China and a double-dose of Canada are in the news this week:
Chinese officials censored nearly a quarter of Cloud Atlas, including gay content.
Canada makes the naughty and the nice lists: Electing a lesbian premier in Ontario, leaving homeless trans women out in the cold in Montréal.
Chinese censors cut 40 minutes from Cloud Atlas‘s original 172 minute run time. While not an unusual practice – censors liberally cut Skyfall to remove any suggestion that Chinese people do bad things ever – but their scalpels cut particularly deep on Atlas. Censors removed nudity, confusing plot points that were perceived as weakening the film’s themes, and especially, scenes depicting a homosexual romance.
Ontario became the first Canadian province to elect an openly LGBT premiere. Kathleen Wynne won the position, similar to a State Governor, last saturday. She gave an inspirational speech with her wife at her side, saying in part:
You know, there was a time, not that long ago. When most of us in this race would have been deemed unsuitable, A Portugese-Canadian, an Indo-Canadian, Italian-Canadian, female, gay, Catholic- Most of us could not have hoped to stand on this stage, but this province has changed.
In Montréal, however, where temperatures are dipping below 0°F, homeless transgender women are being refused entry to shelters. The trouble typically surfaces when a woman’s presented gender does not match the sex listed on her documents. Generally, this occurs when a woman has not transitioned via surgery, an insurmountable financial obstacle for women living on the streets. Some shelters don’t require such identification for admittance. Others, like L’Abri d’Espoir, which is operated by the Salvation Army, follows a strict policy. Without an ID card stating female, these women can not enter the shelter. This week’s forecast includes five days of freezing rain or snow and six nights of below-freezing temperatures, with a Friday night low of only 7°F.