Transgender Day of Celebration: Unlikely Sources


A dinner and community gathering to share in each other's company, meet new trans*-identified friends and give thanks for the love and support of our community. We will also be having a clothing exchange, so bring your pre-transition clothes that've been wasting away in the closet! 



Transgender Day of Celebration is an opportunity for trans people and all who love them to come together and celebrate. We celebrate our own trans lives, and we celebrate the trans people whose lives have touched ours.

--Jamez Terry, MCC Boston

I've added some stories from unusual sources to help establish the mood.



Gender Prison: The battle for equality

The battle for equality

transgender, discrimination, equal rights, equal access, Miami-Dade, Florida, Cleveland, Ohio

In times of trouble federally and at the state level, the battle for equal treatment and access moves to the local level.

In recent times I have written about current attempts to move us forward in South Florida and Northeast Ohio.

Miami-Dade commissioners unanimous in support of transgender protections (preliminary vote)

Transgender Awareness




Gender Prison: Miami-Dade commissioners unanimous in support of transgender protections (preliminary vote)

A year ago Miami-Dade County commissioners withdrew a proposal which would have added gender identity and expression to the county's anti-discrimination law. At the time they said that was done in order to "allow more time" to educate the commission about transgender people.

The plan, which would have banned discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment, could not gather enough votes at the committee level.

This morning commissioners gave unanimous preliminary approval to amending the human-rights ordinance by adding the phrases "gender identity" and "gender expression."

This update that we’re working on would ensure very basic protections for a very vulnerable part of our community that many take for granted.

--Charo Valero, SAVE

The vote this morning was momentous for what did not happen. Nobody showed up to speak against the amendment.




Gender Prison: Apparently we deserve the murders we get

Dantijer Dominick Powell, 19, of SanBernadino, CA had a hearing yesterday in the case of the murder of transwoman Fontana resident Domonique Newburn in 2013.

Powell has been held without bail since his arrest in Springfield, MO in February and extradition to California. Newburn, an actress who appeared in the web reality series Hollywood Houseboys about four gay friends trying to make it in the entertainment business, also had her car and other items stolen. Her Black Mercedes Benz was found abandoned at Perris Hill Park.

 photo newburn_zps3a1aaa22.jpg

There’s a possibility Powell and Newburn were involved in a relationship of some sort. 

--Police Spokesman Doug Imhof, at the time of the killing

Police also said they were looking in the possibility that Newburn was involved in the sex trade...I guess in an attempt to paint the murder as justified.

Lots of transgendered people turn to the sex trades during their transition. Sometimes it’s the only job they can get.

--transwoman, Tara Wallace, 26, at the vigil outside Newburn's apartment in the days after the murder

Jamie Nicole Cotton, 26, of Highland, is charged as an accessory in the murder for helping Powell flee prosecution.




Hate Crime on Campus

A transgender woman was the victim of a hate crime at the University of North Florida on February 6. University police say it is the first reported hate crime on the campus.

The victim apparently feared legal reprisal if she used the women's restroom and so used the men's restroom in the Social Sciences building. A male followed her into the restroom, verbally assaulted her and tried to touch her inappropriately.





Diminished Value

It seems to be open season on transgender people in Ohio lately.

On Friday Brittany Stergis, 22, was found shot in the head in her car in a parking lot at a public housing facility. The parking lot was near some nightclubs. Police originally identified Brittany as a woman, but later went out of their way to change that to "a man dressed in women's clothing."

Jacob Nash of the Greater Cleveland transgender community said the death "looks particularly like a hate crime."

There would be no other reason for anyone to come up like that and shoot somebody the way they shot her.


On Thursday morning Betty Skinner, 52, and a disabled resident of an apartment complex in the Cleveland neighborhood called Old Brooklyn, was found dead in her bed. The victim had suffered head injuries indicative of blunt force trauma. Records indicate that Ms. Skinner had transitioned before no later than 2002. Her body was found by a home health care worker. The worker had last seen Ms. Skinner alive on Wednesday at 10pm.

Cleveland police initially identified her by a name that was not legally hers since 2002.

Neither homicide has been classified as a hate crime at this point.



How very un-Christian

Francisco Alvarado at Banana Republic nails it: The Christian Family Coalition Hates Transgender People Too. Not surprisingly, the CFC opposes legal protections and the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for gender-variant people.

The Miami-Dade County Commission is considering an amendment to the county's human rights ordinance that would protect transfolk from discrimination. In response CFC executive director Anthony Vedrugo is rallying his unholy band to show up at the Commission's July 8 meeting to oppose the measure. You can see the message Vedrugo fired off to his gang of ruffians followers on the inside.



Dangerous Lives

On the morning of April 9 a transgender woman of color named Coko (she does not wish her full name or image to be shared) arranged to meet a 16-year old Tampa man named Tavares Spencer.

I tell anyone, whether its platonic, intimate, I let everybody know because I'm not ashamed of who I am. I'm very confident about my sexuality. I'm transgender, if you really don't want to have any dealings with me I understand, but I'm just letting you know so there's no confusion.


When they met, Spencer pulled out a gun and told Coko to get on the ground. Spencer then shot her twice in the hip.



Gender Prison: Transcide

An update from the Trans Murder Monitoring project reveals that 1123 murders of transpeople occurred in 57 countries from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2012. The numbers of recorded murders has risen every year.

Reason for the increase is probably because of improved monitoring methods. Or it could just be that the increase in visibility of transpeople and trans issues have lead to better reporting of cases.

Clearly the shocking amount of violence against trans people still poses a major problem and threat to trans people in many countries.

Central and South America had the highest number of murders, with Brazil leading the way at 452 over the period, followed by Mexico at 106 and Columbia at 65.

The only country to break the Latin American grip on this dubious honor is the United States, as 69. Turkey (30) and the Philippines (28) lead the rest of the world.

Some international trans activists even started to introduce the term "transcide" to reflect the continuously elevated level of deadly violence against trans people on a global scale.

--Transgender Europe




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