Protect Trans Youth

Forever fearful of the sanctity of his home, Trump is super into toilets. On February 22 Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the administration’s plans regarding “transgender bathrooms in schools.” You can read the press briefing here, but Spencer concluded his answer with, “I’ve made this clear and the President has made it clear throughout the campaign that he is a firm believer in states’ rights and that certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level.” Not surprisingly, this in opposition to what the administration Obama was saying last May, “Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status. The guidance makes clear that both federal agencies treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.” Those opposed to these guideline’s revocations have made a call to ‘Protect Trans Youth’.

Even more recently, in Texas, a transgender boy wins the girls state wrestling title after being denied the ability to compete in the boys state championships. A Toronto Star article reports, “Beggs fell to his knees for a moment after the win as a mixture of cheers and boos rained down on him. He then hugged his coach and left the mat.” Of course Mack Beggs should have been allowed to compete with the boys. But there are those claiming he is taking testosterone in order to cheat (Eye. Roll.)

Some Canadians like to point and laugh at the U.S. claiming we do not harbour such bigotry here, they’re wrong of course. Right now Bill C-16, and act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code by adding gender identity and fender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination, stands stalled in the Senate. The wait music are the hateful words of people like University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson and Conservative politician Pierre Lemieux. Tune their bigotry out with the typing of your keyboard and write to these Senators to discuss Bill C-16 on Gender Identity and Expression.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

 

‘Queer parenting info’

I saw this pamphlet, titled ‘LGB Parenting for Family and Friends: Queer Parenting Info’ and picked it up to share its resources. I will leave the comments on for this post, feel free to add your experiences with these places, or if there are some you know of that should be added xo

LGBTQ Parenting Network, Sherbourne Health Centre

Queer Parenting Programs, The 519 Community Centre

Rainbow Health Ontario, Sherbourne Health Centre

Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE)

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Gay Fathers of Toronto

Transparentcy

Proud Parenting

GQTGParenting – Trans and Genderqueer Parenting

T.O. Parent – Ontario LGBT Parent Matchmaker

Family Equality Council

Families Like Mine

Did you know I write stuff? I do! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Excerpt from Theory as Liberatory Practice by bell hooks

I love reading bell hooks, I love children, I love questioning the things that do not feel right. This is an excerpt from hooks’s Theory as Liberatory Practice.

“I came to theory young, when I was still a child. In The Significance of Theory Terry Eagleton says:

‘Children make the best theorists, since they have not yet been educated into accepting our routine social practices as ‘natural’, and so insist on posing to those practices the most embarrassingly general and fundamental questions, regarding them with a wondering estrangement which we adults have long forgotten. Since they do not yet grasp our social practices as inevitable, they do not see why we might not do things differently.’

Whenever I tried in childhood to compel folks around me to do things differently, to look at the world differently, using theory as intervention, as a way to challenge the status quo, I was punished. I remember trying to explain at a very young age to Mama why I thought it was highly inappropriate for Daddy, this man who hardly spoke to me, to have the right to discipline me, to punish me physically with whippings: her response was to suggest I was losing my mind and in need of more frequent punishment.

Imagine if you will this young black couple struggling first and foremost to realize the patriarchal norm (that is of the woman staying home, taking care of household and children while the man worked) even though such an arrangement meant that economically, they would always be living with less. Try to imagine what it must have been like for them, each of them working hard all day, struggling to maintain a family of seven children, then having to cope with one bright-eyed child relentlessly questioning, daring to challenge male authority, rebelling against the very patriarchal norm they were trying so hard to institutionalize.

It must have seemed to them that some monster had appeared in their midst in the shape and body of a child-a demonic little figure who threatened to subvert and undermine all that they were seeking to build. No wonder then that their response was to repress, contain, punish. No wonder that Mama would say to me, now and then, exasperated, frustrated: ‘I don’t know where I got you from, but I sure wish I could give you back.'”

I shared what I read today, but I write stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Please donate!

In a society where protests are held when hearing school curriculums will use the word ‘vagina’ instead of ‘flower’, I fear as a mother of a daughter ,next generations won’t know what to do in cases of sexual assault; like so many of us don’t today. People I speak to outside of the activist scene, people who have never picked up the works of feminist academics, are shocked when I tell them how my friend Mandi Gray has been treated throughout the judicial process. What the majority of these people knew of rape cases was the misogynistic victim blaming surrounding the Ghomeshi trial.

Slut or Nut: The Diary of a Rape Trial will help young women and girls find a relatable narrative, a common one that is uncommonly spoken about. It will offer guidance, solace, and an articulation of complicated feelings and complicated processes. It will let the general public know how outdated our institutions are in how they handle these cases, and how dangerous it is to not change these things. It will let people of all backgrounds and power know how to help. This film lets the voices that are systematically silenced be heard; something that I feel is of an extreme importance but is rarely prioritized.

Once this film is completed, there will be screenings, and accompanying educational materials. Additionally, it is hoped that it can be put on YouTube so people can access it for free. Slut or Nut‘s Indiegogo page will be up for the next two days, and is just over $1300 away from its goal. Please visit this page, watch the videos, read the info, and donate if you can!

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Show your babies you love them and lead by example

Here they coming with their guns, guns, guns. Singin “Ooh, stick em up!”. Here they coming with their guns, guns, guns. Singin “Ooh, stick em up!” You don’t wanna, don’t wanna. Don’t wanna mess with me. Here they coming with their guns, guns, guns. Singin “Ooh, stick em up!”. They really think I’m gonna run, run, run. They really think I’m gonna run, run, run. Don’t wanna, don’t wanna. Don’t wanna mess with me. Don’t wanna, don’t wanna. Don’t wanna mess with me. Don’t mess with me. I got the feeling I can break. Out of anything that is standing in my way. You’re the reason I can stay. And fight until the death. ‘Cause what I stand for will not give up. Here they coming with their guns, guns, guns, guns. Singin “Ooh, stick em up!”. You really think I’m gonna run, run, run, run. I’m NEVER giving up. Don’t wanna, don’t wanna. Don’t wanna mess with me. You don’t wanna, don’t wanna. Don’t wanna mess with me. Don’t mess with me. I got the feeling I can break. Out of anything that is standing in my way. I know the feeling I can take. The pain of losing teeth it’s better than defeat. I got the feeling I can let go. Because it means that much to me to show you so. You’re the reason I can stay. And fight until the death. ‘Cause what I stand for will not give up. I got the feeling I can break. Out of anything that is standing in my way. I know the feeling I can take. The pain of losing teeth it’s better than defeat. I got the feeling I can let go. Because it means that much to me to show you so. You’re the reason I can stay. And fight until the death. ‘Cause what I stand for will not give up.

Dancing dads

nofairMy daughter is a performer and can’t get on stage enough. I have attended many a recital and seen more than a few ‘dancing dads’. Recital organizers will sometimes ask dancers’ dads if they want to learn an easy routine and perform it in the recital to add a bit of comedy. These acts are cute and show a dad’s involvement, cool. But, there’s always a but.

These dances operate with a man/woman binary, right away excluding families living outside of cis heteronormativity. It also sends the message that dads are the fun ones. Listen, I am totally fun. I am a fucking hoot. I get jealous that as a mom I don’t get to let loose. I am not allowed to be comfortable enough with my body to look foolish. I am expected to move gracefully and with ease. People would more likely evaluate the size of my belly before cheering me on. It is assumed that as a ‘good mother’ I am already involved, I don’t need any prodding. There is this assumption that when fathers parent it is a treat to be celebrated and rewarded. It is assumed that Dad will be goofy and mess it up, leaving a mess for Mom, which she will merrily clean up. This isn’t good messaging. Also, men dancing are supposed to be hilarious because dancing is girly and frivolous, that’s really not good messaging.

What if the dancing dads act is open to everyone? Would it be assumed to be a mom’s job? Would it add more labour for Mom and take away a socially acceptable way to join in for Dad? This issue is a symptom of gender binaries and patriarchal motherhood.

Back to how I am not allowed to be hilarious. You know, the real meat of this issue. Comedian Louis CK, an affluent white man, gets on stage, calls his kid a ‘cunt’, and is showered in approval and cash. If I did that I would not be a ‘good mother’. If I did that there would be a fucking petition going around and perhaps an awareness raising hashtag. I just want to swear and be asked to dance.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com