Music, Art, and Literature

Survey Says: Visibility Matters

 photo VisibilityMatters_blog263_2_zpsd4w0hmxm.pngThe Human Rights Campaign (HRC) commissioned Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research to survey likely voters about their knowledge of and attitude toward transgender people.

In 2013 the Public Religion Research Institute reported that 9% of Americans reported having a close friend or family member who was transgender. Last year, an HRC survey revealed that 17% of respondents either personally knew or worked with someone who was transgender. This year that latter number is up 5 points to 22%.

What’s important is that the number of Americans who know someone who is transgender is growing rapidly. And what’s equally important, those who do know a transgender person are much more likely to have a positive impression of transgender Americans. This is consistent with our survey research on marriage equality and other LGBT issues, which has consistently found that it is important for LGBT people to share their personal stories. We asked if likely voters “personally know or work with someone who is transgender.” For those who responded to our survey saying they “personally know or work with someone who is transgender,” their favorability for “transgender people” is 66 percent, with 13 percent unfavorable. That’s a favorability a net of +53 percentage points. Compare that to those who said they “do not” personally know or work with a transgender person. The rating for those who don’t is 37 favorable, 30 unfavorable, a net of only +7. (The margin of error for this survey subgroup is 6.67 percent).



Our Choice

At the end of March, Vogue India released a video featuring 99 women, many of them Bollywood actresses, intended to be a message of empowerment. Directed by Homi Adajania and based on a work written by Kersi Khambatta, the video features the voice of Deepika Padukone.



In my family, my father is the only male in the house, but all of us have a voice. I've always been allowed to be who I want to be. When you're not caged, when you don't succumb to expectation, that's when you're empowered.


The short filmed received a lot of harsh criticism and several pushback parodies.

Teen Pathar has now released a transgender version, available on the other side.



It get's better? Not fast enough, not here and not now

Life near Camp Pendleton is apparently lacking in support for transgender kids.

 photo Sage-David_zpsrsqte3za.jpgOn March 3, Sage took his own life.

Sage was one of us and was one of the many LGBTQIA teens that frequents the North County LGBTQ Resource Center.

Our Center’s youth want to celebrate Sage’s life and remember his legacy of love and acceptance, and not dwell on his pain. While so many have been questioning the reason behind this tragedy, Sage was loved and respected by his family and peers and this is how his closest friends here at the Center want to remember him.

However, Sage’s story brought to our attention just how vulnerable our LGBTQIA youth really are, constantly challenged by a society that only seems to accept and impose a gender binary idea of the world.

--Max Disposti, North County LGBTQ Resource Center in Oceanside, CA



An Enlightened Mayor

 photo betsy-hodgesweb-817x404_c_zps4xiso5n8.jpgLast Thursday Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges gave the 2015 State of the City Address at the American Swedish Institute.

She demonstrated what a progressive mayor can be.

Video of the speech will be across the fold, but it is nearly an hour long. I suggest listening to the whole of it when you have time. Climate change, equal opportunity regardless of race, parental leave, mass transit, living wage, paid sick leave, strengthening'a all there.

Personally I want to zero in n the last approximately six minutes.

At 42:30 in Mayor Hodges' speech, she says:

Recently, a person very dear to me let me know she was a transgender woman. My first response? Congratulations, and how great! The ability to know who she is and live as herself is a wonderful thing and worthy of celebration.

Now all of us must work together to make that truth real everywhere she goes.

Last year saw history made in our state and in the city of Minneapolis. I was so proud of the Minnesota state high school league when they voted overwhelmingly in December to make sure transgender athletes could play and participate as their lived gender. We at the city convened the first Transgender Issues Work Group, tasked with examining and recommending policy for the City enterprise and the city as a whole. They also hosted the city’s first-ever Trans Summit, bringing together community members, community organizations, City departments, and overall community resources to take the next steps toward community-generated policy change. I was proud to be part of it. Much love and credit to Andrea Jenkins, whose dedication and activism made it possible; I wish her well in her new role as the new and first ever oral historian for the Transgender Project at the University of Minnesota Libraries.

The 2015 horizon is bright as the next generation of city policy begins to take shape. This work is needed. Transgender people experience some of the worst levels of violent crime, hate crime, discrimination in the workplace and in public, stereotypes, and ignorance of any group in this country or in the world. Here in Minnesota, 77% of transgender people report experiencing harassment on the job. 27% of transgender kids in school report being assaulted. Most damning, 43% of the trans people surveyed reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population.

What can any one of us do in the face of this data? In our interactions with transgender people — frankly, as in our interactions with anyone — we must start with love and with celebration. We must start with the knowledge that being who you are in this world is to be celebrated. We must follow that with the commitment to making each one of us safe as we walk through the world as ourselves. And we must follow that with policies that support it.

Everyone in our city can learn from the courage that our transgender friends display every day. To my transgender friends, I want to thank you for your investment in Minneapolis, our community, and our people. The best way I can thank you is by persisting in my commitment to making sure that all of us know that all of us need to be in the picture of this city for us to succeed, including and especially you.

Because we can’t do this without you, Minneapolis. Everyone must be in this picture or we will not be One Minneapolis.




Papers to Pee bills fail in Kentucky and Florida

Kentucky's legislative session ended Tuesday. And with it, State Senator CB Embry, Jr.'s bill calling for the state to pay students to bully transgender students out of school restrooms ended as well.

We are elated that his mean-spirited legislation has failed and congratulate The Fairness Coalition for their tireless work to defeat the bill. Denying students access to bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with who they are is cruel. It is also illegal, as it violates Title IX’s anti-discrimination provisions as interpreted by the United States Departments of Justice and Education. This bill would have hurt already-vulnerable transgender students who regularly face bullying and other forms of harassment. TLDEF will continue to speak out against legislation designed to put transgender students in harm’s way.

--Michael Silverman, Executive Director, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

In Florida The Bradenton Herald reports that there was not time Monday to hear the Senate bathroom bill in the Criminal Justice Committee, which would ban transgender people from using the restrooms suitable for their gender unless they have state documentation proving their new gender.



Roundball Madness in Uganda

Jay Malucha is a 5' 2" point guard for the Magic Stormers. Williams Apako is a 5'6" small forward for the same team. The Magic Stormers play in the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association's women's league. But Jay and Williams both identify as transgender men.

Basketball was introduced to Ugandans by Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s.

 photo Jay_zpsxeaitakb.jpg

When Jay began playing basketball as a teenager, for example, there was no court at his boarding school. The boys would play on netball pitches at night, and Jay would play among them. “I was the only person born biologically female who liked basketball at that school,” Jay said, “and I was the only one with a ball at that time. 



Stretching gender boundaries

Former French Olympic swimmer Casey Legler is a male model. But she is a cisgender female.




 photo Casey-Legler-wearing-Give-001_zpscdtoy6y0.jpgThere is another video here...with more of Casey's story.

... I was in Brooklyn and there were, you know, this group of kids that was like coming down, as they do - where I come from we call them "the children", so all of like the gays and the queers - you know, the children, the kids. And they're walking down the street and one of them was particularly loud. And she was talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, and then suddenly she goes, "I know who you are!" And she looks at me and she goes, "Thank you for doing what you're doing." And she tears up and she says, "You're making it OK for me to be here." At the end of the day, that's what I'm in the business of. Like, that's it. Like, if the image of me out there in the world makes it easier for one more kid to think that there's some f**king place for them, then that's the business I'm into.





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