Saw Marci McDonald speak last night; should’ve read her book first

It’s called The Armageddon Factor: the Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada. A revised paperback edition is coming out later this year with some updates, some of which I think she touched on last night. I think I’ll get myself a copy when it comes out.

Marci’s the keynote speaker for Saskatoon’s 14th annual Breaking the Silence On Issues in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity conference. She’ll be discussing other things regarding her political journalism in a session at the university today, but there are several running at the same time and I’m at a loss for deciding which ones I should sit in on. They’re running two sessions over the afternoon with a choice of 4 talks in each one.

A few sound like they’re geared mostly toward educators, counselors and others who might work with youth. For the ones that interest me, one’s called “Giving Voice to the Trans Community: A Saskatchewan Perspective” which will deal with trans people and their thoughts about the DSM-IV and revisions to the section on Gender Identity Disorder. The other is “Three Different Stories About How It Got Better: Opening a Conversation” where people who’ve dealt with social and personal challenges are willing to talk about those experiences.

In the second session there’s a talk called “Que(e)r(y)ing the Image of God” which gets my vote for most likely to pique my interest. According to my weekend itinerary the talk

“challenges the foundation for the male/female binary which undergirds cumpulsory heterosexuality, the foundation of heterosexism. The queering and querying of the traditional interpretations of traditional myths destabilizes heterosexual hegemony and offers an image of God which is inclusive of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transexuals, and intersexed persons.”

There’s also one about human rights that would be good blog fodder, though, as might “The Hetero-Patriarchal Gaze: A Capitalist Story” which will focus the straight white men that dominate media and corporations. No doubt I’ll find myself wishing I had a time turning device so I could repeat the same hour three times and hear all of them.

I’ll write up a synopsis of the day when I’m done it, I guess. Things kick off at 8:30 am and I see there are three talks filling the morning – one about a couple people exiled from church, another from the police about bias and hate crimes, and something called “Good News: Hope We Can Believe In” which will get us to lunch.

It should be good and informative.

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