Dorchester County, SC, School District settles discrimination case

The US DoE's Office of Civil Rights yesterday announced that Dorchester County School District Two in South Carolina has entered into a voluntary agreement to stop discriminating against a transgender elementary school student. THE OCR had found that the district was in violation of Title IX's prohibition on sex-based discrimination.

I commend Dorchester County School District Two for committing to protect the civil rights of all students and ensuring that all students have equal access to education programs and activities.

--Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights

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Hate strikes in Linn County, Iowa

 photo Alyssa2_zpsbgyzlyme.jpgAlyssa Eve is a 23-year-old transgender woman who transitioned six years ago. One might think people had gotten over that by now.

But around 11:30 pm Friday Alyssa heard banging on the windows of her apartment.

She quickly called her mother, let out her Labrador retriever and went to investigate.

The first thing I saw was, ‘Kill yourself’ on my door.

--Alyssa Eve

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Lancet tackles worldwide lack of transgender healthcare

Despite the recent flurry of media attention that has been directed toward transgender people, they and their health needs remain poorly understood, experts say.

Yesterday The Lancet published a series of articles on the health, social and legal conditions in which transgender people live.

Many of the health challenges faced by transgender people are exacerbated by laws and policies that deny them gender recognition.

In no other community is the link between rights and health so clearly visible as in the transgender community. Faced with stigma, discrimination and abuse, transgender people are pushed to the margins of society, excluded from the workplace, their families and health care. Many are drawn into risky situations or behaviors, such as unsafe sex or substance abuse, which leave them at risk of further ill health.

--Dr. Sam Winter

The majority of countries worldwide do not offer legal or administrative measures enabling gender recognition for transgender people. In Europe, eight countries fail to offer legal recognition to transgender people, and 17 countries still impose sterilization on people who seek gender recognition.

As of June 2016, Argentina, Denmark, Malta, Ireland, and Norway had laws that allow transgender people to determine their gender through an administrative process. Furthermore, Argentina and Malta affirm the right of transgender people to appropriate healthcare.

New Zealand, Australia, Nepal, Pakistan, and India are beginning to recognize gender diversity beyond the binary.

A comprehensive public health approach to address the health of transgender people requires access to gender affirmation services, evidence-based health-care delivery systems, and effective partnerships with local transgender communities.

Although there are substantial gaps in empirical research on transgender issues, there are sufficient actionable data highlighting unique biological, behavioural, social, and structural contextual factors surrounding health risks and resiliencies for transgender people that need interventions.

--Dr. Sari L. Reisner

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Which chromosome brings the hate?

 photo XY_zpspubtmgt8.jpgOf course you are aware that around the country there are legislative efforts to force transgender people to use the bathroom and locker rooms reserved for the sex we were assigned at birth. In some places, it is phrased rather as requiring those facilities to be segregated by chromosomes.

Awkward, that. As a society, we have never determined assignment of sex at birth by a test of chromosomes. I'm 68 years old and, as far as I know, I have never had my chromosomes tested. Ever.

I find it stranger still that the forces calling for this anti-transgender discrimination have such little regard for science in general. These are people who believe the universe was created between 6000 and 7000 years ago, that a woman was created from the rib of a man, and that Jesus rode to Sunday School on the back of a dinosaur.

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A life cut short

 photo Devin_zpsqiq4vtkn.jpgTen days ago a charred body was found in a burned out car in New Orleans East (The 9th Ward). That body has now been identified as Devin Diamond. The Nola Coroner's Office has classified the death as a homicide. The victim was beaten to death before the car was torched.

Although described as a male by the Coroner's Office, further investigation reveals that Devin had begun transition.

George Melichar, who knew Diamond through a French Quarter retail job, said the two had a conversation on the subject several months ago.

When I asked her if she identified as a man or a woman, she told me that she would answer to both. But being that she was transitioning, I felt that it was the best to refer to her as a woman, and she agreed.

Devin was very loved, and Devin was very kind. And that's what makes this more difficult. In addition to losing a friend, we lost an LGBT leader.

--Melichar

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Health news for LGBT people

In the wake of the Orlando massacre, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn writes at Health IT News about health disparities faced by the LGBT community in America.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, has an over-arching goal to improve the health, safety, and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. The CDC points out that LGBT individuals face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of civil and human rights. These challenges have been associated, in clinical peer-reviewed literature, with higher rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide.

Experiences of violence are frequent for LGBT individuals

--CDC

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Nearly half of employers discriminate against transgender job seekers

The National LGBTQ Task Force and the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights released a resource guide this week to help fight workplace discrimination against transgendered and gender non-conforming people.

It is one of many issues that we concentrate on this week and it is an ongoing issue in general.

--Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan, Trans/Gender Nonconforming Justice Project

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