On April 25, 2016, 1253 Letters were delivered to BC Attorney General Suzanne Anton’s constituency office by trans activists demanding the government pass the transgender rights bill.
After years of resistance the BC Liberals finally added trans rights to the Human Rights Code. In a rare move all three readings of the bill were done in a single day on July 25, 2016. The bill adds gender identity and expression to the BC Human Rights Code, meaning trans people can not be fired or face discrimination just for being themselves.
Vancouver Filmmaker Christine Lord (Sealord Films) has released 1253 Letters, a short documentary detailing the recent passing of Bill 27 in British Columbia. Lord is a transgender independent filmmaker living in Vancouver who began her creative process in still photography in the early 90’s and progressed to documentary film-making. Her film “In Alliance” was screened at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in 2016.
Free Online Screening of 1253 Letters
Sealord Films is offering a free online screening of the film 1253 Letters until December 15, 2016. In order to view this film you will need to visit the Sealord Films Facebook page and request to see the film. Sealord Films will send you a link and password to watch it on Vimeo. Details are pinned to the top of Sealord Films Facebook page. Here is the link https://www.facebook.com/1253letters.
Spencer Chandra Herbert, BCMLA ( British Columbia Member of the Legislative Assembly) encounters strong opposition on this 4th attempt introducing a bill to include gender identity and expression to the human rights code of BC. Spencer is joined by several transgender rights activists who are determined to make this bill law. Running time of the documentary is 33 minutes.
Trans Activists Furious
It should be noted that 8 BC Liberal members of the provincial legislature did not the vote on the transgender rights bill including Premier Christy Clarke, who missed the vote to attend a political event, and MLA Laurie Throness who sustained for religious reasons. There were also 5 NDP members who did not vote, including Adrian Dix. One IND member also did not vote. We can not assume they were against the bill and may have been absent that day. Last year the BC Liberals were banned from marching in Vancouver’s Pride Parade after refusing to sign a pledge to advocate for explicit protection of trans rights in provincial and federal law.
The Premier’s office released the following statement following the missed opportunity.
“This was an entirely avoidable mistake and we are disappointed in how we handled it. Monday’s event was long planned, but it could have been re-scheduled. Premier Clark has made it clear that we need to do better”.
Christine Lord is an independent documentary filmmaker born in Vancouver, Canada. Christine is the winner of “Best LGBT Film” at the Cannes Short Film Festival (CSFF) 2016 for her film “In Alliance”. She also won at WIFF2016 and was official selection at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and the Creation Film Festival.
1253 Letters has been submitted to the Wicked Queer Boston LGBT Film Festival, the Toronto Independent Film Awards (TIFA) and Doxa, the Documentary Media Society for consideration.
Watch the online screening of 1253 Letters by following the instructions here. You just need to request the link and password.