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.

A look at gender in the beauty industry

After flipping through their trusted magazines, like Flare Magazine where Hannah worked in the late 90s, women would head to their local drugstores to pick up the latest anti-wrinkle moisturizers, pore minimizers, and waist thinner-izers. The hyper-feminine and macho-masculine brands also offer up gender-neutral products; they just don’t tell you. With a few exceptions, most beauty products can be used by anyone, regardless of their biological sex, gender identity, or anything else really. It’s the way the products are packaged and marketed that suggests to consumers whether the product is meant for them or not.

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.”

Resources about MMIWG

In 2016, the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls took place to examine and report on this violence against Indigenous women and girls. Since then, books have been published about the families affected by these crimes, as well as the stories of investigations that took place. These truths should not be forgotten.

Two Spirit: A reclaimed identity

Before contact with colonizers, Two Spirit individuals were trusted and integral members of Indigenous communities. These Indigenous people identified as neither female nor male, but rather transcended the binary of gender, with many communities recognizing multiple genders. They were often seen as healers, teachers, spiritual leaders and medicine people. Being able to relate to both male and female perspectives, they would mediate conflict. Inclusiveness and acceptance in the community allowed for Two Spirit individuals to fulfill unique roles. However, colonization disrupted—and continues to disrupt—how Two Spirit people are viewed both inside and outside Indigenous communities.

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.