Trans woman Tessa Ganserer set to ascend to the Bundestag

Tessa Ganserer
Tessa Ganserer / Facebook

Bündnis 90/Die Grünen candidate Tessa Ganserer, currently a member of the  Landtag of Bavaria (bicameral legislature) has a good shot at being the first transgender politician to win a seat in the Bundestag (Federal Legislature) and becoming the highest elected official in Germany.

Her potential success during the September election comes with one devastating caveat, her (maiden name) or deadname must appear on the Greens ballot.

Ganserer famously came out as a transgender woman in 2018, becoming the first transgender person in a German state or federal parliament. And Sterilization as a requirement for gender and name updates was ruled unconstitutional in 2011.

However, changing gender markers on official documents remains an invasive and bureaucratic time-consuming mess, something Tessa Ganserer refuses to submit to.

Ganserer herself considers the use of her maiden name to be discriminatory. The transsexual law, on which the regulation is based, is unconstitutional, a change or amendment has been delayed for ten years, she complained on Friday in an interview with the German press agency. According to the current law, she would have to undergo a lengthy and expensive appraisal process, which she finds degrading, in order to change her name and gender before the law. A corresponding lawsuit is pending at the Nuremberg Local Court. In her case, Ganserer considers such a procedure to be obsolete.

“That kind of hypocritical show of tolerance just stinks,” she tells Reuters, referring to the Conservative lawmakers she accuses of blocking pro-LGBT+ reforms in Berlin’s Bundestag while happily draping themselves in the rainbow flag outside it.

Ganserer, 44, hopes to be able to take her fight to the floor of the lower parliamentary house from September, when she will stand for the Greens party in a federal election.

In her crosshairs is the Transgender Act of 1981, parts of which, Germany’s top court has ruled on six occasions, are unconstitutional, but which the federal government’s ruling parties have been at odds over how to revamp.

The last parliamentary vote to reform it, in May, was rejected by 454 votes against and 118 in favour.

“So far, nothing has happened and that’s why I am running for the Bundestag, so that transgender people can finally raise a voice in the place where the legislative decisions on this degrading transsexual law are made,” Ganserer said.

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“Pray Away” exposes the lies of the conversion therapy movement

Trigger warning Netflix documentary “Pray Way” begins with an “ex-trans” evangelist corrupting shoppers as they leave a supermarket. It is a very disturbing start to the film “Pray Away”.

When American documentarian Kristine Stolakis set out to make her debut feature film, she knew she wanted to shine a light on the “ex-gay” movement, which consists of those that believe a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation can be changed.

But the idea — which was born out of the grief of losing her beloved uncle who had come out as transgender as a child and was a subsequent survivor of “conversion therapy” — did not begin to crystallize until she uncovered an unsettling truth about the enduring nature of the movement.

In the 1970s, five men struggling with being gay in their Evangelical church started a Bible study to help each other leave the “homosexual lifestyle.” They quickly received over 25,000 letters from people asking for help and formalized as Exodus International, the largest and most controversial conversion therapy organization in the world.

TERF “Detrans” a dangerous and deadly ideology

But leaders struggled with a secret: their own “same-sex attractions” never went away. After years as superstars in the religious right, many of these men and women have come out as LGBTQ, disavowing the very movement they helped start. Focusing on the dramatic journeys of former conversion therapy leaders, current members, and a survivor, PRAY AWAY chronicles the “ex gay” movement’s rise to power, its unscientific influence, and its legacy of profound harm.

From executive producers Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum, and director Kristine Stolakis, watch Pray Away on August 3, only on Netflix

The post “Pray Away” exposes the lies of the conversion therapy movement appeared first on Planet Trans.

Laurel Hubbard exits Olympics after failing three lifts

laura hubbard Olympics

Transgender woman, Laurel Hubbard’s three attempts at 264 lbs lift came up short leaving her no option but to leave the competition. She did however celebrate as the first transgender competitor in Olympic history by forming a heart with her hands as she left the arena.

Hubbard made a heart gesture to the audience with her hands before leaving the competition arena.

Even without completing a lift, she was a pioneer for transgender athletes.

While the New Zealander isn’t the only transgender athlete competing at the Tokyo Games, she has been out for years and has been the focus of attention as a medal contender in weightlifting.

“Of course, I’m not entirely unaware of the controversy which surrounds my participation in these Games,” Hubbard said after exiting the competition. “And, as such, I’d particularly like to thank the IOC, for, I think, really affirming their commitment to the principles of Olympism, and establishing that sport is something for all people. It is inclusive. It is accessible.”

The editorial staff is thrilled that Laurel made history and wishes her the best in her future endeavors. And on a personal note, I have never won a marathon and have learned through time that training and competing is everything.

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IOC admits transgender athlete policy outdated

TOKYO — International Olympic Committee officials admitted here at a roundtable with reporters that the guidelines governing the participation of transgender women in Olympic sports are outdated.

They also confirmed that the IOC will announce a new policy soon after the Tokyo Games.

The IOC made the admission as New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard prepared to become the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics. Hubbard, who lifts in the 87+kg division here on Monday, is allowed to compete alongside women under guidelines established in 2015 by the IOC and adopted by the International Weightlifting Federation.

But in recent years, many medical experts and policymakers have come to the conclusion that those rules were no longer fully supported by science. Experts who spoke with Yahoo Sports, some of whom have consulted with the IOC, identified two main shortcomings: That testosterone-related rules were too lenient, and that one set of guidelines should not apply to dozens of different sports.

The current guidelines require a transgender woman to undergo hormone therapy and suppress her testosterone “below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months prior to her first competition.” Two scientists who’ve consulted with the IOC said that, based on recent evidence, they believed the 10-nanomole-per-liter threshold to be too high. It was set “based on old data, and not on the most sophisticated ways of measuring testosterone,” said Myron Genel, a Yale endocrinologist who has studied the topic and consulted with the IOC for two decades.

Genel and Joanna Harper, a transgender runner-turned-scientist who is actively studying retained physical advantages in trans athletes, and who has also consulted with the IOC, both said they believed 5 nanomoles per liter to be a reasonable threshold.

Richard Budgett, the IOC’s medical and scientific director, acknowledged here at the roundtable that “agreeing on another number is almost impossible and possibly irrelevant. You can debate that endlessly.”

The other point several experts made was that a one-size-fits-all policy on trans inclusion fails to consider that the advantages retained by women who’ve gone through male puberty are far more impactful in some sports than others. “The difference between male and female performance varies from sport to sport,” Genel said. “Even within a sport, like in track and field, the male to female advantage may be anywhere from 5 to 12, 13%, depending upon the activity.”

The changes that occur in a trans woman’s body during hormone therapy also have more impact in some sports than in others. Harper gave an example: “We’ve found that hemoglobin levels in trans women, when they go on hormone therapy, will go from male to female levels of hemoglobin within four months. And hemoglobin’s the single most important physiological factor in endurance sports. On the other hand, it’s abundantly clear that trans women won’t lose all their strength advantages.” Research that Harper has reviewed suggests that those persisted after three years of therapy and beyond.

“How much is retained is still largely in doubt,” she says, “but certainly there is some advantage retained.”

The IOC currently allows each international sports federation to set its own rules, but many have simply adopted the IOC’s guidelines. IOC spokesman Christian Klaue said the IOC is now focused on “[providing] a framework” to help sport-specific federations develop their own regulations. Because, as he said, echoing the scientists: “It is different from sport to sport, and sometimes even from discipline to discipline, and sometimes even from event to event.”

Officials said that the IOC’s new approach will be announced later this year, but also stressed the need for more science. To date, most, if not all relevant studies on retained advantages in trans women have not specifically studied athletes, just trans women in general. “The research needs to be more contextualised,” said Katie Mascagni, the IOC’s head of public affairs. “What might be true for rowing and this specific discipline — where potentially testosterone or other aspects come into play in order to justify the reasons there is a disproportionate advantage — might be totally irrelevant in another context.”

Budgett also said that, in addition to balancing inclusion and fairness — which is how these policy decisions have been considered — the IOC would consider safety, especially in contact sports.

The new guidelines, he said, will be a “balance between safety, inclusion and fairness.”

Budgett, like many experts, also downplayed the idea that the inclusion of trans women is a broad threat to women’s sports.

“[Given] there’s been no openly transgender women at the top level, until now, I think the threat to women’s sports in general is probably overstated,” he said.

“And the other important thing to remember is transgender women are women. So you’ll include all women, if you possibly can.”

The post appeared first on Yahoo.

Quinn: The Canadian star quietly making history as the Olympics’ first transgender athlete

Getty Images

There has been much discussion in certain corners of social and traditional media about the presence of transgender athletes at the Olympics currently taking place in Tokyo.

And yet under the radar, the first out transgender athlete has already been helping their country bid for a medal over the past week. Soccer star Quinn has helped fire Canada into the quarter-finals of the women’s football tournament, where they will face Brazil on Friday.

The 25-year-old is a key part of this Canadian team, capable of playing in central defense or in a holding midfield role, and has 65 caps for their country – paltry in comparison to the 301 amassed by captain Christine Sinclair, but a sign of their importance nonetheless.

They were part of the Canadian side who won bronze in Rio 2016, as well as being in the squad for the 2019 World Cup.

The OL Reign player is also notable in that they are non-binary, and by virtue of the early start to the football competition – two days before the opening ceremony – became the first trans athlete to compete since Olympic rules were changed ahead of the 2004 games to allow people to take part in sports based on their gender identity, albeit with strict rules and caveats.

Thanks to the early start for the football competition, Quinn scooped history away from trans woman weightlifter Laurel Hubbard and non-binary skateboarder Alana Smith – but on social media after the game, they struck a more somber, balanced note.

Writing on Instagram after the 1-1 draw with hosts Japan in Canada’s first game, Quinn said: “First openly trans Olympian to compete. I don’t know how to feel.

“I feel proud seeing ‘Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation. I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world.

“I feel optimistic for change. Change in legislature. Changes in rules, structures, and mindsets. Mostly, I feel aware of the realities. Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight isn’t close to over, and I’ll celebrate when we’re all here.”

Quinn, who has also previously played for Washington Spirit as well as spells in France and Sweden, came out as transgender in September last year, dropping their previous name and asking to be known only by their old surname.

By coming out publicly with what was already known to their family and friends, Quinn was able to dispense with what they called “essentially two different lives”.

They told the BBC in November: “It’s really difficult when you don’t see people like yourself in the media or even around you or in your profession. I was operating in the space of being a professional footballer and I wasn’t seeing people like me.

“I really didn’t like feeling like I had a disconnect between different parts of my life, being a public figure, and so I wanted to live authentically.”

As arguably the most high profile transgender player in world football – male, female or non-binary – Quinn has not shied away from the attention which naturally comes, wearing a hoodie saying ‘Protect Trans Kids’ before a Reign game, and expressing their concern about trans-exclusionary policies from other sporting governing bodies before the Olympics.

“I think it is really concerning,” they said about World Rugby’s intended ban on trans women playing contact sport, or World Athletics’ strict rules on testosterone levels, which have seen several female athletes – including Caster Semenya – effectively banned from competing.

“I think that we need to focus on why we’re in sports in the first place and the celebration of the excellence of our bodies. I’m just another person doing the thing that I love to do and I get the privilege do that every day on the pitch.”

With Quinn patrolling the midfield, Canada have made solid if unspectacular progress to the football knock-outs, drawing with Japan and Great Britain either side of a narrow victory over Chile to seal second in their pool.

That is how Quinn plays, and how they like to be – unfussy, effective, notable only for the job done on the pitch rather than the noise off it.

A template, perhaps, for transgender footballers and athletes in future.

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Ghana is Facing an ANTI-LGBT bill

Accra Ghana –(PTG) The West African Nation of Ghana long known as a haven for the continent’s LGBTQI population is living in fear of a proposed law outlawing their right to live.

The draconian bill would make it a Crime, with sentences between 3 to 10 years for anyone convicted of being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender, or Ally. The “Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill” would also punish those who advocate on social media for LGBTQI rights or fails to report to the state those who they suspect of being LGBTQI.

It also promotes so-called conversion therapy by allowing flexible sentencing for an LGBT+ person if they request “treatment”, and could enable the government to force intersex children to undergo “gender realignment” surgery, Foreign reports.

Ghana already has a law, albeit seldom enforced, criminalizing same-sex relations so why do the homophobes need to further criminalize sexual minorities? The answer is universal as is our history in humanity. We have alsways been here and haters never stop hating.

The office of an LGBTQ+ advocacy and support group in the West African nation of Ghana was raided on March 2, 2021, by armed police, reports Out Magazine. The group, LGBT+ Rights Ghana, announced the police action with a video and posted it to their social media. The group later made the decision to indefinitely close the location due to concerns about safety in the deeply conservative nation which criminalizes same-sex sexual relations.

The center, which is in the capital city of Accra, was opened on January 31 but was immediately met with strong opposition from government officials and religious authorities, with threats of violence from local traditional leaders. Naomi Campbell, Idris Elba, and others have spoken out in support of the community.

“This morning, our office was raided by National Security,” LGBT+ Rights Ghana wrote in a Twitter post with video of the raid.

“A few days ago, traditional leaders threatened to burn down our office but the police did not help. At this moment, we no longer have access to our safe space and our safety is being threatened.”

Chibuihe Obi Achimba, a queer Nigerian wrote a cautionary tale ” The New Anti-Gay Bill Proposed in Ghana Will Destroy Lives. It happened to us in Nigeria..
“For the LGBTQ community in Ghana, the first half of 2021 has been nothing short of devastating. In less than six months, the community has come under intense and repeated attacks from politicians, the police, religious groups, and anti-gay organizations, including a heavily biased media committed to pillorying and misrepresenting an already marginalized group. There has been a slew of government-backed harassment unleashed against the community in a bid to restrict or completely prohibit queer rights advocacy in the West African country.”

“On May, 21 LGBTQ activists in Ghana were arrested and detained in Ho, the capital of Ghana’s Volta Region. They were human rights advocates and organizers who had convened for a paralegal training on best practices for documenting and responding to emerging human rights abuses targeted at sexual minorities. Instead, the activists were accused of promoting an LGBTQ agenda and charged with unlawful gathering. For nearly three weeks, police held and remanded them to court, their bail pleas repeatedly denied.”

Monika Kowalska author of “My Transgender Heroines” interviewed Veso Golden Oke, a Nigerian-born beauty queen and model on June 9, 2020.

Veso Golden, a professional make-up artist, Miss Ghana at Miss Trans Star International 2019, became the first transgender woman in 2019 to compete in the Miss Europe Continental Ghana, a beauty pageant for cisgender women.

Hello Veso!

Veso Golden: Hello Monika, thank you for this opportunity.

Monika: You were born in Nigeria. Could you say a word about your teenage years there?

Veso Golden: Yes, I was born in Nigeria and lived in Nigeria for 20 years of my life. It was hell every day because as a young Christian child I was made to believe that my life style was demonic and I needed deliverance. Society had no pity on me, I felt hate and isolation every single day. I was once arrested and put in jail with criminals just because I identified as a woman. I was lucky once when I almost got stoned in the streets after protesting against the 24 years imprisonment for LGBT people. I would have died if I had not found a way to escape.
That was when I realized I had to move out, and Ghana was the only country I could afford with money I had. Ghana is not safe because there’s no law protecting us, and the society still doesn’t accept us but the LGBT organization in Ghana found a little way to protect us so I felt a bit safer there.

Hiplife and Afropop artist Angel Maxine said she wrote “Wo Fie”, meaning “Your Home” in the Twi language, to comfort LGBT+ Ghanaians who were not only facing threats from authorities, but also a surge in verbal and physical attacks from the public.

“The situation for the queer community in Ghana is very tense at the moment,” Maxine, 35, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from the capital, Accra.

“As Ghana’s only transgender musician, I had to do something to help my community. The song is to tell them that they are not alone, and also to tell others that we are also humans and deserve to exist just like them.”

Angel Maxine – Wo Fie feat Wanlov the Kubolor & Sister Deborah with 9,881 views premiered on July 23, 2021.

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Jamie Lee Curtis reveals her 25-year-old child is transgender

Jamie Lee Curtis revealed that her younger child is transgender.

The “Freaky Friday” star told AARP Magazine that she and husband Christopher Guest “have watched in wonder and pride as our son became our daughter Ruby.”

Curtis also shared that Ruby — who was previously known as Thomas — and her fiancé are getting married next year in a wedding that the star will officiate.

Ruby, 25, works as a computer gaming editor while Curtis and Guest’s 34-year-old daughter, Annie, is married and works as a dance instructor.

The longtime Hollywood couple have no grandchildren “but I do hope to,” she told the magazine.

Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis is set to officiate her daughter Ruby’s wedding next year.

Ruby’s transition helped the “Knives Out” actress realize gender isn’t fixed, and she since has tossed out that “old idea,” instead learning that her life is a “constant metamorphosis.”

Curtis, 62, also opened up about being 22 years sober, saying she’d be “dead for sure” if she hadn’t kicked her addiction. She now describes herself as “just a sober person — flawed, contradictory, broken and redeemed” and focuses on shedding everything that no longer suits her life.

“Let’s get rid of that, I don’t need that,” she said. “It’s all about old ideas that don’t work anymore.”

Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest on the red carpet in 2016
Curtis says she and husband Christopher Guest, seen here in 2016, “have watched in wonder and pride as our son became our daughter Ruby.”

The “Halloween” star marked the milestone in February with an emotional Instagram post about her journey.

“With God’s grace and the support of MANY people who could relate to all the ‘feelings’ and a couple of sober angels…I’ve been able to stay sober, one day at a time, for 22 years,” she wrote.

“I was a high bottom, pun kind of intended, so the rare photo of me proudly drinking in a photo op is very useful to help me remember. To all those struggling and those who are on the path…MY HAND IN YOURS.”

The post appeared first on Page6.

Why are Trans people told Ontario requires SRS for IDs when it’s not?

ontario gender marker
Diana Bosco, who transitioned to female four years ago, is attempting to get an Ontario photo card — government-issued ID for those without a driver’s licence — with her ‘sex designation’ listed as ‘F.’ But she says she has only met with barriers. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

One Ontario transgender woman has learned through tumultuous trial and error that she didn’t need surgery for a gender marker update. Diana Bosco struggled to get what she was legally entitled to because wasn’t able to present an updated Birth Certificate because her country of birth won’t allow it.

On 11 April 2012, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ruled that gender confirmation surgery is no longer required for a change in registered gender on Ontario documents. In its decision, the Tribunal ordered that the Ontario government “shall cease requiring transgender persons to have ‘transsexual surgery’ (sic) in order to obtain a change in sex designation on their registration of birth” and has 180 days to “revise the criteria for changing sex designation on a birth registration”.

A provincial legal change of gender is not accessible to residents who were not born in Ontario. However, the Ontario Government affirms that a resident, regardless of birthplace, may amend the gender marker on their driver’s license and photo card.

However, the process of updating gender on IDs in Ontario Canada remains fraught with barriers enforced by misinformed provincial employees who rely on vague instructions.

Most provincial employees remain under the misconception that applicants must have SRS and a signed letter from a licensed doctor certifying that it was performed before they can issue a new ID.

The main resource for transgender people in Ontario, the Toronto non-profit LGBT 519 is overwhelmed and isn’t taking new applicants. Even when it was, it took months even years to complete the process.

The 519 is holding twice-daily online ID clinics to help you through the process. This statement can be found on their website.

“June 2021: Due to an overwhelming demand for services, the waitlist for the Virtual Trans ID Clinic is currently closed. We are doing our best to meet community needs, and apologize for the long wait. Our services will return as soon as we have the capacity to take new cases. Please check back in the coming months.”

Ever since Diana Bosco transitioned to female four years ago, she’s been attempting to get identification that accurately reflects her gender — a process she describes as invasive and stymied by systemic discrimination against transgender people.

She’s currently trying to get an Ontario photo card — government-issued ID for those without a driver’s license — with her “sex designation” listed as “F.”

But she said she has only met with barriers.

“It’s been an impossible struggle,” Bosco said. “It feels like all the old hate just lingers around in the system and everywhere. I don’t know what to do. I just want to live my life, but I’m struggling here.”

Earlier this month, Bosco and her social worker, Margie Boese, with LOFT Community Services went to a Service Ontario location in west Toronto so Bosco could apply for the card. She currently has only a health card, which means she can’t properly do her taxes or apply for assistance programs such as the Canada emergency response benefit, which was offered last year to help those affected by COVID-19.

Bosco said she was asked by Service Ontario staff if she’d had “bottom surgery” and told she’d need to provide a note from her surgeon and the contact information. Change from M to F or F to M:

To change the sex designation on your Ontario Photo Card from male (M) to female (F) or female (F) to male (M), go to a ServiceOntario centre near you and bring an original and valid document, that indicates male (M) or female (F) from the list below:

birth certificate

birth certificate with parental information, or certified copy of birth registration

If you do not have one of the above you will need to bring the following two documents:

a letter from a doctor licensed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario or a psychologist (or psychological associate) licensed by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. The letter must:

be on the doctor’s letterhead

state that the doctor has examined or treated you and the change in the sex designation on your Ontario Photo Card is appropriate

be signed by the doctor

a letter from you that includes:

the change you want to make

your full name

your current address

your Ontario Photo Card number

the name and address of the doctor or psychologist (or, psychological associate), who has signed the letter (described above) in support of the change

Surgery is not required as a condition for sex designation changes. However, if you have had surgery, you can present documentation from a recognized specialist (such as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health or other comparable institutions) instead of a letter from a doctor, psychologist or psychological associate.

“It is absurd to me,” Bosco said. “My medical information is between me and my doctor only. It was really humiliating to have to defend myself, my gender, to some random person.”

Besides, she said, whether she’s had genital reconstruction or breast surgery is irrelevant to her identifying as female.

“I know who I am. I don’t need to prove it to you,” she said.

The post Why are Trans people told Ontario requires SRS for IDs when it’s not? appeared first on Planet Trans.

Idaho College Communications director raises ire with LGBT contempt

Fundamentalist Baptist Pastor Logan Fowler, communication director at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho has staff and students concerned that his one-dimensional fire and brimstone biblical interpretation of the bible will adversely affect enrollment and the school in general.

About 36 people held a peaceful pride event on the sidewalk of an Episcopal Church across the street from the “Truth Baptist Church’. / Image Lewiston Tribune.

Lewiston Idaho (PTG) – Baptist Pastor Logan Fowler has raised eyebrows by preaching in videos that LGBT pride suggests the acceptance of pedophilia and that the idea of “coming for your children” is a central belief of the gay “agenda.” He also criticizes transgender athletes and calls gay and lesbian people “vile,” and claims that “our world hates God, hates Christians and hates the Bible.”

The demonization of LGBT people by a Baptist fundamentalist isn’t noteworthy in the least. However, Logan Fowler is also the director of marketing and communications at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, a publicly funded institution.

As first reported by Inside Higher Ed, some students and faculty members are questioning how Fowler can perform in both of his roles

At a recent open meeting, President Cynthia Pemberton defended his ability to do his job. Pemberton said the college “respects the First Amendment rights of its employees to express their personal beliefs. However, LC State itself supports and values the rights and dignity of all persons.”

Fowler did not attend the open meeting but gave a statement to reporters. “I have an impeccable 15-year track record that verifies my ability to be respectful in the workplace,” he said. “I have held and practiced my faith for all 15 of these years.”

According to the Lewiston Tribune, about 25 people gathered at the Episcopal Church on 8th street Sunday morning to wave LGBT flags and wave at passing cars that honked in support.

A comment made by the “Truth Baptist Church” on the Facebook page said that “Despite the threats, hate, and intolerance,” displayed on the sidewalk at the Episcopal Church which is incidentally across the street from Fowler’s Baptist Church, “we had a wonderful day in God’s house”.

The original intent of the First Amendment was to keep zealots like Fowler from permeating and perverting the newly founded federation with religious demagoguery, the very reason the colonists fled England in the first place.

Madison’s original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.

The final version of the First Amendment contains vague language that can be interpreted differently depending on the jurists’ intent.

It is clear that Logan Fowler personally holds the LGBT community in contempt. If he should display that while in his official capacity at the Lewis-Clark State College he should be held accountable just as John M. Kluge, a former music and orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School was.

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Four parents of transgender boys on the challenges and joys of raising their sons in a world that can be hostile

Daniel Trujillo with his parents Lizette and José at their home on May 24 in Tucson, Arizona.

(CNN)For over half an hour on a March afternoon, Arkansas legislators, activists and pediatricians outlined reasons why they considered gender-affirming health care dangerous, arguing in support of a bill that would ban transgender minors from accessing that care.

Brandi Evans had two minutes to testify against it.
The mother from Bauxite had listened as proponents of the bill claimed transgender teens like her son are too young to receive hormone therapies, which ​can help trans boys develop sex characteristics that may reduce their gender dysphoria. At one point, the representative who introduced the bill likened gender confirmation surgery, a treatment that is not part of the standard care for transgender minors, to genital mutilation.
When it was her turn to appear before the House committee, Evans spoke quickly but stoically, hardly pausing between sentences to make sure she got out every word. She opened with a statement meant to startle.
“If this bill is passed, it could kill my son,” she said.
In a few words, she told legislators how her 14-year-old son Andrew had lived with severe depression before he started testosterone treatments. She kept next to her a stack of articles printed from academic journals that she said proved how harmful it can be to deny trans youth gender-affirming care. She didn’t once look up at the lawmakers in front of her until she pleaded with them to vote against the bill, for the sake of her son and other trans kids in Arkansas.
“He is now able to live a happy and normal life as his authentic self,” she told lawmakers. “You will be taking that away from him, and it will cause him his imminent death.”
In this April file photo, Andrew Bostad, center, talks with his mother, Brandi Evans, and stepdad, Jimmy Evans, at their home in Bauxite, Arkansas.

Evans had anticipated that the bill would pass. She quickly scheduled a mastectomy for her son. She located a doctor in Louisiana where Andrew could continue his testosterone treatments and an out-of-state pharmacy that could fill his prescriptions. She started raising money with other parents of trans kids to bus them to Louisiana if they couldn’t get the care they needed in their home state.
The bill, which became law in April, was blocked by a federal judge this week — a “huge relief,” Evans told CNN, if a temporary one. She’s not letting her guard down just yet, though.
“While it would be another out-of-pocket cost, I’d rather pay through the nose,” she said of her child’s health care costs if the bill had remained in effect. “That [price] pales in comparison to these children’s lives.”
CNN spoke to Evans and three other parents of transgender kids and teens whose lives revolve around advocating for their children in a year when more than 30 states have introduced legislation that targets trans young people.
Much of this legislation aims to block trans youths’ access to school sports, restrooms and health care that ​the American Medical Association has called “medically necessary,” be it through hormone therapy or medication that temporarily blocks puberty.
Activism is an organic extension of being parents who would do anything for their child — kids who love “Minecraft” or gymnastics or bad jokes, not keeping track of the 2021 legislative session.
It’s exhausting, incessant, heartbreaking work to defend your child’s right to compete in their favorite sport at school or to get hormone therapy that makes them feel more like themselves, the parents said — but it’s essential to keep going. They’ll fight for their children as long as it takes for all trans people to feel safe and affirmed.

How they became their child’s loudest advocate

All four parents said their activism just kind of happened. They wanted to protect their kids, they found groups of likeminded people and spoke out against anti-trans policies. The fact that they were often elevated by national organizations for their advocacy work wasn’t as important as doing the work itself.
State legislatures’ recent focus on the rights of transgender children — involving debates over whether some are too young for gender-affirming health care or whether it’s “unfair” to cisgender students to compete against trans athletes — gave their activism a new urgency, the parents said.
Evans said she was “thrust onto this national stage” when she testified against the Arkansas bill (called the “Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act”). In the whirlwind few months since her March testimony, she’s been approached by the American Civil Liberties Union and national news outlets that heard her speak.
“I was happy just working in the background — then this happened,” she told CNN with an incredulous laugh. “I’ve always been an ally, but I never thought of myself as an activist.”
Before her son came out, Lizette Trujillo was “doing all the right things”: She was the first person in her family to attend college. She’d married, had a child and ran a small business. Her life in Tucson, Arizona, was her little slice of the “American dream,” she said.
Her son, Danny, told her he was trans around the same time her husband was waiting to receive his citizenship, Trujillo said. It was a stressful time that made her realize how vulnerable her son was to discrimination. After joining a group of fellow parents of trans kids, she grew more outspoken against policies that target trans people, she said.
“It felt really frustrating to be in a space where, you know, from an intersectional lens [with both trans and Latino identities], you’re always behind” in terms of personal success and societal acceptance, she said. “To know that the system doesn’t work in your favor … it angered me.”
Anger has played a role in all four parents’ efforts to speak out against transphobia. Stephen Chukumba of New Jersey told CNN he’d never considered what it meant to be trans until his son, one of his four children, came out as trans. He quickly caught up on the proper vocabulary and history and learned the myriad ways in which trans Americans have been excluded from society.
“I found myself really incensed by it,” he said of transphobia. “I just can’t sit idly by.”
Amber Briggle would agree. It was rage that spurred the owner of a massage business to alert local media in 2016 to a Facebook post by a candidate for sheriff in Denton County, Texas, in which he endorsed physical violence against transgender people. The same year, she invited the state attorney general who criticized trans-inclusive policies to her house for dinner with her husband, daughter, and her son, Max, who is trans.
She may not have changed the attorney general’s mind that night, she said, but her dinner did get the attention of the Human Rights Campaign, with whom she helped create the Parents for Transgender Equality National Council. She did a TEDx Talk, too, about supporting her son’s transition and started a blog about what it meant to be his mother in a state with hostile policies toward trans people.
Writing was a release between her visits to the Texas Capitol and regular attendance at protests (especially this year, when the Texas legislature introduced a slew of anti-trans bills) and a way for readers to get to know a trans child — “it’s hard to hate up close,” she said.
“I think activism is equal parts anger and love,” she said. “I just operate from there. You just keep moving. We have no choice.”

Their children are more than their gender identity

When asked about their children, all four parents are effusive and proud, gushing about their sons’ stellar grades and athletic prowess. Their children are resilient and mature beyond their years — but beyond the tough front they put on to face the world, they’re just kids, the parents emphasized.
Trujillo’s only child, Danny, is a “super happy” kid about to turn 14. He drums, he skateboards and he commands a basketball court. It’s been thrilling, she said, to watch him develop his music taste (he just discovered Nirvana) and personal style — the small but significant pieces that will make him more of who he is.
Chukumba says that of his four kids, his trans child — whom CNN agreed not to name to protect his privacy — is the one who never needs to be told twice to take out the trash or leave the recycling bin at the curb. His son has taught himself the flute, bass, ukulele and piano, Chukumba said. He’s a jokester, too: The high school freshman will walk into a room, drop a “dad joke” and wait for the groans to roll in, something he gets from his dad.
Stephen Chukumba and his four children.

“He is a kind soul — he’s a person who goes out of his way to help other people,” Chukumba said. “When it comes to this particular dude, yeah, I’m riding with this dude ’till the wheels fall off.”
Briggle’s son Max is an accomplished athlete — he’s a gymnast and a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo who defies gravity on the regular (he can do “a zillion back flips in a row,” she said). He loves his sister so much that he volunteered to continue remote learning to keep her company even after his school reopened because she has a history of respiratory issues, Briggle said. He’s sensitive, friendly, considerate — a “model child,” Briggle said.
The fact that Max is trans is part of him, but not all of him, his mother said.
Amber Briggle and her son, Max, share a laugh.

“[Max] would rather be famous for a million different things than this,” Briggle said. “I want people to see him as this incredible musician slash athlete slash cat lover slash straight-A student.”
Evans said she, too, wants her son to be recognized for all the things that make him who he is, not just being trans.
“While my child is trans, and he’s put in a box of being a trans person, he’s so much more than that label,” she said. ‘He’s just your average teenage kid trying to navigate adolescence, school, friends — he’s just an ordinary child.”

How they supported their child before and after they came out

All four parents unequivocally support their children, though some said they could have been better allies in the beginning of their sons’ transition.
“I would say I failed at first, although my kid laughs when I say that,” Trujillo said.
From the time her son was 2, he showed her in different ways that he was a boy, Trujillo said. He’d draw himself as a boy and leave LEGO figures of boys around the house to hint at the way he saw himself, he told her. When she finally overheard Danny’s friends use “him” in reference to her son, “all the puzzle pieces fell into place,” she said.
Danny was 8 when he socially transitioned, and Trujillo immediately affirmed him. Before he formally came out, she said she didn’t see him as trans because she worried that she’d say the wrong thing or damage Danny in some way. But once he transitioned, she realized he knew himself better than she did.
Briggle said she’d do “a million things differently” now than she did when her son came out. For one thing, she said, he’d been “expressing that he was a boy” since he was 2-and-a-half, but she didn’t understand what he was trying to tell her.
Max is 13 now, and there are more resources for trans children and their parents than there were when he came out in first grade. Briggle said at the time, she thought she and her husband “were the only people in the entire world with a transgender child.”
Briggle initially told her family’s story through her lens in her TEDx Talk and on her blog. She’s stopped writing as much from her perspective, instead focusing primarily on Max and his achievements, but she still maintains a level of control so she can protect him. She’ll gladly take the brunt of the online cruelty, she said, while she shows the world how amazing her son is.

The challenges and joys of being a trans person of color

Trujillo said her son’s existence sits at multiple intersections. He’s the trans Latino son of an immigrant — Trujillo’s husband moved to the US from Mexico as a boy — qualities that she fears will expose him to hatred.
While Trujillo said she tries to shield Danny from the hate so he can focus on school, friends and other 14-year-old stuff, he’s old enough to read up on the offensive things people say about kids like him. He’s old enough to advocate for himself, too, but when she can, she shoulders that burden for him, she said. The weight of it is nearly crushing.
“It’s exhausting, I can tell you,” she said. “I’m tired.”
At the same time, though, Trujillo and her family take pride in their identities.
“When you’re talking about marginalized identities, there’s honestly a lot of joy and pride at existing, as well,” Trujillo said. “For as tiresome as it is, when people talk about trans youth being resilient, that’s something I emphasize highly … I see my son and I realize that he’s resilient, as well.”
Chukumba said that, aside from being trans, being Black puts a “target on [his son’s] back.” He tries to teach all four of his kids how to live in a world where they may be seen as less than.
“The danger is ever-present,” he said. “How to navigate that, I think, becomes a part of how I’m raising my children.”
He does some work to undo those biases and dangers among parents, too: He joined the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council (the group Briggle helped launch) to reach Black parents who’ve struggled to support their trans children, he said.
“I want to let [Black trans young people] know they’re not alone, there are people out here who understand those struggles, who support them,” he said.

How they balance the pain with the positives

Between the rage and exhaustion of advocating for their trans children, the parents said there is still joy and hope to be found.
Trujillo said the vigor she sees in today’s trans youth “refuels” her. They’re “incredibly brave people, true to themselves,” she said, whose sense of who they are is stronger than hers was when she was Danny’s age.
It’s easy to break down and become overwhelmed by the stress of protecting her family, Trujillo said, so she works hard to hold onto the happiness when it comes.
Evans keeps one eye on the future — she said several times she’ll battle the Arkansas law all the way to the US Supreme Court if she has to — and another on her son’s day-to-day wellbeing. She’ll ask him daily how he’s feeling and whether he needs more support than she can give him as his mother.
“It’s just one of those things that I have to keep in the backburner of my mind, that I have to check on him regularly to make sure he’s OK,” she said. “I won’t lose my child to this. I refuse.”
Constantly defending her child before legislators requires Briggle to “compartmentalize” her pain, she said. It would hurt too much to think about the legislators who want to pass a bill that would qualify her consenting to gender-affirming care for Max as child abuse. So it doesn’t interfere with her protests or trips to the Texas Capitol or daily life as a mom, wife and business owner, she keeps it locked away.
“I have not unpacked how traumatized we all are,” she said of her family’s experience.
Briggle and Evans said they had considered moving out of their states for the sake of their children even before the passage of recent anti-trans bills. But for now, they’re staying put, they said.
Evans said she doesn’t have the means to relocate her family. Besides, if her voice and the voices of other trans advocates disappear from Arkansas, she fears no one will take up the mantle.
“Even if we did have the means to do that, I don’t think I would,” she said. “Because if we all pick up and leave, if we all just left the state of Arkansas, [politicians] will do what they want without a fight. What marginalized community are they going to come after next?”
Briggle said she’d do anything to protect Max, including moving. But it’s almost not worth the hassle, she said, because no matter where her family heads, she fears anti-trans sentiment will follow. Bills that limit the rights of young trans people have been introduced in more than 30 states this year alone, a number Briggle fears will only increase over time.

They work toward a safer future for their kids

Though it’s often exhausting work to protect her child from anti-trans hate, it’s been worth it, Trujillo said. Her son is happy, healthy and thriving.
“The thing that I’m most proud of — my son has been able to feel it very minimally,” she said. “He’s still able to be a kid, to be himself and enjoy the summer.”
More than anything, Chukumba wants his son to love himself and to look and feel the way he wants to. The teen just started testosterone hormone therapy, Chukumba said, which he sees as a substantial step toward his self-actualization.
“I want him to be the person he sees himself in his head, and I want him to be happy,” he said. “That’s all any parent would want for their kid.”
Evans is relieved that the Arkansas law is temporarily blocked. There’s still a long way to go, she said, “but this gives [her] hope.”
“I’ll fight this ’til the end, until the state is taken down in court, whatever level of court they have to go through,” she told CNN in a June interview before the bill was blocked. “It needs to be done and seen through. If we all just pick up and leave, then they won. And I will not let a bully win.”
The four parents who spoke to CNN are some of the public faces of the movement against anti-trans legislation, but they emphasized that any parent of a trans child is an activist in their own right.
Parents advocate on behalf of their trans child when they approach their school principal on how to make their child’s classroom welcoming. They defend their child to fellow parents who have questions and to doctors who can provide their children gender-affirming health care. They teach their children that this world is theirs, too, and they’re trying to make it better for them.
“We are all — all of us — doing this work,” Briggle said. “I don’t know a single parent of a trans child who would not walk through hell and back” for their child.

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