QBits
Transgender youth clinic opens at Sick Kids

First clinic in the city to focus on medical care for transgender teens

The Canadian Press Posted: Oct 12, 2013 5:48 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 12, 2013 6:08 PM ET

Sick Kids says gender dysphoria is relatively rare, but increased awareness and acceptance has led more teens to identify as transgender. (CBC)

Sick Kids says gender dysphoria is relatively rare, but increased awareness and acceptance has led more teens to identify as transgender. (CBC)

A new Toronto clinic for transgender youth is seeing its first patients.

The clinic at Sick Kids hospital officially opened on Friday and administrators say it will help fill an important gap in care for teens with gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria is diagnosed in people whose gender identity doesn’t match their anatomical sex.

Sick Kids says gender dysphoria is relatively rare, but increased awareness and acceptance has led more teens to identify as transgender.

It says while there are two mental health clinics that provide the diagnosis in Toronto, the Sick Kids clinic is the first in the city to focus on medical care for transgender teens.

The hospital says without proper care, transgender teens can experience “negative consequences” such as mental health issues and risky behaviour.

Patients will work with an interdisciplinary team to ensure they get counselling and in some cases, will receive hormone therapy to prevent the changes associated with puberty, the hospital says.

The team includes physicians specializing in adolescent medicine and endocrinology, a nurse practitioner, a nurse and a social worker as well as children’s mental health organizations.

Toronto homes with rainbow flags targeted by anti-gay vandals

Homeowners fighting back by ordering 200 rainbow flags for neighbours
 

A west-end Toronto community is coming together to fight back after vandals targeted three homes displaying rainbow flags.
 

On Aug 29 Sarah Harrison and her partner Pascal Murphy discovered that the rear tires on their vehicle had been slashed over night. Constable Tony Vella says Toronto Police are investigating the matter, but did not comment further.
 
Harrison and Murphy say they have been the target of anti-gay attacks for the past two years since they mounted rainbow flags on their porch. They say such attacks in the neighbourhood around Runnymede and Jane have recently escalated.
 
“We are very passionate allies. This vandalism is not a reflection of the whole community,” says Harrison. “We have called police throughout this whole thing. They don’t know who it is and they don’t have any suspects. I think that will be a pretty difficult thing to determine.”
 
Undaunted, Harrison has now ordered 200 rainbow flags and she is organizing a community barbeque with some other neighbours. She plans to distribute a rainbow flag to any family that wants one. “We are encouraging people to come out, get a flag, talk about why this is happening in our neighbourhood and what we can do to stop it.” 
 
Harrison says the attacks began about two years ago when the couple found their “Celebrate Diversity” bumper sticker had been ripped off their car and torn up. “Then our first rainbow flag was torn off our front porch,” she says. 

Read More

(via Toronto Mosque to host LGBT friendly Ramadan prayer and dinner | Gay Star News)

Canada’s Universalist Muslims are an LGBT welcoming group of progressive Muslims and they are hoping to hold the 10th Salaam Peace Iftar later this month at the El-Tawhid Juma Circle Toronto Unity Mosque.
With 5 days to go group is just $152 short of its fundraising goal of $500 and the group is hopeful of possibly exceeding that target.
Donations:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/10th-annual-salaam-peace-iftar-dinner-sponsorship-fund?show_todos=true



Indiegogo crowd funding website.


Indiegogo crowd funding website.

(via Toronto Mosque to host LGBT friendly Ramadan prayer and dinner | Gay Star News)

Canada’s Universalist Muslims are an LGBT welcoming group of progressive Muslims and they are hoping to hold the 10th Salaam Peace Iftar later this month at the El-Tawhid Juma Circle Toronto Unity Mosque.

With 5 days to go group is just $152 short of its fundraising goal of $500 and the group is hopeful of possibly exceeding that target.

Donations:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/10th-annual-salaam-peace-iftar-dinner-sponsorship-fund?show_todos=true
Indiegogo crowd funding website.
Indiegogo crowd funding website.
(via Wynne to be first Ont. premier to march in Toronto gay pride parade | CTV News)
"Pride week is hugely important for some people who are shut out of family holidays and gatherings because they are not accepted for who they are, said Wynne.
"I’ve had people from the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community say to me that Pride is like the biggest celebration of the year for them because they’re not part of their families, they’re excluded from family holidays," she said.
"So Pride is like their extended family acknowledging them."
It’s important to celebrate Pride week to remind people that gays are still being persecuted in many other countries, added Wynne.
"Unfortunately we still need a Pride celebration because homophobia is alive and well, not just here in some places in Ontario, but in many parts of the world where you can still be imprisoned or beaten for being gay, lesbian or trans," she said.

(via Wynne to be first Ont. premier to march in Toronto gay pride parade | CTV News)

"Pride week is hugely important for some people who are shut out of family holidays and gatherings because they are not accepted for who they are, said Wynne.

"I’ve had people from the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community say to me that Pride is like the biggest celebration of the year for them because they’re not part of their families, they’re excluded from family holidays," she said.

"So Pride is like their extended family acknowledging them."

It’s important to celebrate Pride week to remind people that gays are still being persecuted in many other countries, added Wynne.

"Unfortunately we still need a Pride celebration because homophobia is alive and well, not just here in some places in Ontario, but in many parts of the world where you can still be imprisoned or beaten for being gay, lesbian or trans," she said.

Seems his fellow students are much more mature than the school officials.

Q.

Toronto school board introduces policy for transgender students, staff

A step in the right direction.

Q.

Published on Thursday October 04, 2012
Karissa Donkin
Staff Reporter

The Toronto District School Board has introduced a new set of guidelines that spell out what kind of accommodation the board must offer to “transgender and gender non-conforming students and staff.”

The policy says schools must keep a student’s gender non-conformity or transgender status confidential and should never disclose it to a parent or guardian without consent from the student.

“It is strongly suggested that staff privately ask transgender or gender nonconforming students at the beginning of the school year how they want to be addressed in correspondence to the home or at meetings with the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver(s),” the policy says.

It also says students and staff have the right to use a washroom that “best conforms to their gender identity” without having to “prove” their gender. Schools must also offer an “accessible all-gender single stall washroom” for any employee or student who needs “increased privacy.”

The guidelines were created as a result of a student’s recent human rights complaint, Toronto District School Board spokesman Ryan Bird said.

“A student was experiencing some difficulties with accessing programs and services specific to his gender identity. The student was provided an accommodation at the school and as part of the settlement … the board developed these accommodation guidelines,” Bird said.

A number of the guidelines were used on a case-by-case basis before, but Bird said this is the first time they’ve been officially spelled out in school board policy.

The guidelines, along with a fact sheet of common questions and answers, have been posted on the school board’s website. Bird said the guidelines are now being distributed to staff to use as a resource when requests for accommodation come up.

The guidelines also deal with use of pronouns when addressing transgender students or staff and says dress codes for students should be flexible, so students don’t have to choose between male or female clothing.

Ford picks cottage over Pride — again

No surprise here.

Q.

By ,City Hall Bureau Chief

First posted:Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:44 AM EDT| Updated:Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:56 AM EDT

Pride paradeA man waves a flag as he takes part in the Gay Pride Parade in Toronto, July, 3, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford will be skipping Toronto’s Pride parade for a second year in a row.

Ford told reporters Wednesday he won’t be attending the parade this year because he is going to the cottage with his family.

“I’m not attending Pride,” Ford said.”It is on Canada Day, I’m going up to the cottage with my family like I’ve done for as far as I can remember.”

Asked if he would attend any other Pride events during the 10-day festival, Ford didn’t rule it out.

“We’ll see,” Ford said. “We’ll take it event by event.”

Ford ignited a firestorm of controversy last year when he became the first mega-city mayor to opt out of the Pride parade. Both former mayors David Miller and Mel Lastman marched in the parade during their terms.

Ford’s firm refusal to attend the Pride parade comes a day after he was more cryptic on the matter.

Asked Tuesday if he would be attending the parade, Ford wouldn’t say.

“I take my invitations one day at a time as you know,” he said at that time.

Toronto’s Gay Community Teams Up To Save Glad Day Bookshop

There is a new uplifting volume in the saga of independent gay bookstores: Yesterday it was revealed that Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop has a new owner, or 17 to be exact. 

A team of individual investors have joined forces and funds to buy the store and preserve its legacy of galvanizing queer activism in Toronto since 1970. The oldest operating LGBT bookstore in the world went up for sale last month after owner John Scythes couldn’t dip anymore into his savings to keep Glad Day afloat.

“Glad Day Bookshop was a crucial center for the gay and lesbian liberation movement in Canada,” said the youngest co-owner, 23-year-old Spencer Charles Smith. “I know I owe so much to the activists who came before me so I am investing my money and my time into Glad Day as a way to honor them.”

In the coming weeks, Glad Day’s new Board of Directors will reveal plans to revitalize the bookshop, including adding new technology and initiatives to foster the local queer-lit scene and stand up for good old same-sex love and justice. They are currently looking for a new store manager.

“Arts and culture give our community wings.” said co-owner Rio Rodriguez. “With creativity and representation, our communities find healing, inspiration, education and celebration.”

Feeling inspired? You can chip in too and help save a gay bookstore near you!

And next time you visit Glad Day, make sure to say hello and thanks to the rest of the gang: Andy Wang, Doug Kerr, El-Farouk Khaki, Fatima Amarshi, Jonathan Kitchen, Kim Crosby, Lisa Gore , Marcus McCann, Mark Schaan, Michael Erickson, Michael Went, Nat Trembley, Scott Robins, Tessa Duplessis and Troy Jackson.

Lady Gaga sends Toronto school anti-bullying video

Posted: Nov 25, 2011 1:01 PM ET

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2011 5:24 PM ET


Pop superstar Lady Gaga gave a high-profile boost to a Toronto student’s efforts to end bullying on Friday.

Jacques St. Pierre, 17, is in Grade 12 and is student council president of the Etobicoke School of the Arts.

St. Pierre endured bullying during his elementary school years and wanted to do something to raise awareness about the problem.

"I got called the gay kid, the fag, because I liked to be in the school plays," he told CBC’s Melanie Nagy. "I lost my best friend because he joined in with the bullies. It’s not fun, I’ve been there, I’ve been bullied. Before that, I didn’t know bullying could affect people so severely."

Motivated to do something about it, St. Pierre organized a school assembly with an anti-bullying theme. He also gathered pledges from fellow students, calling on them to agree to help combat the problem.

Grade 12 student Jacques St. Pierre was bullied during his elementary school years and wanted to do something to combat the problem.
Grade 12 student Jacques St. Pierre was bullied during his elementary school years and wanted to do something to combat the problem. CBC

But he also sent dozens of emails to celebrities, asking them to give their support.

That’s when he received an email he won’t soon forget.

"The subject line said ‘To Jacques from Lady Gaga,’" he told Nagy. "It said ‘click on the link below to download the video for your assembly.’ So no questions asked, Lady Gaga sent us a video. I watched it, and I started crying. I’m a huge fan. It’s kind of embarrassing because I love her so much. I couldn’t believe it."

In her video addressed to him, Lady Gaga praises St. Pierre for his work to combat bullying, particularly bullying directed at gay and lesbian students.

"I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you for being such a strong advocate of the LGBT community in your school," she said. "There should be more little monsters like you.

"My father always saves all the fan letters that I receive and I read yours and wanted to send this video to you. It is important that we push the boundaries of love and acceptance."

Lady Gaga said it was important given the recent suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, a Buffalo teen who committed suicide in September. One of his last tweets before he died was to Lady Gaga, who dedicated a song to him at one of her concerts.

Students react

Lady Gaga’s message got a strong reaction from students at the school assembly.

"I’m starting to actually realize how big this problem is and I just want to make a difference now," said one male student.

"I love Lady Gaga and it means so much to me that she could do that for us and support us through this," said another.

St. Pierre said he was elated to receive such high-profile support.

"Young or old, people know who Lady Gaga is, because she’s such a character and she does so much to stand up against bullying in any way she can. And someone as inspiring as her, taking 20 minutes out of her day to write down a speech, sit in front of a Teleprompter, get all made up and read it to us directly at our school. It’s fantastic."

St. Pierre also got support from CBC comedian Rick Mercer, whose recent anti-bullying rant video on his show went viral after airing on the Rick Mercer Report. The video was played Friday during the assembly.

St. Pierre kept Gaga’s contribution secret prior to the assembly, which featured singing, dancing and a broadcast of her video.

"Last year when the It Gets Better project started on YouTube, I was inspired by all the thousands of videos that were put online by celebrities, politicians and regular people," said St. Pierre.

"And I wanted to do something like that, so I ran for student council president and my campaign for that was to host an assembly about equality and anti-bullying and spread the message that everybody should be loved and accepted no matter what or who they are."

Pride parade covers streets in rainbow of colours

Record crowd estimated for annual parade

Posted: Jul 3, 2011 11:29 AM ET

Last Updated: Jul 3, 2011 4:55 PM ET

More than one million people, many equipped with squirt guns, beads and rainbow flags, lined the streets of downtown Toronto Sunday afternoon as North America’s largest gay pride parade made its way through the city’s midtown core.

Pride parade participants mingle with revellers at Toronto's annual event.
Pride parade participants mingle with revellers at Toronto’s annual event. (Ian Willms/Canadian Press)

The multi-coloured floats began rolling at 2 p.m. winding their way down Yonge Street with politicians and celebrities gracing the floats.

And as they have done for the majority of the 30 previous years the parade has been held, “Dykes on Bikes” led the procession with the roar of their motorcycles.

But one man conspicuously absent from the proceedings was Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Despite public and private lobbying from many politicians, business figures and other city dignitaries, the city’s first-term mayor said he did not plan to participate.

Ford, the first mayor in 16 years to miss the parade, has faced heavy criticism for skipping the event in favour of upholding what he described as a family tradition of spending Canada Day weekend at his cottage near Huntsville.

Three previous mayors — Barbara Hall, Mel Lastman and David Miller — all attended the annual parade while in office, with Hall attending the first parade as mayor in June 1995.

"I believe in Pride because it says who we are," former mayor David Miller told CP24 as he marched in the parade. "We are a city that is open to everyone."

The 31st edition of the event caps a weeklong celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities and culture in Toronto.

Roads in and around the event will be closed for a number of hours throughout the day.

Sunday’s parade, which is known for its spontaneous water gun salutes between float participants and revelers began at Bloor Street East and Church Street and headed west to Yonge Street. It will then head south on Yonge Street to Gerrard Street East and then east on Church Street.

But parties will keep the area around Church Street closed until Monday morning.

The annual event has grown over the years. When it began in the early 1980s, some 4,000 participants took part in the parade. But organizers estimated that the 2011 version featured almost 13,000 participants both marching and travelling on floats.

It is also North America’s largest pride parade and the third largest in the world.

Toronto is slated to host the World Pride parade in 2014.

‘We exist,’ Iranian Pride marchers say
Published On Fri Jul 01 2011

Ashram Parsi, executive director of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees and Ashraf, whose grandson, Aliraza Monavari, is now safely living in Norway after leaving Iran thru Turkey on the railroad. Ashraf will march in this year's Pride Parade.

Ashram Parsi, executive director of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees and Ashraf, whose grandson, Aliraza Monavari, is now safely living in Norway after leaving Iran thru Turkey on the railroad. Ashraf will march in this year’s Pride Parade.  RICK MADONIK/TORONTO STAR


Nicki Thomas Staff Reporter

Look for them on Sunday, marching down Yonge St. among the scantily clad and the corporately sponsored.

They’ll be the ones wearing white T-shirts, their hands raised in peace signs or waving rainbow flags bearing the name of the homeland they fled in fear.

And while other Pride-goers take it all off, some in this group will cover their faces, their open homosexuality too dangerous for family members back home.

It will be the first time an official Iranian contingent marches in Toronto’s Pride Parade.

“Iranian queers do exist,” said Arsham Parsi, executive director of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees. “We want to raise awareness for (their) rights.”

Through his Toronto-based organization, Parsi has helped bring more than 50 gay, lesbian and transgendered Iranian refugees to Canada since he fled the country himself in 2005.

Homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran. Its ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once proclaimed there were no gay people in the country. It’s an atmosphere that puts even relatives of gay Iranians at risk; Parsi’s family had to move to Turkey after his activism led to threats against them.

But after marching in Ankara’s pride parade this May, Parsi was inspired to lead a group in Toronto. His friends in Turkey, many of them asylum seekers staring down an uncertain future, felt so relieved after marching, he recalled.

“They told me, ‘When we’re shouting and chanting in the streets, we do exist. We almost forgot all of the pressure,” he said. “We just shout and tell the world, I’m here and I would like my rights.”

About 35 refugees and supporters will march with Parsi on Sunday. Ashraf, 58, who moved from Iran to Toronto three years ago, will be among them. From her wheelchair, she will send an important message to the Iranian community without even saying a word, Parsi said.

Her presence is proof that being traditional and supporting gay rights are not mutually exclusive.

Ashraf, who asked that her last name not be published, is the grandmother of a gay teenager who fled Iran with his mother and is currently seeking asylum in Norway. Speaking in Farsi, Ashraf is overcome as she talks about her grandson. She cries and chokes on her words as Parsi translates.

“Loving your children is not only about feeding them and taking care of them. You have to support them as well,” she said, adding that many Iranians left their home because they could not bear living under “a dictator” like Ahmadinejad.

“When we cannot tolerate our children’s diversity … and we want them to be like us, it’s a kind of dictatorship,” she said.

Parsi knows that his group’s understated esthetic and serious message might get drowned out by more colourful parade entries. Pride is a time for picking up and partying for many people, Parsi said, and that’s just fine.

“But … for at least one minute they have to think that we have to be thankful that we are in Canada. There are many, many people all over the world that don’t have the same opportunities and are struggling for their rights,” he said. “It’s not about having fun or not, it’s about being alive.”

Trans March (by xtraonline)

Toronto Trans March splits in two PRIDE / (Just don’t call it a binary) Xtra staff / Toronto / Friday, July 01, 2011

Rumours of an alternate route for Pride Toronto’s Trans March were realized July 1, when about 200 protesters defiantly marched down Yonge St.   The rest of the group — 1,000 or more — took the traditional route down Church St, which is closed for the entire weekend for Pride celebrations.   The Yonge St path, which more closely mirrors the routes of both the Dyke March and the Pride Parade, took marchers down about 8 blocks of Yonge St, from Charles St to Wood St. A truck at the front of that demo blasted Lily Allen’s Fuck You the entire length of the demonstration. The splinter group negotiated the route with police before it began.

(Marcus McCann)   That march set off at 8pm, while the Church St march left a half hour later. Crowds of revelers, in the neighbourhood for the weekend’s celebrations, lined the street to cheer on the marchers.   The evening began with a show of unity at Norman Jewison parkette, located in Toronto’s Church-Wellesley village. Speakers, including Bear Bergman and Kate Bornstein, addressed the swelling crowds before the marches began.  

Both marches ended at the Pride Toronto’s south stage, where trans programming was set to continue until 10pm. An afterparty is planned at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto’s West end.

Gay tolerance teaching mandatory in Toronto schools

By Kris Sims ,Parliamentary Bureau

First posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 7:47:49 EDT PM

Gay

Revellers take part in the 30th Annual Gay Pride Parade in Toronto July 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Chris Roussakis)



Christian parents wanting to opt-out of the Toronto Public School Board’s curriculum-wide inclusion of gay, lesbian, transgender and queer issues are being told to like it or lump it.

“We cannot accommodate discrimination,” said Ken Jeffers, coordinator of gender-based violence prevention with the board. “If a parent says ‘We don’t like gays and lesbians and we don’t want our child to learn anything about them,’ that would be, under our policies, and under Ontario Human Rights legislation, discriminatory.”

The resource guide for teachers of students in kindergarten through grade 12, titled Challenging Homophobia & Heterosexism, is meant to help educators integrate teaching moments concerning GLTQ issues into everyday discussions in the classrooms.

“As a blunt example, if we had parents who were members of the Church of the Creator, which is a white supremacist church, wishing to be exempted from anti-racism education, we wouldn’t allow that either,” Jeffers said.

For some parents, however, the programming goes beyond tolerance and anti-bullying and amounts to promotion and celebration.

“They are presenting an entire secular humanist world view that contradicts the teachings of many families,” said Phil Lees, leader of the Family Coalition Party, and a former public school teacher.

Lees says parents shouldn’t have to leave the public school system if they want to keep these issues from being taught to their five-year-olds.

“Other cities have alternative classes within the public system that teach in specialized ways, they focus on Ukrainians, Germans, Muslims, Christians or traditional learners,” says Lees. “Why can’t we have the same thing for Christian families within the Toronto public school system, just like the Afro-Centric school?”

Trans Pride? It’s dreamy: Kate Bornstein

Kate Bornstein will be speaking at the first Trans Pride March in Toronto on July 1st (Canada Day!) as part of TO’s pride week. If you are in the area, I’m sure it will be an event worth attending!

Q.

THINKING & DOING / Veteran activist chats with Xtra in advance of Toronto Pride S Bear Bergman / Toronto / Monday, June 20, 2011



A couple of months ago, with the ink barely dry on the contracts, I get a call from Kate Bornstein to ask me what’s happening, queer-wise, in Toronto? She’s Googled and had a look at Xtra, and she wants to know what is really on trans people’s minds up in the big smoke. Entrusted with the responsibility of being one of the speakers at the first ever Trans Pride rally (with politics and power, rather than the finalists from Queer Idol), she wants to make sure she’s relevant and connected.

  Relevant and connected are two of Bornstein’s watchwords as an artist and cultural worker, and they have been for two decades. Perhaps it explains why Bornstein, at 63, is still packing rooms full of cheering (and frequently swooning) audience members, delighted by her sexy, salty take on suicide, bullying, art, gender, sex and fucking. And while she loves her university and community centre gigs, Bornstein explains that she is particularly looking forward to addressing a Trans Pride March.

  “Trans people can take pride in so much. We survived another year! That’s worth being proud about. And those of us who are out can be proud that we have the strength to do that, and we make it easier for others to live their trans lives,” Bornstein says.
 
She’s not wrong.

  The recent news about the transphobic shooting of Halifax resident Chris Cochrane proves that point all-too-pointedly — trans people, especially trans women or trans feminine people, and extra-especially trans women of colour — are disproportionately at risk of violence. And while some people might be ready to cast off their gay identifiers and embrace a “post-mo” lifestyle of wall-to-wall parties and ironic hairstyles, it’s simply not an option for a lot of trans folks, who are still fighting for some pretty basic rights.

 
Kate Bornstein will be in Toronto for this year’s Pride festivities.


Still, Bornstein says, before we get down to business, she’s delighted by the idea of a march.
 
“Trans Pride? It’s dreamy,” she muses. “Could we get David Tennant from Dr Who to meet us at the end? That would be my fantasy, not just a dream.”

  I promise her we’ll do our best.

  Still determined to bust binaries — or at least binary thinking — and move people toward healing, Kate Bornstein spends a lot of time thinking and talking about categories and expectations, especially what categories or expectations are holding people back from their best selves. Her most recent book, Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws, identifies a 29-point scale of feelings, from nicest to worst. On the Bornstein scale, Joy takes the top spot. And the bottom one? The very worst feeling you could possibly feel? Trapped. No wonder, then, that Bornstein — deeply invested in the tradition of the trickster and the fool — pins her hopes of helping a situation on bringing movement to those who are stuck in place.  

But, as she has written frequently, binaries reinforce and replicate themselves. One of the brightest threads through Bornstein’s work has always been the startling recognition that binary thinking (“There are two kinds of people: the kind who are like this and the kind who are opposite to that”) makes for binary behaviour (“Well, I guess I’m the ‘opposite’ sort”).

  Here’s how this works: we act like we think we should, because it gets reinforced by the media and other cultural forces. We betray no sign that we might act otherwise if we thought it would be appropriate, because we’re afraid it isn’t. We participate in this performance because it makes moving through the world, staying employed, finding dates and so on much easier. But by participating in it, we remove any sign that we secretly harbour some dissent. And so the next person, trying to figure out how to behave, is left seeing only binary behaviour, and the whole cycle rolls ‘round again.  

What Kate Bornstein seems to understand better than a lot of people is that you cannot push or pull people away from their comfortable places in society. What you can do, however — what Bornstein is both the master and the mistress of — is entice them. Even people who resist being pulled will yield to delicious temptation. And when gender theory gets fun and sexy, when enlightenment comes with an exceptionally cute and friendly form like Bornstein, well, it turns out that a lot more people are ready to play. She encourages us to experiment with ways to turn gender, power and privilege inside out and upside down, to wear them with a twist or discard them and sew our own ever-so-fabulous accessories.  

When I ask her whether she has any thoughts for trans things trying to have the best possible lives, her answers are predictably fun and fluid. Kate Bornstein’s top three tips?  

1. Find a role model in TV, fiction or movies, someone you want to be or someone you want to fuck or best of all, both, and bit by bit become her/him/them.


1a. Give yourself plenty of strokes for doing it. It’s hard work, you know.
 
2. Hang out with people who love you, or at the very least like you a lot, in person or online. Stay away as much as you can from those other kind.  

3. Remember that most trans peeps are on a continuing journey. That means that every day we do something for the first time in a new identity. Notice those times. Be proud of yourself for every new first time.

  Bornstein reports that she looks forward to having a great time encouraging Toronto’s queer and trans things to do just that over the Pride weekend and says, “Feel free to practise ahead of time! Toronto always does fabulous things for me.”

  You do fabulous things for us, too, Kate.
 
  Trans Pride Rally & March
Friday, July 1, 7pm
George Hislop Park

  Grannyboots
Wed, June 29, 7:30pn
No cover
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W