Feature Profiles

Documentary explores limitations of the gender binary

'Gender is the essence of your being, painted on,' says Lyn Langille

thumb Langille FamilyIt all starts at birth. "Are you having a boy or a girl?' Then come the baby gifts. Pink blankets for girls, blue for boys. A little girl gets dolls, kitchen toys and make-up for her birthday while a little boy gets trucks and toy guns. A girl is expected to be soft and dainty, while a boy is rough and strong.

Social expectations based on gender — whether conscious or not — are endless and specific. Many people would argue that gender is not something we are born with. Rather, it's a social construction.

In the Calgary Journal documentary, Painted On: Modern Gender Stories, one family and two other Calgarians share their narratives about redefining gender. All are living outside the so-called gender binary, which limits gender to only male or female.

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Elite Calgary bodybuilder develops mental strength through sport

From fashion to fitness, Lynne Loiselle prepares for nationals

Lynne bodybuildingLynne Loiselle is an elite bodybuilder. Since her very first competition in 2004, Loiselle has been a force to be reckoned with having competed in over a dozen bodybuilding competitions across Canada.

Her first- and second-place finishes at the Alberta Bodybuilding Association's southern and provincial competitions this past summer even earned her a trip to nationals in the fall of 2014.

Her competition results speak for themselves about her dedication and hard work, but 44-year-old Loiselle hasn't always been the powerhouse she is today. Before getting into weightlifting and doing her first competition 10 years ago, she was a fashion model.

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George Johnson: The art of sports writing

How one of Calgary's best covers the ever-changing world of sports

thumb photo JohnsonAs a sports columnist for the Calgary Herald, George Johnson's job is to capture the biggest moments in sports. He puts together compelling stories, using his unique personality and flair to tell the tale.

He has not only become known for his entertaining style of writing, but for conveying the passion he has for the world of sports and the characters within it.

But Johnson fears that he may be the last of a fading generation of writers, giving way to a new group of generic reporters who are focused on quantity, rather than quality.

"Expediency seems to have taken over for a lot of the quality," Johnson says. "For someone who wants to write now, don't be afraid. Show some personality in your writing. Sometimes it's going to be awful – God knows it still is 36 years later – but at least I tried."

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‘The Big Man’ Bill Laplante takes break from radio

Calgary indie radio show host shifts focus from the airwaves to his health

Thumbnail2It's Halloween, and Internet radio host Bill Laplante is broadcasting his show Big Bill's Indie Underground live from the Blind Beggar Pub. The broadcast marks the one-year anniversary of the show's official launch party.

Costumed attendees are flooding the Beggar for the 2013 Halloween Monster Jam, several of whom beeline it to Laplante, who is sitting just to the left of the stage, his long hair hanging from under his trademark black bandana. Behind an array of headphones, microphones, a mixer and a laptop decked out with the logos of several local bands, Laplante is in his comfort zone.

Many at the venue are musicians who have been guests on Laplante's local radio show. They've had their songs played, voices heard, engaged in serious discussions and told tasteless jokes, which Laplante says is the show's norm.

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