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International Issues

Appleton, WI elects transgender man to City Council

 photo gypsy_zpsc5783c7a.jpgAppleton, WI's Gypsy Vered Meltzer identifies as both transgender and a man. On Tuesday the residents of Appleton elected him to the city council. Gypsy expects that there will be people uneasy with his election, but is determined to keep that from distracting him from the job at hand. Meltzer defeated Barney Lemanski for the seat by a vote of 295-199.

I can see some push back, but I hope they'll get over it. I hope things don't go that route. I don't want to lose focus on the issues and increasing communications between the city and its residents.


Fair Wisconsin identifies Meltzer as the first openly transgender person to hold office in Wisconsin.

This election is an historic moment for Wisconsin in having the first openly transgender official. I’d hope we’d see an increase in the number of elected officials from the transgender community across the state.

--Katie Belanger, Fair Wisconsin president

Every time a trans person succeeds in anything related to the public, it is a step forward. It’s an acknowledgment that we’re just like everyone else and it shouldn’t be the issue by which we’re judged.

--my friend Loree Cook-Daniels, FORGE



Photographer Alvaro Laiz documents transgender existence in little-known cultures

 photo Laiz_zps133eadde.jpgAlvaro Laiz is a photographer. In 2011 Laiz traveled to Mongolia to document the reality of that culture's transgender people.

Transmongolian has become the first step of a long term project about transgender people in nomadic societies all over the world. I would definitely love to come back and document again how life is treating them. We are in touch through social networks and we write each other periodically. As for what to do next, I am now focused in expanding this project to other countries and communities. But keep it a secret.


Transmongolian: the secret history of the Mongols:




 photo TRANSMONGOLIAN_A3010LVAROLAIZ-08jpgCROPoriginal-original_zps5273878b.jpg



I wanted to show how they are, but also how they see themselves. Identity isn’t a one-way concept but a fluent mixture of influences, both internal and external, which forms the way we face the world.





Obama Sycophants Clapping Louder are Building the Keystone Pipeline Faster

Therefore, I have to tell them a few things: Obots, you didn't really care about the environment. You wanna know why Obama's Keystone pipeline is going through no matter what you do? He knows the columns covering his ass are already written, by you, in anticipation. So why would he care what you're doing?




Immigration and Transgender People

I've written about the problems of undocumented transgender immigrants living in the US before.

Transwomen Incarcerated

Trans legalities

Crossing Over - Documentary on transgender immigration

Transgender Heroes #4: Ruby Corado

"I have never met a transgender detainee who hasn't experienced some kind of sexual harassment"


As you might notice, most of those actually concern the efforts of the federal government to remove transgender immigrants from this country.

Part of what has been lacking has been actual data about transgender immigrants. So the National Center for Transgender Equality has striven to address that lack, releasing a new report last Friday, Our Moment for Reform: Immigration and Transgender People. To aid in the roll-out, BuzzFeed's Tony Merevick interviewed transgender immigrant and immigration advocate Johanna Vasquez.



Gender Prison: The Cheapness of Our Lives

The Organization of American States has been busy collecting data on the dangers of being LGBT in the Americas. A recent report reveals that 39 Lesbian, Gay and Transgender people were murdered in July of this year alone…23 of them transgender.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the OAS issued a warning earlier this month, “reiterat[ing] its deep concern on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersex persons (LGTBI), and against persons perceived as such in the Americas. IACHR urges OAS Member States to adopt urgent measures to prevent this violence and discrimination. In particular, the Commission is concerned about the high levels of violence and discrimination faced by gay, lesbian and trans youth in the region."




A dangerous journey for gay, transgender migrants

There are many gay and transgender migrants trying to make their way to America through Mexico. The journey has turned out to be quite dangerous.

The story in the Atlantic recounts the stories of Julio Campo and other displaced Latin@s. Campo tells of a three night stay in a temporary shelter for migrants, where he was the target of "cold, lingering stares."

I felt like a joke, like I was immediately disliked. It was just very uncomfortable and I wanted to get out quickly.

--Campo, a 30-year-old gay migrant from El Salvador

The free stopovers in Mexico for migrants are run by church officials, who are seeing increasing numbers of gay male and transgender female migrants. Some are considering the possibility of separate shelters for the LGBT population.




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