Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-09-29 - Morgane Oger

Author Recorded Sunday September 29th, 2019

There are 47 episodes in the Versus:Atheist series.

Recorded February 9th, 2019

Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-09 - Greg

Recorded September 11th, 2016

Catholic vs. Atheist - 2016-09-11 - Renaud

Morgane Oger was recently on the winning side of a Human Rights Tribunal ruling against one of my recent guests, Bill Whatcott, who was ordered to pay $55,000 in compensation for publishing material that is likely to expose Morgane Oger (and other transgender people) to hatred or contempt.


Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-09-29 - Morgane Oger

Author Recorded July 30th, 2016

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transcript
These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hi my name is Makino J and you're listening to Catholic versus atheist so tell the listeners a little bit about yourself if you would please who you are what you believe and how you came to believe what you believe Who am I who are you again I'm uh you know I'm an adult I live in Vancouver I am I have two children in public school at the cusp of elementary and secondary school I work in technology I was born in France and I moved to the United States when I was 10 years old but I've moved around a lot before and after that I now live in Vancouver where I moved here in 1983 when I was 15 and this is my home now I'm an activist I'm transgender which is I think a big thing for others me it's like a little thing so I'm a transgender woman which makes me a mom of two makes me also just on the receiving end of a lot of inequity and so I've fallen into activism and politics in 2018 I founded the maharajah Foundation and it was founded to narrow the gap between Canada's laws and the experience of people on the ground by using education advocacy and legal mechanisms to make things better I'm currently serving as vice president of the BC New Democratic Party so you could say I'm also a socialist I've been a candidate for public office twice at school board and I ran for the legislature in 2017 and lately I've been fairly notorious for winning an important Human Rights case which confirmed that religion or free expression didn't have soup see over the right to just participate in democracy unhindered so essentially that there is no hierarchy of rights in Canada and that was related to an anti LGBT basically an anti-gay activists coming after me when I was running for office in 2017 and kind of trying to make a point that he should be able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants however he wants and luckily for me the tribunal supported me and confirmed that no in fact you don't get to say or do whatever you want before we get into all that stuff I'd like to ask you a couple questions about your childhood how were you raised were you raised in the Catholic faith in France or what was your upbringing like so I'm I come from a Catholic tradition my mother's family is very active in the Catholic Church in in France my father's family less so today but um migrant my paternal grandfather was very active in his church at the local level my mother's family is old French aristocracy and has had a long relationship with the Catholic Church we've had many monks and nuns and church officials in our family we still have relatives that have been nouns that are like my mother's age that said I grew up you know on in a more liberal view we were tend we tended to be Christian in Eastern Catholics and I it didn't take for me you know I think there were a number of reasons I could give for why structured organized religion didn't stick with me but fundamentally I would say that from what I saw in the actions of people didn't see what I read in catechism school right it was just not the same thing what I read about was a message of love and inclusion and from quite an early age it didn't ring true and yet to this day I would say I mean you know I have a great respect for religion and for the good it does but the chilling harm that religion does by far over overcomes the good that's done and it's in its name and that's something I find very troubling and as a transgender woman you know publicly transgender woman religion is used as an excuse to try to rid the world of my kind I remember coming back to to France from Morocco I was very young but my brother was a little older and I remember this first big strong sense of not being like them which was when my brother was telling me the story of getting punished for telling the truth in class because she knew something he had seen something some we're talking about the most ludicrous things here he had seen goats in trees I believe the story is because everybody who knows goats knows that goats small climb small trees and that was just it like it unspeakable sin let's say that goats climb trees and so you know this kind of like a weird thing where this the sense that you have knowledge or you have experiences that people without experience will call a lie that came early for me so and there was my brother stories and I had similar stories you know I'd seen a wind rose I don't know if you know what wind roses are out there or no sand structures that got solidified stones again formed by the shape of wind and they looked like a rose they're called winter roses and that's the symbol that we we see on maps the way sometimes we see wind rose on maps and down and it's a thing it exists and I remember being told that I was lying that there's no such thing you know Rose made out of stone no such thing it's like of course there is and and that you know I think that was really formative for me very very formative that when I was and I think this is a lesson for all parents and so listen I carry and I try to it because I do a lot of teaching and sharing and that the idea that a parent might think that they know something yet actually they don't and maybe what your child tells you is actually the truth and you should treat what children say as something other than lies accusing children of lying or telling them that they're not fit or there's there's something wrong with what they're saying is a risk because in my experience they're often telling the truth my experience is knowing that people say things to be true that are not true and people are punitive about things they perceived to be true that you perceive to be wrong but were the difference so that the difference can turn on you I think that had something to do with my spiritual journey and in that spiritual journey I saw the blind faith so I I went to a convent school in France called la naciĆ³n the adoration by a sect of nuns that were you know focused on education and and so forth in Lahaina where I grew up in France I was here for a few years and I remember that descent and conversation were not their strengths right and and they in my eyes they were thee they were the enforcers of religion so it's the questioning of my religious upbringing came from my teachers I think who were clearly not able to see the difference between opinion and truth in my eyes as a child so we were in Boston for a period of time and in Boston my mom was fascinated by Protestant religions and the more exotic ones and first up for a while she went to explore these different groups and their ways and my mother's always been very interested in cross religious ideas and in the end she did a master's in now in comparative lit between Christian writings and Muslim writings I think that's what was so very profoundly different ways of doing faiths were exposed to me when I was young I guess I was still kindergarten first grade what kind of age group and I had very fond memories of this I remember today these well ironically now now I know these groups are you know I'm the very bad at naming Protestant religious groups but some of these groups are profoundly opposed to the existence of transgender people more so than let's say the Catholic tradition is and though it's interesting you know that that back then they were a good place in my experiences and today they're not um later on I discovered in Chicago I was growing up in Chicago now this is a ages 10 to 14 and I was a boy scout in Chicago because trans women get to do the male specific things when before the transition so I was a boy scout and then scouts are tightly aligned to religion and that's where the question would come a balloon thought the Jenner was a Catholic or was a Protestant back then I mean just hid behind agnostic that was my term I learned that word and around I guess age 12 and that was my go-to place and I mean I'm agnostic I don't know I don't really feel like picking and there was also defense because being an atheist and Chicago saying you know what I don't believe in an inner guard and that's all there is to it I don't believe in a sentient guard I don't believe that nature is designed like by a sentient regard which doesn't mean there is in town the fundamental truths doesn't mean that there's isn't justice and all those things I think you know the overlap between Judaism Christianity and Islam is so profound that it's also an overlap with everything I believe except for the things that tell us about if you're not one of us you're gonna curse him so anyways I I I came out as finally an atheist later I would say when I was in Canada I moved here when I was 15 in 83 and here I was there was room for me to say no I'm an atheist I do not believe in your God claim that was a really part of my life you know wasn't too important my father is a professor of medicine and there was like a lot of pressure to follow in his tracks and my grandfather was a you know had been a doctor in France my father's world his medical academics my mother's world is academia and so there was a very strong push to be academic and to be a doctor in one day I remember this is a university finally at the tellement you know what I am NOT going to do this and I mean that the pressure to go into medical school included me being summoned by the Dean of Admissions of UBC to explain myself why aren't you replying you know and then the answer came in in this in the statement which is why are you not applying you're the doc and you know the child of a doctor and you're the grandchild of a doctor we make it easier for you it's like yeah that's why right there that's why I'm not applying I don't want the special deal I've always had a huge aversion to nepotism imagine I've always been horrified by it in the French tradition has a lot of nepotistic tendencies in it you know I'll send my son or my daughter to do this thing I asked my buddy to get my kid a job that no one else can get without being the child of a friend these kinds of things and I find this really awful yeah it's a very Catholic idea the nepotism that's where the very notion of stems from Pope's giving positions to the nephews right I know that's right and it's so wrong in so many ways yet I understand why it exists but in meritorious things that are deeply sought after you know I I remember I I did I thanks to nepotism I got a job in IT in France new computer factory in I remember I was brought in by my dad's buddy the number two of the you know major computer manufacturer at the time and so I was working side by side with the daughter of the number one person in the company and working with us was the child of the number three person in the company and we were yeah the control center automation for this pet of the kids of number four five six seven eight we're doing more menial work and the kids of the others we're doing truly menial work and it's what I get is gonna summer program kind of thing and they had stuck the kids in a proxy of the hierarchy of their parents and nobody there was working there that wasn't related to somebody who could get their kid in oh that offended me so profoundly I was 22 I think it's okay so let's see I never came about as gay I'm not a gay man I was never a gamer I came out as not homophobic I think as an adult and not transfer but it took me a while to you know when you're when you're afraid of seeing yourself in others you sometimes you act out you know we have this phenomenon in in social conservative circles the most homophobic and transphobic of them turn out to be what gay or trans later right that strange saying we're to affirm oneself and the people were afraid of there's nothing like being your most fervent representative of the thing that were afraid of them for which of course we know never works so there was a little bit of that in my young adulthood I was studying engineering when I recognized that in myself I was in engineering school tell my shame to this day I participated in a basically what you would call a straight pride event and it took me some time to realize what I had done done but it's funny what people will do to affirm they're not the thing they're afraid of were you afraid to go to wreck beach no Rick beach is not something I associate with a homosexuality Rick beach is a nude beach on the edge of the city at UVC it's a UBC is a university separated from the city but the University endowment lands which was at the time that's been renamed or partly renamed Pacific spirit Park so I'd say it's fascinating we have the city and then we have a raw forest buffer and then we have a university with I think 60 or 70,000 people yeah so it's a really a town of its own and it's on a peninsula at the edge of the city and it's surrounded by ocean of course but it's on a bluff a sand bluff at the bottom of the sand bluff in a section is a beach called wreck Beach which is traditionally be a nude been a nude beach as a funny aside my downstairs neighbor is Carolyn Brooks and she wrote a book on wreck beach now Carolyn is a very devout Christian and she wrote a fascinating book about a wreck beach I think it's called wreck beach and um no you know what I remember I used to sell alcoholic fruit kabobs on a red beach I did that a few times you could make what it was it was such a walk to get down there so you had to be committed but to this day I remember the pizza guy he would come on a bicycle with a stack of maybe like ten large pizzas he would walk all the way down this is I mean maybe a what 30 story walk yeah write it down and then he had a trumpet and he would get at the bottom of the steps and he would blow tune in a trumpet and aniridia pizza and he would sell the pizza at something like three or five dollars and slights and then he would sell out every time because the walk-up is so hard nobody would leave rat beach to go get food anyways there was no air to get food from so he was a yeah guaranteed market I was other was brilliant the guy probably lives in a Shaughnessy mansion now so yeah no fear break beach you know in my life I've been approached by a creepy old guys a few times now the one that sexual things are trying to turn a situation sexual that's like an inevitable thing and in life it seems either that or the one I can tell you're vulnerable to them and you know I knew they were creepy old guys down there but Rick be it's just not like a demons play paradise I mean the gay man used to cruise more in in other places they didn't cruise and make to my knowledge that was where the hippies were the naked hippies I was a little sensitive about being naked on wreck beach it I in in all honesty you know already that I was like really experiencing dissatisfaction with my body and that was reason to feel uncomfortable there but that's that's it and then I had to come out as a I had to come out as trance in a way to my partner once upon a time because I was I used to be married and I used to be in a relationship before we got married I kind of expressed to this woman my thoughts and my feelings and that was a coming up that went very badly so have you got a relationship with that woman today no not a good relationship unfortunately but you have a good relationship with your two kids I do so to my knowledge I'm the first transgender woman who's successfully fought for joint custody and one it wasn't in a tribunal at the time it was still not advised to go to court things are better now but then there was a real concern that the courts were unpredictable when it came to their outcomes and it's a chilling thing to not be sure that the court will apply the law as you interpret it should be reapplied that's a very difficult situation to be in it's like yeah that's the law but your trance you know Catholic people are a minority in Canada right yeah imagine yeah that's property law but you're Catholic and we don't want another one of you here it's too many already so you know I'm gonna interpret that law differently because I can because it's in my power to have blur that's a pretty harsh reality to face right anybody in a minority group worries about things like that it's chilling when you realize that you have to make a decision because of the fear that your ability to live your life is going to be affected by who you are make pragmatic decisions so my pragmatic decision was not to go to court and to get a divorce order but to mediate a negotiate childcare agreement and that was the first trance woman ever succeeding in Canada to my knowledge so do you know other trans people well I am a trans human rights activist and organizer and so yeah I know an awful lot of transgender people and I be the go-to person for help kind of in Canada but also internationally for certain situations so yeah no I know but I personally know many trans people I had a transsexual roommate once yeah it's interesting you know because generally speaking you know I lived and operated in fairly conservative circles you know not not profoundly socially conservative circles but engineers working in banking in Switzerland where I worked for decade as an ally or military contracting in the US or military contracting in Canada I my my engineering specialty is submarine robotics and that meant that I spent a lot of time in circles where you just kind of didn't come across sexuality or gender identity or transsexualism because everybody put up their hand disappeared from the community that you're part of because of the nature of society at the time and in the context so the people who I knew I knew from University and they weren't necessarily out or they weren't necessarily openly trans the transsexual woman I knew was you know people knew she was transsexual who knew her I think it's important to remember context as well right one didn't get to be openly trans in the eighties in her 90s in his country or anywhere and then I wanted to working in conservative organizations that would throw you out in a second if they thought you were gay or trans so I lived my entire career in an environment where I couldn't possibly know gay or trans people from work because they would never admit it because I would put their careers at risk I used to have a security clicks for my work and I remember being asked about my sexuality and my gender identity and they I would ask about perversions and things like this tonight and I remember like looking at these questions and thinking if I tell them the truth I will never work in this industry again and if I lie and I get caught I will never work in this industry again I'm exactly the kind of person their freedom someone with something to lose and my wife and I watch a lot of RuPaul's Drag Race and there was some controversy where RuPaul was I guess insensitive to the trans somehow he had to issue some sort of apology I think and there have been a few drag queens who have come out as trans can you just sort of talk about the confusion that arises even among those who identify as lbgtq or whatever so I'm not a fan of drag just I don't watch RuPaul's Drag Race that I never have I've never watched a whole episode not once that's it drag is an art form that is basically minstrel lling but for a different reason than minstrel inea's let's say like when people do blackface the purpose of blackface is to ridicule black people usually or to worse try to be in for a presented black person and that's awful the the action of drag is to represent the phenomenon of gender in until recently the process of doing that leveraged misogyny to do it in an awful way and sometimes the drag was just awfully misogynistic and degree and I never understood why that's a source of entertainment degrading others on things they can do nothing about it shouldn't be a source of humor you know that's that's a kind of humor we used to have in a 70s and before myth you know making fun of the disabled or making fun of people not from here who have been adapted and I don't know I find it I stomach-churning but often it's because I am made fun of and I've always been not like them on various reasons whether it's because I was an immigrant or because I was an emigrant that had come back or because I was chance or because I was an atheist I don't think those things were that funny even though sometimes we do bad things and we laughter things we shouldn't laugh at turning that into an industry is it's awful that said drag is also now about deconstructing you know taking peeling away what the essence of gender is there's a lot of job performance that crosses and mixes things up makes people question the reasons why they do things but I think that's a fascinating art form now that said RuPaul believes you can't be doing drag if you're not a man and you know what RuPaul is selling a product primarily to a specific crowd drag is overwhelmingly against plaything especially the old-school misogynistic drag because there's no doubt that in the LGBT community in the gay men's community this a lot of misogyny a lot of people complain about that now it turns out that RuPaul has some performers who are basically pre-transition trans women who decide to transition during the journey of this drag thing and at first he tried to get the transwomen and he got pushed back for it so he limited himself to you have to start out as a masculine presenting person doing drag and there's the whole what's the big deal is there's only fun and games boys will be boys people and then there's the other people saying what the hell is going on here it says awful and I tend to be at the latter group friends of mine do drag performance and it's fascinating to see drag deconstruct gender roles and identity and I'm a transgender woman and I'm a trans woman who was never part of that gay man's culture and I'm a trans activist and drag is used to harm transgender women all the time it's what's the more right-wing people in the world who use religious tropes to attack trans people actually point and drag people especially drag queens where men disguised as women are dressing up as women are doing strange things and they say look look at these awful men this is what trans women are and that is deeply damaging for trans women because it's not true it's not transforming but it causes people to associate trans women with debauchery that some people do as a politician I know how to raise an angry crowd too you can build a movement and I see what they're doing and I see that they're using performers to justify harming my community people like me by bringing in fear and loathing and that's an awful thing to do and I regret that drag is part of that because it has nothing to do with being trans even though being trans is a deconstruction of sex and gender - but at the same time lots of trans women went through drag to learn the performance of gender because those of us who have transitioned we know that gender is performed and that it's not inherent how women talk is compared to how men talk is not born we're not born with these differences we're talk to them just that most of us don't know that we're taught those things most of my gay friends here in Montreal are straight acting and was always wondering why the more flamboyant homosexual seems to be feminized and when they come out of the closet suddenly their articulation is very precise and prissy and there's a little lilt on everything they say and there's a snarkiness where do they learn this is it from TV and movies is there a cultural peer pressure what do you make of it you know the stereotypes of conversation in the gay community reminding you that I'm not part of that the stereotypes of that come from a number of places one is code being gauge used to be dangerous codes evolved to be able to recognize one another and that kind of like weird caddy stuff comes a little bit from that it's an ecosystem ecosystems develop a certain way people who enter the ecosystem adhere to it and then they feel free there's nothing like discovering the freedom of being someone that you were previously not free to be you know and I'll give you a hint about this from the point of view or lies it's probably more familiar to you born-again religion and converted people there is nobody more irritating right yep there you go that's what you're seeing is this enthusiasm it's enthusiasm and a desperation to fit in and we all do that look at like freshly out trans women that fit in and some of these fresh that trans women I've made me like my blood boil because I'm so jealous of like hot dick how did they figure out the whole thing so fast like you know you came out as trans six months ago and you're like running laps around me on presentation ah and this is a little bit of a thing about rent by drag it's like wow you're pretending here for you this is a game where as I do this I do this for my survival and for you this is a game and and I wish I could do what you do but um you know the thing about stereotypes is that they're cultivated but also it's because that's all you see from the outside your lens like if you were to draw the picture of the Christian minister you draw a Catholic priest and I draw a Catholic priest and someone else a random person who's just like read about Catholics priests through the news and has never participated in Catholic religion draws a Catholic person these three of us these three pictures will be profoundly different because of the harmful stereotypes that poison perception from the outside you know I I do a lot of work on hate propaganda that's a guy a center of interest of mine is dealing with hate propaganda and a propaganda has done that the most effective hate propaganda has done by using hate sandwiches you know you go and you state a truth that everybody agrees with especially a commonality and then you state an outright lie and then you provide some sort of a statistically anomalous factoid that supports something in the outright lie and then you go back to the truth about all of us and what you do is you repeat these kinds of things and these hate sandwiches after a while they stick and so the statistically anomalous things of faith can be used to turn people against faith and demonize an entire faith especially if we use blood libel which is the things that can't be unproven it was an old inquisition trick against the jews in and it came out of spain which was the accusation that you're stealing the blood of our children for your religious rights and i imagine trying to prove that you are not stealing the blood of your children for religious rights how would you do that it's like the witch tests right these are a form of this kind of thing and hate propaganda is an awful thing but it's so effective and it so triggered by individuals miss be human yeah of course there's bullying and there's hatred and all this ugliness in society toward those who are different and the darkest sort of corner of this is isolation and eventually in the most extreme cases suicide can you just talk a little bit about suicide and how to prevent it and how to recognize it the symptoms of it and if you have you had first-hand experience with suicide among family or friends or anything like that I've lost transference to suicide I have lost transference to suicide because of their experiences and Catholic hospitals just to put this in context of this conversation being a lone one is an awful thing isolation is terrible I mean that's the strengths of a critical value of religion is community rank and isolation exclusion and uttering are the things that harm us most as people without actually touching us and without physical contact we can know when we when we expel someone from our community or when we remind them over and over over and over again that they're not one of us or that we don't respect them it's extremely painful it's interesting because I think there's no other context where this where this happens I am routinely intercepted by people because I'm publicly transgender people who hate transgender people know who I am as an recognized so I track them and I am routinely intercepted by people who come to me out of the blue in person sometimes to tell me you know always it's the same it's like sir I Love You mr. ogre or whatever they use it usually like butcher my name I love you and that's why I'm going to call you by the name God gave you or an equivalent if they're not religious I am going to remind you just because I can that you are not respected as who you say you are that is an awful thing I mean think about it um it meant like what happened at work if people come to you over and over and over again and say you know what your fraud you're not really actually qualified for this job every day ok so I have these numbers they're symptoms of hatred in pictures and they're from a publication out of Canadian data and I would like as I describe these I would like you to think about what these fact do to a person on the receiving end of them as I do them then we'll talk about that cuz the data at the end talks about this so 34 percent of trans people are subjected to verbal threats or harassment 39 percent have been turned on for job because they're transgender 73 percent have been targeted of Mochrie 87 percent of trans students say they feel unsafe in places at school 20 percent of transgender students have been physically or sexually assaulted because of their gender identity or expression 43% of transgender students and transgender people I'm sorry have attempted suicide 50% of transgender people live under $15,000 a day a year I'm sorry and for students there's a 93 percent drop in suicide attempts among youth who are strongly supported by their parents in their community so if you take away the isolation and if you take away the exclusion and if you take the away the constant questioning of the validity of who you are it turns out that for youth there suicidality goes back to the background like everybody else but if we don't then those trans youth have a 43% suicide rate attempt and this is what I've seen in adults we take people who are hopeful the transition they think they're gonna live the true life if you imagine a 40 year old transitioning like on day 2 what their life looks like okay they look like a guy who's saying they're a woman and doesn't know how to behave it's like basically a puberty but it's a puberty as an adult in an environment that hates you or that has no place free at the very least and rather than everybody else rolling their eyes and saying oh boy this is gonna be fun for the next five years as this person you know adapts instead we pick on this person as a society and we just like scratch up their psyche and that their sense of self-worth and then year after year of this we break them down and we all know what happens when you break people down they eventually collapse or snap and then the rate of breaking down is really high and from what I've seen from my own observations it's really simple if have a good network that keeps you safe and sound you survive and if you don't have a good name of network that does that free will you don't and that's a major problem in our society today so based on what you've said I guess you have one of the strongest networks of any trans person on the planet today well I do you know I I have a little bit of a unique situation I come from some privileged my family is highly educated it's middle-class its progressive it's open tent yeah as evidence based my family was strong and supportive loving family most families are of course loving families weirdly uh yeah I was outed in 2013 for for giving an interview I gave an interview in a in a newspaper online rabble I gave an interview in Ronal to trance our journalist and an agreement with the trans journalist warning me don't like are you sure you want your name on here and naively I said I'm not afraid of them I'm afraid of nobody what can he do to me so I put my name my I my name was published with the article and strangely the whole context of the interview was my trying to intervene within the transgender community which was outraged that a actually an ex-catholic nun who turned into a lightning rod of anti-trans i justification was coming to Vancouver to speak at an event hosted by Vancouver rape relief and this woman is responsible for the u.s. insurance company is refusing to insure any medical care related to transition for decades in the u.s. from the 80s to the like to about 2015 so from the trans community support of view this woman has some very serious blood on our hands and in 2013 Janice Raymond was invited to speak about sexual exploitation like the sex trade by Vancouver rape relief at Vancouver public library the main branch and the response of the transgender community was outraged and they were going to there was a strong intent to vais myself and several others were pulled into this phenomenon and my contribution to this who has to convince essentially that year is antiphon to not engage and to leave them alone and to take the air out of the room by not having an incident and instead to do something else elsewhere so my only contact my real contribution was to prevent a major incident at the Vancouver Public Library from happening and it would have most likely been a violent incident but that was my fear and that got me outed and hate sites picked up on who I was and started to hound me it was awful what awful period of my life um there were attempts to identify the schools my children go to in order to cause embarrassment at my children's schools for example there was you know an attempt to triangulate on where I live based on my Twitter postings which at the time had been geocoded and so it was a little bit terrifying and I I sought advice about what to do about this like what do i do do I hide I was what we call baby chance you know I had been out for four weeks well I had started to access hormone replacement therapy in July I think or maybe even September and this was a November of 2013 so I was just coming into existence that this explosion happened and so um the advice that I keep got back from elders not necessarily trans elders but people the advice was you know there's two places you can go you can go hide in a corner and look for oblivion or you can step into the middle of the room and get a spotlight and hide under the spotlight and find safety under the spotlight and I remembered about how other people had found safety under the spotlight because if you're publicly known to be a person it's harder to get at you and to do bad things and trans people specially transforming we were worried about people doing bad things to us and that's the strategy I followed so I ended up under the spotlight and being under the spotlight what I did is I um agreed to speak in my name honestly you know and I spoke as a fairly rare thing you know I'm an engineer I come from a tradition of clear thinking and clear speaking and know how to make a an argument I'm able to explain and I'm willing to suffer fools to a point and turn their arguments upside down and it turns out I was fairly good at this and I ended up in politics but what this gives me in exchange it's fair to say it gives me a resilient network of resources and of friends who respect what I do and who support me help me and because of my political activism I've had access to training both in communications and also in resilience you know I've had access to anti oppression tools for dealing with extremely hostile situations and now that I'm a very effort public figure I have access to actual physical security so I'm able to be protected and there is no resilience like the resilience you get from knowing that if you ask for help the help will come but it was a long road to get here someone tried to murder me in front of my children once in 2014 now I've been attacked more than once I've lost friends to violence and to suicide so activism never comes free I don't know if you know but at the end of my episodes I asked my guests to give the closing thought something positive uplifting enlightening and hopeful just a little message of hope for the listener so what do you think you might be able to say to anyone that's out there listening now I would say that I'm really looking forward to how things develop over time as we get past this change period where the period of change right now being trans is being accepted more and more things will settle down I'm really looking forward to youth growing up and figuring themselves out and having the luxury of growing up in a society that doesn't care how they identify it doesn't care about their sexuality and therefore doesn't create all the damage that gets created from those things when they're oppressed I'm convinced that that society will be a much healthier one during this world we are still today that's what I'm looking forward to all you have to do forward to all you have to do

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