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

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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.

The post appeared first on goal.com.

Judge Blocks Arkansas law banning trans youth health care

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., ACLU Statement JULY 21, 2021 — A federal court today issued a bench decision blocking an Arkansas law that prohibits health care professionals from providing or even referring transgender young people for medically necessary health care. The law was set to go into effect on July 28. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four transgender youth and their families as well as two doctors.

“This ruling sends a clear message to states across the country that gender-affirming care is life-saving care, and we won’t let politicians in Arkansas — or anywhere else — take it away,” said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “Today’s victory is a testament to the trans youth of Arkansas and their allies, who never gave up the fight to protect access to gender- affirming care and who will continue to defend the right of all trans people to be their authentic selves, free from discrimination. We won’t rest until this cruel and unconstitutional law is struck down for good.”

Breaking: Louisiana Legislature fails to override governor’s veto of transgender sports ban

This is the second anti-trans law passed in 2021 that has been blocked by an ACLU lawsuit. Earlier this month, a federal court in Tennessee blocked a law that required businesses and other entities that allow transgender people to use the public restroom that matches their gender to post a government-prescribed warning sign.

“We warned lawmakers that if they passed laws attacking trans people that they would see us in court,” said Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. “This victory belongs to Dylan, Brooke, Sabrina, and Parker, as well as other trans youth in Arkansas who spoke up about the harms created by this law. Our work in Arkansas and around the country is far from over — including with this law.”

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Louisiana did the right thing today and rejected anti-trans sports bill

Gov. Edwards held a news conference following adjournment of the special veto session praising the Legislature for coming together in a nonpartisan vote to sustain his veto of the bill targeting transgender youth.

The Louisiana Legislature has failed to override Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto of a bill that would have banned transgender athletes from girls’ high school and women’s college sports. wdsu reports that the House of Representatives voted 68-30 Wednesday afternoon to override the veto, falling two short of the needed 70 votes.

“I would rather the headlines going out from today to be that Louisiana did what was right and best and we rejected a play out of a national playbook that just had no place in Louisiana. That bill wasn’t crafted for our state. I mean go read it and look at the arguments that were made none of that applies here and I’m gonna go a little bit further….”

“If on the one hand the bill is totally unnecessary and on another it’s harmful then it also makes it mean. It also makes it mean because it’s
directed at the most emotionally fragile children in the state of Louisiana who are not even trying to do that which the law would prohibit them from doing.”

“We have to be better than that we, have to be better than that,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

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Texas Gov Greg Abbott has final “solution” to the transgender problem

Texas Gov Greg Abbott’s solution to the transgender problem: outlaw medical treatment for for transgender children’, split families and jail their parents for child abuse.

AUSTIN TEXAS. On Monday Texas Governor Greg Abbott told a right-wing podcast host that he had a plan to deny transgender children life-saving healthcare and would reveal the details ‘shortly’.

As everyone knows Texas Democrats left the state to ‘break quorum’, the last resort tactic when all fails, to stop the right-wing governor from forcing his extremist agenda on the people of Texas. Abbott routinely abuses his Gubonoral power to call special sessions. This is a short 30-day period in which bills that failed to pass during the regular session are forced through without the nominal constitutionally mandated processes.

If you can stomach it, Abbott begins talking to podcast host Mark Davis about the ‘crazy issue of gender bending’ at the 11-minute mark. Davis asks Abbott why his special session agenda didn’t include a bill to stop people from “carve(ing) up our kids or pumping them full of hormones”.

Abbott responded that he had another ‘solution’ that will be announced shortly presumably to be put in place without the approval of the legislature. This ‘solution’ would be paramount to Hitler’s final solution to the Jewish ‘problem’ as the effect of denying transgender children healthcare would be the same, with innumerable lives lost, paramount to state-sponsored mass murder. If Abbott has his way a whole generation of transgender people will simply cease to exist.

Texas Tribune reports that Abbott’s comments came as the interviewer, Mark Davis, asked Abbott why he did not add the issue to his agenda for the special session that began earlier this month. Abbott blamed the lower chamber, saying the “chances of that passing during the session in the House of Representatives was nil.”

Abbott was correct about the bills having no chance to pass. Thousands of people showed up when hearings were scheduled during the regular session to defend our children from his right-wing slate of hate.

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This video was recorded by Kelli Busey on the last day of the regular session as Democrats entered the chamber to heroically defend our children.

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Kataluna Enriquez speaks about embracing yourself and overcoming hate

Kataluna Enriquez knows to embrace what makes her beautiful. This couldn’t be more emphatically put than when Asya Branch, Miss USA 2020, literally embraced her on Instagram in a sizzling Instagram slo-mo video.

Kataluna Enriquez
Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez (L) and Asya Branch, Miss USA 2020 (R) have a beautiful moment.

Miss Kataluna Enriquez, is the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss USA Pageant after winning Miss Nevada last month and is heading to Tulsa OK to compete in the Miss USA Pageant in November 2021.

“I am so happy and grateful to be Miss Nevada USA 2021 and represent our state Nevada in this year’s Miss USA,” Enriquez told “Good Morning America.” “This has been one of my longest dreams and I am happy to share it with my community, especially the LGBTQ+ youth.”

It wasn’t an easy trail to blaze for Kataluna, an Asian American woman of color.

The unite-the-right racist march, attended by the likes of West Virginia Sheriff Ross Mellinger who recently posted, then deleted memes mocking Kataluna in the swimsuit compitition left a searing mark on her soul.

But a true competitor and a gracious woman Kataluna Enriquez knows to embrace what makes her beautiful. This couldn’t be more emphatically put when Asya Branch, Miss USA 2020, literally embraced her on Instagram in a sizzling Instagram slo-mo video.

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EEOC issues guidance prohibiting discrimination against Trans people

EEOC issues Transgender Guidance
The United States Supreme Court declined to hear Parents for Privacy v. William P. Barr et al, allowing school districts to continue to affirm transgender students by allowing them to use the same restrooms and locker rooms as their peers.

On June 15, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new Guidance regarding transgender and gay people in the workplace.

The new guidance essentially reinstates Obama-era rules that were once based on executive orders. However, the new guidance is readily enforceable as the Supreme Court and multiple supportive Federal Court rulings have set Pro-LGBT judicial precedents.

The new guidance is directed to employers with 15 or more employees regarding restroom policies and the use of employee preferred pronouns aligns the EEOC mission with the 2020 Supreme Court ruling Bostock v. Clayton CountyG.G. v. Gloucester County School Board and Parents for Privacy v. William P. Barr et al


Where it all began. September 1, 2016: Gavin Grimm testifying at a Gloucester County School Board Meeting as a junior in High School.

JD Supra reports that this technical assistance guidance does not have the force and effect of law, it does provide employers with notice of how the EEOC may address these issues in the future.

With respect to restroom facilities, the EEOC’s Guidance (issued in a question and answer format) indicates that an employer with separate bathroom facilities may not prohibit an employee from using the restroom that corresponds with that person’s gender identity. The policy does not impact employers that utilize only unisex facilities open to all employees. The Guidance also reaffirms that the EEOC will not recognize the anxiety or discomfort of co-workers as a defense to claims of discriminatory policies.

The EEOC’s new guidance also provides that the intentional or repeated use of a name or pronoun other than one of an employee’s choosing may create a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. It does indicate that the accidental use of a transgendered person’s nonpreferred pronoun does not violate the law.

The EEOC’s Guidance provides little clarity for employers on how to handle potentially competing employee claims or defenses related to sincerely held religious beliefs on gender and sexuality. As recognized in the Court’s opinion in Bostock, these competing interests may need to be resolved by litigation (that has recently begun).

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Laurel Hubbard: IOC backs transgender weightlifter’s selection for Tokyo, says to review rules later

The International Olympic Committee on Saturday backed New Zealand’s selection of transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard for the Tokyo Olympics despite criticism, saying that under the current rules — which will be reviewed in future — she can compete.

Hubbard is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete at the Games after she was selected for the New Zealand team in the women’s super-heavyweight 87+kg category.
The 43-year-old’s inclusion has been divisive, with her supporters welcoming the decision while critics have questioned the fairness of transgender athletes competing against women.
“The rules for qualification have been established by the International Weightlifting Federation before the qualifications started,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “These rules apply, and you cannot change rules during ongoing competitions.”
Bach said the rules would be reviewed with all stakeholders involved in order to set new guidelines in the future.
“At the same time the IOC is in an inquiry phase with all different stakeholders … to review these rules and finally to come up with some guidelines which cannot be rules because this is a question where there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” he told a news conference. “It differs from sport to sport.”
In this April 9, 2018 file photo, New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard lifts in the snatch of the women's +90kg weightlifting final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.

The IOC had cleared the way in 2015 for transgender athletes to compete at the Games as women, provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months before their first competition.
Some scientists have said the guidelines do little to mitigate the biological advantages of those who have gone through puberty as males, such as bone and muscle density.
Supporters of transgender inclusion argue the process of transition decreases that advantage considerably and that physical differences between athletes mean there is never a truly level playing field in sport.
Asked repeatedly if he supported Hubbard competing in Tokyo, Bach said the athlete’s selection was based on specific rules.
“The rules are in place and the rules have to be applied and you cannot change the rules during an ongoing qualification system,” he said. “This is what all the athletes of the world are relying on: that the rules are being applied.”

The post appeared first on CNN.

Riot police break up dueling transgender rights protests outside LA spa

MORE ON:

Dueling pro- and anti-transgender-rights protests outside a Los Angeles spa turned violent Saturday, resulting in projectiles thrown, cops firing rubber bullets, and more than a dozen ­arrests, according to a report.

The Wi Spa in Koreatown had also been the site of clashes earlier this month, during protests over a viral video that appeared to show a customer complaining that a transgender woman had exposed herself in front of children.

On Saturday morning, LGBTQ activists assembled in front of the spa to counter-demonstrators who had gathered there to oppose transgender people patronizing the business, The LA Times reported.

Those protesting the spa’s policy waved signs saying “Save our children” and “Stop defending pedos,” the report said.

An unlawful assembly was declared by police after members of the crowd threw projectiles, including some that were aimed at cops, according to the report.

Footage posted to social media showed police in riot gear shooting bean bags and rubber bullets at demonstrators.

“Most people did leave the area, but currently there are a number of arrests made for failure to disperse,” LAPD Det. Meghan Aguilar told the newspaper, which reported that no one was injured.

A reporter for The Guardian who was covering the protest said that she was attacked by demonstrators that were screaming about Jesus.

“Just got thrown to the ground by right-wing anti-pedophile protesters as a crowd converged on me and chased me,” Lois Beckett tweeted.

Los Angeles police declared unlawful assembly as protesters had gathered outside of Wi Spa, the site of the viral video.
Los Angeles police declared unlawful assembly as protesters had gathered outside of Wi Spa, the site of the viral video.
AP

The dueling demonstrations seem to have been spurred by the same June 24 Instagram video that sparked the violent protests outside the spa on July 3.

“He is a man,” an irate woman told staff in the clip. “He is not a female. There are girls down there, other women who are highly offended by what they just saw and you did nothing. You sided with him.”

Questions have since been raised about the veracity of the clip, according to The Los Angeles Blade, a local LGBT newspaper.

Law enforcement sources told the outlet they were not able to find evidence to confirm that a transgender person had indeed been present at the business that day, leading to concerns the video was staged.

“I am recording this because I’m going to make a big deal, I’m going to take this worldwide,” the complaining woman in the video is heard promising.

The post appeared first in NYPOST

She’s China’s Oprah. She’s Also Transgender.

Jin Xing, a 53-year-old television host often called China’s Oprah Winfrey, holds strong views about what it means to be a woman. She has hounded female guests to hurry up and get married, and she has pressed others to give birth. When it comes to men, she has recommended that women act helpless to get their way.

That might not be so unusual in China, where traditional gender norms are still deeply embedded, especially among older people. Except Ms. Jin is no typical Chinese star.

As China’s first — and even today, only — major transgender celebrity, Ms. Jin is in many ways regarded as a progressive icon. She underwent transition surgery in 1995, the first person in the country to do so openly. She went on to host one of China’s most popular talk shows, even as stigmas against L.G.B.T.Q. people remained — and still remain — widespread.

China’s best-known personalities appeared on her program, “The Jin Xing Show.” Brad Pitt once bumbled through some Mandarin with her to promote a film.

“All my close friends teased me: ‘China would never let you host a talk show,’” Ms. Jin said, recalling when she first shared that goal with them. “‘How could they let you, with your transgender identity, be on television?’”

But even as Ms. Jin’s remarkable biography has elevated her to an almost mythic level, it has also, for some, made her one of the most perplexing figures in Chinese pop culture.

Ms. Jin on the set of “The Jin Xing Show” with her co-anchor, Shen Nan. For years, the show was one of the most popular in China.
Credit…The Jin Xing Show

Though often lauded as a trailblazer for the L.G.B.T.Q. community, she rejects the role of standard-bearer and criticizes activists whom she perceives as seeking special treatment. “Respect is earned by yourself, not something you ask society to give you,” she said.

She also has attracted fierce criticism for her views on womanhood. In a 2013 memoir, Ms. Jin wrote that a “smart woman” should make her partner feel that she was a “little girl who needs him.” On “The Jin Xing Show,” she told the actress Michelle Ye that only after giving birth would she feel complete.

“You say that as if you’ve given birth,” Ms. Ye said with a nervous laugh.

Ms. Jin didn’t pause. “I’ve given rebirth to myself,” she said.

Ms. Jin bristles at being called a conservative. If she were a male chauvinist, she said, she would have continued living as a man. She has denounced gender-based employment discrimination and called out China’s Women’s Day as an empty commercial holiday. In May, she was featured in a Dior campaign celebrating women’s empowerment, in which she said the most important thing any woman could be was independent.

Still, she admits that she is not looking to upend the rules set by men, only to help women better navigate them.

“What percentage of the world’s leaders are queens or female presidents? They’re still mostly men,” said Ms. Jin. “If men conquer the world to prove themselves, women can conquer men to prove themselves.”

Ms. Jin was born in 1967 in Shenyang, in China’s northeast, to an army officer father and translator mother. In memoirs, she described being pleased when family friends compared her to a “lively little girl” for her love of song and dance.

At 9, she was recruited by a military dance troupe. Her mother opposed the choice, but not on gender grounds, wanting her to instead continue with regular schooling, Ms. Jin wrote. Both boys and girls could earn prestige by dancing in the military, where the arts were seen as important propaganda tools.

As a teenager, Ms. Jin won a dance scholarship to New York, where in 1991 The New York Times called one of her performances “astoundingly assured.” After four years in the United States, she toured Europe — picking up French and Italian, in addition to the English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese she already knew.

But in 1993, at 26, she returned to China to prepare to come out as transgender.

Though she had known she was female since she was 6, she did not want to announce it until she was sufficiently prepared, Ms. Jin said. Transition surgery, though legal, was heavily stigmatized. She decided to wait until she had become one of China’s most prominent dancers.

“When you haven’t accumulated enough power, you can’t speak out,” she said. “Once you’ve achieved enough strength, and people can’t knock you down, then you can face them.”

The post appeared first on NYTIMES.

Judge Rules Against Teacher Who Refused to Follow Trans Policy

Brownsburg Indiana: A federal judge in Indianapolis has ruled against a former Brownsburg teacher who said he was forced to resign after refusing to call transgender students by their chosen names.

John M. Kluge, a former music and orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School (“BHS”), filed the lawsuit against Brownsburg Community School Corporation (“BCSC”) and several of its employees.

John Kluge
John Kluge

The judge on Monday rejected former orchestra teacher’s allegations of religious discrimination and retaliation against the Brownsburg Community School Corporation.

According to the judge, Kluge’s “religious opposition to “transgenderism” is directly at odds with [the district’s] policy of respect for transgender students, which is grounded in supporting and affirming those students.”

The judge also concluded that a public school corporation “has an obligation to meet the needs of all of its students, not just a majority of students or the students that were unaware of or unbothered by Mr. Kluge’s practice of using last names only.”

In July, Kluge told the principal he could not follow the name policy, and the principal gave him three options: follow the policy; resign; or be suspended, pending termination. Kluge refused to follow the policy or resign, so he was suspended, the court filing said.

According to the filing, he alleged that he was discriminated against and ultimately forced to resign because his sincerely-held religious beliefs prevented him from following a school policy that required him to address transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns and use of the restroom congruent with their gender expression.

During the summer of 2017, BCSC began to allow transgender students and students experiencing gender dysphoria1 to use the restroom of their choice and to change their names and genders in the BCSC database known as PowerSchool. Name changes
in the PowerSchool database required a letter from the student’s parent(s) and a letter from a healthcare professional.

BCSC employees, including Mr. Kluge, were instructed to refer to students using the names and genders listed in the PowerSchool database, which Mr. Kluge believes constitute preferred names “based upon the students’ gender dysphoria.”

In July 2017, Mr. Kluge informed BCSC Superintendent Dr. James Snapp that the requirement that he use the students’ names as listed in PowerSchool (“the Policy”) conflicted with his religious beliefs against affirming gender dysphoria, and Dr. Snapp responded that Mr. Kluge could either “use the transgender names, say he was forced to resign from BCSC, or be terminated without pay.”

Because Mr. Kluge refused to use the names listed in PowerSchool, Dr. Snapp initiated an administrative leave of absence for Mr. Kluge and Dr. Bret Daghe, the principal of BHS, “issued Mr. Kluge an ultimatum . . . mandating the use of
transgender preferred names, and giving Mr. Kluge [three days] to decide if he would comply.”

Mr. Kluge then requested “an accommodation for his religious beliefs,” and proposed the solution of “addressing all students by their last names only, similar to a sports coach.”

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