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Category Archives: Gender Identity

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What’s Happening this week in the Okanagan! Jan 25 – Jan 31, 2020

Virtual Events include Basically Ella, SashaTV, Shantay You Stay, and the meeting of the Okanagan Gender Identity Group.

Monday, January 25 – Basically Ella: Skin Care, 12:30 pm, presented by Rebellious Unicorns, and Unicorns.LIVE ~ Online

Your skin is your canvas, and an artist such as yourself deserves the best foundation on which to create. Not only is it the canvas — your skin is the largest organ found on the human body. Ella will discuss proper skin care and cleansing regimes for a variety of skin types.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE

Tuesday, January 26 – Okanagan Gender Identity Group ~ Online

This is a positive, safe, inclusive, supportive space for, gender non-conforming, non-binary, transsexual, transgender, genderqueer inter-sexed or questioning (or any variation thereof under the rainbow spectrum) people living in or near Kelowna or the Okanagan are to discuss matters and various topics while providing and obtaining peer support.

We meet every Tuesday from 6-8 via Discord.

For more information on this group meeting, please join the Okanagan Gender Identity Group on Facebook.

Saturday, January 30 – Shantay You Stay with Farrah Moan, 7:30 pm, presented by Rebellious Unicorns, Unicorns.LIVE, and Friends of Dorothy Lounge – Kelowna~ Online

The secret is out and you are gonna FLIP. YOUR. WIG! Announcing Shantay You Stay Saturdays LIVE from Friends of Dorothy Kelowna (315 Lawrence Avenue)! Join us in-house at FOD Kelowna for a bite and a sip as you get in on an exclusive virtual meet and greet with legendary performers from Rupaul’s Drag Race. Those burning questions will be answered, and all streamed to all Unicorns.LIVE.

Space is limited, and reservations are required; choose your trio for $30/person (plus tax), including wine, craft cocktail, and an appetizer. Get those thinking caps on — questions from in-person attendees must be submitted in advance.

For reservations, call FOD Kelowna on 236.420.4565. Shantay You Stay Saturdays begin on Saturday, January 23, 2020, LIVE from Friends of Dorothy Kelowna and on Unicorns.LIVE!

6:30 PM – Seating & $30 Trio Selection
7:00 PM – Deadline for question submissions
7:30 PM – WE GO LIVE with the Drag Race celeb, where you’ll get to speak to the queens directly!

NOTE: Only people at Friends of Dorothy Kelowna will be able to ask questions of the celebrity guests; Unicorns.LIVE will be streaming Shantay You Stay Saturdays, and all subscribers will be able to enjoy the show.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE

Many Post-secondary LGBT2Q+ Students in Lockdown with Unsupportive Families

COVID-19 restrictions have forced many LGBT2Q+ students to return home to continue their education online, locking them down with unsupportive families.

With in-person classes cancelled, dorms shuttered and jobs lost, Canada witnessed a mass migration of postsecondary students moving back in with their parents through the pandemic. For many grown children and their families, the unexpected cohabitation was claustrophobic, occasionally tense.

But going home has been more a troubling experience for some students than others. When schools closed abruptly in March, some LGBTQ youth were forced to move back in with unaccepting and homophobic relatives. Fearful for their safety, some have been going back into the closet, according to new Canadian research.

Zosia BielskiThe Globe and Mail

To read more of this story, follow the link to The Globe and Mail


BC Teen Wins Case to Go Ahead with Gender-Affirming Surgery

After a disapproving mother tried to stop him, a BC teen has been given the green light by the courts to go ahead with gender-affirming surgery.

A teenager in B.C. is free to move forward with his gender-affirming chest reconstruction surgery after a Supreme Court justice tossed his mother’s attempt to stop the procedure, finding she made “egregious misstatements” while fighting an issue that’s already been settled in court.

Lawyers for the teenager, who turns 18 this spring, said he was “relieved” to hear the justice had ruled in his favour.

“Our client is hopeful he can get on with his life … and get back to being a teenager,” read an emailed statement from lawyers Adrienne Smith and Claire Hunter on Monday.

Rhianna SchmunkCBC News

To read more of this story, follow the link to CBC News

(Image Credit: Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Transgender Teen Receives Massive Support from the Community

After being violently assaulted by two girls in middle school, the community came out en masse in support of the transgender teen.

On Sunday, the line of cars, trucks, motorcycles and even horses stretched for kilometres as thousands of people showed their support for the victim while taking a stand against transphobia and bullying.

“We just can’t believe how many messages we’ve received from people just saying, ‘We’re behind you,’” said the victim’s mother, who CTV News is not identifying. “And to know that they’re supporting our child as well is amazing.”

Bill MiljureCTV News

To read more of this story, follow the link to CTV News

(Image Credit: CTV News)

Is SOGI 123 Failing in British Columbia?

It’s Time For An Audit!

The images of a schoolyard beating on January 11, 2021, of a transgender teen student outside of École Heritage Park Middle School, sit in stark contrast to pictures of the Mission School District’s SOGI 123 Salish Weaving project gifting a rainbow blanket “to value our relationship with Indigenous and LGBTQ communities by way of a Stó:lō Honouring Ceremony”.

SOGI 123 Weave Project credit Mission City Record

All sixty school districts in British Columbia participate in SOGI 123, now in its fourth year of being incorporated into education practices across the province. SOGI is the acronym for sexual orientation and gender identity. SOGI 123 provides teaching aids and guidance for educators and parents to create more inclusive and safe schools for students who identify as LGBTQ2S+.

The mother of the teen who was bullied and beaten by two female students while other students cheered them on, says her daughter identifies as a transgender and lesbian. The teen has faced repeated bullying and harassment at their school, sometimes contacting their mother asking permission to come home early. This despite the Mission School District having participated in SOGI 123 and with public anti-bullying policies in place. [See Anti: Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination Policy and a Sexual Minority (Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity) Anti-Homophobic Policy.] 

The initial reaction by Superintendent Angus Wilson, while calling the attack “hideous and horrendous”, was to blame it on COVID. This unfortunate statement was quickly walked back by the board of trustees promising their policies will be reviewed. Given this attack and reports that it is not an isolated incident with other LGBTQS+ students at the school reporting similar bullying, a review is seriously past due. These incidents of bullying also point out the futility of anti-bullying policies as a means of prevention. This was one of the reasons for the establishment of SOGI 123.

Several right-wing political activists created a flurry of campaigns to oppose the implementation of SOGI 123 in 2018 claiming it was an ideology. They began showing up to protest at school district meetings and one of the most outspoken opponents Laura Lynn Thompson even ran for a Burnaby School District position on a platform of SOGI 123 opposition which she lost. Since then SOGI 123 has scarcely been in the news.

This incident of bullying and victimization of a transgender teen in a school setting calls for SOGI 123 to be back in focus. How are schools, school boards, and parents failing those who face prejudice, bias, and hate when they have the tools and resources at their disposal for prevention? Are schools and boards participating in SOGI 123 simply to be seen as being compliant? It’s time for an audit.

(Image Credit: Abbotsford News)