Xtra, Xtra: 10 years of gay marriage, blood, OutTV, and sex work

I neglected to update my freelance archive for May, so here’s me making up for it.

At the beginning of the month, I reported on the OutTV’s appeal to the CRTC to reduce their CanCon broadcasting requirements. It’s actually fascinating to watch traditional cable outlets and the CRTC hash out their obligations in a business environment that’s rapidly making both obsolete. Sure, for the next few years — perhaps even for a decade — Canadians will still be subscribing to “channels” that curate content for their pleasure, but that model is dying fast against the rise of Internet-based content distributors that allow consumers to pick only the shows they want, commercial free. How will the CRTC enforce CanCon rules in such an environment? How can a gay channel exist except as a producer of original content that people willingly purchase? (I suppose the option the CRTC will eventually pick is that Netflix-like providers will either be obligated to either charge a fee to support original domestic production, or that they’ll be obligated to offer a certain amount of domestic content on their a la carte packages, but both presuppose the end of specialty channels except as content creators).

Meanwhile, I wrote a piece about the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear interventions from several sex worker support groups in the upcoming constitutional case on the our sex work laws.

Then I wrote a piece about Health Canada’s announcement that they were replacing the lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have ever had sex with men, even once, since 1977, with a ban on men who have had sex with men in the last five years. I suppose this for the first time allows men who had like, one gay experience in college to donate, but it still effectively bars gay men from donating blood on the flimsy rationale supported by bad science that’s since been discredited in several other countries.

Finally, for the modern history buffs, you might like to check out the timeline of same-sex marriage I wrote for Xtra’s cover feature this week. You won’t find it online for some reason, but if you pick up the print edition, you can trace the evolution of gay marriage from the first partnership registry in Denmark in 1989, to the gay marriage-y-est month in history, April-May 2013, when 277 million people suddenly found themselves living in an equal marriage jurisdiction.

On an unrelated note, I’ve decided to launch a new Twitter feed for all my live-snarking of bad movies and TV. Follow @RealTimeBad for all the delightful awfulness.


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