Editor’s note: Leave the shit behind

We want to celebrate our differences instead of hiding them, and highlight our collective identity during a time when there is so much going on that could trap us in a negative mindset. So, we encourage you to leave the shit behind and embrace your unique identity. By bringing up these diverse topics, we hope to create a place where all gender identities are free to be themselves. Whether you identify as a she, they, straight, gay, anything in between, or an ally who walks alongside, we hope you know that you’re one of us.

Defying definition by disorder

TACKLING MENTAL HEALTH STIGMAS

As medical advancements continue and diagnoses are made with more accuracy, mental health needs to become a commonplace topic of conversation. I grew up in a place where sharing your flaws or problems was looked down on; those that live in small farm town communities tend to keep themselves to themselves. Image is important and you don’t want to give anyone gas to burn your barn down.

Q&A: Taylor McNallie, Inclusive Canada

So far this year McNallie has hosted a Zoom chat for local Girl Guides; spoken with young girls and their families on Black history within Canada; joined the Edmonton Police Service’s Commitment to Action committee meeting, which is open to the public; and been regularly present at local protests. She says, “To all the non-racialized individuals who read this, just keep supporting. Keep showing up. Keep speaking out. This fight is long from over, and if Black and Indigenous Peoples can keep fighting, you can, too.”

Polyamory: The more, the merrier

Polyamory is about loving people. In my experience, it feels unfair to ask one person to give me everything I need for the rest of my life. I married my husband because I want to build a life with him, but for me that doesn’t automatically imply other people can’t share that life with us. People need friends, family, and partners—but why is it necessarily limited to one? It is expected to have multiple friends who give you different things, yet this mindset stops short of intimate relationships.

Fifty shades of sex-positivity

Goicochea’s words convinced me even further that the partnership was a good fit. By working with a gender-neutral and progressive sexual wellness brand such as Maude, Johnson is driving inclusivity in sexual wellness just as her work with the trilogy advanced sexual liberation in mainstream media. Sex-positivity is for everyone and comes in many forms. Whether it is in the form of a BDSM romance novel or a solo romp with a gender-neutral vibrator, it deserves to be celebrated—whatever shade it comes in.

Talk feminism to me, daddy!

I had never felt more empowered in my sexuality than when I dabbled in kink—not because it is the only way to be empowered, but because it was something that worked for me. I did, however, feel as though my dominant role was more feminist than my submissive roles. As a female dominant with male submissives, I flipped the typical power distance between cis-men and cis-women. As a submissive, however, I felt empowered, but also like I was upholding a patriarchal standard. As a female dominant with male submissives, I flipped the typical power distance between cis-men and cis-women. As a submissive, however, I felt empowered, but also like I was upholding a patriarchal standard.

A journey out of toxic masculinity

Feminism was something we heard about only in passing or read about in a brief textbook excerpt. It didn’t hold much meaning for me; it was an abstract concept, not a concrete ideology. Now, as a high school teacher, I aim to promote independence and encourage the development of young minds—it is hypocritical of me to remain ignorant.

A feminist changes a tire

Granted, now, I really do know how to change a tire and, if I was ever stuck on the side of a highway with a flat—or even in a parkade—I suppose I could do it myself. But maybe I had it right all along: just because I’d rather let my dad—or partner—help me out doesn’t make me a bad feminist, and just becuase I can change a tire doesn’t mean I need to risk dirtying my bedazzled jacket.

Sailor Moon: Gay and feminist icon

In both TV and film, superpowers are usually coded as masculine. However, Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians use their femininity to destroy evil. The typically-masculine weapons such as swords and guns are replaced with compacts, wands, tiaras and attacks with names like “Moon Spiral Heart Attack.” There’s no need for them to present themselves as masculine because their power comes from their femininity.

Venus envy: Fat phobia and art

The Venus of Olympia courtesy of the NY Times, Titian.(This image is one of many goddess depictions floating around in the 1800s.) Did 18th century nude paintings lead to 21st century fat phobia? I was listening to yet another of my pre-recorded art history lectures, grateful it wasn’t an 8 a.m. in-person class, when the …