Judith Butler on the extermination of trans women

Judith Butler, well known feminist philosopher and the author of Gender Trouble participated in an email discussion with the feminist collective Broadly on the topic Why do Men Kill Trans Women?. It is intertwined with Broadly's own offering by Diana Tourjee, He's Not Done Killing Her

There were 23 known killings of transgender women in the United States in 2015. That number nearly doubled from the 12 reported in 2014. Broadly published an in-depth feature on these crimes in which we investigate their underlying cause. In addition to contacting police departments, victims' friends, and family, we interviewed the renowned queer theorist, Gender Trouble author Judith Butler.

One of the most disturbing, yet often easily overlooked, aspects of these crimes is the gender of the killers. Butler maps anti-trans violence back to the source, ultimately suggesting that trans deaths were caused by men because of men's need to meet culturally held standards of male power and masculinity.

She also insists that gender cannot be parsed from the other realities of the victims' lives. Ninety-one percent of the trans murders we investigated were people of color. They were primarily poor; many engaged in sex work. Law enforcement agencies have widely failed to classify these murders as hate crimes, maintaining a myopic perspective. By insisting that these facts be considered together, Butler does what the police have failed to do: recognize that the context in which these women lived and died is inseparable from their lives as transgender women of color.




A Dark Chapter in trans treatment whimpers to a close

One of the most prominent clinics practicing reparative therapy in North America, Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is closing its Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) after an independent review by a team of outside psychologists.

The investigators found that GIC still used antiquated practices with an anti-transgender bias.

Lead reparative therapy proponent, Dr. Kenneth Zucker, who has headed the GIC for over 30 years is, according to officials at CAMH, "no longer at the institution."



Tucson VA opens transgender clinic

 photo VA_zpsmgvpq0mx.jpgThe Southern Arizona VA Health Care System transgender clinic opens its doors today. That VA hospital will become the fourth in the nation to offer special clinic hours for transgender patients.

The Tucson treatment team will be headed by Dr. Sonia Perez-Padilla, who says the Tucson hospital is now recognized by the VA as a "national center of excellence for transgender care."

Local VA officials say the population of transgender veterans in Tucson has grown from 50 to 130 in the past five years.

The Department of Veterans Affairs ordered all its medical facility to take better care of transgender veterans beginning in 2011.

Before that, discrimination was not uncommon.

--Dr. Perez-Padilla



Challenge to ADA Exclusion

In a federal district court in Pennsylvania there is an ongoing challenge to the transgender exclusion in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Passed in 1990 the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of a medical or mental condition but includes the Helms Amendment, along with a portion of the original act included in hopes of enticing support from the extreme right, which some call the "moral code": the act excludes from protection "transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, and other sexual behavior disorders

Kate Lynn Blatt was hired as a seasonal stocker at Cabela’s Retail in the fall of 2006, according to allegations in the complaint. Before starting her job, she attended a two-day orientation dressed in female attire, and used the women’s employee restroom without issue. Once she started working, however, Blatt was prohibited from using the women’s restroom and was forced to wear a name tag depicting her name as “James,” even after she presented the director of human resources with documentation of her legal name change.

Blatt claims her colleagues called her “ladyboy,” “freak,” and “sinner.” Cabela’s made Blatt use the single-sex “family” restroom at the front of the store, rather than the female employee restroom closer to her work area, according to the complaint. Blatt claims she endured harassment from management and coworkers, and was abruptly terminated in March 2007.




Transgender activist wins deferral of removal

Kim Watson is a 52-year-old trans woman living in the Bronx with her husband and adopted daughter. She is cofounder of an organization called Community Kinship Life (CKLife), which provides space for transgender individuals to gather and offers scholarships. Her work has been honored by Bronx elected officials and citywide LGBT groups.

She arrived in the United States on a tourist visa in 1988. When the pass expired, she remained.

The city offered her refuge from persecution she faced over her identity in her homeland, but she continued to struggle with mental illness and substance abuse.

While homeless, she was twice arrested for selling controlled substances in 1997 and 1998. Nazrali said that at the time she was going through a wrenching identity dysphoria that led to the run-ins with the law.

However, more than a decade ago, Watson said she went to rehab and started receiving counseling for PTSD and her other identity issues.

Watson earned a bachelor's degree from Pace University and began grassroots organizing over LGBT issues and HIV status.



The Breakfast Club (CatDog)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it’s PhilJD’s fault.






H.Res.561: Expressing support for support of transgender acceptance

Yesterday Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) and 19 House co-sponsors introduced House Resolution 561: Expressing Support for Support for Transgender Acceptance

The co-sponsors include all members of the recently formed Transgender Equality Task Force.

This is another much-needed step in our fight to ensure that the transgender community’s voice is represented in Congress. The transgender community faces widespread bullying, harassment, and violence, and these individuals do not yet have sufficient legal means of protection from such discrimination in many states. We cannot achieve equality without acceptance. This resolution is a step toward greater acceptance of the transgender community. We must work to address the challenges and risks that transgender individuals face on a daily basis in their places of work, education, and housing, and ensure that their individual rights are understood and respected.

--Rep. Honda

The full text of the resolution is on The Other Side:



Victory in Venezuela

This past Monday Venezuela held parliamentary elections in which the opposition Democratic Unity Movement (MUD) claimed a sizable majority.

 photo Tamara Adrian_zpswx1rrlts.jpgOne of the winning candidates was transgender woman Tamara Adrian. The 61-year-old lawyer managed to do this in a country which does not recognize gender reassignment.

She became only the second transgender legislator in the western hemisphere, after Michelle Suárez of Uruguay.

The lawyer and activist was one of the 99 Democratic Unity politicians to win a seat at the National Assembly. She received an incredible 74.25% share of the votes.



Exempting discrimination

You've no doubt never heard of Multnomah University. It's in Northeast Portland, on Glisan between 82nd and the 205.

Heck, I grew up in a suburb of Portland and I'd never heard of it until now.

Multnomah University is a non-denominational Christian university in Portland, Oregon. Multnomah consists of a college, graduate school, seminary and Degree Completion Program, and the university offers bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees.

MU's President G. Craig Williford wrote a letter to the US Department of Education in February saying that MU "affirms the dignity of all human beings."

Then he basically asked the Department of Ed to agree with him that transgender people deserve no compassion, because evidently they are not human.

The tiny, 79-year-old nondenominational university is one of a growing number of religious schools around the country asking the federal government for an exemption from anti-discrimination laws where gender identity is concerned.

Basically, the school's arguing its religious beliefs don't allow it to accept or employ transgender people, but that should have no bearing on the federal funding it happily accepts each year.



Foundations pledge $20 million to improve trans lives

A consortium of philanthropic foundations has pledged to contribute $20 million to transgender charities across the US and the world over the next five years in order to

ensure that all transgender people live in a world where they are recognized, valued, and supported by their families and in society.

In their press release the foundations point out that

  • Globally, more than 1,700 transgender murders have been reported in the past seven years alone and many cases have involved extreme violence and torture
  • In the United States, transgender people are twice as likely as other Americans to earn $10,000 a year or less
  • In the United States, 20% of transgender people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.




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