August, 2015 / Author:


Thirty years of Reel Pride in Winnipeg

Queer film has undergone a monumental shift over the past three decades, moving from underground screenings to festivals in major theatres. During that period, some of the edgiest and notable works have been lost, something the Queer Media Database Canada-Quebec Project hopes to rectify. Luckily for Winnipeggers, the organization has partnered with the Reel Pride GLBTTQ* Film Festival to celebrate that progress, the festival’s 30th anniversary and the revival of some of Canada’s queer cinematic history.

During the six-day festival, Reel Pride, one of Canada’s longest running film festivals, will showcase some of the year’s hottest queer movies at Winnipeg’s Gas Station Theatre. Highlights include: Thai drama How to Win at Checkers (Every Time); international drag superstar Jinkx Monsoon’s Drag Becomes Him; and the Canadian premiere of Paternity Leave, the story of a gay couple that becomes unexpectedly pregnant.

Read the full article at Daily Xtra.

Transgender Canadians Speak Out On Federal Election Issues

When transgender Canadians recently received voter cards from Elections Canada with their birth names instead of their current legal names, some saw it as an act of accidental “outing.”

Outing occurs when someone’s gender or sexual identity is disclosed without their consent, which in the case of the voter cards resulted in individuals having to reveal they are trans to election officers, also putting them at risk of being outed to others, a situation that activists say can be painful, embarrassing, and potentially dangerous if the person is not living in a supportive community.

The error brought into focus some of the serious systemic challenges trans Canadians face. Although limited, the studies that have been done on trans Canadians find that a majority are experiencing multiple crises in health-care barriers, harassment, assault, homelessness, and poverty at higher rates than average.

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.


Trans Vote Canada helps trans people vote Oct 19

A national coalition called Trans Vote Canada is operating a helpline to assist trans voters and to document any discrimination they may face at the polls.

“We want to make sure that trans people have a resource where the trans population explains to ourselves in our own terms what to expect and what to do if we run into problems,” says Morgane Oger, chair of Vancouver’s Trans Alliance Society, one of the organizations in the coalition.

The coalition consists of transgender activists, lawyers, organizations and members of the public.

“It’s to help people feel confident that they can do this really important act,” Oger explains. “There’s around 140,000 trans electors in Canada. This is a large number of people and it’s important to make sure we are heard.”

Read the full story at Daily Xtra.

Community members want change for Trans Pride

Change is needed — this was the resounding sentiment that came out of a Trans Pride community meeting on Oct 9, 2015. Members rallied behind the idea that Trans Pride needs to be independent of Pride Toronto.

Roughly 40 people attended the meeting at the Toronto Public Library Parliament Branch, and a majority of them showed support for the idea that Pride Toronto should no longer run the Trans Pride march and rally. The well received alternative was that Trans Pride events should be “for and by the community.”

Community members largely agreed that Pride Toronto had done a good job running the Trans Pride Community Fair and Space, and that the organization should continue to direct its efforts there. Despite a few dissenting voices, the idea of the trans community planning and running their own march and rally was largely welcome.

Read the full story at Daily Xtra.

Harper budget cuts hurt LGBT groups

Budget cuts under the Conservative government are making it difficult for some LGBT organizations, festivals and health services to function, say several organizations affected by the cuts.

Many festivals that rely on federal funding through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Building Community Through Arts and Heritage Program (BCAH) report feeling shortchanged, although neither the criteria to receive support, nor the pot of money available have changed since 2011, according to government officials.

“We know that the Conservative government is not pro-LGBT, and that they are not here to help the community,” says Jean-Sébastien Boudreault, vice president of Montreal Pride.

Montreal Pride received only $34,000 out of a maximum $200,000 available through the BCAH program in 2015. Program funds are intended to support festivals that present the work of local artists, actively involve members of the local community, and are accessible to the general public.

Read the full story at Daily Xtra.


International Drag Show to spread awareness of LGBT issues in different cultures

An amateur drag show at Ohio University is about to be even more colorful and inclusive by featuring student performers from across the world.

The Ohio Global Studies Union and the LGBT Center are partnering up to host an International Drag Show in Walter Hall Rotunda to celebrate the intersection of LGBT and international identity in an entertaining way.

Bennett Eighinger, president of the Ohio Global Student Union, said she spoke with delfin bautista, the director of the LGBT Center, last year about this idea on a collaboration, because the center has never had an international student walk in to visit.

“It’s a drag show, but it’s more geared towards an international audience as well as geared more towards international performances,” Reiju Nemoto, the president of the Japanese Students Association, said.

Read the full story at The Post.

Puerto Rico Relaxes School Uniform Rules for LGBT Students

Students at public schools across Puerto Rico for the first time can choose to wear pants or skirts as part of their uniform regardless of their gender without being punished, a move that has unleashed a debate in this socially conservative island.

Education Secretary Rafael Roman said Monday that the new regulation he recently signed is meant to be inclusive of gay, lesbian and transgender students. He added that teachers will no longer be allowed to discipline students who prefer to wear pants instead of skirts or vice versa.

“No student can be sanctioned for not opting to wear a particular piece of clothing … that he or she does not feel comfortable with,” he told reporters.

Girls at public schools in Puerto Rico traditionally wear skirts as part of their uniforms and the boys wear pants.

Read the full story at ABCNews.

Conversion Therapy Is ‘Harmful’ And Inappropriate For At-Risk LGBT Youth, Obama Administration Says In New Report

Variations in sexual orientation and gender identity among children are normal and should not be treated as mental or medical conditions in need of curing, the Obama administration’s mental health experts said Thursday. In a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, experts said so-called conversion therapy, a controversial “treatment” that aims to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, “is not an appropriate therapeutic approach based on the evidence.”

The agency’s report, titled “Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth,” comes several months after President Barack Obama announced his support for Leelah’s Law, a proposed measure that would ban conversion therapy in the U.S. The report is also the first publication of consensus statements by a panel of American Psychological Association experts, who forcefully panned conversion therapy in July.

“When dealing with a sensitive topic such as gender identity or sexual orientation in young people, it is essential that families, educators, caregivers and providers seek the best available information and advice,” Kana Enomoto, acting administrator for SAMHSA, said in a statement Thursday. The agency’s report includes alternative methods for discussing sexuality and gender with young people, Enomoto added.

Read the full story at International Business Times.


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