Monthly Archives: June 2014

Italian Transgender Woman Wins Legal Battle to Remain Married to Wife

Another success story. Even if the Italian court would have said “no,” she could have still gone to the European Community’s Human Rights Commission. However, that would have taken much more money and time, so winning this victory at the local level is really nice. Nonetheless, it was 5 years of fighting.

Italian transgender woman wins legal battle to remain married to wife after sex change – Europe – World – The Independent.

I’m Not Saying I Hope My Child Is Transgender, But I Would Hit It Out Of The Park

NOTE: This article which was linked to here was discovered to be a subtle parody. I’m leaving it up with this notice just to remind everyone that there are a lot of folks on the internet who take pleasure in mocking serious subjects.

A short but inspiring essay by a father, who tells dads out there how they should behave if one of their children came to them and said “I’m transgender.”

I’m Not Saying I Hope My Child Is Transgender, But I Would Hit It Out Of The Park · Clickhole.

Nevada GOP Picks First Trans Republican Candidate in U.S. History

LaurenScottThis is really big news, and somewhat unexpected. I had been following Ms. Scott’s career off and on, but never expected an official Republican Party endorsement of her. Yes it is for the State Assembly and not Congress, but it’s nonetheless impressive and encouraging. Go Lauren Scott!

Nevada GOP Picks First Trans Republican Candidate in U.S. History :: EDGE Boston.

The Four Horsemen of Intolerance Ride Through Today’s News

4horsemenI encountered so much intolerance today that I felt it should probably be gathered into a single post to share with you. While these news articles do not directly concern the transgender community, due to the strong linkage between us and the LGBQA community – as well as the fact that many of us are in same-sex relationships – this news is noteworthy.

WisconsinAssThe first horseman we have in this cavalcade of intolerance is oppression, in the form of this Milwaukee man who claims that same-sex marriages violate HIS civil rights. No dear reader, I did not take leave of my senses – he claims HIS civil rights are threatened by same-sex marriage. How, one may wonder?

“We’re filing a lawsuit against the people who are allowing you and telling them to stop doing it,” Braun told Kari George and Joan Fecteau, who had brought their daughter and friends to witness their wedding.

Braun doesn’t want to wait for the federal courts to rule, and says he’ll file his lawsuit Thursday asking a Milwaukee County judge to stop the weddings.

“We believe the county violated our civil rights by issuing these marriages licenses. When we voted eight years ago, the law was one man, one woman,” Braun said.

Meanwhile, in the quaint hamlet of Asshole, Alabama, local circus freak Cooter B. Jefferson III is threatening to file a lawsuit which claims that allowing African Americans the right to wear plaid violates his civil rights, as he is proudly 1/128 Clan McDonald. Or at least some other “Clan”…

 

WisconsinAGThe next horseman we have to present to you is fearmongering, in the form of the Wisconsin Attorney General who claims that those who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, now that the state’s ban has been declared un-Constitutional, could face prosecution. But not from him, oh no:

“That’s going to be up to district attorneys, not me,” Van Hollen said. “There are penalties within our marriage code, within our statues, and hopefully they’re acting with full awareness of what’s contained therein. … You do have many people in Wisconsin basically taking the law into their own hands, and there can be legal repercussions for that.”

Others think that this horse is a real nag.

Dane County, the most liberal county in the state, began issuing licenses within hours of Crabb’s June 6 decision. Clerk Scott McDonell called Van Hollen’s warning that prosecutors could charge clerks “ridiculous.”

“There has to be (criminal) intent. If a reasonable person can read that the judge clearly invalidated the state ban on same-sex marriage, what would be the charge?” he said.

Indeed.

Scott-EskThe next horseman is the ugliest one of this group – murderous hate. In the form of Tea Party candidate for the Oklahoma House, Scott Esk.

Esk posted Biblical scriptures from Romans and Leviticus that referred to homosexuality being punished, reports KFOR-TV.

One person on Facebook on responded, “So just to be clear, you think we should execute homosexuals (presumably by stoning)?”

Esk responded, “I think we would be totally in the right to do it. That goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realize, and I’m largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.”

Esk, who obviously considers himself God’s personal hit man, has this further malediction for us.

“What I will tell you right now is that was done in the old testament under a law that came directly from God,” Esk told Morris. “And in that time, it was totally just, it came directly from God. I have no plans to, you know, reinstitute that in Oklahoma law. I do have some very huge moral misgivings about those kinds of sins.”

I checked the cover of the Bible behind me, and I noticed that it said “King James Version,” not “Quentin Tarantino Version.” Esk’s “cognitive dissonance” method of interpreting the Bible is the sort of thing one typically sees coming from someone hiding behind barbed wire with his 39 “sister wives.”

RickPerry
Finally, we come to the final horseman – plain old ignorant-ass shooting off the mouth. This time, coming from Texas Governor Rick Perry:

At a speech in San Francisco, the longtime Republican governor — who ran for the White House in 2012 and is considering another bid in 2016 — was asked whether he thought homosexuality was a disorder.

“I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that — and I look at the homosexual issue the same way,” Perry said.

According to CNN affiliate KPIX, some people in the pro-Perry audience gasped when they heard the governor’s remarks.

If only Mr. Perry had learned the Krusty the Clown method of dealing with cases where one’s brain is allowed unfettered access to one’s mouth:

Krusty“It’s a JOKE. When you give me that look, it was a JOKE!”

Sadly, this sort of intolerance is no laughing matter.

Una is Quoted in the Pitch Roeland Park Story, But Under the Wrong Name

Seriously, it’s a good bit of reporting, barring printing my name wrong. 🙂

The big anti-trans guns are out in force to try to prevent Roeland Park from enacting a broad anti-discrimination ordinance to protect the LGBT community who live, visit, shop, and work in the city. In the last meeting I spoke out at, opponents pulled the “invisible lawyer” defense, claiming a “lawyer” found problems with the ordinance, but refusing to supply their legal opinion nor the name of the attorney.

Next, we have an anonymous flyer, promoting transgender toilet terrorism. KSHB attempted to find the authors of the flyer, who replied with the cryptic message:

We are all Roeland Park residents that were given names at birth. As we said this group was formed for the sole purpose of notifying residents about the ordinance and encouraging them to attend the Council meeting next Monday. That goal was accomplished with the flyer. End of story.

What I found interesting is the “given names at birth” quote, which is an unusual turn of phrase.
It is somewhat shameful that I, a transsexual woman, am brave enough to speak in public and give my name – but the champions of all that is right and holy hide and scurry in the shadows.

The next big day is next Monday, where public comment will be allowed, but apparently no vote will be held. I’ll keep you all informed.

via A Roeland Park equal-rights ordinance takes a hit from a dubious hired gun | The Fast Pitch | The Pitch.

CBS Profiles Trans Youth, as Poll Shows Objections to Trans Accommodations

Transgender children were covered as a topic on CBS Sunday Morning in a fairly positive manner, but they did devote a bit of time to the haters, as well as focusing on a poll showing that a wide majority of Americans believe transgender students should not be allowed to use their gender-congruent bathrooms.

The CBS poll, conducted in March and released this week, found that only 26 percent of respondents believe trans students should be given access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, whereas 59 percent of those polled believe trans individuals should be forced to use facilities of their birth-assigned gender. Fifteen percent of poll respondents either did not know or did not answer the question.

Women were more likely than men to believe that trans students should be given access gender-appropriate facilities, with 29 percent of women in favor of transgender-affirmative public accommodations compared to 23 percent of men. Thirty-three percent of self-identified Democrats support trans students, compared to only 16 percent of Republicans.

Unfortunately, the Advocate concludes that the smear tactics of the Pacific Justice Institute and other hate groups may be working:

These tactics, often described as the “bathroom meme,” rely on thoroughly debunked myths involving a fear that people will claim to be transgender simply as a means to gain access to restrooms and locker rooms so that they can more easily assault unsuspecting women. But perhaps, as the poll indicates, the tactics are having some success.

WATCH: CBS Profiles Trans Youth, as Poll Shows Objections to Trans Accommodations | Advocate.com.

Marriott Tries to Attract LGBT Travelers with a Transsexual Spokeswoman

GeenaRocero
I’ve always liked Marriott hotels, except for their penchant for never having Diet Coke (most places are Pepsi only). Nonetheless, I’ve stayed at probably hundreds of them through my business career, even in other countries (and I will almost certainly be at the Manchester Marriott in England next month). But now I have additional incentive to patronize them.

One of their spokespeople for their campaign is transgender model Geena Rocero, who is our lead photo for this article. Video interviews of her and others posing for the campaign photos can be found at this link here.

In fairness I should mention that other hotel chains are stepping in to attract LGBT customers:

Since its start in San Francisco in the 1980s, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has been at the forefront with its support of community organizations advocating for the LGBT community.

But many other hotels have followed suit.

Preferred Hotel Group launched the Preferred Pride program in 2011 with more than 120 gay-welcoming independent hotels and resorts in 20 countries. OUT NYC has called itself the first gay hotel in New York City. Hilton Worldwide has a gay travel package and a website dedicated to helping LGBT guests plan their vacations.

Go Marriott!
Stay with us! Marriott targets LGBT travelers.

UPDATED: Southern Baptists Double Down on Intolerance

Baptists
The Southern Baptist Convention is currently in full swing, and a college professor and “ethicist” is pushing for the Southern Baptist Convention to broadly condemn “the transgender lifestyle.”

“The public consequences of normalizing transgender are upon us,” Burk explained. “School systems across the country are beginning to allow boys who identify as transgender to make use of girls’ restrooms and locker rooms. The state of New Jersey has made it illegal for licensed counselors to help a child embrace a gender identity that matches his sex. Medical professionals recommend sex-change surgeries for some transgender persons, and some parents are pursuing surgeries for minor children who experience conflict between their gender and bodily identity.

“Just last Friday [May 30] Medicare lifted its ban on sex reassignment surgeries. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has at different times seen majority support in both houses of Congress and would make it illegal for employers to make personnel decisions based on gender identity — a measure that would restrict the religious liberty of Christian employers.”

Sure it will. If your version of Christianity means being a disgusting bigot, then yes your liberties will be restricted. Guess what, people used the same arguments when they were forced to take down signs proclaiming “White Only.” Or when homes associations were forced to allow Jews, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and all the other “undesirables” out there.

The proposed resolution, which may or may not be reported out of committee and if it is could be altered before presented for vote on the convention floor, affirms “God’s good design that gender identity should be determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception — a perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God’s design.”

It condemns “efforts to alter one’s bodily identity (e.g., cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery) to bring it into line with one’s perceived gender identity.” It also opposes “all efforts by any court or state legislature to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy” and attempts “by media and entertainment outlets and public schools to mainstream transgender identity in the eyes of our children.”

I’ve read many screeds by these folks. They are completely blinded with a selective totalitarian reading of their version of the Bible, and they cannot be reasoned with. At some point it is rumored the Southern Poverty Law center is going to list the Southern Baptist Convention as a hate group.

Transgender resolution proposed to SBC.

UPDATE

On 11 June, 2014, the Southern Baptist Convention did approve the condemnation of transgender persons. You can read some details at this link.

Transgender Pianist Shunned in U.S., Gets Career Encore in Canada

Pianist
An important note to this article is that Sara Buechner, the pianist in question, came out in 1998. Our people have advanced so far since then that it’s almost like a different world.

This part of her story is unfortunately still common.

But it wasn’t enough. One day, while resting on a rock in Central Park, Buechner made up her mind to start living as a woman.

“I couldn’t — I wouldn’t — hide that anymore … I was just going to be myself.”

She had been warned that ditching a tux for a gown on stage might end her career, so she wasn’t surprised when some concert presenters and orchestras wouldn’t return phone calls.

“I was a little more stunned that people who had been longtime friends deserted me, particularly conductors.”

She was also “harassed out” of a teaching job at an elite music conservatory; dozens of other schools refused to hire her.

Over the next few years, Buechner said, she struggled. A man tried to rape her, assuming she was a “trannie sex worker.” She travelled to Thailand for sex-reassignment surgery, but the doctor turned out to be a “butcher” and she later needed corrective surgery.

There were bouts of drinking and “half-hearted” suicide attempts.

Sara’s life turned around after traveling to Canada, which is surprising because Canada isn’t really known for being that much more trans-friendly than the US, just friendlier overall.

And maybe that’s all it takes.
Transgender pianist shunned in U.S., gets career encore in Canada – Brandon Sun.

In Which Una is Exasperated by One of the Most Disgusting Editorials She’s Recently Read

Janeway

Where do I even begin with an editorial such as this? The majesty of the ignorance, prejudice, and fear was so overwhelming that I was just stunned. After reading the title “Taxpayers to pay for tranny grannies,” I picked my jaw up off the floor and I tried to find who wrote it. But the author refused to give their name, instead hiding behind the editorial banner of The Washington Times and giving it the newspaper’s imprimatur.

There is no way to sugar-coat this editorial – it’s disgusting. It’s like something Rush Limbaugh would write just after having been given a power-wedgie from Laverne Cox. It’s sort of a Twilight Zone editorial, the sort of thing one would expect to be scrawled on the underside of a toilet seat. I’ve seen more intelligent musings written by a highly trained gibbon. Once while at graduate school I saw a drunken frat pledge standing by the fountain at KU, dressed only in his socks and tighty-whities, screaming out an acapella version of “Stand by Your Man” – and that made more sense than this editorial.

From the very first paragraph we read of the “lavender lobby,” and by the 4th sentence we are being deliberately misgendered. It compares getting necessary medical treatment with Botox and a toupee. By the fourth paragraph it makes the “even to prisoners” argument which has been long rejected by the Supreme Court, while trotting out the spectre of Chelsea Manning (and deliberately refuses to use her new, real, legal name). It also makes a factual error, Christine Jorgensen “discarded[sic] his[sic] manhood[sic]” in 1952, not 1951. The following quote should tell you a bit of the tone.

The special treatment only applies to homosexuals — even if they’re criminals. The Pentagon has been discussing transferring custody of Bradley Manning, the convicted leaker of national security secrets, from Fort Leavenworth to the Federal Bureau of Prisons and a civilian prison where he can get government hormone therapy to live the rest of his 35 years or so behind bars as “Chelsea.”

This surgery is not a medically necessary procedure, but an indulgence. The homosexual organizations represent only a tiny percentage of the population, but gays typically have a larger than average disposable income, so they could easily set up a charitable foundation to pay for sex-change operations for those who can’t afford them. However, this would cut into political fundraising. The Center for Responsive Politics counts a dozen prominent homosexual activists who together raised $2.7 million for Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

I can’t even go on. There is a link below; I recommend you don’t bother clicking on it. The Washington Times has now, in my opinion, crossed over the boundary line to be a hate-based media organization when it comes to the subject of my people. Don’t give them one more cent of advertising revenue by clicking on the link below.

EDITORIAL: Taxpayers to pay for tranny grannies – Washington Times.

UPDATE: Suspect in Atlanta Transgender Beating Invokes ‘Trans Panic’ Defense

I first reported on this outrage a couple of days ago. The short story – two transgender women on the Atlanta, Georgia MARTA train were attacked and assaulted, with at least one of them stripped naked – all while the crowd applauded or stood by and watched.

Well, two of the animals who attached the women have been arrested, and one of them has decided to double down by using a “trans panic defense.” Not too far removed from the legendary Chewbacca Defense, the suspect alleges:

“These guys, they came on to me,” Thomas said in the interview. “Even the one that looked exactly like a female said she like guys with dreads. He’s calling me the ‘n word’ and then saying, ‘y’all better get him.’ [They were] getting closer and closer.”

At that point in the incident, Thomas acknowledged that he escalated the altercation, kicking one of the women in the stomach, later punching her in the face.

“I hate that it did happen,” says Thomas. “I hate that I lost my temper. If I could do it all over again, I probably would have moved to another car or got off the train or something.”

Shame that since he is only being charged with a misdemeanor, so he can’t wait for the next train from prison.

WATCH: Suspect in Atlanta Beating Invokes ‘Trans Panic’ Defense | Advocate.com.

A Thank You to the Whittington Family and Ryland

If you haven’t seen this video titled “The Whittington Family: Ryland’s Story,” you must not get online every often. It has been EVERYWHERE for the past week. I’ve seen it on dozens of websites, in my Facebook newsfeed almost 100 times, and I’ve seen the story discussed on major TV shows like Good Morning America.

The Whittington’s story is so much like our own that I was happy to see the amount of coverage it received. Their video is very well done and makes the points that so many of us with young transgender children want people to understand. Their child started expressing who he was (saying “I’m her brother” when talking about his sibling) at an early age without any prompting from them. The parents and doctors believed it might be a phase, but the phase didn’t end and his expressions about who he was grew stronger. He understood his parents’ and society’s expectations of what he was supposed to be, but he still expressed a desire to be true to himself (saying “When the family dies, I will cut my hair so I can be a boy.”).

It’s very difficult for me to not read comments that accompany stories online about transgender issues, especially the ones about transkids. I want to see if there is a changing attitude towards children like my daughter. I want to be hopeful. I want to see compassion. I want to see non-judgement of us as her parents. Thankfully, I saw about 90% positive comments on most of the sites and posts on social media. And when the 10% of ugliness popped up, it didn’t go unanswered. People replied, defended, explained.

Sadly, some of the websites used more salacious headlines to get clicks, such as “Parents Support Child With Sex Change.” Even sadder still, many people admitted in their comments that they didn’t watch the video and didn’t know anything about transgender issues but still felt compelled to mock the family, Ryland himself, and give their uneducated opinion about why his transition was wrong and disturbing. That would be like a hair stylist saying, “I’m not a NASA rocket scientist, but I know exactly why the space shuttle blew up on re-entry.”

I did post a comment on a couple of the larger websites, hoping to counter some of the negative responses. Here is what I said:

“To be diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria (yes, it’s a medical condition), a child has to have been insistent, consistent and persistent in declaring his or her true gender for quite a while. They rule out the “just a phase” possibility by looking for these three markers. Yes, it can be hard to understand that a child can know at a young age, but can you remember making a conscious decision about your own gender? Doubtful because it happens at a young age without you needing to “decide” it. And unlike wanting to be a dinosaur and changing your mind, how many times in your life have you insisted you were a different gender? You cannot equate imaginary play with an internal sense of self.

Parents don’t influence and persuade their kids to transition. Most are dragged along in a bit of shock and disbelief as their child becomes more and more insistent over time. We certainly were. We are a conservative Republican, Southern Baptist family and certainly didn’t influence our son to declare “You know I’m a girl on the inside, don’t you?” If you have a 4-year-old child who constantly talks of death and tells you over and over again that their body is wrong, you listen.

We didn’t diagnose our daughter. The professionals who know a lot more about hormones, child development and psychology did. And you know what, we now have a 6-year-old daughter who tells us how happy she is and that she loves us several times a day instead of saying she wants to die. Call me a bad parent for allowing her to transition if you want. I sleep well at night and so does she.”

I believe the Whittington’s beautifully expressed how every parent of a transgender child feels with this statement: “Relative to the horrific things that people have to endure with their children all over the world…this is nothing. He is still healthy, handsome, and EXTREMELY happy. We signed up as parents with no strings attached.”

Love. Acceptance. And ultimately happiness. That’s what every parent should offer their child and hope to see in return.

Thank you, Whittington Family and Ryland, for sharing your story. We all benefit from seeing this kind of love.

Una, Fiona, and a Transmom Speak to the Roeland Park City Council

Roeland Park 2014 06 02

The city of Roeland Park, Kansas, is currently considering an ordinance to protect gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation in terms of business practices, public accommodations, renting housing, etc. Tonight was a discussion of the ordinance and there was a time reserved for public comment. Sandra Meade, the State Chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition (and the radio host of Trans Talk on KKFI) enlisted us and others to speak in favor of the ordinance, and so the two of us and Debi (who posts on this forum) answered the call to speak for the transgender community.

The meeting was lengthy but polite, and the gender equality ordinance discussion was the final item on the agenda. After nearly 3 hours of waiting it was time to speak – one Roeland Park resident spoke in favor of the ordinance, then Fiona was up to bat and gave what I felt was the best speech of the night – powerful, with lots of emotion. Then I spoke, and Debi, and a few other folks in favor of the ordinance. Then opposing persons spoke, and they mainly objected for religious reasons, claiming that because Girl Scouts sold cookies in the vestibule that churches would suddenly fall under the ordinance. It was madness and obfuscation, and the speaker kept claiming an unnamed lawyer told her that it would impact churches – but she refused to name the lawyer, nor present their legal opinion.

After the speeches one of the City Council Members said she had done some research into the expected costs of the ordinance, but didn’t want to present the financial breakdown because she claimed to have received “threatening and nasty e-mails” over the ordinance. When the meeting adjourned I went up and talked to her, and said that it was dishonorable and upsetting that she was receiving harassment, and I apologized for anything mean which had been said to her. She seemed a bit surprised and thanked me, and seemed very conciliatory. I don’t know why I did it other than my own sense of honor just said I had to speak out and say that harassment was wrong, no matter who was doing it.

Overall it was a great experience, and after the meeting adjourned several council members came down and thanked us for speaking and called us brave. Several supporters of the ordinance met with us and expressed thanks, and overall it turned out to be a really positive effort. A reported from the Kansas City Star was there, so we may be featured in the paper tomorrow…

Web Series “Brothers” Explores Lives of Transgender Men

Of interest to transgender men and all of us who support them – a new web series “Brothers” explores the lives of four transgender men as they fight for acceptance and normalcy. The films provide a glimpse into lesser-known world of transgender men, and the first episode is available for viewing here. A total of eight films are planned, and provided the producers receive the support they need it should be a very interesting documentary series.

WATCH: Web Series ‘Brothers’ Explores Lives of Transgender Men | Advocate.com.

MARTA Police Arrest Suspects Allegedly Involved in Trans Bias Attack

MARTA Train
As I reported on 29 May, two transgender women were assaulted and one was stripped naked while on a MARTA train in Atlanta, Georgia. At the time they received no help from the police officer on the scene, but now I can report that two suspects have been arrested, and have been charged with disorderly conduct. One wonders how attacking a woman on a train and stripping her in front of the other passengers doesn’t rate higher than “disorderly conduct,” but then charges are often added later as prosecutors learn more during the investigation process.

If these two are in fact guilty of the accusation, let’s hope that they receive strong and certain justice.

MARTA Police Arrest Suspects Allegedly Involved in Trans Bias Attack :: EDGE Provincetown.