Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

WTF? The Streets Aren’t Any Safer

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

I have been sitting with two pieces of news from the past week, and am still unable to express anything past open hands.

Political progress is happening for transgender people. Here, students are protected in their bathroom use; their, trans people are included in hate crime laws. And yet… change is too slow in the world, on the streets, outside the bars, in the backyards where real life is lived.

CeCe McDonald, a black trans woman, is in a men’s jail, after killing one of the white men who attacked her and some friends, on the street, while out to buy groceries. It’s clearly a case of self-defense. The racism and anti-trans feeling in this case are breathtaking. See the Trans Women’s Anti-Violence project for an article. A men’s jail is a terrifying prospect for any trans person.

Meanwhile, I heard this (un)surprising new statistic; in 2011, the highest percentage of LGBT violence was against trans women of color (here’s a link). My first response was – this is news? Hasn’t anybody been going to or reading about the Transgender Day of Remembrance events? Really?

I wish I could’ve been surprised by this statistic. Or not. I’d like to be surprised by a study showing the incidence of violence against trans people (and all LGBT people) to be on the wane.

Like many other men of transgender experience, I have a sense of helplessness. Who am I even to mention this news? My rage and sadness don’t matter to the women out there. I do what I can, but I am not in my sisters’ shoes.

There is just no adequate response. So… be aware, everyone. We are all just people looking for love, and groceries.

CA Governor Signs Important Transgender Protections into Law

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Here are two new laws which will make a difference in people’s lives! The first clearly adds gender and identity to our nondiscrimination laws; vital to the employment and housing concerns of trans people (among other issues). The second simplifies and clarifies who is qualified to change gender in CA, eliminating some confusion with federal requirements. Good stuff!

From the Transgender Law Center:
“With the help of your input and our partners at Equality California and GSA Network, we came up with two legislative solutions to these problems.

The Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) takes existing protections based on gender and spells out “gender identity and expression” as their own protected categories in our nondiscrimination laws. By making these protections explicit, people will more clearly understand California’s nondiscrimination laws, which should increase the likelihood that employers, schools, housing authorities, and other institutions will work to prevent discrimination and/or respond more quickly at the first indications of discrimination.

The Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433) will alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when we have identity documents that do not reflect who we are. The bill will streamline current law and clarify that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit gender change petitions in the State of California. The Vital Statistics Modernization Act conforms California’s standards to the standards set by the United States Department of State for gender changes on passports, and it makes common-sense changes to the law that ensure the process is simple for qualified petitioners to navigate.”

Congrats to everyone who did the work!

October is LGBT History Month

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

This history site is pretty cool; every day there’s a new ‘icon’ (historical figure). It’s fun exploring the names; nice to see Mara Keisling right up there! She rocks. I took a workshop or two from her at a trans leadership conference a couple of years ago, and see her in the media regularly.

Pass ENDA Now

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I signed this on behalf of my local group, hosted at the Billy deFrank LGBT Center, the South Bay Transmen.

LGBT and ALLIED Groups call on congress to pass ENDA now

More than 200 Organizations Demand Immediate Action

WASHINGTON, April 21 — Today, the nation’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations, along with allies in the faith, labor and civil rights communities, issued the following statement to members of the United States Congress:

“Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act NOW.”

Equality Federation, Toni Broaddus, Executive Director

Family Equality Council, Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director

Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Lee Swislow, Executive Director

Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, President

National Black Justice Coalition, Sharon J. Lettman, Executive Director/CEO

National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kate Kendell, Esq., Executive Director

National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, Executive Director

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, Rea Carey, Executive Director

National Stonewall Democrats, Michael Mitchell, Executive Director

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays National, Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director

Pride at Work, AFL-CIO, Peggy Shorey, Executive Director

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Selisse Berry, Founding Executive Director

Transgender Law Center, Masen Davis, Executive Director

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Terry Stone, Executive Director

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Shawn Gaylord, Director of Public Policy

A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), Clayola Brown, President

Advocates for Youth, James Wagoner, President

African American Ministers in Action, Rev. Timothy McDonald, Chairman