carly_kai: (Default)
[personal profile] carly_kai

This is a lengthy posting and perhaps a controversial one.

In my opinion we can only bring about change and garner acceptance of BDSM, sexuality and gender by projecting a positive image - to do otherwise is counterproductive and reinforces the social stigma that many face on a daily basis.

This is what I base my opinion on.

The Ottawa Police Service observed the Transgender Day of Remembrance by unveilling a banner at its headquarters. The banner will be on display in an effort to commemorate this event and raise public awareness. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was established to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender or anti-transsexual hatred or prejudice.

A Transgender March to Parliament Hill followed the flag raising ceremony in support of Bill C-389 which will add Gender Identity and Gender Expression to the Canadian Human Rights Code.

The unprecedented cooperation between the police and the transgender community was overshadowed, as was the message from Parliament read by Bill Siskay when the story was covered in the media across Canada, including the Vacouver Sun "Transgender rights activists arrested in Ottawa".

Despite 200 people marching and only 2 protesters arrested. the focus of the day is shifted from the positive such as Ottawa transgender community remembers, elebrates and Ottawa Police observe the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Instead we see No ‘trust’ of police in transgender community: Activist, Trans activists question police conduct, and Transgender rights activists arrested in Ottawa.

Bill Siksay’s bill, C-389, adds gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and amends the hate crimes and sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada. I have stood face to face with Mr.Siksay and have listened to him describe the procedural path that bill C-389 will follow - the bill does face opposition from people who describe it as a "bathroom bill" that will enable perverts to play in the women's washroom. People need to see that transgender people are just people - not clowns or caricatures of women or men, and are for the most part are normal people.

Great, a momentous event overshadowed by the actions of the few. Who do you think the voters, the parliamentarians and members of the senate will think of as the bill progresses? Is it likely that another police department will try to bridge the gap between transgender people after what happened to the Ottawa police?

Now to the crunch - in my opinion, we will bring about change as a result of presenting ourselves as well spoken, articulate and rationale people. Ranting and raving is not a successful strategy for change. We will gain acceptance by acting in a responsible manner, albeit while having fun. Civil disobedience simply does not work - perhaps it was necessary in the past, but not now.

Pride parades across Canada present a positive image of the LGB communities. It's an image that portrays people having fun at the expense of no one, people who are just themselves. I marched in a few parades this year as part of the Op Connection and was almost overcome with emotion at warmth and acceptance that was afforded to a contingent of men in women in uniform. We did not hurl insults at civilians, heterosexuals or (in my case) 'vanillas' - to do so would have made us look like fools instead of demonstrating by our presence that gay and lesbian people are just normal people.

When my marriage broke up I became involved with the Victoria BDSM scene, and in a full time relationship that involved aspects of kink. I also became involved in a custody battle with my ex - one that despite mention of my involvement in BDSM, was resolved by following the simple advice of 'winning by being reasonable' and letting the the other party rant and rave.

Furthering our goal of acceptance whether it be as gay men or lesbian women, kinky people or transgender people will require the projection of a positive image, one that shows that we are just normal people.

During the Edmonton Taboo Sex Show,  my friend Jennifer was interviewed by Brenda Kerber - I'd encourage you to read the article as published, both for the message and as an example of projecting a positive image.

Pictures of the Ottawa ceremony, the march and the rally at Parliament Hill are here

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would agree with you, except for one thing.

We are lucky here in this country, and especially in Ottawa. But it's not at all like this in many parts of the world. Even in the US, where, for instance, two people within a week have been arrested for simply trying to go to the bathroom. Despite being completely female, except for the M on the birth certificate, which the state of Texas refuses to change, these two trans women were handcuffed, arrested and taken to jail for the crime of needing to go pee in the appropriate facility.

The point here is that police in most other places are not anywhere near as sympathetic to our situation as the Ottawa Police Force. I would submit that civil disobedience may still be necessary to correct this situation. I'm glad it hasn't been needed in ours.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would like to hear the entire story. How did the police determine there was a "safety issue"? What constituted the "safety issue"? All too often police arrest trans people over "safety issues" that they either exaggerate or manufacture just to have something to arrest them for.

Yes, there is little trust for police in the trans* community because all too often and for far too long trans people have been subject to arrest simply for being themselves, or as [ profile] radargrrl notes, merely for needing to use a washroom.

So was it a derail or was it a police fail? None of the articles clears up that question.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The people involved were standing on a traffic only bridge on a 8 lane section of the Queensway, otherwise known as highway 417 - it was certainly a public safety issue.

Given that that the Chief of the Ottawa department made it quite clear that transgender people would be treated with respect, his officers escorted the marchers, stopped traffic at intersections, kept a few idiots at bay and even allowed the march to take up both northbound lanes of Elgin Street. well, I'd say that this was not a case of police fail. It was, however, a monumental fail on the part of a few people who had a banner that read "remember Stonewall".

There was trust, there was a bridge opened by the police department - what a shame that people rejected it because of an event that happened before they were born.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Those facts somehow didn't find their way into the article. So there was misbehaviour from a couple radicals. Hmmmm where have I heard that before? We've got the same problem with the trans community here in Vancouver; a couple people who want to manufacture incidents with the police in order to make their point that Police mistreat trans people.

It's difficult to deal with the fact that our entire community gets judged by the actions of a few when the majority doesn't. Are North Americans religious bigots because one idiot wants to burn Qu'arans or another group of idiots want to picket the world? Why can't the trans community be seen as any other, having the same ratio of idiots to reasonable people as anyone else? But no, the double standard exists and is applied to us. We have to be better than everyone or else we're worse. We all have to behave or else.

And we do it to ourselves, too.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Manufactured incidents. That's a great way of putting it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was planned - pure and simple

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
From my perspective, this was a derail. If the two individuals had placed there banner somewhere else, there wouldn't have been any fuss about it. Instead, they chose to scale a steep embankment and make their way halfway across an overpass on one of the busiest, nastiest stretches of highway in the city. To me, it was an exercise in pure stupidity.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is where the reports of eyewitnesses comes in very handy. From the articles cited, the women were perfect angels doing nothing wrong until the Big Bad Cops came and arrested them and the only quote from the Police was a very bland "It was a safety issue" which could cover anything from blocking traffic to 'being the wrong kind of person in the vicinity of a cop'.

I'm glad that the Ottawa police are getting the message about trans people however, I'm still very much in the Trust but Verify mindset. Cops have too much power and far too often they use it to enforce their bigotries instead of the law.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep...I'll agree there. I have no trust of cops, no matter what happened last Saturday. But I saw where this banner was placed and I thought it was a damn dangerous and stupid act.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-24 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have just a 'bit' of video that I shot and the cops were exemplary...


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