House of Cards: An LGBTQIA2+ Podcast
House of Cards: An LGBTQIA2+ Podcast

Episode 86 · 1 month ago

House of Cards: An LGBTQIA2+ Podcast; Interview with NDP MLA Janis Irwin

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Today, We were very forunate and very lucky to have the opportunity to interview THE Janis Irwin NDP MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwoods. We were so lucky for the opportunity and it was a great way to spend pride month and again thank you so much to Janis for allowing us this opportunity and to Malissa Dunphy for helping set this all up. Make sure to tune in next week for the final epsiode during Pride Month! Remember you are valid as fuck and stay gay! 

Twitter: @LGBT_deck

Instagram: @houseofcards_podcast

Tiktok: @houseofcardslgbt

Written by Avery Ann

Edited by Jaxson Stiles

Produced by: Jaxson, Avery and Simone, Jesse,

Music: Lofi-Missing memories , lofi fading away, lofi fly lofi escapie, tranquality lofi,

Hi Everyone, and welcome to the House of cars and Lgbtqia to post podcast. I am a very an I'm one of your host I use her pronouns, and a loss is a speech, like my knee pit right. What the fuck? What Huh? Excited? You had present, you had many opportunities there on what you wanted to say. You had so many ways that you could describe your feeling, and that isn't feeling at the moment. Your kneepit. I hope. Yes, I hope you suffer. I am hi, my name is Jackson. I use they him pronouns, and I buzzed and bleached my hair today. EPIC. When you when you said first, I didn't realize that you mean your hair. How you just been like your body was vibrating. I'm vibrating, shaky shake today. That's really funny because like that's one of the seems I do when I'm excited, when I'm stressed, as I shake my hand. So technically, yeah, that's actually really funny that you say that. Is it not? Is it me? I'm not looking at but no, it's done. It's me. Hi'm Simone. I usually they pronouns. That's it. That's it. That's it said, tweet, that's like all of summons, tick tocks. That's it sent, and then I get like a billion views. Yeah, she's just too hot for this world. Yes, see, like we like. We have avery, who makes like actual content. We have jess, who forgets about the Tick Tock and I'm post everyone while and it's like okay, to contact. We have me, who bullies everyone and then contact, and then we have the hot one. Hi, I'M J I use the pronouns and I just got hate crime. I think I would like to come very, very very clear that individually on Ticktock I have the most followers of everybody in the podcast. I feel like a tick tock icon and yet just as just as left. What, Oh my God, is the wife? That's what my mom said when she saw my hair. Yes, yes, no, do you think he's like waiting for one of us to die? Jes, say something, Jes, are you alive? SMOM song, promote times some owner. Do you need me to? I got my yeah, I got it. I just have a headache. Sorry. Um. If you want to find us on social media, you can find us on Instagram at House of cards underscore podcast on twitter at lgbt underscore deck, on Ticktock as House of cards lgbt and on Youtube as house of cards and lgbt deck, and our merch website is https. Colon backslash, backslash by House of cards coompany. Don't sidepackslash. Of course you guess it just alive, of course you do. I don't know if we're going to have one. Well, this is this year's, I think, though. I've been thinking about this. We Are we talking about? Y'All didn't hear my joke. Yes, we heard your joke. Yes, I just left. Oh, you said, I want to do the transition. I and I said, of course you do. Well, I don't think we're gonna. We're not. We're just gonna talk about how, you know, like this is a surprise. Like I don't know why we really need to do a big opening because, like, why would you listen to us about it? Well, why would you listen to US talking about it when we could just go right into it? So true, prepared. Okay, what is then? Listen, just do the terms of it's. Wait, okay, stop of carding now, beat right. Tell me, no, I am one, I one. What it's okay, if no one, if no one says a transition, we are just going to stop the recording here and just go into the Internet. You know what's surprising? You can't shut up. No, I have one. I do translation. We can all say our transitions together, though, but not the other like an order. We can all say it. Rising, the fact that this podcast is survived. Yeah, two years, you know,...

...it's even okay, rising, the current state of the government of our province. So let's talk to our fellow game about that. Okay, you don't get to talk about how I'll podcast is fine. APOUT, you weren't here. Exciting. Yeah, Hey, Dann is, if you could just start us off like introducing yourself, stating like your name in pronouns. Yes, so thanks for having me, everybody. What a fun crew. My name is said Janis Irwin, and I'm the NDPMLA for Edmonton Highlands Norwood and I am the critic for status of women and to Selgbtq plus issues. And my pronouns are she hurt, amazing? We and just to give a round out on all of our pronouns as well. Yeah, me, Jackson, I use the hymn pronouns. I'm she her as well. I'm Samona, you shoe, they pronounced, and I'm Jesse. I use he. They I did not say my name. I maybe first just gonna have to take a guess on the name for the next bit. Yeah, you were. Yeah, yeah, Um, just wanted to ask one not professional question. That's all, like a just ice breaker, you know. Yeah, because this is like I literally woke up at like thirty because I've been so excited for this all week, like we've always this is such a dream. I couldn't tell my mom because we were kind of keeping in a secret, but like yesterday I was like, mom, you're ready to be so, so jealous, because she follows you on twitter and my grandma got me this mug which I thought I have to bring Whoa Jon, while y're all, y'all, are making me blush. This is morning. No, that's so, I can. Can you remind me? I'll ask you a nice breaker question too. Can you remind me? You're all at are? You're all in high school? Right, all of us, gradually, everyone for every yeah, I finished up my first year of university. We, we all did. We did stop this podcast. Well, the majority of us from Grade Eleven, except for avery, who is was in great proforable. Yeah, but, yeah, and remind me of the school. Different schools. Yeah, it's different. I got to the University of Calgaria, though I'm online for school. Online. Would what you Jackson? I go to the local high school in my small town. I live in a very small town. Can you tell me the small town? I'm so curious. You'll know someone that. It's Pinocca Tanyel. Not Cool, that's not that small. Wow, and I actually think I live in a small town. Yeah, listen, and live in a lives in a natural small town. Yeah, and I go, I gotta Spring My Community High School. Oh, very cool. Well, I love that you all connected from all across the province. That's so rad. And I saw I meant to ask this to maybe millist already did. Are you using video? Just audio, just onest audio, just audous. Does matter? Where you felt with my hair yet? No, yeah, just audio. Perfect. Um. So first I should know this, but do you like coffee? Do I like coffee? Yeah, okay, I literally have a coffee perfect, perfect, because this is like this is my favorite thing to ask a group. What's your favorite place to get coffee? Who? Okay, that's really hard for me because there are so many good coffee shops and like whenever I'm asked, like what's my favorite restaurant or what's my favorite I like, yeah, be careful, because I literally have so many that I represent right. So, basically, honestly, I love trying everywhere, like I am really a coffee addict. So, yeah, like, I cannot pick once do yeah, I can't pick one place, but I just yeah, I'm a big Fan of trying new places and spreading the loves. I can. Yeah, because I think that the most common one is, like, oh, Tim's, obviously, but like actually going to expose jess here. J has at minimum ten Tim Horton's gift cards that he need forgetting to you. I do, like, I don't know if I want to say this because you might want to just end the call, but I have my only real rule with coffee is that I can't handle Tim Horton's coffee. I just I've tried. I just do not like the taste of it. All good, really awesome for me because all I only I try to only have one coffee a day and it's normally a Tim's pod. So I don't yeah, maybe I should. I fill it with Creamer, though I rarely taste the coffee. It's normally just like whatever form run using at the time. Yeah, yeah, that's probably yeah, that's answer. I also get a lot of McDonald's for coffee. I hear a lot...

...of people so MC Donald's coffee is topped, it's it hits different. It hits different. Yeah, I can't really have too many like hot stuff. Yeah, I actually am not medically like recommended to have caffee, apparently. Okay, yeah, okay, yeah, well, we got those icebreak earth out of the way. I'm pinned in the first question. Why did you become on DP? And Ila, wow, good question. So Um. You know, I was one of those people. I always talked about how, you know, like growing up in a small town, like many of you. I certainly didn't. I certainly didn't have this like goal as I'm going to be a politician when I'm when I'm older. No, but you know, what happened to me is I was, you know, I grew grew up in a small town and I went to the big city of Edmonton for university and became a teacher and I went to another small town and taught and I wasn't until I left there and came back to to Edmonton where I realized like, okay, I want to be I want to get involved in the community and I want to you know, I want to volunteer. And so, long story short, I swear I'm I'm telling you the short version of the story, but I yeah, so I actually started volunteering with the MDP and that was about ten or eleven years ago and, you know, found a party where their values aligned with mine and you know, I got more and more involved and one thing led to another and I actually ended up running federally to be the member of parliament for the area that I that I live in, Edmonton, grease Baugh, and so that was I launched that campaign in two thousand and thirteen and put a lot of heart and two years of my life into it, but was was unsuccessful. And so stayed involved after that and just you know, eventually an opportunity came to run provincially in the area that I represent, is an MLA, and it didn't take much thinking on my part and and yeah, and in two thousand and nineteen I was elected. And so that's kind of the journey of how I got there. But really, you know, it was it was finding a party where, like I said, you know, I saw my values reflected and I saw the issues that I cared about being put at the forefront right, things like education, things like health care, things like housing and supporting, you know, folks who are who are living rough. So those are some of the big issues that kind of motivated me as well. Yeah, yeah, so I think that especially like Alberta, like this part of Canada's is so dominated with parties that art like, you know, don't align with those same values. So that was that was me growing up as I was always like, oh, I don't like politics, you know that. At that and then, yeah, I discovered what the NDP was and I was like, Oh my God, wait, this is awesome. Way I was originally raised to like almost brainwashed into that the NDP was the raw in side that I should be going on. But even now, like even my parents, we it's all switched over. That, like, when you actually look at it, you really can see, especially when looking that we've had like the same party leading all country or province for I think until the part into the last DP. For like it, what was it close to forty nine years. So yeah, I agree. Like the NDP, I don't know, I don't lost it there. Yeah, yeah, what has your professional journey been like? Oh Gosh Y, and I kind of touched on that a little bit. But you know, like I said, I was I was a teacher and you know, I didn't, yeah, I didn't see myself necessarily going into politics. I always tell the story of how I was. So I was in teaching in this place called Baf Alberta, which, you want to talk about small towns, ball is a fill. So you like literally, but the village itself is like what other people and then when school prossession it's like two hundred more right. So, yeah, and I remember when I started teaching there. You know they have like this wall of all the teachers who've taught there for, you know, their whole careers, and I remember saying to one of the other teachers like, Oh, you know, one day my picture is going to be on that wall. Right. So I really like, you know, expected myself to just be to be it, not just be a teacher, and to to have a really exciting career and all that in teaching. And then, you know, things didn't didn't necessarily follow that trajectory because I only actually taught for about five or six years and then ended up, like I said, coming back to Abington. My plan was to I was working on curriculum with the provincial government at the time and this was way before all the curriculum controversy, to be clear. Yeah,...

...and so, yeah, the plan was to work in Empton for a few years and then come back to my rural school division. But job ended up becoming permanent and I didn't ever come back to rural Alberta and they, like I said, that's where I started getting involved in politics and volunteering and just really learning a lot about that and eventually running. So yeah, my my career trajector trajectory was certainly not what I expected when I, you know, when I left Barhead as a teenager, when I, you know, left Dedmonton after getting my my education degree, right, so just kind of took all these twists and turns. But but here I am. So yeah, if you if you told that, like, you know, seventeen year old Jian is living in bar hit, Alberta, that you know, in the in twenty years, which I guess exactly twenty years she'd be, you know, living in Edmonton, live in our best life. You know, she may not have, she may not have believe that, you know, she'd be an openly Queer Mla and in the yeah, yeah, I do have. I do have to say that I, like, I'm very inspired by the fact that you kind of getting into politics was about like started with the like school Alberta Curriculum and stuff like that and teaching and like then the fact that that's like kind of why you've also been continuing as your Mla work in like ensuring future generations kind of idea. So I think that's really Oh yeah, and the curriculum issue has been I mean I've obviously I'm not the education critic that Sara Hoffman, but it's been an issue that I've been very passionate about because, yeah, I was immersed in that world for years developing curriculum and a teacher right. So, yes, I'm very, very passionate about it. And then the terrible process through which UCP have have wake in this promise. We we understand that a bit, being in school and ever like they were almost out of there. But yeah, yeah, we'll close. If you want liberty to discuss. If not, we can just move on. Do you have any thoughts or comments on Jason Kenny's regis? Regis a nation? Nope, that yeah, yeah, yeah, like, honestly, you know, I'm not even just saying this, it's just like it's not something that, you know, that we're focused a lot on. You know, UCP are going to continue to have their their internal drama and they're going to continue to focus on getting a new leader and and trying to run away from their historically terrible record. So they're going to keep doing all that and we are going to focus on, you know, developing a platform and policies that are based on what Al Burton's are telling us. Right. So, like, you know, honestly, people will ask me like Oh, what do you think about Jason and like I'm not even thinking about him and I'm not even thinking about at the UCP. I'm thinking about doing all we can so that we can, you know, we can we can form government whenever that next election is right, so that Alberton's can see us as the people that they want to choose, because they know that we don't need to remind elburton's about how how awful Jason Kenny is, especially now that he's leaving. But we do need to remind them of the fact that this is a government that has not had the the best interest of Alburtons at heart. And so, you know, our focus is on them, while the UCP are focused on in fighting in their own internal drama, right. Yeah, that's really awesome to me here because it really does feel like it's not like a sort of like a petty like competition fight thing. It's it's really like what is best for Alberta and alburtons alike, which is really, really nice to hear. That's really refreshing to hear. Absolutely yeah, and the next generation of voters is literally like the gayest generation right ever. So wear real y'all that are come through. Yeah, you're not kidding around. Like I I've been visiting a lot of schools, especially now that we're out of the legislature, and not just schools in my area, where, you know, I mean the area represent is pretty pretty supportive and pretty queer and all that. So I know I'm in a little bit of an orange bubble, but you know, I went to far South Edmonton last week a Catholic high school and like, Oh my goodness, the number of kids that were like came up to me and we're like, I'm trans I'm Pan, I'm queer, I'm less, like just like it was so, so cool and like kids from all different backgrounds, very diverse, who were like, you know, I was up there, you know, doing my doing my thing, and and they were just yeah, like yeah, young people these days are so so inspiring and way more open and queer than previous generations. So yeah, absolutely, and it's so good to see somebody who is queer, who's in like...

...a position of like authority. I don't know if I want to say authority, but like somebody that you look up to is in the position of like they can make the change. They're in. Yeah, because you know, it's like you you grow up and you don't see that representation, you don't see that you know, actually talked about anywhere else, and it's just really good to see that it's like okay, this exists elsewhere. You know, like this not taught, are you? Yeah, right, back to the curriculum. Yeh Know, you're so right and like obviously I don't I hate to use the term like powerful or authoritative or anything like that. All Right, I am very concerned by politicians who use terms like that and but that doesn't change the fact that, you know, yeah, like as much as I would have ever believed it. There you know, I do have some influence and and it is, you know, it's a it's a wild state of affairs that I'm the only openly queer MLA and in two thousand and twenty two and out of eighty seven folks. But one of the things I'm really excited about is electing more, let's be clear, Endpmla's who identify as part of the community right. So that's something that's really important to me. Representation matters and hey, you all need you all know about this, I know you do. But like just the whole loud Jackson, that Mug, I love it. Oh sorry, have you helped the podcast? Those peoples think Jackson is drinking out of the Janis Irwin muging. Yeah, but you know, that's that's just something, that something that I always want to reflect on in it. You know, I've given a number of speeches at pride events already in the last few days and weeks, and just mentioning that, like, listen I'm a I'm a white, SIS gender woman. Right, I have a whole heck of a lot of privilege, you know. So when people say I'd me, like you must feel like you have to like represent the community in the legislature, I'm like, listen, I can't possibly represent the community. I can't ever understand what it's like to be a racialized Transperson, as an example, right, somebody who we know, on average, experiences far higher levels of violence and discrimination than I do. I can, I can move. Because of my privilege, I can move pretty freely throughout this world. A lot of people in our community can't. And so, you know, my hope and my goal is that we can get the legislature to look more like Alberta, so that we have more racialized folks, that we have more, you know, folks to identify as part of the two S Lgbtq community. Right, indigenous folks. We don't even have an indigenous person in the legislature right now. How well, right, my gosh. But, but, but the hopeful part is we've got a number of indigenous candidates already who are nominated or who potentially are going to be nominated. So I'm really hopeful that we're going to start getting that legislature to look more like Alberta, because right now it doesn't. Yeah, Um, what are your aims and goals for the future of the LGBTQ plus Youth of Alberta? Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, you know there's still so you know, it's for at the time we're recording this, it's pride month here at least seven. Yeah, yeah, COBERTA. Right, it's pride month and of course, you know that's an opportunity to celebrate, for sure, and to have fun, but more importantly, it's a time to time to reflect and to acknowledge that there's still a heck of a lot of work to do. And so when you ask, you know what, what are your goals? What are the things that you need to do? Well, yeah, we need to do more than just celebrate, because for a lot of members of our community they still are not safe and loved and welcomed in their communities. So things like focusing on Trans Rights. You know, I get a lot I still see in you, I'll see it as well, like a lot of gross comments about about Trans folks and about just, you know, Trans Rights. Whenever it's an shoe. Yeah, it's still like. It just shows how much work we need to do. Right. So Trans Rights in general are something that I really want is to keep focusing on. Yeah, absolutely, and and that means Trans Health to there's a trans health crisis and Alberta there really is. Yeah, yeah, and there are a lot of people before being left behind because of the gaps in the healthcare system. So so those are a couple of issues. I mean another one, and I could go on for days about this. So they're just not I'll give another just important. So I would say trans issues. For sure, Trans Health, continued emphasis on safety and schools and safe spaces for kids, because while there are a lot of really rad schools all over this province that offered gesays and qsays and name them as such for kids, there are still many kids across this province who are not safe. They're not safe to be...

...themselves at school, which is incredibly troubling. And then there's certainly certainly not safe to be themselves at home. And what that means when kids aren't safe at home, they risk becoming on house and we see that. We see that inton with, you know, at least forty percent of the house population of youth being being being identified as as members of the S LGBTQ plus community. So those are probably creasing right. Trans is rights, education and safe spaces for kids and on Hous to to SL tobtq plus youth. Okay, I'll stop talking, for some of you went want yeah, but that's because, like I have as a trans individual in Alberta and like because I'm a teen, you know, I'm looking moving out, you know, go moving on with my life and stuff like that. Like looking at the healthcare like part of it and, you know, with with being trans, it's just it's it's mind blowing to me the way that this province handles that stuff. Like I remember I was doing some calculating for bills and stuff like that. I was like I could either pay to go to university for two years or be like get hormone therapy for two months. Like it's insane. It is absolutely insane and just there's no access. Nobody's talking about it. So I'm really glad that you brought that up, because I feel like that's something that a lot of people forget. When we talked about lgbtq stuff. It's, you know, it's always like Oh, gay marriage and stuff like that. It's but it's no, it's there's so much more. There's so much more, like it's just it's just been such an eyeopener for me just these last few months, like Oh wow, huh, this comm is working actually on that. The healthcare system in general is pretty blood yeah, yeah, I think that I have chronic illnesses, like I have a rare disease and stuff, and the way that Western medicine works is that like if they they look to fix a problem, like they don't search for like they don't treat patients as people, and that's like doubly reflected for like people of minorities, like the way that like people of Color and like Trans people have been like dismissed by healthcare professionals. Like it makes my skin prong like yeah, yeah, it's not. It is wild, because it's not even just like transpolks, like honestly Queer folks and rule up bird of the number of people I have reached out who are like like, of course, like I said, Trans folks in particular, where they're being denied healthcare, like their physicians. They might not even beat like the vicision positions might not even be like malicious or jerks or anything, they're just genuinely like, oh, I just feel like I'm not equipped to deal with Trans Hell Yeah, but even just queer people being denied and like and women. Women, we have holy grow. The stories I've heard of women being denied birst control because their physician in their small town doesn't want to worst control. Oh my goodness, just blows my mind. Like y'all were in two thousand and twenty two and we still have to talk about list like calm on and like leading off as talking about these stations, about that's that's really important for the our podcast, because originally it was me, Simona and avery and we had to talk. We it was literally a late night conversation. We were like this is a really fun like interaction of our sexuality. Not to go through the depth start and then it's as a joke and then we just developed into like why don't we create a podcast that is about talking about this, educating people on sex VLLITIES and on genders and on sex and on all of like this things that are just like pushed to the side due to usually the UCP and those regressive ideas. And just try and do our best to like help people, and it was like hearing that. It was kind of like, for me, the kind of first idea that I had when we thought about it was like, okay, this is like going to be going over all the gaps that like sex, said, missus for Queer people, like yeah, and again, Curriculum, oh my God, yeah, we'll just sleep go back to it. We've gone into so much as well, like we've gone into history to prove that it's not just a current thing, like it's existed through a time. We were, we just recently are finishing up a series on gay literature and miss to show that like it is everywhere and like just well, it just start out with your sexual is in gender where now trying to like really like show the full community and all of it. And so, yeah, the education was...

...really good to hear, as it's kind of it's all. It's one of our main pillars, I guess the best way to explain it. I love that. No, that is that is so awesome. That is so awesome, and I just yeah, I love that you're focused on that and just, yeah, it's even like it why I think I one of the reasons why I think that's so inspiring is like, you know, kind of like you a looded to their like you, you're not even going to be impacted by the new curriculum. But the fact is all of us, you know, students, former students, teachers, former teachers, parents, everybody, grandparents, like, we should be fighting for a curriculum that's going to be better for future generations, right, like, yeah, that's one of the tough things, is like often people don't get. Often people aren't mobilized to fight about an issue unless they're personally impacted. Right. So, you know, I just yeah, I hope we can do all we can to, yeah, to just let people or encourage people to understand just how much an issue like curriculum impacts us. All right, HMM. And actually has a really great segue into our next question. Is there any advice that you would like to like bestow upon the future voters of Alberta? Oh my goodness, some wisdom, because I'm so old. You're not. So listen. I'M NOT gonna lie. I feel incredibly old this morning. Just tired. It was a busy weekend. No, that's great, like so, advice, advice, advice, I like that I'm at the stage in my life where I can be asked for asked for advice. No, I honestly I think, like, I'm not kidding, like, folks of your generation are just really inspiring and I love just how much you're. Your generation is willing to be, like, you know, unequivocal when it comes to speaking up about, you know, about issues around anti racism and to US Lgbtq, pus rights and so on. So like, my advice is to just keep just to keep pushing, to keep talking and speaking up about these issues, even when it's hard and even when it really when it really sucks, to be quite frank, but also to to move that activism to the political world as well, in the sense that, like like, voter turnout like they're still like it edited your generation. I don't think we have the breakdown yet from Ontario, but for folks not paying attention, like generally, the voter turnout in the Ontario election was really low and I can imagine I'm not going to you know again, I haven't I haven't had the time to dig into the numbers, but I'm going to make a pretty educated guess that voter turnout amongst youth was low right, and we saw what happened there. PCs Re elected right and the Liberals and ENDP just getting decimated, I can guarantee you. Also, again without even San No, I should never make these statements without seeing data, but I'm going to say I'm pretty confident in saying that the voter turnout among seniors was quite high and was overwhelmed or pieces right. So, you know, it's things like that, because my I am very worried that, you know, we won't see the turnout that we need here in the next Alberta election, especially if people are starting to see feel like, Oh, you know, a lot of people make their decisions based on the economy. So if they're feeling like okay, I was, I was struggling, but I'm feeling a bit better. You know, either I'm not too motivated to go vote or I'm just going to vote for the status quote, you know, the UCP right, or that people aren't you know, aren't motivated to vote, quite frankly, for us, and that's why, you know, I need all of you folks for your generation to tell me what you want us to be talking about and to be sharing your feedback and to be, you know, encouraging us to focus on certain issues if we're not already right. So, so, yeah, I guess my advice is to like keep doing what you're doing, keep pushing people and keep mobilizing other members of your generation to get out there and to be active and and vocal. How has your personal life in affected your political inclinations? Oh, life, well, you know, I think just you know, my personal journey of course, like you know, not always having been out and having come out, you know, a bit later, like later, later twenties, and just you know, never before then having been, you know, an advocate for to slgbtq pus rights. You know, I kind of just you know, I was yeah, I just wasn't in my universe right, and so I think my own personal journey really impacting that, knowing what it's like to struggle and to feel like no, you can't, you can't come out and you can't be yourself, and just, you know, imagining an and knowing,...

...because hearing the stories firsthand from from people who you know are in that place and just you know, I always I talked about in the legislature just you know, my feeling when I was a teacher, of you know, being not not being out and not really grappling with these thoughts or, you know, do not really grappling a position at all and just feeling like, I know I didn't do enough when I was a teacher. Like I know that there were kids who were bullied and who were you know, and I know that there were kids in these rural, conservative to towns that I taught in who were homophobic and used awful slurs and and I regret, like I regret so much not standing up and not speaking out and not demanding better. And so, you know, all I can do now, looking back, is to say, okay, I can't change the past, but I can certainly do all I can to fight for better now and to keep giving a voice and platform for folks who don't have one and and and being, you know, being just steadfast in the fight for better, and not just when it comes to a Selgbtq pus rights, but you know, for anybody who's who's being marginalized. Yeah, I kind of like to think that that would be like the ultimate goal, like just for me personally, that like if I have like grand kids or something that they don't feel like they have to like play a role and like take like bullying and like splurers and everything because they don't want to be marginalized or like hate crimeed or anything. Because, I mean the majority of like people that I know who are part of the community all have experiences like it. Yeah, and it is really sad, but yeah, that that's always been my whole thing, is to be the person you needed when you were younger. So to be the the one that actually talks about it, you know, to be the person that actually supports people and, you know, helps them figure stuff out and, you know, is there for them, is such an important thing for me. So, like I totally get that. Like I so I have like regrets from when I was younger where it's like wow, I really just sat there and let that happen to people that I cared about, or even let it happen to me, you know, like I just I just sat there and I took that from these people that were just awful, and I wish I could go back now as the person I am today. But you know, as you said, you can't change the past, but you can make the present a better place and you can strive to improve a future. So so well said. Absolutely, and to be gentle, to be gentle with ourselves. To write like that's an absolutely constant, a constant struggle for me to write, to just be reminded that, like you know, past, you is not does not define you. And you know, when we can all have regrets, but it's I think it's about how we move forward. Right. So, yeah, no, that's great. Um, if you were liberty to discuss. If not, again we'll just move on. What are your views on the row versus way controversy? At Liberty? Oh No, I am so at liberty and staking truth. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Oh, no, I don't. I don't like to talk about reproductive rights. No, I and that's another example. Right. You know, when I say let's let's be let's be unequivocal when it comes to us lgbtq plus rights, I'm also talking about things like reproductive rights, right, and and being very inclusive. Right. One of the challenges we've had over the last little while. It's just really encouraging people to use inclusive language, like don't just talk about a woman's right to choose and right, let's not just talk about women's right, let's talk about reproductive rights and because these issues impact a whole lot of people in the two S. Lgbtq community and gender diverse folks do not need to be left out of that conversation because, of course they are even more significantly impacted. So No, it's incredibly troubling. You know, when when the news first broke, whenever that was? Time is confusing. A few weeks ago, a month ago, maybe even out make thank you, was already over a month ago. Time is confusing and mind blowing all at the same time. So No, Ray are are fabulous leader, Rachel Not Lee, and and me and our team. You might have seen, you know, US Women Mla's, and it was women, just because, you know, we don't yet have any folks who identify, as you know, nonbinder binary or anything like that. But we wanted to just we wanted to take a stance, we wanted to be clear that, even though this was a decision that's going to, you know, be the impacting the United States, it's it's effects have ripples here as well, because we are not immune to the threat of the Anti Abortion folks and folks who would love to take away our right to choose right. So you know, we've been quite outspoken about that. Of course there were the haters who who would say that,...

...like you know, why are you talking about this? It's not an Alberta issue. It absolutely is. And the reality is, and this I had to say this in the legislature a lot that week, when, you know, asking the minister responsible for status of women what she was going to do to to address these these very real, invalid concerns, and she would say this is abortion access asn't an issue in Alberta. This is you. You are making a big deal about about something in the United States. No, abortion access is a huge deal in Alberta. There are you very few clinics if you are a person in rule Alberta wanting an abortion in pretty much every part of rule Alberta it is very difficult. And so yes, it isn't here. Yes, it is an issue that we need to keep talking about and speaking about. We saw not that long ago this government wishing to support something called conscience rights legislation through a bill called bill two hundred and seven, which effectively would have made it easy for physicians and medical providers to deny reproductive healthcare to people. And so we've already seen that this is a government willing to go down that path and there are many UCPMLA's who are quite clear about their anti choice views. I like to use the word anti choices appros as opposed to proof, for various reasons. So, yeah, I am absolutely happy to talk about this issue and emphasizing the fact that, you know, reproductive rights remain very much under threat in Alberta, across Canada and around the world. Yeah, around the world is really one of the like biggest points of that too, because, like in eastern countries, Western influence from America like is he globalization has like steam rolled so many cultures and like astern practices that like even here in Canada we barely know anything about the rest of the world in terms of pology, like or whatever, and like because of that huge influence of America, like it has a very real danger of them becoming like a global like norm in a sense. Yeah, I like I remember talking about a little time that like especially, like Canada especially, is in is a huge piven sort of United States. I guess from what I've seen in this is mostly talked about in social class. Is What America does. Canada tends to follow a similar path in a few years. And it's it. It sucks to look at that because Canada should and hopefully be more independent, but we are such in those spear of influence that what happens in America is verily, like very likely to follow up into Canada. And Yeah, it's not good, especially with the rovy rate controversy and anti choice. It's just I do like the use of anti choice. I like that. I like that's that's good. I'm gonna Start using that. Yeah, well, that was a bit of a roughness. Yeah, and on. Maybe we should have put that. Yeah, you're right. I was thinking, like you know, the advice was like a much better like ending question. But yeah, do not think about that. Yeah, I mean, I guess like a good like end question. If you had to, I guess, say something to your younger self or the younger queer generation, what would you say? Yeah, just to end us off quick yeah, I know that's such a great question and I think. Yeah, I mean, you know, I think my yeah, my younger self was definitely not, you know, not you know, I definitely I definitely struggling in my say younger self, even just you know, myself in my in my s. So not being not feeling like I was in the right place, you know, like careerwise, and also just, you know, personally and just feeling, you know, at the time when you are, you know, when you're struggling with your mental health and when we with your if you're struggling with just, you know, your own identity, it can feel like there's no you know, there's no way out right. It can feel like this is how my life is going to be. And so just if you know, if someone's listening to this podcast and and they're in that place right now, feeling like, you know, there's just not a path forward, just know that there is. I know that there's a lot of people who who care for you, who value you, who see you and who love you. That is by excellent. That's yeah, now, that's perfect. Well, thank you so much for coming on to the PODCAST. It was great to have you and I think we are yeah, this is yeah, this is, I think, something we even talked about, like like when we first started, like it'd be great to have like an MLA or an MP on, and so this is this is really a drink come true for the majority of us and to have it be you is even better. Yeah, my honor,...

...honestly, and just thanks for doing this and thanks for, let's see, I'm even getting emotional here. Just thanks for him, thanks for just, yeah, thanks for being Rock Stars and just I'm honored to be on the podcast. Yeah, thank you so much. Thank well, I always as you can see, you're in good hands. Go but for and eppefully it's this coming September. Is the election correct? No, no, it's not for a week. We don't know when it will be. They have to in theory they have to do it before May of next year, so it could yeah, it could be next year. Okay, so it's coming up, so get start doing your in to get ready. Go all the youth who can go do that, your chores matters and be gay. Go, go, go get some better wrap on the on the Alberta team and just just around the world to just yeah, let's get let's try and get everyone involved. But yeah, so much for joining us, Janis. Thank you for having you. Thank you. That was you. Clap, clap, because Janis, I went, is definitely still here in this is and this is it. This is a two days later. That was the best day of my life. Honestly, what re recording this right? I really I really hope Jennison, I really hope Jenison less to listen to this. That those are the two. I don't know if this wants to say this. She was there. I'll email her and then I'll addit this out. She does when we talk about it, but she was there just doing some you know, official Shit. And then we had JENISO. Went there and like we all sat and call waiting for them both to leave. Like I could tell we all like what we wanted to do. When they left the call, we were like, we all know what all of us are Strang and had a little fan boy panic attacks because that was the best. Yeah, we're all just damn life. It was amazing, Little Dancy Day, but we don't really have much to say here because, like this is this is the end. You Watch the entire episode this, you just get to hear US talk about Gay Shit. Now you made it, you finish the thing. Was So happy that we were able to interview someone like Janis Oh and and we honestly, I think we're all kind of hoping we get to do more interviews like that because, like we have to bet, like interviewing Dawson and echo and eventually other people. They're fun, it's great, we love it, but that was a whole different experience that that was like. Imagine like meeting Taylor's with that's imagine how that was like having a child. No, to me, this is like watching my child graduate. That was better than having a child. That was better than graduating the parent. That was better than graduating interview with Janis or when within like the same span of like five days, and I was like, I'm more excited to talk to Jadis or would that I am to graduate from fucking Guy School. But I want to thank everyone for listening today's episode and we really hope you enjoyed it and we hope to see you next week. Well, we may not have, Dennis Owen, you technically will have. The Gay Olympics are taking place next week. Gay Olympez you've got. We've got off. We got a runner on to who is not who is our current our current leading platform or leading leading emperor monarch, I guess, because we want to be gender a gender or neutral all leading monarch avery, who was one two times. We have all we have some own who has won once and then we have our Newcomera, all runt of the renew water run. Okay, no, before we go any farther, we do think some Moan was able to hold all of that in the entire interview. Like let's give a random a post to the moment. Anyway. And now the rent of the letter jess is coming to see. was that a short okay, no, it was. It wasn't meant to be, but then after I said it like the first time, I was like, I'm going to get a shot anyway. So tune in, tune in next week. All of us will be done school, at mostly done school at that point and we will be having we will just be having some fun, doing some Gay Trivia and some new games coming in that will be implemented into the two year anniversary. So this is this is y'all's chance to practice. Yeah, good love practice for the two universe. Three is a gay Olympics. Okay, tell me what is. You'll find out, you mess. You'll find out next week. Not next week, though technically you'll find out in three weeks, but in next weeknd episodic timeline. But I want to thank you everyone for coming today's episode and we hope you enjoyed it and we hope to see you next week. I think it is going to be really fun. I'm going to bring popcorn and I'm going to enjoy just screaming the entire time. Even know what you're talking about,...

...you can't miss this one. Was I say, I clearly lost. Thank you for coming. Blah, blah, blah, Blah Blah. Hope see you next week. If not, have a good rest if not, if not, have a good rest of your life. Is there anything else to add? Valid as fuck. Banana, banana, stay gay. Okay, before we end, this is the first time we've done this in three recordings for recordings, so I think we all would like not ready. None of us think about it.

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