Canadian BDSM Fetishist Advised Hospital Staff on Gender Inclusivity

A top Canadian hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto partnered with a transgender BDSM fetishist to advise on gender inclusivity and create training videos for staff which were subsidized by taxpayers.

Nina Arsenault has been described as “one of Canada’s most celebrated transsexuals.” In addition to being a publicly-funded artist, Arsenault has been a recurring guest speaker at universities in Canada and the United States. Arsenault is known for claiming to have had over 60 cosmetic surgery procedures, totaling over $200,000. In the past, Arsenault has stated that he derives sexual pleasure from being surgically objectified and compared plastic surgery to intercourse.

As a performance artist, Arsenault has publicly engaged in sadomasochistic practices, including starvation and self-flagellation by whip, a practice commonly found in BDSM. Other performances are overtly sexual in nature and include near to total nudity and mimicry of sex acts.

In 2010, Arsenault gave a presentation for Idea City in Toronto, saying: “I am not attempting to manufacture a journey of empowerment… and I explore my body as an object.”

“I started objectifying my body at a very young age, probably about 3 or 4 years old, because I knew that I had the spirit of a young girl inside me, but the body of a boy,” he continued. “I think of imagery, it’s in my mind, and then I check in with what’s happening inside my body. My body will respond to the thoughts with sensation.”

“It’s very exciting… what’s happening inside my genitals. The images that arouse in me the greatest sensation, those are the things that I create art from. My art is not created from a place where I’m trying to ease the suffering of other women,” Arsenault said.

In his play The Silicone Diaries, Arsenault describes being shown a Playboy magazine at the age of five by older boys as one of his formative memories. “There are tiny bits of crumpled, glossy, paper, naked women’s bodies, blowing on the breeze… I know that this is exactly what I will be when I grow up.”

In another monologue, Arsenault says, “I live for beauty. I have suffered for it; the suffering is sadomasochistic. The pain of it is thrilling, the endurance, the feats to achieve it have been very much a part of it.”

Despite an admitted obsession with cosmetic surgery and an affinity for sadomasochism, Arsenault was selected to advise Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto on gender-inclusive care, as well as to be involved in the production of a training video for staff that was released at the beginning of 2014 and has been on their website as a resource ever since.

In the video, Arsenault is seen wearing heavy drag makeup and donning black leather gloves. He plays a patient refusing to answer a nurse’s questions about his birth sex. The camera pans to his hands as he angrily squeezes the magazine he’s holding, as though holding back from striking her. The nurse patiently explains the reason for requiring this information. This video was uploaded to YouTube directly by Mount Sinai, and were subsidized by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (TCLHIN), a government-funded organization.

In addition to the sensitivity training video, Arsenault has lectured staff at Mount Sinai on the topic of ‘transphobia.’

A video uploaded to YouTube from Arsenault’s account features clips from an annual talk he gave to York University students from 2007 to 2012 for a class called Introduction to Critical Sexualities, which Arsenault describes as “combined semiotics with some real life stories and my history as a sex worker.” Arsenault used the income he earned through the sex industry to fund his surgeries.

In one course, titled The Eroticization of MTF Transsexuals by Heterosexual Men, Arsenault discussed men with attractions to trans-identified males.

“We think of our sexualities as something natural that we’re born with. But how can you be born with an attraction to people’s bodies who don’t even exist in nature? When I see female porn stars, those bodies don’t exist in nature either,” Arsenault states, continuing: “There are different things heterosexual men who are attracted to us can do with us. These are transgressive pleasures. Very specifically, he can suck d*ck and he can get f*cked in the a**. The male prostate is situated back there.”

Arsenault once dated infamous Canadian criminal Luka Magnotta, who was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of university student Jun Lin in 2012. Magnotta created a snuff porn film of the killing, depicting the victim tied to a bed frame being repeatedly stabbed with an ice pick and a kitchen knife, then dismembered, followed by acts of necrophilia and cannibalism.

Magnotta was attempting to recreate the murder scene from the 1992 film Basic Instinct, committing the killing as though he were Sharon Stone’s character Catherine Tramell, and had used the surname as a pseudonym. As a fugitive fleeing Canadian authorities in France, Magnotta disguised himself as a woman.

In 2012, Arsenault spoke with TV host Dr. Drew about his relationship with Magnotta. Arsenault blamed drugs for Magnotta’s violent behavior and said, “Luka’s actions obviously are very extreme, but I don’t think it’s an extreme desire for people in our culture to want to be famous.”


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Genevieve Gluck

Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.

Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.
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