This could happen to you

A Cleveland woman was nearly attacked because she refused to expose herself to prove she was not transgender.

The woman was talking with friends at a bar when a young lady walked up to her.

No, I am not sure. They say you are a man.

--the young lady

The stranger asked the woman to reveal her genitals.

She was just adamant, adamant about it. 'You’re a man, show me your vagina.'

--the woman



Georgia AG chooses not to be involved in name-change cases

A panel of three judges from the Georgia Court of Appeals will be deciding whether or not transgender Georgians have the legal right to change their names.

Two cases from Columbia County Superior Court are before the appellate court after Judge J. David Roper denied two transgender men’s request to change their names to match the gender with which they identify.



Michigan changes ID policy

Effective March 10, the Michigan Secretary of State has altered the policy on transgender people changing the gender on our driver's license.

Under the new policy, a passport denoting current gender is enough proof to change the gender on the license. The old policy required proof that the applicant had undergone sex reassignment surgery.



ACLU challenges Anti-trans Michigan Identification Policy

 photo Emani Love_zpssjhnb0qf.jpgThe ACLU is representing six transgender Michigan residents who are suing the Michigan Secretary of State in federal court (Eastern District of Michigan) seeking to change a policy which almost precludes ("makes it impossible or unduly burdensome") changing gender on their driver's licenses.

The plaintiffs, represented by lawyers of the American Civil Liberties Union, claim the policy violates constitutional rights to privacy, speech, equal protection, interstate travel and "the right to independence in making important medical decisions."

Michigan requires that information listed on a driver's license or identification card issued by the state must match the information on a person's birth certificate. That requires transgender people to have their birth certificates amended before they can have their other identification changed.

The policy was first instituted by Secretary Ruth Johnson when she took office in 2011.

But two of the plaintiffs were born in Ohio and a third was born in Idaho...where amending birth certificates cannot be legally accomplished. Another plaintiff would be required to travel to South Carolina and obtain a court order. The two born in Michigan would have to complete gender confirmation surgery...even if hey have no current need for it or cannot afford it.



Study estimates 24000 transgender people will be disenfranchised by Voter ID

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law has released a new study, this time concerning the affects of Voter ID. The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in 2014 General Election, written by Jody Herman, concludes that there could be over 24000 eligible transgender voters across ten states who will not be able to vote because of Voter ID laws.

The Institute finds that there are approximately 84000 eligible transgender voters in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. All those states have photo voter ID laws except Wisconsin...which might have one come election time. The study estimates that 28% of those eligible voters do not have valid photo ID that reflects their gender and name sufficient to the standards of the laws.


 photo transgendervoting_zpsb8208d4e.jpg

Lawmakers should not overlook the consequences of enacting stricter voter ID laws on transgender voters. Election officials must consider the potential impact of these laws in the upcoming November elections. Voter ID laws create a unique barrier for transgender people who would otherwise be eligible to vote.




Meanwhile in Europe

 photo Alessandra-Bernaroli_zps3fda90c5.jpgAlessandra Bernaroli has been battling with the Italian government for the past five years to keep her legal marriage in tact.

When I was small I liked to play with little girls, I was looking to understand their femininity. I dreamed of becoming a woman but I had no idea what trans-sexuality was.


The 43-year-old bank employee from Bologna was living as a male when she met her wife in the mid-1990s. The couple wed in 2005. It was only after the marriage that Alessandra exposed her transgender feelings to her spouse.

I hid my inner torment from my wife but I felt trapped in a prison, in a body that had become an enemy to me. I suffocated my true identity.


After Bernaroli came out to her wife, her wife agreed to stand by her throughout the process. Alessandra underwent a series of operations in Thailand in 2009.

When they returned to Italy and sought to update their national identity cards, they were informed that they would no longer be classified as married.



Seven years to victory

The Social Security Administration announced on Friday that all that is now required to change the gender identity on their Social Security records is for individuals to submit government-issued documentation reflecting a gender change or certification from a physician confirming that they have undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.

Previously complete sex reassignment surgery had to be documented in order for the SSA to change the records.

Many trans people never undergo such procedures, either because they are too expensive, because they do not want to lose their procreative ability, or because it simply isn’t an important change for them to make to find authenticity in their identities. The SSA change eliminates this high standard for trans people to obtain the appropriate documentation for the gender that reflects how they live their daily lives.



Pentagon acknowledges transgender veterans

Early in May the Pentagon formally recognized that there are transgender veterans for the first time. we can only hope that it is the first step to allowing transpeople to serve openly in the military.

 photo sandeen_zps838c5ae3.jpgOn May 2 transgender veteran and activist Autumn Sandeen received a short letter from a Navy official:

Per your request the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) has been updated to show your gender as female effective April 12, 2013.

Sandeen has a new military identification card to reflect the change.

The fact that a process exists [to change the gender listed] indicates that there are people in the Department of Defense who are aware of the needs of transgender retirees and who are working to see those needs met. And, in that sense, the significance of this symbolic act for our broader work and for our goal of open service becomes I think a little bit more apparent.

--OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson

Gay, lesbian and bisexual service members have been able to serve openly since September, 2011, but transgender people continue to be discharged if it becomes known they are transgender.




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