The new Netflix documentary “Disclosure” features transgender creatives and thinkers who share heartfelt perspectives and analysis about Hollywood’s impact on the trans community. ET Canada’s Keshia Chante recently chatted with one of those voices, executive producer Laverne Cox, who shared what inspired the storytelling behind the doc.
Indigenous transgender storyteller Kiley May shapes her life as a kaleidoscope
June is National Indigenous History Month. It is a time for all Canadians — Indigenous, non-Indigenous and newcomers — to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, cultures, contributions, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. Throughout the month of June, we will profile Indigenous people, and share their stories and voices, so that we can celebrate the difference they have made in their communities and to our country.
“Diversity, inclusion and representation are so important. Representation saves lives. Seeing ourselves reflected at us in positive ways on screens, in books and popular culture, is so vital. Being able to relate to and identify with a role model or someone like us validates and affirms us in who we are. It tells us that we exist. Tells us we are real, we are normal, we belong. It’s encouraging, uplifting, and hopeful. I make sure to shine bright like a beacon to light the way for others.”
For trans people, ‘passing’ is a privilege that not everyone
is afforded. If someone doesn’t pass as the gender they identify as, they can
be faced with discrimination, denial of services, harassment, and assault.
I came out as trans this past summer, and am currently in an
interesting stage of my transition where I usually am able to pass as a man,
but there are still very occasional instances where I don’t.
When I pass as a man, people are surprised when I tell them
that I work as a nanny, and some even say, “No, but what do you really do?” I originally was taken aback
by this shocked reaction, as this was just considered typical when I was
presenting as female. Now, I am sadly starting to expect disbelief and even
resistance from these statements. However, familiarity of this sort can lead to
de-sensitivity and in turn, being less willing to act, which terrifies me.
However, the most significant thing I’ve observed about
gender since I’ve come out is the toxicity of misogyny. I have noticed that people are
kinder and more respectful when I pass as male, versus when I don’t
pass as well, or when I was presenting more feminine before I came out. People
greet me openly and seem more willing to listen to what I have to say. In
contrast, the more friendly receptions I received while still presenting as
female consisted of older men calling me ‘sweetheart,’ ‘dear,’ or ‘honey.’
I obviously knew that misogyny was extremely prevalent and
harmful before I came out, being directly affected by it when I was viewed by
others as a girl. However, experiencing the profound differences in the way I’m
treated firsthand is almost beyond belief, and I am beyond disgusted and
shocked by how extensive it truly is.
Trans men and those trans enby people who present as more
masculine have a unique perspective on gender and misogyny. Many of us have
experienced gender-based discrimination in relation to femininity before coming
out, but now have a certain level of male privilege that comes with passing.
Therefore, it is so important that us transmasc folx use our newfound male privilege to speak up for those who aren’t given the same platform, listen and integrate the perspectives of all women, and call out chauvinistic attitudes to dismantle the patriarchy and ideals of toxic masculinity for everyone.
Written by James Seiben, a Youth Okanagan contributor for Kelowna.LGBT
I thought my hockey career was over when I (formally) came out as Transgender in 2018. I hadn’t played in years. Who would I now play for? I had played for a men’s team, while on feminizing hormones and nobody could tell I was secretly in transition starting in 2015. That’s what happens when you play with guys you have grown up with all your life.
So, when we
decided to leave Alberta in late 2018 and head back home to BC, I knew I had to
create a supportive community and sooner than later if possible.
some homework, I posted on a few hockey sites under my female alias. I had not
done the name change but knew it would be after the 3-month waiting period upon
arrival in BC. I didn’t immediately want to scare away any potential teams by
posting as Grant. As a result, I received a couple of emails in response.
always been open about being transgender. I do this with the esthetician, hair
salon, laser hair removal, spot, makeup artist, doctor, dentist, etc. I have
been criticized for this but, at the same time, people are allowed to make a
living and not deal with people they may not like.
hockey. I wrote an email explaining my situation on hormones, not fully
transitioned yet, that I have played in the past etc. I didn’t mention, I am
overweight but, I am not perfect.
I got some replies back saying this would be totally fine. I wanted to ask
again, and I think I did, but I wanted to make sure that it was a team
decision. Even if one individual did not feel comfortable, then I would get
that and respect it. They have that right, and really, they do have more of a
right to be there than me. Maybe I can be a little pragmatic but that’s
how I feel.
rather be respectful in this manner because I know it’s a delicate issue.
back and forth, I got an email and phone call offering me one last opportunity.
In the midst of a move, I wasn’t really thinking about hockey, but I took the
opportunity. Now I was scared!
that first meeting of the team was terrifying, filled with anxiety, but it went
pretty well I think. Then a week later my first actual game. What dressing room
do I use? The response was, “the same one as the rest of the team”.
Okay, a little scary. I tried to position myself in a corner, somewhere away
from everybody out of respect. I tried to get dressed and keep a low profile.
It was wonderful but at the same time, hard.
Every game I
am still full of anxiety, walking into that dressing room. I start thinking about
comments that pop up during the game. And of course, I am active on social
media and so I see how there are groups that specifically do not want
transgender people on women’s sports teams.
Not only, do
I have my own thoughts and anxiety, now I let others creep in and it’s
incredibly hard. I have thought about quitting because maybe I am that fraud
and imposter and invading a space?
team is amazing and the players have been awesome. They’ve been so supportive
and caring, but it is different than a men’s team, that’s for sure. The
dressing room talk is a lot more subtle, the game is different, and the
environment is still unfamiliar.
It certainly hasn’t been easy, but it’s worth it in the end.
Thank you to everyone who attended our February social at Cue’s! It was a blast and we had lots of new faces and even new friends from Kelowna.LGBT come and participate!
We are also so thrilled at the community turnout to the Out in Schools event at Cleland Theatre on March 5 – over 100 community members and youth were in attendance! The presentation was also at all of the middle schools and high schools this week within School District 67. Representation and having LGBTQ2+ stories told is so vital to moving progress forward for the next generation. Thank you to Melisa Edgerly for leading this community initiative!
Our apologies for getting our March newsletter out a bit late this month…this week is jam-packed with events all week long, check them out!
PRIDE PAGES BOOK CLUB: Tuesday March 10, 2020, 6-30pm-8pm @ Penticton Library
Penticton Public Library welcomes you to a new book club which is being hosted in partnership with SOS Pride Society!
The program is FREE; registration is required. In March they will be watching the Harvey Milk film as a follow up to the book.
This book club requires sign up, please contact Stephanie (Adult Services Librarian) at: 250-770-7786 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.
SOS Pride Social
WEDNESDAY MARCH 11, 2020 – 6pm-9pm @ Brexit Pub in Penticton
COMMUNITY EDUCATION EVENT
MARCH 26 9am-2pm @ DAYS INN CONFERENCE CENTRE in PENTICTON
ENTERTAINMENT & FUNDRAISER ON MARCH 27, 2020
Looking for an unforgettable night out to celebrate a great cause?
The 2nd Annual ‘In the Name of Love night of entertainment is happening on March 27, 2020!
2nd Annual Variety Cabaret Showcase, featuring the highest class in performance talent throughout the Okanagan. Proceeds towards In the Name of Love Fund, providing adequate mental health services to the LGBTQ2+ community.
From 1920-2020; Grab your most glamorous and outrageous vintage outfits and journey through 100 years of fabulous and forbidden LGBTQ2+ history at our Speakeasy.
FEARLESS commemorates the path of unbreakable, resilient and FEARLESS folks who changed the course of history simply by existing in resistance. In the last 100 years, we have seen everything from the legalization of gay activities, to the rise of the LGBTQ2+ flags on Parliament. Imagine what we will see in the next 100 years with the same FEARLESS spirit.
Guests will be given the secret location & password upon ticket purchase. Guests will be entertained throughout the night by the most sought out entertainers in the Okanagan. If the lavish decor and intoxicating performances aren’t enough, you’ll have the opportunity to view some of the best visual arts at our onsite exhibit and silent auction.
Best Costume Prize | Silent Art Auction & Exhibit | Cocktails & Mocktails | Appies | Highly Sought Out Performing Artists | The Most Unforgettable Night of Your Life–