How to keep trans people alive

Of course the first part of this is...or should be...quite obvious. How about people stop murdering trans women of color?

It's time to do more than just solve each homicide as they happen. It's time to do more than just arrest these horrific people who commit these violent crimes. It's time to do the work beforehand.

--Nellie Fitzpatrick, mayor's liaison to the LGBT community in Philadelphia

It is not enough to light candles.

--Suffok, MA, District Attorney DanConley







Of course being murdered is only one of the leading causes of our demise. Another one is suicide.



Down by the banks of the River Charles

They are debating our rights again in Massachusetts. I hate when that happens. It always makes me feel so scummy.

The legislators are discussing H. 1577 and S. 735 which would increase the scope of the current anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender people in public places.

Currently it is illegal to refuse to hire someone who is transgender but totally legal to refuse to provide service to that same person.

Massachusetts lawmakers in 2011 passed a law adding transgender individuals to the list of protected classes from employment or housing discrimination, but stopped short of including public accommodations protections. Other states — 17 in total — have passed similar laws offering such expanded protections.



Completing a Score

 photo KieshaJenkins_zpsp1u3toie.jpgKiesha Jenkins lived in North Philadelphia. At Oh-Dark-Thirty Tuesday morning, Keisha got a ride from someone to Hunting Park in Logan.

Upon exiting the vehicle Keisha was surrounded by five or six men who proceeded to beat her. Then one of the men took out a gun and shot her twice in the back.

When police arrived, they rushed Keisha to a hospital, where she was later declared dead.

The twenty-two year old transgender woman is the twentieth transgender woman in the US known to have been murdered this year.

Right now we don't have any motive. We don't know if it's potentially a hate crime or if it was a robbery. We really don't know. It's too early in the investigation to tell.

--Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark



Shivi can come home

A week and a half ago I shared the story of Shivi, a transman who is a student at Cal-Berkeley and whose parents tried to arrange a marriage for him with a man in India, to "fix his sexuality." (Parents traffic their child to India as attempted cure for the trans). Though Shivi was born in India, he has lived in the US since the age of three.

When last we saw, Shivi (who only uses the one name) was stuck in India because his mother had stolen his passport, green card and cellphone, and returned to the US with his siblings). His father, a researcher in the US, tried to enroll him as a girl at Dayalbagh University in Agra. But Shivi got access to her grandparents internet and contacted friends in the US who put him in touch with the LGBT NGO Nazarya. Members of Nazaraya helped Shivi escape from Agra and go to Delhi, where he filed a petition with the Delhi High Court claiming he had been wronged by his parents. The High Court found in his favor and granted Shivi an order of protection.




Beautiful as I want to be

Transgender model Geena Rocero has joined forces with the cable network Logo to produce a video series which will highlight transgender young people. The series will be called Beautiful as I Want to Be and will consist of four part episodes which will be introduced by Rocero and "focus on partnering young trans people with successful trans leaders to explore how they define beauty and identity. Young trans people share their backstories, their identity journeys and their dreams for the future. Their mentor/coach then readies them for a transformative photo shoot and offers life advice."

I am excited to share with trans youth the ways that I’ve used modeling and art to creatively express myself and to realize my dreams. This project is to affirm our youth’s potential, their beauty and the possibilities when we celebrate and allow them to be their most authentic selves.



Transgender issues gain political traction

Until yesterday, injection of transgender issues into the 2016 presidential campaign had been solely the province of Mike Huckabee and his fantasies about invading women's locker rooms.

That has now completely changed.

Hillary Clinton spoke at a Human Rights Campaign breakfast yesterday morning...and Joe Biden spoke to the same group of people last night.

Transgender people are valued, they are loved, they are us.

--Hillary Clinton



The Breakfast Club (Me and Bobby McGee)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault. 






One thing I know...

...from nearly 23 years of writing about transgender issues on the Internet... that cisgender people who deign to write about trans issues (overall, a rarity) are likely to have their voices heard by a much larger audience than transgender people. It is just so easy to write off anything that arises from our mouths or pens or keyboards as self-serving claptrap...because, you know...

...we're trans.

We're the voices that don't actually exist in the minds of too many religious fundamentalists and their ilk. A recent study of Fox News by Media Matters showed a concerted effort to villainize our community. People don't listen to the words of villains.

So it is with heart felt gratitude that I welcomed Wednesday's ope-ed in the Detroit Free Press by Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign and Judy Shepard, cofounder of the Mathew Shepard Foundation, End epidemic of violence against transgender women.

I'm supposing they published this in Detroit because that has been one of this year's hotbeds of anti-trans violence. Other hotbeds...over the past few years...have been Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Houston.



First do no harm

An article published Monday in the Journal of Emergency Nursing will hopefully change the treatment of transgender people in hospital emergency rooms. The article was submitted by Ethan Collin Cicero, BSN, RN and Beth Perry Black, PhD, RN, from Chapel Hill, NC and was entitled, I was a Spectacle...A Freak Show at the Circus: A transgender Person's ED Experience and Implications for Nursing Practice

The article offers a case study for Brandon James (not his real name), a transgender man who visited an Emergency Department in the southeastern US a few years ago, expecting to be treated like any other patient.

Instead, he was treated like a "freak show at the circus" by hospital staff when the female marker on his driver's license and medical record did not match up with his masculine appearance and preference to go by male pronouns.

The authors point to one recent study, which found that about 19 percent of transgender patients reported having been refused care because of their gender status, and 28 percent said they experienced harassment in a medical setting.

Unfortunately, this is fairly common. From a nursing perspective, those are very alarming numbers to learn about, so that's why we wanted to look a little more closely into this community's health care experiences.

--Cicero, a doctoral student at the Duke University School of Nursing




Two weeks ago I posted about a trans teen in Kansas City, Landon Patterson, who was elected to be homecoming queen at Oak Park High School: The difference support makes.

 photo landon_zps4gurkopd.jpgSoon after her election, Landon started receiving hate from the Twitterverse.

Everything was such a fairy tale and the world stopped for a minute. People, like, hate me. And now there is a group that hates me, going out of their way to be mean to me.


We might have guessed. The folks at Westboro Baptist have decided they need to picket OPHS...and that was on for today. They spout something about landmarks...which I completely don't get.

Do these people not work? How do they go to these protests all over the place? I’ll be working, but Landon knows I’ll be there with her.

--Debbie Hall, Landon's mother




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