A day at the Louisiana OMV

 photo glover_zpsbrba5jms.jpgAlexandra Glover of Denham Springs, LA needed to update her drivers license. That's not a fun thing to do for anyone, but it was worse for Alexandra. You see, Alexandra is transgender and she lives in Louisiana.

Transgender advocates say Louisiana is one in a minority of states that are behind when it comes to accommodating transgender and gender non-conforming people in ID laws. Recent efforts by transgender people in South Carolina and West Virginia have helped to change driver’s license practices in those states.

After being denied at a couple of OMV offices, Alexandra's friend thought she should document a visit with video.




You can’t present as a woman if you’re listed as a man.

If you have makeup on or anything like that you’re supposed to take all that off, because you are actually a man.

--OMV worker



#Sayhername...the respectful one

 photo CL5-Gk6UYAAKO9b-457x640_zps0g6aits6.jpgAmber Monroe...was exiting a vehicle near the intersection of 6 Mile and Woodward in Detroit around 5 am Saturday morning when she was fatally shot. Police say the shot came from inside the car, a green Audi.

The area is known as Palmer Park...and is known to be the gathering place of Detroit's transgender community. Four fatal incidents involving transgender women occurred in Palmer Park in 2014.

As usual the Wayne County medical examiner's office announced that a "male was shot" at the location. Then the ME's office identified the victim by what the Guardian calls "her biological name" (her biological name would be homo sapiens)...but i better known in our community as either her birth name or her "dead name."

The decision to misgender Monroe as male outraged trans advocates who knew the 20-year-old, saying it’s disrespectful, particularly in death.




"I'm going to kill this faggot" --12 year old in Orlando

A 12 year-old Orlando boy sneaked out of his grandmother's house last night...taking a gun he had stolen along with him.

Cheyenne West, a transgender woman who was walking down a street near the Citrus Bowl heard him talking into his cell phone. She heard him say "I'm going to kill this faggot," so she started to run.

She said she was running for her life but when she realized the shooter was out of bullets, she turned around and began chasing him.



At the crosswalk of haters and hate

Stephen E. Thompson is a 45 year-old man who was working as a DJ at a party thrown at Down Under Lounge in Omaha. His attire for the evening consisted of what has been called priestly garb: (a black Catholic shirt with priest collar and skinny skeleton jeans.

 photo barone_zps14zw6rq6.jpgKara Jeslyn Barone, 27, and a friend, both transgender women, needed to use the women's restroom that night. It turned out that Thompson's girlfriend, Dahlia Strange, needed to use the restroom at the same time.

These things happen...especially at bars.

Thompson went berserk. He began kicking at the door and tried to force his way in. Barone pushed him out and locked the door in order to keep him out. Strange finished her business and opened the door to leave. Thompson took the opportunity to punch Barone in the face...while calling her a "faggot" and other anti-gay slurs.




 photo Kc Haggard_zps4q2g49c8.jpgAround 2am Thursday K. c. Haggard was walking along a Fresno street when an SUV pulled up and engaged K.c. in conversation through the passenger side window. Suddenly the occupant of the vehicle reached out of it to stab K. c. in the neck...and then drove off. The murder was caught on video from a surveillance camera outside a tattoo parlor. I have chosen not to share that video.

Haggard was later pronounced dead at Community Regional Medical Center.

Fresno police described Haggard as a man named Kenton, even though K. c. was wearing a dress and cardigan and carrying a purse.

Fresno police Lt. Joe Gomez said the department refers to crime victims by their physiological sex and will only note a person’s transgender status if that information will help the investigation.

Gomez said investigators have received no information indicating that Haggard was transgender.

Gomez added that police also have no reason to believe that Haggard was killed because of appearance or possible transgender status.



Not a man in a dress

 photo Clarke_zpsxwns6dbz.jpgSeveral dozen folks gathered last evening at the University Area Community Center in Tampa, including the friends and family of transgender woman India Clarke, whose body had been found Tuesday morning at playground near the center, a victim of blunt force trauma.

A growing shrine at the site near where Clarke’s body was found included a stuffed bear, flowers and balloons and, because India would have loved it, two selfies.

So he has a picture in his phone and I pray that they find his phone so that I can get a copy of that picture, cause he took his last picture of me and him together Sunday leaving my house.’

--Thelma Clarke, India's mother



Gender Prison: PDX Pride Fail

I am embarrassed for my hometown. The Portland Pride Parade was this past weekend. It didn't go well.

This is how the event was promoted:

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who is openly bisexual was there...the first time a sitting Oregon governor had taken part in the parade. That was accompanied with all attendant pomp and circumstance. Celebrity Grand Marshall Jason Dottley failed to show up...we do not know why...or who he is. Trans activist Mia Macy was to take part as well. Winner of the 2015 Spirit Award, Macy showed up along with her wife...and nobody knew who they were.

There was no car for them to ride in, no identifying signage in the event they even located a identifying devise of any kind. Eventually event sponsor Macy's came up with a car for Mia and her wife to ride in...with people who did not know who they the trail end of the parade.

End of the line? Seems fitting when one thinks about it. That's about where we stand politicly as well.

Video inside.




Pentagon Pride

The Pentagon held its first Gay Pride event at its Arlington headquarters. The theme of the event was Celebrating Victories that have Affirmed Freedom and Fairness. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter hosted the event.

Discrimination of any kind has no place in America's armed forces.

Recognizing that our openness to diversity is one of the things that have allowed us to be the best in the world, we must ensure that everyone who is able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so. We must start from a position of inclusivity, not exclusivity. Anything less is not just plain wrong, it’s bad defense policy.
“Embracing diversity and inclusion is critical to recruiting and retaining the force of the future. Young Americans today are more diverse, open, and tolerant than past generations. If we’re going to attract the best and brightest among them to contribute to our mission of national defense, we have to ourselves be more diverse, open, and tolerant, too. It’s the only way to compete in the 21st century.





If it becomes a numbers game, we lose

The Williams Institute at UCLA has announced a couple of new studies it will be initiating lter this year, having received grants for the projects from the NIH.

The Institute received a $3.4 million grant for a five year "Generations" project focusing on lesbian gay and bisexual populations in the US. That grant and an additional $285,000 grant will fund TransPop: US Transgender Population Health Survey.

The yearlong study, which was announced earlier this week, will be the first of its kind to use random sampling methods to obtain data about the transgender community. Researchers expect to find out about the racial distribution of transgender individuals, their socioeconomic backgrounds, their access to health care and their experiences. Ilan Meyer, senior scholar of public policy and researcher at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, will lead the study.



Wrapping up one year and unwrapping the next

An arrest has been made in the October 2nd East Hollywood shooting death of Aniya Knee Parker. Los Angeles police are seeking two more suspects.


Los Angeles News Video

 photo parkeraniya_zps938e8e3a.jpgParker was confronted by three Latino men as she walked down a sidewalk. Apparently the men determined she was trans and punched her. As she turned to flee, one of the men pulled out a pistol and shot her once in the head. Parker managed to make it across the street before collapsing. She died in surgery. Police referred to the incident as "an attempted robbery gone wrong." The suspect in custody is said to be a minor, so his name has not been released, but reports are that he will be charged as an adult.




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