Friday, 11 April 2014

ayahkwêw through time + worldwide

Laura Jane Grace on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight 
(full details below)

more about Laura Jane Grace & Against Me! on this blog,

more about gender identity on this blog


Language, culture, and Two-Spirit identity.

  • napêw iskwêwisêhot (nu-PAYO ihs-gwayo-WIH-say-hoht), a man who dresses as a woman
  • iskwêw ka napêwayat (ihs-GWAYO ga nu-PAYO-wuh-yut), a woman dressed as a man 
  • ayahkwêw (U-yuh-gwayo), a man dressed/living/accepted as a woman.  I can see the ‘woman’ part of this word, but I am confused about the possible meaning of the rest of the word.  Some have suggested this word can actually be used as a ‘third’ gender of sorts, applied to women and men.
  • înahpîkasoht (ee-nuh-PEE-gu-soot), a woman dressed/living/accepted as a man. (also translated as someone who fights everyone to prove they are the toughest?  Interesting!)
  • iskwêhkân (IS-gwayh-gahn), literally ‘fake woman’, but without negative connotations.
  • napêhkân (NU-payh-gahn) literally ‘fake man’, but without negative connotations.
Read the full essay,
source for images & excerpt

Posters originally published by The Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN), an organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada.


Nepal's 'third gender'

The country is a pioneer in rights for 

gender and sexual minorities, but many 

continue to face marginalisation. 

(excerpt from original published on

Al Jazeera website)

Last updated: 12 Mar 2014

"Last year, Nepal became one of the world's few countries to officially recognise a third gender in citizenship documents, following a 2007 Supreme Court decision. The small nation wedged between China and India has been providing more rights to gender and sexual minorities ever since.

"The legal benchmark established self-determination as the sole criterion to identify one's gender. But only a handful of people have so far been given a citizenship card with the new identity. Nepalese local and district administrations still request proof to certify one's gender, while the central government only issues citizenship cards with the third category to new applicants.

"We have challenged district and local governments to the court again so that they don't put obstacles to this law," explained Asia's first openly gay federal-level politician Sunil Babu Pant, who took the Nepalese government to court in 2007. The Supreme Court decision urged the government not only to include a third category in citizenship cards, but also to scrap all discriminatory laws against sexual minorities and to form a committee to study same-sex marriage.

Nepal's advance towards legal recognition of sexual and gender minorities has been cheered by the international community, becoming a model in the region. However, the current interim government still has to draft an inclusive constitution for more than 100 different ethnic and social minorities.

Read the full article (source of image and excerpt)

About the image: Bishwa is one of the few transgender Nepalis given an ID with the new, 'other' category [Angel L Martinez/Al Jazeera]


Rae Spoon and Ivan Coyote question ‘the order of things’

On the road and in print, performer duo breaks out of gender binary strictures

More about the book & show: 

Gender Failure

 Mistaken Identity: Sheila Gilhooly on this blog


Sri Ramacandra 
Benefactor of the Third Sex

"Sri Ramacandra is one of the most popular incarnations of Vishnu, especially in South India.  He appeared on earth during the Treta Yuga and His pastimes are vividly described in the epic, Ramayana.  There are hundreds of versions of the Ramayana, both written and oral, that are read and recited all over India.  

One narrative especially popular among the ali (a third-sex group of South India) is recited as follows: Ramacandra’s father, Maharaja Dasaratha, was forced to exile his beloved son to the forest for fourteen years.  As the young prince left to fulfill the order of His father, the bereaved citizens of the kingdom followed Rama to the edge of the forest.  At this point Ramacandra turned around and said, “Dear ladies and gentlemen, please stop your crying now and return to your homes without Me.”  The citizens obeyed the command but those who were neither men nor women—the third sex—did not know what to do.  They decided to remain in that place for the entire fourteen years, meditating on Rama, and when the Lord returned He was very pleased and gave them all His blessings."

Read more about Sri Ramacandra and other deities and protectors,
source of image and excerpt:


Laura Jane Grace on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight: 

FULL Interview Published on Apr 10, 2014

Laura Jane Grace, the trangender lead singer for rock band Against Me!, was in the red chair to talk about the band's new album Transgender Dysphoria Blues.

George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 pm on CBC Television


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My thanks to Lila Campbell for sending me the interview, 
and to Kagan Goh for the new book alert!

Monday, 31 March 2014

AKA Annharte + Open Text @ Gallery Gachet ~ April 3

CUE Books Launch April 3rd 7pm @ Gallery Gachet

Readings by Annharte, Phinder Dulai, Cecily Nicholson, Mercedes Eng, Danielle LaFrance, Donato Mancini, and more!

Join us for the launch of two titles,
and + 
the third and final volume of the
 Open Text anthology series, featuring poetics by
Annharte, Cecily Nicholson, Mercedes Eng, DonatoMancini, Stephen Collis, Roger Farr (also the editor), Larissa Lai, Danielle LaFrance, Rita Wong, Wayde Compton,George Bowering, Ken Belford, Phinder Dulai, Roy Miki, Fred Wah, Jeff Derksen, Louis Cabri, and Erin Moure.

AKA Inendagosekwe
is a collection of new and selected interviews, cultural criticism, and poetics by Anishinabe Nation writer Annharte (aka "Marie Baker"). A Co-founder of the Regina Aboriginal Writers Group, Annharte is the author of several books, including Being on the Moon (Polestar, 1990), Coyote Columbus Cafe (Moonprint, 1994), Exercises in Lip Pointing (New Star, 2003), and Indigena Awry. In this substantial book, Annharte takes on colonialism, disability, identity, aging, and issues in indigenous politics and language. A substantial critical introduction by poet and scholar Reg Johanson will locate Baker’s work within the context of current debates in First Nations literature in Canada, and the politics of decolonization.

Open Text: Canadian Poetry and Poetics in the 21st Century (Vol. 3)
is a collection of poetics statements, interviews, and critical writing by many of the poets who appeared the first two volumes, conlcudes the Open Text series. Contributors include George Bowering, Donato Mancini, Wayde Compton, Cecily Nicholson, Larissa Lai, Rita Wong, Ken Belford, Marie Annharte Baker, Erin Moure, Danielle LaFrance, Phinder Dulai, Mercedes Eng, Roy Miki, Fred Wah, Stephen Collis, Louis Cabri, Jeff Derksen, Roger Farr, and Reg Johanson.

AKA Inendagosekwe, by Annharte

Edited & Critical Introduction by Reg Johanson

2013 | ISBN 978-0-9879052-1-5 | $25

A collection of new and selected, interviews, cultural criticism, and poetics by Anishinabe Nation writer Annharte (aka "Marie Baker"). A Co-founder of the Regina Aboriginal Writers Group, Annharte is the author of several books, including Being on the Moon (Polestar, 1990), Coyote Columbus Cafe (Moonprint, 1994), Blueberry Canoe(New Star, 2001), and Exercises in Lip Pointing (New Star, 2003). In this substantial book, Baker takes on colonialism, disability, identity, aging, and issues in indigenous politics and language. A substantial critical introduction by poet and scholar Reg Johanson will locate Baker’s work within the context of current debates in First Nations literature in Canada, and the politics of decolonization.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

IWD 2014 ~ Gratitude for Midwives

Today, and everyday, I honour and acknowledge the women who have been midwife to my family, protective spirits, teachers and guides:

Esther Ohajekwe-Aneke

Camille Bush

Gloria Lemay 

Mary Sullivan


A magazine article about The Farm inspired my teen-age self



The enduring thread along the path to my consciousness as a midwife and as an academic is my commitment to serve women across birth settings and across cultures. My passions and convictions are met and nurtured especially through planned home birth, where I believe it is most possible to support a woman’s self-realization, and a peaceful transition for a growing family.

 Saraswathi Vedam

Birth & Beyond (source for quote)

Giving birth to regulations, licensing for midwifery will take time, Sullivan says Feb 2014

Thursday, 6 March 2014

song in my heart

no doubt this is one of those videos that will be promptly wiped away under contention, however, the song has been in mind for a number of days, and JJ's version wasn't quite hitting the mark.

Erma Franklin:
Erma Franklin-Piece On My Heart
Erma Franklin

This one may linger: 1999
Erma Franklin - I Get The Sweetest Feeling