Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2013





The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

--Gwendolyn Ann Smith, founder

Normally TDoR is observed on November 20, but I am a worker.

The list is lengthy, as it seems to be every year. And this list is incomplete. I'd estimate that it represents about a quarter of those gender-variant people who were killed for being differently gendered since last November. Transgender Europe will release a more complete number, for the calendar year of 2013, in the future.



We matter!



We shall strive not to forget.



The First Transgender Member of European Parliament

 photo nikki_sinclaire_zps8fc51291.jpgNikki Sinclaire, 45, is a British Member of the European Parliament. She was party secretary of UK Independence Party until she resigned after a disagreement with party leader Nigel Farage over UKIP's alignment with racist, homophobic, and extremist parties. She then founded a new party, the single-issue We Demand a Referendum, which calls for the British public to be given the right to decide on EU membership.

She has also proved unable to collaborate adequately with the voluntary party in the UK, particularly with the regional committee in the West Midlands. The national executive committee has therefore removed the whip; Nikki Sinclaire may no longer describe herself as a UKIP MEP, and she may not stand as a UKIP candidate in the forthcoming general election.


She sued UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom for sex discrimination and won her claim after UKIP offered no defense. Bloom had referred to her as "a queer."

On November 17 Ms. Sinclaire came out as a having been born male. There are reports that there is an autobiography, entitled Never Give Up, available somewhere. I finally located it at Junius Press. It is scheduled to be released on November 25 and will be available on Kindle.



Gender Prison: Like they're not even human

Welcome to Transgender Awareness Week…which will culminate on Friday with Transgender Day of Remembrance. It's a time when we should be celebrating being transgender, but as is all too often the case, it will liikely not be a a time to rejoice.

Equality Michigan issued a press release last Friday noting that the murder victim whose body was discovered in a trash bin on November 8, although not yet identified, is believed to be a member of the transgender community.

We are saddened and angry to hear of the murder of another transgender woman of color who has yet to be identified. The undignified way in which her body was dumped speaks to the larger issue of anti-transgender hostility in our society, and the vast amount of work we, as supporters of the LGBT communities, have in front of us. We know that transgender women of color are the most disproportionately affected by violence and hate against the LGBT communities, and this latest incident is a tragic reminder of that reality. 

--Yvonne Siferd, Equality Michigan director of victim services




Sunday Train: Is Dirty Ethanol Here to Stay?

The AP Reports (courtesy of yahoo):

The failure so far of cellulosic fuel is central to the debate over corn-based ethanol, a centerpiece of America's green-energy strategy. Ethanol from corn has proven far more damaging to the environment than the government predicted, and cellulosic fuel hasn't emerged as a replacement.

"Cellulosic has been five years away for 20 years now," said Nathanael Greene, a biofuels expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Now the first projects are up and running, but actually it's still five years away."

The administration defended its projections, saying it was trying to use the biofuel law as a way to promote development of cellulosic fuel. But the projections were so far off that, in January, a federal appeals court said the administration improperly let its "aspirations" for cellulosic fuel influence its analysis. Even with the first few plants running, supporters acknowledge there is almost no chance to meet the law's original yearly targets that top out at 16 billion gallons by 2022. "It's simply not plausible," said Jeremy Martin, a biofuels expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "2030 is the soonest you can anticipate it to be at that level."

Green Ethanol still "Five Years Away" ... just as they were when I first blogged on this topic in 2007 ... while Dirty Ethanol is the mainstay of the US Ethanol mandate. So how long are we to accept Dirty Ethanol as a "bridge" to a Green Ethanol seemingly always right on the five-year horizon?




Bullying of Transgender Student in California...but there is no need for AB1266?

I should not be surprised that the Pacific Justice Institute has not spoken out against the attempt to keep a Texas trans teen's photo out of his high school yearbook…or the recent bullying incident in Hercules, CA. That is, except for the fact that I have expected the PJI to speak out in favor of the bullying by the administrator in the former case and the other students in the latter.

The PJI, along with the National Organization for Marriage, is the muscle behind the ballot initiative to halt implementation of California's AB1266, which provides equal access to educational programs to transgender students. The PJI and NOM think equality for transkids would be an awful thing…a sign of the coming of the apocalypse.

Hercules, CA? Most of us have never heard of it, I'm sure. Hercules is an East Bay city, a former company town, established to house the workers who assembled explosives used for much of the 20th Century. Hercules is 22% White, 19% African American. 46% Asian and 15% Hispanic/Latino.

And they have is a transgender girl in the high school. A cellphone video is circulating which appears to to involve mutual combat involving the transgender girl and three other girls. School officials are saying, however, that the fight was a direct result of bullying.

Police and school officials are investigating [the incident] as a possible hate crime.



Jeydon only wants his photo in the yearbook Update: It's in!

 photo jeydon2_zps51796b67.jpgLa Feria, TX high school senior Jeydon Loredo just wants to have his picture in his high school yearbook. But La Feria Independent School District Superintendent Rey Villareal has a big problem with that. You see, Jeydon was born and raised to be female. But, like transgender people everywhere, that didn't take.

Villareal has told Jeydon's mother that Jeydon can have his picture in the yearbook only if he wears stereotypically feminine attire, like a blouse or a drape. The superintendent does not take responsibility for this decision, however. Having only been in the job for four months, he says he is deferring to Jeydon's principal. Villareal says the student handbook is clear: the suitability of each photo which appears in the yearbook is subject to the judgement of the principal. Jeydon's family says that in fact Villareal made the decision, not the principal.




Jeydon has everything right in his statement:




I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’ve grown up with the kids here. I’ve seen those in my community go through troubles, and denying my tuxedo photo would be a way for the district to forget me and everything I’ve brought to this community. The yearbook is for the students, not the faculty or the administration. It is a way for us to remember each other.



Gender Prison: Disrespected Veterans

I was pretty much not around the site yesterday. I could attribute that in part to it being Monday which is always a busy day in my classes at the college where I teach. But in reality, I was testing in two of my three classes, so it was definitely not a busy day.

No. Really the reason I spent most of my time elsewhere was because it was Veteran's Day. I served as a Spec-5 Correctional Specialist at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth during the Vietnam Era…and was part of a the Prisoner Pay Unit of the Ft. Leavenworth Finance Office that earned a Presidential Commendation from Richard Milhouse Nixon for its work diminishing the backlog of prisoner pay and benefit records.

It's not really that I am not proud of my service. It is rather the case that since I am now transgender, having transitioned from male to female in the early 1990s…two decades after having performed my service to my nation…my nation is not proud of me for having done it.




Sunday Train: Will We Be Ready for the Great 2017 HSR Policy Unlock?

I've posed a question in the title of this week's Sunday Train that I have no intention of answering myself.

The first thing you may have noted is that the title presumes a "Great 2017 Policy Unlock" that is by no means certain. And assuming an event in a title as a lead-in to talking about the likelihood of that event is a long-standing internet link-bait practice.

The second thing, however, is that even that would be focusing on political fortune telling, and the Sunday Train is not normally about making guesses about what will happen. It is more often focused on policy in the sense of thinking about what should happen and, sometimes, what we can do to make it more likely to happen.

The foundation of the Sunday Train is the premise that on our current track, with our current transport and energy systems, we are driving the possibility of retaining a national, modern, industrial economy over a cliff. We are doing that in three ways:

  • Our Energy Production and our Transport Systems combined are responsible for a majority of our CO2 emissions, and even if we converted everything else in our economy to be 50% carbon negative ~ sequestering 50% as much CO2 as it present emits ~ our current Energy and Transport systems would be sufficient to drive the globe far enough into Climate Crisis to bring down our national industrial economy;
  • And the world has hit Peak Petroleum Production, as is clear from the variety of "scraping the bottom of the barrel" oil and oil-replacement exploitation efforts taking place today, and has started to slide down the other side of the peak, so that an economy as exposed as our own to oil price shocks is going to lose massive ground compared to competing economies that are already positioned to shelter themselves from the impact of oil price shocks
  • And we are heading toward the Energy Return on Investment cliff for the fossil fuels we produce ourselves that our current Energy and Transport systems relies upon, and as we slide down that cliff, the economic benefit of that domestic fossil fuel production will progressively decline, leaving us behind any national economies or continental economic systems that seriously pursue sustainable, renewable energy sources that are seeing growing Energy Return on Investment, due to technological progress.

Pick your poison, since any one of them is serious enough to either drive the US economy from the ranks of the core economies into the ranks of the semi-peripheral economies, or even to eliminate our ability to retain a national economy at all.

Given that premise, the "odds of success" in a political forecasting sense is not the focus of the Sunday Train. The focus is rather the prospect for improving those odds. Whether that is improving the odds from a 50% chance of success, or a 1% chance of success to a 2% chance of success, in either event it is worth the investment in effort to try ... whether the mere 1/5 improvement in the odds, or the more impressive doubling in the odds, what is won in the event of a win is such a jackpot that its worth the effort to simply improve the odds a little bit.




New game: "Burn the Tranny"

Richard Thomas' mother is defending him. According to her, the 16-year-old Thomas is not homophobic and didn't mean to hurt anyone last Monday.

My son is not a hateful person. He's not homophobic. He was joking, and he didn't know it would go that far.

I am very sorry, very sorry for my son's actions. I did not raise him that way.

--Ms. Jackson, Thomas' mother

 photo sasha_zpsd2829755.jpgHis mother says Richard is very sorry and is writing a letter of apology to his 18-year-old victim, Sasha Fleishman. Fleishman identifies as gender-neutral…which is sometimes called neutrois. Fleishman made the mistake of dozing off on a public bus in Oakland. Thomas thought it would be funny to set fire to Fleishman's skirt.

The intentional and callous nature of the crime is shocking and will not be tolerated in our community.

--Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County District Attorney



Transgender Heroes: "God didn't make garbage."

Leahnora Isaak identifies as a transsexual woman. She is also a Mormon. She is attempting to gain recognition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so that she can live her life...inlcuding a woman. She says she will be filing a formal request in the next couple of weeks.





Leahnora says she was born without external genitals, but she was given testosterone treatments as a child and was raised as a boy. She later married and raised a family in Ohio.

Her local stake (an assembly of local churches) has been supportive. Church leaders have met with fellow members to help them cope with Leahnora's transition.

I want happiness. I want companionship. And I want to live the gospel. That's what I want. And I want this equal for everybody. I want people to celebrate who I am. Because I'm not ashamed of who I am.

--Leahnora Isaak





Subscribe to Voices on the Square RSS