By Ross Currie (Host of Mad Wax Thursday 3:30-5:00pm)
Some people may shy away from issues surrounding gender, sex and identity. On Breaking Binary these issues are front and centre, and provides the listener with a balanced and alternative narrative to various discourses surrounding the transgender community regionally, nationally and globally. The show has aired Tuesday’s from 4:00-5:00pm since 2013. Complete with book readings, music and interviews, Breaking Binary provides a look at the various voices and perspectives of transsexual, transgender and cisgender peoples.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself in doing the show. And a lot about how pliable and flexible identities really are,” says host Daphne Shaed. “I guess I want people to look inside themselves and see how their own identities are constructed and how they may continue to re-construct and navigate their own identities. And to realize the true constructive nature of them.” The show is an outlet for those familiar, or unfamiliar with issues of gender and identity within, or outside the trans communities.
Shaed has been involved with the trans community for over a decade, serving as Camosun College Student Society’s (CCSS) Pride Director for two years and CCSS’ Women’s Director for a year before transferring to UVic. “When I came back to school I really found my footing to be more than just a participant,” says Shaed. “I had the opportunity to become a leader in a sense.” This reflects in her work with advocacy organizations around campus, such as UVic Pride, UVSS Women’s Centre, and the Students of Colour Collective. “I’m my own advocate,” says Shaed, who hasn’t shied away from becoming more involved with the various organizations that serve the trans community locally.
With a background in gender studies, philosophy, sociology, political science, linguistics and computer science, Shaed certainly brings a lot to the table for discussion with her co-host Arcade. “I think it’s very important to be well-versed in these areas, because you can point out to people ways they may be able to integrate acceptance, or to create connections with people from marginalized or oppressed communities.” The show balances academia with the common vernacular, and allows for inclusivity for listeners who want to learn more about trans peoples.
Dealing in perceptions surrounding trans issues in mainstream media, the program serves as an “alternative, or less often heard narrative about what we generally see in media about trans and transgender persons,” says Shaed. Breaking Binary offers a strong voice for trans issues within the community, and serves as a starting point to breaking down barriers surrounding gender, sex and identity locally.