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January-February 2017

New anthology tackles popular misconceptions about virginity

University of Regina Press's Virgin Envy talks chastity, purity, and the meanings behind a first time

Ashani Jodha@ashjodha

Virgin Envy: The Cultural (In)significance of the Hymen Edited by Jonathan A. Allan, Cristina Santos, and Adriana Spahr University of Regina Press, $27.95 Losing your V-card, popping your cherry, your first time: losing one’s virginity is a sacred rite of passage in many cultures—but the contributors of Virgin Envy aren’t buying into the archaic and stereotypical […]

Migrant detainees use hunger strikes to enact change in Ontario correctional centres

In 2013, more than 7,300 migrants were detained in Canada without charges or trial

Pema Tsering@PemaTsering1

Macdonald Scott’s client called him on October 17, 2016 to tell him that he, along with the other detainees at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont., had stopped eating again. It was the third hunger strike in less than a year—an act of defiance that both encouraged Scott, an immigration lawyer, and worried him. […]

Exploring bilingualism and English-speaking privilege at a Montreal movie theatre

What columnist andrea bennett learned from watching a Xavier Dolan film as a native English speaker—and what Anglophones take for granted

andrea bennett@akkabah

Still from C’est juste la fin du monde, via YouTube. One Sunday last November, my friend Megan and I met at a French-language movie theatre in Rosemont–La Petite Patrie in Montreal. I stood in line for matinee tickets, and then Megan and I bought popcorn. I ordered maïs soufflé, un regulier; the worker at the counter […]

What I’ve learned about diversity teaching in a small, rural Quebec town

Young, queer, and Tamil, Badri Nayaranan knew uprooting from Toronto to rural Quebec would be a challenge. What he didn’t expect was a complete re-evaluation of his identity

Badri Narayanan

A photo posted by Jann Lavigne-Stevens (@ykwimm) on Feb 1, 2017 at 3:24am PST A photo in Beauce, Que. When I talk to the student in the English classes I teach in Saint-Georges, Que., I try to be as open and approachable as possible. I started the job in September 2016 as part of a program […]

Coral Joy

New fiction by Becky Blake

Becky Blake@beckyblake_

At first, it was just a normal Saturday, and by normal, I mean basically nothing was happening. I was lying on the couch in the rec room waiting for my toenails to dry. Metallic Blueberry—that was the name of the colour. “Hey, Mom,” I called out when she walked by. “Why did you decide to name […]

2017 Kick-Ass Activists: Geoff Wilson and Tim McConnell

LGBTQ substance users had few places to turn for support before Geoff Wilson and Tim McConnell created a safe space for them in Toronto

Al Donato@gollydrat

Geoff Wilson and Tim McConnell are close friends—the kind who don’t mind spending nearly every day for the past two years together. Sometimes it was to check out punk shows, go biking, or play pool. Most days, they were hard at work envisioning and building Pieces to Pathways (P2P), a drug addiction support initiative unlike any other in […]

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Vanessa Udy

Whether it’s through her work as a law student or a volunteer, Vanessa Udy wants all Quebecers to feel included

Jennifer M. Joseph@IamJenniferMJ

In 2011, the Navajo Nation made headlines after an American clothing retailer appropriated its name and started using its traditional patterns on products. It wasn’t the first time Indigenous communities faced such appropriation. That’s why Vanessa Udy, a corporate commercial lawyer from Montreal, is trying to find solutions to these problems. This year, the 30-year-old took a leap […]

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Peyton Straker

For Yellowknife’s Indigenous youth looking to learn more about their cultures, Peyton Straker highlights the importance of land-based education

Larkin Schmiedl@LarkinSchmiedl

Peyton Straker was a five-time high-school dropout when she took a job as an Indigenous support worker at the public school board in Yellowknife. Straker, 23 and Anishinaabe, knew from experience many of the ways the education system failed her. As a youth she felt displaced in schools where she couldn’t see herself reflected in the […]

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Courtney Skye

Comedian Courtney Skye uses her dark humour to address tough-to-broach Indigenous issues

Hana Shafi@hanashafi

Courtney Skye first thought to dabble in comedy after a trip to the makeup store. While in a Sephora in Hamilton, Ont., shopping for mascara and matte lipstick, she presented her First Nations status card while paying. The cashier took notice. “Oh you’re First Nations?” she said. “I hear a lot of your women have been […]

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Dexter Nyuurnibe

In 2012, Dexter Nyuurnibe tried to take his life. Now, he’s a leader for greater mental health awareness among Canadian youth

Emily Rivas@RivasEmily

Dexter Nyuurnibe has the ability to command attention in any room. The 24-year-old is well-spoken, well-dressed, and charming. He’s a self-proclaimed lover of people, pugs, poutine, and unicorns. He’s that guy at the bar who ensures everyone is having a good time. He’s also probably the last person you would think would be struggling with mental […]

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: LeRoi Newbold

Black Lives Matter Toronto’s LeRoi Newbold offers youth a chance to learn Black history and political resistance outside of the traditional classroom

Tannara Yelland@tyelland

The fifth entry in the Black Panther Party’s (BPP) 10-point platform reads, “We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.” The seventh is an all too familiar demand for “an immediate end […]