Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars,Women’s Press
328 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2014
Print ISBN: 9781551305370


Centring the voices and experiences of trans identified people as experts on their own lives and agents of change, Trans Activism in Canada opens up a dialogue between scholars and community members in an effort to improve the lives of sex and gender variant people.

The first of its kind, this anthology brings together activists and allies to examine the various strategies and forms of resistance needed to transform oppression into opportunity for change. Reflecting upon the challenges trans communities face and offering insight into achieving institutional reform, the themes addressed range from poverty and isolation to health care and best practices. Using personal narratives, archival material, and qualitative research, as well as case- and community-based research, this text demonstrates the leading role of trans and two-spirit activists in generating social change. By drawing on feminist, anti-racist, and social justice frameworks, the contributors approach oppression and activism as inseparable from hetero-patriarchal, colonialist, and capitalist power relations.

Written for trans activists, scholars, and allies, Trans Activism in Canada is poised to enrich transgender theorizing by focusing on concrete experiences and practical knowledge gained from the everyday lives of trans people.

Table of Contents

Foreword – Aaron H. Devor
Introduction – Dan Irving and Rupert Raj

Part I: Transforming Experiences of Oppression into Opportunities for Social Change

Part IA: Historical Perspectives
Chapter 1: “We Paved the Way for Whatever Tolerance They Have in Their Lives”: An Interview with Michelle De Ville, “The First Door Bitch in Montreal” – Viviane Namaste
Chapter 2: The Golden Age of Prostitution: One Woman’s Personal Account of an Outdoor Brothel in Vancouver, 1975-1984 – Jamie Lee Hamilton
Chapter 3: Rupert Raj and the Rise of Transsexual Consumer Activism in the 1980s – Nick Matte
Chapter 4: Gender Strike! It’s an Offence – Elizabeth “Raven” James
Chapter 5: Finding My Place: The High Risk Project Society – Sandy Leo Laframboise

Part IB: Contemporary Perspectives
Chapter 6: Two Poems: “My Name is Susan” and “Pause and Reflect” – Susan Gapka
Chapter 7: When Dad Becomes Mom: The Story of One Mother’s Love for Her Children, Parent Alienation, and “Happily Ever After” – Michelle Boyce and Jessica Boyce

Part II: “Changing the Way We Change”: Critical Reflections on Doing Trans Activism

Part IIA: Individual Approaches
Chapter 8: A Sense of Place: Expressions of Trans Activism North of Lake Nipissing – Grey Kimber Piitaapan Muldoon (with Dan Irving)
Chapter 9: Zening the Art of Trans Activism – Rupert Raj
Chapter 10: Acting Queerly: Ruminations on Being a Queer Lawyer and Activist – barbara findlay
Chapter 11: Choosing Better than Oppression – Calvin Neufeld

Part IIB: Community Approaches
Chapter 12: “What Is Missing in Our Community Is Self-Love.” An Interview with Marie-Marcelle Godbout, Founder of L'Aide aux Transsexuel(le)s du Québec – Nora Butler Burke and Viviane Namaste; translated and revised by Natalie Duchesne
Chapter 13: Trans Access Project: Running the Gauntlet – Kyle Scanlon, Jake Pyne, Dani Araya, Alec Butler, Jazzmine Manalo, Evana Ortigoza, Julissa Penate, Yasmeen Persad, and Kenji Tokawa
Chapter 14: A Conversation about Art and Activism with Trans and Genderqueer People Labelled with Intellectual Disabilities – Zack Marshall, Marcus Burnette, Sonia Lowton, Rainbow, Romeo Dontae Treshawn Smith, Jay Tiamo, Onyinyechukwu Udegbe, and Tess Vo; illustrations by Elisha Lim
Chapter 15: Happy Tranny Day – Tien Neo Eamas and Devon MacFarlane

Part III: Transforming Institutions from the Inside

Part IIIA: Transformations in Bureaucracy
Chapter 16: Gender Struggles: Reflections on Trans Liberation, Trade Unionism, and the Limits of Solidarity – Trish Salah
Chapter 17: Trans in Class: Trans Activism in a Suburban School Board – j wallace
Chapter 18: A Very Brief Discussion of Social Work and Gender – Treanor Mahood-Greer
Chapter 19: One Step at a Time: Moving Trans Activism Forward in a Large Bureaucracy – Devon MacFarlane, Lorraine Grieves, and Al Zwiers

Part IIIB: Transformations in Health
Chapter 20: Auditioning for Care: Transsexual Men in Ontario Accessing Health Care – Will Rowe
Chapter 21: Agustine Only Plays with Barbies: A Psychosocial Synthesis of a Case Study – Silvia Tenenbaum
Chapter 22: Using a Family and Multi-Systems Treatment Approach: Working with Gender-Variant Children – Wallace Wong
Chapter 23: Sexual Health on Our Own Terms: The Gay, Bi, Queer Trans Men’s Working Group – Ayden I. Scheim, Syrus Marcus Ware, Nik Redman, Zack Marshall, and Broden Giambrone
Chapter 24: Public Health Professionals, Community Researchers, and Community-Based Participatory Action Research: Process and Discovery – Kathy Chow, Jean Clipsham, Cheryl Dobinson, Susan Gapka, Elaine Hampson, Judith A. MacDonnell, and Rupert Raj
Chapter 25: Advocacy for Gender Diversity in the Contemporary Canadian Nursing Context: A Focus on Ontario – Judith A. MacDonnell and Robin Fern

Afterword – Viviane Namaste
Contributor Biographies


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