the TTC. All I had with me to stay in touch with civilization was my smartphone and Twitter app. Well apparently I’m not following any of the right accounts because I came home to a slew of news stories about special events, tragic accidents, and political mishaps. So this morning I did some research and compiled a list of five accounts you should be following if you want to keep up on all things Toronto and I thought I would share it with you. Now we can all stay informed and connected!

1) BlogTO
@BlogTO

You all know BlogTO. From restaurant reviews to movie listings, they’re covering everything Toronto. Follow them for a weekly calendar of events, archived photos of some of the city’s most beloved intersections, TTC updates, and much much more.

Yonge & Bloor, 1920s via @BlogTO

2) Pride Toronto
@PrideToronto

Pride Week is quickly approaching – how are you staying informed on what’s happening when? Follow @PrideToronto, the official Pride Toronto twitter account, for any information or notices you might need for Pride Week. And don’t just unfollow them after the week’s over. These guys stay active all year round, keeping you posted on the most current happenings and issues in the LGBT community.

3) Torontoist
@Torontoist

Torontoist is about Toronto and everything in it. It’s both a blog and a trusting news source. They love keeping Torontonians up-to-date on current events as soon as they happen. They live-tweeted the municipal budget and transport debates in their entirety. Their tweets include “in the news” & “to do today”, making sure every Torontonian is fully informed and never bored.

4) Queer Ontario
@queerontario

This one’s not unique to Toronto but since the LGBT community here is so huge, a large portion of Queer Ontario’s tweets are Toronto-related. Plus, they’re currently making a tour of the province stopping in at major city’s pride weeks, and it’s always fun to see how the rest of the province shows its pride! Follow this account to stay up-to-date on any federal, provincial, and municipal politics that are happening surrounding the LGBT community and the fight for our rights. They recently stayed very close to the passing of Toby’s Law as well as Ontario’s Accepting Schools Act.

5) Official TTC Tweets
@TTCnotices

We’ve all been there before. You’re running late for a meeting, pushing your way onto a subway train when the darned thing stops after 5 minutes. So you wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, an announcement is made that the train is delayed due to some sort of accident that is only vaguely described. Avoid this extremely frustrating situation next time by following @TTCnotices and giving it a quick check before you leave the house. They have up-to-date notices on delays, route diversions, and scheduled track maintenance. Trust me, a lot of frustrations with the TTC have been easily avoided due to my following of this account.

Why is the Queen Street streetcar always delayed?

What accounts do you follow to stay informed about Toronto? Share them in the comments sections below.

Toby’s Law Passes!

14 Jun

It was a historic day for Ontario.

Around noon on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, Queen’s Park unanimously voted in favor of amendments to the Ontario Human Rights code that would protect the rights of transgendered people in the province.

After four failed attempts in the last six years to make similar amendments, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo was finally successful with the help of PC MPP Christine Elliott and Liberal MPP Yasir Naqvi. Anyone who follows our provincial politics (or any politics at all, for that matter) knows that it’s a rare occurrence that all three parties work amicably together and even more rare that an amendment of such a magnitude is passed unanimously. Clearly, this was an important issue to all MPPs, as it should be, and our response is: it’s about motherfucking time.

Cheri DiNovo and a dog. Like a bawse.

The transgender community has been struggling with inequality, having a hard time finding jobs, rental housing, and sometimes even health services. That’s right – health services. You know there’s something wrong when someone in our country is having a hard time finding health services.

Prior to the vote, the Ontario Human Rights code guarded against prejudice for “race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability.” We are proud to say that it now includes “gender identity” and “gender expression”.

Ontario is the first Canadian province to recognize gender identity in its human rights legislation. Today I can honestly say that I’m proud to be an Ontarian. Well done, government, well done.

Downtown Relief Line – A Karen Stintz powerplay?

11 Jun

The dust has barely settled after council canned Rob Ford’s new subway for light rail, and TTC Chair Karen Stintz is talking about new subways again. This time she wants a Downtown Relief Line to abet congestion on the University-Spadina line. Many think this should actually take priority over light rail to the suburbs, which is expected to bring even more passengers to the already super crowded line.

Karen Stintz looks like she is posturing for a bid at the mayorship, as Rob Ford has already sworn to make subways an election issue. If Stintz can put the transit dialogue focused on subways on DRL, Rob Ford’s campaign to re-re-re-vamp the light rail into the subways is much more likely to fall flat.

Red has always looked good on you, Toronto

I don’t know where Stintz thinks she can get the money for a new subway line that will likely take a decade to complete under the busy streets of Toronto (thanks, city council of decades gone by) but a focus on moving forward with a new subway project instead of setting back the city another five years over a grudge could give her an edge with Rob Ford’s tiring voter base. After scoring a slam dunk on Ford winning the hearts of the centre-left earlier this year, it looks like the Stintz for Mayor campaign might have a shot.

Festival on Bloor: The Highlights

10 Jun

If you were driving around Toronto this afternoon and got stuck in a traffic jam on Bloor street, it’s because this year’s Festival on Bloor was happening. Between Spadina and Bathurst streets, Bloor was completely closed down as the street was flooded with kiosks, buskers, music stages, and (of course) pedestrians who were taking it all in. Never heard of the Festival on Bloor? Well, here’s the brief run-down from the Bloor-Annex website:

Stroll by the booths and craft vendors on the street. Relax at the many patios, cafes and restaurants along the way. Visit our diverse shops that sell almost everything under the sun.”

And a better day couldn’t have been picked. With nearly 30 degree weather and clear blue skies, the lemonade was flying off the stand.

Mmmmm….Juicy…..

We caught one busker: the fireman! His show included juggling, balancing, and – yep, you guessed it – fire!!!! This very funny man did some amazing things with flames at the tips of his fingers. His jokes were family-friendly (well, most of them), and his audience was very impressed by his talent. Especially the kids.

Stop, drop, and fucking roll, man!

I have to say though, the best part of the festival was that the people of Toronto of all ages, backgrounds, shapes, and sizes, came out and enjoyed it together. This was Toronto at its finest.

The Festival on Bloor was a great Sunday afternoon activity and we’re looking forward to a Summer full of these activities! Will you join us for the rest?