Woman Born Woman, womyn born women: trans misogyny.

The founder of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival even wrote a long epistle a month of two ago about the importance of keeping the festival for womyn born womyn.

A woman born into a man’s body is still a woman born woman.

The no-trans women rule is based on such a simplistic view of body, mind, privilege and challenges.

Barack Hussein Obama and the love of language and straight talk.

I love that Barack Obama spells out the history of slavery and violence on the black body and it’s being at the bottom of racial profiling. And that he mentions that misguided, horrific war on drugs…mass incarceration…

 

I love that he gave those examples about persons of colour being followed in a store; people locking their car doors and clutching their purses when a black fellow comes near.

And -oh beautiful day- I love that he uses long sentences, polysyllabic words and still ends up being clear and easy to follow.

I love his language. Barack Hussein Obama. 

 

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2013/07/19/sot-dc-obama-trayvon-martin-zimmerman-verdict.cnn.html

Sad news from Cameroon

Eric Lembembe, executive director of Cameroon foundation for AIDS, found dead and tortured, Human Rights Watch reports.

Read his ideas on traditional African homosexuality at the following link:

http://76crimes.com/2012/05/08/traditional-african-homosexuality-has-learned-from-west/

He makes an interesting point that increased funding from Europe places gay rights groups in African countries at the heart of anti-colonialist sentiment. Because it is harder to talk about corruption and incompetent leadership queer rights’ organisations feel the brunt of frustration.

Eric Lembembe… Presente.

http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/07/16/cameroon-lgbti-rights-activist-found-dead-tortured

Nikibasika! It is possible. 51 orphans in Kasese, Uganda.

This August I will be participating in the TriAdventure, a three day triathlon. The funds that we raise for this triathlon go directly to a tiny orphanage in Kasese, Uganda. 

 

The orphanage is called ‘Nikibasika’. This means ‘It is possible’!

 

The 51 children have lost their parents and extended families to HIV/AIDS, the civil war or extreme poverty. The goal of this particular orphanage is to encourage the children to become skilled adults who can contribute to building sustainable communities. They are also encouraged to look at all sorts of fields for work and to look at the rest of the world for inspiration. 

 

You can be part of their extended family. It is a simple gift. Donate by clicking on this link below.

http://www.canadahelps.org/GivingPages/GivingPage.aspx?gpID=24399

 

25 gets one child school books for the year. 100 is the foodbudget for a week. 40 gets them a school uniform and 135 gets a child schoolfees for primary school. 798 for a secondary school year.

Fruitville station: the good, long, last day in the life of Oscar Grant.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/05/13/fruitvale_station_trailer_oscar_grant_shooting_is_brought_to_the_screen.html

Saw a screening at Dundas and Yonge. Full theatre.

What a relief to see a movie with two black people who were shown being who we all are; with our greatness, our fun, our faults, our boredom, our silliness, our lust, our hunger, our friends, our children, our cultures, our pregnancies, our needs, our cooking, our playing, our music, our love for crabs, our strength, our giving up and going on.

We really need more than Facebook, Zuckerman. How on earth can a police force change its oppressive policing if most people don’t ever experience that persons of colour are exactly like them.

I mostly forget my white privilege because- unlike back in the Netherlands or Aruba- I don’t have many Turkish, Moroccan or Caribbean friends here in Toronto.

How the hell did that happen?

And what do I do?

I never had to look for persons of colour before (almost everyone was when I grew up in Aruba) and yet I think some of the answers to lessing oppression lie in having a diverse group of friends, because then you will have your nose pressed to the window of profiling and you will want change for your friends or chosen family.

Coming out is what changed things around for (white) queers like me.

I don’t know any other way forward than to start choosing to do my activism in groups that are mostly or partly run by POC.

Move apartments to Eglinton West past Ossingotn or St.Clair West past Bathurst? That way at least I support neighbourhood stores. Back home, I would have just had to turn the corner to fall into an Aruba or Turkish eatery…

I’m going to make a list of organisations to donate a little money to. Maybe this gets me somewhere if I set a 6 and 12 month diversity goal for myself. Ask them what they would like me to do. What would be helpful to them. Listen.

“Them.”

This is embarrassing and necessary. Here we go.

Pregnant Boys and their families.

http://medialiteracyproject.org/deconstructions/pregnant-boys-and-counter-ad

Three ads with pregnant boys.

The media literacy project points out that one ad ‘unexpected?’ attempts to make boys feel responsible for pregnancies. The second ad ‘disturbing’ guilt trips the same boys by othering them and their girls, by setting them apart from the tax payers.

Both draw the same line around or through gender and pregnancy. And use the knee-jerk reaction “weird!” to an image of a boy who shows a pregnant belly.

And yet trans boys *can* get pregnant.

The Media Literacy Project designed a counter ad “Trans men have babies too.” It employs the same image. Underneath it says “All families, whether born or chosen, thrive on love not shame.”

I absolutely love what they did.

How awesome is it to accept that the viewer might not have thought about trans boys being pregnant, and not shaming the viewer but expecting them to understand the issue when they are offered a fair and sensitive response?

It is an ad aimed at cis-gendered people that does not other the trans man and instead places him right in the middle of ‘this is what we mean when we talk about families’.

By doing this, the ad also avoids medicalisation of pregnancies and instead celebrates them.

Very nice.

Toronto fire services sets quota for diversity

Fire Services has a target of 10% increase in hiring women and visible minorities!

In an educated, healthy population quota work if you couple them to improved daycare, after school care, parental leave and union negotiated it’s-the-end-of-day-lets-continue-tomorrow-meetings. Or if you set up co-production (see below).

I actually like it that they do not much go into the reasons why diversity is necessary, taking it for granted that everyone knows. 

Their quota is built around improving their way of targeting/finding people instead of waiting for women and visible minorities to come to them. 

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/07/15/robyn-urback-fire-services-plans-to-hire-more-women-and-minorities-because-diversity-is-good/

My only worry is that people sort of, half, kinda know why diversity is important. And since not everyone is on board the unfairness of quota and diversity (for white capable men) *will* come up again with a vengeance. 

I would like to have the Fire Services spell this diversity mission out in a different document.

—-

Co-production is a form of delivering social services that sets professionals, clients, family and neighbours on an equal footing in deciding what the service should look like and who runs the show on a daily basis. 

http://www.sigeneration.ca/home/inspiring-action-for-social-impact-series/