Another Gregorian calendar year coming to an end. A year that has had many ups and downs for me personally, as well as for the wider world. In Canada we have had Bill C-16 pass the Commons and the Senate to add gender identity and gender expression to our national human rights code. Something to celebrate. At the same time, we are still seeing anti-trans and transphobic flyers being distributed in British Columbia. To our south, in the United States, there has been an erosion of rights for LGBTQIA+ and especially for transgender people at the federal level and in many states. In my own life health has been up and down with the development of a full-blown chronic illness. One that makes life interesting, to say the least. The year ended on a high note for me, personally, with the publication of my poem “Holy Love” in the Resilience Anthology, the Resilience tour event at the Glad Day bookstore in Toronto.
2018 is looking to be interesting as well. Managing my health will be a top priority, doing what I can do, striving to keep active and what work I can. My current plan is to continue to write, do sensitivity editing, and, all going well, begin graduate studies. Plans are underway for one or two more Resilience tours. Details for these and finding backers for it will start being worked out over the next few weeks.
My own writing projects include more poetry, short stories, a non-fiction book based on my blogs over the past nine years, and an Speculative/Science Fiction novel. Other work that I hope to be able to do more of includes workshop facilitation, speaking engagements, leading services, and other work of that nature.
All of my work will continue to be informed by my various identities and striving to integrate anti-oppression, de-colonization, and feminist principles. As part of this work, I know that I will screw up on occasion, it’s part of being human. I apologize for mistakes that I have made, and commit to doing better in the future. I will continue to say, “that’s not fair,” when I notice injustice. Not only that, I will seek to point out ways in which problems can be solved, and ways people can do better.
In Ontario 2018 will include a provincial election. I will continue to pay attention to the issues that are part of the political landscape. As always, I will examine all the parties and candidates and pay attention to their platforms, as well as their records on the issues they bring forward. Parties can, and do, change over time. I consider a critical examination of each party to be part of my responsibility as a citizen who will be voting. Rhetoric from the three major parties in Ontario has been ramping up for most of 2017. We still live in a province where the first past the post method is used in electing members to the legislature. I would like to see this change to a proportional representation system. I am not holding my breath, I do need to breath at some point in the next year or five.
Overall, my goal for the new year is to look forward, explore strange new opportunities, to find new avenues for humour and creativity, to continue to go where no trans woman has gone before. May the farce be with you in 2018. May your lives include a balance of humour and seriousness. Let us all work to make the world a better place and end 2018 in a world that is safer, more just, and more peaceful than it begins.