Blog Archives

Gender Isn’t Binary

The Gender Diversity Group met on Sunday, Dec 11, and while sparsely attended (holiday season does that! lol!) the discussion was lively and interesting.

One thing that has become apparent is that those who are gender fluid need to be protected by law. It is hard enough being transsexual in a workplace, but those who are gender fluid can face some even harsher discrimination.

For some gender is binary, for example male or female, but for some it is more than that. And society does tend to ignore this, despite the fact that it is increasing.

– Vanessa, Secretary

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Gender Can Be Diverse

Gender Diversity Group (Former Trans Unite Group) Sunday October 9, 2011

The ALCC’s Trans Unite Group has been renamed the Gender Diversity Group, to be more clear that it is and always open to all gender identity variations. As well, it has changed to a new location – the 2110 Center For Gender Diversity on Mackay. This location is a bit more accessible, and for those who may be put off by any security guards at the entrance, there are none. A huge thank you to the 2110 Center for allowing us to kindly use their space! Read the rest of this entry

ALCC On Dr Laurie – Trans Issues (trans? whazzat? my transmission? you talkin’ cars now?!?)

No, not issues related to your cars transmission, but the issues that face those in the trans community, be they crossdresser, transsexual, transgenderist, gender queer, gender fluid, etc.

The show on CJAD on the 11th of May focused on trans issues, and present were Contessa Alura, petal, Vanessa, and Gabrielle from the 211o Gender Advocacy Center.  Dr Laurie already has knowledge of these issues, and that was a great help in the show. 

Starting off was petal, discussing how it is to be a crossdresser, what “drove” him to crossdress, why he does, who knows, and the issues that he faces being a crossdresser.  This was very enlightening to even those of us there. Far too many have misconceptions about those who crossdress, and petal did a great job trying to dispel those myths (ie CD’s are “gay”, they “want to be women full time”, etc etc)

Next was Vanessa (me! lol!), discussing her story, and the issues she faces.  Starting off with how she came out, she talked also about when she knew she was “different”, how she approached this as a youth, how she approached the army in coming out, being assaulted physically simply for being transsexual, why we need legal protection for gender identity, and as well the misconceptions about transsexuals. As well as what a TS can face daily.

Gabrielle talked about the 2110 Center, and touched on the two above issues, adding some very very valid points.  Her expertise was a great help in this show. She also touched on the fact that the 2110 also has a needle exchange and a program for the FTM (Female To Males) that require binders (to hide the breasts). More for sure will be coming on the 2110!!!

All in all a great show! And… if you missed it… it can be heard here! So give it a listen!

Why We Need a New C-389

As many know, Bill C-389 has died in the Senate with the election call. Thus, we now need to start working on getting it re-introduced.

Why?

Perhaps this image will give an idea.

This is a photo taken of me after I was physically assaulted in Richmond, Quebec, in 2006, for no other reason than being transsexual.  You cannot see the damage they did to my hair – twisted literally into a knot that I had no choice but to cut it off. And the nailer? It was ME who got a ticket for “violence in public” for *defending myself*!

Also bring in the latest – a transwoman being attacked by two women in a McDonalds restaurant in Baltimore, while McDonalds employees FILMED it and ENCOURAGED them on.

This MUST change, and as someone who has been assaulted for being transsexual, I urge you to vote for a party that will encourage a law protecting gender identity, and treating such acts as a hate crime. Not one Conservative voted in favour, all the NDP and Bloc did, and even some Liberal members voted against.

There is protection for people based on race, sexual orientation, etc, but none for gender identity, except, oddly enough – the military.

We must change this. ALL must have the same rights. As it stands, trans do not.

Trans Unite!

The crossdresser group has become the new ‘Trans Unite Group’, addressing issues of interest to Trans people (CD, TS, M2F, F2M, transitioning, all trans). We face many of the same issues and we can learn from the perspectives of each other. Again, we had new faces and new experiences to learn from. Vanessa gave some great advice on safety that we all learned from. Thanks again Vanessa, for co-leading this group… we have new challenges and new possibilities!
 – petal

Bill C-389

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to do as much as possible to support Bill C-389 which is now before the senate.  This Bill, once law, would make it illegal to discriminate against a person based on gender identity or expression, which until now has not been protected in law for the nation and very few actually protect.

There are those who claim this is a “bathroom bill”.  No, it is not. There are those among us who need this protection. Yes, in Canada, there IS discrimination.  I, Vanessa Cummings, can personally vouch for that.  Until I presented myself in “drab” (read: male) I was denied renting an apartment even. Yes, here in Canada, yes, here in Montreal. The one time I presented as male for an apartment I got it, no problems at all.  Showed the exact same paperwork that I had shown before. No, it was not “luck of the draw” – there was discrimination.

Being transsexual is NOT a “choice”.  It is NOT a “lifestyle”. A person who is transsexual is someone who is transitioning from one sex to another.  The gender they identify with.  And there are those who choose not to fully transition, who actually desire to be a “third gender”.  There is no reason to deny them basic human rights. 

This is a very very very important bill to get passed through the senate NOW.  Why?  Because since the Conservatives were essentially the only ones to really vote against it in parliament, there is a chance that even they can trigger an election any day now, thus killing the bill in the senate.  If this bill is killed in the senate, we are stuck starting from scratch – again. This is why an election now is definitely not desireable.

How do you help?  Well, check out below!

http://passbillc389.wordpress.com/how-you-can-help/

http://petition.web.net/psac/node/48

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Sites/LOP/LEGISINFO/index.asp?Language=E&Session=23&query=6825&List=toc-1

Sign now! Encourage your Senator to ensure protection!!!!

Crossdressers Unite Nov. 14

The Crossdressers Unite group was held on Sunday, November 14 and it was well attended. Besides regular faces there were some new ones as well.

Among the attendees was a Concordia student doing a report, to get a better understanding of what it means to be a crossdresser, transsexual, etc. and was very much welcomed. (Of course no names etc would be used).

The topics of the night varied, from make up, clothing, corsets, and of course what it is like to be CD/TV or TS. The conversation was lively and interesting, with many different angles. Before we knew it, it was time to wrap up for the evening! The time flew!

I would like to take a moment to mention some things about the Crossdressers Unite group. First, you do not have to dress to come. You can choose to dress there, or not dress at all. There is no judging of you. Second, even if you have beend dressing for years, this group is still very much for you as well, because the newer members could really benefit from your experience. Third, you don not have to be “out”, even if you are a “closet CD”, you are most welcome to attend. As well, anyone who has a significant other that they would like to bring along who may need some help understanding your dressing, please do feel free.

Until next month!

– Vanessa