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The queer issue

Volume 43, Issue 4: July/August 2009

Canadian Dimension is finally out of the closet! In fact, we’ve always been queer and proud of it. Challenging capitalism and standing up to bosses, politicians and patriarchy for nearly a half-century is queer indeed. So why a queer issue? Why now?

As guest editors Shannon Bell, Noam Gonick and Dan Irving point out: “Queer gets its meaning and its politics from its oppositional relation to the norm. It is at odds with the normal, the dominant. To queer something is to disrupt it, to put it under scrutiny and to attempt to change it.” Expect some vital disruption from the Canadian Dimension queer issue.

Guest editor Noam Gonick explores the realm of the two-spirited by interviewing renowned contemporary Aboriginal artists Kent Monkman (aka. Miss Chief Eagle Testicle) and Adrian Stimson (aka. Buffalo Boy). Featuring the stunning visual works of both these artists, the article illustrates the connections between two-spirited identities, aboriginal culture and negotiating class, race and genocide through art. Shannon Bell chatted to artist Tobaron Waxman as he worked on his performance installation in New York. Their fruitful discussion dissects the artistic-intersections of politics, Jewish-ness, nudity, masculinity and motion. Shannon doesn’t shy away from the hot, steamy, and, of course, political in her Q/A with two workers from Come As You Are—Toronto’s queer sex store. It’s not just fucking political; it’s all about politically fucking.

Political activism is, of course, central to queer and trans identity. Guest editor Dan Irving poses four crucial questions to three of Canada’s most politically engaged trans activists. Unfortunately, state repression of sexual minorities has a long history in Canada. Lyle Dick and Ron Frohwerk provide some fascinating—and disturbing—historical anecdotes of Alberta RCMP arresting and imprisoning queer men during the Social Credit years.

What could possibly be queer about economic analysis, you ask? How about: a banking system remaining stable in the midst of a financial crisis? Popular rhetoric praises Canada’s stable banking system, but, in the pilot episode of Canadian Idle, Maurice Dufour exposes the flaws of Canada’s shadow banking industry. The first episode includes the top five Canadian banks “muscling out the competition and engage in synchronized gouging.” Hot!

Retired judge Jerry Paradis offers a radical solution to BC’s gang drug wars: end prohibition! We’ve also got a bounty of queer book reviews that you won’t want to miss and the usual astute ponderings by resident media guru Lesley Hughes.

Don’t worry, that’s not a young Burt Reynolds on the cover. That grinning lad is posing for well-known Canadian artist Evergon. Evergon uses photography and photo-collage to address issues of personal sexuality and gender construction.

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