Last weekend I had the privilige of attending the Trans Health Advocacy Summit in London Ontario. The summit brought together trans people and allies from across the province to discuss advocacy and health for trans people. The weekend was quite full and covered many topics.
Part of the weekend was spent with the people in each region getting together in small groups to discuss what the situation is across the province. Most of the activity, which probably isn’t a surprise to many, is happening in Toronto.
What particularly struck me is how much of the work being done, particularly in areas of advocacy and support is being done in isolation. We keep reinventing the wheel rather than finding out what others are doing and adapting it to meet current needs.t Part of the reason for this is lack of good communication. People in the different regions across Ontario don’t know what is being done elsewhere. Within the regions communication within the ‘trans community’ is often lacking with a number of different groups each doing their own thing. Another part of the problem is that we are not a cohesive community. We have different groups each doing their own thing, interpersonal conflicts, and rivalries and conflicts between groups.
Moving forward we – those of us in the ‘trans community’ – have the challenge of overcoming the differences that divide us and instead work to find common ground and share resources, avoid reinventing the wheel, and working towards improving the situation for trans people across the province.
Updated 2012-06-21 14:25 This list contains current actions in the push for trans equality in Canada. I do not claim this to be a comprehensive list of current action and welcome submissions of other activity that is going on in Canada.
If you know of current actions please add to the comments or contact me directly via Facebook or Google+
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With the discussions around the Salvation Army’s treatment of LGBT+ people, and in particular a shelter in Austin refusing a trans woman shelter resulting in her death, I did some digging on the Canadian Salvation Army site and found the following in their position statements:
The Salvation Army upholds the dignity of all persons. For this reason, and in obedience to the example of Jesus Christ, whose compassionate love is all-embracing, The Salvation Army does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in the delivery of its services.
I see no reference on their site except a brief mention of the event (Salvation Army Offers Safety to Winnipeg’s Sex Trade Workers) which was aimed at giving sex workers a safe place in Winnipeg. I decided to use their contact form and sent the following:
I am wondering if you provide shelter for transsexual people appropriately? For example, if a transsexual woman seeks help from a women’s shelter would you turn her away because she was born with male anatomy?
It will be interesting to see how they respond and I will post an update if / when I get a response.
Under Canadian law, because they get funding from the government, they MUST adhere to Canadian law around discrimination. (Salvation Army Willing to Hire Gays in Canada)
This video discusses the common objections to boycotting the Salvation Army and provides a rebuttal to them.
Common Objections to Boycotting the Salvation Army
Please note that this post contains some coarse language in context of discussing the issue of violence. I will also be talking about violence which some may find disturbing.
I started working on this post back in September, and since I first setup the draft post a few things have happened that influenced the post.
One risk that faces all who fall under the umbrella of LGBTQ is that of violence. Gay men are still beaten up in places for being gay. Some men ‘joke’ that all a lesbian needs is to “have a good fuck” and she would be made straight, an attitude that can and does lead some men to rape lesbians. Transsexual and transgender people, however, face a disproportionate risk of violence. Read the rest of this entry »