Trans man sues Giant

 photo transgender-lawsuit-giant-supermarket_zps5trnqeyu.jpgSam Melrath, 22, is a trans guy who now lives in Northeast Philly. He came out as trans during 11th grade at Abington High School. He says his classmates were very supportive, as has his family.

When his junior year ended, Sam got a summer job as a bagger at Giant Food Store in Huntingdon Valley. At the time he was living as a man, dressing as a man, and had chosen the name "Sam," which also happened to be a short version of his birth name.

After he began working there, store management began pressuring him to dress and act like his sex at birth. He says he was pressured to change his name tag from Sam to his given name at birth, even though other employees were allowed to use shortened versions of their names on their name tags, including one female employ named "Samantha" who used the shortened version "Sam."



LGBT Equality Caucus forms Transgender Equality Task Force


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The House LGBT Equality Conference announced this morning that they will hold the first ever congressional forum on transgender issues next Tuesday.

Following a press conference in the morning to launch the Task Force the forum will specifically address violence against the transgender community.

The forum comes during Transgender Awareness Week, which culminates with Friday's Transgender Day of Awareness.

This week, as we seek to raise awareness of the issues facing the trans community, it is important to renew our commitment to help trans individuals be free of the fear of violence or bullying just for being who they are. It is my hope that by launching this workforce and holding a first-ever forum, we will reach some of my colleagues and encourage them to stand with the trans community. It is only through social change that we can truly elevate the conversation in this country and reach a place of true understanding and embrace all people for who they are.

--Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), who has a transgender granddaughter

Most of this year's 21 transgender murder victims were trans women of color.



VA opens gender clinic in Cleveland

A ceremony was held today in the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center to announce the opening of the GIVE (Gender Identity Veteran Experience) clinic.

The clinic will have an initial enrollment of 20 transgender veterans, aged 21 to 75. GIVE will be open on a half day each month and will be supervised by Dr. Megan McNamara, who began working with trans veterans two years ago. Dr. McNamara is a primary care and women's health doctor. She will be the clinical lead physician. The treatment team will also include a nurse, a psychologist, and a social worker.

It felt like a good fit for me, professionally, and I felt that a lot of patients could use this service.

--Dr. McNamara



Obama Administration officially endorses Equality Act

Yesterday The administration officially endorsed the amending of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination.

As of yet, there is no federal law that explicitly prevents people from being fired, evicted, or refused service on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity. A proposal just to ban employment discrimination for LGBT Americans (ENDA) has been continuously stymied since 1994.

The Equality Act, which the White House announced it would support Tuesday, aims to provide a wider range of protections, and in the most direct way possible. The bill would insert language about gay and transgender people into legislation created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act — the historic measure that banned many forms of discrimination by race, color, religion, sex or national origin.



Once upon a time



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You may not be familiar with Greg McGoon. Personally, I'd never heard of him until yesterday. I'm told he's an actor and a children's author.

IMDB tells me he has appeared in Pulp Art with Ed, Waiting Room, and No Way Out. I've actually heard of the last of those.

As an author, he's been known (but not by me) for Out of the Box.

When Devin finds an empty box in his new house, his imagination immediately takes off running...but his friends can't seem to see the magic in Devin's cardboard box. Undeterred, Devin continues to play out wondrous adventures and journeys--all stemming from the seemingly empty box. Out of the Box is a heartwarming story of the power of one boy's imagination and the limitless places our creativity can take us. Join Devin on his exciting adventures!

For a second book, he wanted to write about self worth and transformation.




For Veterans Day: I Fought for Your Right to Hate Me



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Carla Lewis is a transgender woman from Antioch Tennessee. She was discharged from the Air Force in 2010 for being gender dysphoric.

The 44-year-old's Facebook selfie from Friday has gone viral, with 11,000 likes and 14,000 shares.



I fought for your right to hate me.


The sentiment seems perfect for this Veterans Day.



The Drop the T campaign rears its ugly, ugly head

Every time the LGBT community suffers a significant political loss, such as HERO in Houston or California's Prop 8, or ENDA in the US Congress, one can count on a campaign to drop the T from the end of LGB.

This time it takes the form of a petition. The petition so fat has 1229 signatories.

We are a group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community; in essence, we ask that organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal and media outlets such as The Advocate, Out, Huff Post Gay Voices, etc., stop representing the transgender community as we feel their ideology is not only completely different from that promoted by the LGB community (LGB is about sexual orientation, trans is about gender identity), but is ultimately regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men.

So far there have been public rejections from GLAAD, HRC, and the Advocate.



Confused Christian staff members dismissed from Texas Learning Center

There is a six-year-old boy in Katy, TX who is transgender. His parents, who happen to be a gay couple, informed the Children's Lighthouse Learning Center that their child now should be referred to as a boy and disclosed his new name.

The school administrators were okay with that. Indeed, they appear to have been prepared for their first transgender child. A set of guidelines entitled How to Handle Transgender Students was distributed to staff members.

Two "Christian" staff members objected. They were fired.

As you might imagine, this has caused an uproar from certain sources.



URJ passes most comprehensive and extensive guidelines favoring transgender rights of any religious organization

 photo urj_zpsllil2rnz.pngMeeting in Orlando yesterday representatives of the Union for Reform Judaism unanimously approved an historic resolution on transgender rights.

Some 5,000 reform Jews attended the Union for Reform Judaism biennial meeting where they approved the resolution that calls for Jewish congregations and camps to institute gender-neutral bathrooms, gender-neutral language, and arrange gender issues training for teachers and staff at religious schools. The resolution passed on a voice vote without opposition, and applause followed the the results of the vote.



What good are anti-discrimination laws anyway?

The District of Columbia has had anti-discrimination laws protecting transgender people for quite some time (since 2005). But a new study, qualified and transgender", by the Office of Human Rights, reveals that nearly half of D. C. employers prefer less qualified cisgender applicants to more qualified trans applicants.

Five employers will face director's inquiries from the Office of Human Rights for their results—two in the restaurant industry, two in the administrative sector, and one university. These investigations will determine whether the actions were discriminatory and could become public documents.

OHR submitted resumes to openings in various sectors from February to July.




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