All Posts Tagged With: "homophobia"
What students are talking about today (April 10th)
1. Alex Harris, a student at the University of Waterloo, and his dog Molson are calling themselves the “Geese Police.” The pair are patrolling the southern Ontario campus twice daily. Molson, a border collie-golden retriever cross, disperses the nuisance birds while Harris takes notes for his undergraduate thesis project. Canada Geese dominate the university’s campus, making a big a mess and scaring humans while trying to defend their territory. During mating season they get especially aggressive. It’s such a commonly discussed problem that the university’s bookstore now sell t-shirts that read, “I survived nesting season.” See CBC News for more.
2. Today is International Day of Pink, which means students everywhere are showing their opposition to bullying, homophobia and other discrimination by wearing, you guessed it, pink. It was started after high school students in Nova Scotia to support a pink-loving gay student who was bullied. It has high profile support from the likes of Rick Mercer and the Day of Pink Gala in Ottawa will be attended by former governor general Michaëlle Jean and radio host Jian Ghomeshi.
A pipeline protest, a really bad cartoon & black cats
1. Critics of the Northern Gateway pipline project are hoping at least a thousand people will turn up today for a protest rally at the B.C. legislature in Victoria, reports The Canadian Press. The protests have been endorsed by unions such as the the Canadian Auto Workers, the B.C. Teacher’s Federation and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, plus celebrities including actor Ellen Page and singer Dan Mangan.
2. A student newspaper cartoonist has been fired from the Arizona Daily Wildcat after an anti-gay comic strip prompted thousands of complaints. The comic shows a father telling his son that if he’s gay, he will be shot with a shotgun, rolled into a carpet and thrown off a bridge. The boy says, “Well I guess that’s what you call a ‘Fruit Roll Up.’”
3. Animal welfare advocates say they no longer ban adoption of black cats at Halloween—a practice that stemmed from fears the animals would be harmed. In fact, the Ontario SPCA is now offering a discount on the adoption of black, orange and calico cats, reports The Canadian Press. How cute.
Most-liked video ever, Waterloo sex crime & Montreal pride
1. I didn’t want to bore you with another story about Gangnam Style so consider this a YouTube story. Psy’s music video with his horse-man dance moves is now YouTube’s most liked video of all time with 2.2 million thumbs up, way more than LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem, which slips to second. Don’t get too excited. Everyone knows the more important record is total views. At 200 million, Gangnam Style has a long way to go to reach Justin Bieber’s Baby with 780 million views.
2. In a bizarre twist, Waterloo Regional Police say that a sexual assault alleged to have occurred on Monday did not actually happen. “It has been determined that the female’s initial allegations to police were not true,” they wrote in a release.
3. That’s great news, especially considering how such disturbing news could have detracted from today’s celebration. Prof. Stephen Hawking, physics superstar, is in Waterloo today to help open the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, a $160-million facility that will allow for atomic-scale experiments. It’s named for a donation from the Research in Motion (RIM) co-founder.
Edmonton Police investigate possible hate crime
Police are investigating a possible hate crime after a University of Alberta student says he was attacked near his campus residence last week because he is gay. Chevi Rabbit, 26, says he was walking around 9 p.m. on Thursday when a three men began yelling homophobic slurs, tackled him to the ground and stole his iPhone. Since the attack, Rabbit has been commuting to school from his parents’ home in Ponoka, Alta., where he feels safer. Edmonton Police are looking for a silver 2000 Acura 3.2TL with a spoiler. For more, see CBC News.
Would that stop hate or stifle free speech?
Jewish organizations are calling on the University of Toronto to cancel an 18-week seminar series led by Toronto-based Islamic scholar Abdullah Hakim Quick. They say Quick has made homophobic and antisemitic comments in the past and should not be allowed to speak on campus.
“The unfortunate truth is that when you have speakers like this, that are divisive, it hurts communities,” says Avi Benlolo, President of the FSWC. “We hope that the unviersity will make the right decision to cancel it or put it on hold pending review,” he adds.
U of T spokesperson April Kemick told CJN that the “event is a booking by a campus group—one of hundreds that happen over the course of the year—and there is no connection to the university.”
Study finds many LGBTQ students feel unsafe
Taunts and insults are a daily occurrence for many students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirited, queer or questioning (LGBTQ). This is one of the several unsettling findings in a national study lead by University of Winnipeg professor Catherine Taylor, with funding from anti-homophobia human rights organization Egale Canada.
The study, Every Class in Every School: Egale’s Final Report on Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in Canadian Schools surveyed over 3 700 students between 2007 and 2009 from across Canada. The report found that 64 per cent of LGBTQ students reported feeling unsafe at school, while 21 per cent reported being physical harassed or assaulted.
“What is striking is the gap students are experiencing between official school curriculum, which emphasizes human rights and diversity, and the curriculum of the hallways, where LGBTQ students feel unsafe, insulted or harassed,” Taylor said in a press release issued by the U of W.
Ontario Catholic schools will create anti-bullying clubs that definitely won’t be called ‘gay-straight alliances’
Let’s embark upon a little thought experiment, shall we? Suppose Johnny B. Seventh-Grader is being bullied mercilessly for his fiery red hair. “Ginger!” the kids call him. “Freak of nature!” they say. “You have no soul!” And so forth. Johnny, feeling ostracized and alone, looks to his school’s administration for support. Naturally, one would assume, resources would be available for our redheaded friend. After all, the school—a public institution—is part of a society where reds have the right to live freely from discrimination. Redheaded people can work in Canada, they can own property, they can vote, hell—they can even marry! So the school, you would expect, would be compelled to foster an environment of inclusion. Johnny’s principal hears his plight, and, in an effort to change the culture of taboo brewing around redheads, she creates a school club called, “It’s OK to be R**.” What’s wrong, Johnny? Don’t you feel more accepted?
The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) is doing the same sort of semantic dance when it comes to naming its new anti-bullying groups, created in response to requests for gay-straight alliances in Catholic schools. A reporter from Xtra, a national gay and lesbian newspaper, spoke with OCSTA president Nancy Kirby, who told her the new groups will not be called gay-straight alliances:
“When I look at a gay-straight alliance, I see an activist group,” [Kirby said]. We are answering the students’ request for support and assistance, not for activism. Students don’t want to become activists; they want to be supported in being bullied by their peers.”
Is standing up against anti-gay bullying not activism? “In some ways it could be and in other ways it isn’t,” she says. The groups will all have a “common name.”
That’s right—no activism allowed! On a side note, Kirby should probably look into St. Joseph Secondary School, where a lot of this GSA talk originated, because the school apparently has a Solidarity Action Committee “committed to creating a just world by working for peace, fairness and equality everywhere.” Sounds like trouble to me…