UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Feb 14, 1997

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Array lesbian gay bisexual transgendered queer
special issue
I absolutely fabulous since 1918, dahling Classified Deadlines: Paid - 2 days prior. Friday Free Student Ads - Wednesdays at Noon.
UPS Business Office 822-1654
For Sale
Aircared - 1980 Mercury Bobcat
Wagon - No Work Required! Runs
Great! Looks Great! PS/PB.
Blaupunkt shuttle deck. 78.000
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Casio fx-3000 graphics calculator;
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Contact Mia at 221-8195 or e-mail
Computer 386. Super VGA monitor,
modem, dot matrix printer, keyboard and mouse! Runs all
Windows 3.1 and internet software. I'm leaving town! $1200 call
Basic reliable AT&T WP5.1 Good
student machine. Free installation.
$300. Caleb 873-4388.
Guide books for Europe & Alaska.
Jeep YJ soft top. phone 822-0318.
Accommodation available in the
UBC Winter Session single student residences
Rooms are available in the UBC
single student residences for
qualified women and men student
applications. Single and shared
rooms in both "room only" and
"room and board" residences are
available. Vacancies can be rented
for immediate occupancy in the
Walter H. Gage. Fairview Crescent.
Totem Park. Place Vanier. and
Ritsumeikan - UBC House
Residences*. Applicants who take
occupancy of a residence room are
entitled to reapplication (returning
student) privileges which will provide them with a "guaranteed"
housing assignment for the
1997/98 Winter Session.
Please contact the UBC Housing
Office in Brock Hall for information
on rates and availability. The
Housing Office is open from 8:30
am - 4:00 pm weekdays, or call
822-2811 during office hours.
* Availability may be limited for
some residence areas and room
Avail. Mar. 1 2Br. grd. level newer
hse. 44th + Victoria. $635 +1/2 util.
No smoking, no pets. Suits quiet,
mature upper grad students. Ph.
Sublet April 1- June 30. 1997. 1
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End. 3 blocks from Beach & close
to UBC Express Bus. Dates negotiable. $650/month. includes
phone, heat, hydro, cable. Call
Room for Rent. In 2 bedroom apt.
with UBC student. $365.
Kerrisdale. 267-0229. Immediate
Dunbar. 1 BR - bsmt. suite, close
to UBC. shopping. NS. NP. cable.
hydro incl. $650 tel.222-2416.
Apartment studio available immediately or March 1st. Kitchen,
bathroom included. Bus directly to
UBC. $380/mon. Call Tony 688-
Room for rent. Share large house
with 4 males, all students. 3 bathrooms, laundry, huge common
areas. 41st & Crown. 15 mins.
from UBC. $375/mo. inc. hydro.
Available now. 267-0529.
Reliable woman is available to
housesit 8-12 months. Ch.refer-
ences available. 681-6098 or 432-
Career Training
Travel - Teach English The
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Institute offers in Vancouver a 1
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Calling All Slater Survivors!
Were you in Arts One 93/94 with
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Fast, accurate. Professional quality. Laser Printer. Kits area. 734-
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Info call 688-5303
UBC AMS Women's Centre. Art
show: paintings, drawings, photographs welcome! Call Jessica
Ware @ 734-0403 for info.
Treat yourself to a free consultation and trial treatment. Get ready
for Spring! 730-5745. Student
rates, packages, gift certificates.
Are you a scuba diver?
Enjoy exhilarating dive sites with a
safety minded PADI Instructor:
Jean-Paul   Tremblay   224-9119:
Show me a duck!
- Webby
A.J.M.. Be My Valentine.
With       Love       from       your
Evil Landlord.
Scotty - Beam me up into your
long, tight leather pants. WD.
If my actions ever fail you. keep
this: You will never be alone.
Neal - May the long time sun shine
upon you and the hum of the
Kelvinator guide your way on. love
you chunken. Faith.
▼ VV
To Ubyssey's #1 photo editor, thank
you for lighting up my life. Happy
Valentine's    Day.    I    love    you.
You are so beautiful each time you
smile and laugh. I am so happy to
be in love with you. - Jessica.
To my Mexican Amigo: Your muscular body gets me excited. Grow
the fur back on your face: its sexy.
- Dicky
To GC - You have a lot of special
gifts. You are my hero and my
inspiration. But you're too busy
watching basketball to ever notice.
Christine. I hope you'll be mine on
this, our second valentines together, and on all the others for the rest
of our lives. Love Scott.
and unde
Love you
- Freddfphe Frog.
Ron K.: Saw you photographing at
the Volleyball games. Love to get
together    for    a    photo-shoot.
Wolf: You look great behind the
SRC counter. I get chills when I talk
to you. Thanks for giving me that
warm fuzzy feeling - Sweaty.
Chris N-S: You have sexy blond
hair and stunning blue eyes. Let's
talk- Guy in English Class.
Scott - Let me brand your long. ,
blond hair around my neck. I still
have dreams about you and your
leather pants. Let's menage. - Wolf
Wolf: Your tender firmness makes
me shiver all over - let's do it
Hey hX - you are the mailman who
doesn't need to ring twice. WD.
▼ ▼¥
Dicky Boy: Waking up next to you
has changed my life - let's go wild
again - shoot me shoot me - FX
Hey Dickie Boy: I love your short
hair cut and thanks for those hard
long rides. WD.
Hyon-Jong: "If I see eleven, you
say it's seven - still wish you heaven" - Federico
To   my   slovanian   Macho   Man:
Happy Valentine's day! Wish you
could keep me warm up North!
- Love S.
V *▼
To my best friend Shelby, and mom
too. love Cookie
Sarah, marvellous editor you are.
Smart, funny and oh so radiant.
Eine Schunheit du bist. And boy.
those soccer outfits. What a treat.
Richelle: your short fuzzy hair is
sexy. Let's slip into those overall
together. Are you free sometime
for coffee and talk dirty - FWR
Tween Classes
Classified Ads for
UBC Students are
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Every Thursday, 12:30-2:30 PM
Great Food, Very Cheap (by donation).  Very  delicious,  Nice   'n
Filling. Buchanan D223
1997 Winter Legal Clinic for
Battered Women's Support
Services and UBC Law Students
Legal Advice Program are co-
sponsoring free legal clinics for
women to be held every 6:30 p.m.
to 8:30 p.m. on the following dates:
February 25, March 4. To make an
appointment please call the UBC
Law Students Legal Advice
Program at 822-5791.
UBC Pacific Rim Club Speaker
"Recent   Political   Changes   in
Dr.    Nina    Halpern,    Political
Science Dept
Buch B323, 12:30 pm - 1:30pm,
Out with Pride Week Feb.10-15
Fri. Feb.14 - 12:30pm Lilies, Sub
Theatre, Free
Sat.   Feb.15   -   8:00pm   Cupid's
Coming Out Ball, 2nd floor, Grad
Marxist-Leninist Study Group,
Friday, February 14, 7:30 pm
Buchanan D-201. Topic: Youth A
Force for Revolutionary Change.
All welcome.
Amnesty International Youth
Conference on March 1st, 8:30-
4:30 in SUB. Registration cost is
$10, which includes pizza lunch,
juice, coffee. Workshops on Intro
to Amnesty, Women and human
rights. Death Penalty and more.
Panel Discussion with panelists
from various youth groups on
campus sharing their views on
"Models for Action". To pre-regis-
ter or for more info, contact
Susanne @ 929-6731
Tween classes are free event istinga for up«HTTtng on-campus events on%. If you would like to advertise your upcoming event. AH out a Tween Classes form in The Ubyssey Editorial Offices, SUB 241K.
Deadline for the Friday issue: Wednesday at Noon. ubyssey
Editorial Board
Special Issue Coordinator
Wah Kee Ting
Coordinating Editor
Scott Hayward
Ian Gunn and Sarah O'Donnell
Peter T. Chattaway
Wolf Depner
Federico Araya Barahona
Richard i.am
Joe Clerk
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of British Columbia. It
is published every Tuesday and Friday by
the Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run
student organisation, and all students are
encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the
Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily
reflect the views of The Ubyssey
Publications Society or the University of
British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of
Canadian University Press (CUP) and firmly
adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The
Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey
Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein
cannot be reproduced without the
expressed, written permission of The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
Letters to the editor must be under
300 words. Please include your phone
number, student number and signature
(not for publication) as well as your year
and faculty with all submissions. ID will be
checked when submissions are dropped off
at the editorial office of The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be done by phone.
"Perspectives" are opirion pieces over 300
words but under 750 words and are run
according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members. Priority
will be given to letters and perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is
time senstitive. Opinion pieces will not
be run until the identity of the writer has
been verified.
Editorial Office
Room 241K, Student Union Building,
6138 Student Union Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC. V6T 1Z1
tel: (604) 822-2301  fax:822-9279
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Room 245, Student Union Building
advertising: (604) 822-1654
business office: (604) 822-6681
Business Manager
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Advertising Manager
James Rowan
The 25 people involved in the creation of
this issue decided to make the letters of the
alphabet out of their bodies.    Grover from
Sesame street coached us.   Alan Woo arrived
all a buzz to give us an A, Bee brought a beautiful B, crazy Craig Bavis crafted the C, Doug
Sanders did a dandy D, Ed Yeung eagerly yet
effortlessly erected  an   E,   Federico  Araya
Barahona fraught with fright freed F, Ian Gunn
gave us a gorgeous G, Claudia Hanel hung the
H,  Laura  Baskin  invented  I, Jessica Ware
jumped up to do J, Kalev Hunt would have
killed if he didn't get K, Leanne Drumheller
laboured over L, Melinda Jette managed to
make a marvelous M, Namiko Kunimoto gave
us a nifty N, Sarah O'Dunell really went over
the top with the 0, Arran politely pulled down
a P, Mike Botnick's Q was definitely queer,
Rick Heffernan razzle<lazzled us with his R,
Scott Hayward slid slyly sideways to show us S,
t   Thomas Fitt tore out our hearts with his tem
\   pestuous T,  Michael Standingwolfs  U was
\   utterly unique, Stanley's V was virtuous yet
i   very vibrant, Wah Kee Ting worried about his
\   wonderful W, David Mak was our X-man, Joe
j   Clark yoddled while yanking out a Y, everyone
?   helped make a zany Z.
Canada Post Publications Sales Agreement Number 0732141
BEAUTIFUL BABES in the San Francisco Pride parade in the summer of 1996. craig bavis photo
What's in a name?
Queer. Dyke. Fag. Lesbian. Bisexual. Gay.
Homosexual. Same sex. Whichever label you
prefer to use for that part of the population
which is non-heterosexual, realise that these
people are your neighbours, professors, classmates, parents, sisters, brothers, friends,
roommates, and even your lovers.
There are as many points of view about the
"non-straight" population as there are labels
for it. Identifying ourselves (non-straight people) is as difficult as finding consensus on an
acceptable term to represent us.
"Queer" is too politically charged for many,
while lesbian, gay and homosexual fail to represent those of us that are attracted to both
sexes or cross traditional gender boundries.
Furthermore, the queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered members of our society do not speak with a single voice, nor
should they be expected to do so. Some have
come to a compromise, an anagram which
attempts to include a diverse group of people,
LGBQT. But even this awkward construction
misrepresents those that feel sexual orientation is not the primary, central component of
their being. These people believe that they
should not have a sexual identity imposed
upon them. No group of individuals, nor any
one label, can truly represent such a large
amalgamation of people.
This newspaper was produced by some of
the queer, gay, lesbian, and bisexual members of the UBC community and our friends at
The Ubyssey. We are well aware that many
others will not share the views represented
here, or even agree that a special issue is necessary. We, ourselves, feel it is important for
us to have an issue devoted to the exploration
of themes focusing on non-heterosexual identity and orientation. This is not simply for the
purpose of informing the general public,
but also for educating ourselves. It is crucial
ly important that both straight and non-
straight people that know that we are out and
In publishing this issue, we are reminding the university community of the diversity of its members, exploring a number of
issues, and giving ourselves a voice. As a
minority that, even at this liberal institution,
suffers discrimination, we look hopefully to
the day when our voices will be heard. On
such a day, there will be no need for an issue
like this.
As you read this, realise that we are sitting
beside you on the bus, lecturing you in class,
marking your lab assignments, pouring your
coffee, and swapping notes with you. Realise
that we are queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual,
transgendered, "intersexual," and not represented by labels. But most importantly, know
that we are here, learning and working on the
same campus as you. ♦
queer alchemy
i'm okay with the word "queer,"
so it seems a bit distressing to me
that the community is spending
so much time and energy on
internal terminology debates, but
for the record i do consider
"queer" to refer predominantly to
the radical political element and
not to the whole glbt community .
i justify the use of the word
"queer" with the basic philosophy
of reclamation, which in my view
is as follows:
hateful terms are effective
because they identify a quality
which the target group does in
fact have, and then give it such a
negative connotation that the targets come to believe that the quality actually is shameful, their
essential purpose is to take qualities which might otherwise be
merely neutral, and apply to them
a powerful value judgement
which the target then internalises.
in this way the individual
comes to see being gay, having a
certain colour skin, or speaking a
foreign language not as objective
description, but instead subjectively associates them with negative emotions and negative beliefs
about his/her own self-worth.
the process of reclamation is
the reverse of this, and may be
thought of as intentional mental
reprogramming. we do not call
ourselves "queer* to promote
self-hatred or self-abuse; we call
ourselves "queer" because we are
consciously trying to strip the
word of its negative value judgements until we return it to its
original neutral state.
this is perhaps one of the most
subtle ways to disempower an
enemy, because the only power
the word "queer" has is the power
we ourselves assign it when we
agree to be offended or hurt by it.
when we refuse to be offended by
a mere word, then it loses its
emotional impact, and becomes
nothing more than an unremarkable objective description.
from here we can take it even
one step further, and having
removed its negative connotations we can then consciously
assign it a positive one. thus a
word which was once used to
degrade and humiliate us now
becomes a symbol of our pride in
ourselves, and just as we have
one more weapon in our favour,
our enemy has one less, reclamation is a form of psychological
alchemy in which the lead of
shame is consciously and intentionally converted into the gold of
pride, and my repeated use ofthe
word "pride" may give some clue
as to why reclamation is such a
big thing in the glbt community,
for me it's all about power,
homophobia is a power struggle—do we let them decide our
destiny or do we decide it for ourselves?—and reclamation is about
seizing that power for our side,
every time you agree to be offended by the word "queer" you are
giving your opponent power over
you, power to determine how you
react and power to determine
what you will and will not do. all i
have to do to keep anyone who
dislikes the word 'queer' from
contributing to the glbt issue of
the ubyssey, and to ensure the
advancement of my own seditious agenda, is call it "the queer
issue." now am i forcing them
away, or are they choosing to
allow me to force them away? all
they would have to do to seize
their power back is say, "'queer'
is just a word, i'm going to write
my opinions anyway and be
heard." then they would be contributing their unique voice to
this unbelievably diverse  com
munity and there would be nothing i could do to stop them.
what i find strange is that
while essentially everyone will
agree that a symbol can be turned
from positive to negative, they
will not admit that the reverse
can happen, the swastika is an
ancient buddhist symbol representing the wheel of the buddhist
teachings, which of course was
stolen by the nazis and is now—in
the west anyway—one ofthe most
detested of symbols (in the east it
is still used as a symbol of buddhism), now are we going to
allow the nazis the power to steal
sacred symbols and pervert them
to their own ends, but we will not
allow ourselves the same power
to appropriate a tool ofthe enemy
and purify it? why will they allow
contamination but not purification? they must realise that if we
hold this attitude we are giving
our enemy a greater power than
we will allow for ourselves.
on u2's rattle and hum album,
bono says of the song 'helter skelter": "charles manson stole this
song from the beatles. we're
stealing it back." that's what
reclamation is all about.
—michael standingwolf ■onoe
UBC Faculty of Law oaf-standing
 by Laura Baskin
The respected international journal Corpus Juris Sexualis
has reported that the Geneva based Equality Committee of
the International Federation of Juridical Instruction
Facilities (IIjlF) has released its first report on sexual orientation issues.
The IIJIF surveyed course content on lesbian and gay
issues and the numbers of out lesbian and gay professors in
law schools around the world. The Lavender Law Oscar will
be presented to the UBC Faculty of Law on the first of April,
Well, if the IIJIF existed, and if there was a Lavender Law
Oscar, the above story could be true. UBC's law school has
eight openly lesbian and gay professors; 20 percent of its
43 full-time faculty.
What competition is there? The law school at the
University of Melbourne in Australia is also in the running.
High level investigations concluded that there are also eight
out lesbian and gay professors at Melbourne. But since
Melbourne has over 60 full time teaching faculty, UBC wins
handily on percentages.
I UBCs law school has eight openly
lesbian and gay professors; 20
percent of its 43 full-time faculty.
The 'UBC 8' are all full-time faculty, so the number doesn't include half-time professor Bruce Wooley, whose story
(and availability) was splashed all over the front page ofthe
Vancouver Sun's lifestyle feature *West Coast People* a couple of months ago. He was also the first UBC law professor
to be described in the public media as cuddly.
Professor Susan Boyd holds the Chair in Feminist Legal
Studies. Her writings include a detailed analysis of
the   Ontario  NDP  government's  failed  bill  to   end
discrimination in 74 separate provincial laws. She recently wrote about the M v. H case, the first Canadian case to
apply the law on spousal support payments equally to
same-sex couples.
Professor     Bill
Black has worked
on anti-discrim-   *.
ination     law
for   decades,
playing an important role in the
drafting of the first
British Columbia
human rights law
in     the     early
1970s. He headed   the   human
rights centre at the
University of Ottawa for three
years. More recently, the BC government commissioned him to
the provincial human
rights   law   (which
had previously been
changed to prohibit
discrimination    on
the basis of sexual
orientation).    Many
have heard of the Black Report
which led to a set of amendments to the provincial law in
Professor Douglas Sanders
teaches   a   seminar
Sexuality   and  Law   in
alternate      years.      He
has      represented      the
International Lesbian and Gay Association at United
Nations human rights meetings, and recently published an
article 'Getting Lesbian and Gay Issues on the International
Human Rights aAgenda" in Human Rights Quarterly.
Professor Claire Young may be the only law professor in
the world to have written a detailed article on income
taxation issues as they relate to lesbians
and gay men. Her work demonstrates
forcefully how feminist, lesbian and gay
scholarship have moved away from ghet-
toisation in the fields of family law
and human rights to the recognition
that assumptions on gender and sexual identity run through all aspects of society and all parts of the legal system. At UBC
there is queer content in Law 407: Taxation,
and Law 411: Tax Policy.
This year, Professor Bruce MacDougall is teaching a six week perspectives class on sexuality to first
year students. His lengthy article on outing was published
in the Queens Law Journal—yes, that is the real name of the
journal. It is published by the Faculty of Law, Queen's
University. Professor MacDougall also teaches commercial
The out lesbian and gay faculty teach all sorts of subjects—contracts, federalism, secured transactions, income
taxation, family law, environmental law, aboriginal rights,
human rights.
None of the eight were hired on the basis of scholarship
on lesbian and gay issues. When the first four were hired,
they were not out The last four were hired with the knowledge tnat they were lesbian or gay. The first out faculty to
be hired at UBC on the basis of already established lesbian and gay scholarship are in Sociology, Women's
Studies and Social Work, not Law. But the law school
at UBC is now leading the country, the world, the
universe in lesbian and gay legal scholarship. ♦
The IQQ7 graduating Glass is
looking for innovative legacy
gift proposal
students. H
$3000 per
with ike num
will be voted
Slass flCj
\QQ7 in th
are welcome
ividuals, clubs
a 150 word
& midget to:
d Class Girts
B Room 238
or application
ay reb 25 @ 4pm A UBYSSEY SPECIAL ISSUE, FEBRUARY 14 1997   5
TuriiiiiP: the tide Coquitlam schools progress
High school can be a Hying
experience. For students
who are gay, lesbian or
bisexual, however, school
can become a nightmare,
which is why one group of
Vancouver educators are
trying to help schools
become gay-positive.
by Alan Woo
Given the choice helwcon the class
rniiin and the street, foan Merry-field
will pick Ihr- classroom every lime.
That is why Merry-field, a Grade :'•.
(j and 7 teacher al. Vancouver's
Charles Dickens Klcmenlary School,
and an outspoken member of GALL
BC (Gay and Lesbian I.duralnrs of
British Columbia), is doing all she.
can to inrnbal prejudice and leach
respect lor gay anil lesbian issues.
"Fur students who aie gay and les
liian. school is hell. They rlon'l ever
fuel that Lliev belong," she says.
"Lverv kid needs a sense uf belong
ing. If they clnn'l feel that they belong,
they'll ne\i:r be able lo aspire, reach
their potential nr find uuL whal [heir
finals are. They can gel stuck there
even until adulthood."
Thin is jusl one of mariv reasons
why she leels addressing homophobia
and gay isniies in the school system
has become increasingh- iniportanl
"Move over faggot Merry-field
recalls one student saying lo another
hoy. "Kills lion t have anv olher \va\
ol (■onmiuiuV.aiing," she says. That is
win she lakes on llie problem ol"
name calling and discusses il with
Ihe children, who don't realise how
hurl Till Lhev can be.
Hut name calling is jusl one of Ihe
many problems lhat gay youth must
lace. There is physical violence as
well as emotional and psychological
"The kills know a lot." she says.
'They're very mature ami they need a
place Lo talk about these issues."
And the classroom seems like an
ideal forum for such intelligent and
educational discussion. Aside from
sex education, Merryfield Lries lo iule
grate gay issues into all aspects of her
everyday teaching routine, from talks
about Remembrance. Day ami adoption, to casual conversal ion with sin
Homosexuality is not whal is
being taught here; the lessons being
learned are valuable ones that
acknowledge and accept differences,
arid adovocale respect for all people.
Slow progress
At this year's Vancouver
International Film I'est.ival one hopeful       little       clocuincnlarv.       It's
KlemenUiry Talking Abuul day Issues
in St'haol, took an in class look at how
kids respond to talking about gay
issues, from having same-se\ parents
to being influenced by Hollywood.
Overall, the film makes Ihe future
look bright-in the L:S at leasl, which
was where the showcase schools
were located.
Vancouver, BC. however is a clif
lbrciit story altogether. "We re getting
somewhere, hut we're very slim,"
says Merrylield.
Aside from workshops and individual teachers who lalk about gay
issues with students. Vancouver
schools lag behind their American
counterparts. Merryfield, who recent,
ly attended a e.niiferewe in San
Francisco about making schools anil
curricula more gay-friendly, says lhat
whole school hoards, districts anil
even .students turned out In learn
more about these issues. She'd like In
see all educators, not just gav anil les
hian ones, go nut ami gel training
anil slarl lo see it. as their issue."
Dale Kssar, another member uf
GALL who teaches at Sir Sanfnrd
riemirif.' Illemenlai'v, has dime
many workshops in the Yaiicnine'r
disliii'L about how to handle gay
issues in the classroom lie feels
"elemental",- teachers are further
ahead Ihan secondary teachers in
leriris of organised professional
I nforlunalely I hough, he says.
(iALI. members continue In encounter
"GALL member.- speaking- on
issues of homophobia often en
counter hnmnphohia amongst stu
dents in the liBC Kducation
Deparlmenl. These future teachers
slate strongly that gay and lesbian
issues have no relevance Lo elemen
larv teachers and students.' he says.
Merryfield acrces lhat UBC
Lducutinu students have been
"extremely homophobic." Tor I hem.
she says, it is a moral issue: Ihey
believe it is promoting homosexual
ilv. Bui il isn't about that, she
claims. "It's about safety for lhe
Vancouver school board trustee
Sandy McCormick says lhat in order
to make changes, the board would
have In know what lhe community
wants and needs.
She says that although she needs
to do more research on gay issues to
educate herself, there hasn't bc«?n a
need lo so so far since no one has
approached Lhe hoard about the
issue. Calgary and Toronto already
have ("lay and Straight Alliances in
their high schools.
"Vancouver is behind," sighs
Merryfield. "We just have to catch
up.'' ♦
 by Wah Kee Ting
Coquitlam schools may be breaking new ground
on gay and lesbian issues if a motion currently
before the district's school board is passed.
Murray Warren, a Coquitlam elementary
school teacher, presented a motion at his school
board's meeting last Tuesday asking that a committee be established to address issues of safety
and inclusion for sexual minority students.
"Protection," he said, "is one part ofthe picture."
The committee will research and investigate
discrimination against gay, lesbians, bisexual
and transgendered students, and recommend
measures the school board and district partner
groups can take to provide appropiate support
services for those students.
Although there was no discussion among the
school trustees on the motion, the subject came
up again during question period.
Carlo Meadows, a Maple Ridge resident, described his experiences as a closeted gay student.
"I was beaten up by guys from Grade 6 to 11,"
he said. "I dropped out at Grade 11. I'm a living
proof of the discrimination against gay and lesbian students."
But not everyone at the meeting was in favour
Drag Royalties
strut their stuff
by Alan Woo
Vancouver's drag scene could be one ofthe city's
best kept secrets. Secrets, however, are meant to
be told and the drag scene is slowly but surely
coming out of the woodwork.
At 20 years old, Corriander is one ofthe city's
youngest drag queens. Although he has only been
in the scene professionally since Grade 12, he
says drag has intrigued him since childhood.
"I've always been a performer and I guess it just
came naturally," he says.
Drag, he explains, is a lot of fun, especially
since he was taken in by the House of Venus, "the
new breed of Vancouver's drag queens," who perform at Mars Night Club on Friday nights and at
the after-hours club The World on Saturdays.
"Since becoming a part of the Venus girls, I've
met peoples with whom I have more in common," he explains.
In his act, Corriander has covered No Doubt,
The Cardigans and Donna Lewis. The best part,
he says, is "the attention."
But not everything about drag is glamourous. "It
takes a lot of time," he says, referring to the loads of
make-up he applies before stepping onto the stage.
"[The tuck] can also be quite painful.''
The biggest misconception about drag,
according to Corriander, is made by straight people who think he wants to be a woman. "We don't.
Basically, we're just performing and entertaining. It's all a character act. We're like clowns but
with better make-up," he says.
For drag king Rebecca, aka Mr. Bee, the high
from doing drag stems from entertaining the
audience and enjoying herself. Rebecca has been
involved with drag since September 1996. After
attending her first show, she decided to give it a
try. Once she did, she was hooked.
of the motion. Teacher and parent Erma Vietorisz
said she was concerned about the message the
committee would be sending. "We don't need to
encourage pre-sexual sexual activity, and I'm
thinking that this program just may be doing that."
"When you have this kind of education in our
schools [it] may be slanting or giving [students]
the idea that they are homosexuals when perhaps they are not," she explained. "We got to be
very careful of what we teach our children.
"I can't understand how a gay student could
know that they are gay and because this is something that is of a sexual matter—I would assume
that children are not expected to be sexually
active," she said.
But Warren said the motion has nothing to do
with promoting homosexual sex. "What the committee can do is try to assess the extent of the
problems. It is very difficult for many gay and lesbian students to talk about what situations they
face, and gathering evidence might prove to be
some kind of problem," he explained.
"Unless somebody does something, nothing's
going to be done." Warren said.
School trustees will vote on the motion at the
next meeting.on February 25, at 7:30pm at
Coquitlam School District. ♦
-   i»
"The community is very supportive of first-
timers and the whole show in general," she says.
"It takes guts to get out there."
And aside from mixed reactions from family
and friends, Rebecca says the experience has
been a positive one. She's become more confident and is more aware of transgendered issues.
"I'm more interested in advocating inclusiveness
because of this," she explains.
The transformation to drag isn't much of a
challenge for Rebecca. With added sideburns,
enhanced eyes, the occasional wig, socks and a
pair of jeans, she begins to look more like a man.
Her act has included parodies of Neil
Diamond, James Brown, the Odds, and possibly
in the future, Bruce Springsteen. She did a hilarious rendition of "The Heterosexual Man" at
Celebrities' Performer of the Year show last
month. "It's good to see the drag community
merging together as one rather than being separate (kings from the queens)," she says.
"It's about having a good time, fun, and feeling good about yourself." ♦
Get $750 towards the purchase or lease of any new GM vehicle.
by Rick Heffernan
Canada, like all great societies has
national pastimes which help
define its identity. The Russians
have chess, the Chinese have
mahjorigg but we Canadians have
something far more exciting—we
have BINGO! Cruise the main drag
of any town in Canada on a
Saturday night and you are sure to
find a church or a Lions' club hosting a traditional night of early-bird
bonanzas and frantic bingo dab-
Bingo has had to change in
recent years and cultural watchdogs may be concerned that the
game cannot survive in this, the
cyberspace age. Anti-smoking
bylaws now mean the smoke-filled
bingo parlours ofthe past are gone
and competition for gambling dollars is getting more serious with
bigger prizes and better venues.
Despite the changes, bingo hasn't become a hot ticket event for
the young and hip; the monotone
voices of bingo callers continue to
drone on in church halls filled with
gray-haired grandmothers methodically dabbing their bingo cards
while complaining about young
people and that horrible music
they listen to.
This is all being changed right
here in Vancouver and wouldn't
you know it, gay men are doing for
bingo what they have already done
for pierced ears, work boots and
funky furniture from the 1950s.
The hottest ticket in Vancouver's
gay community right now is
Friends ,for Life's Gay Bingo. And
just as gay men transformed boring, functional work boots into a
camp commentary on urban living, Gay Bingo is shaking up one of
Canada's national pastimes.
The Friends for Life Society
kicked off Gay Bingo at the West
End Community Centre last
month    and    has     met    with
unconaitionai success.
Tickets for the weekly
Saturday night bingo
extravaganza have been
selling out fast.
Why has this game, so
inextricably linked with
gray-haired grannies,
taken the ultra-hip gay
and lesbian community
by storm? Well, let's just
say that Friends for Life
has taken the basic structure of bingo and energised it with a good dose
of gay humour and sensibility. The end result is
a wildly successful fundraiser which is also a
heck of a lot of fun.
Gay Bingo would
probably be just plain old bingo if
it wasn't for Joanie, the drag queen
who hosts the evening and keeps
the bingo players rolling in the
On the night that I went to Gay
Bingo, Joanie was joined by her
drag queen gal pals Justine Tyme,
Penny Tration and Ammeta May
Santos. While the serious work of
calling out the bingo numbers is
left up to one of Friends for Life's
volunteers, Joanie keeps us entertained with her crazy monologue
and jokes.
More often than not one of the
other 'ladies' are the butt of
Joanie's jokes, but they are willing
participants in Joanie's ongoing
sexual innuendoes and double
entendres. Justine, who is a stunning bleached blonde, at least six
feet tall, is razzed constancy about
being less than lady-like and there
are more than a couple of blonde
jokes directed at a poor, slightly
confused Justine.
Added to Joanie's shtick about
blondes, lesbians, and sex-crazed
gay boys are a couple of other
details that make this event "gay".
First off we are told at the start of
the night about 0-69. Every time
the caller announces 0-69 the
bingo players are supposed to tap
out the tune to "a shave and a hair
cut" with our bingo dabbers. Other
nights 0-69 has meant bingo players have had to stand up and kiss
the person across the table—I have
obviously come on the wrong
Friends for Life hopes to
raise $60,000 in the first
six months of bingo for
two specific projects
Terry        Howard,
coordinator     of
the Diamond
Centre   for
Life   explain
ea now tne main goal oi Friends tor
Life is to improve the quality of life
of people with a life threatening illness.
The Centre's clients include
AIDS patients, women with breast
cancer, people with eating disorders and Cystic Fibrosis patients.
The organisation receives no government funding, but through a
substantial donation by Leslie
Diamond and the organisation's
other fundraising efforts like "Art
for Life" and "Dining Out for Life,"
Friends for Life has been able to
establish the Diamond Centre for
Life at Weeks House in the West
End's historic Barclay Square.
Howard also explained that the
money from Gay Bingo will be split
evenly between the Diamond
Centre's food bill and Friends for
Life's new outreach program
which is being targeted at residents of the Downtown Eastside.
The Centre serves over 500 meals
a week and thus has substantial
operating costs, while the outreach
program seeks to bring services to
this part of the city which is where
a large chunk of new HIV diagnoses are originating from.
But the serious and meaningful
work of Friends for Life is not in
the spotlight on Saturday night.
Instead, the emphasis is on entertaining the bingo players. I spend
most of the night sitting with
Marcel and Len who have won tickets for this evening. Marcel played
Bingo the week before and won a
"Bingo makeover," a regular feature of Gay Bingo. Justine is going
to transform Marcel into a woman
backstage between Joanie's digs
about Ms Thyme's hair colour.
Marcel is being a good sport
about his makeover and Len, his
boyfriend has brought a camera to
take lots of pictures. The couple seem
typical of the crowd; they see Gay
Bingo as a good way to spend the
evening and aren't taking the actual
bingo game too seriously. Before
heading backstage for the makeover,
it is hard to imagine Marcel in
pumps and a cocktail dress; there is
nothing feminine about Marcel at all
who was introduced to me as the
"hunky guy Justine is going to make
over tonight."
Despite Joanie's best efforts at
keeping us all entertained, the
audience eventually quiets
down after five or six games
of bingo. It is still bingo
and you do have to pay
.ittention to dab off
your numbers. ♦
by Namiko Kunimoto
Initially, the task sounded easy:
"Would you be interested in writing an article on
queer bands?"
"Sure. Yes. I would like to write an article on queer
But when it comes to. sexual politics and underground
music, nothing is straight-forward, if you'll excuse the pun. The
entire category of Queer Bands is offensive to a lot of people. It suggests that a homogenous sound exists between artists whose only
common frame of reference is that they are not straight. It immediately identifies a difference between the said bands and every other
band out there—and that difference can mean a strong, supportive following or it can result in homophobic avoidance or gay-bashing.
Team Dresch, an all-dyke, lesbionic" band from Portland Oregon,
was gay-bashed outside a gig which was publicised as "pro-queer."
by Melinda M Jette
Film represents social values and contributes to the formulation and perpetuation of these valuesv With the
one) who reunite after years apart. A smart,
engaging reflection on identity, sexuality,
friendship, and family.
changes wrought by the feminist and the gay liberation
movements, celluloid images of queer people have begun
to change. In the past twenty years, lesbian and bisexual
women have brought their stories to the screen, stories
which reflect their experience: their loves, their suffering,
and their triumphs. These films, often produced on
miniscule budgets and in the face of significant opposition, give us images of gay women which are celebratory,
yet complex. The following list provides a sampling of
recent movies about lesbian and bisexual women.
Bar G/r/s (1995) by Lauren Hoffman.
This film follows the dating adventures of several
women in Los Angeles. It is a romantic comedy on the
theme girl meets girl, girl losesgirl, girlgets girl. A warm
and funny look at contemporary lesbian relationships.
Desert Hearts (1976) by Donna Deitch.
Based on Jane Rule's Desert of the Heart, Donna
Deitch's work was a breakthrough in the mid 1970's.
Although it would seem conventional by current standards (uptight Eastern college professor falls for carefree Western gal), this is a sensitive love story which
speaks about the need to assume one's identify.
Everything Relative (1995) by Sharon Pollack.
Premiered at the Sundace Film Festival last year, this
movie relates the story of a group of women (all gay save
/lAAPt   .
Twilda Swinton is Eve, a bisexual
lawyer on the eve of being appointed
judge. In chronicling Eve's search for a
place, in the sun, Streitfeld explores the
issues of gender identity, sexuality, and the
struggles of women in a patriarchal world.
Forbidden Love (1991) by Mary Pettigrew.
A National Film documentary about the history of
lesbians in Canada from the 1940's to the present. It is
based on interviews with women from Vancouvef;
Toronto, and Montreal.
Framing Lesbian Fashion (1992) by Karen Everett
An exploration of lesbian styles over the past several
decades. This informative documentary examines the
femme/butch conventions, the lesbian "uniform" ofthe
1970's, lipstick lesbians, and lesbian S&M culture.
Co Fish (1994) by Rose Roche.
One of the miniscule budget flics to make it big.
Guinevere Turner captured dyke hearts around the
globe with her quirky quest to find a girlfriend. A snappy comedy about Generation X'ers looking for love.
Henry and June (1990) by Phillip Kaufman.
A drama based on the diaries of erotic writer Anais
Nin. Although this is an artsy Hollywood production, it
in love
films about lesbian and
bisexual women
portrays one woman's attraction to men and women with sensitivity.
The incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in
by Maria Maggenti.
Evie, an uptown black
girl falls for Randy, a white
working-class tomboy. This is
a story of teenagers finding
their first love. Maggenti puts a
positive spin on the experiences of
queer youths in high school.
Lianna (1980) by John Sayles.
An early work by Canadian independent filmmaker
John Sayles. While it is somewhat dated, Lianna
explores a woman's journey of self-discovery. She
begins a relationship with a female college professor
and thus begins the unraveling of her life as a middle-
class housewife. This is a tale of love, loss, and liberation.
When Night is Falling (1995) by Patricia Rozema.
Although Rozema's plotline suffers from the same
conventions as Desert Hearts (uptight white theology
professor falls for eccentric black circus performer), this
film has a luminous quality. The underlying theme is
the importance of taking the leap into the light - following one's heart and coming out. ♦
Joe Average Extraordinary
 by Thomas Fitt
"What lies behind us and what lies before
us are tiny matters compared to what lies
in us.'
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Boldness builds beautiful dreams and
unique lives. It takes a brave person to
strive for their true dreams without compromising themselves. I was twenty years
old before I met an openly gay individual,
which is an unfortunate but all too real commentary on western society in the 1990s.
Perhaps that is why I value 'outness' as
much as I do. Perhaps that is the reason that
a good number of my heroes, role models,
and mentors are openly gay individuals.
Joe Average is a Vancouver artist whose
"contemporary pop" style of painting can
be described as innovative and uplifting.
His most well know piece, "One World, One
Hope," a striking image of overlapping
faces composed of bright colours and bold
lines, was commissioned for the 11th
International Conference on AIDS, held in
Vancouver this last July. It was this painting, reminiscent of a stained glass window,
that has given him his greatest exposure.
How has he achieved these many wonderful things?
"I   don't know  much
abouL  art,"   explained
Average, when asked
about his training,
Many   out   bands
have received threats or
hate messages in some way,
Most of the hockey players I went
highschool with in Southern Alberta
would never be caught dead listening to
bunch of fags."
Another consequence of the "queer band" caption is
the creation and commodification of novelty bands. Has anyone
ever written a review of Pansy Division without using some form of
the word "queercore"? It is true that they aim for the in-your-face sexuality, but most reviewers and Muchmusic VJs seem to have forgotten
that Pansy Division does produce music.
Obsessive media attention to an artist's sexual attention just furthers the notion that these people are not normal. Do bands want
their sexual identity to be their shtick? (Well, maybe Pansy Division
"I never did the art school thing." Joe grew
up and attended school in Victoria. "School
was not a great thing for me...[I felt like] an
alien in many ways." Both at school and at
home Joe was continually alienated.
"The verbal and physical abuse I got in
elementary and Jr. high tor heing obviously gay was just too much for me to handle."
It was slightly before his sixteenth birthday that his parents approached him with
the question, "Do you engage in homosexual activity?" Halfway through grade eleven,
Joe left home and quit school because "it
was j\ist not working."
As I approached his apartment I feared
that my positive image of this man might
be altered by actually meeting him. 1 left
the interview with an armload of gifts for
the children that I work with and a huge
smile on my face. His positive attitude is
somehow contagious. "I've often been quoted as saying that HIV is the best thing that
ever happened to me, because it's forced
me to become me."
Very few people would resort to art as
their final means of survival.
"I figured out what I was good at since
day one and I decided, this has got to be it...
because it was my drawings taped to the
refrigerator when I was a kid, not my
report cards." But Joe has not always
worked as a professional artist.
After leaving home Joe did what he felt
he had to in order to survive.
"I've done just about every job under
the sun...everything from cooking to managing apartment buildings," he explained.
"It wasn't until I was 30, three years into
being diagnosed with HIV... and I was without ajob that I challenged myself to survive
on my art [Until then] I sort of doodled
with no future in mind, but I didn't think
I'd even make it to 40, so what did I have to
"It was my 30th birthday...and I thought
to myself, I don't \vant lo wake up when I'm
40 and wonder if I could have done the
stretch...I looked at it like camping. My survival tools were my brushes and my pencils."
Surviving as an artist is not an easy
thing to do. Surviving as an openly gay
artist living with HIV can be far more difficult. "It's a hard job [but] I have to prove to
everyone that I can do it on my own. All of
us have a huge survival mechanism in
place, and when you're threatened that survival thing pops up and starls to work," Joe
continued, "but I love it... I don't think I
could do anything else now.
"I have to be in a life situation that I
enjoy or I wouldn't want to live. The only
advice I can really give to others is: take
apart what it is you desire to do, if you love
it and it makes you happy,
t challenge yourself."
Role models are the
le who positively   influence   our
t'es   and   in-
Dividing bands
as   queer   or   straight ^
excludes bands that include
both queer and straight people
their membership.
"Do people consider my band to be a 'queer^
band' when I am the only queer person in
band?" asks Meeghan from the Vancouver hardcore bamf
Because her lyrics are out, loud and proud, and because Meeghan"
is involved in political activism, that may be the case. But she is quick
to point out, that all the members make the band what it is. She also
wants straight people, youth and everyone else out there to have a
chance to hear her message—not just the "queer band followers"—
whoever they may be.
Other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people may not be
comfortable being out on stage or in their lyrics. Should they be chas-
spire us to be more than we are, so that we
can become the people we truly want to be.
Growing up in small-town British
Columbia I had many wonderful role models: kind teachers, media figures, local
artists, etc. Unfortunately many of them
also told me, through their actions and attitudes, that gay behavior is unnatural and
unacceptable. I began to feel unworthy of
my dreams, as if I could not obtain them
because I was abnormal and inherently
Joe Average is not my role model
because he is gay, or that he has become
successful in spite of the fact he is HIV positive. I love his paintings, and I love his positive attitude toward life. He is one of my
role models because of the fact that he is a
great artist, living and working in Canada,
working passionately in spite of great
adversities. As a theatre student, I am
encouraged by each and every individual
that challenges themselves to earn a living
through their art. I would be lying, however, if I were to say that I didn't take great
satisfaction in the fact that he is an openly
gay man. The fact that his beauty and passion appear to grow daily is inspirational.
Perhaps the many voices saying that he
couldn't achieve great things because he
was different, are what ultimately inspired
him to achieve great things. Now his success inspires me.
I have come to believe in the power of
positive role models, and it is no small
coincidence that the majority of my own
role models are openly gay individuals. I
know without their stories of courage and
strength I wouldn't be the person I am
today. ♦
V • f I ised by the queer community?
£' \ (tempting to focus this article on local
I ui id-, was difficult. Only a small number of so-
ralled queer bands came to mind. These are the
bands like Puncture, Sparkmarker, and Kinnie Starr
are out publicly. Kinnie Starr, a lyricist/guitarist/artist
extraordinaire, recently discussed her bisexuality with the
Georgia Straight; not surprisingly, that was the information that
btiy graced the headline.
There are many more local artists who are queer, but is it fair to
out them in a publication? If you want to know who and where they
are, just remember queers are everywhere! Read zines like Outpunk
and Bamboo Girl, check out bands released on record labels like Kill
Rock Stars, Chainsaw and Candy-Ass Records, or listen to queer-positive shows like Queer FM, Meat-eating Vegan, Lady Deathstrike's
Lunchbox or Pink Kitty Power Hour on CiTR 101.9FM. There's more
to queer culture than kd lang! ♦
The Only Card Store.«
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732-0020,   j
Jb**a«l1 tub ^s*mcek
Create a T-shirt to represent your experience of violence.
T-shirt making drop in: Thursdays 9 to 4; Fridays 1 to 4.
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Groups - Winter 1997
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Tuesdays, resuming January 14 (drop-in)
12:30 - 1:30 PM, Room 207 Brock Hall
Assertiveness Training
Mondays, February 24, March 3 and March io
12:30 - 2:20 PM, Room 207 Brock Hall
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Thursdays, February 13 and 20 or March 13 and 20
2:00 - 4:00 PM, Room 204D Brock Hall
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(Open to staff as well as students)
Thursdays, February 6, 13 and 20
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Please preregister for these free groups -
call the Women Students' Office, 822-2415
or drop in to Room 203 Brock Hall. 2? UBC FilmSoc
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All Cases
Vision quests:
 by Stanley L. Tromp
"Strange country this, where males assume the dress
and perform the duties of females, while women
turn men and mate with their own sex!"
Edwin Thompson Denig, 1855
The berdache natives of North j\merica were
cross-dressing, cross-working - and usually homosexual - persons who were highly honoured in their various tribes. Because of their sexual ambiguity,
berdaches have been neglected by squeamish academics, but their achievements as religious leaders and
Some natives believed the
berdaches' ability to mediate
between the two sexes indicated
their power to mediate between
the physical and spirit worlds.
peace negotiators provide valuable insights on
Canadian native and colonial history.
In his landmark book on the subject, The Spirit
and the Flesh (1992), Walter Williams argues that
unlike Christian cultures, which tend to view gender
and moral issues in rigid black-and-white dichotomies, most native groups are far more tolerant of
gradients, seeing gender diversity as part of a continuum. On the whites' condemnation of gays, Cree
native M. Owlfeather writes (in an analogy to white vs
native forestry use), "We don't waste people, like
white society does. Everyone has their gift."
Native nations so respected the berdache because
only the Great Spirit could explain the mystery of this
androgyny, which they believed recovered the original unity of human beings. Some natives, in fact,
believed the berdaches' ability to mediate between
the two sexes indicated their power to mediate
between the physical and spirit worlds. Thus, when
Europeans tried to crush the berdache tradition,
ostensibly for sexual morality reasons, they also
caused incalculable spiritual weakening in the tribes.
The berdaches were initially mistaken for hermaphrodites by early explorers. The reality is far
more complex and elusive. The essential factors in
the berdache role are gender reversal and androgyny, not one's biological sex or homosexual activity.
"It is clear that gender was not primarily defined
by biology, but rather by the type of work done, and
there was not always a direct link between gender
and sexual activity," writes Canadian gay Marxist historian Gary Kinsman. "Furthermore, cross-dressing
and cross-working did not always signify same-gender sexual acts. Changing one's clothes and one's
work in the prevailing division of labour was enough
in some tribes to transfer one's gender."
The Christian suppression of native androgyny
per se is most unfortunate, for June Singer insists it
was a common experience to both groups. The
ancient Greeks worshipped the bisexual god
Dionysus, in which masculine and feminine oppo-
sites are united. Carl Jung contended that the Christ
figure is clearly androgynous throughout
medieval iconography. But when the
Hebrews penned the book of Genesis,
writes Singer, "they expunged all references to creation as the product of an
androgynous god-goddess."
The high status of the berdache was
partially a result of the equality of native
men and women, for unlike in white societies, "since women had high status, there
was no shame in taking on feniinine characteristics," writes Williams. Significantly,
the decline of native women's equality during the
white expansion of the late 19th century accompanied the fading of the berdache.
The forming of a berdache had similar patterns
among tribes. A pre-pubescent child would have
dream in which the female deity (the moon) or the
male deity (the sun) would summon the child to take
a berdache role. Or the parents would arrange a test,
laying a "masculine" item such as a bow or a "feminine" one such as knitting needles before the child;
whichever the child would chose would determine
his or her gender role, which was usually retained for
The functions of the male berdache described by
various observers include: shamans, weather predictors, seers, dream interpreters, prophets, warriors,
peace mediators, artists, dancers, singers, healers,
nurses, expert cooks and sewers, pottery and basket
makers, and guides and interpreters for white
traders (such as Henry and Thompson in B.C. in
The berdache's androgyny made him an ideal go-
between in marriage disputes, and a romantic
matchmaker among young people. As part of the
extended family, berdaches cared for children, and
also served as teachers due to their reputation for
higher intelligence.
Families regarded themselves as extremely fortunate to have a berdache with a vision quest, believing
—•   "*     	
Ph.D.   222-1286
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Service workers. Office,
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Rediscovering the berdache tradition in early Canada
this might bring them good luck and riches (an interesting
contrast to the atnitude of non-native parents when their
gay child comes out). Some tribes honored berdaches with
a yearly feast and dance, they were cited in myths, and their
wrath was dreaded. When they died, the tribe buried them
in a mixture of male and female clothes and mourned the
Female berdaches, of whom much less is known, were
famous as brave hunters and warriors. Explorers also
noted much lesbian behavior among non-berdache women.
In many tribes a woman instead of her husband was con-
writes Williams. "This spiritual justification means that
another person's interference might be seen as a dangerous intrusion into the supernatural."
Countless variations on the berdache role have been
noted around the world for centuries, in Asia, Africa,
ancient Greece and the Middle East Jesuit Father Jacques
Marquette was the first to note berdaches in Canada, in
1673. Not surprisingly, considering the explorer's social
backgrounds, the Europeans were not only shocked but stupefied as to why the natives treated berdaches as sacred.
French missionaries considered it paradoxical that the
DANCE TD THE BERDACHE. A drawing by George Catlin, 1866, from his Illustrations ofthe Manners, Customs and
Traditions of the North American Indians
sidered to have ownership of her body, and provided she
fulfilled her duty of bearing children, her sexual activity
was considered her private affair. "Individual inclinations
are usually seen as due to a direction from the spirits,"
berdaches (whom they called "Manitous") were, as they put
it, "honoured by debasing themselves" and "gioried in
demeaning themselves."
In the 19th century, vast numbers of settlers, farmers
and miners moved west in Canada, and the power of the
church ascended. The state enforced white sexual standards on natives (although more strictly in the United
States), outlawing native spiritual practices. Officials cited
tribal 'sexual perversity" as one excuse to move children to
Christian boarding schools, a tragic irony considering the
widespread sexual abuse there. Androgynous and potentially berdache boys were forced to act "masculine."
Tribes split into Christian and non-Christian factions,
and many tribes became embarrassed of the berdache tradition. The shame inculcated in berdaches, especially by
zealous missionaries, led some of them to commit suicide.
But the most effective pressure to reform came not so much
from the whites as from the converted natives, for the
berdache valued the latter's opinion more.
To continue in their roles, some merely put on men's
clothing while remaining berdache in every other way.
Others disguised themselves as women so carefully that
whites mistook them as women for many years.
A Kwakuitl chief in B.C. recalled what happened when
his berdache lover was investigated by the government in
the late 19th century: "The Indian agent wrote to Victoria,
telling the officials what she was doing [dressing as female].
She was taken to Victoria, and the policeman took her
clothes off and found she was a man, so they gave him a suit
of clothes and cut off his hair and sent him back home.
When I saw him-again, he was a man. He was no more my
The chief broke off his relationship with the berdache.
Yet even when whites knew about cross-dressing, the
Indians sometimes used ploys to fool them. For example, a
Catholic missionary near Vancouver in the 1840s wrote
that an Indian man ofthe Nisqually tribe "was disguised as
a woman for a long time past. For a man to disguise himself as a woman was not unusual among natives, who
claimed the ruse offered them greater safety in travel and
spy activity."
The suppression of native religious and sexual culture is
a little-known and fascinating chapter in the tragedy of
Canadian history. M. Owlfeather wrote that berdaches were
barely remembered by the tribes until recently, and then
were mainly recalled with scorn due to the influence of
Christianity. But in spite of these efforts, the berdache tradition still survives today, although modified, in many
Canadian tribes. ♦
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Fractured Gay Liberation
Movement needs Leadership
 by Michael R. Botnick
A growing rift between HIV-positive and HIV-negative
gay men could kill the gay liberation movement.
Disasters tend to create organisational solidarity,
but the AIDS crisis has operated in reverse, spawning
a variety of competitive .AIDS service organisations.
Seropositive gays have been alienated from the mainstream gay community, while seronegative gay men
have been disenfranchise as human and financial
resources are redirected toward persons living with
Seroatatus—whether one has tested positive or
negative for HIV—has effectively become a marker of
social status.
Seronegative gay men experience discrimination
from within the gay community as funding for and
services to this sector chminish. The seropositive
communily has culturally, economically and socially
dismissed many of the needs of seronegative gay
men in favour of providing social and resource-based
services to seropositive gay men.
As the disparities in service and advocacy
increase, so does the social distance between the gay
movement and the AIDS movement. If this trend continues, the social gap will serve further to push HIV-
positive and HIV-negative gay men into polarised
camps, resulting in a wider separation of the gay
movement and the AIDS movement
The result will be greater stigmatisation of HIV-
positive people, both within and outside the gay
movement, reversing the stigma of HIV such that to
be HIV-negative will be widely seen as a marker of
non-gay identity.
Chances of presenting a unified Gay Liberation
front will correspondingly diminish.
This can be avoided if the gay community re-establishes itself as one that helps itself, an idea that was
the hallmark of the earlier days of AIDS activism.
This will require, in part, a de-bureaucratisation of
AIDS service organisations, coalition building
between AIDS service organisations and gay liberation organisations, and an attitude shift by the whole
community regarding HIV status as a medical, rather
than a social phenomenon.
While numerous seropositive communities other
than gay men make up the whole of the HIV-positive
population, the virus has affected no single group
(with the possible exception of intravenous drug users)
more profoundly. Except gay men, no other HIV-positive population subgroup can be considered a significant component of an overall social movement.
So what the gay male community faces is the convergence of a medical phenomenon and a social
movement My concern is the ability of the social
movement to sustain itself in the face of a fractured
While scholars have written many articles on the
dynamics of race and gender in fragmenting the gay
and lesbian community, very little has been written
on the growing cleavage between HIV-positive and
HIV-negative gay men, and the impact of this disunity on the sustainability of a cohesive gay liberation
There are growing tensions in the gay community
and the HIV/AIDS community, especially with regard
to professional and personal reactions to the health
epidemic, individual responses to HIV and AIDS and
the notion of serostatus as a marker of identity.
Fears of contagion and intimacy have served to
fracture community solidarity, and social deviance has
become a social and psychological tool employed within and outside of the gay community to build barriers
that prohibit communication and coalition building.
Our community can go about rebuilding itself, but
not without a return to the grassroots model of service delivery we saw in the early 1980s.
Such a rebuild will also force the mainstream
communities to disassociate the gay community
from the AIDS community so that HIV/AIDS is repositioned as a medical phenomenon, rather than as a
social one.
The task of re-inventing AIDS as an epidemic
apart from the gay community—an equal opportunity disease if you will—is not easy. For many it is also
not desirable. But if the gay community expects to
"survive as a cultural and social entity, it is a necessary task.
We must take back that which we have lost: our
community. There is precious little time to waste.♦
The Challenge off Inclusion
 by Learme DmmhcHer
Dtjscxtmimation tovrai^
arid within the gay coraminrityi^
group (GLBUBC) have changed their names to The Centre and Pride UBC
respectively, emhradng the diversity within our community. This open-
minded action shows a more accepting attitude toward those who are not
The ongoing debate about who is eligible for inclusion in the homosexual community is disappointing. Although we have fought against
the heterosexual biases imposed on us, we, the 'discriminated
against*, oiscriminate against the 'others' among ourselves. Many of
us hold tightly to the images of strictly gay male and lesbian female,
echoing the binary setup of heterosexuality. Issues of race and class
compound the difficulties for the non-heterosexual non-white individual. It is easy for me to overlook issues of race and class as a white,
middle class woman. I hold a falsely acquired position of power in
relation to women of color and women living below my financial level.
Financial comfort allows one greater freedom to chaflengethe norm
with less fear of backlash. Mercedes Steedman, in "Who's on Top," says
that "our social class experiences as women shape the degree to which
we are free to act sexually.* To clearly understand the phght of the
"other" requires a full realization of one's own privileged position
When the greater homosexual communily rejects subgroups like
bisexual and transgendered individuals, we are engaging in the same
'childish* exclusionary tactics that the dominant heterosexual community use against us. As a homosexual, I have felt the sting, anger,
and hurt of oppressive rejection by the heterosexual community. Yet
that is what I see being done within our own commmunity.
Bisexuals may be one of the easiest targets for internal ddsmmina-
tion. The most common phrase that I hear for bisexuals is "fence-sitters." D. Bell in *Bi-sexuality. A place on the margins/ expresses a common stereotype of bisexuals, as "simply 'tourists', taking trips into 'gay'
subcultures, having our fun, then going home with a few snapshots and
some fond memories* This image angers many gays and lesbians who
take their sexuality seriously; but it should hold as much weight in our
community as the trite notion mat all lesbians are car mechanics.
Another 'gender-warncr* is the transgendered person. Where do
they belong in our community? There was even resistance within what
was GLBUBC to include the transgendered in our name. This maybe due
to the «tjgiTw attfwihftd to th$ trBiwgffndprad co*nTn»n'iy Wf. haw »t. r.hlig-
ation to accept people outside of our narrowfydefined "norm."
We have been the subjects of intolerance and should beware of con-
onuing the legacy. Hierarchies exMin every aspect of society, and the
homosexual community is no exception. We are handicapped by the
intolerance of others and of ourselves. For us to gain strength as a
community, we need to empower the djBflTifrTWK'rbiffftd among us and
ensure that all voices are heard. ♦
Wednesday- Federal f^
Thursday- Bwrgmjjg SSRST&ir cars?
Friday- Political Satires: A week in review.
or write: CHEK6 Television, 780 Kings Rd. viaon
fi£l AN
th* Basics1
at Travel CUTS/VoyaoM Campus
"by April isT IM?" "  an(j we'll throw in
Travel Insurance
• ISIC (International
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the Essentials'
• LET'S GO EUROPE book     •" K E t
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youth resort (Corfu, Greece)
the Student Travel experts
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Valid for dopartarti aftar Fabraary 3.1(97. prlpe
Too Unlimited
by Rebecca
I hate Monday mornings almost as much as having the pizza guy deliver the wrong pizza. However, come lunch, Monday takes on a special
brightness. From 12:30 to 1:30 a group of women get together to recaf-
finate and regroup for the week.
We are Unlimited II, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered women of
UBC. We are undergrads and grads from all faculties, as well as occasional visitors. I would like to say we have a format, an agenda or even
a dating service, but all we have is whatever the hour turns out to be:
mosuy laughter, occasional support, and, at other times, fervent discussion. This is a collection of excerpts from a few of our meetings. To
those who've joined in, I am sure you may remember differently—but
being the overworked student type with the mind of a sieve, this is the
best I can do.
Boys: Do you mind if we get something from the closet?
Boys enter closet and close the door behind them as to not intrude
on our meeting.
M: Gee, you guys have it all wrong. We are all trying to come out of
the closetl
T: So here we are at the dinner table; my Dad, who had been complaining about how hungry he is, is about to take a bite. My mom is in
mid chew. I decided to let the bomb drop. 'So, just so you guys know, I
have decided that I am a lesbian.' You should have heard the forks
drop. My Dad didn't eat a bite. As soon as he was able to pick up his jaw
off the table he tried to convince me I was wrong—it didn't work, but it
sure was a good try.
K: I think we should all go out again, but not bowling. I refuse to be
humiliated like that again.
B: What are you complaining about? I got the lowest score and fell
flat on my face, after the line.
T: Even though I have a boyfriend, I still consider myself queer. So it
is cool to come here and explore that part of myself.
P: Having the word "bisexual' on the poster really helps. I am writing a screenplay with characters of all orientations. Even though I mentioned to my friend that I was attracted to women as well as men I don't
think she believed me. Then I let her read the script. So she asked me
how I knew about all the queer culture—I reminded her I was bisexual.
She looked at me for a second, then started telling me about this love
she had with another woman back when she was in university. It's
weird how all those confessions come out once they know you're not
exactly straight.
K: I think we should talk about attraction to straight people.
M: Yeah, like when you see that really cute dyke and it turns out to be
a guy.
L: I think we should talk about relationships.
B: What kind of relationships? Family? Friends? Lovers?
L (with obvious discomfort): Well, like how to make that first move
when you see someone you like.
B: So, you want to talk about how to get a date. Hmmmm—is she
J: I finally decided not to cover up for my brother, not to hide, not to
make excuses like falling down the stairs. So I called the nurse back over
and told her what happened... It was the first tune. I am finally making
decisions for myself and doing what is right for me and not my family.
C: Way to go. I understand. My brother used to hit me. It's hard. I
know what you are going through, so if you want to talk after...
M: Do you think you can really tell if someone is queer walking down
the street?
K; You mean gaydar?
S: Not always, but I think you have a pretty good chance. It's like this:
you are in the supermarket and a cute girl walks by. You want her to
know you're gay, so you look at her in that *bey I'm a queer' way. Then,
if she is queer she will recognise it and shoot you back that look—see,
gaydar. However, it doesn't work if you are too tired, have a headache,
or are so madly in love that you forget there is anyone else out there.
S: What makes this lunch so nice is that you don't have to think about
who you are. You just talk—no double talk, no hiding. It's cool. ♦
Wtti W& have new faces every
a MMe brighter!
There's no feeling quite like your first set of wheels.
Visit your Chevrolet Geo Oldsmobile Dealer to find
out how to make a Chevy S10 pickup a reality.
The global queer legal year in review
British Columbia
British Columbia became one ofthe few jurisdictions m»
the world to openly allow same-sex couples to adopt chil:
dren last year. V
It did so in November 1996, when a new adoption .
law came into effect with the simple wording that one or
two individuals could adopt children.
With the change, BC surpassed Denmark, Sweden,
Norway and Iceland which, all have registered partnership laws but they do not allow same-sex couples to
adopt children.
Twenty years ago Anita Bryant campaigned in
Florida against gays with her Save Our Children cm- .
sade. Concerns with children have always been used to
rationalise bigotry against lesbians and gay men. Now
British Columbia has the legal framework in place to
protect lesbians and gay men and the children in their
What was the top queer
legal story of the last year?
-by Doug Sanders winner:
South Africa
■'   ...to®""
ovet  vs.„£P,%M^v^„r,o^°
as """l 0tAeteC
»h,- :ai^ZJuri;diZ>^
e^ai-^rftlera6l-    0^ond     *
Canada has added sexual orientation to the list of
prohibited grounds of discrimination in the
Canadian Human Rights Act. But that change
cime through the courts, not by legislation.
Justice Minister John Crosbie first promised to
amend the grounds for discrimination in 1986.
Every justice minister in the len
years since has repeated the
pledge,   but   no   government to date has dealt
with the issue.
Technically, an
amendment became
unnecessary in 1992
when the Ontario
Court of Appeal ruled
in the Haig case that
the Canadian Human
Rights Act had to be
interpreted and
applied by the courts as
if sexual orientation was
included.     Otherwise,  the
Court  ruled,   the  act  itself
would be discriminatory and in conflict
with the Canadian Charter or Rights and
But even with the Haig ruling backing
them up, federal politicians continued putting
off any legislative action. Extra Newspaper regularly ran the number of days since Minister of
Justice Allan Rock promised to introduce the
The Liberals did make the change in 1996, but
not the way they said they would. First, Prime
Minister Jean Chretien said the amendment
would be put off until after the next election, citing concerns from Liberal caucus members representing rural ridings.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission
blasted the government for its delay, and
Chretien*agreed to hold a free vote, something he
had promised not to do on this issue:'
In the Vriend case, Alberta Court of Appeal
rejected the logic of the Haig decision in Ontario
by deciding that homosexuals can be fired from
their jobs.
The lead judgment claimed homosexuality has
been condemned in all religious traditions at all
times. The appeal should be the next lesbian and
gay rights case to go before the Supreme Court of
Canada. ♦
„ Ta?aotv
purpose ot
a\ se*-    cC,*uate w    \vas ^eu
South Africa approved the first constitution in the world
to expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in 1996.
ttidid not come from white liberals, nor did it come
from foreign supporters.
It did corhe from the Freedom Charter ofthe African
National Congress, and stemmed from the work of
Simon Nkoli, an openly gay black man who was a key
fighter in the long struggle against aparthied.
The idea that lesbian and gay rights represents
some odd western decadence, an idea promoted by
leaders in Singapore, Malaysia, Zimbabwe and
Namibia, has had to face the reality that South Africa's
black liberation movement decided that ending discrimination meant ending all forms of discrimination.
It meant fighting racism, sexism and homophobia.
San Francisco
Roman   Catholic   Archbishop   William
Levada publicly proclaimed that he is not •,
anti-gay—could it have been a new San
Francisco law which pushed him to do
SO?     _ >,'•.. : ^ :K
Last November^, San Francisco
passed a law which requires companies lhat do business with,the city to-,
extend spousal benefits to same-sex
partners who had registered their
partnerships with the'city.
That   law   applies   to   Catholic
Charities operating in San Francisco
because they receive 40 percent of
their budget from the city. An AIDS hospice run by the Roman Catholic Church
had already extended benefits to same-sex
partners, but Archbishop Levada asked
Mayor Willie Brown for an exemption for the
Brown, who was photographed last year beaming with
brides and grooms at the inauguration of city-sanctioned
same-sex weddings, flatly refused. The Catholic Church
will allow all employees to name one person in their
household a's eligible to receive spousal-equivalent benefits, a solution that actually goes beyond the San Francisco
ordinance in recognizing relationships.
The law also caught United Airlines, which uses San
Francisco Airport as a major hub. i News stories have
reported that United currently provides benefits in
Australia, New Zealand and Canada. But United decided
last week not to extend those benefits in the US, at least not
But by the end of last week some compromises were
■being worked out. United Airlines will receive a three year
lease on its facilities, and if it brings its policies into line by
the end of the lease it will be eligible for a 2 5 year lease. ♦
A trial-level dedsioh'M'Ha^lvanilalt^epteniber legalising same^t
sex marriages has rockedihe^WS,'&Lpre than any other single les-
September 1996, malung'same-sex marriages legal*However,
^ until the appeals are completed)same-sex couples,-stul cannot
get married.   *" .,i^» ^ ,"
N Anti-gay forces are now pushing farji constitutional conven-
bian and gay issue this century. p*> "*" V  * *    "v;^\ »tion to amend the state constitution to resfrict'marriage to het-
Two years ago t&e^HawaiianJSupreme .Court ruled .that"the «**.erosexuals. In addition, many other States" are in the process of
denial of marriage to lesbians.and gay men was discrimination -.passing laws to ensure that Hawaiian same-sex marriages are
on the basis of sex. Almoughlit a^c^deav.de.at^n^.Sireclly'wilh ^.not-recognised in their jurisdictions. US President Bill Clinton
homosexuality, the Court decidedStms^sexual.fdiscrirnmation' „bas signed legislation so that the federal government will not
violated the Hawauan Statirconstttution.      **"»**'       , ..'-•* •r"«ss< recognise same-sex marriages.
. The.-case was sent back to the trial court to give^the'-state.- -" * Washington- State has also introduced a bill to recognize
^ov^rjUment a chance to show compelling statelnterest suffi- -same^sex'marriage, which has the support of both the past and
.cfieTit: to juslify^the discrimination. Hawaii lost that casVin"-  current Governors. ♦


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