Posts by Michelle Schwartz

  • In the Blog


    November 19th, 2015     by Sidney Drmay     Comments

    Gender can be a very complicated part of your identity. If you are transgender and you identify as a different gender than the one assigned at birth, you may find discomfort with how your gender presents based on your physical characteristics, this is often known as dysphoria. You can use different tools such as packers, breast forms or binders to explore your gender and alter your physical appearance to match your gender better. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Trans Visibility and the Census: Change Begins with Inclusion

    November 10th, 2015     by Danika McClure     Comments

    November is Transgender Awareness Month, which aims to help raise the visibility of the trans and gender non-conforming population. With recent increased visibility of celebrities like Laverne Cox and Caitlin Jenner, and numerous television shows featuring transgender characters, it’s all too easy to forget that until very recently, the transgender community was unfamiliar to most people in the cisgender population. This month, it’s time to change that. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Bill C-24 and the Ongoing Criminalization of Migrants in Canada

    October 30th, 2015     by Sula Sidnell-Greene     Comments

    On June 11, 2015 a set of changes to the Canadian Citizenship Act came in to effect under Bill C-24. Both the Liberals and NDP showed their opposition to the amendments last year but the Conservative party succeeded in pushing the bill through Parliament. The Conservative government labeled these amendments the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act. However, these changes further undermine the limited rights of migrants in Canada. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Gender and Deliberation

    October 29th, 2015     by Steph Hill     Comments

    Right now, Justin Trudeau and the rest of the newly elected Liberal Party are deciding who will be in the Cabinet. He has promised that one half of the members of that Cabinet will be women. Why does that matter? Symbolically, women are half the population and representing them in Parliament sends a message about who is important. Just as significant, the number of women in a group can change what decisions the group makes, and how it makes those decisions. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Two living female rock fans on The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic

    October 22nd, 2015     by Nyala Ali and Laura Friesen     Comments

    With roots as a ‘zinester in the Riot Grrrl scene of the early 1990s, Jessica Hopper is a longtime music critic and writer who often tackles her subject matter from a feminist viewpoint that has been sorely lacking in music criticism. The highlights of her career are collected in the tersely yet effectively named The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, published this May by Featherproof Books. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Displacement in Parkdale: Gentrification, Resistance and Change

    October 13th, 2015     by Sula Sidnell-Greene     Comments

    On Monday September 21st nearly a hundred community members gathered at Toronto’s Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC) to discuss gentrification-driven displacement. Parkdale residents spoke about their experiences with illegal evictions, unjust rent increases and the encroachment of developers. The Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT) hosted the community forum in an effort to address the issue of gentrification and the need for affordable housing and services. READ MORE

  • Youth Voices

    Kate Tempest: Brand New Ancient

    September 24th, 2015     by Anna Green     Comments

    I discovered Kate Tempest when my aunt, an English teacher, invited me to one of her performances in Brighton. I must admit, I went with slight trepidation, for, even as a poetry fan, I feared a night of boredom was in store for me. However, when Kate Tempest walked on stage, casually dressed, casually speaking, she performed a miracle. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    The Invisible Bi Woman

    September 11th, 2015     by Adriana Rolston     Comments

    You’ve probably heard that stereotype about bisexual people just being confused. Well I was confused for a long time. In high school it slowly began to dawn on me that I found certain women attractive, even though the heartthrob hall of fame on my bedroom wall told another story. It was filled with popular celebrities at the time like Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Toby Maguire. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    There is an Ocean in My Soul: On the Current State of Trans and Genderqueer Punk

    August 31st, 2015     by Laura Friesen     Comments

    Chances are you’re familiar with Against Me! or Laura Jane Grace. The punk band and their frontwoman have been around for a while and have been gaining exposure in queer and trans communities due to Grace’s activism and status as a role model. But Against Me! are far from the only punk band talking about transgender and genderqueer topics and inspiring listeners to listen to their gender nonconformist hearts. Inspired by my love for their album Transgender Dysphoria Blues and attending a recent Against Me! gig, I went searching for more voices and found angry, political rock music that tells individual stories of gender rejection as unique as the people playing it. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Q & A with Sabrina Ramnanan

    June 30th, 2015     by Marta Balcewicz     Comments

    Toronto writer Sabrina Ramnanan’s debut novel, Nothing Like Love (Random House), follows a cast of Trinidadian villagers through one summer month filled with hijinks and humour. The novel’s protagonist, an eighteen-year-old girl named Vimla, unwittingly finds herself at the centre of attention after being caught frolicking in the mangrove trees with Krishna, the village pundit’s son. Scandal ensues, and, in the process of dealing with the shame-mongers and a broken heart, Vimla ends up discovering what it is she actually wants. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Girl in a Band: Kim Gordon and Memories Recalled

    April 13th, 2015     by Marta Balcewicz     Comments

    Last month, Kim Gordon, singer, bassist, and guitarist in Sonic Youth, as well as artist, writer, and actor, released Girl in a Band: A Memoir. Girl in a Band is definitely not a Sonic Youth biography. It hardly requires readers to be familiar with the band’s music, and is definitely not a fans-only read. With the recent resurgence of interest in the 90s music scene (cemented when Nirvana t-shirts went on sale at Top Shop), Girl in a Band will certainly be of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about one of its most important—and, if I haven’t stressed this enough, coolest—figures. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Do-It-Yourself Smut: Writing the Erotic

    April 9th, 2015     by Danielle Gehl     Comments

    A couple years ago, I ran a workshop called “Writing Our Desires: DIY Literotica.” I was thrilled and happily scandalized by the way folks threw themselves into the discussion and activities, calling out sexy words and body parts and constructing scenarios and storylines that made other participants go “Oooh.” The workshop confirmed my suspicion that lots of us want to write smut and will gladly do so when given the time and space. Erotic writing can take the form of fiction, journaling, songs, poems, love letters, sexts and more. If you can write simple sentences, you can write erotica. I dare you to try. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Four Things Never to Say to (this) Chronically Ill Friend

    March 30th, 2015     by Denise Reich     Comments

    Since autumn, I’ve been home with a serious viral illness. There’s a lot I could write about my experience: the endless battles with my HMO for appropriate care; how much I’m really envying citizens of countries with universal health care; the indifferent doctors; my fears about my condition. Fortunately, many friends and family members have been very supportive of me. Unfortunately, not everyone has been helpful. It’s led me to compile this list of the top four things they’ve said to completely piss me off. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    What is love? A Collection of Love Stories as seen through the eyes of Toronto’s Artistic Community

    February 12th, 2015     by Romi Cameron     Comments

    As February begins and the time for valentines and love letters nears, the desire to express your feelings might quickly blossom alongside a feeling of anxiety over what will happen once the love you feel has been thrown out into the world. This conversation between desire and anxiety is the inspiration for a new zine entitled A Finger Traced My Left Nipple; I Thought that it was Love. Produced by Toronto writer and poet Amanda Norsworthy, the new zine will introduce readers to a wide range of female and queer artists from Toronto. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Fat Girl at the 5K: Five truths for runners and walkers of size

    January 22nd, 2015     by Denise Reich     Comments

    Running and racewalking are more inclusive for fat participants than many other sports, at least on some level. While many folks choose to turn races into social events and run with their friends, for many others, it’s a very solitary pursuit. The other runners aren’t really particularly concerned about you or what you look like, because they’re focused on their own game. However, as in just about everything, sizeism does creep into running culture in major ways. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    “Education is the passport to the future”: On Mental Health, Privilege and Access in Academia

    January 20th, 2015     by Nadia Siu Van     Comments

    Is the treatment of mental health in academia a serious structural issue rather than an anecdotal one? And if so, why is no one discussing it? READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Of Earthlings and Aliens, Part 2: An interview with author Aisha Franz

    December 18th, 2014     by Shannon D’Arcy     Comments

    Shannon D’Arcy interviews author Aisha Franz about her work and her new graphic novel, Earthling. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Swinging on a Vine: DIY Filmmaking

    December 16th, 2014     by Colleen Zimmerman     Comments

    Movie making has never been easier. Exercise your creative muscle with Vine, the no pressure movie making app. With only six-seconds at your disposal, you can shoot from the hip or plan out the process. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    None of the Boys: Female Identity in STEM

    December 2nd, 2014     by Julia Nguyen     Comments

    There is a huge push to get more girls and women involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. From problem-solving construction toys designed for girls, to organizations around the world empowering women to code, women are bringing new perspectives to a male-dominated field. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Of Earthlings and Aliens: Author Aisha Franz discusses her new graphic novel

    November 25th, 2014     by Shannon D’Arcy     Comments

    Earthling, the new graphic novel from Aisha Franz, chronicles a 24-hour period in the lives of three women from a single family: two siblings and their single mother. Each struggles with challenges unique to their particular stages in life - puberty, finding a peer group, regret. The narrative is brought along by the youngest daughter who, at the beginning of the book, befriends a wayward alien. Through interactions and observations of this new friendship, we are given a window into the lives of the other women. READ MORE

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