OMG this slope is slippery: Air Force Secretary supports transgender in military

In an interview with Capitol Download's Susan Page on Wednesday Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said that the ban on transgender troops is likely to be reassessed in the near future and that she believes it should be lifted.

Times Change. [The current policy] is likely to come under review in the next year or so.

From my point of view, anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve.

You know, I think that is likely to come under review in the next year or so. So I think we should stand by, and times change, and we'll just have to see what happens there.

--Secretary James

James is the first secretary of a branch of the armed forces to openly support the idea of ending the ban on transgender troops.

The Williams Institute has estimated that there are currently about 15,500 transgender people now serving in the US military.

Conservative forces say allowing transgender troops to serve openly would create complications on issues of housing and health care.

Aaron Belkin of The Palm Center called James' remarks a positive step.

President Obama is the commander in chief and is ultimately responsible for setting policy, and it is imperative for him to clarify his position as well.

--Belkin

[James' remarks] provide further proof that it is only a question of when, not if, the outdated, discriminatory ban on transgender troops will be lifted.

--Ian Thompson, ACLU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Breakfast Club (Face Unfraid the Plans That We Made)

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.

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Transgender Lives

Before Laverne Cox landed the role of Sophia Burset on Orange is the New Black...

I played hookers a lot. That was the scope of what was available for trans actors. When I got the [OITNB] script, I was like, OK, this is what I've waited for my whole career—I need to kill it.

--Laverne Cox

The rest, as they say, was history in the making.

This year, with gay rights and marriage equality forging ahead at an unprecedented pace, the transgender community came out of the shadows, demanding to be respected and understood too. "I looked around at the lives of so many trans folks—lives that are often in danger," says Cox. "The homicide rate is disproportionately high among trans people. The rate of bullying is disproportionately high. Forty-one percent of all trans people have attempted suicide, compared to 4.6 percent of the rest of the population." Forty-one percent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gender Prison: The Incredibly invisible Hate Crimes

Yesterday, for the first time ever, the FBI released a report on bias crimes based on gender identity, as called for in the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act. The report refers to bias crimes committed in 2013. Unfortunately, the report massively underrepresented the problem, listing only 33 instances of bias crimes against transgender and gender-variant people. This in spite of the fact that the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) issued a comprehensive report in May finding that 344 people were victims of hate crimes on account of being gender-variant. NCAVP's report noted that the number had risen from 305 such crimes in 2012.

The phrase that comes to mind is tip of the iceberg. That is an incredibly low number.

--Osman Ahmed, the education coordinator of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)

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The Breakfast Club (The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway)

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.

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Why Jane Curtin Hates Me

I have a life you know.

Anyway I was part of this conference at the U.N. before they cleaned all the smoke off the walls and after the thrill of sitting in actual Ambassador chairs (Zimbabwe!) it was time for our box lunch (that's what they call a stale ham and cheese sandwich, a bag of potato chips, and a rather decrepit looking apple when they stuff it in a box).

Fortunately the soda was fresh and they had some club which was good enough for me before I went all low sodium (remember to order seltzer) because I don't much like the sweet stuff.

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The Breakfast Club (Judge Cliff Davis Blues)

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.

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