Dented Blue Mercedes: Gospel By Gaslight

If gaslighting is “a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity,” then religious fundamentalism (of several sorts, although my experience is specifically with Christian fundamentalism, and other forms may vary) is a ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans* Human Rights Bill C-16: A Look Back

Although I’ll be remarking on the passing of Bill C-16 elsewhere, I wanted to post Bill Siksay’s closing speech from February 7, 2011, back when the bill was in its third incarnation (of five), Bill C-389.  To me, it’s a profound moment to look back on, and realize just how far we’ve come. It took ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: What the “Walk on the Wild Side” controversy says about trans* awareness and a changing social movement

A little over a week ago, a University of Guelph student union drew international ire for condemning Lou Reed’s 1972 song “Walk on the Wild Side” as transphobic.  This occurred after the Central Student Association apologized on social media for playing the song at a campus event.  Although this might seem like a minor thing ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Free speech, and the cruel shackles of empathy and mutual respect

In Canada, we tend to value freedom of speech very highly, and it’s often said that the best way to counter objectionable speech is with more speech. That’s the first thought that crosses my mind in the case of U of T professor Jordan Peterson, who declares in a series of YouTube videos that he ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s forthcoming “drop your pants” trans* blood donation policy

In addition to reducing the required wait time between having sex and donating blood to one year for gay men, Canadian Blood Services is poised to release its first-ever guidance on how CBS personnel should respond to potential trans* donors: if it’s in you to give, then drop your pants.  While the policy has not yet been ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s Trans* Rights Bill Now Endorses Bans in Washroom and Gendered Spaces

Canada’s trans* human rights bill C-279 was amended by a Senate committee, in a way that makes it legal to ban trans* people from washrooms and gendered spaces appropriate to their gender identity. Sen. Donald Plett, Conservative member of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, added a legal exemption for “any service, facility, ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s Trans* Rights Bill Now Endorses Bans in Washroom and Gendered Spaces

Canada’s trans* human rights bill C-279 was amended by a Senate committee, in a way that makes it legal to ban trans* people from washrooms and gendered spaces appropriate to their gender identity. Sen. Donald Plett, Conservative member of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, added a legal exemption for “any service, facility, ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“).  In it they call for universities to stand against what ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“).  In it they call for universities to stand against what ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide, Parents’ Rights… and Kids’ Rights.

On Sunday, December 28th, 17-year-old trans* Ohio teenager committed suicide by stepping in front of a tractor-trailer on the interstate.  She was killed instantly. Her tragedy says something profound which has been almost completely missed in the discussion about LGBT-inclusive education and Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) currently wafting across Canada. Before Leelah Alcorn’s death, she posted ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide, Parents’ Rights… and Kids’ Rights.

On Sunday, December 28th, 17-year-old trans* Ohio teenager committed suicide by stepping in front of a tractor-trailer on the interstate.  She was killed instantly. Her tragedy says something profound which has been almost completely missed in the discussion about LGBT-inclusive education and Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) currently wafting across Canada. Before Leelah Alcorn’s death, she posted ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Our destinies are bound together (even if our needs are diverse and sometimes at odds)

Monica Roberts at TransGriot is exploring the future of the trans* movement: “One of the things I was pondering recently was triggered by me seeing a pic of a five year old trans girl.  I began to ponder what her Trans World that we 2K10’s activists are fighting tooth and nail to shape, would be ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: On conscience-based medical exemptions

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is currently reviewing its Human Rights Code policy on conscience-based exemptions for medical professionals, and their effect on access to medical services. This review was sparked by a number of news reports of doctors in Ontario and Alberta refusing to prescribe birth control because of their religious ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Paths of Pain, and the Ownership of Language.

Marc Maron recently ran a follow-up interview with fellow comedian Todd Glass, who had come out as gay on Marc’s podcast, WTF.  Marc’s podcast has often been strikingly introspective, and a moment came up that epitomized this. Glass started talking about language, the way that words can be weaponized, and the way he’s experienced this ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Google Trends on “Transgender”

Posted for discussion and interest value. Out of curiosity, I plunked the word “transgender” into Google Trends.  It’s not my terminology of choice, but it’s what most people use and what the general public is most likely to search for.  Here’s what I got: The numbers aren’t an exact value of something, but a comparative ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Google Trends on “Transgender”

Posted for discussion and interest value. Out of curiosity, I plunked the word “transgender” into Google Trends.  It’s not my terminology of choice, but it’s what most people use and what the general public is most likely to search for.  Here’s what I got: The numbers aren’t an exact value of something, but a comparative ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Protective” Custody

The way that trans people are housed in detention and correctional settings has come to attention recently, after British comedian Avery Edison was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for having previously overstayed her visa — and then she was initially sent to a mens’ prison while the issue was sorted out.  After ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Protective” Custody

The way that trans people are housed in detention and correctional settings has come to attention recently, after British comedian Avery Edison was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for having previously overstayed her visa — and then she was initially sent to a mens’ prison while the issue was sorted out.  After ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: On the Detention of Trans People

“… in a way that is not inconsistent with one’s gender identity.” Remember that phrase.  It’s going to simplify something that might otherwise seem like a complicated issue. So this British comedian walks into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Some of you have heard this one before… The treatment of trans people (particularly trans women) in ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: On the Detention of Trans People

“… in a way that is not inconsistent with one’s gender identity.” Remember that phrase.  It’s going to simplify something that might otherwise seem like a complicated issue. So this British comedian walks into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Some of you have heard this one before… The treatment of trans people (particularly trans women) in ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Difficulties in Remembering Rosa

In the early morning hours of November 24th, the body of a possibly trans person was found in Edmonton, Alberta. I say “possibly trans” because it’s unclear how this person identified, and to my knowledge, no one in the trans community has met them or would be able to shed light on who they were.  ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Difficulties in Remembering Rosa

In the early morning hours of November 24th, the body of a possibly trans person was found in Edmonton, Alberta. I say “possibly trans” because it’s unclear how this person identified, and to my knowledge, no one in the trans community has met them or would be able to shed light on who they were.  ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Janice Raymond, and Healing Old Wounds

This post is a personal reflection on Janice Raymond’s visit to Vancouver during a memorial for the victims of the massacre of women at L’École Polytechnique, which took place in Montreal 24 years ago.  For an overview of the controversy, why Janice Raymond’s presence (as well as some other aspects of that day’s program) drew ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Janice Raymond, and Healing Old Wounds

This post is a personal reflection on Janice Raymond’s visit to Vancouver during a memorial for the victims of the massacre of women at L’École Polytechnique, which took place in Montreal 24 years ago.  For an overview of the controversy, why Janice Raymond’s presence (as well as some other aspects of that day’s program) drew ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Guest Post: El Feministo’s Open Letter re: Janice Raymond at Vancouver’s Ecole Polytechnique Massacre Memorial

On November 30th, a “Montreal Massacre Memorial 2013” event is being held in Vancouver to remember the victims of the massacre at l’Ecole Polytechnique, and to seek ways to end violence against women.  It’d be the kind of thing I’d be happy to promote, if it weren’t poisoned with this: sponsor Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR) ...