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[personal profile] ftmichael

NCTE Launches New "Voting While Trans" PSA Series Featuring Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Kit Yan & Other Trans Advocates
Monday, 01 October 2012 - 10:00 am
by Daryl Hannah, Director of Media and Community Partnerships

Today, GLAAD and National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), an advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights and liberties of transgender Americans, released a series of public service announcements at http://votingwhiletrans.org/ outlining how transgender Americans can keep their right to vote this election day and feature NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling, writer and advocate Janet Mock, actress Laverne Cox, performance artist Ignacio Rivera, Charles Meins, and poet Kit Yan.

The PSAs are part of NCTE’s "Voting While Trans" public awareness campaign and part of GLAAD's effort to raise visiblity about the challenges thousands of transgender people may face heading to the polls this November. This year thousands of transgender Americans face being denied the right to to vote or having their vote discounted because of new strict photo ID law. The Williams Institute at UCLA estimates that more than 25,000 transgender people could lose their right to vote as a result of revised photo ID laws.

"New voter ID laws have created costly barriers to voting for trans people. And much worse, the debates about voter ID laws alone have made the idea of voting so toxic that many of us aren’t even going to try to vote on election day," said NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling. "Voter ID laws are silly. State legislatures have enacted them attempting to solve a fake problem. And as a result, transgender people - like students, veterans, low-income people of color, and older Americans - risk being denied a ballot this year," Keisling added.

Getting accurate identification has been an old challenge for transgender people. Many states have overcome this problem by modernizing their laws on updating birth certificates and drivers licenses, making voting more accessible to transgender people. However, the passage of dozens of new voter ID laws and strict photo ID requirements will now make it much harder for transgender people to vote. GLAAD has been working with media to elevate the everyday challenges trans Americans face trying participate fully in their communities simply because of antiquated photo-ID laws. We've also launched the http://glaad.org/vote page to encourage LGBT people and our allies to stand up and be heard this November.

"Every day, countless transgender Americans face challenges trying to secure IDs that reflect their true identity, and as a result, experience hardships in fundamental freedoms including the right to vote," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "We all deserve to make sure our voice is heard. These new strict-photo ID laws will adversely impact thousands of already disenfranchised Americans, many of whom are transgender people of color, who may also be low income, elderly or have a disability."

Voting While Trans Checklist

NCTE and GLAAD urge transgender people to verify whether their voter registration information matches the name and address on their identification. Additionally, transgender people who are able to update their photo ID are encouraged to do so.

Visit http://votingwhiletrans.org/ to learn more and watch the PSAs, and visit http://glaad.org/vote to find out how you can register to vote.
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[personal profile] ftmichael

Camp unites transgender kids on outskirts
There are few places transgender youth feel accepted. Camp Aranu’tiq was created to change that.
By Bella English, Globe Staff
September 02, 2012

Kids headed to the pool at Camp Aranu’tiq in Connecticut.
Kids headed to the pool at Camp Aranu’tiq in Connecticut. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)

On the volleyball court, a boy spiked a shot and his teammates cheered. Nearby, some campers lay on mats, doing yoga stretches. A girl executed a series of cartwheels. Over in drama, the kids performed a “cranky old lady” talk show; everyone cracked up.

Before the week was over, there were campfires, Capture the Flag, a skit night, and a talent show. Camp Aranu’tiq seemed like a traditional New England camp, complete with requisite lake, rustic cabins, and 65 shrieking campers.

Only when you see tags around campers’ necks, with the words “(HE)” or “(SHE)” under their names, do you realize something’s different here. It is the only camp of its kind in the country, a camp for transgender kids, where idle chatter on sports, music, school, and teenage crushes blends right in with talk about “coming out,” “transitioning,” puberty blockers — and bullying.

For privacy and safety reasons, Camp Aranu’tiq has never allowed media inside, but recently let a Globe reporter and photographer spend a day at its wooded Connecticut grounds during its weeklong session in late August. Campers, parents, and staff are required to sign a confidentiality contract, and the exact location is not revealed until the child is enrolled. “They know it’s a safety issue,” said founder and director Nick Teich.

Related: Camp for transgender kids builds trust (photos)

Read more... )
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[personal profile] ftmichael

Oxford University changes dress code to meet needs of transgender students
Students sitting exams or attending formal occasions will no longer have to wear ceremonial clothing specific to their gender
Press Association
http://guardian.co.uk/ , Sunday 29 July 2012 06.27 EDT

Oxford University changes student dress code
New rules mean that male Oxford University students will be able to sit exams in skirts and stockings and women will have the option of wearing suits and ties. (Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian)

Oxford University has rewritten the laws governing its strict academic dress code following concerns that they were unfair towards transgender students.

Under the new regulations, students taking exams or attending formal occasions will no longer have to wear ceremonial clothing that is specific to their gender.

It will mean men will be able to sit tests in skirts and stockings and women will have the option of wearing suits and bow ties.

The laws, which come into force next week, follow a motion put forward by the university's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer society (LGBTQ Soc) was passed by the student union.

Jess Pumphrey, LGBTQ Soc's executive officer, said the change would make a number of students' exam experience significantly less stressful.

She told The Oxford Student newspaper: "In future there will be no need for transgender students to cross-dress to avoid being confronted by invigilators or disciplined during their exam."

Under the old laws on academic clothing – known as subfusc – male students were required to wear a dark suit and socks, black shoes, a white bow tie and a plain white shirt and collar under their black gowns.

Female students had to wear a dark skirt or trousers, a white blouse, black stockings and shoes and a black ribbon tied in a bow at the neck.

If a transgender student wanted to wear subfusc of the opposite sex they had to seek special dispensation from university proctors, who had the power to punish those who breached the rules.

Oxford University said: "The regulations have been amended to remove any reference to gender, in response to concerns raised by Oxford University Student Union that the existing regulations did not serve the interests of transgender students."

Simone Webb, president of LGBTQ Soc, said: "This is an extremely positive step, and indeed long overdue."

He told The Oxford Student: "I am of the opinion that it is possible to keep elements of tradition in this way while making them unrestrictive to trans students, genderqueer students, or students who wish to wear a different subfusc to that which they'd be expected to wear."

T-Vox info

May. 17th, 2012 11:00 am
ftmichael: David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, wearing his glasses, with the caption 'Geek is the new sex'. (geek is the new sex)
[personal profile] ftmichael
Many of you may have noticed that some pages on http://t-vox.org/ are giving database errors and not letting you see the content. The T-Vox admins are aware of the database issue and are working on it; it's proven to be a particularly obnoxious problem but they're doing their best to get it resolved ASAP. Anyone who's good with php and Mediawiki should please get in touch to help!

In the meantime, on any page that gives a database error, just click the little View Source tab to see the raw contents of the page. There's very little markup code so it should be readable, and you can use Ctrl+F to search it for whatever you're looking for. (If you have a T-Vox account and are logged in, the Edit tab will do the same thing.) Many of the pages do not have an error, fortunately, and can be accessed as normal.

The pages, including the ones with database errors, are still editable, so please do continue to contribute!

A few popular pages that are linked to from the Resources page, which people may now have trouble finding:

* Online Support
* FTM passing tips
* MTF passing tips
* FTM reading list
* General reading list
* Physicians by region
* List of transfeminine people
* List of transmasculine people

You can also go to All Pages to find what you're looking for.

Two of the most popular pages that folks may have issues with:

Therapists in the United States - this page links to more specific geographic areas in the US. If you can't figure out how to get to the page you need, here are the links:

* New England - CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT
* Mid-Atlantic - NJ, NY, PA

* East North Central - IL, IN, MI, OH, WI
* West North Central - IA, KS, MO, MN, ND, NE, SD

* South Atlantic - DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV
* East South Central - AL, KY, MS, TN
* West South Central - AR, LA, OK, TX

* Mountain - AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY
* Pacific - AK, CA, HI, OR, WA

Support groups in the United States - same format as the therapists page. If you can't figure out how to get to the page you need, here are the links:

* New England
* Mid-Atlantic
* East North Central
* West North Central
* South Atlantic
* East South Central
* West South Central
* Mountain
* Pacific
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[personal profile] ftmichael

Argentina Gender Rights Law: A New World Standard
by The Associated Press
May 11, 2012, 12:09 am ET

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Activists say Argentina now leads the world in transgender rights after giving people the freedom to change their legal and physical gender identity simply because they want to, without having to undergo judicial, psychiatric and medical procedures beforehand.

The gender identity law that won congressional approval with a 55-0 Senate vote Wednesday night is the latest in a growing list of bold moves on social issues by the Argentine government, which also legalized gay marriage two years ago. These changes primarily affect minority groups, but they are fundamental, President Cristina Fernandez has said, for a democratic society still shaking off the human rights violations of the 1976-1983 dictatorship and the paternalism of the Roman Catholic Church.

Activists and academics who have tracked gender identity laws and customs worldwide said Thursday that no other country has gone so far to embrace gender self-determination. In the United States and Europe, transgender people must submit to physical and mental health exams and get past a series of other hurdles before getting sex-change treatments.

Argentina's law also is the first to give citizens the right to change their legal gender without first changing their bodies, said Justus Eisfeld, co-director of Global Action for Trans Equality in New York. "The fact that there are no medical requirements at all — no surgery, no hormone treatment and no diagnosis — is a real game changer and completely unique in the world. It is light years ahead of the vast majority of countries, including the US, and significantly ahead of even the most advanced countries," said Eisfeld, who researched the laws of the 47 countries for the Council of Europe's human rights commission.

Read more... )
ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael

Victory! Transgender Woman Wins Health Insurance Coverage for Mammogram

April 30 - We are thrilled to announce that we have resolved a claim on behalf of Beth Scott, a 44-year-old transgender woman in New Jersey who had been denied health insurance coverage for a mammogram. Ms. Scott underwent the mammogram in June 2010 at her doctor’s recommendation. Aetna denied coverage for the mammogram on the grounds that it fell under her policy’s exclusion for treatments “related to changing sex.” As a transgender woman, Ms. Scott was assigned male at birth and developed breasts after undergoing hormone therapy. Aetna refused to alter its position throughout the lengthy appeals process.

Beth Scott

TLDEF intervened and argued that Aetna’s interpretation of the policy exclusion was overbroad and that it should apply only to treatments prescribed to change an individual’s sex characteristics. Because a mammogram is a procedure that has nothing to do with changing sex characteristics, Ms. Scott’s mammogram should have been covered. Aetna’s interpretation could have led to the continued denial of claims for medically necessary care for transgender patients, including treatment for conditions such as breast cancer.

Aetna reversed its position and paid for Ms. Scott’s mammogram in full. Read more... )
ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael

Victory: Federal Agency Rules Trans People Protected by Sex Discrimination Law

NCTE congratulates our colleagues at the Transgender Law Center, who tonight, announced a significant federal workplace rights victory. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled in a 5-0 decision that an employer who discriminates against a transgender employee or job applicant because of the person’s gender identity is illegal sex discrimination based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Though this ruling follows a growing number of court decisions around the country that have held that transgender people are protected by existing federal anti-discrimination laws, this is the first decision by the EEOC on this issue.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “This ruling is a major advancement in transgender rights that will provide a significant tool to fight discrimination. It will also help us advocate for still needed protections like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the federal contractors executive order.”

The EEOC is the federal agency charged with interpreting and enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws, and this is the first time it has ruled that anti-transgender discrimination is sex discrimination. The decision applies to both public and private employers throughout the country including in the 34 states that do not yet have gender identity anti-discrimination laws.

The case was brought by the Transgender Law Center (TLC) on behalf of their client Mia Macy who was a denied a job as a ballistics technician at the Walnut Creek, CA laboratory of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). NCTE congratulates TLC on this important victory and thanks Mia Macy for standing up for herself and the rights of all trans people.

Keisling added, “this is a major victory. As many as 90% of trans people still face tremendous discrimination in employment according to our National Discrimination Survey, and it will help so much that the EEOC agrees with what more and more courts have been saying—discriminating against trans people because of their sex, or their perceived sex, or what an employer thinks about their sex is clearly sex discrimination, illegal and wrong.”

Read the full ruling here.
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[personal profile] ftmichael
GLAD Publishes Groundbreaking Transgender Family Law Book
Resource for practitioners to foster quality representation for transgender clients

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is proud to announce the publication of Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, the first book to comprehensively address legal issues facing transgender people in the family law context and provide practitioners the tools to effectively represent transgender clients. Featuring chapters by attorneys with expertise in both family law and transgender legal advocacy, the book was edited by Jennifer L. Levi , director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, and Elizabeth E. Monnin-Browder, a litigation associate in the Boston office of Ropes & Gray and a former GLAD attorney. Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy will be available in bound and electronic versions on May 16, 2012.

“Some of the most heartbreaking stories I have heard in my career as an LGBT legal advocate involve transgender people in family courts,” said Levi, a nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues. “The rights of transgender people – as parents, spouses, and simply as human beings – are often trammeled in family court because of pervasive bias and misunderstanding. Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy is a road map for transgender individuals and their attorneys to navigate the family court system in this evolving area of law.”

“This book tackles a cutting edge area of family law and we’re thrilled to have contributions from some of this country’s most well-respected experts in this field,” said Monnin-Browder. “Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy details the unique needs and vulnerabilities of transgender people in the family law context. I hope transgender people will read and share it with their attorneys as they plan a family, navigate the dissolution of a relationship or a custody dispute, or simply seek to protect their rights and those of their children.”

The chapters address a broad range of topics, including:

* Culturally Competent Representation
* Recognition of Name and Sex
* Relationship Recognition and Protections
* Protecting Parental Rights
* Relationship Dissolution
* Parental Rights after Relationship Dissolution
* Custody Disputes Involving Transgender Children
* Protections for Transgender Youth
* Intimate Partner Violence
* Estate Planning and Elder Law

In addition to chapters authored by Levi and Monnin-Browder, contributors to Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy include Kylar W. Broadus, Patience Crozier, Benjamin L. Jerner, Michelle B. LaPointe, Morgan Lynn, Shannon Price Minter, Zack M. Paakkonen, Terra Slavin, Wayne A. Thomas Jr., Esq., Deborah H. Wald and Janson Wu.

For more information, or to purchase a copy of Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, visit http://glad.org/TFL .
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organisation dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.
ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael
Sign the petition here.


Petition Chrishaun "CeCe" McDonald's Arrest
Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 4:12pm by Marcus Brock, Media Strategist at GLAAD

Momentum is building as the hearing and trial for Crishaun “CeCe” McDonald approaches in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The community is encouraged to attend the hearing scheduled for April 24. CeCe was the victim of a violent transphobic and racist assault during the summer of 2011. Since, she has been incarcerated and the only person in the altercation to face legal action, even though her aggressor lacerated her cheek with a drinking glass during the heated exchange. CeCe face charges of “second degree murder” for an act of self-defense where she was injured and her life threatened. Hennepin County Attorney General, Michael Freeman has the authority to review CeCe’s case and drop the charges on the rationale of self-defense, but has yet to do so.

Read more... )

On April 24, 2012 supporters are encouraged to attend the hearing and evidentiary motions at the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 6th Street S, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The hearing will begin at 9 am. CeCe’s trial is scheduled to follow on April 30 on the 13th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center.

You can also show your support for CeCe by signing the petition, which was organized by the Free CeCe Support Committee.

Sign the petition today in solidarity for Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald and the LGBT community! You can also call, fax or email the attorney general here.

GLAAD urges the media to tell CeCe McDonald's story and the continued discrimination transgender people - particularly transgender women of color - continue to face when trying to participate fully in their communities.
ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Once, long ago, Evie looked after "Barry" Obama, the kid who would grow up to become the world's most powerful man. Now, his transgender former nanny has given up her tight, flowery dresses, her brocade vest and her bras, and is living in fear on Indonesia's streets.

Evie, who was born a man but believes she is really a woman, has endured a lifetime of taunts and beatings because of her identity. She describes how soldiers once shaved her long, black hair to the scalp and smashed out glowing cigarettes onto her hands and arms.

The turning point came when she found a transgender friend's bloated body floating in a backed-up sewage canal two decades ago. She grabbed all her girlie clothes in her arms and stuffed them into two big boxes. Half-used lipstick, powder, eye makeup — she gave them all away.

"I knew in my heart I was a woman, but I didn't want to die like that," says Evie, now 66, her lips trembling slightly as the memories flood back. "So I decided to just accept it. ... I've been living like this, a man, ever since."

Read more... )
ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael
There is a poll on this site, near the bottom of the article, asking 'Should kids who believe they are born in the wrong bodies be offered a medication to block puberty?' Please go and vote!


More transgender kids seeking help, getting treatment
By Diane Mapes

When Aidan Key was a little girl, he didn't realize he had gender identity issues. He simply knew something was off.

"I didn't necessarily become aware that I was trapped in the wrong body," says the 49-year-old Bellingham, Wash., native who had gender reassignment surgery at the age of 33. "I became aware that people didn't perceive me as I felt myself to be. It was just odd to me to have to wear a dress the first day of kindergarten. It didn't make sense."

Photo of Aidan Key today with short grey hair, a beard, and glasses on the left, and a childhood photo of him with long hair, possibly a school photo, on the right
Aidan Key, left, was born a girl named Bonnie.

Today, Key might have received counseling -- and perhaps even puberty blocking drugs -- at one of a handful of U.S. clinics designed to help adolescents with what’s now called gender identity disorder or GID. The psychological diagnosis is used to describe a male or female who feels a strong identification with the opposite sex and experiences considerable distress because of their actual sex (the word "disorder" refers to the distress the person feels, not the fact that they identify with another gender).

According to reports published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics, a small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are now getting support from parents and from doctors who give them treatments that could eventually help them change their sex.

Some estimates say about 1 in 10,000 children may have GID, Dr. Norman Spack, author of one of three reports published Monday and director of one of the nation's first gender identity medical clinics, at Children's Hospital Boston told the Associated Press. And that number does appear to be on the rise, experts say.

The number of people treated at Spack's Gender Management Service clinic, also known as GeMS, which was the focus of a study, increased fourfold between January 1998 and February 2010. The clinic now averages about 19 patients each year, compared with about four per year treated for gender issues at the hospital in the late 1990s.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Actress Cynthia Nixon, as quoted in the NY Times Magazine:

Nixon manages to keep a similarly cleareyed perspective on her relationship with Marinoni, despite the titillation it has caused in the tabloid media. She has less tolerance for the skepticism she says her relationship has sparked among some gay activists who find her midlife switch in sexual orientation disingenuous.

“I totally reject that,” she said heatedly. “I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me. A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not.” Her face was red and her arms were waving. “As you can tell,” she said, “I am very annoyed about this issue. Why can’t it be a choice? Why is that any less legitimate? It seems we’re just ceding this point to bigots who are demanding it, and I don’t think that they should define the terms of the debate. I also feel like people think I was walking around in a cloud and didn’t realize I was gay, which I find really offensive. I find it offensive to me, but I also find it offensive to all the men I’ve been out with.”

A follow up op-ed piece, also in the NY Times:
Genetic or Not, Gay won't Go Away

full article under the cut )
ftmichael: (yay)
[personal profile] ftmichael

BREAKING: New Rule Makes Trans Housing Discrimination Illegal

Today, at the 24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that they will issue a historic new rule strengthening housing discrimination protections for transgender people. The regulations will be published next week, and go into effect 30 days from then.

In his plenary address, HUD Secretary Donovan said:

“I am proud to announce a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose [...] If you are denying HUD housing to people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, actual or perceived, you’re discriminating, you’re breaking the law, and you will be held accountable. That’s what equal access means, and that’s what this rule is going to do.”

The new rule makes several urgently needed changes to current federal housing and housing-related programs including: prohibiting owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation;and clarifying the definition of “family” to ensure that LGBT families are not excluded from HUD programs.

According to Harper Jean Tobin, NCTE Policy Counsel, “this is a major and urgently needed advancement in basic protections for transgender people. NCTE is calling on other federal departments to follow HUD’s common-sense approach and use existing legal authority to prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the programs they fund and administer. We applaud Secretary Donovan and the Obama Administration for this much needed relief for transgender people.”

Mara Keisling added “We are very pleased that, just as he said at NCTE’s Awards Ceremony in November, HUD has clearly listened to our concerns with earlier drafts of the regulations and made them even stronger.”

In announcing the draft rules early last year, HUD cited The National Transgender Discrimination Survey conducted by NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, showing that 19% of transgender and gender non-conforming people had been refused a home or apartment and 11% had been evicted because of their gender identity or expression. The study also showed that 19% of transgender people have been homeless at some point in their lives, and 29% of those had been turned away from homeless shelters and a majority were harassed when they could get in to a shelter.
ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael

Transgender Americans take on New York
By Daniel Nasaw BBC News Magazine, New York

A group of transgender men and women want New York City to make it easier to change the "M" or "F" on their birth certificates. What makes a man or a woman, and why do governments care?

In the annals of unhappy encounters with driving licence authority officials, Patricia Harrington's and Joann Prinzivalli's seem particularly miserable.

Both had been living as women for years, but still carried birth certificates showing the sex they were designated at birth - male.

Ms Harrington, who was hoping to transfer her New York state driving licence to the state of New Jersey, was told to return with a doctor's note.

"It just made me furious," says Ms Harrington.

"I would just like to get a corrected birth certificate that identifies me, so that when I have to show it for identification I don't automatically become some kind of criminal suspect."

Read more... )
ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael

The story of how the Transgender Equal Rights Bill came to pass is an old and familiar one. It has drama. It has suspense. And it has betrayal.
But not by whom you might think.
by Sue O’Connell
Wednesday Nov 16, 2011

As soon as word got out on Monday, Nov. 13 that lawmakers were poised to vote on the bill and that the bill did not have public accommodations, the finger-pointing started. Blame was directed at lesbian and gay groups for striking a compromise deal and advancing a flawed bill without input from the transgender community. A couple of crazy national bloggers even compared what was happening in Massachusetts with Maryland -- you know, the state where advocates tried to advance a civil rights bill without public accommodations from the very start, and where there was a very ugly and public split between the leading gay organization, Equality Maryland, and the leading trans organization, Trans Maryland.

None of these allegations are true. Massachusetts is not Maryland. Not even close. And what happened here politically bears no resemblance to what happened there.

As for the accusations that a nefarious deal had been struck without input from the state’s trans community? Nonsense. Not only has the Bay State’s trans community had a seat at the decision-making table throughout the lengthy advocacy of this bill, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition Executive Director Gunner Scott has been chairing the meetings at said decision-making table.

So if you’re angry about the fact that the Transgender Equal Rights Bill does not include public accommodations, direct your anger where it belongs: the state legislature.

The truth is, and Bay Windows knows this because we have been talking with advocates and legislative champions for months, lawmakers did not want to take a vote on this bill and they did everything that they could not to take a vote.

In the end, the bill moved thanks to pressure from Gov. Deval Patrick and the unrelenting advocacy by state Reps. Carl Sciortino and Byron Rushing and state Sens. Ben Downing and Sonia Chang-Díaz. It also didn’t hurt that the coalition that formed to push this bill through somehow held it together and did not, as so many coalitions do, implode when the going got tough. After tough, emotional meetings (during which tears were shed and tempers flared), the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition decided to call every bluff offered by lawmakers (as long-time trans activist Nancy Nangeroni has detailed in online comments to the crazy blog posts referenced above). Language changes? Yeah, we’ll take your language changes. Now when do we get the vote? More language changes? Yeah, we’ll take these changes. Now when do we get the vote? No public accommodations? Um, yeah, we’ll take the bill. Now when do we get the vote?

So it’s no surprise (or shouldn’t be) that the bill that passed is far from perfect. How on earth can you set up a system by which it is illegal to fire your transgender barista, but okay to refuse to serve your transgender customer? It’s hard to see how that will actually work in the real world. Hopefully, all it will take to sort this out is a lawsuit or two as opposed to another lengthy process to get another bill.

The bottom line is that it will soon be illegal to fire someone from their job because they are transgender. It will soon be illegal to evict someone from their apartment because they are transgender. It will soon be illegal to deny someone credit because they are transgender.

You get the idea.

These are basic protections. They are long overdue. And they will change the lives of transgender residents for the better.

Good work, folks.
ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael

GLSEN and NCTE Announce Release of Model District Policy on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students

Media Contact:
Andy Marra
Public Relations Manager
1646 388 6575

Vincent Paolo Villano
Communications Manager
1202 903 0112

NEW YORK, November 16, 2011 - The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) today jointly announced the launch of their groundbreaking Model District Policy for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students.

The first-ever national policy resource co-authored by GLSEN and NCTE offers solutions for school districts to incorporate into existing policies and procedures that create safer and respectful school environments for all students regardless of their gender identity or gender expression.

Read more... )
ftmichael: (yay)
[personal profile] ftmichael
Contact: Gunner Scott
1617 778 0519

For Immediate Release

Transgender Equal Rights Now a Reality in Massachusetts

BOSTON, MA [11/16/11] – The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is proud to announce the passing of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill in the House and the Senate extending civil rights and hate crimes protections to the state’s transgender residents.

Last night, just before 9:00 PM, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Transgender Equal Rights bill without any amendments. This morning by 10:30 AM, the bill passed in the Massachusetts Senate. The bill must still be approved once more in Senate the Governor can sign it. As we wait for Governor Deval Patrick to officially sign this bill into law, we can celebrate the impact this will have on our transgender youth, adults, and families across the Commonwealth.

MTPC thanks our legislative lead sponsors Representative Carl Sciortino, Representative Byron Rushing, Senator Ben Downing, and Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz; all of the House and Senate co-sponsors, and the leadership of House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray for providing vital protections for approximately 33,000 transgender residents here in Massachusetts.

This bill will give transgender people equal protections when seeking employment, housing, credit, and education. The bill also expands the state's hate crimes protections to now include transgender people; a community that experiences alarmingly disproportionate levels of harassment and violence.

The final version of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill passed by the legislature unfortunately does not include protections within public accommodations. MTPC and our coalition partners fought hard to try to get public accommodations restored in the Senate version of the bill, and were unsuccessful in doing so. Although this bill does not include public accommodations, this is a historic and important victory in the fight for achieving transgender equality in Massachusetts.

“This is not the end of our fight, and MTPC is committed to getting public accommodations protections for our transgender youth, adults, and families. MTPC plans on introducing a bill for the 2013 legislative session for those public accommodations protections,” said Gunner Scott, Executive Director of MTPC. “For now, let’s be proud of the difference this bill will make in the daily lives of thousands of people across the state who need jobs, a safe place to live and access to education.”

MTPC expresses our deepest gratitude to our community members, who have spent countless hours educating their legislators and the general public about the issues transgender people face. "It is because of the courage of our community members to come forward and tell their personal stories about themselves, their family members, and their friends that we have accomplished this milestone," said Nancy Nangeroni, Steering Committee Chair of MTPC.

MTPC thanks the members of the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition including MassEquality, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), ACLU of Massachusetts, MassNOW, Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, Jobs with Justice, and Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality for their tireless work on behalf of transgender equal rights.

Founded in 2001, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is a 501(c) 3 that works to end discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. MTPC educates the public, advocates with state, local, and federal government, engages in political activism, and encourages empowerment of community members through collective action.
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Via Twitter, I saw that Zachary Quinto, who played Sylar on Heroes and Spock in the latest Star Trek, officially came out today in New York Magazine. He then posted about it on his website. Thanks ZQ for coming out!

Article in NY Magazine

Doing that play [Angels in America] made me realize how fortunate I am to have been born when I was born. And to not have to witness the decimation of an entire generation of amazingly talented and otherwise vital men. And at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like I — there's still so much work to be done. There's still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed. The undercurrent of that fear and that, you know, insidiousness still is swarming. It's still all around us. To revisit that world at all, it took a toll on me. It definitely was an incredible experience but it was really daunting at times.

His Official Website

when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself - i felt deeply troubled. but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life - i felt indescribable despair. i also made an it gets better video last year - in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time. but in light of jamey's death - it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality. our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country. gay kids need to stop killing themselves because they are made to feel worthless by cruel and relentless bullying. parents need to teach their children principles of respect and acceptance. we are witnessing an enormous shift of collective consciousness throughout the world. we are at the precipice of great transformation within our culture and government. i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society - and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action. jamey rodemeyer's life changed mine. and while his death only makes me wish that i had done this sooner - i am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me. now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world. that - i believe - is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other.

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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Copied from my own journal; here are some notes on queer movies I've watched over the past year and a half or so. I generally get them from Netflix. After watching this many queer movies, I take away points for: Gay bashings, unhappy endings, self-harm, misogyny, and films that have all white people in them.

27 movie notes under the cut )
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[personal profile] ftmichael

New Study Finds Employment Discrimination against Transgender Residents of Massachusetts Costs the State Millions Annually
May 11th, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gunner Scott: 1617 778 0519
Kara Suffredini: 1617 878 2300

BOSTON — A new research study released today by The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy shows that employment discrimination against transgender residents of Massachusetts likely costs the state millions of dollars each year. These costs are the result of reduced income tax revenue, expenditures on public assistance programs, and other costs related to an increased need for public assistance programs. The added cost to the Commonwealth for public health insurance coverage alone is $3 million annually due to employment discrimination against transgender workers.

“When transgender people experience employment discrimination, not only can that have a substantial negative impact on people’s lives, but it also affects the Commonwealth financially so all Massachusetts residents pay a price,” said study author Jody L. Herman, the Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute. “The legislature is making painful choices as it builds next year’s budget,” said Kara Suffredini, executive director of MassEquality. “This law would not cost the state a dime, but it could bring in millions of revenue and savings each year.”

“Employment discrimination erodes your dignity—and empties your pocketbook. When otherwise qualified people cannot find work solely because of who they are, the state loses money in lost tax revenues and increased expenditures on public programs such as MassHealth,” said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender
Political Coalition.

In calculating the cost to the Commonwealth, the study estimates that 6,600 Massachusetts residents have lost a job, 12,900 were not hired for a job, and 5,600 were denied a promotion, all due to due to anti-transgender bias. Furthermore, 15 percent of surveyed transgender Massachusetts residents made $10,000 or less in annual household income, whereas only 3 percent of the Massachusetts general population made this amount.

Employment discrimination can lead to lost wages and the need to access public assistance programs to replace lost income and health insurance coverage. This study estimates that the Commonwealth may be losing millions in income tax revenues each year due to employment discrimination. In addition, the Commonwealth is spending nearly $3 million every year in public health insurance coverage for those who have lost jobs due to anti-transgender bias.

View or download the report

See press coverage

About the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition

The Transgender Equal Rights Coalition is working to pass “An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights.” (House Bill 502 and Senate Docket Number 536). This law would add gender identity and expression to existing Massachusetts civil rights laws, which currently prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, and marital status in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit. The bill would also add offenses regarding gender identity or expression to the list of offenses that are subject to treatment as hate crimes. The bill defines gender identity and expression as “a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.” This is consistent with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination’s past decisions, as well as Boston’s 2002 transgender anti-discrimination ordinance. Members of the coalition include MassNOW; ACLU of Massachusetts; Jane Doe, Inc., The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence; National Association of Social Workers, MA; Mass AFL-CIO; Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition; MassEquality; the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus and the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association.


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