Minnesota

Best Practices

The Minnesota Department of Education has created a toolkit to support transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

The School Safety Technical Assistance Council, the department's advisory council on bullying prevention and intervention efforts, voted last week to approve the dissemination of formal guidance to Minnesota's public and charter schools for creating inclusive environments for transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

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Minneapolis City Council elections

Two openly transgender people are running for positions on Minneapolis' City Council this year.

There’s just not a lot of candidates running yet, and that’s what’s so exciting about Minneapolis. Without endorsing anybody, it is overall a good thing that two trans people have stepped up, and two trans people who at least on paper aren’t unrealistic candidates.

--Mara Keisling, NCTE

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Ban lifted in Minnesota

This past Monday Ramsey County (MN) Judge William Leary ruled that trans people on medical assistance have the right to gender transition surgeries.

Transman Evan Thomas, 64, had sued the Department of Human Services over the ban on such services that had been in place.

Thomas’ victory was the first legal challenge of the law, which the judge said was unconstitutional.

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Minnesota high school sued because transgender girl acts like a girl

Some parents are up in arms in Virginia Minnesota, so much so that they have contacted the so-called Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF has filed another lawsuit against a high school for repecting the needs of a transgender student.

But this one tops the plethora of similar cases ADF has pooped across the country.

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When you're down and troubled

 photo qq_tgh.gifAnd you need some love and care,
And nothing, nothing is going right...

...then I find myself looking for something...anything...to brighten up even the darkest night.

There is Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who posted on Facebook about the anti-trans legislation the GOP is promoting in his state.

They are wrong on the issue and wrong on the morality of it in my opinion. I’ll veto it.

--Dayton

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Minnesota man writes about his transgender child

Louis Porter has an Ed. D., has been a teacher for a long time, and is executive director of the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage.

He is also the parent of a transgender child. And he fears for his black transgender child's life.

Even when my child was an infant, I had a premonition that our precious baby girl was going to throw some curveballs our way. Something in this long-awaited baby’s spirit let me know that a wild ride was ahead for my wife and me.

So, several years ago when my then-middle school child came out as queer, I was caught off guard, but it was news I could handle. “Your daddy’s love comes with a lifetime guarantee,” I said, paraphrasing a song by Sade, a generation-bridging family favorite. Then, as a native of the South steeped in black-middle-class tradition, I said: “I wonder if they’ll still let you be a debutante.” We both immediately laughed that hearty, authentic family chuckle that eases tensions.

--Porter

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Minnesota Mother sues her employer for insurance coverage of her son

 photo tovar_zpsgn5elx4b.jpgBrittany Tovar works as a nurse practitioner for Essentia Health at Essentia's hospital in Ada, MN. As such, she and her family are supposedly insured under Essentia's medical insurance provider, HealthPartners.

At least that's what she thought until she sought medical care for her transgender son, Reid Tovar Olson.

I was really disappointed with my employer. It's hard coming to work, and my employer considers my son a second-class citizen.

So Tovar has filed suit in federal court.

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Teachable moment gone viral

 photo livhnilicka_zpsowj8weci.jpgLiv Hnilicka is a Minneapolis waitress. She shared a story on Facebook on Sunday that has gone viral.

This afternoon I was at my waitressing job on a beautiful early fall afternoon. Two parents and their young daughter came in; the tall burly dad adorably scratching his back on the door as they walked in. As I was filling the water station, he came up to me and said, "My daughter just asked if you were a boy or a girl. I didn't want to speak for you so would you like to talk to her?" I nervously said yes and walked to their table. "Hi, I like your hair ribbon," I said. "I heard you asked if I was a boy or girl. I think the important thing to remember is that everyone can be anything they want to be in this world. And it's also important to try to be the best selves we can be for our family and friends. And even to strangers. So to answer your question, I was told that I was a boy when I was little and now I live my adult life as a girl. It sounds complicated but it's actually pretty simple. Do you have any questions for me?" She looked at me smiling and simply said, "Nope!"

I walked away from the table feeling really good about parents intentionally engaging their children about possibly difficult topics. And showing that giving people the power to voice their truths in this complicated world is beautiful and healing.

Way to go, mom and dads out there making space for transfolks/gnc people like me. ❤

(Also I made this post public in case you want to share it with parents you may know.)

--Liv Hnilicka

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