Transcript of my speech from the Demonstration Against Police at Pride, November 3, 2018:

Good morning, and thank you for gathering here today. My name is Ashley Cooper. We’re gathered here today in protest of a recent decision made by Pride Toronto to welcome Toronto Police Services into the 2019…

Dear Rose,

We need to talk. From all evidence, you’re not interested in talking, but you can’t continue on the destructive path you’re on. Your outspoken, unapologetic nature has emboldened many women to speak about their own painful experiences, and that is no small thing. That is valiant. Commendable. However…

It’s weird, the mental backflips your brain is capable of to keep you in denial of your self. Weirder still are the ways that it manifests hints that maybe not all is as it should be.

I’ve been an avid gamer since I had the hand-eye coordination to play Super…

The language around the trans experience is ever-evolving. Transexual gave way to a more (for many) accurate term, Transgender. Surgery is now labeled as re-affirming rather than re-assigning. Etc. So, too, I think the time has come to put another commonplace term to rest: passing.

Colloquially, passing is used as…

Nine months ago, nearly to the day, I carved out a little corner of the internet to call my own, and to declare myself Ashley Cooper. Today, that statement is finally true not just in my heart, but legally. …

The last week, I’ve thought a lot about the concept of pride. The feeling. The act of having pride in oneself.

Why do you ever feel proud? When you accomplish something.

What is an accomplishment? If you ask the dictionary, it’s “the successful achievement of a task.”

We’re proud when we do something that takes a lot of effort, either physically, emotionally, or mentally.

So, when a member of the LGBTQ+ community says they are proud of who they are, they are not being smug. They are accomplishing something: existing visibly in a world that would rather they didn’t.

Therefore, heterosexual people don’t need to be proud of themselves for being heterosexual, because

You. Haven’t. Expelled. An. Ounce. Of. Energy. To. Live. That. Life.

So, kindly fuck off with your #HeterosexualPrideDay

With love,

Ashley J Cooper

Comedian. Trans Woman. Twitter: @ashleyjaycooper

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