Such a waste

Last week the Toronto trans community lost a shining light. Trans activist Julie Berman was murdered by a man who, according to news reports, was not known in the LGBTQ community. Toronto Police Service have changed him with second degree murder. His name is available in news reports, but I will not use it here, for I don’t think he deserves any notoriety. Autopsy results revealed the cause of death was blunt force trauma. Police have not so far suggested any motive, so unless it comes out at his trial, we may never know whether that Julie was trans had any bearing on her death.

It is only within the past year I’ve become involved with trans issues and did not know Julie, partly because I don’t live in Toronto. Interviews with people who knew her show that she was extremely active in the fight against transphobia and now that voice has been silenced. Even though I didn’t know her personally, I feel her loss. She was a sister in the broadest sense of the word and as with any extended family, the loss of one is a loss for all.

I noticed one encouraging sign in the media coverage of this terribly sad event. Whether it be radio, television, online or print, not once was Julie misgendered. While it is to be expected that those from the community who were interviewed would identify her correctly, the media also did so. From my readings I know this is not always done in American reports, so I wonder if this is one more example of the differences between Canadian and American reporting.

The trans community in Toronto and beyond has had a powerful voice taken from us and it is up to us to see that her work continues.


It isn’t meant as news

Once again I have been taken to task for apparent bias in my postings.  As I wrote in “Bring him to justice – my perspective”, I had no idea my postings would become the only source of information on the search for George Flowers.  Now since I also know people who dated this man, I do have an interest in seeing him caught and yes, I am not presenting a balanced view.

Blogs are opinion pieces.  They are slices of life from the writer.  They are how-to manuals in some cases.  What they are not is hard news.  You are getting the writer’s opinion or viewpoint on a topic, be that pro or con.  Be that something as light as whether white kittens are cuter than black kittens, or something potentially controversial, you are reading the writer’s personal view on the topic.  (On the kitten question – my cat is grey, so leave me out of that one please.)

If you want indepth, unbiased news coverage, go to one of the news sites or tune in to one of the newschannels on television.  Just keep in mind that most media outlets have their own biases, especially when it comes to political issues.  But once you’ve found a news site that agrees with your personal bias, then you go to the blog sites to see what other people, with differing views, think of that particular issue. Or would you rather not be subjected to opposing views?

If you want a comparison, think of newspapers (you do remember newspapers, don’t you?).  Newspapers have reporters, those whose mantra is, or should be, that of Joe Friday from “Dragnet” – “just the facts, ma’am”; and they have columnists. Columnists are the print media version of bloggers – they express their opinions on the (unbiased) stories the reporters write.  Now, when you’re reading a newspaper columnist, you are aware it is the writer’s opinion, so why should you view someone’s personal blog any differently?

To those who would chastise me for not writing to their approval – if you don’t like what I say, don’t read it.  To my followers and intelligent readers, thank you.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.