Category Archives: Youth

Issues impacting youth and very young adults.

Transgender Substitute Teacher Upsets Lumberton, Texas Bigots

Sometimes I wonder about whether I would have been a good mom. Whether I would have raised my children properly and taught them how to respect others, be courteous and conscientious, be open to other cultures and new experiences, and face the world guarded yet unafraid to step up and do the right thing.

And then I read about “concerned parents” like the ones in this article, and I snort and think “well hell, I can’t do worse than them.”

The basics of the story, which my friend Danna (a transgender schoolteacher herself) pointed me to are simple and sadly familiar.

Act 1 – Invasion: The transgender teacher, also known as “the Satanic Succubus in Clouds of Sulfur (SSCS),” worms her way into the classroom to “teach” her unholy agenda, telling such lies as the South lost the American Civil War and the Earth is NOT 6,000 years old.

Act 2 – Discovery: Brave soldiers of goodness and light uncover the SSCS, and bring her into the light of Jesus. Unfortunately, they are not allowed to burn her at the stake (thank you very much, evil liberal Supreme Court!), but they can ensure that she will never work again!

Act 3 – Counterattack: The SSCS enlists her unholy allies – the transgender “activists,” the “ACLU,” the “Southern Poverty Law Center,” and (gasp!) the EEOC of our Muslim conqueror, Sultan Obama.

Act 4 – The Final Battle: the forces of good and light gather throughout the state, and ultimately chase the evildoers back to New Sodom (California). Texas secedes from the United States. No one notices any difference.

Transgender substitute teacher upsets Lumberton ISD parents – 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas.

Gender Stereotypes for Kids Are Taking a Toll

"My Little Pony" promotes friendship, but an MLP backpack promotes bullying. Photo: WLTX

“My Little Pony” promotes friendship, but an MLP backpack promotes bullying. Photo: WLTX

If you have been on Facebook lately, you’ve probably seen one of the many posts about 9-year-old Grayson Bruce who was told by his school not to continue carrying his beloved “My Little Pony” backpack. While this isn’t an issue of discrimination or bullying towards a transgender child, the seemingly growing divide between what is accepted as “ok” or “normal” for each gender certainly is a problem that can and will affect the transgender community.

In Grayson’s case, rather than deal with the bullies (at of the time of this post, the school still hasn’t done anything to reprimand them), the school counselor told Grayson that the backpack is a “trigger for bullying” and should be left at home to prevent more problems. Grayson’s mom wisely pointed out that blaming the backpack is akin to saying a woman’s short skirt was to blame for her being raped. Blaming the victim never makes sense.

Grayson has received an overwhelming amount of support and even has a Facebook page dedicated to him. Supporters are calling on the school to allow Grayson to carry his backpack and to address the bullying more directly.

In an odd twist, even right-wing Conservatives like Glenn Beck are showcasing their support for Grayson. In a rather bizarre and transphobic comment, Beck stated:

“Here’s why I’m torn on this because in a society where I have to build you a special bathroom because you’re confused… God forbid you were ever born a certain gender. No, no. I have to build a bathroom for you. But a 9-year-old boy can’t choose to be different? A 9-year-old boy can’t choose My Little Pony and be protected by the school? The only ones being responsible here, I think, is the 9-year-old kid Grayson. He’s being authentic. He’s being responsible. He’s saying, ‘This who I am. I don’t care what anybody else says about me.’

Ironic, isn’t it? Glenn Beck sees Grayson as being authentic to himself, but he considers transgender people to be “confused.”

Just in case you don’t think a little bullying of a “Brony” is a big deal, it also led to an 11-year-old boy’s attempted suicide earlier this year. Michael Morones tried to hang himself from his bunk bed railing after being teased relentlessly at school for liking a show that promotes friendship.

As a society, it’s time to put aside the idea that pink, ballet, and ponies are only acceptable for girls, or that blue, football, and lions are only for boys. We are causing serious damage to our children — all of our children — by promoting such strict gender stereotypes.

 

Transgender Student Inspires in All-Girl Pageant

There’s so much to like about this story. I wish that it could be repeated in so many more places.

A Chapman University senior became the first transgender contestant in the university’s annual all-woman pageant Wednesday night, winning the title of Miss Congeniality.

Addie Vincent, 21, faced off against 15 other competitors for the title of Miss Delta Queen, a competition organized by the university’s Greek system. The pageant’s winner was Alexandria Kessinger.

“Tonight was so awesome,” Vincent said after the pageant. “The fact that I was just able to compete was so amazing on its own.”

Throughout the contest, many of the 500 students and audience members whooped and hollered every time Vincent took the stage at Memorial Hall.

Following the poem, students shouted, “We love you Addie!” and gave Vincent the night’s only standing ovation.

“Addie has inspired so many people,” said Lauren Chouinard, a friend and former pageant contestant. “Addie sent a message so many people needed to hear.”

Each contestant was nominated by a campus fraternity or sorority. The Alpha Delta Phi fraternity chose Vincent with a 20-0 vote, with fraternity members saying they nominated the senior to show support for the transgender community.

I’m a little troubled by the fact that she had to be nominated by her fraternity, but that may just be a necessary incongruence.

Transgender student inspires at Chapman pageant – The Orange County Register.

Transgender Student Athlete Takes the Field in California

MTF transgirl plays on her school's softball team

With the passage of Assembly Bill 1266 in California, transgender athletes like Pat Cordova-Goff are now able to play on the sports teams of their assigned genders.

Opponents of A.B. 1266 like to say the “rights of the few shouldn’t infringe on the rights of the many” and that locker room privacy and bathroom safety issues exist. But they also claim that transgender students have an unfair physical advantage in sports.

Judy Chiasson, the coordinator in Cordova-Goff’s school district’s Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity correctly points out that there is more of a difference in the range of talent among girls and boys separately than there is between the two genders.

Experts, officials address concerns over transgender student athletes

BREAKING: Calif. Trans Student Law Survives Repeal Effort

There’s not much I can add to the original article, but I wanted to highlight it since Transas City is read by many who don’t read news sites daily. In short, the repeal effort which was driven by the those opposed to transgender mainstreaming and integration in schools has failed, and transgender kids in California will be safer (for now) than they ever have been.

BREAKING: Calif. Trans Student Law Survives Repeal Effort | Advocate.com.

California School Officials Debunk Right-Wing Lies About Transgender Student Law

This article isn’t flashy but it’s an important one for those of us who actively fight and engage with the segments of America who generally dislike us. And by “dislike,” I group together everything from simple dismissal to raw, homicidal hatred.

Unfortunately, transkids, the most vulnerable of all our community, are in the cross-hairs of the haters. There are many reasons of course, but the primary one is the passage last year of a law giving protections for transgender California kids who simply want to use the proper bathroom and play on the proper sports teams. Of course, by writing “proper” I can be accused of using just a little bit of propaganda myself…at least I’m forthright by it.

So bookmark this article at the link below, if you often engage with the haters, as it contains some hard facts which are the truth, and help our cause.

California School Officials Debunk Right-Wing Lies About Transgender Student Law | Blog | Media Matters for America.

A Mom’s Thoughts on “I am a girl” Article

transgenderJAN2014

I’d like to introduce myself to you. I am the mom of the little girl called A.J. who was profiled in an article about transgender kids in the Kansas City Star. I never thought my family would be interesting enough to be featured on the front page of a newspaper. As surprised as I am to find us there, I am also incredibly proud.

I don’t want to ruin the article for you (it’s really, really good…go read it!) by quoting much of it here. We aren’t the only family featured, either, so I don’t want to take anything away from the other kids by making it sound like it’s all about us. What I would like to do is highlight a couple of myths and arguments we hear when the subject of transkids comes up and dispel them one by one. A few are mentioned in the article — spoiler alert — but because of space limitations, some that I had mentioned to the reporter were left out.

1. We are liberals pushing a gay agenda.

Nope, sorry. I am a conservative Republican from the Deep South, raised with Southern Baptist beliefs.

2. We (or at least I, because they always blame the mom) wanted a girl, so we turned our child into one.

Again, no. I desperately wanted boys. The idea of raising a girl in today’s world scares me to death. I’d much rather be responsible for raising a good boy who knows how to treat girls well than to be responsible for raising a girl who might only be interested in bad boys.

3. There was too much female influence on our child, so “he” just grew up thinking girly things were normal and convinced himself that he was a girl. 

Hmmm, no, I can’t agree with that one either. She has an older brother, so all of their toys and clothes were “boy” things. She was in a preschool class with only 2 girls and a veritable posse of 10 boys. Crew cuts, wrestling, G.I. Joes, dinosaurs, trucks, and everything blue was what she was exposed to daily. I’m not particularly feminine. I have very short hair, rarely wear make-up, don’t polish my nails, and didn’t have a single item of pink clothing when she was younger.

4. “Kids have no idea what they want or who they are. My kid wants to be a dog. Should I let him?”

Well, that’s up to you. I wouldn’t. But there is a profound difference between wanting to be something in imaginary play and in declaring who you are insistently, consistently and persistently. Those are three markers that set transgender children apart, and my daughter displayed all of them.

5. Kids shouldn’t have to learn about sex at such a young age.

I agree, so it’s a good thing that being transgender has nothing to do with sex! Sexual attractions don’t happen until kids are older. You know…that whole puberty thing. Gender is strictly how a person views him or herself on the inside, and it is completely separate from who we are attracted to. The confusion between gender and sexual attraction is something that adults have a problem with and need to deal with on their own.

6. Transgender people are perverts and shouldn’t be in the bathroom with “normal” people. 

I don’t know what you go into a bathroom to do, but I know what my daughter goes in there for…and it isn’t to look around. It’s to go into a stall, lock the door, and pee where no one else can see her.

7. God hates transgender people. They are sinners and going to Hell.

My God taught us to love one another. Jesus sought out those that others rejected. Some people may choose to embrace Biblical verses that seem to say being transgender is wrong, although I believe they are ignoring the historical aspects of Biblical societies and what the verses are really talking about. I choose to focus on verses like I Samuel 16:7 which says, But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” My daughter is a girl in her heart. She knows it. God knows it. That’s enough for me.

The newspaper was kind enough to turn off commenting on the article so that my daughter won’t have to go back later and read really ugly and hateful things about her or our family. But because of that, you might think it’s hard to know how people in our area felt about the article. Thankfully, kind and wonderful and open-minded people took the time to let the reporter know. I also shared the article with an online group for parents like us with gender non-conforming kids to see how they felt about it. Many have been burned by other news outlets who promised anonymity but then outed their children, or who turned the story into a sensational piece by including quotes by people who clearly hate the idea of any transgender person’s existence. I’d like to share a few snippets of the comments I received from both groups.

“This is hands down one of the best articles I’ve ever seen on transgender kids. I’m sending it to everyone in our family who has been less than supportive.”

“Thank you for the courage you and your family showed by opening your home and life to the journalist.”

“I am so appreciative of the thoughtful, well-researched and compassionate story you wrote about A.J. I wish every child was blessed with parents like them.”

“Please share my support, admiration and best wishes with A.J.’s family. Raising our children requires more of us than we ever expect and the profile your story shared tells me about people with extraordinary compassion, courage and resolve to do their best. A.J. is the blessing and the blessed.” (This one made me cry.)

“This article will serve to enlighten a world still mostly unaware of transgender challenges and will provide solace and community to other transgender children and their families for many years to come.”

“I am 63 years old and have been fighting this battle since I was 5. It took me 50 years to come out to myself, God and my family. Articles like this are a major way the general public will begin to understand what we go through.” 

“I have two little girls and don’t care what A.J.’s biology is. Please have her mom contact me if she’d like to arrange a play date or just meet another family what will welcome her family just as they are.” (Awww. I never expected this kind of offer!)

“Transgender children is not something I have ever thought about before. I will now tell my children that there aren’t just boys and girls in the world, and that someone like A.J. is wonderful because they get to know both.” (Well, not really since she knows she is a girl, but there are many gender-nonconforming kids who don’t feel they fit on either side of the binary, and this is a beautiful sentiment for them. Thank you.)

One of my favorites was a voicemail from a mother in Connecticut. (“Isn’t it wonderful how the internet lets people all over the world read a local news story?”) She has a 10-year-old transgender son who transitioned in 2rd grade. I could hear her voice shaking as she thanked the writer for telling a story like hers and including so many details of our journeys as parents of transkids that are never shared. She ended the call quickly, with obvious tears in her voice as she said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’re the best.”

 

#transkids  #transchildren  #transgender  #parenting  #unconditionallove

Personal Reactions to the KC Star Article on a Local Transgender Family

Local_Transkid

I didn’t post this on Sunday when it ran, because I wanted to get some “reactions” from my co-workers and others who I know are frequent readers of the Kansas City Star.

I started receiving e-mails and IM’s yesterday, and then today fielded a variety of questions from interested co-workers. The reaction from those who read it and contacted me was highly positive. Many asked if I had seen the article because it was “great,” but most folks assumed I knew the family (of course I do, I consider them dear friends). Comments I received fell into the following lines:

“I didn’t know there were transgender kids that young.”

“I know you had it hard, Una, but I can’t imagine how hard it must be for the girl in the article.”

“Her parents are very brave.”

“I wish I’d had parents like hers.”

“I hope these kids will get protection from bullies.”

“I’d have to hire a bodyguard or send my son[sic] to Tae Kwon Do every day if they did this, but I’d be there for him.[sic]”

“I know you’ve told me a lot about…people like you, but it never hit me that kids could have this.”

“It really helped open my eyes.”

I also received a few questions, mostly along the lines of “are there lots of kids like this?,” “do they give the kids surgery that early?” and “how do you even deal with something like this? It’s hard enough being a parent!” (which is more of a rhetorical question, true)

I have to hope that the large number of positive reactions which I witnessed is at least somewhat indicative of how the public in general views the subject of transgender kids in particular, and transgender persons in general. I have to hope.

There are some other links which you should see, in addition to the primary link at the end of this post. This link takes you to an extensive gallery of photographs of local transgender children going about their everyday lives. And this link takes you to a local video on this subject.

‘I am a girl’: Transgender children face a society slow to accept them – KansasCity.com.

ESSAY: Una Muses on whether Pink, Blue, and Excessively Gendered Toys Hurts the Economy

The first thing I must note is that what spurred this essay was not a specific scientific study per se, but rather a news report of opinion by the UK Consumer Affairs Minister Jenny Willott. In the article, she says:

Society should therefore aim not to make boys who want to play with a pushchair and girls keen to kick a football feel guilty or ashamed, she argued.

“A boy who has never had a sewing kit might never discover his talent for design and a girl who has never had a Meccano set may never discover she has real potential as an engineer.

“Clearly not every girl that plays with Lego is going to be an architect… but why should we limit girls’ aspirations at so early an age by making it so rigidly defined?”

Toy shops gave off clear signals, the consumer affairs minister said: “The shelf may say ‘girls’ or ‘boys’ on it, or otherwise girls’ and boys’ toys may be colour-coded or displayed in separate aisles.

“What message does that send out? What are we telling our children? We are telling them that girls and boys are different, that they like different things and that they have different interests and skills.

“We are telling them that their gender defines their roles in society and their dreams about the future.”

This is followed by interesting testimonial from MP Chi Onwurah:

Chi Onwurah
Labour MP Chi Onwurah.

“Before entering Parliament, I spent two decades as a professional engineer, working across three continents,” she told MPs.

“But it is only when I walk into a toy shop that I feel I am really experiencing gender segregation,” she said.

“At some point over the past three decades, the toy industry decided that parents and children could not be trusted to figure out what to buy without colour-coded gender labelling.”

Science-themed toys were often labelled “for boys”, with products like miniature dustpans and brushes marketed towards girls, she told MPs.

“What happened? Did someone dye the Y chromosome blue in the 1980s or force the X chromosome to secrete only pink hormones?

“No. This aggressive gender segregation is a consequence of big-company marketing tactics.

“As every successful marketeer knows, differentiation makes for greater profit margins and segmentation gives you a bigger overall market, so with three-year-old girls only being able to choose pink tricycles, then the manufacturer can charge more for that special girly shade of pink and the premium princess saddle.

“And of course, that trike cannot be handed over to a brother or nephew, ensuring further sales of blue bikes with Action Man handlebars. It has now got to the point where it is difficult to buy toys for girls, in particular, which are not pink, princess-primed and/or fairy-infused.

“Why should girls be brought up in an all-pink environment? It does not reflect the real world. I should say that had anyone attempted to give me a pink soldering iron when I was designing circuit boards, they would have found my use of it not at all in accordance with their health and safety.”

These are some excellent points which seem “common sense,” and she presents them very well as an economic argument.

But this article set me thinking as well – why are Western parents, especially American parents, still so terrified of the colors pink and blue? Why would no “self-respecting” parent give their son a pink shirt, nor their daughter a blue top? Actually, wait, girls do wear blue all the time, although as early as the maternity wards you will find the babies wearing “color-coded” knit head covers.
Caps
Indoctrination begins just after birth…

Girls can certainly wear pink. Girls can actually wear pretty much any color we like unless specifically prohibited by workplace policies. One of my sharpest skirt suits is hot pink, and I receive many compliments when wearing it. But when I was dressing as a boy, there was no way, no how that I could wear pink and get away with it. Once I wore a pink tie with a sharp charcoal suit, and I looked absolutely smashing in it. OK, maybe there was a small hint of 1980’s Miami Vice to it, but still, there was nothing wrong with it at all. However, the teasing, ribbing, and arched-eyebrow commentary I received at work convinced me that if I was going to maintain the charade of being a boy, that tie could never come to work again.

PinkTie
Pink ties are like, so 80’s…

What’s so bloody stupid about the entire pink and blue business is it’s entirely created by social pressure. There is no genetic coding that one must wear this color and not that. Furthermore, lengthy and extensive research has shown that pink and blue gendering is entirely arbitrary, and has altered over time. (By the way, I hope you like that column by Cecil Adams; I was an uncredited research assistant for it.) And it’s a very Western thing as well – many (most?) cultures of the world have no problem with pink, and when I was in Taiwan on business pink was considered to be a lucky color, one worn by both genders equally.

So the real issue with color comes down to an incredible construct – somehow, some way, an unconscious synergy occurred between fashion mavens, advertisers, and even the United States military industrial complex to designate pink as the color of femininity, weakness, subversion, and even Communism.

Turgidson
You say you want to wear pink, soldier?

The result is a mass-culture hysterically homophobic terror of pink for boys. It’s silly and it’s ignorant, and unfortunately anyone who is familiar with Charles Mackay and his wonderful Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (a work which should be required reading for any teenager in High School) knows that this destructive anti-pink “fad” will be very slow in shambling off to the dustbin of history’s failures.

BBC News – Aiming toys at just boys or girls hurts economy – minister.

Maine’s Highest Court Rules: Transgender Girl Can Use the Girls’ Toilets

Nicole_Maines_from_API first reported that this case was going to court back last June, and a victorious ruling has been handed down!

Nicole Maines and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued her school district when they refused to allow Nicole to use the girls’ toilets, instead forcing her to use a teachers’ toilets instead. The court found in her favor, and according to the article it is the first time in the United States that a state supreme court has ruled in favor of a transgender person on a toilet issue.

Great news!

Maine court rules in favor of transgender pupil – ABC5 News Des Moines, IA.

Rolling Stone – Coy Mathis’ Fight to Change Gender

Coy Mathis made the news quite a bit this summer, and then her story dropped out of the public attention. Rolling Stone magazine is bringing it back to the forefront via a comprehensive and well-done article which was forwarded to me by Attorney Madeline Johnson.

I do question this statistic which was reported:

If the trans movement is the LGBT’s final frontier, then transgender youth represents its farthest outpost. Kids are coming out as trans earlier than ever: A survey of the San Francisco school district found that 1.6 percent of high school students and, incredibly, one percent of middle-school students identified as transgender.

If true, that blows any other survey out of the water, as IIRC the highest percentage reported for transgender youth by any scientific study was about 0.3-0.5%.
The article does a good job of outlining the hatred of religious conservatives towards our existence.

However, any reasonable discussion on the subject has been drowned out by conservative Republicans, who have staked out a position that is reflexively anti-trans. “Is that not the craziest thing you’ve ever heard?” Mike Huckabee asked at October’s right-wing Values Voter Summit, speaking of California’s anti-discrimination-schools law; California Republicans have already targeted its repeal as a top priority. Earlier this year, House Republicans tried to strip the Violence Against Women Act of its protections for transgender women, and Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh introduced a bill that would have made it a crime for trans people to use their preferred bathrooms. Fox News commentators vehemently oppose any accommodation of trans kids in schools, something Bill O’Reilly calls “anarchy and madness.”

Perhaps no one is more outraged, however, than the religious right, of which Focus on the Family reigns as a dominant force. On Focus’ 81-acre Colorado Springs campus, some 600 employees put a chunk of their $90 million annual budget to work creating LGBT intolerance on every front, including fighting “safe-school” anti-bullying initiatives and pushing reparative therapy. Leading Focus’ charge to push people back into the closet is its “gender-issues analyst” Jeff Johnston, himself a proud “ex-gay” – now a married father of three boys – who blames what he calls the “sexual brokenness” of LGBT people on a combination of poor parenting, molestation and original sin. In his newsletters for Focus, Johnston treats trans people in particular with amused pity. “Male and female are categories of existence,” he wrote this year. “It is dehumanizing to categorize individuals by the ever-proliferating alphabet of identities based on sexual attractions or behavior or ‘gender identity’ – LGBBTTQQIAAFPPBDSM – however many letters are added. No. We stand with the truth.”

Don’t ever kid yourself that a large segment of America wouldn’t be quite happy to eliminate us.
It’s also telling reading how the principal of the school which discriminated against Coy just simply didn’t give a shit that he was breaking state law.

As attorney William Kelly Dude would write in the accompanying position paper, while perhaps it seemed acceptable for a harmless six-year-old like Coy to enter the girls’ room, he vividly described what a future infiltrator could look like: “a male high school student with a lower voice, chest hair and with more physically mature sex organs who claims to be transgender and demands to use the girls’ restroom” – a menacing portrait of an impostor that echoed the threat of Focus on the Family’s “Predator” ad. That hairy deviant would soon be Coy herself, as Dude would write the Mathises: “As Coy grows older and his male genitals develop . . . at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom.” The decision had come down swiftly: For the protection of the district as a whole, Coy was to be banned from the girls’ restroom.

“You know this is against the law, right?” Kathryn demanded of Principal Crow in his office a couple of days after his phone call. This wasn’t just about finding Coy a toilet. It was about the larger message Coy would be forced to internalize every time she had to relieve herself: that she was abnormal, that there was something so grotesque or unsafe about her that her very presence in a place as delicate as a bathroom was intolerable. And Coy wouldn’t be the only one digesting that attitude; so, too, would her peers.

“There’s nothing I can do,” Crow, a tall, soft-spoken man with dark, slicked-back hair, told Kathryn. “My hands are tied.”

Well too bad, dude, you lost and civil rights won. Deal with it.

Coy Mathis’ Fight to Change Gender | Culture News | Rolling Stone.

Una Evicierates Defender of the Kid Who Set a Gender Nonconforming Student on Fire in a Hate Crime

Jesus_facepalmI have to be fair, the Edge is trying to give the family and the perpetrator the benefit of the doubt. But I just find the whole thing transparent.

I posted a while ago about this case, where a transgender teen was critically injured when some little shit set fire to her clothing while she slept. As the case rolls on, we are hearing the same sorts of things from the parents and the perpetrator, desperately ducking and weaving like Cassius Clay in his prime to avoid being convicted.

Here’s some choice quotes from the article:

Outside court, Du Bois [attorney for the defense] said, “As far as I can tell,” the incident “was the result of a juvenile prank that went horribly wrong.”

Sure! Because when I was a kid, we set fire to people all the time! Why I remember setting a hobo on fire once; his gin-soaked rags really made a pretty fire…yeesh.

“Members of his family are gay,” said Du Bois. “He doesn’t have a homophobic bone in his body.”

Ah, the old “but…some of my best friends are black!” defense.

Du Bois said one of Thomas’s family members who has come to Thomas’s court hearings is gay. That person, along with Thomas’s mother and other family members, have declined to speak with reporters, although one said Friday, “Please pray.”

This is known as the “can’t we all just get along?” tactic, with a sprinkling of the “rally ’round Jesus” spin.

Du Bois said Thomas has written “sincere, heartfelt apologies” and expressed sympathy and empathy with Fleischman. Thomas “feels absolutely horrible about this,” said Du Bois, who added that Thomas’s family is “upset that he’d even consider this type of a prank.”

This one is hard to call, folks. It’s either the “boys will be boys” defense, or the “Why can’t you accept an apology?” tactic. Yeah…what it really sounds like to me is “I’m sorry I got caught.” Add to this the testimony that the family of the victim has not received any of these alleged written apologies…

He said he hasn’t seen the video of the incident, but Thomas used a lighter, thinking “it was just going to be a flame and he’d pat it out.” Du Bois said he didn’t know whether Thomas had tried to put out the fire.

Sure he was going to put it out. Then what? He was going to take his victim out on the town shopping for new clothes, maybe a makeover and mani-pedi? Pull the other one; it has bells on it.

’Gender Nonconforming’ Student, Burned in ’Prank,’ Receives Support :: EDGE Ft. Lauderdale.

Obsessing Over Cultural Gender Norms: What’s the Problem if Girls Act Masculine?

I like this article, which gives many concrete examples as well as expounding thoughtfully on “the gender trap” which most of Western civilization has bought into lock, stock, and barrel.

From the article:

Gendering kids starts immediately after birth, when we wrap a baby in a pink blanket or a blue one. Babies have no idea what they’re even wearing and just need to be kept warm. It’s parents who buy into the binary, and the rest of us who are thoroughly uncomfortable when they don’t. There’s the yellow aisle of gender-neutral toys and apparel, but show up to a baby shower with a pink onesie for a male baby and see what kind of looks you get…

While gender identity is a real thing, the trappings we put onto gender – the colors, the clothes, the assumed preferences – are all cultural, not natural. There are certainly behavioral patterns that are influenced by hormones and body chemistry, but we don’t know exactly what, or to what extent. We can take educated guesses, but we’ve never lived in a world without cultural constructs around gender, so pinpointing “X personality characteristic is male” becomes impossible.

(emphasis added)

Obsessing over cultural gender norms: What’s the problem if girls act masculine? | The Raw Story.

UPDATE: Transgender Texas Teen’s Tuxedo Triumph

I always enjoy alliteration…but now to the news. Transman Jeydon Loredo from the La Feria school district in South Texas just wanted his photograph in his high school yearbook. The school district originally refused, claiming it violated “community standards”, whatever the hell those are supposed to be…anyhow, after the Southern Poverty Law Center took an interest in the case, the district reversed its stance and his photograph will be in the yearbook.

Another win! When will the few remaining small-minded and bigoted public school officials finally realize that this is not a bunch of crazy kids trying to cause trouble, this is Little Rock, 1957, and these kids are on the front lines of our new civil rights movement? Every year now we have homecoming, prom, yearbook, and commencement kerfluffles and they never learn.

Transgender Texas student’s tuxedo photo approved – Beaumont Enterprise.

Haters Threatening an Upset: Opponents of California Transgender Student Rights Get Signatures to Repeal

Pinkfloydhammers
This is a serious issue for every transperson in the United States, not just California, because California sets the precedent in many social issues. When the anti-SSM amendment was passed in California, several other states put their initiatives on hold or slowed them down until the recent US Supreme Court victories. What happens in California very often does not stay in California.

Take this threat seriously. The opposition has spread fear and lies and disgusting demonizations of transgender people, not helped by the recent Pacific Justice Institute’s fake and libelous “news” about a transgender student harassing girls in the bathrooms in Colorado. Remember how everyone thought that California would laugh at an anti-SSM amendment – only to discover that a large number of minority groups came out of the closet as “sudden conservatives” to vote against civil rights?

A loss to hate in California will hurt us all in the long run. I’m not certain what we outside of California can do to help, other than keep spreading the word and the positive message of civil rights.

Opponents Of California Transgender Student Rights Law Get Signatures To Repeal « CBS San Francisco.