Friday, March 22, 2013
Author, activist and gender theorist Kate Bornstein has cancer.
However, there is a silver lining in this diagnosis: it is treatable.
So Bornstein's friend Laura Vogel has started a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses.
"The treatment plan that gives Kate the best chance of beating
cancer is incredibly expensive," says Vogel.
"Kate has spent the past thirty years helping the rest of us Stay
Alive—now it’s our turn to give back.
Let’s HELP KATE BORNSTEIN BEAT CANCER AND STAY ALIVE!"
Donations can be made in various increments, from $5 ranging all the way to $10,000.
The page was created on March 20 and in less than three days has raised more than $60,000 to help pay for Bornstein's treatments.
"Kate, or Auntie Kate as so many of us affectionately call her, has
helped so many people surmount the trappings of social pressure,
bullying, and oppression that so often lead to suicide," Vogel writes in a blog post. "Kate has helped
thousands of people choose to 'stay alive,' as she puts it. So, when
she told me that she wouldn't be able to follow the treatment plan that
her doctors said was her best -- and only -- hope for beating cancer, it
broke my heart. I was sad, confused, and outraged. And then I
remembered: we can fix this problem; we can make Kate's treatment plan
Bornstein's book, A Queer and Pleasant Danger, tells her story of living as a Scientologist. Check out her interview with Xtra, posted in August of 2012.
Monday, February 25, 2013
This edition of The Reading List is all about sexual health.
- If you haven't had the chance, check out Xtra's recent coverage on sexual health issues. Nancy Irwin wrote a great piece on the rise of syphilis amongst men who have sex with men.
- Andrea Houston reports on the rise of STI infections in large urban centres in Ontario.
- Over at The Atlantic, Alice Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, looks at a recent report by the United Nations looking to repeal health practices such as "genital normalizing therapies" for individuals born with genitals that are sexually atypical. Read it.
- And if you're interested in healthcare practices and issues, prideHealth is holding a Trans* Community Forum next week. In partnership with the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH), prideHealth is hosting a discussion on ways to expand access to healthcare for the trans community. The event happens March 6 in the Parker Reception Room at the IWK. For more information, contact prideHealth at 902-473-1433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
A group in Portland, Oregon, is looking to do some good in a most unusual -- but highly effective -- way.
With the program In a Bind,
Portland's TransActive has created a community education and donation program whereby they collect funds for binders for individuals who cannot afford them, as well as previously and gently used binders to redistribute amongst the community.
This is a great idea, one which would be lovely to see happen in a place like Atlantic Canada.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Halifax’s Trans Liberation League is teaming up with the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group to put on an information session this evening to discuss the state of healthcare for transgender people in Nova Scotia. TLL has created TRANS*form Healthcare
, a project that looks at ways to change the current health services available to people in the trans community.
Down East spoke with Jacqueline Vincent, a member of the group, about tonight’s meeting.
How did TLL come to be?
The Trans Liberation League was formed specifically for the TRANS*form Healthcare campaign. A group of us decided that we wanted to fight for necessary healthcare services for trans people. We are an ad hoc committee and plan on coming together to organize for specific needs.
What is its mandate?
To try to make Nova Scotia a better place for trans people to live in. Right now we are specifically focusing on trans-related healthcare. Our specific vision and demands are outlined in our pamphlet [attached].
How does it hope to achieve these goals?
We are using a combination of public education, through events like info sessions and panel discussions; awareness-raising, through fun events like dance parties; government lobbying; and grassroots action. We plan to travel to communities across Nova Scotia to build provincewide support. We are building relationships with local communities and working in partnership with other organizations such as NSPIRG (Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group).
For more information, check out the FB page for the event.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Original Plumbing, a magazine and website started by Amos Mac and Rocco Katastrophe, is looking for some help.
The website for the magazine is no longer able to fulfill the needs of its readers and content providers, so Mac and Katastrophe have created an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a new site, as well as those who will be working on its creation.
OP and Amos have been featured in the pages of Xtra, and this is an opportunity to help a great publication and website, as well as the people who write for it and especially for those who read it.
Check out Amos and Rocco's video, explaining all of the deets. Give and give often!
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
When Westerly Windina refers to occasions from the past, she never uses the first person, "I."
She says, "Peter did this" or "Peter was."
The Peter she speaks of is Peter Drouyn, the man who brought surfing to great heights of popularity. Peter Drouyn is the name given to Windina at birth.
Directors Alan White and Jamie Brisick are looking to Kickstarter to help them fund their film about Westerly. With the working title of Westerly: A Man, a Woman, an Enigma, the film hopes to tell the story of a person who rose to the height of their game and then almost disappeared.
According to the Kickstarter website, in 2002 Windina, then still living as Peter, almost drowned:
"It was a supernova," said Westerly. "It just kicked in one night, and suddenly Peter went, Westerly was there."
Check out the trailer for an idea of who Drouyn was, and who Windina is.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Today, Nov 20, is the 14th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
I want to remember someone that I have never met but hold a great deal of respect for:
Marsha P Johnson.
The "P" stood for "Pay It No Mind."
Marsha was a character. Marsha was crazy. Marsha lived outside of society. Marsha lived outside of gender norms. Marsha was a sex worker. And it is rumoured that Marsha was the first queen to throw stones/bricks/chairs at the Stonewall riots in 1969.
If you don't know Marsha, check out this video, where her friends tell stories about her.
Marsha is also the namesake of Antony Hegarty's band, The Johnsons.
So today, on this day, I think of Marsha, a person who walked and worked outside of the lines. I think of her as I listen to this song by Hegarty.
On this day, remember the people you know. Remember the people you knew. And remember the people you wish you could have known that are gone.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
In early October, it was reported that the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project was looking to have Nova Scotia's Human Rights Act amended
to include protections for transgender people.
One of the main ways that NSRAP gathered support was through a petition that it circulated.
Today, NSRAP presented Minister Leonard Preyra with that same petition. The petition asked that the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act include gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds for discrimination. NSRAP gathered more than 1,700 signatures for the petition.
In a press release, NSRAP chair Kevin Kindred is quoted as saying, "Hundreds of Nova Scotians are calling on our government to extend basic human rights to transgender members of our communities. No one should face discrimination or harassment due to their gender identity or how they express it. It’s time to enshrine those basic protections into law. Including gender identity and gender expression in the Act is an important step towards making sure that transgender people are valued, supported, accepted and protected here in Nova Scotia."
NSRAP notes in the same release that it hopes "the timing of this petition will call attention to Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event reflecting on violence against transgender individuals, on November 20."
Speaking of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, notice has been circulated to various local queer organizations that on Nov 20, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice will be making a special announcement at Province House at 11am. No details have been released to the media or the public as of yet as to the details of the announcement.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
For years in New York City, people would hold "rent parties" where they would charge a small fee at the door of their private parties to raise funds to pay their rent. A few Haligonians are looking to do their own version, but this time to help out a family that has had a run of bad luck.
Owen Ross is one of the organizers of the the FamJam Fundraiser Collective. He and his friends wanted to help out their friends Michelle Malette, Quin Smith and their family as they had recently lost their car, their income and home. "This family gives so much to our queer and greater local community," says Ross. "Michelle Malette is the sole founder and organizer of Trans Family, a peer-support organization for trans people and their families, as well as the organizer for the Halifax chapter of PFLAG. Michelle also volunteers at various Youth Project events, the Out of the Cold shelter, as well as drives all her kids and their teammates to their hockey practices. The Malette/Smith family can be found at every vigil, march and fundraiser to show their support. Now it's our turn to help them."
The FamJam Fundraiser Collective is therefore hosting a series of events, including a prom-themed party at the Sad Rad, an all-ages venue located above a now-defunct radiator shop on Young St in the north end of Halifax. The fundraiser takes place this Saturday, with an admission of $10 or pay what you can. One focus of the fundraising is to help the family purchase a new car. All proceeds from the prom will be going directly to the family.
"The Junior High Prom will be a fun night that engages people from all generations to come out and have a fun time together for a good cause," says Owen. "We chose to make this an all-ages event because we wanted to include the whole family. This situation affects the whole family, so why not the solution too?"
Check out the event Facebook page for more info.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Stephen Beatty, the queer transgender son of Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, is an articulate and rapid-fire speaker.
The blogger from Super Mattachine and OP was recently asked to answer a few questions for the website WeHappyTrans. When asked who some of his heroes are, he mentions Truman Capote and Marsha P Johnson.
The video has received some attention from The Advocate and even Entertainment Tonight. If anything, I hope the video provides people with an insight into the mind of an intelligent and articulate activist.
Check out the video below.