Why a blanket exercise made me disappointed, uncomfortable and angry

As participants in the blanket exercise that was to come, we were told that we’d likely need the boxes of tissues being set out for us. It was a way of being told we weren’t ready to hear the things we were about to learn. Colonialism, our facilitator said, was “a brutal history.”

I’m ashamed to say that I really had no idea. This exercise helped me learn. Please read more at techlifetoday.ca.

A knight’s quest to restore pro wrestling’s honour in Alberta

The Gothic Knight brings Pure Power Wrestling to Lethbridge

gothic knight, wrestler, lethbridge, photo by Blaise van Malsen
Photo by Blaise van Malsen

When I heard that a graduate of NAIT, the polytechnic where I’m a comms guy, was a professional wrestler, it was like a bell had rung. As a writer – and a former¬†10-year-old wrestling super-fan¬†– this was the matchup I’d been waiting for.

The Gothic Knight, a.k.a. Edward Gatzky, finished a diploma in dietary technology in the 1980s before hitting the wrestling circuit, coming ever so close to a career in the WWE. But life had a few surprise moves of its own, and Gothic (as he’s called) ended up in settling down in Lethbridge, the area of the province he’s from, where he started Pure Power Wrestling.

On the eve of his retirement in fall 2016, I visited Gothic to talk about life in the square circle, what it meant to leave it behind, and his dream to bring wrestling back to its heyday in my youth, when the reality was that pro wrestling ruled.

Read the story at techlifetoday.ca.

Marni Panas helps bring change to the Alberta Human Rights Act

How a transgender woman’s quest to live authentically benefited more than herself

Marni Panas, transgender rights advocate, edmonton, alberta, legislature
Photo by Blaise van Malsen

For much of her life, Marni Panas was good at keeping a secret: that she was female but had been assigned male at birth. She lived in a small town where she says such things weren’t discussed, and during a time when there really wasn’t the language to do so anyway.

But as she became an adult, and a spouse and parent, she realized she could keep that secret no longer. She had to be who she was; that is, she needed to live what she considered an “authentic” life. So, in her 40s, she began the process of transitioning.

Today, Panas is known as one of Alberta’s, if not one of Canada’s, most vociferous and fearless advocates for transgender rights – and one of the key members of a group that helped protect those rights in provincial legislation.

While she’s accomplished much, but knows much remains to be done. For her, that’s the reward and price of living as true to herself as possible. Read the full story at techlifetoday.ca.