First transgender to lead local government in Jhenaidah

Nazrul Islam Ritu was elected on Sunday with more than 9,000 votes. She is appreciated by the local community, especially for her philanthropic activities. Bangladesh has one and a half million transgenders. Since 2019 the transgender category is included in the electoral lists.

Jhenaidah (AsiaNews) – For the first time in the history of Bangladesh, a transgender person will hold office in local government.

On Sunday, independent candidate Nazrul Islam Ritu won the election for chairman of the Trilochonpur union council (union parishad[*]) with 9,557 votes. Nazrul Islam Sana, the candidate backed by the Awami League, received 4,529 votes.

“People in my area elected me as their leader with love and trust, I am grateful to them,” Ritu said after her victory.

“I won the election as a transgender person; now I will do my utmost for the good of the community,” she added.

In 2019 the Election Commission added a transgender category to its voter list. About 1.5 million people in Bangladesh are transgender.

In addition to suffering discrimination, they are often expelled from home, and are not allowed in schools and universities.

The third of seven children, Ritu was raised in the transgender community in Dhaka, but she maintained a positive relationship with her family. The 43-year-old eventually went back to her original community 15 years ago.

“I faced many obstacles because of my adversaries, but for the rest of my life I want to work for my Union Parishad,” said the new council chairwoman.

“I want Trilochonpur to become a model. I am pained when I see that someone is not being treated well or cannot organise their daughter’s wedding due to lack of money. I want to help people without hope.”

Ritu became popular thanks to her philanthropic activities. She has helped to get mosques built and made donations to local Hindu temples.

“We noticed her dedication and her desire to work for the people,” a supporter said.

The post  appeared first on AsiaNews

Individuals remembered during Transgender Awareness Week

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Staffing shortages are impacting many businesses across the east right now, and law enforcement agencies are no exception.

Kinston’s interim police chief Jenee Spencer said they’ve lost 16 officers in the past year and are now down 13 officers. She said a lot of them are leaving for more competitive salaries in other locations.

“We’re just looking to be in the ballpark of agencies like Ayden, Mount Olive, New Bern, little Washington and Pink Hill,” Spencer said.

This is why she made a proposal to the Kinston City Council Tuesday night to increase starting salaries from $32,869 to $37,799. This is in exchange for freezing six positions in the department.

“We understand the city of Kinston doesn’t want to do tax increases or touch our general fund so we made a proposal where we are willing to adjust our police department budget,” Spencer added.

She said officers are working overtime to fill the vacant positions to keep the community safe.

“We have a patrol division which are the typical officers you see responding to 911 calls and calls for service, and we’ve had to pull officers who are not only off work or should be on vacation,” said Spencer. “We’ve had officers willing to step up and work overtime and willing to move from one position to another to still provide the same police services to our community.”

Tonight’s presentation by Spencer was only a proposal for the council to now consider. Kinston City Council will have to place it on the agenda and take a vote on the matter.

This post first appeared first on WNCT 9 News.

PFLAG Manistee to share transgender man’s story

MANISTEE — PFLAG Manistee’s October meeting was scheduled to have a recording of member Eden Akins sharing his experiences from his 10 weeks of basic training in the Michigan National Guard. Due to technical difficulties, the recording was not accessible, so Akins will be sharing his story directly at the November meeting.

The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

 Akins is an 18-year-old transgender man. Although he presents himself and identifies as male, he signed up at the age of 17 and entered the National Guard as his birth gender of female. Having graduated from basic training in August, he now fulfills his commitment by spending one weekend a month training with the National Guard. Eden is also enrolled at West Shore Community College where he is studying for his Bachelor of Arts.

“Akins has many enlightening stories to share about his experiences as a transgender man in the National Guard. Some of these experiences are positive and others are negative and hurtful,” reads a news release. “Akins’ experiences living and working in the area may open minds to a much wider view of the diversity in the community and to an appreciation of the challenges and the triumphs of one young person who lives his life with courage and pride.”

Anyone who would like to attend the meeting and hear Akins’ story should register online at

This post first appeared on Manistee News.

Kindergarten Students in Connecticut Learn about Being Transgender in Line with ‘Social Justice Standards’

Elementary school students in West Hartford, Conn. public schools are being forced to undergo “social emotional learning through an equity lens” as district officials have reportedly told parents they may not opt-out of the curriculum, which aims to teach students a set of “social justice standards.”

Parents from the district contacted the non-profit Parents Defending Education to share concerns over materials being used to teach elementary students about group identities, including transgender content being taught to kindergarten students.

One parent raised a red flag about When Aidan Became a Brother, a book being taught to fourth grade students that the parent described as “full on gender theory” which is teaching students that the sex you’re assigned at birth is “wrong.”

“When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl’s room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing,” the description of the book reads. “After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of his life that didn’t fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life.”

When Aidan’s parents announce they’re having a second child, Aidan “wants to do everything he can to make things right for his new sibling from the beginning” including choosing the best name and picking out the right decor and clothes. The book asks what “making things right” actually means.

Another fourth-grade mentor text is a book about pronouns called They She HE Me; Free to Be!

The lessons are supposed to teach students in kindergarten through fifth grade about social justice standards including identity, diversity, justice and action.

The “identity” standard includes texts that teach students about transgender people and the use of preferred pronouns, including the inclusive singular “they.”

A mentor text for kindergarten students is Introducing Teddy which tells the story about a character and his teddy, Thomas. Thomas says, “I’ve always known that I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly, not Thomas.” Another text for the kindergarten age group is Let’s Talk About Race.

Meanwhile, a first grade texts include Jacob’s New Dress, a story about a boy who wants to wear a dress to school and Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?, a book about a character who “prefers not to tell other children whether they are a boy or a girl.”

Third grade students read a similar book called 10,000 dresses about a boy named Bailey who dreams of magical dresses but people in his life tell him he should not be thinking about dresses because he is a boy but later he begins making dresses with a new friend.

Fifth graders also read several books on gender identity including I am Jazz about a character who “knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body,” and It Feels Good to be Yourself which says, “Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither or somewhere in between.”

In an email to parents, the district’s director of equity advancement, Dr. Roszena Haskins, explains that the schools have “redoubled district-wide efforts to attend to the social and emotional needs of children and adults.”

It explains that the aforementioned “social justice standards” come from the framework o the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Haskins writes that “CASEL acknowledges that ‘While SEL alone will not solve longstanding and deep-seated inequities in the education system, it can help schools to promote understanding, examine biases, reflect on and address the impact of racism…close opportunity gaps and create a more inclusive school community.’”

“Essentially, SEL provides students with understandings and skills that they need to increase their social consciousness and act in ways that foster respect, empathy, fairness, and universal humanity,” Haskins writes. “SEL instruction sits at the cross-section of prosocial education that fosters safe, positive, inclusive, equitable and supportive learning environments.”

“WHPS teaches SEL through an equity lens, adapted from the Learning for Justice social justice and anti-bias framework,” the email adds.

This post first appeared on Yahoo News.

Students Stage Walkout in Support of Targeted Trans Classmate

Students at a high school in Berlin, Wis. rallied around a trans classmate earlier this month after he was allegedly made by a group of students to pull his pants down and lift his shirt. In response to authorities saying they found no evidence of an assault, students at the school organized a walkout.

The student, Lucas, said he had been sexually assaulted several times in the bathroom but feared coming forward. On November 3, a group of students surrounded him while he was in a bathroom stall and recorded a video of him through a hole in the door.

“I went back to my classroom crying and asked my teacher to see the counselor,” Lucas told local station WLWK. “I was uncomfortable, scared. I didn’t really want to walk around the hallways after that. I tried to ignore it, but it was hard. I finally spoke up to my friends about it, and now everybody knows about it.”

Lucas told the outlet he reported the incident to the school and filed a police report.

The police, in a statement to the media, said, “After multiple interviews and examining the associated evidence of the alleged assault, our investigation discovered no physical assault or attack against the alleged victim took place.”

Authorities have asked anyone with information about the video to come forward.

High school students then staged a walkout in protest of the police response.

“We sat there for a while and we were trying to get our questions answered, and we were kind of getting blown off and they were trying to get us inside, but we wanted this to be public, we wanted people to see us, hear us,” Berlin High School senior Amber Olmstead, the organizer of the walkout told local TV station WBAY.

“We want students to feel safe at a school because we’re expected to be there. So we should be expected to be safe,” Olmstead told WLWK. “At the end of the day, they are the adults. We are children. I understand they can’t control these students. They’re their own person at the end of the day. But they need to at least try and prevent them from being able to do all of this.”

Another student, junior Autumn Peterson, added, “There’s been a big past of assault and homophobia in our school, and it just needs to come to an end.”

A video showing the walkout has more than 700,000 views on TikTok. In the video, students can be heard yelling “Trans lives matter!”

The Berlin Area School District said in a statement to WLWK that it was “aware of a student walkout in response to allegations of a student assault at the high school.

“The Berlin Area School District is committed to the success of all students in a safe learning environment and we take such allegations seriously. The school district is cooperating with local law enforcement who are investigating this situation. The district is also conducting its own investigation.”

This post appeared first on Advocate.

International Olympic Committee issues new guidelines on transgender athletes

The International Olympic Committee announced a new framework for transgender and intersex athletes Tuesday, dropping controversial policies that required competing athletes to undergo “medically unnecessary” procedures or treatment.

In a six-page document, the IOC outlined 10 principles, which it described as “grounded on the respect for internationally recognised human rights,” that sports competitions should follow. It also said it will no longer require athletes to undergo hormone level modifications to compete.

“This Framework recognises both the need to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their gender identity or sex variations, can practise sport in a safe, harassment-free environment that recognises and respects their needs and identities,” the committee said.

The new framework is not legally binding and was developed following an “extensive consultation” with athletes, other sports organizations and experts in the fields of human rights, law and medicine, the IOC said. It comes just three months after the Tokyo Olympics, which saw the first transgender and intersex athletes compete in the Games’ history.

Tuesday’s framework replaces guidelines the IOC released in 2015, which put a limit on athletes’ testosterone levels that required some of them to undergo treatments the IOC now describes as “medically unnecessary.” Before 2015, the IOC required athletes to undergo genital surgery.

Chris Mosier was the first out trans athlete to compete on a U.S. national team, in the 2016 world championship for the sprint duathlon, and has challenged some of the previous guidelines. Mosier applauded the release of the new framework, writing on Twitter that it “takes the next step in centering human rights as the foundation of sport.”

“The new IOC Framework makes clear that no athlete has an inherent advantage & moves away from eligibility criteria focused on testosterone levels, a practice that caused harmful & abusive practices such as invasive physical examinations & sex testing,” he wrote.

Canadian soccer gold medalist Quinn, who in July became the first openly transgender athlete to participate in the Olympics, also chimed in, calling the new framework “groundbreaking.”

“Far too often, sport policy does not reflect the lived experience of marginalized athletes, and that’s especially true when it comes to transgender athletes and athletes with sex variations,” Quinn said in a statement. “This new IOC framework is groundbreaking in the way that it reflects what we know to be true — that athletes like me and my peers participate in sports without any inherent advantage, and that our humanity deserves to be respected.”

LGBTQ advocates welcomed the IOC’s new guidelines but stressed that following the implementation process is necessary.

“As with any set of guidelines, the success of this new framework in ensuring a safe and welcoming environment within the Olympic movement will largely depend on the education and implementation process with national governing bodies, international federations, and other key stakeholders,” Anne Lieberman, the director of policy and programs at LGBTQ advocacy group Athlete Ally, said in a statement.

Some advocates argued that while the IOC’s new framework is intended for elite athletes, it bolsters their case in their fight against state bills in the United States that restrict transgender students’ participation in school sports.

“On the heels of the most anti-LGBTQ legislative session in history with the majority of bills targeting trans youth in sports, every state and lawmaker should listen to the experts from the world of sports, medicine, and athletes themselves to allow transgender youth the same opportunities to play with their friends, have fun, learn, grow, and benefit from the lasting life lessons and supportive community sports can provide,” Alex Schmider, the associate director of transgender representation at LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, said in a statement.

Ten U.S. states have enacted laws restricting trans students’ participation in school sports, according to the Movement Advancement Project, a nonprofit think tank. An additional 21 states have considered similar bills in 2021, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

This post appeared first on NBC News.

Star Trek: Prodigy introduces kids to a new frontier of inclusion with non-binary lead character

The animated Star Trek kids’ series premiered on Paramount+ last week with a star-studded voice cast including Ella Purnell, Brett Gray, Rylee Alazraqui, Angus Imrie and Jason Mantzoukas.

The show is already winning praise for its thoughtful messaging, which teaches children the importance of acceptance, individuality and looking beyond appearances.

This careful inclusivity is established from the first episode when a simple pronoun correction is defly handled by Gwyn, voiced by Ella Purnell. “Fugitive Zero isn’t a ‘him’ or a ‘her,” she says after one character refers to them as ‘he’.

Zero is a Medusan, an energy-based species that have no gender or corporeal form. That’s hardly new to Star Trek: Medusans have been around since the Original Series, and the show has dealt with non-binary and shifting genders many times since.

Director Ben Hibon says continuing the show’s egalitarian legacy was a big focus for the creative team.

“I feel like Trek has always been the story of many rather than the story of one. By taking that approach, it has such a wider appeal and way to connect with an audience,” he told TV Fanatic.

“It never isolates. It never judges. And it always tries to include. In my opinion, that is one of the strengths. There are many, but that is one of them.”

This message is affirmed in another gender non-conforming moment: when the ship’s translators kick in and Rok-Tahk’s deep growls are transformed into a little girl’s voice.

The other characters momentarily express surprise and then move on, a normal reaction from people in a world inhabited by aliens without a binary sense of gender.

It’s entirely in keeping with the open-minded vision of the future that’s characterised Star Trek since its inception, and the moment firmly establishes Prodigy on well-trodden ground.

After the first episode aired scores of Trekkies took to Twitter to share their love for a show that’s still boldly going where none have gone before, 55 years after it first began.

The post appeared first on Pink News.

Spain grants free fertility treatment to queer women, single women, trans and non-binary people

While queer and single people were previously able to access publicly funded fertility treatments, in 2013 the conservative Popular Party, in power at the time, rolled back this right.

The party changed the law to only allow straight, married couples to access fertility treatment in public hospitals free of charge, and left queer couples to spend thousands of euros to grow their families.

But on Friday (5 November), health minister Carolina Darias of the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) signed an order restoring these fundamental reproductive rights.

Darias signed the order at a ceremony, attended by LGBT+ activists, and later wrote on Twitter: “Starting today, single women, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people will have access to [reproductive technologies] on the [public health service].

“We have restored rights that should never have been abolished.”

They said in a statement: “We have always understood that achieving rights such as assisted reproduction benefits lesbian and bisexual women and pregnant trans people, without harming anyone.

“It is an example of how recognizing LGBT+ rights means recognising human rights for society as a whole.

“We will not be able to be citizens with all rights fully recognised as long as the conditions of freedom and equality of all people are not guaranteed, whatever their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”

Sangil said that “we are not going to stop because our struggle is daily, resilient and active”, and insisted that queer activists are “more necessary than ever”.

They added: “We have history, we have memory, we have strength, we have conviction and we are right; they will never stop us.”

The post first appeared on Pink News.

Demi Lovato Opened Up About How They Realized That They’re Non-Binary

Nearly six months after coming out as non-binaryDemi Lovato spoke about the process of realizing their relationship with gender and how the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent quarantine helped them realize that they were non-binary. Lovato spoke with Becky G. about coming out on her upcoming Facebook Watch series, Face to Face With Becky G., which premieres tomorrow.

Becky (full name Rebbeca Marie Gomez) congratulated Lovato for coming forward and embracing their true self and paving the way to live with true authenticity. Lovato went on to say that they focused on meditation during quarantine and it allowed them to “assess” their spirituality and truly feel that they had both masculine and feminine energies.

“I started learning so much about myself during quarantine. I started meditating and I had meditated in the years before but nothing like what happened in quarantine,” Lovato said. “When I started assessing my spiritually, I realized my masculine energy was just as prominent as my feminine energy. I came to the conclusion, I identify as non-binary and gender non-conforming.”

Lovato went on to say that they knew it was important to share the experience so that others going through anything similar could feel like they had an ally. They reiterated the fact that they wanted to show everyone that coming out shouldn’t be something to fear and that they felt “really, really great” after doing so.

“And I just want people out there to know, especially young people who are entering a world where they might not feel secure or scared to come out,” they added. “I want to show people that it’s OK and it feels really, really great.”

Back in May, Lovato also spoke at length about coming out and embracing new pronouns on their podcast, 4D With Demi Lovato. And later, they noted that gender discovery would be an ongoing journey and that they could, one day, identify as trans.

“Over the past year and a half I’ve been doing some healing and self-reflective work and through this work, I’ve had the revelation that I identify as non-binary,” they said on the podcast. “With that said, I’ll officially be changing my pronouns to they/them. I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am and am still discovering.”

The post first appeared on InStyle.

‘Help protect me’: Classmates secretly recorded video of student who is transgender

CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — Classmates reportedly secretly recorded video of a student who is transgender in a boy’s restroom at Burns High School in Cleveland County and posted it to social media.

“I was floored,” Clay Sentell told Channel 9.

The 16-year-old student said friends saw the videos posted on Snapchat. One video showed Sentell washing his hands. The male students who recorded the videos also showed the junior wearing high heels while in the bathroom.

“I felt like my privacy was invaded. I was terrified,” Sentell told reporter Ken Lemon.

Sentell started to wear heels this year. He identifies as transgender and shared his preferred pronouns as he/him.

“It’s just who I am. It’s how I express myself,” Sentell said.

Sentell said he asked to use the ladies restroom at Burns High School, but instead reached an agreement with the school to use a seldom-used bathroom.

Sentell said that bathroom was far away from scheduled classes, so he used the closest men’s room and had no idea he was being recorded there.

Sentell’s mother, Annie Sentell, said her son told her about the videos last Tuesday. Annie Sentell said she emailed the principal multiple times with no response. She said last Thursday she emailed that she was going to show up at the office on Friday morning.

She told Channel 9 that email got a response that no one would be able to speak with her until Monday.

“I think the school has just mishandled the whole situation,” she said.

On Friday, Clay Sentell and his sister, who also attends Burns High, wore signs to school. Clay Sentell’s read, “Help protect me.”

Annie Sentell said she then got a call from the principal.

“It makes me mad the administrators were quick to call me on Friday to say (the signs) were a distraction,” she said.

Annie Sentell decided not to go to the meeting with the principal on Monday morning and is looking into legal action against the school system.

“It’s made me feel nervous,” Clay Sentell said. “It’s made me feel scared. It’s made me feel upset but regardless of all that, I’m still going to love them.”

Channel 9 reached out to the principal and school officials for comment but has not heard back.

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