Even though he can’t tell me, I wonder where he is. I wonder if it’s green there, or hot, or raining like it is here, or if the snow is drifting across the dirty tiny streets in bright sparkling piles.
It is so fucking cold today (why did I choose to walk home from work??)…
The shit hit the fan in the trans blogosphere last night, when it came to light that there is a disturbing new section in the Identity Screening Regulations used in airports throughout Canada. Simply put, Transgender People are Completely Banned From Boarding Airplanes in Canada.
The offending section of the regulations reads:
5.2 (1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if … (c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents;
Although this obviously discriminatory smear of regulation did not come to significant public attention until very recently, it apparently came into effect on July 27th, 2011.
It is important to note that these regulations are not actually a piece of legislation, which would have had to pass through readings and votes in the House and Senate (which is probably why it went unnoticed until now). Rather, the Identity Screening Regulations are a set of rules implemented unilaterally by the Ministry of Transportation, as part of Canada’s so-called Passenger Protect, which is essentially the Canadian Federal Government’s equivalent to the U.S.’s “no-fly” list.
Minister of Transportation Denis Lebel is, of course, a federal Conservative MP appointed to the cabinet position by Stephen Harper.
In the eyes of the honourable Minister of Transportation, that makes trans people unfit to fly in Canada.
It is interesting to note that this regulatory adjustment occurred immediately following the federal election in 2011. In the previous parliament, Bill C-389, a bill to amend the Human Rights Code to explicitly enshrine protections against discrimination for transgender people, had successfully passed in the House of Commons, only to die on the Senate floor when Harper declared a Federal Election (thereby dissolving parliament).
Is the timing of this disturbing and blatantly discriminatory regulatory adjustment merely a coincidence? That is up to you to decide. However, the negative impact on trans people is crystal clear, and we need to take action now.
Recently misha-trollins has brought to light the fact that her family is in dire need of our help. After a long history of emotional, verbal, and at times physical abuse from a family member, they are trying to get out. This step alone is amazingly courageous and not something to be taken lightly, but on top of this she had the strength to talk about it and ask for help. I won’t get into the specifics not only because they shouldn’t matter, but because she has addressed them all in this post as well as answered people’s questions on her blog. All that matters to me is that she has been standing alone in this for so long, and now she deserves support.
Just earlier this week the Supernatural fandom showed just how much love and support they can offer to a fellow fan. The Donate for Sashi campaign was amazingly successful, and even without personally knowing Sashi I found myself moved to tears. Now, you may be thinking that abuse is not the same as a life-threatening illness, but I would beg to differ. Abuse, even of just the emotional kind, can severely lessen someone’s quality of life, a burden which no one deserves to bear. Death threats, even if not carried out, cause a person to live in fear for their safety. On top of this I know there are probably skeptics out there; the same people who doubted whether Sashi was ill might question whether or not this abuse is real. While there’s no way to prove anything to these skeptics, I would beg you to look beyond such doubts.
I am in no way qualified to set up a donation fund. My knowledge of such things is worse than limited, and I don’t have thousands of followers to spread the word. What I do have, though, is an insane amount of love and concern for my friend and the desire to help her and her family escape the toxic environment they’re living in. She has shown that she is willing to accept donations, a step which takes courage in and of itself.
It doesn’t take much. If five-hundred people donated $1, she could help support her family that much longer. It’s not too much to ask, and we’ve all seen the generosity the Supernatural fandom has to offer. Beyond that, though, you can help simply by signal boosting. Even if you can’t donate, maybe one of your followers can. I don’t have a fancy blog for you to visit, but if you need incentive I’m offering a fic-for-donations system that you can read about in this post. If you’re just a generous soul, you can also donate to her PayPal through firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. If you’re considering donating, thank you. If you’re simply keeping Nic in your thoughts, thank you. Every little bit helps.