Tuesday, December 2, 2014

McCreath commends NL trans activist for filing Charter Challenge

Mega kudos to Newfoundland resident Kyra Rees and her lawyer Kyle Rees for filing a Charter Challenge with Supreme Court of NL regarding the discriminatory NL provincial law known as Vital Stats Act Section 26. When successful, the Court will order the Provincial Government to amend this law to current global norms, which will make provisions to allow trans-identified people to change ID documents without having to have surgery.

Also, take note that they elected to go the court route, rather than the Human Rights Commission route, which is sadly, the right decision given, that the Commission does not have order power.

Meanwhile, let's not forget that access to surgery for trans folks who need it, is still not accessible as per global norms. Let this be a reminder and a call for trans activists to continue the fight for fair access to health products and services that they need.



For more information, local radio station VOCM has a story on their web site.
Follow @Jenn_McCreath

Thursday, November 20, 2014

McCreath says NL Vital Stats Act Sec 26.1 Discriminatory Against Trans People

Here are excerpts of an e-mail Jennifer sent to then Minister Brazil on July 21, 2014.

-----------------------
Dear Minister,

The NL Vital Statistics Act Section 26.1 does not allow transgender individuals to have Identification documents changed, unless they complete 'transsexual surgery'. Unfortunately, not all transgender people identify as transsexual. Many do not pursue surgery on their genitals. Others cannot have it for various reasons, even if they would like to.

There is a recent trend in which other provinces are loosening their laws regarding transgender ID changes. The Ontario Government recently lost a Human Rights Case against a trans person, who successfully won a judgement stating that it was discriminatory to not allow one to have ID documents that matched their gender identity.

As gender identity is covered under the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act, it is reasonable to suspect that a similar judgement could be won here, should a case be filed. Interestingly enough, shortly after the Ontario judgement, Alberta proactively changed their laws.

I would like to see Newfoundland continue to demonstrate its leadership towards diversity and pro-actively change section 26.1 as well. Alternatively, I know there are at least a dozen transgender people right here in St.John's, who are ready and willing to not only file Human Rights complaints, but take their fight to the media.

Rather than see the Government embarrassed by having to go through a Human Rights complaint process, I'd love to work with you to find a way to get these changes made pro-actively, while at the same time, doing so in a manner that would not harm government or make it look bad.

I would love to have the opportunity to meet and work with you or your staff, to initiative a policy review process that could make this change occur in a manner that would be as painless as possible for all.

I will look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely
----------------------

While there was an initial response indicating a willingness to collaborate, no further follow-up occurred. As today represents Transgender Week of Awareness, Jennifer feels the time is right to take this issue public.

Jennifer is aware of more than two dozen trans people who live in the St John's area alone, who suffer hardship due to their inability to have ID documents that match their gender identity. Jennifer also says that she knows it would be fairly easy to get these people to collaborate on a massive multiple Human Rights Complaint and/or class action lawsuit. Jennifer, once again, puts a call out to the Government of NL to please reconsider and take proactive steps to follow the leads of Ontario and Alberta, and change this Act.

For more information Jennifer has released a ten-minute video on the topic today on her youtube site:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-PxcksFNjw


Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
http://www.jennifermccreath.com
info@jennifermccreath.com
www.twitter.com/Jenn_McCreath
709-753-9529

Friday, October 31, 2014

Newfoundland Trans Activist tours Nova Scotia!

East Coast Transwomen Awareness and Visibility Tour:

Although many Government entities have started to add human rights for trans people, and while some Governments have pledged to improve health care policies and ID changing policies, it appears many transwomen in Nova Scotia, are being given the run-around when they seek action.

Trans activist Jennifer McCreath from St. John's, Newfoundland will be travelling to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for a two day trans awareness and visibility tour. Jennifer will be accompanied by Rad Pride Halifax representative, and transwoman activist, Trina Conrad.

While originally from Nova Scotia, Jennifer has lived in St. John's, Newfoundland since 2007, and has undergone her transition while living in Newfoundland. She is in the early stages of launching the Jennifer McCreath Foundation, a soon-to-be non profit organization that will carry out educational, activist, and peer support work for members of the trans communities all over Canada, with a core focus on Newfoundland and Labrador.

In recent months, McCreath has made several appearances in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, to undertake trans education and awareness work, during the recent summer Pride season. Jennifer has actually focused little attention on Nova Scotia, given that she thought Nova Scotia was miles ahead of the other three eastern provinces. However, McCreath takes note of several recent news stories involving Nova Scotia transwomen facing discrimination or red tape. With this in mind, Jennifer has decided to focus this tour mostly on Nova Scotia towns. "It seems almost daily, there is a new story going viral on news sites. In a matter of weeks, Jessica Dempsey, Jainey Lee Bresson, and Jessica Durling all had to take their cases to the local media, and this resulted in their stories going national. I am ashamed to see Nova Scotia appear as leaders on paper, but in practice, it appears they are treating transwomen poorly. The time is now for me to come home and lend a hand and a voice as transwomen of Nova Scotia seek acceptance and equality," said McCreath.

Trina Conrad has been transitioning while living in Dartmouth, Moncton and Halifax, in recent years. She knows first hand what it is like to face Government red tape. "Everything from access to medical resources, access to name change, and access to appropriate ID documents, has been an ongoing struggle," said Conrad.

Trina looks forward to rejoining McCreath for this tour, after a very successful tour together this past summer in Summerside and Charlottetown PEI. "Jenn and I seem to be on the same page for the most part, in terms of understanding what it is going to take, to promote positive change for east coast trans people," said Conrad.

Trina has also recently become a leader in the grass-roots movement known as Rad Pride, in Halifax, a group of LGBTQ community members who feel that Pride movements have become too corporate and tend to not pay enough attention to the struggles still faced by many members under this umbrella community.

McCreath co-founded St. John's Pride Inc in 2010, but left the organization in 2012, due to reasons similar to those concerns of Rad Pride Halifax. "While there is definitely a roll for our cis allies, trans activism needs to be lead by trans people,"said McCreath.

Jennifer and Trina will be holding ceremonial trans flag waving events at the following times and places:

Sackville, NB - Town Hall - 31 Main Street, 3.30 pm, Monday November 3, 2014

Springhill, NS - Anne Murray Centre - 36 Main Street, 10.00 am, Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pictou, NS - Town Hall - 40 Water Street, 12 noon, Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Truro, NS - Town Hall - 695 Prince Street, 2.30 pm, Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halifax, NS - Province House - 1726 Hollis Street, 4.30 pm, Tuesday, November 4, 2014

note: lunch/supper social events will also take place concluding the events in Sackville, Pictou, and Halifax.

More information:

Jennifer McCreath Foundation

http://jennifermccreath.blogspot.ca/2014/07/jennifer-mccreath-foundation-inc.html

Jennifer McCreath Bio

http://jennifermccreath.blogspot.ca/2014/06/jennifer-mccreath-bio-november-2013.html

questions or interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
info@jennifermccreath.com
709-753-9529
 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

McCreath among stars featured in NL Mental Health Awareness "This Video"

It was an honour to be among the huge names in Newfoundland pop culture, including Rick Mercer, Allan Hawco, Alan Doyle, Mark Hiscock, along with innovator Amelia Curran, as today featured the launch of Amelia's "this video" tonight, a campaign to fight the stigma of mental illness. The video is posted here on youtube as well as directly on their website www.Thisvideo.ca


Here's a few photos from my shoot with Amelia. 
Also featuring mental health activist Carolyn Snow.







Sunday, October 5, 2014

International Trigeminal Neuralgia Day of Awareness - St. John's, NL

Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a neuropathic disorder that is characterized by episodes of intense pain in the face, originating from the trigeminal nerve. The pain is so intense that the condition has been known as Suicide headaches. The trigeminal nerve is a mixed cranial nerve responsible for sensory data such as tactition (pressure), thermoception (temperature), and nociception (pain) originating from the face above the jawline; it is also responsible for the motor function of the muscles of mastication, the muscles involved in chewing but not facial expression. It is estimated that 1 in 15000 people in the world suffer from this condition. It is more common in females than males.

Last year, the first ever International Day of Awareness for TN was launched and events were held all over the world, including one in Cavendish, NL, in honour of two locals who suffer from this condition. There will be a small commemorative event in St. John's, on Tuesday Oct 7, 2014, at 12 noon, at the picnic bench park area of Kent's Pond, just out back of the Confederation Building parking lot.

The event will be hosted by Jennifer McCreath, a well-known local political and social activist, and it will feature a keynote address by Kim Noftall, also of St. John's, who suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia.

Participants are encouraged to wear teal blue, as this is the official colour of facial pain. McCreath and Noftall will be available to speak with the media after the event. All are welcome to attend.

For more information:

Jennifer McCreath
709-753-9529
info@jennifermccreath.com
twitter: jenn_mccreath

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/528385247304897

Additional Resourcecs:

Trigeminal Neuralgia Support Group - based in Cavendish, NL

https://www.facebook.com/TrigeminalNeuralgiaSupportNewfoundlandLabrador

Trigeminal Neuralgia Association of Canada

http://www.tnac.org/

International Petition for World Health Organization

http://www.tnnme.com/

Friday, October 3, 2014

McCreath accused of giving questionable mugging advice!

Wow, someone I don't even know is accusing me of giving them questionable advice about how to handle being a victim of crime. For the record, I have never spoken with this person, Katie Loft, nor was I ever made aware that she had apparently been mugged. Additionally, this is certainly advice that I would never give, nor have ever given.

Sadly, this appears to be a retaliatory cheap shot at me for voicing my concerns over the infamous lesbian wedding article in Wednesday's Telegram newspaper. Upon further investigation, it appears Loft is acquainted with said couple.

Finally, if Loft continues with these type of false accusations, she is going to find herself being sued in civil court. If any of you reading this happen to be friends with Loft, you may wish to adviser her to cease and desist.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Reaction to Telegram's gay-bashing tabloid article

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Note, I am sending this on behalf of my client, Paul Martin, of Harbour Grace, who was the subject of a controversial smear campaign, by the Telegram's Oct 1, 2014 article by Barb Sweet.

--------------------------------------------------------------

On October 1, 2014, the Telegram newspaper published an article that accused me and family members of gay-bashing former clients of mine, as well as published opinionated material that attempted to slander me and my work. I am writing to express disappointment at the telegram, and to voice my side of the story.

First and foremost, I am not homophobic and I did not make any remarks that were intended to be gay-bashing. I am sorry to learn that some members of the customer's family felt disappointed by my work, and felt the need to intimidate me into agreeing to give them a partial refund. The arrangement we had was a handshake. I received written confirmation from one of the brides indicating they were happy with my work. If there was miscommunication or lack of understanding with regards to the policies and procedures for the services rendered, then I will certainly apologize and take a fair share of the blame. Perhaps it was both of our fault that we did not better specifically outline a service agreement, in writing.

Overall, I hold nothing against this couple and wish them nothing but the best, and although I feel I was wronged to be threatened and intimidated by one of their family members, I am willing to let this go. Most of all, I am saddened that the Telegram would stoop to tabloid-level journalism, and attempt to use me as a sacrificial lamb, in order to put a spin on this story based on false opinions and assumptions, rather than facts.

I have many friends in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and I am sure that any of them would concur that I am not a hateful or homophobic person. Furthermore, I am disappointed that steps have been taken by the Telegram to try to tarnish my reputation for my work. While I will certainly agree to the concept that 'the customer is always right', I do not think it is fair for a single instance of misunderstanding, to ruin my career. I have been doing this type of work for quite some time, and many of my past customers have spoken highly of my work.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, I would be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss my credentials further. I would also like to put out an open invitation for any other media outlet, to hear my side of the story. I welcome media outlets to contact my agent, Jennifer McCreath, who is a well-known LGBT community engagement specialist, to arrange an interview: info@jennifermccreath.com 709-753-9529.

Respectfully,
Paul Martin

------------------------------------------------

In addition to Paul's statement, I am quite happy to make the following statement of my own:

I was recently contacted by Paul Martin, a citizen of Harbour Grace, who brought an article in the Telegram to my attention, and he raised concern that he was being an apparent victim of a smear campaign, which included false accusations of him being homophobic and hatred towards members of the LGBT community. Upon reading the article, and upon speaking with Mr. Martin, I can't help but express concern with this article.

While I can't speak for what happened at this wedding, I have reviewed all content provided to me from various on-line exchanges between Mr. Martin and his clients. This appears to be a sad attempt by the Telegram to exploit Mr Martin, by attempting to play the gay card, in a story that is otherwise, non-newsworthy. It appears quite clear to me, that had this been a heterosexual couple, that the Telegram would have not pursued this article.

Overall, I am disappointed in the Telegram, and feel it is my role, as a member of the LGBT community of Newfoundland and Labrador, to speak out. While there are definitely many sad cases of discrimination that take place here in this province, and while I certainly support the exposure of such discriminations, it is of my opinion that the Telegram has made a major blunder here, by creating something out of nothing, and putting an inappropriate gay-bashing spin, on an instance that was not a gay-bashing matter. Finally, it concerns me when media entities appear to negatively and falsely portray the LGBT community, as whiners who will run to the media and play the gay card, simply to get attention.

questions or interviews:
Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador
http://www.jennifermccreath.com
info@jennifermccreath.com
www.twitter.com/Jenn_McCreath
709-753-9529