No more funding for Sex Reassignment in Alberta

$700,000 per year, or $.19 per Albertan is going to be saved by delisting this procedure in Alberta.  Also note that Ontario de-listed the procedure for ten years, and was forced to reinstate it on grounds of human rights. Ultimately, I imagine the government will be spending at least as much as they intend to save by cutting the funds in the cost of litigation. I think the worst possible interpretation of this move is that this is just a senseless act of hate, feeding off of ignorance and the general sense of economic uncertainty to gain popular appeal. I’m having trouble coming up with a more charitable view though. SRS is a complicated issue that’s not cut-and-dry, even if you’re pro-trans, but tough issues aside I can’t even see the practical benefit to making this move.

Read more here

And check out the facebook group too. The info for the media discussion is particularly interesting.

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Normalizing Gender for Olympians

An opinion piece in the New York Times by Jennifer Finney Boylan, “The XY Games”, explores the practice of gender testing in the Olympics to determine that female athletes are in fact female. The author discusses the history of this testing, its faults, and the ambiguity of sex and gender. Amongst some of the things that one might want to discuss is the following:

“So what makes someone female then? If it’s not chromosomes, or a uterus, or the ability to get pregnant, or femininity, or being attracted to men, then what is it, and how can you possibly test for it? Continue reading

Censoring Joy

the lesbian prototype?Celebrations last week for the legalization of same-sex marriage in California were joyous indeed. It was marked as a great triumph for couples like Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, who have been together since 1953, and who were first to be married in California under the new law. In any situation where the press meets sexuality, however, the question of choice arises: why Martin and Lyon? What does a ‘normal’ gay marriage look like, anyway? We might optimistically think that the choices surrounding the publication of images of potentially controversial material are not spelled out in such explicit terms, but in this case, at least, we might be surprised. Interestingly, it has been from proponents of gay marriage that the most blatant censorship has come. Presumably out of fear that images of “guys in gowns” might scare off even more liberally-minded Americans, yet unsure of what gay marriage might spell for the norms and values of the state, leaders of the California gay/ lesbian community have been underscoring the importance of self-censorship at same-sex marriages. Jack, from Feministe, explains why she isn’t celebrating:

That’s right, folks: no camp here. No gender non-conformity, either. And definitely no guys in gowns.

Why? Because the marriage equality movement is largely predicated on the notion that us queers are just like “everyone else,” meaning mostly white, mostly middle-class or up, gender conforming monogamists. You know, the non-threatening queers. The rest of us should apparently find a nice closet to go hide in for a while, lest we threaten the rights that are apparently meant for the more upstanding, respectable members of the LGsomeotherlessimportantletters community….. Continue reading

A New Zealand report on the cultural, ethical and spiritual aspects of pre-birth testing by Toi te Taiao: the Bioethics Council

some far reaching recommendations such as
Recommendation 9
There is insufficient cultural, ethical and spiritual reasons to prohibit the use of preimplantation
genetic diagnosis for sex selection for social reasons such as ‘family balancing’.

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