Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sending My Concerns: Last Post re: GRS in prisons

Alright, I'm done. There's just...not really anything else I can do. I've come to the personal conclusion that Minister Toews' decision to cease funding of Gender Reassignment Surgery was probably illegal, but that's based largely on my own suspicions. Given that I've been trying to find out from his office how it could be legal, given the fact that a federal court said it was an essential medical service, since late November of last year, and given no response other then an unsubstantiated assurance that it was legal by his staff. Which, needless to say, was not very convincing.

I reported it to the Human Rights Commision, since the Human Rights Tribunal ruled similarily to the federal courts two years previous. But, it takes a complaint be who it personally affects, and is willing to commit to the legal battle. Given the fact that transgender inmates that wish to transition and are at that point in their transition are relatively rare, and that most won't want the legal battle, it's unknown when that battle will happen.

I'm angry. I hate the fact that our government can apparently do illegal things, or ignore court orders, and it takes people hurt by that action to even try and right it. I hate that as a concerned citizen who noticed, I couldn't even get a straight answer about how it could be legal, much less try and make a change. I hate that my e-mails and calls were basically ignored, and that transgender inmates are going to suffer (by dint of being housed with their gender-assigned-at-birth, rathern their identified gender, if nothing else) by being denied something that the federal courts declared an essential medical service.

And I hate the sick feeling in my stomach that reminds me that the woman from the HRC told me this has happened before, and that it's going to happen again. If I ignore a court order, something tells me that it doesn't take someone being hurt by my ignoring the court order for me to be punished.

Of course, I could be wrong. But I won't know that until someone from the Ministry of Public Safety or Minister Victor Toews' office contacts me and tells me how it was legal. And you know what? I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


So, a friend of mine on Tumblr posted, asking for people to talk about what inspired them. I thought I'd cross-post it here. Fair warning, number one and two are unbearably cheesy. >.<

1. My grandfather, Gordon Pape. He doesn’t fit the ‘not white/cis/hetero/older’ suggestion of the original prompt, but he’s always been a big inspiration to me, and one of the big reasons I’ve always wanted to be a published writer. He’s worked incredibly hard to get where he is today, working up from journalist to editor, to publishing books on financial advice, a monthly newsletter about mutual funds, and owning Gordon Pape Ent. I can’t tell you all the stories I’ve heard about him writing books before work in the early morning, meeting and interviewing influential Canadian politicians, and things like that. My favourite book of his remains ‘The 50,000 dollar Stove Handle’ which if you come across it, I definitely reccomend you give it a read. It’s not about finances, it’s a humourous recounting of renovating his house with my Nana, and it’s made me laugh since I first read it at eleven. Also, his and my aunt Deborah’s ‘Quizmas’ books, which are Christmas quizzes based off of the ones he really does every year at Christmas. He even gives prizes at the family ones!

2. My mother, Kim Pape-Green. She was born deaf, and has faced a lot of discrimination in her life, and still does today. She made a speech in Parliament when she was younger about accessibility, volunteers for the Canadian Hearing Society, and recently raised a lot of money by embarrassing her children endlessly. (Wearing a hideous red wig and walking around Toronto. …Actually, if you’re any of my friends there and reading this, that…wasn’t my mother. It was a…let’s go with evil clone.) We fight a lot, but I do respect her, and how hard she’s worked in life does inspire me. <3

3. Helen Keller. We went to that play based on her early life when I was young, for a field trip. It was nice, but overly cheesy for my taste, and while I thought it was impressive that she’d learnt to communicate, it didn’t really catch my interest. Until I learn she was an outspoken socialist and feminist later on. I love controversial women, and the fact that she went through so much just to communicate, and took that skill and used it how she believed. Biggest BAMF.

4. Terry Pratchett. I’m a huge fan of his books, I’ve read as many of them as I can get my hands on.  And how he’s persevering with his recent diagnosis of Alzheimers is really insiring. (He donated a million to a researching facility, but the speech he gave, while hilarious, fell on humourless ears. Thank the internet gods for youtube!)

That’s all I can think of. I don’t often feel ‘inspired’ by people, I look up to them, respect, them, but inspiration is…not the word I’d usually use, lmao.