Transgender Heroes

Four Transgender Heroes

Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Foundation has named four transgender women who should be declared International Heroes for Women's History Month.

Just as we can’t limit the celebration of women across the world to just a single day, we can’t limit the great potential of women to boxes. Today, we do more than just celebrate the great women trailblazers who fulfilled roles historically dominated by men. Today, we also celebrate the women who created their own roles and bettered life for their own communities from the inside out.

--Nicolas Seip for True Colors

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US District Judge rules that ACA protects trans people from discrimination

 photo rumble_zpskjx6bl7m.jpgJacob Rumble of West St. Paul, MN is a student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. He thought his troubles began when he felt severe abdominal pain in 2013. But they actually began when he and his mother arrived at the emergency room of Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina.

He was treated so badly that he filed a federal lawsuit. Both the hospital and the organization which employs the emergency room physician, Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA) filed motions to have the case dismissed.

In a 63-page ruling US District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that Rumble had built a plausible case that he was a victim of discrimination on the basis of his gender identity by an emergency room doctor and denied the defendants' motions.

Nelson's ruling is believed to be the first extensive federal court analysis of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination in health care.

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Transgender Heroes: Total invalidation of transpeople in a single headline

 photo martine-rothblatt_zps692eccc0.jpgHow would you imagine it feels for a transgender person to be constantly denied the right to identity their own gender? Consider what it would be like if every day someone came up to you and told you that you were lying about who you really are.

Kat Hache of TheDailyDot takes on Henry Blodget of Business Insider for doing just that.

Blodget got to it really fast...in his headline: The Highest Paid Woman CEO Was Born a Man. The implication he's striving for should slap you in the face...as it does us transpeople: What Blodget really means is, "The highest paid woman CEO is not really a woman."

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Trio of transwomen selected as Women of the Year by California legislators

Each year the California state legislature honors one woman from each legislator's district in a list of Women of the Year during Women's History Month. This year three transgender women were so honored.

 

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On Monday Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) named Cecilia Chung of San Francisco to be honored. Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D- Santa Monica) selected Desiree Jade Sol of West Hollywood. Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-MontereyBay) chose Dayna Sinopoli of Aptos.

 photo chung1-300x199_zps848b6d28.jpgChung is a senior advisor for the Transgender Law Center, a health commissioner at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Cecelia Chung was recently one of two transwomen, along with Janet Mock, who appeared in the Google Doodle video honoring International women's Day.

 

 

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RIP Reverend BobbieJean Baker

 photo BobbieJean_zps26e4cf86.gifReverend BobbieJean Baker, 49, of City of Refuge United Church of Christ in San Francisco and Oakland had officiated at a New Year's Eve Watch Night worship service in Oakland, along with Bishop Yvette Flunder from the same church.

Baker moved to the Bay Area in 1992 from Memphis, TN. She served as west Coast Regional TransSaints Minister of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and Lay Minister at Transcending Transgender Ministries at City of Refuge. She was also lead singer of the all transgender member Transcendence Gospel Choir. She also worked at San Francisco's Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center as a substance abuse and transgender health counsellor.

My purpose is to help you break whatever it is that had you bound so that you can move to better yourself. I'm willing to hold hands and walk you through every phase, but I am not willing to be your babysitter. There comes a time when you need to really step up and do the work for you.

--BobbieJean Baker, to her clients

 photo BobbieJeanx400_zpsf18ce839.jpgAt the service Bishop Flunder says Baker seemed to know she didn't have much time left.

She gave best wishes to everyone, wonderful, kind words. She went way out of her way speaking to everyone and wishing them the best for the coming year. It was incredible the space that she was in.

--Bishop Flunder

After the service Reverend Baker went to the home of gay deacon Bobby Wiseman where there was to be a traditional meal of corn bread and black-eyed peas.

[It was almost as if she knew] that something was coming, because she was so unusually specific in many of the ways she was going around talking to different people and encouraging them through their own struggles.

--Bishop Yvette Flunder

Wiseman says that at about 2:30 am he was driving his Ford Expedition west on I-580 in Oakland to take Baker home, "remembering the good times and the friends that we've lost over the years" when a silver and black car bumped his SUV on the left before swerving away. Wiseman's vehicle fishtailed and then rolled two or three times before landing upside down at the Park Boulevard exit. Wiseman managed to crawl out of the vehicle through the window, but he and a bystander were unable to free Baker. Both of them had been wearing seat belts.

Baker died at the scene.

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Transgender Heroes: "God didn't make garbage."

Leahnora Isaak identifies as a transsexual woman. She is also a Mormon. She is attempting to gain recognition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so that she can live her life...inlcuding worship...as a woman. She says she will be filing a formal request in the next couple of weeks.

 

 

 

 

Leahnora says she was born without external genitals, but she was given testosterone treatments as a child and was raised as a boy. She later married and raised a family in Ohio.

Her local stake (an assembly of local churches) has been supportive. Church leaders have met with fellow members to help them cope with Leahnora's transition.

I want happiness. I want companionship. And I want to live the gospel. That's what I want. And I want this equal for everybody. I want people to celebrate who I am. Because I'm not ashamed of who I am.

--Leahnora Isaak

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Transgender Heroes #6: Kingston Faraday

Filmmaker Cheryl Dunyje, well-known for the creation of The Watermelon Woman, Stranger Inside, and The Owls, is in production of a new short film entitled Black is Blue. In order to complete the film, Dunye has turned to Kickstarter.

 

 

 

 

In the starring role of Black is a transman who does not claim to be an actor. Kingston Faraday says he is a "defense-side investigator", activist and writer. He had appeared in two other short independent films and a documentary produced by a Mills College ethnic studies student…

All of which focused on the complexities of love and life as the topics relate to queer people of color, the militarization of women of color, and the intersections of oppression.

--Faraday

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Transgender Hero #5: Ashton Lee

Manteca High School junior Ashton Lee hand-delivered petitions. with nearly 6000 names to Governor Brown, urging him to sign AB 1266, which would give transgender students equal access to school programs and facilities.

Lee is a young transman. He testified in Sacramento during the legisiative hearings on the bill. Manteca High School has 5 openly transgender students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California law already prohibits discrimination in education, but transgender students are still unfairly excluded from physical education, athletic teams, and other school activities and facilities.  This exclusion negatively impacts students' ability to succeed in school and graduate with their class.

--Melissa Goodman, an attorney with the ACLU of California

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hashtag morethanmarriage

Yesterday's diary ended with a link to information about transgender advocates one might try to emulate. Today's diary will continue in that vein.

The Transgender Law Center has a new campaign, called #morethanmarriage, which calls attention to the issues of youth, violence, racial justice, immigration, health care, and economic justice.

Sometimes we get accused of being narrowly focused when we write about transgender issues. But issues of gender affect us all and connect with an astounding number other issues.

Freedom to marry is important. Many people, including transgender people, are impacted by the legal recognition of our relationships and families. And, our community needs more than marriage to survive. #morethanmarriage is a community-based campaign to amplify the voices of our community and raise awareness of the critical issues we need to address in order to thrive - including marriage, immigration, bullying, health care access, family rights, employment, and more.

You can join the campaign here.

Come inside for more heroes.

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