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I don't even KNOW right now. WHUT?
D.C.'s Murderous Prostitution Policy

This is the stupidest thing
I’ve heard so far this year.

Anti-prostitution policies in D.C. pose serious threats to health and safety of community members identified or otherwise targeted as sex workers. Two policies stand out in particular: first, “move along” polices geared at cleansing certain neighborhoods of sex workers; and second, the use of condoms and safe sex as evidence to arrest or prosecute someone for prosecution and the related practice of confiscating and destroying condoms and other safe sex materials.


I hardly know where to begin. For starters, as a former HIV/AIDS prevention educator, I think carrying condoms and having them on hand is a terrific idea for anyone who’s sexually active. Period. When my boys are old enough I plan to tell them “the facts of life,” right down to how to protect themselves and their partners from STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, etc.

Sure, as a parent, I’d prefer that they abstain from having having sex until they are old enough and mature enough to deal with all the potential consequences and outcomes. But at the same time, if they’re going to be sexually active, I’d want them to use condoms. I’d want them to have condoms with them. I’d make sure they know how to use them. I’d even go to the drug store and buy condoms, and give them to my boys myself, to make sure they have them.

(I’d do the exact same thing for a daughter, if I had one, because I’d want her to have her own on hand.)
Because I’m a parent, but I’m also a realist. I don’t imagine that not teaching them about condoms, and not they have them is somehow going to stop them from having sex. They’re people. People have sex. People have sex with or without condoms, birth control, etc. People have sex without regard for the consequences, sometimes. And I don’t think my kids should have their lives unalterably changed by an STD or unplanned pregnancies, just for having sex. I don’t think they should sacrifice their lives for having sex. I don’t think anyone should. People have sex. There’s little you can do to stop them.

The Politics of Being Transgender (Seriously Mr. Letterman? Really?)

Barack Obama made the first transgender political appointments that we know of recently–Amanda Simpson, appointed last week as senior technical adviser in the Bureau of Industry and Security in the Commerce Department, and Dylan Orr, special assistant to Assistant Secretary of Labor Kathleen Martinez in the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the Department of Labor–but even David Letterman couldn’t resist making a crack at Simpson’s expense.

The “T” at the end of LGBT often seems like an afterthought, with transgender rights being excluded even when LGBT rights are approved. Today on GRITtv we talk to Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Naomi Clark of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and blogger at Feministe, and filmmaker Jules Rosskam of Against a Trans Narrative, featured on GRITtv last summer, about being transgender in the U.S. and how far we still have to go.


The college admissions scam

Faith Leaders To Move Their Money Out Of Bank Of America Unless Demands Are Met HELLS YES. WOOT!!!

Must read.

Dec. 14th, 2009 09:10 am
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Heads-up: You don't get to respect only the "good" trans people and still call yourself an ally.

"Okay, I get why you're upset. But I don't think the commenters were being transphobic. They were just ignorant / confused / unsure."

Thank you for getting why we're upset. (This might sound like sarcasm, but it's more that particular feeling of sadness you get when you live in a world where you act relieved and grateful when people don't kick you in the face just for saying they did something hurtful to you.)

On the other hand, maybe you didn't get it after all, or at least there seems to be some confusion over the word "transphobia".

Either you want to point out that those people might have said shitty things without necessarily hating trans folks. But the thing is that transphobia does not require HATE, DISGUST, or other such strong emotions. Just like being homophobic does not mean that you cower in fear whenever you see a gay person. This is not the place to bring semantics into it, you know. It's enough to regard trans persons as alien, different, something to study, or exciting -- none of this is as extreme as bashing our heads in with a fire extinguisher, or calling us "it". But it damn well makes us feel uncomfortable, unsafe, misunderstood, ignored, and lays the seed for actions that end with discrimination, harassment, and murder. It's a spectrum. Every building has a foundation.MORE
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[livejournal.com profile] sparkymonster has some good suggestions:
I urge people to go here to remember and honor people who were murdered for being trans. Lets not just remember our dead, but also celebrate the living. Read some of the many excellent blogs by transgendered people (including one of my faves, Questioning Transphobia). Read a book by a transgendered author. Watch a movie made by a trans person. Read people twittering about it. Take some time to honor those who are alive and fighting as well as those who have died.
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Then link thee and spread it far and wide. For there is much BS to shovel away and too many lives on the line.

via:[personal profile] voz_latina

Is Cis A Dis? And other air castles to storm…

Nuclear Unicorn and I have come to the table of friendship together because 1) we like each other, and 2) we recognize that we are stronger in our struggles together than apart. I am so grateful everyday that I can pick up the phone and call her and we get each other. I don’t have to explain to her what time it is. But here’s the thing: I have a loaded gun that the Patriarchy has given me. I am a cis-person; it was issued to me at birth. That gun sits on the table between us. It is a gun that, if I ever chose to use it, could totally destroy her life, or at least injure her grievously. It is a gun that I will always have forever, even if we leave the table of friendship. If, 20 years from now, Nuclear Unicorn and I have long since parted ways and, say, she goes on to become some famous author and chooses to not be out about her transition, I could cock and fire at her with a few strategic phone calls… or just casual careless babbling to people I don’t know well. There is nothing that will change that until society chooses to take the bullets out of that gun by giving Nuclear Unicorn her full human rights and social dignity, so that if I decided to pick it up and fire it at her, it will have no bullets in it, and I will look just as stupid and offensively bigoted as KKK members seem to us today.

Society must take away my gun. It should not be on the table between us. That I would never use it is totally irrelevant. That Nuclear Unicorn has chosen to trust me not to reach for it, or threaten to reach for it in order to compel her to do something against her will, is a beautiful thing and it is humbling to me that she does trust me so implicitly. But, that’s not the fucking point. No one should ever have to trust someone like that, because no one should have the fucking gun to begin with. I may not want it, but I can’t get rid of it. I can’t just say, “there is no gun”, because there is. It’s right fucking there between us on the table and we both know that. It is a constant reminder of how much privilege I have over her, and while I might find the gun disgusting and may work with her against it’s issuance to me, I will never have as much motivation as she does.MORE


Aug. 5th, 2009 06:33 pm
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Protecting Gender Without Cops

When the managers at an ice cream parlor in upstate New York harassed a transgender woman by calling her names and locking the door when she tried to enter the store, the police took action. They arrested the trans woman for trespassing.The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an organization providing legal services for low-income people and trans people of color, tried to advocate for the woman but couldn’t because the state’s human rights law doesn’t include protections for gender identity. This might change if a proposed state bill passes.

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (known as GENDA) would protect people who are routinely kicked out of housing, fired from jobs and harassed in schools and other public institutions because of their gender expression. The bill has passed the state assembly and is up for a vote on the Senate floor. Thirteen other states and the District of Columbia have already enacted similar legislation. But a group of queer justice organizations is not supporting the bill because it would also add “gender identity and expression” to the list of hate crime offenses and result in longer prison terms. Because the same communities vulnerable to violence face increased policing, it’s a move that would “expose our communities to the inherent racism and classism that is rooted in the criminal justice system,” said Pooja Gehi, staff attorney at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, which opposes the hate crime portion of the proposed bill.MORE
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What the hell ABC? At a time when when grandads are siccing their 10 year old boys on their transgender classmates because he objects to said transgender classmate using the girl's bathroom? When the security at London Pride denies access to the ladies bathroom to a a post operative trans woman? When ZOMG rapists and pervs!!!!" is EXACTLY the way religious right fuckers shoot down trans civil rights bills? Even the supposedly most progressive of places are contributing to this vicious myth of trans folk as evil rapists and pedos, not fit for society, thereby contributing to the societal impulse to severely harass kids in school and murder both adults and children? When said vicious myth still leads to people getting away with trans panic defenses????

Against that background, which I dug up in five minutes of googling and which is by NO means comprehensive, your writers of "10 Things I hate About You" deiced that he best way to further Kat's relationship with Patrick and her best friend, is to make up a character that is an Asian trans kid and make said kid obnoxiously come on to Kat while she's in the bathroom?!?!?!?!?!??!?? And since the "gender-confused kid" (your words) won't take no for an answer, the loyal best friend has to punch her to get her to stop? REALLY? So that Kat can assume its Patrick that is defending her and take that as an excuse to have more interaction with him? Are you fucking serious??????? How many people's prejudices and ignorance do you think you have just confirmed? Did you all give ANY thought at all to the kids and adults who will be further tortured by their fellow students and adult citizens because you have just legitimised that trans folk are so sexually threatening that one needs to beat them up to get them to stop being criminals!?!?!?! When Trans kids deal with THIS and more every day...

Key findings of Harsh Realities include:
Biased language:
  • 90% of transgender students heard derogatory remarks, such as "dyke" or "faggot," sometimes, often or frequently in school in the past year.
  • 90% of transgender students heard negative remarks about someone’s gender expression sometimes, often or frequently in school in the past year.
  • Less than a fifth of transgender students said that school staff intervened most of the time or always when hearing homophobic remarks (16%) or negative remarks about someone’s gender expression (11%).
  • School staff also contributed to the harassment. A third of transgender students heard school staff make homophobic remarks (32%), sexist remarks (39%) and negative comments about someone’s gender expression (39%) sometimes, often or frequently in the past year.
School Safety and Experiences of Harassment and Assault
  • Two-thirds of transgender students felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (69%) and how they expressed their gender (65%).
  • Almost all transgender students had been verbally harassed (e.g., called names or threatened) in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and gender expression (87%).
  • More than half of all transgender students had been physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (55%) and gender expression (53%).
  • More than a quarter of transgender students had been physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (28%) and gender expression (26%).

Do you SEE those numbers? What the hell is wrong with you????? Thsi is not a fucking JOKE. This is PEOPLE"S LIVES AND SAFETY THAT YOU ARE FUCKING WITH HERE!!!!That's TRANSPHOBIC you ignoramuses, and you fed the lies to CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS!!!As a JOKE. What is WRONG with you?
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The suppressed fact:Death by US torture

The interrogation and detention regime implemented by the U.S. resulted in the deaths of over 100 detainees in U.S. custody -- at least. While some of those deaths were the result of "rogue" interrogators and agents, many were caused by the methods authorized at the highest levels of the Bush White House, including extreme stress positions, hypothermia, sleep deprivation and others. Aside from the fact that they cause immense pain, that's one reason we've always considered those tactics to be "torture" when used by others -- because they inflict serious harm, and can even kill people. Those arguing against investigations and prosecutions -- that we Look to the Future, not the Past -- are thus literally advocating that numerous people get away with murder.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Awhile back, Digby wrote she feels the torture debate slipping away. I'd like to try and put this in context. This was always going to be tough. It is a fight worth fighting, but nowhere in the world has the still potent previous ruling order ever rolled over and taken their lumps for the crimes they committed while in power without a massive fight. While we may make references to Nuremburg, the most important difference there was that the Nuremburg trials were an act of imposing international law on Germany and Japan after conquering them. This is an attempt to have domestic law enforcement mechanisms go after the leaders of the previous government for their official policy. In the US, I don't believe such a thing has been done. Worldwide, it isn't so common either. MORE

For [livejournal.com profile] abydosangel

Dissenting Justice on the DOMA Brief, Part I: The Politics

Politics of the Brief
Politically, the submission of the brief will further erode trust for the Obama administration among GLBT individuals. During the Democratic Primaries and in the general election campaign, President Obama expressed passionate disagreement with DOMA and vowed to seek its repeal. Yet, in the first case requiring his administration to comment on the constitutionality of DOMA, Obama has defended it as a rational law that does not violate any constitutional norms. Accordingly, the brief represents a betrayal by Obama on his pledge of support for GLBT rights and regarding his specific opposition to DOMA.

A closer examination of Obama's record, however, demonstrates that Obama has not always held a consistent position on DOMA -- a fact Dissenting Justice first examined in March 2009. For example, when Obama ran for the Senate in 2004, he wrote a letter to the Windy City Times (a Chicago GLBT newspaper), which states that he opposed DOMA when it was enacted in 1996. In 2003, however, Obama completed a candidates' questionnaire and stated that he did not support the repeal of DOMA. In 2007, a campaign spokesperson for Obama explained that he changed his mind after "gay friends" told him how hurtful DOMA was to them. Of course, Obama could not have intellectually opposed DOMA in 1996, supported it in 2003, and suddenly opposed it again in 2004. Instead, his conflicting stances are likely motivated purely by political calculations.

Today, Obama is engaging the exact same song and dance regarding DOMA. Although he maintains that he supports the repeal of this "hurtful" law, his administration has defended it as legally rational legislation. This position is patently absurd.MORE

Dissenting Justice on the DOMA Brief, Part II: The Legal Arguments

Standard Full Faith and Credit Analysis or Equating Same-Sex Marriage and Incest?
The Constitution requires states to give "Full Faith and Credit. . .to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. . . ." Based largely on the Full Faith and Credit Clause, states traditionally have recognized marriages performed in other states.

The government's principal argument in defense of DOMA's full faith and credit provision contends that courts have allowed states to deny recognition of marriages from other states that violate their own "public policy." The relevance of the public policy exception to same-sex marriage has received an enormous amount of attention from legal scholars. Furthermore, the government's discussion of the exception represents a fairly routine way of analyzing the legal issues presented by the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

Despite its unexceptional nature, this section of the brief has inflamed many GLBT advocates because the Department of Justice cites to a series of cases that apply the public policy exception and allow states to deny recognition of certain marriages. These cases include an incestuous marriage between an uncle and his niece, a marriage involving a 16-year-old, and a marriage between first cousins.MORE

Transprose: An Open Letter

Dear Cissexual Queer/Gender Theorists, Feminists, and Trans Allies:
We need to talk. That’s not quite accurate, actually. I need to talk, and you need to shut up and listen for a minute. Because some of y’all have been talking about me, and you’ve been talking so loudly that you haven’t been hearing what I’m saying. Some of you haven’t even noticed that I’m in the room.
You probably don’t know me. But a few of you seem to think you know everything you need to know. Enough to fill up chapters in academic texts or pages on your blogs. Enough to make fetishistic jokes or webcomics. Enough to name my genitals for me.MORE
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Fascinating Virtual Archive of Black LGBTs on Chicago's South Side

Death of Sailor May be a Gay Hate Crime

Chicago Tribune Goes "Beyond Boystown" and Looks at Black LGBTs on the South Side

via:[livejournal.com profile] sanguinity
Homophobia in Jamaica: Thoughts Intersecting Current Politics, Dancehall, Colonialism, Religion, Slavery & Jamaican Patriarchy.

now limbo-ing for the earth team

Race, Superstition, and Marriage Equality

Another Historic Meeting, Another Melanin Free Transgender Contingent

Metting Sylvia Riveria

Lessons from KRXQ-FM: Hate Speech Shouldn’t Go Unchallenged

via: Transadvocate:
Lives of the Transgendered Women of India

This video is of Glady, a transgendered woman in India, who is currently enrolled at University of Madras. Glady has been going to graduate school for Mass Communications while working part time. Many transgendered women in India are pushed to the margins of society where they are not able to do any work other than begging or prostitution. Many are subject to violence and inhumane oppression. With no family support and a very hidden life, she struggles to be the first transgendered woman graduate from the University. I have been helping Glady garner financial support to make it through graduate school, and together we have raised over half of her school finances! We only have $300 to go! Please help Glady in this final amount to one day become a journalist and ultimately a dignified human being.

more interesting videos at the link
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[livejournal.com profile] quinacridones talks about the response from the previously radical woc clinic (that had some transphobic language on its website), explaining that they are so cash strapped that they are not providing medical services at all, and that they are having serious trouble locating medical staff that do not pathologize women based on a number of oppressive factors Please go read the whole thing. Also Questioning Transphobia has has the full set of communiques between the clinic and their bloggers, further hashing out the details of their current dire condition. Which is completely fucked in so many ways, and considerably complicates the picture. However commenter algormortis points out that the language on the website is still transphobic, and that needs to be addressed. EDIT: Because basically, while the clinic was in operation, it had issues providing care to trans women. And that is problematic.

In the meantime: [livejournal.com profile] voz_latina has been inspired by this whole mess to produce a film project on the serious, life-threatening, downright refusal to provide medical care to the transgender female population that is the norm. Its is called the Trans Female Health Experience Media Project She also has a discussion going here I also suggest this threadat Feministe, (via bfp) in which the comments break down exactly what is wrong with the language used on the website and why it is such a problem. (There is much less fail here than normal, but there is some).

In the meantime: Seeking Avalon first drew my attention to the fact that Pam's House Blend is banning people for referring to folks who are not part of the transgender population as "cis". She links to a post on Questioning Transphobia, which explains that some white gay guy felt insulted by the word. Whereupon Autumn, one of the transgender regulars, backed up by siteowner Pam, decided to cater to his privilege at the expense of transfolk. And used MLK Jr. quotes to back up her argument. Which is...interesting, to say the least. Then she followed that up with a rather eyebrow raising post again privileging the feelings of white gays over trans folk And the tone argument was strong.

And so fail continues to roll in left and right...
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HR676 - The Single Payer Solution, Part 1 of 4

The most important piece of legislation in America today, with nearly 100 cosponsors in the house, H.R.676 is the only health care bill that will truly reform our tragically broken health care system.

This is the bill that your insurance company doesn't want you to know about. This is the bill that presidential candidates (except Kucinich) are afraid to talk about, presumably because they like to keep getting campaign contributions from the insurance industry.MORE

Read more... )
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via: [livejournal.com profile] voz_latina whose posts are here and here
1. We've got to able to detach emotionally from our institutions and be able to admit when they are wrong. And its hard as hell. And it hurts. But it hurts the transgender population to the point that their lives can be lost as a result of this discrimination. Incite, much as I rate and respect them, is WRONG on this. This is bad.

*sigh* and why is it so hard for us to see when we are perpetuating on other people the same things we are raising cain about when they are hitting us?

Women and trans health care

and fail apparently took place here as well...

More links available here
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NYC Clerk Unwittingly Marries Transwoman and Boyfriend

Kimah Nelson and Jason Stenson

After it went public, they revoked the license and registered them as domestic partners. There was much annoyance in the blogosphere because everyone from the Advocate to Pam's House Blend called them a gay couple at first, following the shitty reporting of the New York Post.

New Hampshire got marriage, my very belated congrats.

What Are The Yogyakarta Principles?

If you peruse international blogs that cover gender identity and sexual orientation issues, from time to time you'll see a reference to the Yogyakarta Principles.

What are they, you ask? Well, peeps, school is now in session.

In response to well-documented patterns of abuse of GLBT people, from November 6-9, 2006 a distinguished group of international human rights experts met on the campus of Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to outline a set of international principles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The result of that meeting was the Yogyakarta Principles: a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding international legal standards with which all nations must comply.

The basic premise is that TBLGI people are all human beings and are equally entitled to human rights. The development of international human rights law has largely ignored them - as racial minorities were once ignored - as women were once ignored - as the disabled were once ignored.

So the people gathered in Yogyakarta logically applied established international human rights principles and made suggestions as to how these 29 principles apply to the situation of LGBTI people around the world.The Principles

Lafeyette from True Blood survived last season and there be hot hot hot spoilers to boot Thank heavnes cause he's the only goddamn reason that I will watch the show.

Apparently there is a good portrayal of a gay Middle Easterner on Nurse Jackie


Apr. 22nd, 2009 08:35 pm
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GUILTY! We have a verdict in the Angie Zapata Hate Crime Murder Trial: GUILTY!
Update: Allen Ray Andrade is guilty 1st Degree Murder, and guilty of the bias motivated crime count. Guilty on vehicle theft and identity theft. At 4:0015 PM MDT, he will be was sentenced to life without parole.

What [livejournal.com profile] shemale said

in related news:

Washington's governor signs transgender hate crimes bill

and as usual, the GOP spews their usual hate: NH GOP chair Sununu: marriage equality and trans anti-discrimination bills 'garbage'
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via questioning transphobia Sigh. I am sick sick sick sick sick FUCKING SICK of the politically incorrect otherwise known as an excuse to be a fucking asshole

and it takes on a special flavor in view of the fact that a drag performer was murdered this week. edited

This homicide occurred in the military city of Fayetteville, NC, near a gay bar. Matt Comer @ QNotes:
According to the Fayetteville Police Department, officers found transgender drag performer Imaje Devera (born Jimmy Ali McCollough), 34, shortly after midnight on April 14 in front of 119 Joseph St. The body was found near Club Emages, formerly Club Spektrum. Police are not releasing any more information at the time, including how the victim died, citing the sensitive nature of the case.
Club Emages owner Dy'Mond Cartier told Raleigh news station WRAL that police said Devera had been stabbed and that the case was being investigated as a hate crime.

*goes to remove asshole's feed from my blog...*
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There is full blown coverage, tweets and all, at Pams House Blend. (Look to the left)

Questioning Transphobia linked to this:

Angie Zapata's Story: Let's End Hate Together

and has two very good posts on the subject. Please read them.
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[livejournal.com profile] voz_latina suggests a boycott of feministing and feministe for their absolutely terrible treatment of trans issues. I highly doubt many of you read those blogs, but here we are anyway.
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Concord - By a single vote, the New Hampshire House today reversed itself and passed a bill that bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The proposal was dubbed the "bathroom bill" by its opponents. The bill, House Bill 415, allows individuals to bring actions at the Human Rights Commission when they feel they have been discriminated against on the basis of their sexual identity, or the way they express it, such as with their clothing or makeup.
After more than three hours of debate that opened today's session, the House voted 188-187 to pass the bill.
Early in the debate, Speaker of the House Terie Norelli, D-Portsmouth, took the unusual step of leaving her podium and speaking in favor of the bill. She said she was disappointed in debate two weeks ago, and by "the muddying of the waters" on the issue.
"New Hampshire and the New Hampshire General Court has always stood against discrimination. Somewhere along the way, that message got lost on this bill," she said. "We're not asking you to open up bathrooms to sexual predators. We're asking you to stand tall against discrimination."MORe

Washington Oks Inclusion of transgender in Hate Crimes Laws

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Attacks against transgender people could be prosecuted as hate crimes under a bill approved Wednesday by Washington's Legislature.

The state's hate-crime law says it's a felony to threaten, damage the property of, or physically injure someone because of ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

At present, the hate-crime definition of sexual orientation covers gay, straight or bisexual people. The bill approved Wednesday adds "gender expression or identity" to that definition, making the law apply to attacks on transgender people.MORe
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enough. At all.

Reflections on 10th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance
Every death hits me hard. For any transperson, I think there is always a feeling of “there but for the grace of G-d/dess go I". I transitioned and did over a year long full time real life test in a rural southern town in 1993. No HRT, nada. If angels exist, there was certainly one at my shoulder, for I passed perfectly… as a man with long hair and a baritone voice wearing women’s clothing and jewelry. For the most part, people treated me with respect and used my new name and pronouns however I had a few close encounters during that time in which my possible last moments in this earthly plane were staring at me rather harshly.

As I’ve written previously, I later re-transitioned, and since that time have lived in between or outside binary gender. I don’t live in the same small town, but am still in a rural area. Some people might look at me and automatically perceive male simply based on birth sex characteristics, however if one is observant to subtle cues, they’re fairly likely to perceive something very different. I’m often mam’ed. But if I speak, I see the looks of confusion, and then the quick switch to sir. They’re obviously wondering what I am. Male? Female? Maybe genderqueer? Gay? Transgender? It is an extremely vulnerable place to live, and yet I must be true to myself.MORE

Read more... )
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Official website Locations of events, list of the dead, etc. via: Bilerico

2008-Names list

10 years, 400 dead and counting

A Gender Primer

Monica's TRANScending Gender Keynote Speech Part One

Monica's TRANScending Gender Keynote Speech Part Two

Questioning Transphobia

The Value of a Life

Transgender day of Remebrance webcomic via: Bilerico

ACLU Blog of Rights Post via: Pams's House Blend

Today marks the tenth annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day created to remember and honor all people who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence. The event was originally held on the first anniversary of the murder of Rita Hester, an out transgender woman who was killed on November 28, 1998, in Boston, Massachusetts. Rita’s murder, like many anti-transgender murder cases, remains unsolved.
Diane Schroer is a highly-decorated veteran, transgender activist and plaintiff in our successful employment discrimination lawsuit Schroer v. Library of Congress. She spoke at a Transgender Day of Remembrance event in Chicago organized by Cyndi Richards, Illinois Gender Advocates and the Center on Halstead. The following is an excerpt from her remarks.

I would wager we have not all been personally touched by a hate crime, but we have all been touched by one of the all too frequent suicides in our community. Therefore, this list [of victims of anti-transgender violence] should be ten-fold as long when the names of all the other victims of hatred are added to its rolls. Not in any way to diminish the suffering and needless tragedy of hate crimes, but rather to paint a more accurate picture of the impact of hatred and intolerance on our community. The victims who felt no alternative but to take their own lives as the only possible solution to a world that can be terribly cold and unforgiving of violating its norms. If we succeed in nothing else, we must change this.

We must convince ourselves, along with society, that it is not a sin, against God or man to be transgender. MORE


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