Interview: Cole Gately


by Dev

In continuing our series on transgender issues, here’s an interview with Hamilton’s own Cole Gately! Cole is trans and he identifies as liminal, locating himself in the ‘in-between’ spaces or the ‘cracks’ in the binaries of gender and race. Cole is an educator, an activist, and respected mentor in the community.

Here is a  brilliant interview by Cole on Cable 14 Hamilton Talks!

What’s your favourite book or resources about trans issues?

‘Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity’ by Julia Serano

How is feminism a part of your analysis as a trans rights activists?

Feminism is not a monolithic philosophy, and so I have a feminist analysis and consciousness that challenges the gender binary. I believe feminism is about erasing inequities caused by patriarchy. In my mind, all genders are affected by patriarchal notions of gender, sex and roles.

You are co-facilitating a workshop through Core Collaborative Learning the day after Laverne Cox’s speak on how service providers can work towards better trans inclusion. What’s one thing you are hoping to be heard about that day?

I hope that people will leave with deeper understanding of the barriers created by services that have not asked themselves difficult questions about whom they are serving. I hope also that notions of political correctness will be thrown out the window to make space for dialogue and understanding.

You are a mentor to the community and have been around for a lot here in Hamilton! What are three words you might use to describe the Hamilton community’s history of struggle towards trans inclusion?

Struggle | Solidarity | Hope

What gets you smiling that you see going on in the Hamilton community these days?

Core Collaborative Learning, The Neighbourhood Leadership Institute and Participatory Budgeting.

Celebrating Trans Folks: Tobi Hill-Meyer Breaks it Down!

Source: Salty Sojourn

Tobi Hill-Meyer, a prominent trans writer and filmmaker, provides a number of examples of transmisogyny where trans women experience the compounding oppressions of transphobia and misogyny:

• When trans women desperately in need of sexual assault or domestic violence services are turned away because their needs are considered less important than the hypothetical discomfort their presence might cause for others, that’s transmisogyny.

• When trans women have every aspect of their presentation examined and labeled either hyperfeminine and therefore fake or not feminine enough and therefore male, while the same traits would be seen as normal in cis women, that’s transmisogyny.

• When trans women are told that they need to stop being assertive and strong because it is a sign of male privilege – invariably by “feminists” who, of course, encourage cis women to be assertive and strong – that’s transmisogyny.

Watch a wonderful talk by Tobi here:

Talking about our experiences and our identities and getting to know each other can be powerful! One option is to go to this explicitly trans and gender non-conforming friendly event: LGBTQ+ and Allies Mix and Mingle. There will be Queer Jeopardy!!

The Science Behind Statistics on Rape

The Science behind Statistics on Rape - May 4th

The Science behind Statistics on Rape - May 4thMay is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region is organizing an event – The Science Behind Statistics on Rape: On Campus and in the Community featuring Dr. Sarah Cook.

When: Monday, May 4, 2015 – 1-4pm
Where: Holiday Inn, 30 Fairway Road South – Kitchener, ON
Cost: Before April 20 – $40. After April 20 – $50.
Register:  Online at

Click here for the Facebook event.

An internationally recognized expert on violence against
women, Dr. Cook will be unpacking the real story behind
sexual assault statistics.

She’ll explore definitions of rape and sexual assault, understandings of consent, asking the right questions, the data behind “serial” rapists and periods of risk for victimization and perpetrating on campus.

This presentation is for all those working to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campuses and in the community including school administrators, advocates,
educators, researchers and law enforcement.

For more information contact the Sexual Assault Support Centre Waterloo Region – 519.571.0121 or

Feminism ≠ Trans Hate! Nope, Not Ever!

Image from

We know that anybody can say they are a feminist. And we are excited that most people take up feminist ideas for big hearted brave reasons! But we also know that, sadly, feminist ideas (like any ideology) can be twisted for not so great political agendas – like, as Harsha Walia eloquently described this International Women’s Day, in the service of imperialism or, as we want to expose in this post: the repression of gender freedom.

The majority of feminists are welcoming and inviting of transgender people at least, and feminists are often gender freedom advocates in solidarity with trans folks! Continue reading

Laverne Cox in Hamilton – All the Details


Laverne Cox will be at Mohawk College on March 26th! That’s soon soon soon!

Here are all the details that you’ll need…


Tickets are available online. Once tickets sell out online, we don’t have any more to sell. That means if tickets sell out, we won’t have any for sale at the door.  We’ll update the Facebook event closer to the date about whether or not we’ve sold out of tickets.

What’s Happening?

5pm – The VIP event is in the Cellar, Mohawk’s student bar and restaurant. There will be snacks, games, and folks will get to meet Laverne.

6:30pm – Doors to the McIntyre Theatre open.

7:30pm – Laverne starts talking about her amazing life and story.

9pm – After the event, Laverne will be sticking around to meet and chat with folks. Continue reading

Hamilton Action – No 4 And 4


On April 1st, Sanctuary City Hamilton, is rallying in front of the Federal Building to tell the Federal Government to stop the deportation of thousands to migrant workers in Canada.

When: Wednesday, April 1st at 4pm
Where: Federal Building – 55 Bay Street, Hamilton ON

Facebook event.

Come to demand an end to 4 and 4, and permanent residency for all workers in Canada!

This action is being done in conjunction with other cities and migrant justice organizations across Canada.

As of April 1, 2015, all migrant workers in Canada in low-waged jobs and on Temporary Foreign Worker or Live-In Caregiver permits will be barred from working in the country for more than four years. All those that have been in Canada more than that time will face mass deportation. They will also be banned from returning to work in Canada for four years. Those that choose to stay will become undocumented.

These changes are effectively a mass deportation. These rules will tear apart families, friends and communities across the country. Migrant workers pay tens of thousands of dollars to come to Canada and work at minimum wage jobs to provide an opportunity for their family; so that their children can go to school; and to have a better life. The 4 and 4 rule strips away migrant workers’ dignity, forces workers already in precarity into further uncertainty, and imposes discriminatory and arbitrary barriers on how long workers can stay here.

That these migrants have worked in Canada for four years proves that their jobs are permanent, not temporary. These friends and community members deserve permanent residence, not deportation. This 4 and 4 rule entrenches a revolving door immigration policy, employers can simply replace current with new workers.

Please sign and share this petition:

Please contact if you are interested in endorsing the rally or would like to help out with organizing.

Violence Against Women Hurts Us All


Early last week the Canadian Association for Equality, a extremist Men’s Rights Group was in the media for their billboard they put up in Toronto.

The Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses prepared this amazing letter highlight how violence against women hurts everyone.

Prevalence and severity of violence against women and children has been well documented in Canada.

For over 30 years the Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses, our Members and community allies, such as Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres and more recently, Building A Bigger Wave have been working to address violence against women, and support survivors in local communities. We have seen violence permeate our streets, homes, workplaces, communities and institutions with tremendous social and economic impacts.

Here are the Canadian statistics that outline how violence is experienced by women and girls:

  • Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (2014) Reviewed domestic violence related homicides between 2002-2010 and found 80% of domestic violence homicide victims were female.
  • Statistics Canada (2011) Aboriginal Women in Canada were found to be 3 times more likely than Non-Aboriginal Women to report being a victim for a violent crime, regardless of whether the perpetrator was a spouse or stranger.
  • Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (2008) Young women from marginalized racial, sexual and socioeconomic groups are more vulnerable to being targeted for sexual harassment and sexual assault.*
  • Statistics Canada (2006) Identify a 10 year period where police reports showed males were much more likely than females to be the perpetrators of spousal violence incidents coming to the attention of police and more likely to repeatedly abuse their spouse.
  • Statistics Canada (2006) Indicates chronic abuse incidents as 97% by males versus 3% by females.
  • Statistics Canada (2006) Report 86% of sexual offences reported to the police in the year 2004 were committed against females.**
  • Statistics Canada (2005) Indicates women were three times more likely to fear for their life, and twice as likely to be the targets of more than 10 violent episodes.
  • Statistics Canada tell us that, overall, the prevalence of sexual violence experienced by males is not the same as that experienced by women and girls.***

Ending Violence Against Women Benefits Everyone

When we work towards ending violence against women, we create a culture that will end violence against  everyone.

To achieve this, strategies are required to address the complex culture of violence against women that are maintained by misogyny and colonialism.

OAITH congratulates the Ontario Government, under Premiere Kathleen Wynne’s leadership, for taking the substantive steps required with the release of It’s Never Ok: An Action Plan To Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, the establishment of the Violence Against Women Roundtable and the new Sexual Health Curriculum.

These steps support structural actions that are critical to addressing violence against women, particularly sexual violence. Directly addressing misogynistic structures, beliefs and values will benefit children, youth and adults across all genders and communities.

Addressing the profound and tremendous impact of violence against women requires multifaceted approaches focused on prevention, awareness, support and responsive systems. Campaigns and legislation that are divisive work against positive change for any population impacted by violence.

As OAITH enters our 25th year of documenting approximately 600 women and children killed by their male intimate partners, as documented by the media, we are facing a very real problem in Ontario.

Join The Conversations On Violence Against Women!
#VAWHurtsUsAll #WrappedInCourage #MenLetsTalk #ENDVAW #WhoWillYouHelp
#Ibelieveher #RapeCulture #DrawTheLine #BeenRapedNeverReported

* Wolfe and Chiodo, CAMH, 2008, p. 3.
**Statistics Canada. Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006
***Juristat Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. Sexual Offenses in Canada. 2004: 1