Cait Glasson, “Social Activist At Large”, spoke with Bob Jonkman about the Government of Canada petition E-4268: To extend to transgender and nonbinary people the right to claim asylum in Canada by reason of eliminationist laws in their home countries.
The interview starts at 4m56s.
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Download: ckms-community-connections-2023-02-03-episode113.mp3 (53.4 MB, 55m35s, episode 113)
All music today is from Three, the latest album from Dichroma.
|0m00s||Theme for CKMS Community Connections by Steve Todd|
Introducing Cait, and the reason for the petition to have asylum protections extended to Trans people because of eliminationist laws in their own countries, necessitated by recent announcements in the US and UK to outlaw Trans people. Ordinarily we would consider the US and the UK as “safe third countries”; Cait perceives what is happening in those countries as genocide, and does not want to turn away people as Canada did with the St. Louis, a ship from the Third Reich carrying people trying to get away. The petition was initiated a week ago on Thursday, 26 January 2023, and had received 18,388 signatures at air time. The petition is online at https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-4268. Cait reads the petition.
Cait tells us that the holocaust of the second world war started with the Trans people. Cait tells us of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, who coined the word “transsexual”. Berlin was the gay capital of the world, but this culture was the first thing the Nazis tore down. After the war, when people were liberated, homosexuals and Trans people were put back in jail. West Germany and Canada had laws against homosexuality until 1969, and in the military until 1992. Cait herself was caught in this law when she was in the military, and discharged.
Cait tells us about conditions in the UK, starting with Terfs, Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists, telling us about J.K. Rowling and other online trolls. They specialize in brigading Trans women to take their lives, and they like to SWAT people, calling the police under false pretences to harass Trans people. Cait has taken precautions to ensure her security, online and with the police. Cait says the hate against Trans people is the worst it has been since she transitioned thirty years ago.
|19m28s||Dead To Me (Dichroma)|
Commenting on the music: Bob calls it “the aluminum of heavy metal”. But he likes the music.
Cait tells us how to get a petition before the government. It needs 500 signatures, so Cait set the petition to four months. Cait approached Mike Morrice, MP for Kitchener to help with the petition and to sponsor it. The petition is now up to 18,512, up 200 in 20 minutes. It took about three weeks to get the petition from writing down the idea to getting it online.
We’ve had problems with anti-Trans politics in our own municipal elections, with the election of several anti-Trans school board trustees. Cait hasn’t felt in danger in Kitchener herself recently, but some younger friends are regularly harassed. But the police won’t take action. Bob suggests this is not transphobia, a fear, but transmisia, an out-and-out hate. Cait thinks it’s all starts from fear and disgust, citing research that this may be caused by an overactive amygdala.
There’s a right-wing ecosystem of media that set up to feed into those fears, and push it to engage their base. Talking about the hate on social media. Twitter is especially bad, but Mastodon in the Fediverse is much better, “the grown-up version of social media” — there are no algorithms pushing hateful content in your face.
Talking about Cait’s account in the Fediverse: @email@example.com. Cait tells us how she got the online name “Old Lady Plays”, playing video games. Someone mentioned Cait playing on Reddit, and Cait’s subscriptions shot up, and she was interviewed on international radio! Cait tells us about a virtual football manager game, and a linguistic game.
Cait’s career was as a translator of French, German and Russian; she tells us how translation is not interpretation. How she got into translation, right at the time of perestroika in 1987. She can understand spoken Russian and some Ukrainian, but speaking is much harder.
|38m58s||Broken Inside (Dichroma)|
Talking about the time signature in Broken Inside.
What can be done to return things to normal? Cait is very public about being transgender, both for the Trans community and the Cis community, to show that she’s just another person in the community.
She does education work for Spectrum, going to companites and organizations to teach them how to deal with the Queer community. The equity laws tell companies what do do, Cait’s program tells them how. This is the Rainbow Diversity Training program.
Mis-gendering people is a big deal to Trans people. When it happens, treat it like you would stepping on someone’s toe. Apologize, and move on. No need to make further excuses.
Cait reviews the purpose of the petition. Sucessful completion of the petition only means that it will be debated in parliament, not necessarily that a law to enact it will be passed. That’s why Cait now hopes to get 100,000 signatures, approximately that of an election riding, to show politicians that this is what Canadian citizens want.
Bob gives the end credits.
|51m50s||Strange Attractor (Dichroma)|