On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, organizer Jude Ashburn talks about several aspects of recent radical queer and trans organizing in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
This recent upsurge in radical grassroots organizing work is not so much the sort of institutional LGBT politics that have become more visible and (provisionally, some places, some times) more acceptable to at least certain elements of the dominant society. Rather, this is organizing that’s more grassroots and do-it-yourself; that recogznies we don’t live single-issue lives so we shouldn’t settle for single-issue movements; that emphasizes connections between radical struggles along axes of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and more; that refuses to be complicit in the deep marginalization often faced by trans people and trans issues even in spaces supposedly organized around concern for queer and/or gender issues; that wants rad politics right up there with fab fun.
Jude Ashburn is a queer and non-binary trans person who has been involved in a number of these new initiatives in Halifax. Ashburn moved there a couple of years ago to take a job for a university student-funded organization called the South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre, to help guide its transformation to a renewed focus on questions gender justice. Building on that role and visibility, Ashburn went on to be involved in founding Rad Pride Halifax, a grassroots alternative to the city’s mainstream Pride celebration; and Queer Peers, a mental health peer support group for queer and trans people. I talk with Ashburn about all of these projects, and about the political vision tying them together.
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.