TESA: Fighting for trans equality in Alberta

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On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, activist Jan Buterman of the Trans Equality Society of Alberta, or TESA, talks about the struggles of trans people in Canada's most conservative province.

Though the struggles of trans people have been increasingly visible in recent years, the marginalization faced by many trans people continues to be intense. This includes stigma, stereotypes, exclusion from things as basic as employment and services (often with no legal remedy), and even, for many trans and gender non-conforming people, risk of physical violence as well. Another crucial issue for trans people -- at least for those who follow this route -- is navigating the complicated and restrictive process which regulates their access to the formal medical and legal transition of their identity in terms of gender and/or sex. Legal barriers and difficulties obtaining identification can have a major impact on trans people's lives and safety. And it was the removal of sex reassignment surgery from the list of procedures covered by the health system in Alberta -- surgery that is a prerequisite for many legal hoops that trans people have no choice but to deal with -- that was the final impetus for the founding of TESA in 2009. Buterman talks about his own experience of employment discrimination, his human rights case that has dragged on for years with no end in sight, and his involvement in TESA, the first formal political organization for and by trans people in the province of Alberta.

To learn more about the Trans Equality Society of Alberta, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

You can also learn more about ways to listen or go to the show's page on rabble.ca. To learn more about suggesting grassroots groups and organizations for future shows, click here. For details on the show's theme music, click here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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