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Blissful and Proud

Last week was a very gay week in Halifax indeed.

No, it wasn't Pride or anything like that.  But the Youth Project, Halifax's LGTBTQ youth advocacy and support servies organisation did have it's 20th anniversary party.  The Youth Project has had a big impact on the lives of youth throughout the province, a which was echoed in this story in The Coast.  

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Also in the city, noted performer/drag queen/viral sensation Panti Bliss was invited to come and speak on homophobia, a story which I covered for Daily Xtra.   An excerpt:

“The idea that a 10-minute speech about homophobia and oppression would have resonance for so many people around the world is still astounding and delightfully unexpected to me,” O’Neill says.  

But more than anything, O’Neill wants people to take all of this seriously.

“People imagine that if you are not being beaten up in the street or having ‘faggot’ screamed at you, then it’s not homophobia,” he says. “Just because homophobia is worse in other places doesn’t mean we have to accept lower levels of homophobia.”

Speaking of homophobia, I recently spoke at the ARCUP 2014 conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  The conference is aimed at journalism students and was hosted at St. Thomas University. I was asked to speak on reporting on social justice issues, namely LGBTQ issues.  

I have to say it was a little humbling to participate, especially the part where my talk was being live-tweeted.  

The talk I did focused on respect in journalism, with a focus on telling stories without being exploitative, using the example of the recent Katie Couric/Laverne Cox debacle.  

It was a great experience, and many thanks to those who invited me to participate.