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.