Taking Your Transition Into Your Own Hands, September 2018
Trans people regularly encounter unsustainably long waiting lists for trips to far-flung offices. Whether or not you’re able to access hormones is often up to the discretion of individual practitioners, who can simply decide they’re not comfortable writing a prescription. Many jurisdictions don’t offer health coverage for transition-related care, and costs can be prohibitive.
When the going gets tough, people often have to get creative — including lying to your doctor, self-medicating, and ordering hormones online. This is a story about DIY transitions.
This story is the cover story and the winner of the 2018 Andrea Walker Prize for writing on women’s & trans people’s health.
Medical professionals tend to approach transition as a recipe with a set list of ingredients, a scientific exercise with reliable results, or a 12-step program that requires close adherence to come out the other side. How do you embody a category of experience that many people don’t even believe exists? How do you make sense of your body and how it’s changing when all available narratives feel too gendered to apply?
The way cisgender people write about detransition reflects assumptions about transgender experiences as binary and linear. In these stories, trans people aren’t recognized as human beings living real lives; they’re simply characters playing their part in a cautionary tale.
Each Death is a Preventable Tragedy, June 2018
When they are targets of violence, trans women are often dismissed as victims of their of circumstances — especially if they are sex workers or people of colour. Not having a fixed address, being potentially exposed to drugs, and subverting assigned expectations of gender and sexuality contribute to a public perception of carelessness and deviance that tells people and institutions, like the police, how much they have to care about those they see as putting themselves at risk. This is a story about loss and injustice.
Celebrity culture, from reality TV to modern art, is deeply connected to American politics. In some ways, politicians and TV personalities occupy a similar position as representatives of the people.
What does it mean for artists to share undeniably queer experiences, but not actually come out?
We shouldn’t need to warp our feminism to accommodate our lifestyles.
Despite my embarrassing TV viewing habits, I’ve always liked to imagine myself as relatively well-rounded. But then I started dating someone who speaks three languages and goes to ballet class in the middle of the day on his weekends.
Sam Smith is being gendered without his consent, October 2017
There are an abundance of ideas about trans and queer people, but far fewer of our own stories: our narratives are often decided for us, whether we asked for them or not.
Theorizing the Web
Social Media and Queer Consumption, April 2018 (conference)
Martine Syms writes that “representation is a form of surveillance.” I spoke at the Theorizing the Web conference about how representations of queer and trans people in online space dictate acceptable narratives for trans community and identity, according to what aligns with the market-driven interests of corporations.
You can click the above link to watch the whole panel. I’ve also made the slides (and notes) available through this link.
Can a genuine conversation about the issues facing transgender Canadians take place without adequate representation?
If the editorial guidelines argue that some things and some voices just should not be published, it’s no wonder that publishing them can make life difficult for the sole writer who is tasked with doing so.
For Jewish Canadians who do not see themselves and their narratives represented, the media is just one more unsafe space where a constrained definition of Jewishness is the only acceptable norm.
I co-hosted Episode #143 of the CANADALAND Short Cuts podcast, and talked with Jesse Brown about free speech scares, bad paper policies, and what’s worth debating on provincially-subsidized television.
Drag isn’t about faking it; it’s about serving it.
There is plenty of sympathy among pundits and politicians for folks like Shepherd and Peterson — but none for Palestinian students who object to the occupation of their homeland.
The past, as they say, didn’t go anywhere. Energized by Trump, Breitbart, and the Rebel, far right groups are once again out on the streets. It is not a very comfortable time to be Jewish in Toronto. Progressive voices are more vital than ever.
Far-right groups invited the Jewish Defence League to join them in marching in the 2017 Toronto Pride parade, carrying Islamophobic signs and “severed heads”.
For weeks, Campbell has been trying to rally support on City Council to deny Pride their grant in retaliation for the decision to disinvite uniformed police contingent and floats from marching in the parade.
Several agencies on the frontlines helping Toronto street-involved residents called an emergency press conference April 18 to address the city’s ongoing homelessness crisis.
Human rights advocates criticize the Ontario government’s proposal as inadequate and untrustworthy. At the same time, some view basic income as a powerful tool within a larger toolkit for fighting poverty.
Groups like Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and Black Lives Matter-TO demand that we recognize Indigenous rights and racial justice and protect those who are directly threatened by the presence of uniformed police.
For many white, straight, or cisgender people, it’s easy to forget what the uniformed police officers who dance on parade floats do on the other 364 days of the year. For the rest of us, it’s impossible.
Co-written with Vincent Mousseau.
Pride Toronto is banning police floats— and now police want the city to defund the group, April 2017
Police in Toronto asked city councillors to cut $260,000 from Pride Toronto’s funding in retaliation against the LGBTQ nonprofit after Pride membership voted to implement the demands of Black Lives Matter-Toronto in January.
Justin Trudeau’s camera-ready liberalism is obscuring the rise of Canadian nationalism, February 2017
Don’t let the popularity of Justin Trudeau’s telegenic liberal mug distract you — nationalism is on the rise in Canada, and conservative politicians seem to be jumping onboard.
When it comes to images of transgender women, whether we want to be or not, we are all voyeurs.
When Transitioning Changes How We Have Sex, March 2017
We’re often made to associate sexual potency and pleasure with “finishing” in the traditional sense. Hearing my friends tell it differently was another reminder that the way we tend to think about our bodies during sex is heavily shaped by sexual media that predominantly caters to straight, cis men.
Women have always been doing drag. Trans women, cis women, queer and gender non-conforming folks of all identities — all have been deeply embedded in drag communities since the development of the North American drag landscape.