That's not funny

The Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman explains the problem with jokes about being transgender.

When I was a lad, I often heard jokes about blacks, Latinos and gays, who were regarded as amusing because of their supposed inferiority and defectiveness. Today most people would be embarrassed and offended by such humor. But, at least in some places, there is one group that is still a safe source of yuks: transgender people.




The dangers of family rejection

Augustus Klein and Sarit Golub are professors at the City University of New York (CUNY), Klein in the Department of Social Welfare at the Graduate Center and Golub in the Department of Psychology at Hunter.

They have recent had a paper published Family Rejection as a Predictor of Suicide Attempts and Substance Misuse Among Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Adults



Mercedes Successful

 photo mercedes-successful-x750_zps1a0nps6s.jpgThe body of a 32-year-old transgender woman was found dead in a Polk County, FL parking lot last Sunday night. Mercedes Successful had been shot to death.

Ms. Successful was active in the drag and pageant communities in Haines City, FL and had represented her native country of Jamaica in the 2014 Gay Carribbean USA pageant.

Of course local media deadnamed and misgendered Ms. Successful, who had begun transition 6 weeks before being murdered.



From the Principals

Michael Allison is president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. He is principal of a high school in Pennsylvania.

He has written an opinion essay at

While it was brave of Mr. Allison to take the message to the enemy camp, I would keep the women and children away from any responsive commentary.

The public debate about whether to uphold the rights of transgender students rings hollow to school leaders, who commit to seeing each unique child and creating the school conditions in which each child can succeed. That commitment is not limited just to students who look or behave in ways our culture labels normal. It’s for all kids.

We can’t ignore the research that reveals transgender students are more likely to feel unsafe and be victimized in school. And fear for their safety causes one in three of these students to miss at least one day of school each month. The research links a 90 percent school attendance rate closely to academic success, so more absences means less learning, lower grades, and a smaller chance of success after high school. In short, kids who live in fear don’t learn very well.

In light of these details, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NAASP) on May 5 adopted a position in support of the rights of transgender students and requesting the federal government to clarify the law.



Tearing us apart

 photo AJ_zps0bwbcw3e.jpgVermont is one of the states in which transgender people theoretically have equal rights.

I'm sure that's what AJ Jackson thought when he sheepishly walked into the boys' bathroom at Green Mountain High School in Chester, VT recently.

But the way some of his classmates see it, A J was still Autumn Jackson, a girl in boys’ clothing, who had violated an intimate sanctum, while two boys were standing at a urinal, their private parts exposed.

And that has led to students channeling their parents.



Liberals introduce pro-transgender legislation

Did you know that today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (sometimes known as IDAHOT)?

Canadian legislators did.

The Canadian government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has introduced a bill today that will protect transgender people from discrimination.

Everyone deserves to live free of stigma, persecution and discrimination — no matter who they are or whom they love.

Today is about ensuring that all people — regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity — feel safe and secure and empowered to freely express themselves.






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