Single Ladies w New Jersey

Better Know the Ones Left Off the Ballot #6: Willie Bloomquist

2020.11.28 05:32 liljakeyplzandthnx Better Know the Ones Left Off the Ballot #6: Willie Bloomquist

Hey everybody! Boy these have been coming out quick. I'm probably not going to do another one for a week or so, so you'll have to find something else to do that isn't reading about baseball players everybody forgot. Anyway, to today's episode! You can catch up at the bottom if you want to.

Willie Bloomquist

Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor: 0 Career bWAR (14 years): 1.7 Stats: .269/.316/.342, 778 H, 18 HR, 151 XBH, 78 OPS+, 133 SB, 225 RBI, 398 R League Leading Stats: None Awards: None Teams Played For: Mariners (2002-08, 2014-15), Royals (2009-10), Reds (2010), Diamondbacks (2011-13)
According to Baseball-Reference Willie Bloomquist is nicknamed "Spork." In my assessment, I don't think he could have a better nickname. It completely encapsulates the essence of his 14 years as a baseball player. A spork is a combination of two things that is never the best fit for the job, but does the best it can whenever it gets the chance. It's also a great thing to keep in your drawer, because you never know when a situation will call for it. That's what Willie Bloomquist was. Never the best, but competent enough to never get thrown away. And, just like the spork, Bloomquist achieved a sort of notoriety for his "ability." Notoriety that kept him around the league long enough to qualify for the ballot while at the same time having no chance of making an appearance on it. Given that description it should come as no surprise that the majority of his career was spent as a Seattle Mariner.
Like so many of the people in the MLB, Willie Bloomquist was a multi-sport phenom in high school. At South Kitsap High in Port Orchard, Washington, Bloomquist was quarterback of the state football championship team his junior year. The next summer, he got drafted in the eighth round of the 1996 MLB Draft by the team that played only 13 miles from his alma mater. After turning them down to play at Arizona State, Bloomquist improved his draft capital by quite a bit. He hit .394 over his three years as a Sun Devil, and got named the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1999, immortalizing his name next to greats like Mark McGwire and John Olerud. The Mariners drafted him again the same year he won the award, this time in the 3rd round, and gave him a nice signing bonus of 425,000 reasons to start playing in their system. He accepted this time and finished that year in A- hitting .287/.366/.410. Solid B+ for his first time in the minors. The next year saw him get a couple more questions right to make it to the A-plus level of play, where he turned in a batting grade of the same, hitting .379/.456/.523 with 97 hits in just 64 games. It was only 64 because Seattle moved him up midseason to AAA, where he turned in a batting line of .225/.249/.277. C-, you can do better. It should be noted that that was as a 22-year-old in AAA, so not awful all things considered, but far from ideal. He'd spend the next season in AA, where his batting line of .255/.294/.310 gets a C+ from me but as primarily a shortstop or second baseman, a C+ hitter is still a passing grade. As a result, he got promoted right back to the Tacoma Rainiers in AAA, and in 104 games, studied hard to bring his bat up to .270/.331/.383, including a career high 6 homers. That gets a B from me. In addition, Bloomquist earned some extra credit that season by showing that he could play pretty much anywhere he was needed. While the previous teams had slotted him almost exclusively at second or short, the Rainiers saw fit to put Bloomquist in left field for 29 games, right field for 11, and at third for 25, despite never having played those in the minors before. All that extra credit must have paid off, because late in the season, Willie Bloomquist got a call telling him he'd passed the test. On September 1st, he suited up for the Seattle Mariners.
The first appearance of Bloomquist's career came at Safeco Field, in the bottom of the 8th inning of a 9-4 game, against the Kansas City Royals. DH Edgar Martinez had just walked, and Bloomquist came out as the 24-year-old Designated Runner for the 39-year-old Designated Hitter. Then Mike Cameron struck out on six pitches, and following a scoreless 9th inning, Bloomquist's first game as a Major League Baseball player was in the books. After a couple more instances of pinch-running and defensive replacing, the Spork started his first game on September 19th in left field against the Texas Rangers. Given that Seattle was in a serious playoff race, he was expected to show up. While he didn't let anything by him in left, after going 0-for-2 with a pair of walks, Bloomquist was relieved for a pinch-hitter. His next game came three days later, with the playoff race all but decided in favor of the other two fantastic teams in the division. One of those teams, the Anaheim Angels, was the opponent in the next game that the Spork got pulled out of the drawer for. In order to remain alive in the playoff hunt, the Mariners had to win this game. So they called upon Willie Bloomquist. In his first plate appearance, Bloomquist doubled for his first hit as a Mariner. As a bonus he also drove in the on-base Ichiro to put the Mariners up 1-0. In his second at-bat, he singled, though would eventually fall victim to an inning-ending double play to leave the score tied 1-1. In his third, he doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and was sacrificed home by fellow Pac-10 POTY John Olerud to make the score 2-1. In his fourth, he singled, plating Dan Wilson to make the lead 3-1. In the top of the 8th, following a double switch, Bloomquist moved from second to left field. The Angels scored one run with two outs that same frame, Jeff Nelson struck out Troy Glaus, it all hinged on the last three outs. In the top of the ninth, when Adam Kennedy stepped up to the plate following a strikeout and a flyout, the Mariners only had one more guy out and they'd stay alive in the playoff race. Kennedy swung, the ball popped into left, and Bloomquist closed his glove on it to end the game 3-2 and keep Seattle's postseason hopes alive. Willie had batted in 2 of those runs, scored the third, and caught the final out. It was not a stretch to say he was the sole reason the Mariners could reach the playoffs. Sadly, the Angels would go on to win enough games to disallow Seattle from the Wild Card spot, and even won the World Series that year. But for one day, they were held at bay by one 24-year-old playing in his sixth Major League game.
Bloomquist went 11-for-25 to end the year with 0.7 WAR in just 12 games played. Poised for greatness, right? Heh heh, not really. The next season saw him enter 89 games, getting 49 hits, 10 for extra-bases, including his first ever home run. .250/.317/.321 is nothing to write home about, but given that its possessor spent time at every position in the field except center field, pitcher, and catcher, it was forgiven. Especially for the 0.4 dWAR he put up. This Spork was looking a lot more like a Swiss Army Knife. Bloomquist would spend the next five years being exactly whatever the Mariners needed. He even spent a number of games as the Designated Hitter, though given his .259/.316/.316 line and OPS+ of 70 over that time span, those might have been done as a prank. In his 523 games as a Mariner between 2003 and 2008, Bloomquist accrued all of 58 extra-base hits, a number about which Mariners fans couldn't care less. While he was never the best at any of the positions he played, he played them well enough to endear himself to the Pacific Northwest. Bloomquist consistently got louder cheers when he came up to bat than power hitter and much bigger name Richie Sexson, despite the Spork's pedestrian hitting and good-not-great fielding. Then again, can we really expect anything different from Seattle? He also garnered a reputation as the Spork with the Spark when it came to clubhouse morale. Even as his team went from 93-69 to 63-99 to 88-74 to 61-101, Bloomquist remained a constant in the locker room. He did that while topping out at a .662 OPS. If that doesn't scream Seattle Mariner I don't know what does. And then, following the conclusion of that previously mentioned 101-loss year in 2008, the Mariners' new GM Jack Zduriencik saw no reason to keep a seeming liability like Bloomquist on the roster. Following his age-30 season, one where a singular double was his only extra-base hit the entire year, the Spork would have to find a new kitchen.
Given his uniquely carved position on the Mariners, "where else could Willie Bloomquist play" was a legitimate question. It was answered when, that January, the Kansas City Royals signed him to a $3.1 million deal over two years. The 2009 Royals are probably best remembered for being witnesses to the newly unleashed greatness of Zack Greinke, but more importantly, they saw Willie Bloomquist set a career high as he took the field in 125 games. They also had 97 losses but we don't have to talk about that. The Spork set some other career highs this season as well. 4 home runs, 29 RBIs, 25 stolen bases, 154 totals bases, and 52 runs scored were all the best he had done, thanks in large part to everyone else on the team doing very poorly and needing to be replaced by him. Bloomquist spent over 20 games in center, in right, and at shortstop. That all led to another career high, though it wasn't one he would've enjoyed. After committing 34 errors in his whole career up to that point, Willie Bloomquist surrendered a personal worst 12 whoopsy-daisies in 2009 alone. Turned out to be a contributing factor to his -1.2 dWAR that year. In his second year, a 2010 season that saw Yuniesky Betancourt start 151 games at shortstop, the Royals actually improved. They only lost 95 games this time. Bloomquist took the field in a KC jersey for 72 contests, and put up his best OPS up to that point. Yes, it was .684, but let's focus on the positives here. Perhaps the Royals were focusing on that too, because on August 25th of that year, in a game versus the Detroit Tigers, third baseman Willie Bloomquist batted third in the Kansas City lineup. A man who had never had an OPS over .700 over a full season at the Major League level was batting cleanup. That shows what the team had come to. The game went to extras, because why wouldn't it, and in the top of the 12th, as if the game wasn't crazy enough, Willie "18 career home runs" Bloomquist put one in the seats. The game would end with a score of 4-3, and that winning run, ladies and gentlemen, was achieved via a home run by the power-hitting third-in-the-lineup William P. Bloomquist. Sadly, it would be one of his last games as a Royal, because only three weeks later, Kansas City allowed him to be purchased by the Cincinnati Reds, and after 11 games of 5 singles and defensive replacing, Bloomquist was left off the playoff roster, and walked in free agency a month later. The $3.1 million the Kansas City Royals paid for the Spork returned them -1.4 bWAR over his tenure in blue and white. After two seasons like that, who would be willing to eat with such a utensil?
An Arizona Diamondbacks team that just lost 97 games had nothing to lose when they picked up Willie Bloomquist on a one-year $900,000 deal. They didn't have a very deep bench, and after learning what he could do, Bloomquist seemed like he'd fit right in. But then again, this wasn't exactly the most expectations-heavy situation. Nobody was predicting the Snakes to do anything except maybe just miss losing 100 games, so the best they could hope for was a middling season. You know, the more I learn about the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks, the more they resemble an island of misfit toys that just so happened to win 94 games. Because oh by the way they won 94 games and the division that year, defying everyone's expectations and finishing above the defending champion San Francisco Giants. Willie Bloomquist actually contributed in a much more tangible way, because on July 20th, starting shortstop Stephen Drew fractured his ankle, and missed the rest of the season. Given his skillset, Bloomquist seemed like the perfect puzzle piece to slide in and perform in Drew's place. And perform he did, allowing just five errors in 57 games started to finish the year at the top of the division. For the first time in his career, Willie Bloomquist was going to the playoffs. The Spork performed admirably, going 7-for-22 in the Division Series against the Brewers, and even stealing 3 bases for the Dbacks, before a do-or-die game 5. Top of the 9th, No outs, runners at the corners, Arizona down 2-1 to Milwaukee, and who should come up to bat but a kitchen utensil. Bloomquist's suicide squeeze bunt would score the tying run, sending the game to extra innings. It wouldn't be enough, sadly, as Nyjer Morgan plated the game winning run in the 10th, ending the Diamondbacks' playoff run, but for a moment, Willie Bloomquist was a playoff hero. Presumably his value was seen by the people in Arizona's front office, because they kept him on with a new 2-year $3.8 million contract, the most valuable one he had ever signed. And then, somehow, in his age-34-and-35 seasons, Willie Bloomquist put up the best offensive numbers of his career. Over the next two years, as he settled into his platoon shortstop role, The Spork ate very well, hitting .307/.336/.389, good for a 96 OPS+. His previous best OPS+ was 85. Whatever hitting coach Don Baylor told him, it worked. And Bloomquist should be thankful, because age was beginning to catch up to him. -0.9 dWAR combined between the two seasons meant he was very close to being a below-replacement-level player had it not been for his hitting. It also didn't help that he only got into 48 games his last season, which wasn't enough for the Dbacks to justify another contract. And so, for the third time, Bloomquist was headed for free agency, where he would reunite with an old friend.
The Mariners' first pickup of the 2013-14 offseason was a former fan favorite, who had beholden himself to the city with his versatility in the field that made up for his poor hitting numbers. The player they signed, however, couldn't have been further from the player they had let walk. This Willie Bloomquist, while still fondly remembered, was a far cry from the Willie Bloomquist that had played over 500 games for them in the mid-2000s. God only knows how he managed a 2-year, $5.8 million contract. Maybe his agent Scott Boras had something to do with- ooooooh I think I figured it out. Despite his advanced age, the Mariners still used Bloomquist the way they had always used him: however they wanted. His two years and 82 games in green saw him once again play every position except center field, pitcher, and catcher. Without a hitting coach named Don Baylor, Bloomquist returned to his pedestrian numbers, hitting .238/.262/.287, which was good for a 58 OPS+. Mariners teammates and fans didn't seem to care. They loved him all the same, and when he announced his retirement the January after his release from the team, it was met with nothing but positivity and happiness for him. The spork may have eaten its last meal, but man did it taste good.
Willie Bloomquist's career could not have started and ended in a more appropriate place than Seattle. Nobody else would have used him as much as they did, in as many ways as they did, and in such a way that endeared him to the fans so wholesomely as they did. His story may have taken him other places, but the heart and soul of it was always within the fences of Safeco Field. Okay he probably has some fans elsewhere, and he definitely did contribute to the Diamondbacks' success while he was there, but there's no way he would have gone there and done what he did if he hadn't first spent time as a Mariner. It's also his birthday today! Happy 43rd Willie!
Bloomquist would visit the Hall in a Diamondbacks hat for his three years and ha ha ha just kidding of course he goes in an M's cap.
Hey look more baseball players no one remembers who wants to read about stuff like that
#1: Randy Choate #2: Kevin Gregg #3: Dan Uggla #4: Josh Hamilton #5: Delmon Young
submitted by liljakeyplzandthnx to baseball [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 00:29 xtinamaniac Episode 2 - "Fracking 9 To 5: The Rusical" [POLL]

Episode 2 -
The queens return to the werkroom after RepresentativeWin91's elimination.
"That was so hard," says ShaankZ, wiping off her lipstick message.
🏁 ShaankZ I am shook the fuck up, the last thing I wanted was to be in the bottom in the first episode. Urgh.
"Don't let it get to your head girl. We saw what happened with queens on Season One who let the competition affect them!" says thesharialaw.
"Yeah you're right," says ShaankZ.
"Congrats to our double winners!" says sharris2475.
The girls clap for thesharialaw and AustralianChrono.
🏁 sharris2475 The competition is hotting up! No room for being slowpokes now.
The girls start dedragging. SquazieSoupe and AustralianChrono have a conversation on the side.
"I wanna know... what's up with you and flushedawayegg?" giggles SquazieSoupe.
"A few years ago, I won a prestigious pageant and... she was talking smack about me which ended up with me losing my title." says AustralianChrono.
🏁 AustralianChrono I worked so hard to get it... and... urgh She sheds a tear.
"Girl you need to stop telling lies. Tell the truth and shame the devil sis!" says flushedawayegg from the other side of the werkroom.
"Aahoooooooohooo!" says SquazieSoupe.
"Why don't you tell us what happened?" says CelestialWizard07.
"Well what had happened was..." says flushedawayegg, "Little Miss Chrono over here couldn't fulfil her duties as a pageant winner, so the whole damn organisation lost faith in her. And she got fired! Bloop!"
"You lied about me to them and tarnished my reputation! My God!" says AustralianChrono, walking to the other side of the werkroom.
🎶 dramatic music
🏁 SquazieSoupe Oooh girl, this season is dramatic already, I live!
flushedawayegg and AustralianChrono shoot evils at one another from across the werkroom.
🏁 SquazieSoupe I'm seeing feuds left right and center, meanwhile all I am worried about is snatching that crown baby. I don't have time for drama!
AustralianChrono slams her hanger on the rail hard.

The winner of Xtina's Drag Race receives a sickening supply of Elizabeth Arden fragrances and a cash prize of $100,000!
The girls enter the werkroom.
CelestialWizard07 does a high jump. "Episode 2, yes gawd!"
🏁 CelestialWizard07 It's a new day in the werkroom, one queen has gone and there are six more left to knock out until I get my crown baby! Haus of Luzon rules!
The girls gather around a werktable.
"Hey, AustralianChrono, if you get eliminated tonight can I borrow that Versace dress?" asks ShaankZ.
"I think you have more chance of being eliminated baby," says AustralianChrono.
"Well if AustralianChrono gets eliminated, I am sure flushedawayegg can take over her duties," says SquazieSoupe. The girls start cackling.
V.O. COUGHING? During my interview? Hahaha... shoot him!
The girls gather around the monitor and see Xtina.

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Xtina: "Now I'm a simple Beverly Hills girl, but if I started leasing mineral rights to large companies... girl! The frick is up with that?"
"Oh the fracking?" says thesharialaw. The girls laugh whilst all making an X with their fingers.
Suddenly, Xtina enters the werkroom.
Xtina: "Hello hello hello bitches!"
The girls cheer.
Xtina: "The competition is heating up queens! Because this week, we are throwing a Rusical dedicated to the one and only RuPaul entitled... Fracking 9 to 5*!* We will be parodying the iconic Cher Rusical from Season 10 of RuPaul's Drag Race."
"Schnap out of it!" bellows flushedawayegg.
Xtina: "Each of you will be writing and performing a verse based on a main character in RuPaul's life... including Ru herself!
Now to make things fair and square, we have randomly selected your roles.
ShaankZ, you will be playing Lady Bunny; SquazieSoupe will be playing RuPaul pre-Drag Race; AustralianChrono will be playing Raven; thesharialaw will be playing Glamazon RuPaul; CelestialWizard07 will be playing Willam; flushedawayegg will be playing RuPaul Forever and sharris2475 will be playing Michelle Visage!
And on the runway tonight, category is... All That Glitters! So good luck and don't fuck it up! Byesies!"

Hahahahaha!
The girls gather around the sofas and listen to the Rusical on their iPod Nanos.
🏁 CelestialWizard07 So we have been given a Rusical based on Ru's life and we have to write and perform our own verses parodying the Season 10 Cher Rusical. I am so excited for this.
The girls laugh at the Rusical and start to put pen to paper.
"I am so lost girls..." says ShaankZ.
🏁 ShaankZ I don't wanna be THAT girl, but I am trying to emulate Lady Bunny and it's so difficult!
"Are you nervous after last week sis?" says sharris2475.
"A little..." says ShaankZ, "Like if the judges don't like what I am giving them then... what's the point, you know?"
🏁 ShaankZ Last season there was a bottom 2 curse, where the queen who was bottom 2 one week was sent home the week after. I'm not falling foul of that curse this season!
"Don't give up now girl!" says sharris2475, hugging her.
🏁 sharris2475 I know what kind of competitor ShaankZ is, and she is fierce. So I know she has what it takes to slay this.
Meanwhile, thesharialaw and AustralianChrono are sitting together and writing their lyrics.
"The pressure is on sis!" says AustralianChrono.
🏁 AustralianChrono We were top 2 last week, so the judges are going to be scrutinising us this week!
"I'm not too bothered," says thesharialaw, "I have a great idea for my verse and I am going to slay the stage to be honest."
"I love the confidence!" says AustralianChrono.
🏁 thesharialaw I am doing Glamazon RuPaul and I want to bring to light a few issues which are quite prevalent in the LGBT+ community, namely how trans\ people are treated.*
AustralianChrono reads thesharialaw's verse to herself and laughs, "That is amazing girl."
"I just feel like it's my duty to represent other trans* people in a way which is educational and also... you know, entertainting!" says thesharialaw.
Meanwhile, SquazieSoupe is sitting alongside flushedawayegg and CelestialWizard07.
"Girl you were so close to winning last week!" says CelestialWizard07.
"I know," laughs SquazieSoupe, "but it's just giving me the drive and determination to bring it this week too."
🏁 SquazieSoupe Back in Indiana, I host my own stand up, improv and impressions show called "Bloop! It's SquazieSoupe!" Me and my girlfriends put on hilarious shows pretty much 4 nights a week, so I am definitely channelling my experience into this challenge.
"I want to do something really funny and shocking with Willam," says CelestialWizard07, "I have actually met him and he's quite nice in real life."
"Awright, lifestyles of the rich and famous!" laughs flushedawayegg, "Is this when you were tagging along with your drag mother?"
🏁 CelestialWizard07 Did I tell you guys I'm Manila Luzon's drag daughter?
"Yes!" says CelestialWizard07, crossing her eyes like her drag mother, "Shoes!"
"I think I have the best role in the rusical - RuPaul Forever. I mean, I want to make him into this Satanic zombie desperately holding onto his fame!" laughs flushedawayegg.
"OH wow," says CelestialWizard07.
🏁 CelestialWizard07 Girl don't be bringing that demonic shit around me, no ma'am!
"Are you basing this off someone you know in real life?" asks SquazieSoupe.
"Girl don't try to bait me!" laughs flushedawayegg.
🏁 flushedawayegg The benefits of being the first alternate baby!
Hahahaha!
🎶 LET'S GET GLAM!

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Xtina: "WELCOOOOOOME to the main stage of Xtina's Drag Race! Oh hey Automoderator! How did your lawsuit against RuPaul go?"
Automoderator: "I can't say, there is a gagging order in place."
Xtina: "And I know you love it, you cock hungry pillow biter! And my oh my, it's RuPaul's own hag, Michelle Visage! Have you ever visited Ru's fracking farm?"
Michelle: "Darling, I've had sex on it!"
Xtina: "That's gross. Now tonight my queens were tasked with writing and performing verses in our very own parody rusical entitled Fracking 9 To 5! And on the runway tonight, category is All That Glitters! So Redditors, start your engines and may the best queen... win!"

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Xtina: "And now for the world debut of Fracking 9 To 5: The Rusical!"
V.O. I can't sleep... just thinking about the time before Drag Race... when I would paint all the colours in the crayon box... gender F word... yeah...

SquazieSoupe

San Diego changed forever when I, RuPaul, popped out the womb,
Even as a tot, my gay aura was in full bloom,
All through my life I was born to perform
So I moved to Atlanta at 14, and after that New York
When I started drag, I knew I would be a star
I had talent, charisma, uniqueness and nerve
and decided to write 'Supermodel', (I had a way with words)
and that bitch took all the way off!
(T.V) I was in movies and shows
I made a huge paycheck, these judge bitches know ;)
(Big Hits) I was New York's brightest gay star
And I knew I could do more
The gays loved me!
But, I wanted to really make my mark
So whores, my Drag Race project began!
V.O. From Sunset Las Palmas Studios it's... RuPaul's Drag Race! On Logo!

thesharialaw

Me and Lucian were in the studio, the world needed another album
And every Monday night the views poured in
To see the Nazi get four wins
Wouldn’t be here without Zaldy
Can’t forget about Mathu
Bebe, Tyra, Raja, we needed diversities
Then I exploit these whores, adversities
(Tranny chasers up in here) False, we need a double check!
(Re-sponsi-trannity) Well I did it for a paycheck
(You’ve got [REDACTED]) It was a different time...
Casting trans queens, we evolved for the storylines

sharris2475

This big breasted queen, she hit the scene
Replacing Merle and getting some New Jersey D
(New, New, New Jersey D)
And Santino Rice, gurl, when he was young
I even let him slip it up my big ol’ bum!
(Slutty lady humped all night)
And spread my flaps... at both ends
(The way to fame, is a twisted trip)
Now I’m here on Drag Race
I love you Ru, god dammit!

AustralianChrono

Season Two is gone, and I’m moving on
There's just one thing that's left for me to do (Do Ru, Make Him Over!)
Ride the wave, keep getting paid
Throw on some eyeliner, Ru you’ve been made over by Me! (Do Ru, Make Him Over!)
Make some hits, Tyra? Fuck that bitch!
God, I gotta stop coming 2nd.... (Twice!)
Ride this wave (ride this wave) to my grave (to my grave) and get paid! (Paid)
This Raven Makeup Phrase will last forever
Gotta do whatever it takes
Win that Academy Award, Makeup Great!
This era is a might section
Seems like I need a to keep walking in that Damn direction…
I thought that being Ru’s makeup artist was the key to taking the crown. But.... 7 seasons later, I’m still doing the makeup!
Damn it, Cue the track

ShaankZ

Hey Ru it’s me your best friend, the pretty one.
I was your best friend before fame got to your head, oh how I wish you were dead!
(Frack out of it)
But enough of me!
(Not really)
Glamazon inspired by Diana Ross, looking like Luther Vandross.
Wigs still look like shit and that makeup is a bitch.
(Frack out of it)
Ooooh I’m kidding.
(Ooooh I’m not)
Hollywood Walk of Fame, winning an Emmy, everybody calls her Mama Ru,
what about Drag U?
(Okay sorry)
Enough, it’s time to say bye bye and about your friend Visage,
NO! I won’t replace that whore when she die.
(Madonna hates you)

CelestialWizard07

Got tired of starring in the same old drag show.
So I switched to hollywood and starred on shows.
They couldn't stop with the hollywood billboards.
No one has ever seen a sass like mine.
And my sass is only getting started.
If you would just contour your adam's apple.
I got to get amazing shoes. It's label is Chanel.
Don't talk to evil Phi Phi. (I'm wearing Alexander McQueen.)
Till my man beard is longer than my wig.
Don't talk to evil Phi Phi.
Got tattoos in my ass.
And thanks to Phi Phi, I'm an untuck star.
~In breaking news RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4 has ended.
With RuPaul's Drag Race done, I didn't have anyone to fight with. (shedding a tear sarcastically)
(Looks at the judges seriously) Your tone seems very pointed right now.

flushedawayegg

How am I supposed to cope? (She can't cope)
Michelle's dead I'm gonna miss that dope (Her vagina eloped)
But since I'm old and dying
I need a brand new soul, ain't lying!
Satanism, something I can believe
The answer is eating souls please
Cannibalism, a new trick up my sleeve
Turn into a demon from the burning pits!
And I know the devil will try this
And I know the screaming souls will want it
Now my legacy's secure
Time to do another demonic world tour
I invented hellscaping, bitches

All:

When VH1 cancels Drag Race and Asia takes over the world, only two things will be left...
Ru and his fracking farm!
Ru and fracking, leasing mineral rights to conglomerates!
When all else is gone, his doolahs will still be there!
Ru and fracking, leasing mineral rights to conglomerates!
Get used to it, his farm ain't going nowhere!
Are the cameras rolling?!

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🎶 U Wear It Well...

flushedawayegg

"I never serve anything the same style on the runway so this week I am going risque! It's a risk and hopefully it pays off for me since i'm bareing it all! I have rhinestones stuck to my body and I am serving!"
Xtina: "Diamonds on her titties."
Automoderator: "And on her puswatcha!"
Michelle: "A little glitter on her clitter."

sharris2475

"Tonight I’m SERVING you camp, I look sickening in this... piece of art. Facekini on and the judges are loving it. My skirt does me favours as I twirl my way down the runway. All the fabrics and colours... ugh, I love it!"
Xtina: "She's got her mask on the wrong way."
Automoderator: "Cape Queer."
Michelle: "Rainbow she better do!"

CelestialWizard07

"I am walking down the runway with my head held up high and bitch I am owning it. Opulence I own everything, honey."
Xtina: "A dream is a wish your heart makes!"
Automoderator: "Baby she's a firework."
Michelle: "What a glittersweet symphony."

thesharialaw

"Tonight I wanted to serve what I idolized growing up, a glamorous woman who knows she is the most stunning one in the room. I'm wearing this shimmering silver gown with a pop of color in the boa, and I'm on my way to collect my husband's life insurance after this!"
Xtina: "What's under the hood?"
Automoderator: "It's your feather boa, she's here to show ya!"
Michelle: "She's got her leg up on the competition."

SquazieSoupe

"Bitch, you've never seen fish as fresh as this on the runway tonight! I really decided to take a risk tonight, but my 20s inspired tilapia flapper dress (dripping with sparkles, btw) is really quintessential Squazie!"
Xtina: "Something smells fishy."
Automoderator: "Gatsby, you swine you!"
Michelle: "Flapper? I barely know her!"

AustralianChrono

"My Glitter Runway is pure couture, Glamour. I stride in like a heavenly goddess... and I simply float on the runway."
Xtina: "I think she's stoned."
Automoderator: "What's the hardest thing about playing with glitter?"
Michelle: "Getting it out of your ass?"
Automoderator: "No, it's telling your mother you're gay."

ShaankZ

"She paid 5000€ and she is going to show off every single penny of it! Did it sting you in the eye? I hope so, I paid 5000€!" [Back view]
Xtina: "You know she has a job as a wedding marquee on weekends."
Automoderator: "Glitter 2: Billie Frank's Revenge."
Michelle: "She's sparkling mad!"

Hahahaha!
Xtina: "Wow, that was sensational! Now it is time for the judges' critiques..."
Who should win the challenge and who should be eliminated? Vote here!
submitted by xtinamaniac to XtinasDragRace [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 03:55 Tothedude Past few months have been interesting

Ok to start off I’m a 30 year old male. I live in rural Kansas. Got out of a six year relationship July 2019. Told myself I’d stay single for six years after break up.
In May I downloaded tinder for the first time. Got several matches and talked to women on there of all age ranges. Not many of them can hold a conversation worth a damn. Anyway I meet one girl and we had a good time. Met her several times and really never had a bad time. Then I march with another girl on the tinder while I’m visiting my buddy in Kansas City. This woman is gorgeous and is 39. So I give it the ole let the match sizzle for a day before I messaged. Well she went with the five day or so sizzle before getting back lol. For now on I’ll refer to her as Jo
Jo doesn’t live in Kansas or Missouri at all. At the time she was living in Minnesota. She was helping her mother move to Kansas City from Minnesota is how we matched. So we keep chatting it up and I get her number. She tells me they’re bringing another load down that weekend. So I make plans with my buddy to hang with him in KC to make sure I was there in case we were to meet. We talked about it but she didn’t know if there would be time on her end. She makes it over to my buddy’s apartment. I know really romantic, but hey it’s covid times. It was all good because he had his lady come over and I met her and Jo at the same time. Anyway she’s more beautiful in person than her tinder pics. Like woah. WOAH! Short version: we hit it off that night but she took an Uber back to her moms at 4 to appease her mother of coming home lol. Said our goodbyes and nice to meet yas. She was on her way back to Minnesota.
Another week goes by of us chatting and getting to know each other. Turns out she doesn’t live in Minnesota either. And she really lives in California! By now I’m like what? Who is this lady? So she’s bringing one last tiny load to her mothers and then taking off on a road trip back to California. We meet at her mothers new apartment and I help her move some furniture and hang a couple pictures. Her mom wasn’t there (still in Minnesota). We spent the night together that night. That was date number two.
Date number three I had a lot to prepare for. She wants to come to my place in five days after she leaves her mothers on her journey west. I live n a shack in rural Kansas on about 80 acres. I have three chocolate labs. And there are like 6-7 cats outside. Kind of a hovel. So I polish it up a bit. Enough to ya know let a lady come over lol. So we have a great time again. I take her on a tiny hike with the dogs and we have a few drinks and just talk and talk. She owns a cabin in the mountains in California. That’s where she is headed eventually at the end of her journey and going back to school. Date three was a lot of talking to each other. I don’t have internet and nobody gets service out here. We have a lot in common and we like each other a bit but agree that a long distance relationship would be not only stupid, but emotionally taxing and not fun.
Another month goes by. By this time we are still both on tinder but I don’t look at hers to see if she’s active lol. I match and talk with other girls in there. But none of them hold a candle to Jo. Jo and I are still chatting and chatting. More so than I have with any woman. She gets settled into her cabin life again and is taking online classes. One night her and I are both getting a bit tipsy together while texting. Joke about me flying out there and fixing her steps(I’m a masonry contractor). Then I get a screenshot of a plane ticket with my name on it to LA for four days!
My rural Kansas ass lands at LAX. Plane was early so I had to wait for her but it was totally worth it of course. When I saw her it was like the first time again. So we drive into the mountains. And for the next four days we basically played house in the cabin. I fixed her steps which took like four hours. So not a huge thing at all and just had a nice secluded time. It was a very nice way to isolate and get to know one another more without any outside interruptions. Got drunk together and tried to swing dance off of YouTube. Had to tap out there. Comes time to leave and it’s a bummer. Starting to get the dreaded feelings bug. Her too
So another month goes by to November. Current November. She’s flying to New Jersey to see a couple friends and visit this farm she used to work on. She asks me if I want to join. So I’m like chyeah and this time I buy my own plane ticket. So we go to New Jersey and pet all kinds of animals on this farm she volunteered at two years ago. It was great. Of course continued to talk and get to know each other. Drive to New York and stay with her friend at her apartment one night.
That was two weeks ago And her and I are starting to realize we may be dumb and may be sort of in a long distance thing now. Her and I both love it and hate it at the same time. It’s the best and worst feeling. We talk all the time and both deleted tinder. Here’s the kicker though. We’ve both made explicit promises to ourselves that we both need to work on our personal lives right now. Like establish who we fully are in this world after our breakups and fully explore what we really want out of life. And not only discover our lost potential, but discover new passions.
I don’t know entirely why I’m writing this, but I can’t get this woman off of my mind for the life of me. And I love that she’s on my mind. She’s great. Not a terrible thing about her. I’ve met several of her friends and even her stepmom! Shits wild. Just plain wild I tell ya. I’ll see her in another month maybe a little less. Also Neither one of us have or have had covid. She’s been tested and so have I. I know it’s irresponsible to be doing all that traveling during the pandemic. Mask up is all I can say. And wash your god damn hands people.
TLDR: I(30m) met a 39f on tinder. Third date flown to California. Fourth to New Jersey. Fifth coming up. No covid. Wear a goddamn mask.
submitted by Tothedude to AgeGap [link] [comments]


2020.11.21 15:41 xtinamaniac Episode 1 - "It Takes Two" [POLL]

Episode 1 -

Season Two starts with a bang in

3...

2...

1!

The winner of Xtina's Drag Race receives a sickening supply of Elizabeth Arden fragrances and a cash prize of $100,000!
The camera spins around shots the werkroom. There are large photos of Xtina adorned over the wallpaper-brick walls. Large plush purple and pink sofas are placed in corners of the werkroom.
🎶 plucky piano music
AustralianChrono walks into the werkroom in her entrance look.
"Let's get juicy... darlings, I am a tall drink of water." says AustralianChrono.
🏁 AustralianChrono My name is Chrono, and I am the Italian American Seamstress, Performer Beauty Galore. I am first and foremost a visual artist. I create something small... and make it huge.
"First one here! Feels correct, feels lucky and feels fabulous!" says AustralianChrono.
🏁 AustralianChrono Every single look is couture, every single performance is of a lifetime. I am Drag in New Jersey... and Boy, is she proud of it.
AustralianChrono sits down at the table. "The werkroom has been cleaned, yas!"
🏁 AustralianChrono I am probably best known for winning Miss Ultimate Drag 2017, but my title was snatched away from me, which was devastating. But I am here to show people that I am still sickening!
"Bring on the next bitch!" she laughs.
🎶 high tempo synth music
sharris2475 enters the werkroom in her entrance look.
“BOW DOWN BITCHES! Your queen... has arrived.” sharris2475 says, while placing a crown on her head.
🏁 sharris2475 My name is sharris2475! My drag is extremely versatile, I don’t have a specific aesthetic. I range from arty to stripper, to goth to vintage.
"Ooh la la!" says AustralianChrono.
"Hi girly!" says AustralianChrono.
"Hey sis," says sharris2475, "Wow, this werkroom looks even smaller in real life, right?"
"Budget cuts I guess," AustralianChrono laughs.
🏁 sharris2475 I could possibly be the villain of the season, nothing will stop me from getting the crown.
🎶 mid-tempo Middle Eastern music
thesharialaw walks into the werkroom in her entrance look and poses. "ما شيَ [Nothing.]"
🏁 thesharialaw My name is Sharia Law, I'm 21, and I'm originally from Dubai.
"Werk bitch!" says sharris2475.
🏁 thesharialaw I'm here to represent drag from the Middle East, and my drag is all about exuding extravagance and being ultra feminine. I strive for everything to be perfection and I don't want to be one type of queen. These girls better watch their backs...
"Salam Joon!" says sharris2475.
"Yeah..." says thesharialaw.
🏁 thesharialaw Damn Jackie Cox ruining my career.
"I am loving this Arabian latex fantasy girl." says AustralianChrono.
"Thanks girl, you know what they say, first impressions count." says thesharialaw.
🏁 AustralianChrono So thesharialaw walks into the werkroom like bam! I think she is one to watch.
"So what are you guys looking forward to doing?" asks thesharialaw.
"I hope we have a team challenge so this season has its own Angolan v. Nik fantasy." says sharris2475. The girls laugh.
🎶 percussive drum beats
ShaankZ enters the werkroom in her entrance look. She turns and looks at the queens. "Umm.. that's a lot of filler queens."
"Biiiiitch!" laughs thesharialaw.
🏁 ShaankZ Hej, I'm ShaankZ aka Anastasia Diamond cause I shine bright like one, I'm 18 years old, that's right but if Xtina asks I'm 21.
"I see you girl!" says ShaankZ to sharris2475.
"Hey sissy!" says sharris2475.
🏁 sharris2475 I have competed in quite a few competitions with ShaankZ so I know she is going to be fierce competition!
"So, what are our strengths girls?" asks sharris2475.
"Anything but comedy," says ShaankZ, "Comedy is for ugly girls."
🏁 ShaankZ I'm here because I'm multi-talented and deserve to win, just don't throw me any comedy challenges, cause who cares about them? Only ugly queens resort to comedy.
"Ugly? Oh... I guess I missed that memo then," says AustralianChrono.
🏁 AustralianChrono Comedy is for ugly girls? Er... sure.
"This season is shaping up to be sickening!" says thesharialaw.
🎶 circus clown music
RepresentativeWin91 enters the werkroom in her entrance look. "Hi hi hi! The shady queen is here!"
"I spoke too soon." says thesharialaw.
🏁 RepresentativeWin91 I am RepresentativeWin91 and I am your dancing diva from Westchester County, New York! JK I can't dance!
RepresentativeWin91 burps.
🏁 RepresentativeWin91 My drag style is excellent, camp and fucking trashy! Gimme that crown!
"Hey girl!" says thesharialaw.
"Hi bitches, wow a bunch of misfits in here!" laughs RepresentativeWin91.
"I guess we are all a bunch of misfits, being drag queens and all," says ShaankZ.
🏁 ShaankZ This RepresentativeWin91 girl... I am not feeling her.
"What is this? What's going on?" says RepresentativeWin91, pointing at sharris2475.
"It's my hat fantasy! You not feeling it girl?" says sharris2475.
"Well..." says RepresentativeWin91.
🏁 RepresentativeWin91 That hat needs to be binned. Bye girl!
🎶 pitchy techno music
flushedawayegg walks into the werkroom in her entrance look. "Let's get to cracking!"
🏁 flushedawayegg It's flushedawayegg! And best believe that this egg won't be flushed away!
"Hey hoes!" says flushedawayegg. The other girls cheer. The camera cuts to AustralianChrono, hiding her face.
🏁 AustralianChrono Oh my God... it's flushedawayegg. Girl.
🎶 dramatic music
🏁 AustralianChrono Flushedawayegg was the one who was backstabbing me behind my back... and the reason why my prestigious title was snatched away from me.
"Oh... hey bitch." says flushedawayegg, walking past AustralianChrono and hugging the other girls.
"Ooh I sense some drama, mama!" thesharialaw laughs.
"Just a little." chuckles flushedawayegg.
🏁 flushedawayegg Some of you may recognise me from one of my biggest drag accomplishments, which was winning Miss Ultimate Drag 2017.
There is an awkward silence in the werkroom.
flushedawayegg flicks her hair back and cackles.
"Well you look good girl," says ShaankZ.
🏁 flushedawayegg I'm a fan of classic drag but also I like my drag to have a little bit of edge. I can tell that all the queens are staring at my gown, and they should be! I think that I have what it takes to win this competition and I will fight tooth and nail to be the best! And best believe that I ain't yolking!
"Well this is awkward," says RepresentativeWin91.
🎶 sultry violin music
SquazieSoupe walks into the werkroom in her entrance look. "Y'all may need to open up a fresh bottle of chardonnay for this one."
🏁 SquazieSoupe What's up y'all! My name is SquazieSoupe, and I am 23 from Indianapolis, Indiana.
"C'mon tartan!" says ShaankZ.
"I'm a tart for tartan." says flushedawayegg.
🏁 SquazieSoupe I am a STUNNING look queen, but I am also funny, and I can sing and dance. I am very inspired by vintage, decades fashion, and you will see many sides of that from me. These whores better watch out, because I can and will send each one packing!
"I sense tension?" laughs SquazieSoupe, hugging the other girls, "Is this an Angolan vs. Nik sitch already? It's only episode one!"
"I'm sure the drama will unravel in good time." says thesharialaw.
"You bet..." sighs AustralianChrono.
🎶 loud punk rock music
CelestialWizard07 enters the werkroom in her entrance look. "This is how you do drag, ladies."
"Ohhh!" says AustralianChrono.
🏁 CelestialWizard07 Hi everyone, I'm CelestialWizard07, drag daughter of Miss Manila Luzon from the Philippines.
"Stun-ning." says RepresentativeWin91.
🏁 CelestialWizard07 As a Filipino, I tend to use unusual materials for my drag. I am a comedy AND fashion queen. So these bitches better be ready. tongue pop
"So, I guess I am the last queen in!" says CelestialWizard07, "which is fitting."
"And you look amazing," says SquazieSoupe.
"You too sis!" says CelestialWizard07.
"Is this the cast then? Wow, talk about talented!" says ShaankZ.
"I guess Xtina cast a bunch of look queens, so..." says RepresentativeWin91.
🏁 AustralianChrono rolls her eyes
"I think I have big shoes to fill though!" laughs CelestialWizard07.
"Why's that then?" says flushedawayegg.
"I am from the Haus of Luzon." says CelestialWizard07.
The girls look dumbfounded.
🏁 thesharialaw What the fuck is a Luzon?
Producer: Manila Luzon.
🏁 thesharialaw Oh damn.
"Well let's hope for our sake the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!" sharris2475 laughs.
"What do you mean bitch?" says CelestialWizard07.
V.O. COUGHING? During my interview? Hahaha... shoot him!
"I heard that shit in my dreams!" says SquazieSoupe.
The girls gather around the monitor and see Xtina.

https://preview.redd.it/ablxq7srxg061.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2d5914e3d45e7598f60e49e7eaabbcb2afb9eb64
"C'mon hat girl!" says thesharialaw.
"Love this new look," says sharris2475.
Xtina: "Do you know my favourite book? A Tale Of Two Titties! Because let's face it, a bird in one hand is worth two in the bush."
"So cryptic, I am literally shaking you guys." says flushedawayegg.
Suddenly, Xtina enters the werkroom.
Xtina: "Hello hello hello bitches!"
The girls scream in excitement.
Xtina: "Wow, my Season 2 girls. I'm so happy to see you all here!"
🏁 AustralianChrono It's finally happening! Arghh!
Xtina: "We are celebrating the start of Season Two with a bang! For your first challenge, each of you will need to showcase your very own 2-in-1 looks on the runway. Now remember, I am looking for the queen with the Xtravagance, Tenacity, Intuition, Nerve and Audaciousness to make it to the top!"
"We got a lotta that today baby." says CelestialWizard07.
Xtina: "Now don't settle in too long, because for one of you, this episode will be your last. So... for the first time this season, good luck and don't fuck it up! Byesies!"
The girls grab their suitcases and race to their werkstations to get ready.
"Damn this really is a race girl!" says ShaankZ.

Hahahahah!

🎶 LET'S GET GLAM!

https://preview.redd.it/3qqhryb4vl061.jpg?width=625&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7e08123b0996fad6115acf1a04971e3c09c14bcb
Xtina does her very own 2-in-1 reveal!

https://preview.redd.it/cdz0s6c6vl061.jpg?width=625&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1304378d0f6594c4b3b6bf453e15be3e16c631f4
Xtina: "WELCOOOOOOME to the main stage of Xtina's Drag Race! My my my, it's Automoderator! Now don't you just love pairs?"
Automoderator: "I prefer apples."
Xtina: "And looky here, it's Michelle Visage! Does it take two to make a thing go right?"
Michelle: "Two to make it out of sight!"
Xtina: "And tonight we are joined by our Season One reigning champion, Micronesiarain! How's tricks?"
Micronesiarain: "Well I just got back from a dinner date with Chris Evans so it's all good baby."
Xtina: "I live! Now my queens were tasked with presenting their best 2-in-1 looks for our first runway spectacular of the season! So Redditors, start your engines and may the best queen... win!"
🎶 U Wear It Well...

sharris2475

"So I walking the runway in my HUGE fluffy dreamy blue coat- almost like the Cookie Monster. Then I strip down my hood and reveal into a princess, with blue fluff at the bottom of my gown. She looks expensive and gorgeous. Xtina is gagged and there is a lot more to come!"
Xtina: "I'm feeling kinda blue."
Automoderator: "Jim Henson is shaking you guys."
Michelle: "She has furry blue balls!"
Micronesiarain: "Blue lives... nevermind."

thesharialaw

"The dress is flowing and looks straight from a high fashion show! This is what I want the judges to see from me on my first runway, pink is always in season. Then I reveal into a gorgeous sheer gown. My concept for my second look is fantasy, so I put the wings up and I know I look sickening as an angel because me and the crown are a match made in heaven!"
Xtina: "Don't fly too close to the sun!"
Automoderator: "I think she's right wing."
Michelle: "How many flamingoes had to die..."
Micronesiarain: "Take a bite of this angel cake."

ShaankZ

"This is showing two ways of fierce, as soon as that belt falls off, the top turns inside out and the dress is revealed. She came to twiiiiiiirl."
Xtina: "When it doubt, cinch it out."
Automoderator: "What's black and gold and bold all over?"
Michelle: "The sheer audacity of it all."
Micronesiarain: "I wanna be next to you, Black and gold!"

RepresentativeWin91

Tonight I am serving you orange you glad to see me? Now that pussygrabbing cheeto monster is out of the white house, it's time to celebrate this colour, yes!
Xtina: "Dump Trump 2020."
Automoderator: "The cheeto had to go."
Michelle: "I can't concentrate."
Micronesiarain: "I zest my case."

AustralianChrono

I have designed a two in one look inspired by fierce Versace References. I walk in giving a gorgeous high fashion suit. Then, I twirl, and get a little bit more exotic. Fierce. Sex. That's Me.
Xtina: "That Versace's on the floor!"
Automoderator: "Ver-snatched for the gods."
Michelle: "The Devil Wears Versace."
Micronesiarain: "Donnatella me... something."

flushedawayegg

"For my first look, I am serving you the black plague and crow couture. Just like an egg I've grown out of my shell and become a fierce goth crow! I'm just feeling my oats...
And then I reveal into a BAM! A tulle dress that is absolutely flowing and I am strutting this runway. Just like the color of my outfit, I am giving them life!"
Xtina: "American Horror Story: Apocaloptic."
Automoderator: "She could sure use some manscaping."
Michelle: "I pity the tulle."
Micronesiarain: "Say yes to the dress!"

SquazieSoupe

"Girl, I am serving you time travel realness! My first look is a victorian era ball gown, which looks stunning on me! Period fashion is my passion, I love playing with different eras in my drag!
Underneath, I am serving a futuristic, robotic sex doll from outer space! I never thought the futuristic style was for me, but I guess I was proved wrong. I look stunning tonight!"
Xtina: "My Fair Squazie."
Automoderator: "Ah yes, the well known Dicktorian Era."
Michelle: "2020: A Space Bodyssey."
Micronesiarain: "In Uranus, nobody can hear you scream."

CelestialWizard07

"I am walking down the runway elegantly, showing off my fiery gown. Fire represents me, I will burn everything in my way. And then, this is how you do a reveal, honey. From an elegant queen to a naughty little princess."
Xtina: "Ven conmigo, solamente tu!"
Automoderator: "Her puswatcha's on fire!"
Michelle: "She's ready for the Hall of Flame!"
Micronesiarain: "I'll get the fire extinguisher."

https://preview.redd.it/grnihoz4dh061.jpg?width=4000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f460fb78958cf4a3547cbba6277f0b19a529c519
Xtina: "Wow, what an amazing first runway! Now it is time for the judges' critiques..."
Who should win the challenge and who should be eliminated? Vote here!
submitted by xtinamaniac to XtinasDragRace [link] [comments]


2020.11.20 00:43 roguex99 It's not that Voting is fraudulent, it's that it's broken and unequal beyond recognition

Everything in this post is factual. It's not an opinion piece. Let’s pretend anyone elected cares about how elections work. We’d get a lot more right than we do currently. Let’s break down just how broken some of this is for you. I’m going to skip the Primary process (which is probably more broken, and a much longer post), and get right into the General election -
Surely as the world’s most power democracy, we get the most important election right except for that Electoral College thing? And maybe the mail in ballot thing? Absolutely not. And don’t call me shirley. In fact, the Electoral College is hardly the most broken part of this mess.
Let’s start with when you vote. Surely there are rules that all states must follow? Yeah, not so much. In fact, the inconsistency is sort of frightening.
First, Early Voting is dramatically different by state. In Pennsylvania, you can start voting on September 14. 8 other states start in September. 5 don’t let you do it a all (WA & OR – because all vote by mail and AL, CT, DE, MS, MO). NH changes the date by county.
Next, there is no stipulation on how long polls should be open. Polls open anywhere from 5am (Vermont) to 10am (actually, other parts of Vermont). Kentucky and Indiana think if you can’t make it by 6pm, too damn bad, no vote for you. North Dakota and New Hampshire vary by county. While Virginia shuts it down at 7, New York and Iowa stay open till 9.
Assuming you get there one time, did you register to vote? There is no uniformity between registration deadlines either. Only 10 states allow you to register to vote on site. The strictest states require to you to register between Oct 2-9 (SC, RI, AK are the earliest).
Assuming you registered, did you bring ID? 14 states require you to be breathing, and often times, not too much else to vote. California requires that you provide a driver’s license or state ID number, but you don’t have to present a physical form of ID. If you don’t have that, you can provide the last 4 of your social. If you don’t have that, the state assigns you a random unique number so you can vote. Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, and Hawaii think voting in person is stupid and do it by mail. On the other side of the spectrum, you have 6 states that require you to present a specific photo ID. Another 12 ‘require’ a photo ID, but give you about a dozen ways to get out of it or vote without it. While the focus of this post is to draw attention to the inconsistencies and problems with voting, I will say that there is no statistical indication that fraudulent voting is a problem, but photo IDs for voting, as long as they can be acquired locally and for free, are not a terrible idea.
But OK, you showed up to vote, you got ID’ed, and you’re in the booth. Are you significantly disabled to the point where you need constant care? You can be escorted into the both with an assistant and they can vote for you, even if you don’t know what your name is.
At least we all vote the same way? Not even close. There aren’t really even federal standards on how we vote. Some states use Scantrons with an old school number two pencil, some use computer voting, some use computer voting with paper back up, some use a computer voting just to generate a paper ballot, and yes, believe it or not, we still use punch card voting systems that lead to the Hanging Chad disaster of 2000. For what it’s worth, no voting district uses the old school mechanical lever machines since 2000. Yeah, progress?
Logically, you’re probably thinking that we all use the same voting machines within the same state. That makes sense, right? Nope. Take Ohio for example. They use 9 different voting systems in their 88 counties. Seriously. Ohio can’t even figure out how to standardize voting in their own state. Indiana has 12 methods for 92 counties the best I can tell. Ohio at least seems proud of their super colorful map for me to figure this data out.
So let’s go to counting. So who counts it? Well, if it’s electronic, usually a private company. Yeah, let that set in for a moment. On top of that, there are 15 states that use electronic systems without a paper trail. If it’s paper, it’s supposed to be done under the supervision of an Elector Judge, usually with two officials verifying each vote. If the vote can’t be read by a machine or by the officials present, that’s when the judge reviews it, and he/she decides who you voted for, or it’s tossed out. Is your vote being questioned? They compare your signature to your voter registration. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Interested in how well states audit results after the fact? As of 2012, Countingvotes. Org rated all states, and only 6 states got a good rating. 18 got a needs improvement. In fact, in a more thorough evaluation on a number of metrics on voting, only 6 states got a “Very good” rating across the board. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Delaware failed outright. Woo us!
So you vote, and in our first past the post system (meaning, whoever gets the most votes, not whoever captures a majority or 50%+1) you then elect some random dudes or dudettes to be your elector in the Electoral College. That number is the number of Reps in your state (completely made up by Congress in the 1920s – see more below) plus the number of Senators (set by the Constitution), plus 3 for DC (23rd Amendment). Yeah, but those electors have to vote for who you tell them to? Actually, not so much. The Supreme Court has ruled that they can vote as they wish, but that hasn’t discouraged states to threaten to fine or prosecute them for not acting in their voter’s interest. Has an elector ever voted for someone they weren’t told to? Yep. In 2016, there were 10 protest votes, including one faithless elector that voted for a lady named Faith Spotted Eagle. The Faithless for Faith? I digress. In 2004, a Democratic Minnesota elector voted for John Edwards over John Kerry. No one is really sure why. In 2000, a Democratic elector in DC abstained her vote to protest lack of congressional representation for DC. Yeah. In the cluster that was the 2000 election, this lady thought it’d be cool to perhaps screw it up that much further. In case you’re wondering DC still hasn’t gotten congressional representation. Which, is a very different post, but does tie in to the Electoral College post below. In the past 70 years, we’ve never gone more than 12 years without some elector going nutty.
We should obviously get rid of the Electoral College then, right? Well, not really. You can lose the popular vote, and only carry 11 states (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and New Jersey), however, by population, you could carry everyone in just 9 states (everyone above except NJ and Michigan). Alternatively, you could run a very urban centric campaign, and ignore the rest of the country to the same effect. Now, that being said, if you abolished the EC and switched to a direct popular vote, I don’t think it would have meant that you would change results – think about it. In 2016 – if you’re a Trump supporter in California or Hawaii, what’s the motivation to really go out and vote? You’re not flipping your state. A popular vote would likely bring those guys out. So in a nutshell, we don’t know what would happen by switching to a popular vote.
Now. That being said, the Electoral College isn’t broken, it’s ineffective because of the rules that govern it.
The most important rule of the Electoral College: It’s the number of Senators (100) + Number of Representatives (435) + 3 for DC (23rd Amendment) =538. Why do we have 100 Senators? Easy, 2 per state. It’s in the Constitution. Why do we have 435 Representatives? Because randomly decided it in 1929. There is nothing in the Constitution that specifies how many Reps should exist, shy of the smallest state having at least 1.
In 1789, James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights to fix gaps that weren’t covered by the Constitution. Do you know what he thought was the most important that it should be the First Amendment? The biggest shortfall of the Constitution? All of you are thinking about Freedom of Speech, Religion, Assembly, etc. Wrong. That was the 3rd proposed amendment. The original Bill of Rights had 12 amendments. “Article the First” was a formula to guarantee that there would never be more than 50,000 citizens per member of the House of Representatives. Why does this matter? The Electoral College is made up of the number of Representatives and Senators. By capping reps at 50K/Rep, we’d have 6100 Representatives, plus 100 Senators, making the electoral college about 6200 rather than 538. “But Dave, 6100 Representatives is too many!” Consider that 130 years ago, the 353 Representatives had a single staff member, and each district was about 50K. Now, each representative has a staff of 22, representing a district of 720K. We have 12,500 working the House currently. The problem is, almost all of them are unelected, and 23 years old. Think about that for a moment: The world’s most powerful democracy is effectively run by a bunch of unelected 20 somethings fresh out of college.
(Side note: The second proposed amendment wasn’t Freedom of Speech, etc either. It was that Congress couldn’t vote themselves pay raises. That finally passed 202 years after Madison proposed it in 1992. In 1982, 19-year-old sophomore student at University of Texas – Austin wrote a paper arguing it could still be passed. His teacher gave him a C. He appealed and was shot down. So rather than accept his grade, he started a national campaign to pass it to prove his point.)
Why the side note? I think it’s key – Madison’s first concern was making sure that people were represented, and second that Congress couldn’t just give themselves raises and become corrupt. That was more important to him to list it first, rather than even basic freedoms. Why didn’t it pass? It’s hard to say. My theory: The House of Representatives was bad at math. Due to a scrivener's error in the equation, the formula proposed had no workable representation amount whenever the population of the country was between 8-10M.
But the biggest problem? Just forget everything else and look at the very basics: Voting. Yes, that’s the biggest problem with the process. It’s dumb. Our system is great for when there are two choices. For example: Andy and Bob are running against each other. 40% vote Andy. 60% vote Bob. Bob wins. We’re done here. The problem comes in when Charlie runs, and shares the base with Bob. 40% vote Andy. 35% vote Bob. 25% Vote Charlie. We can make it more complicated and make 40% Andy, 35% Bob, 20% Charlie, and 5% Danielle (who is really similar to Bob and Charlie). Well, even though Bob, Charlie, and Danielle’s supporters agree that Andy is a terrible person, and shouldn’t be in charge of a toaster oven, Andy wins because he is “first past the post” or has received more votes than anybody else. Why does this suck so bad? Well, aside from the obvious that most don’t like Andy, this forces Bob, Charlie, and Danielle to be complete asses to each other in the primary. Depending on the side of the spectrum they are on, they are either arguing about who’s the true liberal, and who’s just a moderate pretending to be a liberal, and on the other end of the spectrum, saying increasingly crazy things to distinguish themselves from the pack, and prove they are the true conservative (let me know if any of this sounds familiar). The additional problem is that it doesn’t provide a lot of incentive to be nice to your opponent. Smear campaigns are great! Even if they are false, they still distinguish you from your opponent, and you pick up votes regardless. Further, it makes idiots look like they are winning when they aren’t. In a 12-way race, you can have 30% of the vote, and look like you are winning, even if 60% hates you. The other downside? It also all but ensures that no third-party candidate is viable, because it simply looks like a wasted vote.
How do you fix all this? Well, that would be a very long post, but let’s at least talk about a fix for the simple act of how we vote: “Instant runoff voting.” Basically, you rank your candidates. Stick with me. Let’s say Andy, Bob, and Charlie are at it again. I go into my electronic voting booth, and I rank my candidates Charlie first, Bob second, and Andy last. Now, after the first tally, the results pop up as 40% Andy, 35% Bob, and 25% Charlie. Since no one has 50%+1 of the vote, we toss out the lowest candidate, and who ever ranked Charlie first has their vote fall to the next candidate on the list. Presumably, in our example, it would fall to the similar candidate, Bob. On the next tally, the vote total is 40% Andy, 60% Bob. Bob wins. We’re done here. I could do this with any number of candidates, simply dropping off the lowest vote getter each time, and transferring their preference to the next ranked candidate on their ballot. My college fraternity has required 50%+1 for election of officers for God knows how long. If they can figure this out, we should be able to as well.
This voting mechanism works superior to “first past the poll” for a number of reasons. First, it creates a majority. I have to have 50%+1 to win the race. Second, it encourages people to vote for 3rd party candidates. I think Charlie is a hopeless case, but I want to make sure my vote is heard, so I vote for him as my top ranked candidate. If he doesn’t win, no biggie, I’ll settle for Bob. Third, I now have an incentive to be nice and work with my opponents. I want to work with the 3rd party and lower ranked candidates because I want to be listed as their voter’s second choice. Finally, if we actually polled in this manor, we’d see the false narrative much faster in media campaigns that declare a ‘front runner’ when there is simply a group of qualified candidates splitting the same vote.
So yeah, in a nutshell, your vote barely counts as it is. If you were that concerned, you’d be fighting a different battle.
Have questions? Feel free to ask. I made this as consolidated as possible, but in reality, I could write a book on this crap. Unfortunately, books don’t fit on Reddit posts.
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2020.11.19 13:30 readingrachelx Housewife highlights/Daily shit talk - November 19th, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY
"Meredith Marks might be The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's "ice queen," but she's ready to let her walls melt down a little bit and share some reality on reality TV. Meredith's marriage to her husband of more than 25 years, Seth, becomes a central story in season 1, starting this week, as Meredith reveals she and Seth are separated.
"Seth and I have had a long history of separations and reconciliations over the years," the jewelry designer confesses to ET over video chat. "It was not something we were ever public about, because our children never knew -- we were separated, we had dated other people at times -- our children did not ever know. We were always living in the same home. Becoming empty nesters kinda put us in a place where we were really forced to evaluate what path we were going to go down."
"People question, is reality TV real? And there is nothing more real than what I went through on the show," she shares. "I'm getting a little teary saying it even. It's real and it's intense and you'll see it all play out. Yeah, it was daunting and … I had really not told any of my friends, and my children just found out when they left the house, which was probably six months or so before we started filming."
Meredith says her and Seth's 2019 separation was their most serious separation to date, as it was the first time they actually lived apart, in separate houses. She says by season's end, viewers will get resolution when it comes to her marriage, whether that be divorce or deciding to stay together.
"This is really the time where the kids are gone and we can now be in our own homes and sort of try to figure out what direction we want to go. Can we make this work? Or can’t we?" she ponders. "Should we move forward with the divorce? Should we be seeing only each other? Should we be dating other people? Should we separate?"
It's worth noting, Seth petitioned for divorce (and then dismissed that filing) before RHOSLC cameras even went up, and the couple regularly poses together on Instagram.
"Seth and I met, we met when we were 23 years old," Meredith notes. "We have grown up together, so no matter what happens between us, we are always, like, childhood friends almost, in a weird way."
The Marks have ground rules for when they're separated, and Meredith advises other couples to do the same if they're looking to evaluate the state of their marriage: "If there's a question mark about what your rules are, set them straight. It's a lot easier that way, when you kinda are thinking one thing and the other person is thinking the other, and it's sort of murky and unclear, that's kind of a recipe for disaster, and things just escalate."
Meredith admits the hardest part of figuring out the future of her marriage was telling her and Seth's kids about their marital troubles for the first time. The couple is parents to three grown children: Reid, Chloe and Brooks. She says if she could go back in time, she would’ve been honest with them sooner.
"It's a very emotional thing because you sometimes look back and you say, 'Maybe I could have done this differently, maybe I could have done that differently. Did I screw this up? Did I screw that up? Is shielding my children from all this a horrible mistake all along?' You know, you just start to question every choice you made, because these are all life-changing, huge choices that don't just impact me. They impact my entire family … and that's the process I've been going through, reevaluating my decisions, all my choices, and questioning them."
Adding pressure to an already stressful situation was Meredith's choice to sign herself up for reality TV. While she's navigating her personal troubles, she's also navigating a relatively new group of friends who all have questions about Meredith's personal life. As teased in the season 1 trailer, co-star Whitney Rose questions Meredith and Seth being affectionate in front of the group, when there are rumors floating around that Meredith is seeing someone else.
"That was something that was very upsetting for me," she says. "To be throwing things out there when you don't know if they're true or false, you don't know what's going on, you don't know what's rumor, is upsetting, very upsetting."
"There's a lot of conversation that went on about me behind my back," she adds. "I'm very curious to see who's responsible for what."
Meredith credits her son, Brooks, with being her "pillar of support" while she was balancing both home and friend drama. The 21-year-old took a semester off from college to work on his own line of athleisure wear (which both Meredith and co-star Jen Shah sported in the premiere) and to be around for his mom as she took on the challenge of Housewives.
"Brooks, really a big part of the reason he did come to Utah for the winter was to be there for me, because he knew I was really going through a hard time and, you know, starting a television show at the same time you're going through all of this is a lot, to say the least," she says. She does concede, though, that reality TV cameras entering her life may have played a small role in his decision to hang out with her in Utah for a bit.
Brooks was arguably the premiere's breakout star, a badge of pride for Meredith. Fans will get to see Brooks put together a fashion show before season’s end, which Meredith teases as an "absolutely iconic" event.
It seems safe to say that RHOSLC will provide viewers with iconic moment after iconic moment. The premiere alone introduced two unprecedented feuds in the world of Real Housewives, the first being Jen and Mary Cosby's falling out over hospital smell and a double amputation.
"I would imagine that's a first for many, certainly a first for me," Meredith quips. "So, obviously I knew that there was an issue and that there was a conflict between Mary and Jen -- there was nobody who wasn't aware of it, let me just put it that way -- but I don't I don't think any of us really realized the level that it had escalated to. … So the whole thing, it was a bit surprising where it went and I guess it makes a lot more sense to me now why they were so angry at each other, because I didn't really get it to be honest."
In the coming weeks, viewers will see Meredith pulled into the orbit of Jen and Mary’s fight, with Jen seemingly wanting the ladies to pick sides (aka, her side). As Jen so eloquently put it in the trailer, "You're going to go with Mary, who f**ked her grandfather?"
"What I can say that's just true of me and in life in general is, I don't believe that anyone should dictate who someone else can or cannot be friends with, that's just not my vibe,” Meredith muses. “I believe that you could be a supportive friend to people who may not care for one another, and that's how I've lived my life, usually very successfully. I've been friends with a lot of people who don't care for one another and I don't engage in nasty conversations about the other, that's just not my vibe. It's not my energy."
Then there's the "I don't know her" issue in the group, between Heather Gay and Meredith’s BFF, Lisa Barlow. Lisa claims she doesn't remember Heather from their time together at Brigham Young University, though she does have a (vague?) memory of Heather being a “good time girl” who liked to break the school’s strict honor code, an allegation to which Heather takes much offense.
"That one, I think I can't really comment on without going too deep into too many things I probably shouldn't be discussing right now," Meredith offers. "I have to kind of bite my tongue on that one. I don't know how I can go down that path without disclosing things I shouldn’t be talking about yet, but we’ll get there."
"You will see tensions running through the course of time with everybody," she promises. "This is just the beginning."
Meredith says she finds herself in some of her co-stars' crosshairs this season, too, but won't name names. Half of her wants to keep the mystery alive as the season unfolds, while the other half is waiting to see if her assumptions about her friends (or maybe, frenemies) are proved true by what plays out on TV.
"I think there may be multiple liars," she proclaims. "There's one that is 100 percent confirmed for me, because I caught a multitude of lies, but there's still some other things that aren't adding up. So, I think that there's probably at least two liars out there. I don't know who the second one is, but we shall see and, again, if I'm wrong on the first -- which I'm 99.9 percent sure I'm not -- I will own it and apologize, but there's definitely a lot of lying."
Meredith says this friend circle was her first time spending time with so many women at once, and she quickly learned that her one-on-one experiences with her castmates looked quite different from the group gatherings.
"I was actually pretty much shocked by everyone at some level about something I'll be honest," she says, but qualifies that by saying it's more about true colors shining through than finding her co-stars to be two-faced.
"I mean, there's definitely some two-faced stuff, too -- don't misunderstand me," she adds. "I'm not denying that."
Meredith says she’s already making "a long list" of issues she hopes to resolve at the reunion, which won’t film for months.
"There is a lot to button up," she says. "I don't know how we can possibly get this reunion done in a single day. I think it should be a week-long affair. I have a lot of issues, and just knowing what I do know, what's gone on in between all the other women, I’m barely scratching the surface with my issues. There are way more than what I have alone, so it's going to be interesting and telling."
"I'm going to be watching along with the rest of the world trying to decipher who is a friend and who's not," she adds.
Meredith says her tagline, "Jealousy is a disease, to which I say, 'Get well soon,'" is a direct message to more than one of her co-stars: "Jealousy brings out an ugly side of people."
The mom of three says she's always dealt with jealousy, but Housewives took things to a new level. There was a learning curve to the tense arguments that are commonplace on the franchise.
"I guess for me, by virtue of my business, I am traveling a lot ... and I think a lot of the time, before the s**t hits the fan, so to speak, I'm already on to the next city,” she postures. "That didn't happen here. It’s like, you gotta deal with it -- and that's fine. I can hold my own. I'm not a pushover by any stretch, but I do demand that people speak to me with a certain level of respect and self-control, and if they are not going to do that, I am going to leave. I will not allow somebody to yell, scream, and swear at me. That is not acceptable."
The teasers for the season show Meredith storming off a few times, once while declaring, "I'm disengaging." She says she's waiting on pins and needles to see how those moments translate to the small screen.
"Obviously, any heated moments with the women, I may not particularly enjoy," she says, "but that won't be as trying for me as watching arguments with my family. That will be difficult."
Meredith says she already got a pit in her stomach just seeing flashes of her and Seth's arguments in the sneak peeks that are out so far, so she’s bracing for impact in the coming weeks. Still, a small sense of relief washed over her once episode one was out in the world. It was like ripping off a Band-Aid.
"There's a lot of anxiety …. 'cause you don't know what it's going to be like and you don't know what you're going to be received as by the rest of the world, so it's definitely a little bit daunting to say the least," she shares, admitting that she's well aware of her Dorit Kemsley-style accent of many origins. She chalks it up to a subconscious habit of picking up others' vocal inflections, and says the more she drinks, the more British she becomes.
"I feel a huge sense of relief having the first episode out," Meredith adds. "It was amazing for me to just be like, check that off. Done.”
NEW JERSEY
"Teresa Giudice is taking her time when it comes to love.
The “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star, 48, is currently dating businessman Luis “Louie” Ruelas, but a source told Page Six on Wednesday that the new couple isn’t rushing into anything serious just yet.
“It’s new,” the source said. “They are taking things very slow. They are both happy. Right now it’s very low key and casual. One step at a time.”
While Ruelas, 46, has two children of his own and Giudice has four daughters, it does not seem like the holidays will be a blended family affair.
The source said that the couple is “not that far ahead yet planning wise.”
ORANGE COUNTY
"A topless portrait of Real Housewives of Orange County star Jeana Keough has sold at an auction for $350,000.
On Oct. 16, Jeana, 65, announced that a painting of herself by artist and illustrator Patrick Nagel, titled Jeana, 1983, was up for auction after being hung in her bedroom for 30 years.
"This Patrick Nagel of myself has hung in my bedroom 30 years today," she captioned an Instagram photo of the art piece. "In an hour it’s being sold at live.ha.com live auction at heritage auctions lot 8027 bring your a game!"
As to why she decided to part with the image, the mother of three added in the comments that "it’s something the kids don’t care about. I have more."
The portrait features Jeana crossing her arms and covering her breasts while wearing earrings, a bracelet on one of her wrists and a purple fabric around her lower waist — nearly identical to a model shot of her that was captured when she was 27 years old.
That same day, following her announcement that the auction would be taking place, the portrait — which is 40 x 25 in., acrylic on canvas and signed and dated on the lower right — sold for a record-breaking $350,000 after it sparked a bidding war and shattered the previous artist auction record, according to Heritage Auctions.
"It has hung in my bedroom and my best friend wanted it and I almost gave it to him because my kids had no interest in it," Jeana tells PEOPLE. "Haha, glad I didn’t!"
Ed Jaster, vice president of Fine Art at Heritage Auctions, said in a statement: "We could hardly believe our eyes as the bids came in so fast and so strong."
Three years ago, the auction house set the previous auction record paid for a Patrick Nagel portrait in 2017 when it sold Bold for $200,000.
Prior to her time on RHOC, Jeana (née Tomasino) was an elite model who was named the November 1980 Playboy Playmate of the Month. Jeana and the 11 other 1980 Playmates caught Nagel's eye, according to Heritage Auction, and he began making large acrylic portraits of each of the women.
Following Nagel's death in 1984, Jeana received a call from the late artist's wife.
"She said, 'I know he'd want you to have it,' " Jeana recalled to Heritage Auction. " 'Come and get it.' "
"I wanted this pose. My boyfriend at the time wanted a (portrait with a) similar pose in a swimsuit, but it wasn't signed," she said.
Although the portrait sold for a large number, Jeana said she would miss owning it.
"I'm moving – downsizing – and I don't want my kids to have to deal with it," the former Bravo personality, who listed her Orange County mansion for $2.9 million last year, told Heritage Auction. "I have other photos and pieces of art, but this one hung in my bedroom. I'm going to miss it."
DALLAS
ORANGE COUNTY
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2020.11.18 13:30 readingrachelx Housewife highlights/Daily shit talk - November 18th, 2020

NEW YORK
"I think Aviva — I would love to film with her again on The Housewives because I feel like we would have a lot fun," Thomson said during an appearance on RealiTea with Derek Z.
"She's had a lot of time to think about her time on the show. Even though maybe some of the things that happened I didn't agree with, I know her intention was not to be a big, bad girl," she continued. "She's got a really good heart and she's a kind person."
"She helped make me iconic," Thomson said on RealiTea with a laugh. "I mean, I was the one that got the leg thrown at the head."
"I really feel lucky that when I had to make the decision to leave the franchise, that everybody got it," she said. "[I was able to leave] an open door to make cameos and continue to show my true relationships on the show."
"I feel like I get the best of both worlds because I can dip my toe in the water, but I don't really need to stay in the kitchen," she added."
"That’s one hot B.
Bethenny Frankel is embracing her single life and dressing to impress.
The former “Real Housewives of New York” star, 50, showed off her body on Instagram, posing in a Tom Ford leather corset skirt and a very revealing black cutout top by Balmain.
“Casual Monday,” she captioned the pic, for which she also sported square sunglasses, Jennifer Fisher hoop earrings and pumps. She finished her outfit with a cheeky lip-print face mask and clear Chanel clutch.
“It’s several years old. I buy and just sits with tags and waits,” Frankel explained of her designer look in the comments.
The sunglasses, she revealed, are her own Skinnygirl design, coming soon.
It’s unclear why the B got so dressed up, but she recently broke up with her boyfriend of two years, Paul Bernon, and has been embracing her new podcast with high-profile guests like Hillary Clinton.
She may not be a “Housewife,” but she is real."
BEVERLY HILLS
SALT LAKE CITY
POTOMAC
"When asked, “How do you fold your napkins to blot your tears? I want specifics for the folding,” Candiace followed up with an expert demonstration.
“OK, so this is toilet paper. I advise against toilet paper because it gets real balled up in your face and in your tears. But you fold it until you can get into the triangle,” explained Candiace, holding up a sample. “Then, you keep folding until you can get it as sharp as possible. And then you just stick it in the duct.”
BRAVO
"Maria Laino DeLuca, Senior Vice President, Consumer and Social Marketing, Bravo and Universal Kids: We had brought Watch What Happens Live to L.A., and just seeing the fans online and seeing the interactions — it was like Beatlemania. People were screaming, went wild. I had never felt that kind of fan energy in my life. And I’ve been to a lot of concerts and experiences. I’d never felt that before, and that really was the moment where we looked at each other and said, ‘We need to do this.”
Deirdre Connolly, Executive Producer for Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at Embassy Row:
It was just really special [that weekend]. And then to see it on a scale like that just made us feel very rewarded by the planning that went into it.The detail that Bravo put into BravoCon was just amazing. I was blown away from each part of it. It was just really, really a very memorable weekend for participants... It was just a really inclusive, celebratory experience.
Laino DeLuca: [We wanted to] really bring our Bravo wink and personality to life and make it feel fun and make it feel like an escape from your life which, thankfully, we were able to achieve.
Andy Cohen, host of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen: There were so many great memories. I love a destination wedding. And this was like one big destination wedding.
That BravoCon experience included panels which put Bravolebs on stage in front of their fans to not only spill secrets, stories, and insights from filming their lives, but to give viewers the chance to ask them, literally, anything.
Emily Simpson, The Real Housewives of Orange County: I did not anticipate [when a fan asked about Shane’s bar exam results]. His bar results came out the day I was on a panel and I didn’t know what [the result] was. I anticipated what it was because I hadn’t heard from him. Someone right in the audience [said], "I can pull up his [results] because it’s all public information." And I was like, "Really? You don’t have to... Do we have to do this in front of like 5,000 people?" [laughs] But it is what it is. I think that’s the assumption of risk, that’s probably what I signed up for. I don’t think I ever told [Shane the fan asked].
I think I was only like a week or two out of surgery from having my hip replaced. So, it was really hard for me to get around. I really could only do like the panels and the meet and greets and stuff. And then I had to go back to the hotel and lay down.
Gizelle Bryant, The Real Housewives of Potomac: The panels were up close and personal. It was a meet and greet on steroids. So I actually liked those a little bit better because you’re able to really connect with the people that week after week are sitting home watching the show. I love them and I appreciate them. And you have to understand our Potomac fans are Potomac fans — meaning they’ve been with us since Day One.
Sezin Cavusoglu, Vice President, Bravo Current Production: Porsha’s foot was in a boot [because she just had surgery]. We wheeled her on to the stage and we wheeled her off the stage. There was a huge line [with RHOA fans for the meet and greet]. The Porsha [and] Kenya [Moore] photo op was definitely one of the highlights for me. For Porsha to make that kind of time while she was standing on one foot, basically, and allow her fans to come in — that was a very special moment.
Lorraine Haughton Lawson, Executive Producer on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Real Housewives of Potomac: I was worried about Porsha and her foot. I think Porsha and Kenya kind of carried it — that’s what they do. They never surprise me because those girls are like bonafide stars.
Cynthia Bailey, The Real Housewives of Atlanta: For the Atlanta Housewives [panel], it was really cool for us to be together to represent our franchise together. It felt good to be with my [Atlanta] girls.
And then in terms of the fashion one [with Bravo's Project Runway designer and judge Brandon Maxwell], my background before I was a Housewife, I was a model. So, it was great to be on the panel with the ladies like Dorit [Kemsley] from [The Real Housewives of] Beverly Hills, who I just live for. She’s so cute, so sweet. Her fashion is off the chain.
Laino DeLuca: We talked about a lot of different things [for panels]. We tried to be as creative as possible. I remember saying, ‘What would I really want? I [want to] see Teresa [Giudice] and some of the other New Jersey ladies come together. We know on Sundays they’re probably making their sauce with their family and they’re eating their meatballs. I want to see them making meatballs or making a dish and just having a casual conversation and cooking.
Dolores Catania, The Real Housewives of New Jersey: People know the history between Teresa and I [when we appeared on panels together], and it’s natural to speak about our lives together. I always stay true to who I am because I feel like the fans deserve it from me.
While most of the casts on Bravo shows are filmed at home and on the town in their street clothes, that isn't the case for the yachties of the Below Deck franchise, who are mostly captured working in uniform. BravoCon weekend took them off charter and planted them on land.
The weekend gave fans the chance to live out moments they've seen or heard about on their favorite Bravo shows over the years, and that included an event hosted by The Real Housewives of New York City alum Dorinda Medley, who taught a BravoCon edition of her aerobics class in front of a room of ready, willing, and able fans.
Cohen: Dorinda was so good and it was so fun. I had a blast. It was the perfect kind of final morning activity. I was up for it. Dorobics was pretty nuts.
Connolly: [It was] very celebratory. It was really sweet. We had some concerns about how it was actually going to play out, but Dorinda came with her partner [John Giswold, who passed away earlier this year] and they were just dressed to the nines in ‘80s gear and then we looked out in the crowd and people are in their ‘80s gear. I’m sure they were hungover from the night before, but they showed up. There was a conga line of people doing her aerobics and it was so sweet and fun and lively, and just light. It just kind of summed up the whole experience because it was a Housewife doing what she loves to do and they were loving like every single second of it.
Laino DeLuca: It ended up being just so incredible. [Andy] had planned it all, he had his outfit. He was like, ‘I wanna do this. I wanna get on stage,’ and that was, again, sort of another nice surprise [for fans]. Those surprise and delight moments were very important as a part of this whole weekend, whether it was, I’m waiting in line and it’s really cold outside and bringing the talent out there to have those moments or Andy coming on stage in the middle of Dorobics. Those things contributed to the success of the weekend.
During the weekend, several big announcements were revealed. During WWHL, it was confirmed that Leah McSweeney would be joining The Real Housewives of New York City cast. But that wasn't all! Two big shows were announced as well: Below Deck Sailing Yacht and The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
Laino DeLuca: It felt like a great opportunity to reward our fans and really make it feel even more exclusive by letting them hear it first. Those announcements just felt so right for that audience, not only because of the talent that was present, but again, it just felt like the right time.
Cohen: That was fun [announcing RHOSLC]. I think it really took people by surprise. They were expecting Chicago, or they were expecting everything but that so it was great.
Bryant: [It felt] like we’re no longer the baby of the bunch [when RHOSLC was announced]. We are now O.G.
And while the RHOSLC cast wasn't there in person for the news, believe us, they heard about it.
Meredith Marks, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City: It was surreal. To think of how long ago we started the whole process of meeting with producers about the show and to have it finally announced, it just didn’t seem real. The fans seem just as excited as we are for the show to debut. I was in my Chicago home at the time. I don’t think any of us expected such a splashy announcement or a better way to introduce us and the show to the world of Bravo. I love how passionate the fans of the Real Housewives franchise are.. . and at the first BravoCon ever! I could not have ever imagined it!
Whitney Rose, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City: It was everything [to have Real Housewives of Salt Lake City announced at BravoCon]! An epic Housewife moment that I am so grateful to be a part of. I was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on vacation just after Justin and I celebrated our vow renewal. No, [I did not expect to get a launching pad like BravoCon for the show]! We were definitely #blessedonthatone.
Heather Gay, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City: [It was] totally thrilling to hear Andy say the words Salt Lake City and to hear the Bravo fans be shocked and thrilled simultaneously! [When the announcement was made,] I was at work at Beauty Lab & Laser and had employees monitoring Twitter and IG to watch for it! It was amazing and made it all become very real very quickly. I still couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I knew that saying it to the Bravo fans on such a huge platform meant that it was all happening.
Lisa Barlow, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City: [It was] crazy, exciting, surreal. I was in the car [when the announcement happened at BravoCon]! It was the BEST launching pad.
In addition to teasing the future of Bravo, the weekend also celebrated the network's storied history, including appearances from alums.
Cohen: I would describe it as a big family reunion. My highlight beyond doing Watch What Happens Live was getting together with Caroline Manzo, Jill Zarin, Kim Richards, Kim Zolciak, and the other OGs that were in that first OG panel that I did. I loved it. I go back so far with those women, so that was really cool. It was just great to see them, and it reminded you of why you fell in love with them in the first place.
I think that people feel like they’re friends. They know them really well because they bare everything on camera. I think for that reason people just seem to feel that they know them — it’s like seeing old friends.
Cavusoglu: The fact that two of the panels that Andy hosted on Friday and Saturday mornings with the quote unquote, retired Housewives, there’s a reason those were so popular. It’s because our audience has been watching them for such a long time and they feel like they’ve been on a journey with these people. They see them through divorces, pregnancies, miscarriages, new houses, moves, whatever a person can go through, that are those landmark moments in life. We’ve been watching these people do all that. So, to suddenly be face to face with the person, I get it. I get the thrill. At my core, I’m still such a fan of our shows. I think that it was really thrilling, both for our fans and for our cast members.
And to celebrate the history of the Real Housewives franchise, memorabilia from across seasons, casts, and cities was brought to NYC and put on display in the Real Housewives Museum, giving fans an immersive experience like no other.
Laino DeLuca: We had been talking about doing some sort of curated collection around Housewives for a while, and we really talked and collaborated with all of the groups across Bravo to identify what are those big, buzzy moments from the franchise that we can bring to life. We started there, and did a process of elimination because we only had a certain amount of space to do this.
The museum included all sorts of iconic items from reunion dresses to the RHONJ sprinkle cookies to Kenya Moore's Gone with the Wind Fabulous dress to the RHOBH bunny to, yes even, Tamra Judge's implants.
Bailey: I had one of my reunion dresses there. They asked me for one of my memorable outfits. I chose to send my red [dress]; it was very big gown. I decided to send that one because I actually still had it and I could find it in my garage [laughs]. I didn’t even know they were doing the Friend Contract. I almost passed out when I saw that. It was hilarious. It just lives on and it just never goes away. And now people are doing friend contracts all the time, so it just kind of took off.
BravoCon was, in some ways, not only a romantic getaway for Bravo couples, but also a testing ground for several boyfriends who had yet to get fully immersed in the experience. They learned first-hand how big of a deal their significant others are while attending the event.
Bailey: I think honestly what meant the most to me was that my now-husband [Mike Hill] was able to go with me. Before he met me like he was a fan of the show; he used to watch the show. But he’s never been seen Bravolebrities everywhere. He’s never experienced anything like that. So, it was just really cool to take him out of the sports world and just bombard him with a true Bravo experience. If there was ever a way to kind of explain my life to him, and for him to get it, taking him to BravoCon pretty much said it all in a nutshell.
Gina Kirschenheiter, The Real Housewives of Orange County: It was so cool to be able to show [Travis Mullen] this whole world. It just made it that much more special and fun for me. For me, personally, it felt really good because I stepped into this Bravo world, I’ve had to do it by myself. And it felt really nice to have somebody there that I loved that was so supportive. Trav is a cool cat. He doesn’t crack under the pressure. It is crazy and overwhelming to him, but he’s totally OK in kind of any situation that I put him in. So I think I was more nervous than him. I think he is the person that helps me stay calm. Because even though he isn’t a part of this, and he recognizes that obviously there was a lot going on, he’s not really like fazed by it.
As if BravoCon wasn't enough of a unique experience, a Bazaar curated with products sold by Bravolebs was also a highlight of the weekend.
Laino DeLuca: I have to say when you plan events, especially large-scale events like this, sometimes you don’t know what to expect, and I feel that Bazaar Marketplace was one of the things that we kept changing. One of the things that we didn’t expect was the talent enjoying it so much and telling us that they really enjoyed it and interacting as much as they did. They went really above and beyond, and I think that speaks to sort of the passion that was exuding from these consumers. It was very clear that it was just a positive good group of people that ended up being a really nice surprise.
Bailey: It was awesome. I really wanted to make sure that I had a presence there. My CB Vior line has been around for a couple of years now and I rock it a lot on the show. So a lot of my fans were excited to really see everything in person. Anything I pretty much sell, I really wear it. So it was just great to really mingle with [the fans]. Just to see the love and support coming from my fans — it’s one thing to have a bunch of followers, but it’s another thing to actually have followers and fans that actually support your businesses and buy your products. So, it was just really cool to really be able to hang out with them and get to meet them.
The weekend ended on Sunday, November 17, in a truly legendary fashion. Luann de Lesseps took the stage for a special performance of her #CountessandFriends cabaret show.
Luann de Lesseps, The Real Housewives of New York City: Performing Countess and Friends, of course [was my favorite memory]! It was nice to have a whole group of people who are just huge Bravo fans. There was so much love in the room. It was just so incredible to have all my peers in the room. It was an enormous honor.
Laino DeLuca: Her show has become so iconic and has really gained a following and was exciting. We thought our fans would really enjoy experiencing that and making that part of the weekend. We felt like it was a great way to end it all.
Kate Chastain, Below Deck: We hear so much about it on [The Real] Housewives of New York City. So, to go there and be sitting in an area next to a few Housewives, Andy Cohen’s assistant Daryn [Carp] was up there, it made it pretty special. I’m glad that was the cabaret show that I attended.
In the end, though, BravoCon was really about the fans and celebrating their devotion to the people they watch every week. And that is a love that is very much reciprocated by the Bravolebs.
Bailey: It’s amazing [and] a little overwhelming at the same time because our [RHOA] fans are so diehard and so loyal. They just freak out. They literally are shaking when they take pictures with us. So it’s really cool to actually meet the fans because they only see us on television, so when they are in front of us they just pretty much freak out.
Bryant: Those ladies [from the other Real Housewives franchises] have been around for at least a decade. And here we are — just me and Ashley off of this little show — and what I did love was that we got just as much love and respect from the fans that those ladies did. And on top of that, the other Housewives gave us so much love that that’s what really did it for me.
It was beyond loving. I had no concept for the magnitude to what I was walking into. I remember going into like the main ballroom and it was pandemonium. I was very humbled to be a part of it, to be honest.
Catania: Pulling up not knowing what to expect, and having streets full of people screaming my name [was the craziest moment]. Getting to meet and greet all the fans who were standing in lines for hours and support us [and] connecting with our extended Bravo family [and] fans [is a favorite memory]. I felt like I was a part of something so much bigger than the Housewives of New Jersey. Even though people came from all different parts of the world, it felt like one big family reunion.
Cohen: It was great. It was full throttle. The other thing I loved is that fans who came alone or fans who came with friends, they were just all with like-minded people. So I feel like people who attended BravoCon actually made a lot of friends. They all spoke the same language, it was very cool.
Kirschenheiter: It’s always so nice for me to do anything with Bravo because everything is usually in New York. It’s a bonus for me [being from here] because I get to see my family and my friends when I'm there. And I think it just means so much more to me. It feels like coming home. And there were so many fans that came out from Long Island specifically. The whole BravoCon, it was so electrifying, and full of energy and fun.
Catania: Meeting fans from all around the world, seeing them in person and getting to take photos with them [still stands out to me]. BravoCon today, next to Andy Cohen’s baby shower, is the most iconic thing in Bravo history.
Cohen: I would say it was euphoric. It was like a reunion of all reunions. It was interactive and it was just a total success."
submitted by readingrachelx to RHDiscussion [link] [comments]


2020.11.17 11:12 Scissor-Lift Jersey concepts

Reading through the thread of people’s comments about the reverse retro jersey got me thinking about the Leafs jerseys in general.
Anyone have any good ideas of something completely different that the Leafs could do? I get that they have the throwback St Pats and Arenas jerseys ... I mean something new.
I know the Leafs are a bit hamstrung as an Original 6 team that doesn’t want to switch things up too much. But if the NY Rangers as an Original 6 team can develop the Lady Liberty jersey (which I like; debuted in ‘96?) then why not the Leafs?
I seem to recall an artist in the past couple years posting some far-out ideas for jerseys ... featuring just the city name, the CN Tower, some other ideas.
Has this been discussed in here already?
I’d like to see an alternate jersey where the jersey has a sprig of 3 maple leafs. (Similar to the 3 you see on Canada’s coat of arms / Ontario’s shield of arms / Ontario’s flag.).
Maybe I’m subconsciously remembering something I’ve already seen before. But same blue/white colour scheme; it’s not too much of a deviation from what the franchise is used to (e.g., it’s not a graphic of the CN Tower or something); by staying so close to the original crest, it’s respecting the team’s status as an Original 6 team; but it’s not the same old (and getting boring) tinkering with what the points and veins on a single maple leaf look like.
Has this already been proposed? Othebetter ideas?
submitted by Scissor-Lift to leafs [link] [comments]


2020.11.16 03:22 hackup Tallowmere 2 – Early Access begins 4 Dec, 2020

Tallowmere 2 – Early Access begins 4 Dec, 2020
https://preview.redd.it/qdunka90eiz51.jpg?width=630&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f15dadc789fb6ac298373ad1b67a54d547eabf51
Lady Tallowmere is pleased to announce...
Tallowmere 2: Curse of the Kittens
will launch as an Early Access title on Steam and itch.io on:
Friday, 4 December, 2020 @ 11:00am PST (GMT-8)

Player modes at launch

Single-player
  • Play solo.
    • Play with a game controller (Xbox One or PlayStation 4 recommended), or keyboard and mouse.
Couch Co-op
  • Shared-screen local co-op.
    • Up to 4 players.
    • Play with 4 controllers, or 3 controllers and 1 keyboard.
Online Co-op
  • Play with friends online.
    • Internet connection required.
    • Up to 4 players per dungeon.
Online co-op.

Differences from the demo

Room limit removed
  • How far can you go?
    • Enemy levels, item rarities, and room modifiers will scale more naturally.
Kitten limit removed
  • Can you rescue 9 kittens in a single run?
    • Careful – they're fragile.
Achievements
  • 80+ achievements.
    • Collect them all.
Starting weapons
  • The Weapon Rack is ready.
Character classes
  • Break the chains.
    • Mirror, mirror...
Leaderboards
  • Can you make it to the top?
    • Categories for each player mode and significant version.
Online Co-op
  • Play online.

Server locations at launch

  • California, USA
  • New Jersey, USA
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Paris, France
  • São Paulo, Brazil
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Beijing, China
  • Hong Kong
For the latest info, please view Tallowmere 2's Server Status page.
If you'd like a server in a region not listed, please comment below, or contact me.

Questions & Answers

Launch discount?
There will be a 40% discount at launch. After that, only 10% discounts are planned throughout Early Access.
LAN co-op?
Local Area Network Co-op is planned, but not quite ready at this time.
Mobile and console?
Android & iOS: Almost ready. Aiming for Q1 2021.
Nintendo Switch: I've received a Switch devkit from Nintendo, but have not had time to tackle this properly yet. Aiming for mid-2021.
Steam keys via itch.io?
I've received the Steam keys from Valve for distribution.
I need to finalise how to distribute them via itch.io – itch has their own system for regular orders with Steam-key redemption, but I need to double-check how this fits in with itch's pre-order rewards.
Feline Faithful and Quadruple Conundrum rewards via itch.io?
I am in the process of how best to organise the kitten-naming, guard-naming, and early-backer-name-crediting.
I will email each backer soon.
Community servers?
Documentation, knowledge, and server-deployment script generation is pretty much done and ready.
I will publicly release info on how to host your own community servers once Early Access has launched.
Can I stream and record the game?
Yes! Please do.
If you'd like any branding or artwork files, please check out Tallowmere 2's media kits.
Also, Tallowmere 2's music was licensed royalty-free, so you shouldn't run into any takedown issues.
See you in the dungeons soon.
– Chris

edit: added Toronto, Canada as a server location.
edit 2: added Frankfurt, Germany as a server location.
edit 3: added Hong Kong as a server location.
submitted by hackup to Tallowmere [link] [comments]


2020.11.16 00:39 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions! Cyber-bullying is absolutely one of the concerns/questions and you'll see it begin to be described about halfway through. I feel the whole story is important for context and even better feedback! Thanks!!

Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions! Cyber-bullying is absolutely one of the concerns/questions and you'll see it begin to be described about halfway through. I feel the whole story is important for context and even better feedback! Thanks!!
Hi everyone! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update with the internet! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagramaccounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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2020.11.16 00:30 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!

Hi everyone! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update to the internet! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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submitted by TaylorLakhryst to allies [link] [comments]


2020.11.16 00:29 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!

Hi everyone! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update to the internet! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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2020.11.16 00:28 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!

Hi everyone! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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2020.11.16 00:26 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!

Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!
Hi everyone! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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submitted by TaylorLakhryst to Allyship [link] [comments]


2020.11.16 00:25 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions! It's a terrible pun coming up, but if I'm trans, and this is Winnipeg, I'm pretty sure we know you might need some "energy" to read the rest of this post, wouldn't you agree? Any advice means lots! Thanks!

Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions! It's a terrible pun coming up, but if I'm trans, and this is Winnipeg, I'm pretty sure we know you might need some
Hi everyone! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
https://preview.redd.it/g508k4qomhz51.jpg?width=2316&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=43a90355cf9d92586324c5c4545364175cb7d87b
submitted by TaylorLakhryst to Winnipeg [link] [comments]


2020.11.16 00:20 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions! I have a few projects I'm undertaking that all have coast-to-coast impact which is incredibly exciting, plus some local challenges that I would love to hear some feedback about! Thanks in advance, eh! :)

Hi everyone! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Manitoba so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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2020.11.16 00:05 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions! Spoiler alert, with me being trans, and this being Manitoba, you may or may not need to gather some "energy" to read through this bucket of fun, right?

Hi everyone! I fell off Reddit for a bit ... I'm sorry! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagramaccounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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2020.11.16 00:00 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!

Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!
Hi everyone! I fell off Reddit for a bit ... I'm sorry! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagramaccounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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2020.11.15 23:55 TaylorLakhryst Hey everyone! Can anyone give advice about Twitter's seemingly biased-behaviour? The meat and potatoes of the concern about halfway through here but I feel the whole story helps create context. I've got a handful of strategies already but would appreciate any extra insight that may be available :)

Hi everyone! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update, but specifically to the Twitter subreddit I'm hopeful a front-to-back story can help understand what's happening better! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
submitted by TaylorLakhryst to Twitter [link] [comments]


2020.11.15 23:38 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!

Hi everyone! I fell off Reddit for a bit ... I'm sorry! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
https://preview.redd.it/7ph73x7fehz51.jpg?width=2316&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1f20625c4051ae3ef5740eb86e22e7659910073b
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2020.11.15 23:36 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!

Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!
Hi everyone! I fell off Reddit for a bit ... I'm sorry! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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submitted by TaylorLakhryst to translesbians [link] [comments]


2020.11.15 23:28 TaylorLakhryst Happy Trans Awareness Week! Here's a life update with some celebrations, concerns & questions!

Hi everyone! I fell off Reddit for a bit ... I'm sorry! With it being Trans Awareness Week I feel it's a great time to share a life update! I came out pretty abruptly this summer and things got exceptionally cranked up in August when my parents reacted exactly as I expected. It really lit a fire under me. I couldn't file for a legal name change fast enough and I feel I have absolutely stripped off the shackles that kept me as a fraction of myself for my entire life. I have since been working incredibly hard at advocating for trans rights in quite a few situations and so far I am pretty proud about myself. I've found most of my time over the past few months on Twitter. I don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts for example and I ended up in the middle of a ... rather serious project.
Ultimately, I've got three goals I'd like to accomplish as part of my journey. My first goal is based on my belief that we are long overdue for visible trans inclusivity in sports, and by that I mean have dialogue present regarding rules, policies, divisions, insurance and so on explaining that divisions are based on gender identity & expression, not biological sex. That said, I am aware of the fluidity of that statement and understand there are times where in the interest of competitiveness or player safety physiological factors need to be considered, especially at elite-level play or in sports where weight classes matter. Overall though, there is no reason otherwise why trans athletes should be prevented from or discriminated against competing in a division that is in line with their preferred gender identity and/or expression.
I've got a thread that I'm using to keep some awareness up particularly relating to Sport Manitoba (while it also was a retweet throwing a bit of shade to a local radio station hiring a known transphobic radio host who has been endorsed by a member of our queer community and insists they will continue to be one of the strongest media allies to the LGBTQ community in Winnipeg. *sorrywhat.gif*
I'll get back to the radio station in a bit. That thread also dropped a note to Slo-Pitch National regarding their rules and of where trans athletes are to fall in with their verbiage. I'm happy to report that unlike the bureaucratic approach I feel I received from Sport Manitoba, Slo-Pitch National was almost immediately engaged after a few tweet attempts went their way. I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with Trish and I strongly believe we will be having more follow-up conversations about how to implement things effectively, assertively, competitively and in a way that prevents abuse.
If I can help encourage programs to start having more visible acknowledgement of trans athletes and having inclusive dialogue and programming in their systems, that will do nothing but benefit one of the core obstacles about trans people in general: awareness. That verbiage can introduce conversations earlier, end controversies sooner, offer courage and support to trans people from children to adults that they have a welcoming place to belong, provide an improved fundamental understanding that people are different and to open minds and hearts about it, and even to improve demographics so that better social, medical, educational, and mentalhealth services can become available.
My second goal, as a matter of fact, is to at least be put in consideration for the Order of Manitoba. I never thought about it before but I remember coming across it at some point and thought, "Screw this. I'm earning it." The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents. I feel that if I continue to work as hard as I can to break barriers, raise awareness and continue to denounce injustice against not only transgender Manitobans but transgender people as a whole, the least I could hope for is to be thought of when it's time to think of who helps make Manitoba be a better place. Personally, I've suffered a walled-up life for pretty much 39 years and if I can do my part to ensure that no person has to feel like they need to be anyone but their authentic and best selves, I will pull out every stop that I am able to because unless you're trans, you simply don't get what it's like.
A rather surreal experience that reminded me that I'm on course to my goal lately was having conversation with the national director of the Run for Women! It started after I pinned a note on my Twitter profile which eventually led to an amazing response and a subsequent Zoom session with Ted and Stephanie. Hearing the interest, recognition, and commitment to make the Run for Women a more welcoming and inclusive event for all women was exciting, and being asked to be kept in touch with during the progress has felt immensely meaningful.
I feel I have really taken advocacy for trans rights seriously ever since I came out and that leads to my third goal that I currently have. I feel I am on a path of creating a legacy and I can only hope that one day people will hear my name and immediately recognize my effort to raise awareness and help normalize the belonging of trans people in a predominantly cisnormative world. Sometimes it feels petty but I would absolutely love to get verified by Twitter at some point because of that. As much as blue isn't my favourite colour, I feel it would look great beside my name. I feel it's a great way to suggest that I know what I'm doing and I'm not taking any of this lightly at all.
When I came out as abruptly as I did, it was with the full intention to raise awareness and educate, especially using the element of shock to prompt reflections into the minds of others. I came out right after George Floyd was murdered because our planet was reeling on yet another example that if you're not White and Right, you're fighting for a place to coexist. Minority groups all over the planet, and obviously the Black community at large, were screaming for reforms to improve diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To eliminate racism. To eliminate discrimination. I felt there was no better time to capture that momentum. After I came out, I lost track of the amount of times someone would say that they had no idea, and rightfully so. I began to come out socially on my 39th birthday so for all intents and purposes the only person most people ever knew or recognized was a white, athletic, 39-year-old Canadian male. I was as close to the top of the food chain that someone could really get. I bled privilege that I didn't even want because it was nothing but imbued irony because it would almost all be erased if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic.
Becoming vulnerable and authentic is exactly what I chose to do. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted to, and it certainly wasn't because I was ready to, but I had no choice except that I HAD to. As a person, I am far too strong, far too vocal, far too educated and far too articulated to stay quiet any longer. I know I've got the skillset and resilience to help make the world a better place and if anything I feel guilty for not allowing myself to start working on it years earlier. Even as I write about this life update, I think about a blog post that was written about me and to this day am so humbled about it. More than ever have I felt like I'm making a difference instead of being a burden and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.
I've alluded to it a couple times already and one of the biggest missions I have been on lately is advocating on the absolute faux pas of a local radio station hiring someone who has said dehumanizing things about transgender people, has not shown public atonement for it, and then being protected by the radio station while they affirm to be LGBTQ+ allies. One of the biggest reasons I am invested in this is because of the message that is being sent to minority communities across the board: If you are privileged, you are protected. The message that forgiveness is to be expected of the victims instead of earned by the offenders really sums up segregation, discrimination and overall mental unwellness in a nutshell.
Personally, I felt my drive for this situation to really light up after Energy 106 FM posted their "Official Statement," which for the record was Friday, August 28, at 9:00 PM. Only until recently in a meeting I had with Adam West, their Program Director, that they had intention of posting that late largely due to Facebook algorithms. All I really had to reply on that was considering the amount of controversy regarding the release of the message, they could have at least addressed the concern with an explanation instead of perpetually ignoring the call-outs. Another interesting take in that same meeting was that they were waiting for that memo to be vetted by one transgender person, which I learned after asking who the "numerous meaningful and significant conversations" involved because I can't imagine a single resource centre in Winnipeg that would have given this hire a green light. Regardless, I had no problem expressing my thoughts about the situation and since made a decision to keep my eye on it.
One of the reasons why I struggled to feel comfortable coming out was because I wasn't ready to be as loud as I knew I was capable of being. For at least half my life I've felt that people like me needed a warrior to be there for them. I wanted to be that warrior but I simply did not feel like I was capable of the fight. As much as I knew I already was being suffocated, I needed to know I could be there for others. It took me a long time but when I finally found it in me I have never been more proud to be myself and to fight for my community. Allyship isn't a part-time job. It is like being that warrior I mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a fight, but you must be ready to go to battle when the time comes. I wasn't ready to fight for myself before. Today, I fight for change.
Twitter certainly was a hotbed after Energy decided to release their "Official Statement" affirming their belief that their hire was the right decision. There were links and stories and updates and advocates and affirmations from all angles, even on the other side of the ocean. After realizing how many stories and concerns there were, I decided to make my path of advocacy easier to follow, literally, and I did that by creating a thread on Twitter that sourced everything to follow in one place.
One of the biggest obstacles with advocacy is it often means you're fighting from a weaker position, as in, it's not uncommon for change to be made because of necessity instead of morality. When it comes to advocating against corporate boondoggling often change would only ultimately be recognized after corporate partners disagree with the decision and decide to withdraw, and that's where the adventure really began.
It was fantastic and encouraging to see many corporate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to stand in Solidarity with us and denounce the decision made by Energy 106 FM, or more specifically, the Evanov Radio Group. During the unrest it was uncovered that Dave Wheeler was hired with approval of Paul Evanov himself, which he shared during one of his podcast episodes of Wheeler After Dark.
I still have conflicted feelings about that. How does Paul Evanov, who's father Bill developed the world's first 100% LGBT front-to-back radio station, who passed away on February 28, 2020, personally approve this hire, affirm support by a PR firm (of which I have solid hunches about but am still piecing it together), and be OK with this? Why does Wheeler say in that soundbite that "they're ready" now? I can't imagine what the delay would have been, unless we think of crazy supervillain vibes where Paul was waiting for all the legal stuff about Bill to be finished. Dave was unemployed for two years. Was Adam asking Paul to ask Bill to give Dave a job for two years, and now that Daddy's out of the picture Paul can finally be the one to say yes? How does any leadership in an organization that has a globally-accessible LGBT-focused radio station that is one of their jewels completely overlook the responsibility of public atonement at a value greater than public shaming, or more accurately disregard its importance? It's completely baffling but truly represents again what life is like with privilege.
I completely understand that Wheeler's termination from his last station wasn't without controversy, but what feels like something completely overlooked is that his language was spoken with fluidity. He utilized an opportunity to share unfiltered thoughts AND get paid for it. That's privilege. The idea of being able to speak your beliefs for personal gain with no disregard for hurt or harm: that's privilege.
To get the opportunity to have a public voice again, especially now targeted TOWARDS the demographic who have been harmed by the hateful and dehumanizing speech without any sign of public grief or atonement: that's privilege. To expect forgiveness and acceptance instead of earning forgiveness and trust: that's privilege.
That's why I advocate. The message that your privilege will protect you and anyone lesser has to fight for equality continues to be too strong, too frequent, and too deadly.
What had me so confused, if not frustrated at the situation, was how the hire didn't raise concerns of transphobia but other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism as well. One of the most ... eye opening ... experiences was Adam's response to me in one of our meetings where he didn't believe "Black Olives Matter" (Starting at ~16:44) was racism. Adam's argument to me was that Dave is a comedian and as such this should be considered a parody. I am not a person of colour by any stretch to know what racism feels like directly, but for him to flatly reject the message that has been spoken LOUDLY by our BIPOC community showed, again, privilege and another reason why I have to keep fighting. What's baffling is that podcast episode with the "parody" was uploaded on August 14, 2020 ... only TWO WEEKS prior to Energy's release of their "Official Statement" defending their hire. Further examples of racism were brought up by other members of our community, such as a podcast episode validating Blackface (starting at ~35:20, released on May 27, 2020, two days after George Floyd was murdered, and with no hesitation to shame the "woke" generation), an anti-Indigenous parody of the Wet'suwet'en protests on February 21, 2020 (plus referencing to the protest as looking like an anus), and validating police brutality to the death of Eishia Hudson (the 16-year-old Indigenous teen who was shot dead on April 16, 2020). He's stated and has been defended that he "has done a lot of work" since getting fired, but I'm struggling to see where it has even started. I am at an absolute loss when it comes to seeing how this history is even close to being welcome at a self-professed LGBTQ+-friendly station, especially considering they fired a woman who was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community to make space for him and another woman. His personal Wheeler After Dark! podcast explicitly describes the episodes as "not intended for those that are easily offended by adult themes, spicy language, satire, dark humour, etc, etc, etc... If you're a kid... You likely shouldn't be listening to this, but you should tell your parents to, they'd find it hilarious!"
Being an ally doesn't have on-and-off "modes." You can't be a representative of allyship when you're under someone else's watch and especially while under someone else's salary. Allyship is an authentic effort from the heart. It isn't always flawless and it isn't always life-possessing but the motivation has to come from within yourself and it absolutely must represent your honest values. It absolutely stuns me about how Energy 106 FM, and more specifically the Evanov Radio Group, is completely dense to the insensitivity caused by their hire and exceptionally so by standing behind it. The responsibility of being an ally is not to be taken lightly, otherwise the actions will be exposed and shown to be performative activism for personal gain. As such, I continued (and continue) to advocate. Our minority communities have been run over far too frequently to stand aside to reckless privilege.
A few weeks after it was clear that Energy was firm in their decision, I decided it was time to get even more involved. I was right on the cusp of socially-transitioning to full-time and used that moment as a chapter in my life to show I'm taking advocating for what's right seriously and have been on it since. One of my most important processes was identifying business affiliates with the radio group. While it started with raising awareness to direct advertisers and implore them to assess their values, see if they are in line with the decisions at Energy, and withdraw their advertising if they don't support it. Many advertisers pulled which was wonderful to see as support, but I personally had a fire ignited after I came across a video from Wheeler in the Morning parodying transgender people.
The video has since been set to private and in a meeting I had with Tyler he explained the video was set to private after I called it out because of the aforementioned legal dispute. Regardless, I advised that setting it to private doesn't address the video existing. The message of setting it to private is "Oh, this is worth keeping, you're not supposed to see it though." I advised him to have someone on Energy's Twitter account acknowledge my post with that exact remark about legal, to do something that represents anything close to allyship instead of continuing to be deflective and secretive.
Regardless, when I saw that video for the first time, the comments had a description that lit me up more than ever. "Superheroes... Every last one of 'em."
A superhero possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses their powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil.
I'm transgender & I am god damned proud of it. I did NOT abruptly become socially & publicly visible to my workplace, sports leagues & peers immediately after the Floyd murder to have Energy's clown car run over MY goal of raising awareness about diversity, inclusion and equality.
Between my parents responding exactly as I expected (who I still have not heard from them to this day, and we're going on about 3m1w at the time of this post), plus Energy and Evanov clearly embracing their decision, my fire has been lit more than ever. This world has never seen as strong as a version of me, and I have barely even teased my potential. I decided that Energy is not enough. If Paul Evanov decided to sign off on it, Tyler picks up an additional role in the Evanov Radio Group with a segment on the aforementioned radio station PROUD FM, and zero suggestion they are reconsidering their decisions, I decided the right way to gain awareness was to expand deeper into the radio group. I decided that it was time to address not only advertisers but any visible business associate with Energy 106 FM, Hot 100.5 FM, CKJS 810 AM, and PROUD FM.
Ever since I started to advocate on this project, I was close to certain that Energy 106 muted me. If they blocked me I would have seen it, but if they muted me I would have had no idea. However, I realized eventually that Energy did in fact have the ability to see my mentions and replies the whole time. I blocked out what Matt mentioned as sensitivity to his message but it seems he chose to engage it further. He chose to react on a post on Energy's account regarding a pizza promotion, and a picture he used on the post was one of him and his child. It was Energy's account and I had a question to their promotion sponsor, but what ultimately transpired was Matt's wife deciding to ... well, here.
That's not to say that Energy or any accomplices hasn't been aware of my advocacy otherwise. From Day 1 (or as close to it that I can imagine), AJ blocked me for whatever reason but had no problem following a conversation I had involving a business partner to PROUD FM and throwing likes to the counterpoints of mine. Of course, sometimes the main account will make accidents too but I had no problem capturing it. Why would they continue to be silent when they insist to be "allies?"
I am DONE with this world running on hate & dollars instead of heartbeats & common sense. I did NOT abruptly put MY health, MY safety & MY neck on the line inspire change to have Paul Evanov, the Evanov Radio Group, Adam West and Energy 106 FM suggest that being queer isn't profitable enough & try to prove it during a GLOBAL SOCIAL CRISIS.
I feel I have shown with more than enough character and conviction that I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm fighting so that we don't need to keep fighting in the future. I advocate strongly for mental health awareness and do my best to engage as much as possible with patience and objective reasoning. I have had people ask if it's OK to come out to me in private messages because they felt there was a safe space. I have had businesses reach out to me about various topics up to and including what could be an appropriate course of action with some of their decisions so that they continue to represent themselves as strong corporate allies. I have lost track of the amount of praise, gratitude and encouragement from so many people in our community. I have had mindful conversations with people immensely frustrated with racism and white supremacy. I have had compassionate conversations with people who want to be allies and are unsure what to do. I have had educational conversations with people about what a trans experience may be like, and I have had many wonderful conversations with trans people of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and shared stories about our journeys. I have had conversations with people who have felt inspired from me, I have had conversations with people who were feeling unwell, and I have had conversations to the point of committing time and awareness with people who were feeling suicidal so that we could get through the moment and work on recovery strategies.
That's not to say that it hasn't been without it's challenges, but has led to some awareness as well! After about a month of constant backlash since sticking to their hire, Energy posted a podcast episode Tyler did with a local podcast group, Winnipeg's Finest, which would to me suggest that Energy shares the perspective and sentiments he shared. I felt it was a good opportunity to express frustration about not being given the opportunity to discuss these changes after being force-told to forgive a transphobic, sexist, racist bigot. The podcast inspired me to respond with a video of my own, as a matter of fact. After listening to the podcast a couple of times I decided to record a YouTube video of my own, completely unfiltered and unedited, pausing at every talking point that contradicted an experience, questioning bias, and so on. The video took me hours! 5 hours, actually! It was my very first time on YouTube too! I felt I had no time to waste and took a huge gamble on how it came out but I feel really proud of myself for what I did! I made sure to include chapter markers of every talking point as well and ... gosh, there are lots.
Like I said, it hasn't been without its challenges, that's for sure. Cranking up the advocacy absolutely raised the eyebrows of many for both good and, let's call it "uneducated", reasons. I'm very grateful to be part of a community who helps support each other especially when there is a serious social concern in the works. I feel especially grateful to be a recognizable and trusted person during this entire adventure and I truly would never wish to have taken a different path. Even though I believe that Adam and Tyler only agreed to speak with me out of obligation to a CBSC "Complaint re ENERGY 106 CHWE-FM Broadcast" (even though it was never addressed as a reason but the timing to start talking and the dis-interest of engaging in Zoom conversations when COVID19 restrictions ramped up feel incredibly coincidental), I did do my best to be a helpful liaison between the radio station and our LGBTQ+ community. I continued to be engaged and offered awareness, consultation, advice and concerns via email. I started and maintained a thread about what allyship looks like to people and what it would take for them to see Energy 106 FM as an ally again. For that project alone, I went as far back into relevant time as I could and tried to connect with nearly every user I could find that reacted to Energy 106 FM hiring Dave Wheeler. Loose math from my notes suggests I have tried to connect with about 1600 people. I have personally DM'd about 750 people and every last piece of feedback has been included in the thread. In my last meeting that I had at Energy, Megan told me that she has been following the entire thread so I at least had an affirmation that the effort has been acknowledged.
Unfortunately, that's also about where it ended. While the start of my emails and correspondence was pleasant and positive communication, it didn't take too long to redirect the focus to some rather important pieces of discussion. It's very clear that since hiring Dave and promoting Wheeler In The Morning as their new morning show, they have enabled a safe space for an extremely far-right culture including white supremacy, transphobia, racism, and a general disrespect for human decency. There has been stalking, doxxing, libel, cyberbullying and an absolute maelstrom of right-wing chaos and panic.
What has been incredibly baffling is how Adam and Energy were literally offered an example of a script to use to stay engaged, not overpromise their direction while denouncing all the values that authentic allies fight against, they decided to ignore all that and ask for everyone to "be kind." If that doesn't have "stand back and standby" written all over it, I don't know what does.
So, this is the part where I ask for feedback! I have a few considerations in my mind so far but am curious about where the next part of my journey should go. I know I'm going to continue to raise awareness of the situation to any visible business affiliates, and likely I will up the ante now to all Evanov Radio Group stations from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, I will be including affiliates to the Winnipeg Goldeyes as well because they censored me when I asked them about their values compared to their affiliation with Energy 106 FM. As a trans athlete, the simple concept of our local AAbaseballteam promoting Diversity Day in the past but censoring me about their values towards diversity, inclusion and equity disgusted me and prompted me to immediately throw my jersey in the garbage. I will never wear a Goldeyes jersey again, especially so long as they don't respond to my questions.
See, I know what I'm doing is powerful, successful and fearful. Why else would the Wheeler-in-the-Morning-fanclub cry to Twitter to suspend my account? That is arguably one of the most flattering things to come my way, to know that I am the haunting reason for people who are so insecure with themselves they have become possessed and obsessed with my existence, and know they are utterly desperate to silence me during my advocacy about trans rights and fundamentally basic humanrights means WHAT I AM DOING IS WORKING AND I WILL NOT QUIT. I must express reservations about Twitter's judgement, however. Oh well. I will earn the blue star, I will be verified, and I WILL bring our trans community to a safer, healthier place.
This cycles back to seeing what feedback is available. I firmly believe these accounts are affiliated to Energy 106 FM or the Evanov Radio Group as a whole. The biggest reason why it comes to mind are based on three things: 1) One of the main antagonists has an account that opened in September 2020, shortly after Dave Wheeler deleted his own account, and targeted a tweet I commented on. 2) After my last meeting at Energy, Adam affirmed to me that "he'll take care of them" when I told him that the little band waving Energy's flag is doing nothing but making his brand look worse, because they are absolutely not doing anything to me. I noticed a near-immediate decline in activity from the fun-club for a small period of time and struggle to believe that wasn't as per Adam's memo. Add the fact that Tyler affirmed to me that he would publicly denounce their behaviour and that has not happened either. So, Energy, Adam, and Tyler have all the means to blatantly denounce white supremacy, harassment, racism, transphobia, doxxing, stalking, libel, defamation, and so on ... yet completely refuse to. What other option can it be? 3) This is a little too coincidental, and if it was done "in satire because Dave is a comedian" (as per Adam) then it shows they are aware of the situation and continue to refuse to address it.
I find it interesting that these accounts have a massive obsession about broadcasting far-right political beliefs and stalking me. Feel free to see for yourself about the obsession since the end of September for all these folks:
BigFonker21%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Brittany Anne%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Nicholas1226%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), a%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live), Hanz Rules!%20(to%3ATaylorLakhryst)%20since%3A2020-09-25&src=typed_query&f=live) and an obsessive amount of boosting from Boo. I'm sure there are more but if I really wanted to look for Cancer I'd rather go stargazing. And frankly, these are simply about things I see directly. I have been told my more than enough peers that this crowd stalks them as well, but peculiarly block those peers if this fun-club doesn't get the reaction they want.
What's especially curious about the situation is that while these users are beyond obsessed with me an have lept over so many lines, I still have no reason to believe that it's not within the Evanov Radio Group and of all things they even have my home address which I needed to include when I wrote my concern to CBSC, so at what point am I to not feel as if Adam or Dave would not use it out of vengeance against me by the time I am done advocating against Evanov Radio Group and their perpetual injustices? People may ask why I shared my address, and the answer is to continue to be open, transparent, and show validity that Energy is a local radio station that is poisoning my local community. People ask why don't I block the aforementioned users, and the answer is because they are not hurting me. Everything that they are doing does nothing but make Energy look worse, make Evanov look like an even more pathetic radio group, and every last itch and twitch they do to try to upset me does nothing but empower me, inspire me, and give me more to work with. Our community has far too many people suffering from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, transphobia, racism, stalking and so much more. I have the means and the mental health strength to absorb all of their hatred and ignorance and show it to people who are in positions to make change that it is happening, it is dangerous and it is deadly. I can not and will not be broken, and that is why I allow these users to continue to try to break me, because all they are doing is making this fire inside of me brighter, stronger, more fierce and ultimately more beautiful. I will not quit.
So, as I've mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback about what you think appropriate courses of action would be! Remember that I'm from Canada, from Manitoba to be more specific, so if you have any feedback that is jurisdiction-specific that may be relevant to your consideration!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Trans Awareness Week!
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