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



If they don't count us, then we don't count


 photo SGS15_zpsbjceanvd.jpg

Laverne Cox appeared Monday at the Social Good Summit on a panel with Shelby Chestnut, co-director of community organizing and public advocacyat the Anti-Violence Project and Cecelia Chung, senior strategist of the Transgender Law Center.

The subject of the Census arose.

Census data has historically focused on the binary gender options: male and female. Emmy-nominated actress and transgender activist Laverne Cox is critical of that fact. The census doesn’t include her, and people like her, by assuming everyone is born into the gender they will forever identify.

I was thinking that visibility is only part of the equation. We must have social policy, systemic change. And then I thought about the census. Systemically, this idea of the gender binary is very much institutionalized in the fact that we just don't count trans people.




Pure Happy

 photo corey_zpsvh6vuw9q.jpgErica Maison is the mother of five children in Detroit. One of her daughters is a transgender girl named Corey.

Erica told BuzzFeed News that Corey was always feminine, even from the time she was very young. “She loved to dress in high heels and dresses. In public she wore boy clothes — I just assumed she might be gay.”

When Corey was in the fifth grade she was bullied so badly her mother made the decision to pull her out of public school and begin homeschooling. It wasn’t until Corey was 11 years old that the mother-daughter duo came across a video of transgender YouTuber Jazz Jennings and everything suddenly clicked. “She said, ‘Mom, I’m just like her, I AM a girl.’

Once she was at home and free to be herself, Corey started gaining confidence and began dressing like a girl in public — which wasn’t always easy.

Her hair was still very short, and she still looked like a boy. People would give her dirty looks, and take pictures of her with their cell phone cameras. They would laugh, and point, and stare. I told Corey, ‘Every time someone points their phone at you to take a picture, you turn and smile and strike a pose!’ That really boosted her self-esteem. I wanted to teach her to turn anything negative into something positive.

--Erica Maison




Ms. K. passes

 photo 28KROLIKOWSKI-obit-blog427_zps9f9dsjzv.jpgMarla Krolikowski was better known at her workplace as Mr. K. Mr. K. was a teacher at St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, Queens for 32 years before a complaint by one lone parent about the teacher's feminine appearance caused administrators to go ballistic.

Mr. K, for as long as we have known him, has always donned several gold hoop earrings, dyed hair, fashionable (but appropriate and professional) clothing, and well-manicured nails. This was never an issue amongst his students or their parents until that one student’s mother complained to the school.

His long track record of spectacular teaching seemed to carry no weight when a lone parent complained about his ‘feminine’ appearance back in 2011.

--Cristina Guarino, former student

Krolikowski was fired from her teaching job for "insubordination" in 2011, but fought back.

Marla Krowlikowski collapsed on September 20 and was taken to Nassau Communities Hospital, where she died. No cause of death has yet been determined. She was 62.

Perhaps it was a broken heart.



A roof over your head

When Jill Soloway accepted her Emmy for directing TransParent, she mentioned her transgender parent and said,

She could, tomorrow, go and try to find an apartment, and in 32 states it would be legal for the landlord to look her in the eye and say, ‘We don’t rent to trans people.’

For as long as Paola Ramirez has journeyed through her gender identity, she has been haunted by housing insecurity — first as a pained young boy living with her parents in Guatemala, then on her own as a gay man and, finally, as a transgender woman in New York.

Paola's studio apartment in Queens has a new owner, so her lease is up for renewal. But Paola is being told she cannot renew unless she presents some ID stating that her female name and gender.

I feel pressure.





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