Our Sunday Links

Happy Pride, friends! Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend. I slept in, and also took a bit of a break from the internet this week, so please add anything I missed in the comments!

  • Vicky Mochama on how Canadian media continue to uphold whiteness: “In the video of a woman in Mississauga insisting on a white doctor for her child and using racial slurs, many organizations chose to blur her face. The reason? To protect her son. What of the people of colour who face someone like her every day? Who protects their children? Under the pretense of fairness and balance, the media chose to shield a racist from the consequences of her own actions.” 
  • “Remember that love is a gift, not a transaction. Western culture has reduced love to a product. It’s not.” A how-to guide on decolonial love, by Gwendolywn (Mitikomis) Benaway.
  • And another important piece from Benaway, on the link between transphobia and colonization in Canada:

We often forget that the genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada began with the oppression of Indigenous women. The state aimed its violence towards our hearts as a people, including the murder and suppression of Indigenous Two-Spirit peoples and trans women. To restore our balance as nations, we need to lift up Indigenous Two-Spirit and trans women again. Sometimes I worry that we forget that the models of gender and sexuality we have in Canada come from violence. Everyone in Canada—trans or cis, straight or queer, Indigenous or non-Indigenous—is harmed by this.

  •   Gender Variance Around the World Over Time: how the fight for trans rights is not new.
  • “Until our positive spaces are backed up by policies and office culture that actively dismantles the white cis-heteropartriachy Canadian governments were built on, until my siblings outside of the public service are equally protected and welcomed, the rainbow cupcakes and office pride floats will just be decoration.” Against Office Homonationalism, by Nisa Malli.
  • The latest from former GUTS contributor, Frankie Noone: An illustrated history of the Toronto Pride Parade.
  • Girls Rock Camp Vancouver is creating a directory of bands in the Vancouver area who are fronted by folks from underrepresented/marginalized groups (women, non-binary folks, femmes, BIPOC, queer folks). Add your band and/or listen to some of the incredible music that’s already been collected!
  • In a recent submission to the government of Canada on police abuse of Indigenous women in Saskatchewan and failures to protect Indigenous women from violence, Human Rights Watch interviewed 64 Indigenous women and service providers across the province. The report brings together women’s accounts of police abuse and neglect, where the vast majority of participants voice mistrust of law enforcement and fear of retaliation for filing a “complaint against an officer even for the most egregious abuses of power.” Faced with these statements, Saskatchewan RCMP commanding officer Curtis Zablocki refuted the report outright, asserting that, for RCMP and Indigenous communities, “positive relationships are the norm.” You can read the whole report here.

  • Sophia Banks responds to Toronto women-only spa, Body Blitz’s recent denial of access to a trans-woman, writing “It is often because trans women are so often the victims of male violence that we, too, seek the comfort and safety of women-only spaces… That’s why we feel doubly victimized when we are shamed and shunned, excluded from women-only spaces because of how we look.”
  • “It gets harder to visit these places the more truthful I am with my body, the farther I get from femme.” Arabelle Sicardi on why the spa isn’t relaxing–or safe–for trans and gender nonconforming people 

I remember the first time I decided to step forward with my story…It was because I felt I never saw the kind of woman I wanted to be in the world. The kind of woman that, yes she’s trans, yes she’s Black, yes she grew up low-income with Black families and families of color in these communities. I never saw her thriving in the world. I never saw her celebrated in the world. I wanted to step forward and say, “Look, hey girls, you can have a job. You can have a fly cubicle. You can have good friends and a great career. You can do all of the things you want to do and live your life, and you also don’t need to separate from the fact that you have this story of becoming that helps you build who you are and your resolve. There’s greatness in owning your history and journey, and you can have all of these things.

  • Do you want to help improve healthcare for trans youth in Southern Ontario? Jake Pyne is inviting trans or non-binary youth (aged 12-29) to participate in a study that involves a confidential thirty-minute phone or skype call:

We’d like to hear about your experiences with access to (or lack of access to) early transition care such as hormones and/or puberty blockers. This study is for all trans youth in Southern Ontario, including those who have and those who have not tried to use hormones or puberty blockers. You may also be invited to participate in a follow-up interview. The goal of this project is to help improve support and services for trans and non-binary youth.

Participants will receive $25 for their time, you can find more details here

  • BIPOC youth writers: Vs. Books, a new imprint of Arsenal Pulp Press is now accepting applications to a mentorship and publishing contract with artist Vivek Shraya. More details here.
  • Upping the Anti, a Toronto-based journal that reflects on the state of political organizing in Canada, is looking for new editors. More details here

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