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A woman draws a rainbow on her friend's face
Trans rights are under attack in the U.S. Here, Jamiyah Morrison, 19, of Riverdale, Md., left, has rainbow makeup touched up by Niaomi Moshier, 21, while attending Transgender Day of Visibility rally in March in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Listen: Trans scholar and activist explains why trans rights are under attack

This year we’ve seen an aggressive push to implement anti-trans legislation across the United States. There are currently more than 400 active anti-trans bills across the country.

Some of the legislation denies gender-affirming care to youth – and criminalizes those health-care providers that attempt to do so. Other bills block trans students from participating in sports and still others have banned books with trans content.

These bills have at least two things in common. They all aim to make being trans harder in an already hostile society and they are being spearheaded by the far-right.

Where does anti-trans sentiment come from?

Black Lives Matter activists organize a sit-in at Yonge Street and College Street during the Trans Pride March, in Toronto, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima)

The enforcement of a gender binary likely has much to do with the preservation of white power. And, violence against trans people continues as a result.

Is Canada better?

What do things look like in Canada? Are we a safe haven or are we following some of the same trends?

Recently, a petition signed by over 160,000 people asked the Canadian government to extend asylum to trans and gender non-conforming people from nations in the West, previously considered safe.

To get a better understanding of trans histories in Canada, we are joined by Syrus Marcus Ware, an artist, activist and assistant professor at the School of the Arts at McMaster University. He is a co-curator of Blockorama/Blackness Yes! and a co-editor of Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada.

We discuss the history of anti-trans and queer actions in Canada. We also speak about backlash and ways to move forward.

Revisiting the archives is an opportunity to re-insert missing histories: Here, a man is restrained by police outside the Ontario Legislature on Feb. 6, 1981, after about 1000 gay rights demonstrators marched through the city to protest the arrest of 223 men in four city steam baths the day before. THE CANADIAN PRESS/UPC/Gary Hershorn.

Listen and Follow

You can listen to or follow Don’t Call Me Resilient on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.

We’d love to hear from you, including any ideas for future episodes. Join The Conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok and use #DontCallMeResilient.

A person with a rainbow on their shirt holds up a hand with a pointed finger and a sign in the other hand. They appear to be yelling.
Brenna Thompson protests this month against an abortion ban and restrictions on gender-affirming care for children in Lincoln, Neb. Justin Wan/Lincoln Journal Star via AP/KOLN-TV OUT


All Power to All People? Black LGBTTI2QQ Activism, Remembrance, and Archiving in Toronto (Transgender Studies Quarterly) by Syrus Marcus Ware

‘A travesty’: Outrage swells over York Catholic board’s rejection of Pride flag (Toronto Star)

Supreme Court can’t ignore equality rights claims of refugees (Toronto Star)

Everything you need to know about the Toronto bathhouse raids (Xtra)

What the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls means for Two-Spirit people (Xtra)

Settler Homonationalism: Theorizing Settler Colonialism within Queer Modernities (Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies) by Scott Lauria Morgensen

Blockorama/Blackness Yes!

From the archives - in The Conversation

Read more: Transgender hate crimes are on the rise even in Canada

Read more: Cuts to telehealth in Ontario mean fewer trans and non-binary people will have access to life-saving health care

Read more: I went to CPAC to take MAGA supporters' pulse – China and transgender people are among the top 'demons' they say are ruining the country

Read more: Right to party: 20 years of Black Queer love and resilience

Soca recording artist Patrice Roberts reaches out to audience members at her performance at Blockorama in June 2022. (Vinita Srivastava), Author provided (no reuse)

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