Gender Prison: Women's colleges move toward opening doors to trans women

Trustees at Barnard have been considering whether or not trans women are women as far as their admissions policy goes.

The time has come for us to examine how we, as a women’s college, define ‘women,’ and how, consequently, we both admit and graduate students.

--Debora L. Spar, Barnard president




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.


[James' remarks] provide further proof that it is only a question of when, not if, the outdated, discriminatory ban on transgender troops will be lifted.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














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.











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)




Maine's Nicole Maines wins November

BiPM includes a poll in his Friday C&J to select who won the week. I decided I needed to riff off that for my title.

I don't know that I have ever read the magazine Glamour. I mean, I may have done so, once upon a time. When I was a child, I read whatever I could get my hands on, just for the joy of reading.

On November 10, Glamour honored its 2014 Women of the Year award recipients at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Glamour's annual Women of the Year Awards is one of our favorite issues of the magazine, and the event marks one of the most inspiring nights of the year; it's a chance to celebrate trailblazing women from all walks of life—Hollywood stars, political and cultural leaders, groundbreaking scientists and researchers, and more come together to honor the women who helped to shape and change the year. But let's not forget that phenomenal women are all around us; to celebrate the spirit of Women of the Year, we named 50 standouts—one for every state. Flip through to see the hometown heroes whose work we recognize this year.

Flipping through the inspiring women from each state, one eventually encounters...



Gender Prison: DoE issues Title IX guidelines on single-sex classes

Yesterday the Department of Education issued guidelines (36 pages) instructing schools which accept federal funding how to treat transgender students with regard to single-sex classes.

Although Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities, regulations issued by the Department authorize schools to offer single- sex classes or extracurricular activities under certain circumstances. In order to ensure that schools subject to Title IX comply with the Department’s requirements if they choose to offer single-sex classes and extracurricular activities, OCR provides the following responses to questions that schools should consider when assessing their compliance with Title IX. Although this document focuses on single-sex classes, some of the legal principles will also apply to single-sex schools. In order to gain a complete understanding of these legal requirements and recommendations, this document should be read in full.

--Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights



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