Photos: Genderqueer march in Vancouver shows that trans people still have a way to go to gain acceptance
No matter how you look at it, the annual Vancouver Pride parade on Sunday (August 5) can only be characterized as a fairly mainstream affair.
We'll see scores of politicians, police officers, community leaders, families, and lots of corporate and union representation. It will be a sign of how much progress gays and lesbians have made over the past four decades in Vancouver.
Tonight's Trans and Genderqueer March, on the other hand, remains on the cutting edge.
That's because the prevailing view of gender as an either-or situation based on a person's born anatomy remains deeply embedded in western society—despite all the evidence to the contrary.
More than 150 people gathered at Emery Barnes Park early this evening for a march designed to challenge old notions about gender and advance the human rights of the trans community. As it's an overtly political event, many held signs, some of which were highly educational.
Participants in the Trans and Genderqueer March leave Emery Barnes Park.
They flooded onto Seymour Street, turned left up Helmcken Street, and headed to Nelson Park. I didn't spot a single politician in the crowd.
Anyone who walked among the throng would have quickly dispensed with any definition of gender as an anatomically determined binary proposition.
That's because there's a lot more fluidity to gender than many people are prepared to admit.
Perhaps one day, the ideas advanced by people in the Trans and Genderqueer March won't seem so far out of the mainstream. A sign of progress will come when they're joined by the same types of people who are so eager to participate in the Vancouver Pride parade.
You can follow the Georgia Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/StraightLGBT.