“Any social justice issue is a queer issue,” says Gaywire producer and community organizer Michelle Thomarat.
This week Thomarat will join community members and activists for a panel discussion called Legislating Sexualities in Alberta at the University of Alberta.
Conceived by Alexa Degagne and Thomarat — both political science students — the discussion will focus on anti-queer actions by the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, including section 9 of Bill 44 and the de-listing of gender reassignment surgery in 2009.
Taking part in the discussion will be NDP Alberta MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona Rachel Notley, former Edmonton city councillor Michael Phair and professor Lois Harder. Other issues up for discussion will be the growing power of the right-wing Wild Rose Party of Alberta and community self-representation in the media.
Thomarat hopes Edmonton queers walk away from the discussion ready to take action.
“I want to light a fire under our asses — including my own — to get up and take action,” she says. “People think stuff like writing their MLAs or calling their offices are over-rated actions. I don’t think it is. I think it annoys them and that has an impact on change.”
Legislating Sexualties in Alberta.
Fri, Feb 5.