Occasion 4 The Occult in Vancouver is a Black Tie Halloween for all Gender and Sexual Identities (or Lack Thereof)

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By Casey Stepaniuk

I’m not the first person to say this, and I certainly won’t be the last, but Halloween is like Christmas for lots of LGBTQ+ people. It’s a holiday you spend with your friends—for many queer folks, chosen family—and you can wear all the weird, freaky stuff you might want to wear more often but can’t because it’s deemed too “queer” or gender-bending for every day. It’s the perfect night to go out in drag. This Halloween in Vancouver, there’s an event worthy of—in my opinion—the best holiday of all time, and it’s called Occasion 4 the Occult.

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Occasion 4 The Occult in Vancouver is a Black Tie Halloween for all Gender and Sexual Identities (or Lack Thereof)

This Crazy Show Explores Shifting Gender Identity through Dance in Vancouver

This Crazy Show By Noam Gagnon

This Crazy Show By Noam Gagnon

By Kendell Yan

Acclaimed visionary and subversive choreographer, performer, and Artistic Director of Vision Impure, Noam Gagnon is bringing his new work to the Global Dance Connection Series at the Scotiabank Dance Centre this fall. This Crazy Show premiered in Ottawa this past May and has been hailed as a tour de force of dazzling proportions that challenges the concepts of fixed identities with charm and fantasy.

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This Crazy Show Explores Shifting Gender Identity through Dance in Vancouver

New Fall Book Releases by LGBTQ+ Vancouver Authors

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Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote

By Casey Stepaniuk

Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote is the 11th book by this celebrated Vancouver-based, Yukon-born-and-raised writer and storyteller. It’s a memoir both about Coyote’s gender non-conforming past and about carving out space as an adult who doesn’t fit neatly into gender boxes. A warm, funny account of a free-spirited tomboy childhood in the Yukon, Tomboy Survival Guide is also about the journey to an authentic adult self. Plus, as the title implies, it’s a how-to guide, full of advice for tomboys-in-training—including instructions for building your very own unicorn trap! Tomboy Survival Guide is available now from Arsenal Pulp Press. Check out this excerpt available on Coyote’s website:

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New Fall Book Releases by LGBTQ+ Vancouver Authors

Walk, Race, Volunteer or Play Bingo with Drag Performers to Support People Living with HIV in Vancouver

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By Kendell Yan

Over the past three decades much has changed for the HIV+ members of our communities. Life expectancy has increased with greater access to anti-HIV treatments and community support resources; however, the challenges that HIV+ people face remain as palpable as ever, and there are many ways to help in Vancouver that bring people together in ways that are both meaningful and fun.

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Walk, Race, Volunteer or Play Bingo with Drag Performers to Support People Living with HIV in Vancouver

Top 5 Must-See Films at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Aug 16-26

Romeos: One of the top picks at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Cinema fans in Vancouver are already gearing up for the big Vancouver International Film Festival this September, which showcases hundreds of films from more than 80 countries.  But if you need your film fix a little earlier, there is another option.

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival runs from Aug. 16-Aug. 26, screening  the very best in independent queer cinema: 75 films from 16 countries over 10 days at the city’s top theatres.   More than 14,000 people attend every year, making it the second largest film festival in the city.

Movie lovers hungry for powerful filmmaking, original characters and independent points of view need look no further.  Here are five picks from the festival:

Vancouver’s Jenna Talackova – First Transgendered Miss Universe Contestant – Gets New Reality Show – & Then She Doesn’t – UPDATED

Jenna Talackova. Photo: Twitpic via The Vancouver Observer

Vancouverite Jenna Talackova is more than just a famous beauty; she’s renowned for winning a significant victory for civil rights. As you may remember, she was  the first-ever transgendered person to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant. Her experience with the pageant made international headlines when she was first disqualified for being transgendered then, after a public outcry, petition and threatened lawsuit, was finally reinstated by the Miss Universe organization (headed by Donald Trump). Her fight led to a landmark rule change that will allow transgender women in all competitions starting in 2013—a huge victory for trans people and equality.

Though Talackova ultimately lost the Miss Universe title (to fellow Vancouverite Sahar Biniaz), she’s won something that has the potential to make a much bigger impact: her own reality show!

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Vancouver’s Jenna Talackova – First Transgendered Miss Universe Contestant – Gets New Reality Show – & Then She Doesn’t – UPDATED

Transgender Drama: The Silicone Diaries in Vancouver, thru Feb 25

Nina Arsenault is a classic blonde bombshell. But she wasn’t always that way. Born in 1974 in an Ontario trailer park as Rodney Arsenault, Nina lived her life as a man until 1996, when she underwent the first of more then 60 surgeries to transform her into the perfect woman.

Arsenault relays the sometimes harrowing, sometimes inspiring story of her transformation in the one-act play The Silicone Diaries, appearing in February at the historic Cultch theatre. Her surgical odyssey spanned more than eight years of cosmetic operations, with medical bills totaling more than $150,000.

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Transgender Drama: The Silicone Diaries in Vancouver, thru Feb 25