Sunday, 24 November 2013

A Brand New Beat: Farewell, Shake a Tail Feather

And so, today, I hosted my last episode of "Shake a Tail feather", the classic soul music program I have been hosting on CITR FM (University of British Columbia) since September 2006.

Over the past seven years and two months, I have laughed, cried, danced, sat and listened in awe to some new, but very old obscurity sharing it with my audience as well as sharing the newest indie soul and funk done the old-fashioned way by new bands hailing from Vancouver, Ottawa, Brooklyn, Barcelona and many points in between.

Many things went into my decision to draw the show to a close, and I will likely get into some of them in more detail in a later post (when I reflect on the turbulent year that was 2013), but suffice it to say that I had a lot of fun hosting, interviewing guests, and hearing back from my listeners. It is simply time for me to move on to a brand new beat.

Thanks so much to CITR and the show's fans and to all the soul/rhythm and blues artists, living or dead, who poured their hearts out on record so that I and others could enjoy their fresh, heartfelt sound many years later.

And now, it's on to bigger and better.

Love, Vanessa (DJ V)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Once the Candles Go Out ... TDOR 2013 and Beyond

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of The Transgender Day of Remembrance; it was originally started in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender graphic designer, columnist, and activist, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since then, the memorial has grown from a web-based memorial project into an international day of action; the TDOR web site still operates, its scope international as well.

Sadly, 2013 has seen many more names added to the remembrance list. I am confident that those of us in the trans* or genderqueer communities will either be at one of the many events today or will find other ways to memorialize, perhaps remember friends or family that have been lost due to transphobic violence or suicide. I am also confident that, once the candles go out this year, that we will resolve to fight for the basic civil rights that we deserve, the we will speak truth to power in Victoria, BC, Ottawa, California, Washington DC and elsewhere, and that we will also fight to tell our own stories in the media and in our popular culture so that the vitriolic rants of reactionaries on so-called news stations and the cheap, dehumanizing jokes of talk show hosts and so-called comedians will eventually fade, drowned out by the truth of our individual lives and our collective experience.

Let's gear up for the good fight ... and may the light outweigh the darkness in 2014.