Gender Identity and Gender Expression (Canada)

There are a variety of individual experiences of gender and of gender expression. The terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” include a wide range of gender diversity.

🌈 Gender Identity 🌈

smilie-orangeGender identity is each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum.

A person’s gender identity may be the same as or different from the gender typically associated with their sex assigned at birth. When a person’s gender identity is different from the gender typically associated with their sex assigned at birth, this is often described as transgender or simply trans.

Gender identity is not the same as a person’s sexual orientation.

🌈 Gender Expression 🌈

Gender expression is the way in which people publicly present their gender. It is the presentation of gender through such aspects as dress, hair, make-up, body language, and voice.

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Courtesy of the Justice Department Canada


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Model Legislation for Eliminating the Gay and Trans Panic Defenses

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“Be a full-time student of life, and learn every day, then there would be no surprises.” ~ Sourav Adhikari

Williams Institute Scholars Provide Model Legislation to Eliminate Use of Gay and Trans Panic Defences 

smilie-borg“Gay panic” and “transgender panic” defences have been asserted by defendants in criminal trials throughout the U.S. since the 1960s.  In these cases, defendants have argued that their violent behaviour was a rational response to discovering that the victim was LGBT

The defences are rooted in irrational fears based on homophobia and transphobia, and send the message that violence against LGBT people is understandable and acceptable.  When successful, these defences have resulted in murder charges being reduced to manslaughter or another lesser offence.
 
To date, only one state, California, has banned defendants from asserting gay or transgender panic defence by statute.  In this brief, Williams Institute scholars present model language, based on the language adopted in California, that other states may use to eliminate use of the defences through legislation

gayheartThe model legislation offers language to prohibit defendants from using gay and trans panic defences under each of the major defences theories of provocation, insanity/diminished capacity, and self-defence.  In addition, the brief provides an overview of the ways in which the defences have been asserted in trials throughout the last several decades, and evaluates potential constitutional challenges to state legislation eliminating use of the defences.

READ THE BRIEF

Williams Institute Fall Salon

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Join fellow donors and supporters of the Williams Institute for cocktails and hear from the Institute’s Faculty Chair, Doug NeJaime, about recent and upcoming research and its impact on LGBT law and policy.

A Conversation on Religious Liberties

Date: Weds Oct 5th ~ Time: 6PM – 8PM  Address: Will be provided once RSVP is submitted

To RSVP to the event, please fill out this form by September 30, 2016. ~ We look forward to seeing you!

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Inspiring Ways to Soothe a Wounded Spirit

a wounded spirit2All of us are born equal and we’re all connected. ~ President Obama

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There is no secret about the fact that sometimes life is just plain hard. Relationships come and go, people hurt you, jobs are lost, money is tight and things you’ve always counted on are no longer there. If you have a wounded spirit and are going through rough times, there are a few things you can do to help you over the hump without spending an arm and a leg on doctors and dangerous pharmaceuticals.

The key is in recognising the level of inner pain before deciding on a course of action. In the meantime, try these simple methods and see if they don’t bring you much needed relief.

FIND YOUR CENTER

Although it has become almost cliché, there is a great amount of truth in this one simple piece of advice to find your center. Practitioners of Eastern mysticism suggest that you start with a series of yoga-exercise-smiley-emoticondeep breathing exercises and simply relax back into yourself to find that place deep within that no one can touch – that place of solitude. If you find it difficult to empty your conscious mind of all the trials and tribulations that face you, there are a number of wonderful recorded guided imagery meditations that can lead you down through the levels of consciousness to that place of security and beauty that each of us has deep within their very core.

SEEK ALTERNATIVE METHODS SAFELY

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Too many doctors are quick to hand out scripts for antidepressants. Your family doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist who will then prescribe a number of pharmaceuticals meant to keep you stable during this time. Unfortunately, what you are not told is that each of these medications carries side effects, some of them none too pleasant.

If you feel the need for something to help you relax, why not (in states where it’s legal) get a prescription and find medical cannabis dispensaries where you can get weed to smoke, edibles, tinctures and other forms that are far safer than dangerous drugs manufactured by the big pharmaceutical companies that have dollar signs in their eyes.

GET OUT AND GET WALKING

a.baa-wivf-wiv-wpeoiv-wpvn-wpeiuvbNothing is as exhilarating as a brisk walk in fresh air. As your blood begins to circulate, oxygen is carried to every cell in your body giving you more energy than you ever knew you had. One of the reasons why so many people become tired and drained when undergoing extreme amounts of stress is because they are literally holding their breath! Try getting out and walking around your neighbourhood at first. As you become more comfortable with your daily routine, migrate to a local park where beauty surrounds you.

If you are lucky enough to live near the ocean, walk along the sand. It’s really hard to stay depressed when surrounded by the natural beauty of Mother Earth.

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At this point it should be said that there are times when seeking the counsel of a professional is needed. If you, or a loved one, is depressed to the point of doing harm to yourself or others, intervention is called for. However, when you are just trying to get back that feeling of wellness in body, mind and spirit, there are natural ways to soothe a wounded spirit.

Article written by Guest Submitter on Aug 15, 2016

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If You Don’t Say It – Who Will?

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A Case for Advocacy by Jim Roberts, CEO

“Don’t ever depend on someone else to do your duty of Advocacy; if you do not say it – who will? Otherwise, negative change will be perpetrated upon us wherein we have no control.”

advocacy2Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt intimidated, shy, excessively nervous, restrained or unwilling to make your opinion known. Now look around you, there’s probably a lot of hands in the air!

On the other hand (no pun intended), there are plenty of people who we wish would be less obsessed with being verbose; you know, the hot-air syndrome. Either way, we are so fortunate to live in a society where we can freely speak our mind and give voice to what is important to us.

ActNow-Change-SPANMany of you have heard me teach or talk about the importance of “Change.” Change is essential for growth and improvement; whether it be individually or organizationally change is necessary. But there’s a caveat: what type of change are we talking about? There are basically three faces of change:

  1. that which is forced upon us and we react to – we don’t want this;
  2. change we initiate ourselves because it’s the right thing to do; and
  3. change which we help produce on a much larger scale and with far greater potential impact.

This third type is Advocacy. Healthy change is change that we initiate ourselves and advocate! 

Blue-Smiley-FaceFor me, living in a free, democratic society, Advocacy is not an option – it’s a responsibility. Unfortunately, it seems that too many people would rather complain, bellyache, boo-hoo, feel sorry for themselves or cry “the sky is falling” than to do anything to evoke positive change. The “I’m only one person, what can I do”  

The attitude we should embrace is: “If I don’t say it–who will?” Never be content to be silent.

It is an understatement to say that the American political system is in total shambles right now – it’s a mess! I attribute this to three conditions.

First, we have wrongly put our “elected” officials on pedestals calling them our “leaders.” They are not our leaders; they are our “representatives” and should be following the voices of their constituents, not party politics or gratuitous financiers.

shutterstock_275146133-copySecond, the public is far too complacent, has basically lost its voice and failed its responsibility to Advocate.

Third, because the public at large has abdicated its responsibility to Advocate and hold elected officials accountable, these officials have become political prostitutes selling themselves to the highest bidder and rigging the system to keep themselves in power!

There is no time better than right now to start wearing that t-shirt which states boldly: “If you don’t say it – who will?” Fulfill your civic duty – become an Advocate! Exercising our right to speak up is the only way we will stop the political pandering and inappropriate behaviour of our “elected” officials.

I have been advocating for children, youth and families for nearly five decades and I will continue as long as I am able. It is rewarding and sometimes horribly frustrating, but it is the right thing to do. Needless to say, I have a few Lessons Learned I’d like to share.

First, remember politics begin at home. Get to know your city council person, County Supervisor or other key elected officials, (i.e., school board members). Voice your opinion and communicate with them enough so that they know who you are. I have experienced how my own relationships developed at this level, very often are carried into other political settings and higher offices. The operative word here is “relationship.” It is important to remain respectful of these officials, whether you agree with them or not. You never want to be viewed as some bombastic, hostile kook!

Second, communicate often, effectively and succinctly. Do your homework, know your facts and present your ideas with complete brevity in mind. Elected officials and their chuckie suit2aides will not take the time to read lengthy dissertations! Phone calls, emails and twitter post can be equally effective, especially when giving your opinion on specific legislation.

Third, meet face-to-face whenever you can. I cannot stress enough how important this personal interaction is, even if it’s only for a few minutes. You want that legislator or their aides to see you enough to remember who you are.

Fourth, don’t minimize your ability to have an influence. You don’t need to be rich or powerful to be heard. It has been said that politicians know that for every individual who articulates an opinion there are probably 1000 or more who agree with their opinion but have remained silent. Regardless of your station in life – relentlessly Advocate!

Finally, there is strength in numbers. I call it “Synergetic Collaboration,” and it’s when the collaborative outcome is far greater than each individual effort. This is really a re-articulation of what we call a “grass-roots” campaign. Learn how to mobilize others or join others who share the same point of view. Learn to use Twitter effectively. Every federal legislator and almost every state legislator consistently monitors Twitter feed. Why? Because it serves as an insta-poll, providing real-time, up-to-the-minute feedback about what people are thinking.

2sgn108VOTEThere is yet another way to Advocate – at the ballot box! Elected officials who fail to follow the input of their constituents need to be removed. The era of partisan politics needs to end. Elected officials should not be beholden or responsible to any political party or financier. Remember, they are our representatives and must only be accountable and responsible to the public they represent. I know, this change in thinking may be a challenge for many who have been lifelong R’s or D’s, or whatever, and only think in that collective mentality. But this type of “party-loyalty” is destroying the democratic process, not enhancing it.

Article for Family Care Network by  Jim Roberts, CEO ~ July 29, 2016

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International Human Rights Day

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As we approach another Human Rights Day it reminds us of a universal protection that most people are not even aware that they actually have rights, Human Rights 365 days a year. This being my third year (still waiting for my first pay cheque 🙂 ) supporting the United Nations International Human Rights Day campaign, Human Rights Day 2014 #Rights365 and International Human Rights Day 2013 or you can find it below also which I am now updating and every year to date, I have seen progress, there is still a long way to go, but only with our continued persistence and determination will we conquer.  Terry.K

Long live “THE UNITED NATIONS

erooseveltHuman Rights Day December 10, 2015, It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

This year’s Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.

smiley-santa-emoticonThe two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights (PDF), setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings.

5140334483865600“Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.” aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear — which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago. For more this year’s theme and the year-long campaign, see the website of the UN Human Rights office.

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Human Rights Day ~  December 9, 2013 is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day. When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favor and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”, towards which individuals and societies should “strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance”.

Navanethem Pillay
Navanethem Pillay

Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the main United Nations rights official, and her Office play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observation of Human Rights Day.

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Do you actually know your human rights?  take the Elders human rights Quiz

On Anti-Corruption Day, UN says ending ‘corrosive’ crime can boost sustainable development

10 Muslim peace activists proving negative stereotypes wrong


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