Female impersonator accused in North Charleston gun incident
Originally posted at PostandCourier.com March, 7 2013
According to the PostandCourier newspaper of Charleston South Carolina, Thursday March 7, 2013 a man identified by papers as a transvestites committed a crime against other transvestites. No where does it imply that they were transgender, but even as transvestites it saddens me and is troubling to see crimes against your fellow comrades that, as you, already face tremendous dangers with others willing to take our lives. This is a prime example of what not to become, a menance to your own people.
I will add, and notice what the article states, that during the entire process North Charleston, SC police referred to the accused as a woman. Even though many will disaggree, I and the LGBT community should raise a hand to the compassion of the North Charleston SC police department for handling it, well above what many of us would even require.
So at least there is one ounce of good news, MAJOR KUDOS TO THE NORTH CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA POLICE DEPARTMENT, for goinng WELL and beyond the call of duty. A shining example to cities all over the US, on how to handle with compassion, even in the most difficult times.
FROM THE POST AND COURIER:
An argument between a man and a group of transvestites landed one female impersonator in jail, accused of pointing a revolver and threatening to fire, North Charleston police said.
Darnell Hawkins, 19, of South 5th Street in Hartsville, was charged with unlawful carrying of a firearm and pointing a firearm, jail records show.
Police referred to Hawkins as a woman throughout an incident report.
Officers were dispatched to Quality Inn at 7415 Northside Drive shortly after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday concerning a woman waving a gun and threatening to shoot someone.
Hawkins threw a revolver into a trash can and ran at the sight of officers, police said.
A man at the scene told police he came to the hotel to pick up an iPad from a friend named “Nico,” but that he ended up getting into an argument with Hawkins and a group of transvestites who walked out of that person’s hotel room.
The argument stemmed from money the man owed Hawkins for a car, according to the report.
Hawkins pulled out a loaded revolver, waved it in the air and threatened to shoot the man and the car, police said.
The man told police he walked away and called 911.
Hawkins was held at the Charleston County jail on Thursday pending a $100,000 bail.
Local clinic in Asheville, North Carolina works to aid transgender residents
For many transgender men and women — the “T” in LGBTQ — Asheville offers a road to acceptance and a comfortable, integrated life. But transgender people often face hurdles in receiving health care, particularly the uninsured. One area clinic, Western North Carolina Community Health Services, helps people scale those hurdles. WNCCHS provides comprehensive care to Buncombe County’s low-income residents; since 2007, it has offered a program for transgender people.
“Aside from hormone therapy, there is a major need within the transgender community for primary health care that is sensitive as well as medically and culturally competent,” says Allister Styan, who coordinates the WNCCHS program. “Not all transgender patients are seeking hormones,” he explains. “Some simply want access to a physician who will treat them with dignity and respect. Given that 19 percent of transgender people have been refused medical treatment due to their status and many are uninsured, this can be very difficult to come by.”
Breaking the silence
“Some [transgender people] simply want access to a physician who will treat them with dignity and respect,” says Allister Styan (pictured), who coordinates a health-care program at WNCCHS. (Photo by Max Cooper)
WNCCHS serves about 100 people in its program, and Dr. Jennifer Abbott sees many of them. “When I met our first trans patient, I was uncomfortable with hormone therapy because I had not had any training,” says the family physician. “But then I realized that since this patient was uninsured, there would be no one else to provide this care for him,” Abbott says.
Last summer, she served as medical director for the SouthEastern Transgender Health Summit, hosted by the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville. Approximately 100 medical providers, behavioral health providers, transgender people and business professionals attended the two-day summit. WNCCHS provided some scholarships for attendees, and Abbott remarks, “I felt it was very successful in [its goal], providing education about appropriate and gender-sensitive health and mental-health care to transgender people.”
The summit also allowed participants to gain support. “Last summer, I traveled to and attended the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, and when I returned I found out about the SETHS summit. I was … overjoyed that my home town had something similar to what you see in larger cities.” says local activist Ben Baechler.
The summit and organizations like WHCCHS help address an overall concern voiced by Baechler, who observes, “In many ways I do feel connected to the gay and lesbian community, as a majority of my friends are a part of [it]. Though, on a whole I feel that many LGBTQ organizations and causes have silenced the T.”
The silence can extend to health care options for transgender people, but that’s changing. Abbott acknowledges that on her own path toward learning more about what her patients needed, she started administering hormones without the specific intention of working primarily with trans people for other aspects of their care. “I read what I could online and in an older version of the [World Professional Association for Transgender Health] Standards of Care, and started with [one] patient. His transition went very well, and our numbers of patients grew after that.”
Styan adds that health care for Asheville’s trans population helps them succeed overall. Hormone treatment and general care are two routes for trans people to feel safe in their communities, Styan explains. “I think Asheville is more accepting of the transgender community than many other places, mainly based on visibility.”
He continues, “Given the size of Asheville, this is a pretty significant number, [but when] the transgender community has higher numbers and greater visibility, there is likely to be more acceptance because people are forced to interact with us and witness our humanity, rather than holding ideas about transgender people that are solely informed by derogatory portrayals in the media.”
For more information about WNCCHS, contact Allister Styan at email@example.com.
Transcending Asheville: Local clinic works to aid Asheville’s transgender residents | Mountain Xpress | Asheville, NC
Map: Transgender Employment Rights Make Headway
Courtesy of Mother Jones
By —By Gavin Aronsen
This week, Hawaii lawmakers voted to protect transgender people from public and private workplace discrimination, making the state the 13th (in addition to Washington, DC) to do so. Nevada's state Senate is considering similar legislation, and state committees in Connecticut and New York recently have as well. Another bill made some headway in Maryland before its Senate axed it.
The activity highlights an often neglected part of the LGBT rights struggle. On Monday, I blogged about a study with the obvious conclusion that "LGB" (lesbian, gay, and bisexual) teens were more likely to attempt suicide when they lacked support networks. That prompted a reader to ask, "…why leave out the T? Were trans kids not part of the survey? Generally, it's LGBT, not LGB."
Trans people weren’t part of the survey, and there aren’t a whole lot of statistics about discrimination against them. But a landmark survey of 6,450 trans and gender non-conforming people released in February by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force revealed some disturbing numbers:
- Ninety percent of responders reported facing discrimination at work.
- Unemployment rates were double the national average.
- More than a quarter said they had been fired due to their gender identity.
- Those who had lost their jobs were four times as likely to be homeless and 70 percent more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
And, perhaps most remarkably (and most related to Monday's post), 41 percent of responders admitted to having attempted suicide.
In addition to DC and the 13 states that provide full employment non-discrimination protection for trans people, nine states have executive orders that mandate protection for state jobs. (It would be 10, but Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, let an executive order covering trans people expire in January.) On the federal level, the efforts of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to establish workplace protection rights have stalled since 2007, although President Obama has voiced his support.
Here's a look at where things stand now:
Vote Mel Wymore a Democratic Trans-man with a plan.
Mel Wymore is a proud Upper West Sider who stands firmly for progressive values of social justice, economic fairness, environmental stewardship, and civic engagement. As a Democrat running for New York City Council, he is out to do what he has done for over 20 years: achieve real, tangible results for the people who call the Upper West Side—and New York City—their home.
Mel is a natural problem-solver and longterm thinker: he holds a master's degree in systems engineering from the University of Arizona. His 30-year career encompasses strategic planning, large-scale project management, and executive leadership in manufacturing, high-tech development, nonprofits, and community action.
Mel has chaired Manhattan Community Board 7, the Board of the West Side Y, and the PTA of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. He created leadership and job-training programs for teens, health and wellness programs for seniors, and co-founded community organizations including the Stratford Arms Meal Program, Citizens for an Accessible West Side, the Carbon Squeeze, and the West 70th Street Block Association.
Among his proudest achievements is the reshaping of Riverside Center, a three million square foot mega-development. He secured 600,000 square feet of permanent affordable housing; a new, 100,000-square foot K–8 public school for the district; and $20 million for parks and playgrounds. He also marshaled public and private resources to reconstruct the 59th Street Recreation Center.
Throughout his time as a community leader, Mel's passion for building vibrant, sustainable community has earned the recognition and respect of a wide array of Upper West Side organizations. As the city council member from the sixth district, Mel will serve as he always has: by bringing people together to identify real solutions, and then seeing them through to completion.
Mel Wymore (trans-male) running for NYC city council seat in 2013, he could use the community's support: like, share and spread the word. A good man with a good platform making a difference for the "people" and just happens to be one of us....
So reblog if you support transgender issues, trans men or a real decent politician for the people. Show your support by spreading the news of Mel Wymore's Campaign.
Like mails facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/votemelwymore
Follow Mel on twitter: https://twitter.com/melwymore
(Illustration: Heather Rose Brown)
Via the Bay Area Reporeter
by Gwendolyn Ann Smith
When we talk about transgender rights we often view it as a singular, monolithic entity, uniquely positioned and separate from everything else. Indeed, this is often the way that transgender activists and activists within other community groups may view trans issues. It is not that simple, however.
The transgender community is, itself, a widely diverse group. It does not contain one of anything. We are all races, all religions, and all backgrounds. We can be found among any other demographic group, and even contain an all-encompassing diversity of gender identities and expressions. We're everywhere, and contain just about any possible "type" of person.
There are some factions within the community itself that seek to divide some of this. Some transsexuals resent their inclusion in such a diverse space, and others frown on the inclusion of, say, drag kings or queens, transvestites, or those who choose a space outside of traditional gender definitions.
For all I know, we may be simply too large of a community, or trying to cover too much ground with one term. At the same time, I can't help but see that each group that falls under the transgender banner can and does transcend the gender they were identified as at birth – that just happens to be true for an awful lot of us.
While I've discussed it before, too, I feel it's important to note another one of the big divisions: the transgender community and the larger LGBT community. Sure, not all transgender people are gay, lesbian, or bisexual identified – but that doesn't seem to be the point. We all face rights battles. The only difference is that the first three tend to be focused on sexual identity, while the latter is more an issue of gender.
Yet when a lesbian is assaulted, it is often more due to her gender presentation than her overt sexuality – and when a transgender person is discriminated against, they're more than likely to face slurs against their sexual orientation as well as their gender expression. Oh, and our marriages are often the first challenged under Defense of Marriage Act-like bills.
It's bigger than just the intersections between the LGBT community, however, and stretches across socioeconomic lines, racial lines, and much more.
One of the bigger examples of this, to me, is the death of Tyra Hunter, an African American trans woman living in Washington, D.C. On August 7, 1995, a car struck Hunter.
As she lay bleeding, medical personnel sliced her pant leg open – revealing her genitalia. One of the D.C. firefighters on scene was quoted as saying, "This ain't no bitch. It's a n-----. He's got a dick and balls." At that point, the emergency personnel backed away from Hunter, and made jokes for approximately 15 minutes. They only returned to work due to the outcry of bystanders.
Hunter was eventually taken to the hospital, where subpar treatment may have further exacerbated her situation. She died due to internal bleeding at the hospital.
Was her wrongful death and ill treatment the result of anti-transgender attitudes? Yes, absolutely. At the same time, there was racist language, misogyny, and likely even some homophobia in there. Some also point to socioeconomic issues impacting the quality of her care at the hospital. Indeed, anti-transgender attitudes may have been at the top of the list in her care – or lack of – but there is no shortage of things that helped lead to her death.
The majority of transgender people who are murdered are trans women of color, and often from a lower socioeconomic class. Many may have been involved in sex work. Each of these may well be a factor in their death. Again, while it is key, it is more than solely an anti-transgender issue.
Congress recently allowed the Violence Against Women Act to expire. The loss of VAWA is an issue for all women: this includes transgender women and those who may have an "F" on their legal paperwork regardless of self-identity. As such, we should all be holding this Congress accountable for not renewing VAWA. We could see similar issues with the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act, up for reauthorization in 2013, which would affect treatment for all low-income, uninsured and under-insured people living with HIV/AIDS – naturally including transgender people dealing with the illness.
Sure, there are some issues that are pretty specific to transgender people. Getting a gender marker changed on a driver's license or birth certificate is going to be a greater issue for transgender people than anyone else. Fights for transgender anti-discrimination bills to include gender identity and expression in local, state, and federal law are primarily going to protect transgender people above all else.
Yet with the Obama administration making it clear at nearly every turn that gender expression and identity is covered in existing law, most notably in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, transgender people should be all the more involved in the broader fights, too.
Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. We are uniquely positioned to secure not only protections specific to all transgender people, but to assist in larger battles. We need to understand that the rights of women are the rights of transgender women, and protections for people of color will affect transgender people of color as well.
Let us be part of that metaphorical tide that raises all ships.
Are You Transgendered And Struggling With How To Pay The Bills? Do You Need A Job? Get free guide to finding Transgender Employment
If you are transgender, then you already know about the pervasive discrimination and unemployment among your friends as you look for work.
To have stable employment in today's economy takes courage, commitment and the right set of job searching tools to be successful and this is why https://www.transgender-selfemployment.com is so important to the serious job seeker.
The good news is that our site keeps you up-to-date with fresh and valuable information regarding current transgender and transsexual job opportunities.
If you are mid-transition, you are already dealing with discrimination issues as soon as you present yourself for an interview.
But if you know where to look (we teach where to find LGBT employers) then you can take advantage of opportunities for immediate job placements that allow you to transistion into a new gender as you achieve economic stability.
To get an idea of some of these employers, click on this link to get a free downloable directory of 337 corporate names/addresses of transgender friendly employers.
Keep in mind these major corporations also have divisions, subsidiaries, "spin-offs", satellite offices, warehouses and factories that do follow the parent company's transgender friendly hiring policy.
The skillsets you have acquired of personal courage, commitment to a goal and effective use of your time and financial resources become a tremendous asset to employers seeking tested employees to do a specific job.
Or to yourself should you consider running your own home business doing something you already know how to do.
Finding A Good Paying Job As Transgender Is Hard Work!
You know what motivates you to actually do those events that make you greatly uncomfortable (such as going out in public during the day or walking past a bunch of teenage girls at the Mall).
What you need now is to apply your motivation more effectively by using one or more of our basic job search strategies designed for transgender people actively seeking financial security.
The 2012 Guide sole purpose is to help you chart your route to a secure income using case studies of other transgender employees as well as providing links to both Federal and State resources for LGBTQIs.
Use our Guide to learn how to target your best potential employers and find the unadvertised job opportunities in your area and fitting your business background.?
As a transgender employee, you deserve work that fulfils and motivates you, that gives you financial security and funds your further medical transition expenses.
Reframing your work as something you do rather than a place that you go to daily .... helps you to avoid the traps of underemployment and/or the sex industry where so many trans people get stuck when they need money to put food on the table, pay rent or keep up with the bills.
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Want more exclusive news, tips and techniques on effective transgender job search? Sign up right now to receive our FREE 17 page 2012 Guide For Successful Transgender Employment
Pay The Bills? Do You Need A Job?
Transgender and Going Home for the Holidays or not
Happy Holidays or is it? Whether you’re ready or not it’s here. Unfortunately at this time of year we should remember those in the transgender community that can’t go home for the holidays. I remember living in Atlanta in the late nineties in midtown, where the neighborhood was well more than half lgbt. I moved from a small town in South Carolina called Hartsville and had never met anyone who was not close to their family. Whether they were gay, lesbian or transgender, most were always welcomed home for the holidays. Even if they were only just tolerated, they were still family.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and chosen one to go home. For Christmas I staid in Atlanta with all my Trans girlfriends. We would gather together, exchange presents, eat and do our performances in the gay clubs of midtown, then party the night away. It was a tradition for many reasons, some girls were estranged from their families. Some had run away from home years prior and had not seen families since. Others had been disowned by their families, all for similar reasons, they wanted to be themselves. Being transgender had left countless girls unable to love or be loved by family. For some of my friends in those days it was just simply too difficult to be around their family. They were still welcomed but the tension and arguments when they returned gave them little reasons to want to go back, so overtime they returned home less and less for family gatherings. For me in those days my main issue with family was respecting the chosen pronoun that fit my appearance. Other than that I can’t honestly say I did not enjoy seeing family even though sometimes frustrating. So thanksgiving was the time I did see them and had chosen to spend Christmas with my many friends that didn’t have a choice. I wasn’t the only one who chose to stay with friends many of my other girlfriends had chosen to spend christmas together also.
But Christmas week 1998 I’ll never forget. It was the day I met my first homeless transgender. It was a couple days before Christmas eve and I was doing what my mom and I always do before Christmas, a total cleaning of the house, laundry and then began cooking with friends our holiday dinner. It was an early Monday morning, cold and about two inches of snow was on the ground that year in Atlanta. Thankfully I only had a short distance from my apartment to the apartment laundry facility. I carried my little basket and ran across the courtyard and thru my clothes in the washer. When I turned to place my basket on the table I jumped. There lying on the floor was a girl I’ve seen at times in the neighborhood. I didn’t know her name but knew her face. I asked her, “what you doing there? You didn’t pass out drunk last night did you?” I’ll never forget her looking up from under that table, with one of those thin blue blankets you see your grandmother have that seem to date back to the 1970’s. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I didn’t have nowhere else to go girl.” My mouth dropped and I remember I was about to cry thinking for god’s sake it was Christmas time. I knew my roommate Coco wouldn’t mind either, so I told her, “girl get your but up from under there and come inside.” To this day I can’t remember her real name but my roommate and I at the time called her Zoe and every time to this day If I run into her , and sometimes I do still, she calls out hey momma.
Zoe staid with us for two weeks, working the clubs and streets tricking until she had enough money to get a weekly at a hotel. She was only 19, two years younger than me and had not seen her family since she was kicked out by her step father for dressing as a female when she was only fourteen. She had spent most of those years since living off and on the streets. As time went on in life, occasionally I’d meet another Zoe here, there or hear a friend tell me of a Zoe they had met. I’d like to think those days are gone and there’s not anymore Zoe’s out living on the streets, but that would be wishful thinking. These days I’m not surrounded by many of the dozens of Trans girlfriends I once had. Some have passed on due to Aids. Others would later be found murdered or missing to this day. A few lucky ones moved on to different cities like I did. A handful remained now, adult Tran’s females with their own careers, boyfriends and living life after sex reassignment surgery.
Hopefully for most trans-people this holiday season will be enjoyed with family or close friends. For some it maybe your first time going home as the new you. If you can go then go, you may have to remind a few people of the correct pronouns. You may have to tell that conservative bigoted uncle a piece of your mind, but it’s worth it. Christmas night you may even find yourself in bed, full of tears, because someone was very ugly to you. But if the overwhelming amount of your family is glad you came, it’s worth it. If it’s too much to bear to go home or you are one that hasn’t seen family in years, get with your group of friends and the new family you’ve made for yourself in life and enjoy them. Ignore the one that thinks she’s prettier than you even though you know she isn’t, give her especially, an extra hug. And let’s all remember how lucky we are even if we only have one person to spend the holidays with, know you are blessed. And while we are rejoicing think of the Zoes of the world, if you know of a Zoe in your neighborhood invite her to dinner, or take her a small gift, let her know while she may feel that she is alone in the world just trying to be herself that she’s not. This week so many transgender people will be alone, cold and hungry. Young and old that have found themselves alone in a hostile world. Even if you don’t see one, it doesn’t mean you can’t have them in your prayers this holiday season. It is for God’s sake, Christmas.
Sabrina Samone, TMP
The top ten college is an excert from Campus Pride, shared here for informational resource for Transpeople who are or wanting to attend college
The Top 10 Trans-Friendly Colleges and Universities
With improvements made across the country, for the first time ever, Campus Pride can assemble a list of the most welcoming places for trans students to go to college.
August 15 2012 4:00 AM ET
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 out of 5 Stars
Although its LGBT center is only a decade old, Ithaca College (IC) has quickly become one of the best small colleges for trans people. Since most students live on campus, housing is a critical concern, and Ithaca College offers both an LGBT residence hall community and a gender-inclusive housing option. But IC has also instituted a special housing process, whereby a trans student can indicate the best living situation for them, and the college will seek to accommodate their request. “We want to make sure our trans and genderqueer students are able to fully access all the housing opportunities that all our students have, and avail themselves of all Ithaca College has to offer,” states Lis Maurer, the director of the college’s LGBT center. IC has further distinguished itself by establishing a speech pathology clinic in 2011 to assist both MTF and FTM trans people who are transitioning to have their voices sound more like other people of their gender. The clinic is free to staff, faculty, and students
New York University
New York, N.Y.
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
The “T-Party” means something very different at New York University (NYU) than it does elsewhere in the country. The T-Party is the university’s trans student group, and it is just one of many opportunities available specifically for trans and ally students to be involved on campus. NYU offers a Trans Awareness Week to call attention to the needs and experiences of trans people, as well as sponsors popular trans-focused social events like NY Drag U and the Gender Bender Ball. Being in New York City, of course, also provides NYU students with a wealth of events and groups in which they can participate. On the policy front, NYU has been a leader in creating accessible and supportive health-care services for trans students, which is detailed in a colorful brochure available on its LGBTQ Student Center’s website.
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Princeton University has become known for offering a lot of trans-specific programming and incorporating the experiences of trans people into all of its LGBT programming and services. The university has hosted the New Jersey Statewide Transgender Day of Remembrance service for more than a decade, and there have been ongoing collaborations between its LGBT Center and the statewide trans rights group for many years. The university’s administration has been very open to the needs of trans students, which included creating a workgroup to assist campus offices in developing best practices to support trans students. In addition, Princeton has several faculty members whose teaching and research incorporates the experiences of trans people and trans theory.
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Calif.
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 out of 5 Stars
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was among the first schools to cover hormones and surgeries for transitioning students under its student health insurance, and the university has developed an easy process for students to be able to access these benefits. In the last three years, more than a dozen students have benefitted from this coverage. The campus is also very accessible to trans students, with gender-inclusive athletic facilities and more than 120 gender-inclusive bathrooms. UCLA’s LGBT Campus Resource Center is now developing a mobile app for people to be able to find these bathrooms easily, and the campus transgender and gender-nonconforming student group is working on a needs assessment to ensure that the population is best being supported.
University of California, Riverside
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 out of 5 Stars
Although often in the shadow of the larger, more well-known University of California schools, UC Riverside (UCR) is one of the country’s most active colleges in educating the campus about trans people. Through its LGBT Resource Center, UCR offers an ally training program specifically about the experiences of trans people, and it commemorates the Transgender Day of Remembrance through a series of posters displayed around campus that feature individuals who have been murdered because of their gender identity or expression. Complimenting this effort, the center is currently developing a poster project of important living trans figures, with a focus on trans people of color. In 2005, UCR was the first public college in the U.S. to offer gender-inclusive housing for both incoming and returning students. This year, the college collaborated with eight other campuses to organize the country’s first intercampus retreat for trans/genderqueer and gender-questioning college students, building on a highly successfully trans retreat at UC Irvine in 2011.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 out of 5 Stars
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the largest campus in the UMass system, has changed dramatically since arch trans hater Janice Raymond was a member of its faculty in Women’s Studies (among the changes, it is now Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies). In the last five years, the university has gone from having almost no trans-supportive policies in place to being at the forefront of trans inclusiveness, including developing a policy that supports the participation of trans students in campus sports. The Stonewall Center, the campus LGBT center, produces many resources for trans students, most notably a resource guide of area trans-supportive service providers — everyone from therapists and physicians to cosmetologists and attorneys. UMass Amherst also created the country’s first LGBT and ally residence hall community, which is marking its 20th year this fall.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 out of 5 Stars
In 1971, the University of Michigan became the first college in the country to establish an LGBT office, and the university continues to be a pioneer on trans support. It was the nation’s first to develop any easy process for trans students who want to use a name other than their legal first name on campus records, so that the students are not outed when a professor calls the roll or someone looks them up in an online campus directory. Trans students are also visible on campus, which makes it easier for other trans students to identify openly, as well as helps educate cisgender people at Michigan. “It is important to have out trans-identified students, faculty, and staff,” states Jackie Simpson, director of the Spectrum Center, the campus LGBT center. “This shows that the university is truly committed to this population, and ultimately requires that the university and campus community be responsive to their needs.”
University of Oregon
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 out of 5 Stars
While most schools are reactive to the needs of trans students and only take action when there is a problem, the University of Oregon reaches out to trans students and supports them without advocacy. “Colleges have to lay the groundwork with policies, spaces, and community-building so that the environment is not a hostile space to folks who are differently gendered,” says Chicora Martin, the director of the university’s LGBT Education and Support Services Program, who has led the effort that has made Oregon one of the country’s most trans-inclusive schools. “Offices can’t wait until trans students arrive to make it better.” Typical of the climate there, the rec center incorporated gender-inclusive locker rooms without Martin having to advocate for them. Most buildings on campus have gender-inclusive bathrooms, and a new initiative will place signage below the gendered bathrooms directing individuals to the gender-inclusive ones.
University of Pennsylvania
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 out of 5 Stars
Any discussion of the very best schools for trans students would have to include Penn. Besides having all of the major trans-supportive policies and services in place, its LGBT Center has its own two-story building, a renovated 1870s carriage house. The center not only hosts LGBT events, but many other campus activities, which contributes to an environment where trans students do not feel marginalized. Unlike the situation at many campuses, identifying as trans at Penn is not a big deal and many cisgender people get it. Being an urban, Ivy League school means that faculty members tend to have a basic knowledge of trans identities or are willing to learn. In addition, Penn’s student health service has many trans-aware staff members who work to ensure that trans students receive quality health care, and they and other people at Penn can take advantage of the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, one of the country’s largest trans conferences.
University of Vermont
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 out of 5 Stars
One would be hard pressed to find a more trans aware campus than University of Vermont (UVM). Since the school added “gender identity/expression” to its nondiscrimination policy seven years ago, its LGBTQA Center has conducted “Trans 101” training sessions for many of the university’s staff members. The campus has also become more educated about the experiences of trans people through offering the Translating Identity Conference, a student-run trans conference that will be marking its tenth anniversary this fall. In addition, UVM was one of the first schools to change to its management system software to enable students to use a name other than their legal first name on campus records, and the university offers their software solution for free to other schools with the same management system.
The College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C.,
The College of Charleston , is in the process of creating a more LGBT friendly campus.
John Bello-Ogunu, chief diversity officer of the university, told The Post and Courier that the college recently completed a draft of a strategic plan that would help increase campus diversity.
Shane Windmeyer, executive director, of Campus Pride spoke at the university’s Office of Institutional Diversity’s Signature Speaker Series as an expert on sexual orientation. Windmeyer told The Courier, “Every campus wants to be called gay-friendly. But most haven’t looked at institutionalizing safety and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.”
Melissa Moore, executive director of We Are Family, provided her support in helping the campus become safer for LGBT students. She says the harassment of transgender students happens mostly in bathrooms. According to The Courier, Moore recommended “gender-neutral” bathrooms be built in addition to other measures being employed by the university. These bathrooms would be placed around campus and the location would be disclosed to transgender students. For more info on the College of Charleston progress go to https://facultysenate.cofc.edu/glbt-resource-page/index.php
CAMPUS PRIDE is the leading national educational organization for LGBT and ally students and campus groups working to create safer, more welcoming colleges and universities. Want to find LGBT-Friendly colleges and universities? Learn more online about Campus Pride (www.CampusPride.org) and the Campus Pride Index for LGBT-Friendly colleges and universities (www.CampusPrideIndex.org).
LET’S BAN MENTAL ILLNESS NOT GUNS
I may be the lone liberal on this issue and have debated even mentioning my opinion to family, friends or here, where I stand. Yes, what happened at the elementary school in CT., was extremely troubling and sad. Since then I have tried to avoid the news for many reasons, mainly, it’s just too emotional to watch. Lately I’ve been a little disappointed with the progressive news and not for the reasons most conservatives would like to think. Most conservative media, as usual in my opinion, is way out on the edge on a hysterical limb. Conservatives continue their blame, name calling, and criticism of democrats and Obama. This unfortunate tragedy is not the time for political gain. On the other hand, the progressive media continues doing the same for political purposes, making the NRA its target. Truly there is need for more modern discussions on weapons but we also have an obligation to our Constitution which is our country, freedom and the very essence of our democracy. Both progressive and conservative citizens can both agree on love for our freedom and the protection of our Constitution. In the Constitution, the second amendment states, the right to keep and bear arms: is the enumerated right that people have a personal right to own arms for individual use, and a collective right to bear arms in a militia. In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions concerning the Second Amendment. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. In dicta, the Court listed many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession as being consistent with the Second Amendment. In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.
For every step a nation takes away from disarming its citizens, history has proven time and time again, that we take one step closer to a dictatorship. Let’s also be reasonable as well, Obama and the Democratic Party or the Republican Party of today, is not the potential dictatorship and we should move on from the usual petty labeling. Without the protection of our second amendment we should worry though, of the leaders of tomorrow. As far as any gun control, instead of banning, we should however consider strong regulations and stricter ways of owning guns. We should consider more mental illness background checks on individuals and their families. Instead of the constant attention on gun control why aren’t we as a people considering better treatments for the mentally ill. Recently in an article for Thinkprogress, the question being asked, "Is it easier for Americans to access gun than mental health services?" At the beginning of 2012 there was national outrage in the media about mental health cuts. Try goggling mental health cuts and you can see for yourself, articles naming states after states that have received cuts in mental health services. Now that a major tragedy has happened that leaves little doubt of the mental illness of the individual, we concern ourselves mainly with gun control. In America is there still anyone not taking a pill for one slight mental illness or another; major depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, stress disorders, etc., the list goes on. With or without gun controls how much longer can we ignore the growing epidemic of what are being considered as common mental illnesses. I’d like to propose a question to my fellow liberal and progressive citizens of this country, what would we do in a situation without guns in a country that may one day be even more controlled by either the Koch brothers or anyone similar? Would you think multi billionaires with access to own an arsenal of weapons denied to the general public and an agenda to make the majority of the public submit to their doctrines, would not use those weapons against the people? Then, in that hypothetical situation, you would have true ingredients for a dictatorship. All I say is let’s not give into panic mode or political agendas that we ignore a greater risk, and that is a society too overly medicated.
Sabrina Samone, TMP
TRANSWOMEN: THE HIGH COST OF BEAUTY MAY MEAN DEATH
We’ve all been told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In our modern world now one may also add, if you have the money you can have the looks, when you don’t the results can be deadly. Many Transpeople’s in the beginning of their transition are eager to see the results of the estrogen or testosterone injections. After spending a number of years trapped in a body we may have grown to hate. We can easily see how so many of us, holding a syringe of estrogen or testosterone, see it as our magic potion that will bring the happy ending to our long suffered story. Corazon Aquino once said, “Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things - with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope.”
In the late seventies and early eighties most Transpeople’s, more specifically Transwomen, being part of the greater LGBT community found themselves as entertainers in countless gay bars around the country. As one friend, a 35 year veteran of female impersonation has told me, “In the early days, there wasn’t a gay bar around that didn’t have showgirls.” What seems to be the norm in gay club culture in the early eighties maybe now considered passé? Whichever you choose to believe the point she was making was that for many Transwomen performing as female impersonators, competing at the local, state and national pageant systems was the only way or maybe most profitable way Transwomen were able to make a living and enjoy being who they are. In that atmosphere, and this is only my hypothesis, of competition it seems the need for instant and fast results in appearance may have begun. With weeks before a national pageant, many transgender showgirls would increase the work of in house, not license doctors to perform medical silicone injections. The temptation to stand before your peers in competition with a near over night increase in bust size or enhanced facial features has led many Transwomen over the years to disfigure their bodies.
Over the years, the iron curtain of discrimination has begun to be lifted for many in the Trans community. Doors once closed and limit young Transwomen to ballrooms, gay bars cabarets and the streets now many are seen in the work place, Universities and the media. The need for quick results unfortunately also has increased and in recent years we’ve witnessed several top media circulated horror stories of silicone injections. One the most memorable maybe O’Neal Morris, the crudely nicknamed fix a flat nurse, who after an allegation by a female victim Shatarka Nuby, 31, reported that her skin became hot and turned black after the injections harden under her skin, O’Neal was later arrested. “Investigators determined that Morris injected substances such as bathroom caulk, cement, super glue, fix-a-flat and mineral oil into the bodies of her victims,” Sheriff’s office told NBC6 South Florida.
“She once told Nuby’s aunt she was using silicon from home depot.”
Alleged 'toxic tush' nurse victim Shatarka Nuby died in March after police say she paid thousands of dollars to have her buttocks, hips, breasts and thighs injected with a deadly mix of substances including fix-a-flat by fake doctor O’Neal Morris.
The 31-year-old mother of three died while incarcerated in a Tallahassee jail, Florida after what medical examiners called "massive systemic silicone migration" as a consequence of cosmetic silicone injections performed back in 2007 and 2008.
Nuby was in jail for identity theft, not for anything related to the booty injections.
Morris was facing charges of practicing medicine without a license and causing bodily injury to other women but she is now facing manslaughter charges over Nuby's death and is being held in jail.
Shatarka Nuby died due to injections The duchess aka O’Neal Morris
Two women lives forever altered for a fast quick fix to beauty. Even as we are informed as a society more and more of the horrors of silicone injections there are still many supporters and those still willing to roll the dice? In my community a friend had begun transition; she was not seeing the results she wanted fast enough. After months of other friends and I warning her of the dangers, she still did not see she could be a victim from silicone. Finally I said, since she was the girl that relied heavily on the opinion of males to ask a man. If it was beauty she was after, I realized there was nothing another woman could tell her that she wouldn’t doubt. Thankfully she had her eyes open drastically; she’d report that countless men told her of previous girls they have dated who had taken silicone injections. As she puts it, their barrage of negative comments about such Transwomen totally prejudiced her against the procedure. After two years of constant hormone therapy she’s now a natural 36c and very pleased. Again I’m reminded by wise words, Confucius “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”
Given time most transgender on hormone therapy will see redistribution of fat to the breast and hip area and given time will get the desired results. I have often heard you can at least expect to be half the size of your mother. Fact or myth the point is very few women have the same breast size or curves and how we develop is based a lot on staying with a hormone regime, exercise and good nutrition. In time you can have thebody you’ve always felt on the inside but rushing the process can leave you permantley scared for life. My friend struggles with what now to tell the younger transgender females she meets, and can’t seem to get them to understand the consequences of getting silicone injections. This effort led us to find Sinjuan K. Cassadine who has recently released a touching series of vlogs about her troubles with silicone. After serving time for the accidental death of her own friend whom she injected silicone she shares her own story about living with that pain and her own problems she now faces with the shifting silicone in her body.
Sinjuan K. Cassadine’s videos on YouTube see below
She’s commended for coming forth with her story. A warning to rushing the process of beauty and reminder that the most lasting beauty is the beauty inside that we have to share with the world.
By Sabrina Samone, T.M.P writer
Read more: https://www.transmuseplanet.com/news/transwomen-the-high-cost-of-beauty-may-mean-death/
In a new report, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Task Force on Treatment of Gender Identity Disorder calls for specific guidelines to help determine the best course of treatment for transgender patients. The report notes that although the APA introduced the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) over thirty years ago, the organization has yet to recommend treatment or take an official position on the concerns of transgender persons. The task force’s report calls for a variety of measures that would greatly benefit the health of transgender patients:
1. The APA should help identify mental health service providers with expertise in gender discomfort and sex development disorders.
2. The APA should establish a separate method for evaluating the needs of people with sex development disorders.
3. Specific APA treatment guidelines are particularly important because they would likely positively impact the number of psychiatrists willing to help transgender patients.
4. The APA should create workshops for educating mental health care providers about transgender care.
5. The APA’s silence — coupled with its stigmatizing diagnosis of “Gender Identity Disorder” — is a failure to facilitate access to care for transgender people.
6. The transgender community has emerged as a recognizable political group with a claim to civil rights. Therefore, patient care must evolve beyond a mere “ability to conform to majority cultural expectations.”
7. Although research is limited, there is enough consensus to support the development of recommendations for all age groups: children, adolescents, and adults.
Last month, the The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry released similar suggestions for supporting children and adolescents who may be LGBT or gender-nonconforming. LGBT children and adults, like all people, are happier and healthier when their identities are affirmed. Under the APA’s new recommendations, clinicians must translate this information into informed and sensitive counseling and treatment.
– Steven Perlberg
VIRGINA TRANS TEEN STILL MISSING
Police in Virginia are searching for a transgender teen who has been missing for more than a week.
Dashad Smith, 19, also known as Sage, Sagey and Unique, was last seen Nov. 20, in the 500 block of West Main Street in Charlottesville. Smith was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark-gray sweatpants, a black scarf and gray boots, police said.
Smith was supposed to meeting a man for a date on the evening she disappeared, her father, Dean Smith, told The Huffington Post.
"I had talked to my son on Nov. 20. I talked to him about 5:00 or 5:30 p.m.," Dean Smith said. "After that he did not answer his phone. His roommate said he was going to meet a guy ... I guess they were going on date or whatever. That's all they have right now. It looks like it's an abduction."
Dashad Smith, who dresses as both a man and a woman, has not contacted her family since she disappeared. She also missed a planned Thanksgiving dinner with her mother, Latasha Grooms.
"He was supposed to come with me, and when I called him the day before Thanksgiving, there was no answer," Grooms told HuffPost. "I kept calling and texting and found out from his roommate that he had not been seen since the previous day."
Grooms added, "He had been excited to come to my new house. He had bragged to his grandmother, father and friends. He could not wait to spend time with me because I have some health issues. He had also not seen his sister for a little while, so he could not wait to come spend Thanksgiving with us."
Charlottesville Police Lt. Ronnie Roberts said his agency has been investigating Dashad Smith's disappearance since Nov. 22, the day she was reported missing.
"Our detectives have been working daily on the case trying to locate Mr. Smith and assist the family," Roberts told HuffPost.
Roberts declined to discuss whether police have questioned the man whom Smith was supposed to meet the day she went missing.
"The detectives have done some interviews, but as to the content of those interviews, it would not be appropriate" to discuss them, he said.
Roberts also said detectives have found no evidence of foul play, which limits the tools at their disposal.
"It's not a criminal case. We have nothing at this point in time that indicates it being a criminal case, which makes it difficult to get warrants and things of that sort, because you have to have a criminal case to go in that direction. There's no evidence that points us in that direction right now," he said.
Dean Smith claims that police are keeping him in the dark about the investigation.
"When the case first started, me and the detective got off on the wrong foot," Smith explained. "I had said some things but that was out of fear, fear of the unknown. So he does not reach out to me like he does the mother."
According to Grooms, it is out of character for Dashad Smith to be out of contact with her family. She has been struggling to find her place, she said.
"He was in the process of deciding what he wanted to do. He was in the stage where he was still trying to find himself," Grooms said. "How he chooses to dress -- a lot of people don't care to hire people that dress like he did, so he struggled with getting and keeping jobs."
Grooms said her family refers to Dashad Smith as a "he" but said her child identifies with both genders.
"His gay community says 'she' but his family still says 'he.' It does not bother him," she said.
Roberts said detectives are hoping to hear from members of the public who have seen or had any recent communication with Smith.
"Hopefully we can locate him and reunite him with his family. That's what we'd like to do," he said.
Grooms is also trying to stay positive.
"It's really hard, but I'm trying my best," she said. "It's the only way I get up every morning."
Smith is 5 feet 8 inches tall, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She has a piercing in her left eyebrow.
The Black And Missing But Not Forgotten organization has been helping raise awareness about Smith's disappearance. A Facebook page has also been created to help raise awareness.
Anyone who has seen or heard from Smith is asked to call the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-977-9041 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000 .
TRAIL SET FOR TRANSFEMALE'S MURDERER
Gary Niles Montgomery, the Washington man accused of killing Deoni Jones, a transgender woman, at a Northeast bus stop in February will go to trial in June 2013. The 55 year old Montgomery was indited Nov 9 for first degree murder while armed and fatally stabbing Deoni Jones. He has pleade not guilty and remains in jail where is held without bond.
According to charging documents, two witnesses passing by a bus stop at the intersection of Sycamore Road and East Capitol Street NE, in the city's Benning Heights neighborhood, at 8 p.m. on Feb. 2 saw a man matching Montgomery's description strike Jones in the head and then Jones fall to the ground. Jones was transported to Prince George's County Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md.,. She died six hours later. Police were able to find video at the bus station to connect Montgormery to the murder.
SOURCES: Suspect in February Homicide Pleads Not Guilty:
Montgomery switches lawyers as court grants extension in transgender woman's murder case:
Montgomery Indictment Expected by Next Month
President Barack Obama and Transgender Rights: The Real Deal
President Barack Obama, the first African-American president, has been progressive in advancing the rights of transgender persons. President Obama believes that advancing the human rights of minorities and the marginalized is a fundamental American value. He is the first President of the United States to have a closed-door meeting with transgender activists concerning transgender rights.
President Obama named transgender Amanda Simpson as Senior Technical Advisor for the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security. Simpson recently served as Deputy Director in the advanced programs organization at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz. According to ABC News White House Correspondent Jake Tapper, "At Raytheon, Simpson -- a former test pilot who had worked for the company for more than a generation -- transitioned from male to female and was instrumental in convincing the military contractor to add gender identity and expression to its equal employment opportunity policy."
And as Jeff Krehely writes at AmericanProgress.org:
President Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum titled "International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons," which directed all U.S. agencies "engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons."
Progress Made by President Barack Obama and His Administration:
On May 31, 2011 President Barack Obama released this proclamation concerning LGBT individuals:
Presidential Proclamation: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month
By the President of the United States of America
The story of America's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is the story of our fathers and sons, our mothers and daughters, and our friends and neighbors who continue the task of making our country a more perfect Union. It is a story about the struggle to realize the great American promise that all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law. Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought to achieve this promise for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Since taking office, my Administration has made significant progress towards achieving equality for LGBT Americans. Last December, I was proud to sign the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. With this repeal, gay and lesbian Americans will be able to serve openly in our Armed Forces for the first time in our Nation's history. Our national security will be strengthened and the heroic contributions these Americans make to our military, and have made throughout our history, will be fully recognized.
My Administration has also taken steps to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans in Federal housing programs and to give LGBT Americans the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital. We have made clear through executive branch nondiscrimination policies that discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the Federal workplace will not be tolerated. I have continued to nominate and appoint highly qualified, openly LGBT individuals to executive branch and judicial positions. Because we recognize that LGBT rights are human rights, my Administration stands with advocates of equality around the world in leading the fight against pernicious laws targeting LGBT persons and malicious attempts to exclude LGBT organizations from full participation in the international system. We led a global campaign to ensure "sexual orientation" was included in the United Nations resolution on extrajudicial execution -- the only United Nations resolution that specifically mentions LGBT people -- to send the unequivocal message that no matter where it occurs, state-sanctioned killing of gays and lesbians is indefensible. No one should be harmed because of who they are or who they love, and my Administration has mobilized unprecedented public commitments from countries around the world to join in the fight against hate and homophobia.
At home, we are working to address and eliminate violence against LGBT individuals through our enforcement and implementation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We are also working to reduce the threat of bullying against young people, including LGBT youth. My Administration is actively engaged with educators and community leaders across America to reduce violence and discrimination in schools. To help dispel the myth that bullying is a harmless or inevitable part of growing up, the First Lady and I hosted the first White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March. Many senior Administration officials have also joined me in reaching out to LGBT youth who have been bullied by recording "It Gets Better" video messages to assure them they are not alone.
During my lifetime I have never seen any President of the United States reach out so effectively to the LGBT community, especially the transgender community. My philosophy has always been "actions speak louder than words."
The last 25 years of my transformation from male to female have been the hardest journey I have ever taken as an African American, and I have faced gender discrimination, racial discrimination, bullying, harassment, job discrimination, verbal abuse, housing discrimination, and denial of my basic rights. All citizens of the United States of American deserve love and equal rights. My words of encouragement to all transgender persons, especially minority transgender persons, are these: no matter what you face, just rise. The poem "Still I Rise" by Dr. Maya Angelou, Reynolds Professor at Wake Forest University, has always inspired me, even in the worst times of my life. I met Dr. Angelou while a student at Wake Forest University in the early 1980s (I was in the class of 1985) and was first introduced to her work at that time. "Still I Rise" resonated within my being, and almost 31 years later I wrote my memoir, I Rise: The Transformation of Toni Newman. I want to conclude this piece by encouraging all transgender people to read "Still I Rise" and to be free, be well, and rise.
- The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) added gender identity to the equal employment opportunity policy governing all federal jobs
- The Department of State revised the standards for changing a gender marker on a passport without surgery, making the process less burdensome for transgender people
- President Obama signed the Byrd-Shepard hate crimes bill
- President Obama signed the U.N. Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- President Obama appointed the first transgender DNC member, Diego Sanchez
- President Obama conceived a National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders, funded by a three-year HHS grant to SAGE
- The Social Security Administration stopped it's no-match letter policy
- President Obama banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the federal government
- HUD issued housing nondiscrimination regulations
Fate of transgender rights bill will rest on support of Conservatives
A Canadian Press report on today’s Bill C-279 hearing:
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have declared themselves strong advocates for gay rights worldwide, but the prime minister’s caucus is divided over a bill that would recognize some of those rights at home.
MPs are studying a private member’s bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgendered Canadians and to disseminate hate on the basis of someone’s gender identity or expression. Not all transgendered people are homosexual, but their issues are often represented within the gay and lesbian community.
Conservatives on the Commons committee handling the bill are split. At least two — Manitoba’s Shelly Glover and B.C.’s Kerry-Lynne Findlay — have suggested they will vote in favour of the bill with some amendments.
With the support of the NDP and the Liberals, that means it will head back to the Commons, where it must pass two more key votes.
Glover, a former Winnipeg police officer, gave an emotional explanation Tuesday for why she wants explicit protection for the transgendered, describing how she saw cases of extreme brutality against some in the community.
“It is important that we embrace the notion that we invite other Canadians to feel that sense of belonging that this bill will give them,” Glover said.
“When people say it’s symbolic only, I disagree wholeheartedly. I want to see transgendered individuals feel they can go to a police service or a court, knowing that gender identity is in the Criminal Code and the human rights act.”
The Canadian Human Rights Commission told the committee that the Canadian Human Rights Act should be expanded to include the prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity.
“This would promote acceptance and send the message that everyone in Canada should be treated with equality, dignity and respect,” said Ian Fine, senior general counsel at the commission.
A bill that passed a minority Parliament in February 2011 did so without the support of most Conservatives. It died on the order paper when an election was called.
This time around it’s gotten as far as the Commons committee, with the support of 15 Conservatives including Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt, Glover and Findlay. Nine other Tories abstained from a vote in June.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird raises the rights of gays and lesbians repeatedly during his speeches, and has been an outspoken critic of discrimination. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney sent an email to some Canadians earlier this year explaining how his government was fighting for the rights of gay Iranian refugees. The subject line included the term “LGBT refugees,” the ‘T’ standing for transsexual or transgendered.
But the transgender bill is for the first time testing the appetite of the Conservative caucus to support legislation directly involving the LGBT community. Because the proposed legislation is a private member’s bill, MPs are able to vote on it as they wish, without having to toe any party line.
Some Conservatives have expressed concern that the bill might inadvertently shield pedophiles who lurk in bathrooms. Conservative MP Rob Anders posted a petition on his website warning against allowing transgendered men to use women’s bathrooms.
Diane Watts, a spokeswoman for the socially conservative group REAL Women Canada, repeated the argument at committee Tuesday.
“This places females and children at a strong disadvantage and at risk since child predators can use the legislation as a pretence,” said Watts.
Federal employers might be forced to pay the medical bills for hormone therapy and surgeries, and then have to reintegrate the employees into the workforce with some “social difficulty,” she added.
NDP MP and bill sponsor Randall Garrison told Watts her comments were “offensive.”
But even after she’d used up her allotted time, Conservative MP Robert Goguen asked Watts to continue reading a long description of how the bill could inadvertently extend protections for pedophiles.
Other Tories suggest the term “gender expression” is much too vague, something Garrison offered to delete from the bill. There are also MPs, such as committee member Brent Rathgeber, who argue that Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has already effectively extended protections to the transgendered under the provisions for gender and disability, making the bill redundant.
His caucus colleague Findlay disagreed, raising her experience as a former member of the tribunal.
“I know myself that just because a tribunal has already applied a case to a certain ground does not make it definitive,” Findlay said.
The commission’s Fine said it would still be important to clarify the issues under the law.
“The reality is that even though the courts have accepted that and we accept that, parties go before the tribunals and courts and raise arguments about whether they’re included,” Fine said.
“There are some Canadians who are not in agreement with that notion and are still fighting about it, and believe the protection is not explicit and shouldn’t be covered by the other grounds.”
Several members of the transgendered community attended Tuesday’s Commons committee, and groaned or muttered quietly while Watts delivered her testimony.
Linda Slater, who was born as a man but spends two days a week dressed as a woman, said she’s had the experience of being thrown out of a store because of the way she looks.
“After this I will have a recourse, and if it passes this will open the eyes of shopping centres and smaller stores that it’s to their advantage not to make this an issue,” she said.
Courtesy of the Canadian Press via The Montrealgazette
TRANSGENDER ROMEO AND JULIET WITH A HAPPY TWIST
After reading the story of transgender teen romance of eighteen year old Katie Hill, born Luke a and Arin sixteen year old, born Emerald on the online paper The Trans Daily News, it wasn’t long everywhere I looked there were stories of the happy modern day Romeo and Juliet. Both suffering from the birth defects of gender dysphoria. They had been teased and bullied throughout their childhood. Katie being the son of a Marine Colonel in a small Christian conservative Oklahoma town could bear it now longer and went public in the local papers about being transgender and teen. Her story so touch an anonymous donor so emotionally, they paid for her sex reassignment surgery. Katie had become the first known transgender to graduate high school after sex change. Though it took her father some time to come around she admits things are better and she could not be happier.
Left to right: Emerald Andrews will become Arin Andrews by 16 and Luke Hill before he became Katie. Featured video of the couple can be seen on the homepage.
Arin grew up as Emerald Andrews, a young toddler beauty queen with hopes of her mother to continue in pageants. She also suffered from gender identity disorder and reached the point she could not deny the man she was. Both joined a Tulsa Trans support group and instantly feel in love. Katie said, “All I saw was a handsome guy. We’re perfect for each other because we both had the same troubles growing up. We’re both size five, so we even swap our old clothes we hated. We look so convincing as a boy and a girl, nobody even notices now. We secretly feel so good about it because it’s the way we’ve always wanted to be seen.”
Arin, still in high school is undergoing testosterone shots to give him the more masculine physique he had long desired. Even his earliest childhood memories he says, “The teachers separated the girls and boys into separate lines for a game. I didn’t understand why they asked me to stand with the girls. Girly things didn’t interest me, but I was worried what people would think if I said I wanted to be a boy, so I kept it a secret. His mother encouraged him to compete in local pageants but Arin’s secret love was riding motocross bikes with his dad. Though Arin admits it was hard for his family also he now has the support of his mom and dad. Even Arin’s little brother Wesley has even started calling Arin his ‘big brother’ “It makes me so proud,” says Arin.
Though high school started similarly for the two as many transgender teens as Arin says, “It was horrible. I looked like a pretty girl but acted and walked like a boy. Everyone started calling me lesbian. It felt so humiliating. I didn’t feel gay at all. I started having suicidal thoughts and told my parents I felt confused.” Even after Arin’s family began to support him and he began dating Katie rumors around a Christian high school that he was dating a girl, Arin was kicked out of the religious school. He says, “I started another school and things have been better there. But everything changed when I met Katie.”
Both Arin and Katie were bullied growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and they want to help prevent that from happening to others.
Arin goes on to say about Katie, “All her loneliness and confusion over feeling she was the opposite gender all her life sounded exactly like me. It was the moment I first had an explanation for my feelings. I realized I was ‘trans ‘too. I finally had an answer after years of confusion. She was beautiful and looked just like Megan Fox to me. I longed to know who she was and eventually plucked up the courage to do the guy thing and asked for her number. She said yes and we started seeing each other.” The younger couple is now speaking out about their experience to help raise awareness of Tran’s issues. “More needs to be done to let people know about transgender issues,” said Katie. “We both spent years in the wilderness and felt so alone. Our parents didn’t know how to help because none of us knew being Trans was possible. Nobody should have to go through what we did.”
Reading their words as a transgender a decade or two older I can’t help but wonder as we all reach that milestone of self acceptance being transgender are we giving enough back so that teenagers like Katie and Arin didn’t have to feel so alone growing up. We should all be saying to ourselves what each of us as transgender could be doing to make ourselves and our community more visible. Kate and Arin’s story also gives me hope as we’ve all know too well of the young ftm and mtf that are no longer with us do to the bullying and being turned away by family, school and friends. It’s comforting in 2012 we can actually see more progress. A progress that is obvious in young Katie Hill the first to openly graduate a public high school as a post op transgender. Doubt we would have been reading as a happy story like this if it was 2002 or worse 1992 or sooner. Though this is Katie and Arin’s personal story in a way this is all transpeople’s story, a story of our continued struggle as a community. From those that came before us, to those who are full adults and living their lives continuing to educate the world simply by being here working living and being who we are. We can all smile at the thought that this young couple is the future of Tran’s world we all hope to see.
More and more stories of ftm and mtf relationships are being mentioned in the press, though as a diverse community we all aware transgender is not a sexual preference but as I like to say a sexual organ defect. We all choose different ways to love but we all share the one thing that unites us all, being transgender. Let’s us not get complacent in what we can do no matter how small or big to make each life of a transgender a testimony that we are here. Unlike the tragedy of the Shakespeare play ‘Romeo and Juliet’, this Modern day Romeo and Juliet’s acceptance of themselves, their families and the love they have found in each other hopefully will give them strength to continue letting the world know we are here. I was touched to hear their story but more touched knowing that many that came before them in some way has helped make this story one of a happily ever after story that it is.
BOYCOTT WALLY WORLD
When I was in high school, in Hartsville S.C., the city was pretty business progressive for a small southern town. The town was one of the first in the northeastern section of S.C. to do a major downtown revitalization. It was big news, with parades and festivals to mark the completion. Small mom and pop stores were thriving and it was all about shopping locally in town to support the jobs and the businesses in the new revitalized downtown. This being the late eighties, as far as I have known, this was one of the first big drives I've known to promote the shop local theme that we're all pretty familiar with now. Everyone will either say they loved their hometown or hated it. Rarely have I heard anything in between but this move by my hometown is one of the few reasons it still holds a fondness in my heart. We didn't have a Wal-Mart within thirty minutes of town. I had heard of Wal-Mart, saw the commercials and may have been to the one over in Florence thirty miles away, but it was never much as a big deal as going downtown Hartsville after school with my girlfriends. We'd stop by the local drug store and could still order a hot dog all the way, add coleslaw and run into everyone from school and gossip. Small town charm is where I grew up and there was a lot to go around back in the eighties in Hartsville.
I graduated, went to a small Methodist Christian college in upstate South Carolina, but kept in touch with family, friends and the town via the local paper. People were in outrage and fear, as most small towns in America during the early 90's, about this big box retail giant. I'd admit being 19 and being concern with what most 19 years olds are concerned about. I didn't lose much sleep or even thought of the big arguments going on back home. I was actually surprised, a town that had been so progressive in new business would be fighting not to have one of these big box stores. I knew how hard jobs were when I returned home during the summers and could only get a job at a local convince store. I wondered what could be so bad about more jobs coming to town. In time it seemed the pressure was too great for the small town, but they receive major kudos from the residents, I and preservationist around the state, for making the big retail giant adhere to their new building codes and design. Again, this was very new and progressive against Wal-Mart in those days. The end result before I left to live in Atlanta for a few years was that everyone in town loved the new design of Wal-Mart. It blended very well with the red brick look of town and soon everyone moved on. Just the idea of writing this I tried my best to find any links to an old news article in town. The time, being before internet (I know I'm old); there wasn't anything out there against Wal-Mart from my hometown papers archives or by searching. I'm not surprised; I even wonder who remembers that time in our town's history. Going back to Hartsville, as I will in a day or two for Thanksgiving, you'd think everyone in town would be at a loss of what to do with their time if Wal-Mart were to just disappear overnight.
That rebellion I saw constantly in my hometown, with family, friends and my high school's football rivalries, that fought for the smallest detail in things. Standing up to those oppose to your beliefs, ideas and visions of your future, is something that's still with me these days. Maybe during that life changing moment in life is why I remember this going on, and maybe the discussion of Wal-Mart in those days had always loomed in my head and biased my opinions of the big chain, I'm not certain. It maybe that while living after college in midtown Atlanta for several years I didn't see a Wal-Mart, unless I drove out to the suburbs. Maybe it’s the reason why I refer to them as Wally world and had been opposed to shopping there for years. I was more a fan of Targea, until I needed medication. There big 4 dollar most medication drove me back and I became addicted as ever.
Over the past few years there have been more and more complaints again about Wally world. I've had friends that were forced to quit due to injuries. I watched on the news about lawsuits from female employees that the chain overlooks women for promotions. There's a great documentary I saw,'Walmart: The high cost of low price' and then hearing of people being fired and intimidated because they want to organize due to lack of the basics, health care, few raises and fair scheduling.
I think the worst thing is a company that fights their employees from Organizing like here in this NBC news report. The history of workers organizing, is not a new concept and it has been helpful in so many important labor laws, the Thirteenth Amendment was created so to outlaw slavery and more importantly, involuntary servitude. Obviously no one would volunteer too servitude right? But when over a million workers are told to not organize, therefore, not ask for better wages, fair treatment in the workplace, aren't we giving into servitude to a certain degree? Labor laws were created in the USA to stop things such as child labor in the early 19th century, steel workers that were working for pennies while the CEO executives were making millions. Provide health care for its employees and to end discrimination in the workplace. If we begin as a society to condone what Wal-Mart is doing to its employees aren't we also sending the message to our employers that it's ok to deny us the right of assembly, deny us adequate and affordable health care, safe working conditions etc.? Are we as a society and people with a conscious therefore not better than greedy CEOs or employers the world over? If we do, we should never again complain about our job, our pay, our working environment. I've heard friends complain of the effect Labor Unions have had on families. I'm very aware of the history and corruption of the unions in the sixties with the teamster unions of those days. But have we gone too far in vilifying the unions in 2012? There is a need in all things to have a check and balance, but maybe we've gone to the extreme when we have been told for years and to believe that an organization that was created for the people in the workplace, to protect our right, is evil. To ignore, then, the rights of the worker is that not evil? On Thursday, Nov. 22 2012 we will all be sitting, hopefully, with family or friends here in America giving thanks to God for our livelihoods. Isn't about time to stand for the middle class man, the hard worker and by standing with him give thanks to all of those that put in an eight hour a day job. What better way than thanksgiving to reproach the ideas against the worker. Let's boycott Wally world and support a working man.
Sabrina Samone, Transmuseplanet
The Surveillance state?
I’m a big fan of MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes, and on his Nov. 18th 2012 the show was about the surveillance state which got me to thinking about big brother. If you’ve never heard the term, Big Brother, I ask you to review the novel or movie of George Orwell’s 1984, basically about a huge government that spies on the citizens of the country. Interestingly I was alive and well in 1984, though very, very, very young, maybe one too many very, but whose counting. My point is, to me I think there was no sign in 1984 of Big brother. Obviously it’s 2012 now and can’t honestly say I think the same way. I have friends who can give you the updates on every major conspiracy theory out there and I’ll admit in the moment of watching or talking about them I can get caught up in the moment but if there’s a question, do I live my life as if I have proof of half of those conspiracy theories, I’d have to say no. But I can’t ignore countless people I know who don’t as well, for what seems a conspiracy theory, they will not under any circumstance have a facebook, twitter or even a myspace account. I’ve been given every reason from they’re from the devil, to I sneak around too much, don’t want anyone(wife) know what I’m up to, to yes they say “Big brother is watching.”
Now let me also state here, I’m a staunch, unashamed, and proud liberal. If you’re asking why, well it’s hard not to be when you’re a multiracial, transsexual living in the south. Though I can see some need to be conservative fiscally, my huge portion of liberalism is based mostly in social issues. Now unfortunately I believe that today’s Republican party is not an answer to either, as I’m convinced they are beyond any help now given to their total sell out to big corporation, business and their own personal greed. The tea party is a prime example of that and don’t just brush it off, but if you really research whose behind that emergence it can’t be denied, getting one over on the public, seems to be the primary goal, try viewing Alexandria Pelosi’s documentary, friends of God documentary or a great article on the billionaires behind the tea party movement and their alterative motives, by Suzie-Q's Truth and Justice Blog. And one can begin to see why the Republican Party is now only the party of the top 1%. I say top, so the misguided folks making less than $200,000 a year and think they are part of the makers that the democratic party wants to take something from, will not for a second be mistaken on whom I’m referring to, the top 1% opposed to the “I may still one day be a one percenter”.
So if you may have guessed who I voted for in this previous election, yes there is no doubt I voted for, whom I refer to as the people’s president, President Barack Obama. Let me also state for many reasons I want bother getting into in this particular blog post. But two NOT being that he is black or even simply just because he’s a Democrat, I actually lean more Libertarian because as I said previously, I do see a need for being conservative fiscally, but I don’t see the republican party as an answer as I previously stated. The Libertarian party has been very outspoken how much more conservative fiscally they are, than the Republican party, by stating that they will cut spending that the Republican party seems to not want to cut for military and the wealthy, in other words the difference to me is in those two parties is one will cut spending for everyone but their big interest groups and the other, the Libertarian will cut everyone from the federal govt., the wealthy, the military and no breaks for wall street. In that sense they are more conservative and more justified in my opinion. And though I have no problems with the spending of the Democratic Party, that I feel at least does look out for the 98% of us, it’s their liberal social views that get my attention, and support, but it’s the Libertarian party that dares to go even more liberal on lgbt rights even gender role equality, legalizing marijuana and the topic of this post, cutting back on government involvement in personal life. This is why, that a discussion after General Petra’s indiscretions have come to light and the role of the FBI in the emails which has lead to the great show today by Chris Hayes’s show Up about a surveillance state, which makes the Libertarian views even more needed in government, if only to bring more of a check and balance of the two parties now that seem to just play us back and forth like a ping pong game. And with a party that has transgender issues even on their tongue and not just as an accent to the gay movement, but the rights of people living their lives as they choose or even how they dress, really spoke to me. Recently former Governor Gary Johnson spoke on issues of transgender issues. One of his first press releases was about equality within the lgbt community. My only negative with Gary Johnson was that he went more after President Obama, whom I feel, on social issues he has more in common, than Mitt Romney and the republican party that has constantly showed no support other than the log cabin republicans, whom the transgender community get no support from and the evidence was even noticed in a boycott protest of the HRC for their support of a version of EDNA, Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The HRC once supporter of all lgbt, now due to the efforts of the gay republican movement of the log cabins’ it’s clearer the T must stand for itself due to the lack of support from the gay right.
So while I will continue support the Democratic Party and President Obama fiscal and social ideas, if there is a question that government is stepping more and more into our personal lives, I see myself more looking at the Libertarian Party. Most will feel at a national level they have no hope, but I’d implore readers of my blog to think locally, since all politics are local, look into the ideas of the libertarian candidates in your local areas, write and ask them their views and amount of support on transgender issues and I repeat “transgender” issues, which the party has showed an equal amount of support as the gay equality. And if you’re worried about the surveillance of the government take your time to read up on the Libertarian party and views they have shared about privacy long before this previous election, back in the Ron Paul days and next time you go to vote, think, is big brother watching my vote?
Sabrina Samone, Transmuse planet
Dana International is a Isralie transgender pop singer who shot to the top of the European charts with her debut single Diva, and went on to win the Eurovision award, hope you like the video, here also is a link to more of her work. danainternational1.com/
Also a link for more on Kim Petras, Australian transgender pop star en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Petras