WINNIPEG, MB – On the 100th anniversary of Manitoba becoming the first province to grant women the right to vote, the province is again leading the nation in social change. The first self-identifying transgender judge in Canada was appointed to the Provincial Court of Manitoba. Judge Kael McKenzie is a proud member of the Manitoba Métis Nation, and after a swearing-in ceremony in Winnipeg, he spoke about his heritage. He also told the audience how his experiences in the Canadian Forces and as a transgender man have helped him feel connected to Manitoba. Accompanied by Attorney General Gord Macintosh, Judge McKenzie later spoke to reporters and enthusiastically described the outpouring of support from friends, family and strangers across the country, including the parents of transgender children. “They acknowledged their fears for their children’s futures, and somehow my appointment helped allay some of those fears,” McKenzie said.
KALAMAZOO, MI – A Michigan pastor has been sleeping outside in a tent all winter to protest his church’s stance on same-sex marriage. The Rev. Michael Tupper of Parchment United Methodist Church near Kalamazoo, started sleeping in a tent on Nov. 30, and vowed to do so for 175 consecutive nights. Tupper says he’s doing it to support fellow ministers who have been reprimanded for signing same-sex marriage licences. Tupper often pitches his tent in the front yard of his Van Buren County home, but he has also taken it on the road, sleeping in front of United Methodist offices in Indianapolis and Madison. He plans to camp outside of United Methodist offices in Columbus, Ohio and Des Moines, Iowa, and at the church’s General Conference in Portland, Ore., where clergy and laity are expected to discuss the church’s official position on gay pastors. Tupper has already faced discipline several times for supporting same-sex marriages.
Wheels on fire
HOLLYWOOD, CA – A gay-positive British sitcom that was popular in the 1990s will soon be a movie. Absolutely Fabulous, more commonly known as Ab Fab, made its debut in 1992. It chronicles the madcap adventures of Edina (Eddy) Monsoon and her hapless sidekick Patsy Stone as they ride a wave of drug and alcohol fuelled mayhem. The lone voice of reason belongs to Eddy’s daughter Saffron, who is frequently chastised by her mother for not being a lesbian. Ab Fab was groundbreaking in many ways because of the frequent portrayal of gay characters that Patsy and Eddy would meet as they bluffed their way through fashion weeks and shopping sprees. And now, the girls are back. Hollywood studio Fox Searchlight has just announced that Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie will open in select UK theatres on July 1 and select American theatres on July 22. Celebrity cameos will include Kate Moss, Harry Styles, Kim Kardashian, Joan Collins, Rebel Wilson and, of course, Lulu. No word yet on specific release dates in Canada.