Statement: We welcome and support the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) policy shift in the last few years to be trans-inclusive and we cannot let this work go anywhere but forward. We recognize that several of the women who wrote a recent Open Letter to CAEFS share that they are formerly incarcerated, and we honour their experience and pain. We do not support their discriminatory comments about incarcerated trans women, nor their assumptions about who speaks for incarcerated and criminalized women, or their calls for the creation of new prisons for trans people.
Dr. OmiSoore Dryden:”Perhaps we can focus on why colonialism, racism and anti-black racism are fights that continue for queer and trans folks, be committed in taking actions to combat and disrupt and then, maybe then, we can come together to celebrate.”
Alex Kronstein reviews I Am Skylar, a short directed by Rachel Bower, about a young transgender woman from Cape Breton.
Laura Shepherd, reflecting on the Transgender Day of Visibility and inspired by the wisdom of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, writes about being an older trans woman, allyship, friendship, and all the complexities that entails.
“That I and my trans peers harbour our own private doubts about the extent of the allyship we enjoy even among our closest friends underscores Miss Major’s assertion that it is time for “The people who care about us, who are involved in our lives, and who know us… to become more visible.”
Rebecca Rose takes a look at a new Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) policy that means that Transgender women can now be sent to women’s prisons while Transgender men will serve their time in a men’s prison, if that is their preference. Under the old policy inmates were sent to the federal institution that “matched” their genitals, not their gender identity. Rene Callahan-St John, a member of the Prisoners Correspondence Project views the change as a victory, but says much more remains to be done.
A problematic story in the Chronicle Herald about a staffer’s transphobic comments causes reporter Rebecca Rose to take an in depth look at the harm they cause and and how to counteract them. She also looks at the significant policy changes that triggered the comments, and how these changes came about. But no matter how good the policy changes and staff training, decarceration and community inclusion remain the best solution, advocates say.
Frequent contributor Lara Lewis sits down with talented actress Michelle Raine, to talk about It’s A Girl , a play she developed for the Halifax Fringe Festival, how she would like to take her work into the schools, and all kinds of other matters.
Last week Venus Envy, a beloved downtown Halifax book store and sex shop, came under attack. Transphobic radicals shut down a book launch scheduled in the store for May 17th. New contributor Lara Lewis on how the Halifax community responded, the story that still needs telling.