GUELPH POLITICAST #146 – Sky Gilbert, Professor and Playwright

Three days in advance of the Trans Day of Remembrance, and one week in advance of AIDS Awareness Week, the Ontario PC Party decided that the timing was perfect to question whether “gender identity” is a thing. To members of the LGBT community, and their allies, the fight for equal rights was once again front and centre.

Policy Resolution R4, which is non-binding, and only applies to the party’s next policy convention, was immediately controversial. But it’s okay because Premier Doug Ford said there’s going to be no discussion on the resolution, which asked for a debate on  removing “gender identity theory” from Ontario schools and curricula. That, as they say, is that. Nothing to worry about…

On Tuesday, as if to say there’s nothing to worry about, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod offered her thoughts on Trans Day of Remembrance. “Today is about solidarity, reflection and sadness for those who have been lost and those who are victimized,” she said in a statement. “I encourage those in the Trans community to live your lives to the fullest. Be proud Ontarians. And know that our government will respect and work hard for your community and for all of the people of this province.”

But will they? How can the PC Party vote to agree that gender identity is a “highly controversial, unscientific ‘liberal ideology’” one day, and stand in “solidarity, reflection and sadness” with trans people a few days later?

This is one of the many questions put to the guest of this edition of the podcast, Dr. Sky Gilbert. Gilbert is a drama professor at the University of Guelph, and an author and playwright whose credits are far too numerous to list here. (They are, however, listed here.) With Gilbert’s help, we’ll look at the current state of the fight for equal rights, why the PCs are playing to wedge politics, what the events of 2018 will mean in the annals of LGBT history, and the challenges that still must be overcome.

So let’s talk about trans rights, and trans concerns, on this edition of the Guelph Politicast!

You can read Sky Gilbert’s most recent piece of The Conversation, and visit his blog here. AIDS Awareness Week begins on Saturday, and for a full list of local events, you can click here.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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