Dutch government apologizes for discredited transgender law

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch government made a public apology Saturday for a now discredited and scrapped law that required transgender people to undergo surgery and sterilization if they wanted to change their gender on their birth certificate.

“Nobody should have experienced what you have experienced. I am truly sorry that it happened,” said Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven in an emotional speech at a ceremony in the historic Knights Hall in the Dutch parliamentary complex.

The law was in place for nearly 30 years until being scrapped in 2014.

“For decades, people underwent medical procedures that they did not want at all. But they knew they had no other choice,” Van Engelshoven said. “Others have waited because of this law; they were forced to postpone becoming themselves for years.”

She said that “standards about what a body should look like do not belong in a law and a law should never force people to undergo an operation. And today I make our deeply sincere apologies for this on behalf of the full Cabinet.”

Transgender Network Nederland welcomed the ceremony, saying the Netherlands is the first country in the world to make such an apology, but said that it took the government too long to scrap the law and that compensation of 5,000 euros ($5,650) offered to people affected by the law was too low.

It said hundreds of people were “faced with an impossible choice. They could indeed choose for papers that aligned with their gender identity, but for a price that was far too high.”

Willemijn van Kempen, who campaigned for the apology, said in a statement that the government “structurally disadvantaged and damaged transgender and intersex people for almost thirty years. It is important that it now apologizes.”

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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

Aberdeen council member likely first transgender official in Washington

ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) — An Aberdeen City Council member is likely the first openly transgender woman official in Washington state.

KNKX Public Radio reports the LGBTQ Victory Fund said they don’t know of any others.

For decades, fear kept Tiesa Meskis in the closet, but about two years ago she started experimenting with her presentation in public using subtle makeup, women’s clothes and long hair.

Meskis was more than a year and a half into her term on the city council when she came out. And while her appearance may have changed, she says her politics haven’t.

She was elected on bread-and-butter issues like roads, police staffing and budgeting.

The post appeared first on Komo News.

Texas has considered dozens of anti-trans bills. These moms have helped stop them.

Rachel Gonzales has been to the Texas Capitol at least a dozen times since 2017, when she advocated against a bill that would’ve banned her then-6-year-old transgender daughter, Libby, from using the girls’ bathroom.

That bill died in 2017, but the fight hasn’t stopped. Since January, Texas has considered 52 bills that target trans people, particularly youth, according to Equality Texas, an LGBTQ advocacy group in the state.

Parents like Gonzales and advocates have defeated all of the bills so far. But last week, during a third special legislative session, the Texas Senate passed a bill that would ban transgender student athletes in public schools from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity, as opposed to their sex assigned at birth.

State Sens. Bob Hall and Charles Perry, both Republicans, also refiled bills last week that would ban health care providers from providing trans children with gender-affirming health care — including therapy — and that could charge parents and doctors with child abuse if they provide such care for trans children.

Gonzales said she will continue to fight the bills, but she added that she is so burnt out by the last nine months that she doesn’t feel like an effective advocate.

“I joke, but it’s not really a joke, that I have definitely lost years off my life from this battle — the amount of stress, the physical manifestation of that stress and the mental anguish,” she said. “It’s so much of negotiating my own feelings in order to assure my kid that she’s going to be OK. But it’s terrifying that I don’t know if it’s going to be OK, and not just for her, but for other kids across the state, kids who cannot safely be out.”

It’s taken a mental and physical toll on her, she said, and other parents and advocates in the state say the same. They say they won’t stop, because they’re doing it for their kids, but they need more help.

‘It takes me hours to fall asleep’

Supporters of trans athlete bans in Texas say they are trying to protect fairness in women’s sports, though — like most supporters of similar bills — they haven’t been able to provide any examples in their state of trans girls jeopardizing fairness, according to LGBTQ advocates.

Proponents of bans on gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers say the care is “experimental” and that children are too young to receive it. But medical experts who provide gender-affirming care say it is supported by all relevant major medical organizations, such as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association. Some of these groups note that gender-affirming care is backed by decades of research and has been used to treat cisgender kids experiencing precocious puberty, for example.

Image: Libby Gonzales tktktk
Libby Gonzales, right, and her sister, Cecilia, inside Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett’s office at the Capitol in Austin.Courtesy of the Gonzales Family

Parents like Gonzales have been fighting the bills so relentlessly because they say the proposals, whether they pass or not, have a devastating effect on trans youth in the state — especially youth who help advocate against them.

Libby, Gonzales’s 11-year-old daughter who is transgender, said the anti-trans bills reintroduced by Republican state senators make her “feel really scared and like they are trying to harm me in very terrible ways.”

She first became an activist at 6 years old, when conservatives in the state tried to pass a bill that would’ve banned her from using the girls’ restroom. Libby said being an advocate is important to her because if she wasn’t, “I would be really hurt, and people wouldn’t hear me.”

“It is very tiring,” she said. “Sometimes it takes me hours to fall asleep just because I’m so scared about these specific bills.”

Rebekah Bryant, who lives in Houston and has been to the Capitol six times this year to advocate against the bills, said they’ve also affected her 8-year-old trans daughter, Sunny.

Sunny has testified against the sports bills twice, in July and August. The first time she testified, she told the Senate committee she likes baseball, soccer, tennis and gymnastics, and that none of her teammates cared that she is trans.

“I’ve been with the same classmates for three years, and none of them knew I was trans until this year,” she said. “When my mom had to speak at the Capitol, they loved me just the same, because kids my age don’t care about that stuff. Kids care about what’s in your heart.”

“Only old people can’t see that,” she added, with a smile. Committee members, including Republicans, laughed, Bryant said.

The second time she testified, Sunny didn’t step up to the podium — which was taller than her — until 1 a.m. Afterward, when she and her mom got back to their hotel room, Sunny sat down on the bed and started crying.

“She said, ‘Why do so many people not like me?’” Bryant said. “And that’s the first time she’s expressed any pain toward this. I was exhausted, and I just said to her, ‘Look, there are way more people there that love you. … There are so many more people in the world that are on your side than aren’t. Those people are the outliers.’”

She said Sunny developed anxiety afterward. Though it’s slowly gone away, Bryant hasn’t brought Sunny to the Capitol again.

Advocates say the rhetoric used in the bills has also had a negative effect on the mental health of transgender — as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer — youth statewide.

For example, between Jan. 1 and Aug. 30, crisis calls from LGBTQ young people in Texas increased 150 percent compared to the same period last year, according to data shared last week by The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization. About 4,000, or 36 percent of all contacts from Texas, came from transgender or nonbinary youth.

The Trevor Project added that while the volume of crisis contacts “can not be attributed to any one factor (or bill),” a qualitative analysis of the crisis contacts found that “transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas have directly stated that they are feeling stressed, using self-harm, and considering suicide due to anti-LGBTQ laws being debated in their state.”

The Trans Lifeline, the country’s first transgender crisis hotline, also saw a 72 percent increase in calls from Texas in May — when state lawmakers first considered about a dozen anti-trans bills — when compared to May 2020, according to data shared with NBC News. In July, when the legislation was reconsidered, Trans Lifeline saw a 19 percent increase in calls from Texas.

Adri Pèrez, policy and advocacy strategist for LGBTQ equality at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said it’s unclear whether Texas’ trans athlete ban will pass the House and become law and that its passage “shouldn’t be the focal point.”

“The larger issue, I think, is out of the state of Texas there is a lot of misinformation about transgender people and transgender youth, specifically,” Pèrez said. “The work is not necessarily inside of the Texas Legislature; it’s outside of it. And what we’re doing to help humanize trans people and trans youth to those who have never met a transgender person or a transgender kid, that would be the most effective firewall for these bills. It’s not letting that misinformation take hold at all.”

Whether someone knows a transgender person can significantly affect their views on legislation such as trans athlete bans, according a survey released Thursday by the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute. A slim majority of Americans who know a transgender person (52 percent), compared to one-third of Americans who do not know anyone who is transgender (33 percent), believe that a transgender girl should be allowed to compete in high school sports with cisgender female students.

PRRI also noted that support for trans people participating in sports has declined since 2018. About one-third, or 36 percent, of Americans believe that trans girls should be allowed to participate in sports with their cisgender classmates, compared to 50 percent in 2018.

Physical, mental and financial strain

Parents who are transgender advocates say Texas’ last few legislative sessions have been particularly difficult for them, too.

Bryant said this is the first year she’s become more active, and it has taken an emotional and financial toll on her family. She said she has to take off work to travel to the Capitol, which is about a 3 1/2-hour drive away, and she often has to book a hotel room. All told, she said she’s spent close to $3,000 going back and forth to the Capitol just this year.

IMage: Bryant family tktkk
Sunny, left, with her sibling, Bodhi, and her dad, Chet, and mom, Rebekah.Courtesy of the Bryant family

“It’s just so draining, because it’s not only just sitting there and waiting, but it’s sitting there and listening to people lie about you and your family — people that have never met a person who’s trans in their life and really haven’t walked the walk that all of us have,” she said.

Recently, many parents and advocates have been hitting “a wall,” said Linzy Foster, who is from Austin and has been to the Capitol about a dozen times this year to advocate on behalf of her 7-year-old trans daughter.

“The general population who usually are all on board and showing up and fighting for these things, they’re getting fatigued, and there’s also so many things to fight now,” she said. “We’re beginning to feel more and more lonely.”

Many of the advocates described being at the Capitol as traumatic. Annaleise Cothron, whose 8-year-old is nonbinary, said one day she went to the Capitol and the supporters of anti-trans bills called her child “a freak” and “disgusting.”

“While I would never tell my child that, just hearing that from somebody else is really emotionally taxing, and my child doesn’t deserve that,” she said. “People need to understand that’s the level of vitriol that we’re facing just going to the Capitol to say, ‘Please leave us alone. Please leave our community alone.’ This isn’t about politics; this is about human beings.”

More than just sports

Though the parents and advocates believe that trans kids have a right to play on the sports teams that match their gender identity, they said their advocacy is about more than just sports.

Image: Annaliese Cothron protests on behalf of her 8-year-old nonbinary child.
Annaliese Cothron protests on behalf of her 8-year-old nonbinary child.Courtesy of Dorothy Wallace

“Just the conversation of whether or not my child should exist in public school sports and whether or not other kids should bully them for who they are — that’s the conversation that this legislative body is inviting by entertaining these bills,” Cothron said.

She said the other bills that Republicans have reintroduced or plan to reintroduce that could charge her with child abuse for providing her child with access to gender-affirming care prove that the conversation is about more than fairness in sports.

“This is about the broader conversation of saying whether or not a transgender child should exist in Texas and access public services,” she said.

For now, the parents say they are leaning on each other for support.

“The only reason I’m doing OK, to be honest with you, is because in all of this I have met these amazing people in this community who show up, and we support one another,” Foster said. “We have moments of levity even in the trauma that we’re dealing with when we’re in the Capitol, being able to make each other laugh, knowing that you’re loved, knowing that you’re supported. That is the only thing that’s keeping me going.”

The post appeared first on NBC News.

Biden signs off on Colorado’s expansion of transgender-related health coverage

Under a groundbreaking decision by state and federal officials, many private health plans sold in Colorado will soon be required to cover hormone therapy, genital reconstructive services and other procedures sought by transgender patients.

The change, which would take effect on Jan. 1, 2023, would mark the first time the federal government has approved a requirement for transition-related coverage in individual and small-group health plans. More than a dozen states, including Colorado, already cover such services in their Medicaid plans.

Biden officials cited discrimination facing transgender patients and predicted the Colorado decision would serve as a road map for other states seeking to broaden such coverage. They also said the approval helps fulfill the president’s campaign pledge to expand access to coverage for LGBTQ Americans, including requiring insurers to cover care related to transitions.

“Colorado’s taking a very important step,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in an interview. “Transgender [people] face discrimination on a constant basis. And it is, to some degree, intensified by the inability for transgender Americans to get the health-care services they need.”

Tuesday’s announcement is the latest in a series of Biden administration decisions to codify policies sought by LGBTQ Americans, including a May 2021 announcement to broaden anti-discrimination protections for transgender patients. The Trump administration narrowed access to those protections.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and other officials announced the policy in Denver on Tuesday. The new coverage for transition-related procedures, which was authorized under a Trump-era policy that allows states to request modifications to their health insurance markets governed by the Affordable Care Act, would require Colorado health plans to provide “gender-affirming care” among the essential benefits guaranteed to their customers.

“We hope this marks a historic beginning, and that other states look to Colorado as a model,” Brooks-LaSure said. “We invite other states to follow suit.”

The decision was cheered by patient advocates, but panned by some conservatives, who challenged the evidence supporting it, and argued the administration’s move is inappropriate.

“This is a liberal administration and governor colluding to mandate coverage for a lifetime of cross-sex hormones and removal of healthy organs, including for minors,” said Roger Severino, a former Trump appointee who served as the health department’s civil rights chief. “Their end game is clear, to push these dangerous experimental treatments on kids and unwilling families as a national insurance mandate.”

Some transgender patients have detailed the challenges they face obtaining costly services like hormone therapy, saying that interruptions or delays in care can lead to long-lasting setbacks in their transitions. A November 2020 study by Out2Enroll, an organization that helps the LGBTQ community obtain health insurance, found that most plans sold through the government’s health insurance website, HealthCare.gov, failed to specify whether they covered care for transgender patients. In 7 percent of cases, health plans explicitly excluded procedures for transgender patients, Out2Enroll found.

The post appeared first on WashingtonPost

NH lawmakers reject bill to regulate participation of transgender athletes

Lawmakers in Concord agreed on Thursday to reject legislation aimed at restricting the participation of transgender athletes in inter-scholastic sports.

House Bill 198 would have allowed transgender girls, who were born biologically male, to be banned from participation in all-female athletics. The House Education Committee voted unanimously to declare the bill “inexpedient to legislate.”

Democrats opposed the bill as an affront to civil rights, while the Republican sponsor of the bill said legislation was “not ready for primetime” but concerns over protecting girls’ sports remain.

“We’ve made a lot of gains in the last 20, 30 years with Title IX. I would really caution folks in moving in a direction that could stop that movement,” Rep. Rick Ladd said, R-Haverhill.

On an 11-9 party-line vote, the committee also rejected legislation that would have required schools to update documents and software to include the option of identifying a student as non-binary.

The post appeared first on WMUR

Virginia’s governor race is being fought on the backs of transgender people

Odd numbered years are relatively quiet for elections, but there’s one race this year that is saying a lot about the future of the Republican Party. The race for governor in Virginia has become a template for the GOP’s plan to secure victory across the country by promising to trample the rights of LGBTQ people in general, and transgender people in particular.

The most recent proof is Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin’s appearance this month at a gala hosted by the Family Foundation of Virginia. The Family Foundation has a long history of anti-LGBTQ activism.

In 2012, it pressured legislators to block the nomination of Tracy Thorne-Begland as a prosecutor in Richmond because he had come out as gay while he served as a fighter pilot in the Navy. “It’s about a pattern of behavior that is just notorious for homosexual advocacy,” one Republican representative said at the time.

Since then, the Family Foundation has been deeply involved in all kinds of far-right activism. It opposes nondiscrimination protections because it insists “no evidence of discrimination exists.” The group has been a driving force in the state in the attacks on trans youth, calling transgenderism “a false ideology.”

This is the type of extremist group that Youngkin has aligned himself with in order to win votes. Among the supporters listed on the gala program was Alliance Defending Freedom, another group which has made attacking LGBTQ rights its mission. The keynote speaker at the event was Trump’s former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who once proclaimed that the man who banned trans military personnel had “a great record when it comes to LGBT issues.”

Youngkin fit right in with the group. He has himself maligned trans female students, calling them “biological males.” Indeed, he has thrown over his earlier persona as a business-focused Republican to go all in on the culture wars waging in Virginia.

The state has become a hot spot of anti-trans actions at local school boards. A far right has been plowing the ground for Youngkin’s campaign by organizing protests at school boards around the state.

Youngkin has been quick to capitalize on this opportunity by portraying himself as the savior of parents attacked by LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter advocates. He’s launched an effort called “Parents Matter” to fuel the anger already seething in the state.

Youngkim’s whole campaign now is based around the concept that conservative parents have the right to tell schools to teach only the version of reality they like to tell themselves.

Youngkim’s Democratic opponent, former governor Terry McAuliffe, previously looked like a shoo-in in the race, but recent polls show that Youngkin’s assault on LGBTQ people is paying off. McAuliffe is still in the lead, but it’s been shrinking to single digits.

Virginia has been increasingly safe for Democrats over the past several elections, but Youngkin’s campaign shows that hatred still resonates. Even if Youngkin loses, he will have proven that attacking LGBTQ people motivates voters.

That’s a message that other Republicans will hear loud and clear for future elections.

The post appeared first on LGBTQnation

Texas has considered dozens of anti-trans bills. These moms have helped stop them.

Rachel Gonzales has been to the Texas Capitol at least a dozen times since 2017, when she advocated against a bill that would’ve banned her then-6-year-old transgender daughter, Libby, from using the girls’ bathroom.

That bill died in 2017, but the fight hasn’t stopped. Since January, Texas has considered 52 bills that target trans people, particularly youth, according to Equality Texas, an LGBTQ advocacy group in the state.

Parents like Gonzales and advocates have defeated all of the bills so far. But last week, during a third special legislative session, the Texas Senate passed a bill that would ban transgender student athletes in public schools from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity, as opposed to their sex assigned at birth.

State Sens. Bob Hall and Charles Perry, both Republicans, also refiled bills last week that would ban health care providers from providing trans children with gender-affirming health care — including therapy — and that could charge parents and doctors with child abuse if they provide such care for trans children.

Gonzales said she will continue to fight the bills, but she added that she is so burnt out by the last nine months that she doesn’t feel like an effective advocate.

“I joke, but it’s not really a joke, that I have definitely lost years off my life from this battle — the amount of stress, the physical manifestation of that stress and the mental anguish,” she said. “It’s so much of negotiating my own feelings in order to assure my kid that she’s going to be OK. But it’s terrifying that I don’t know if it’s going to be OK, and not just for her, but for other kids across the state, kids who cannot safely be out.”

It’s taken a mental and physical toll on her, she said, and other parents and advocates in the state say the same. They say they won’t stop, because they’re doing it for their kids, but they need more help.

‘It takes me hours to fall asleep’

Supporters of trans athlete bans in Texas say they are trying to protect fairness in women’s sports, though — like most supporters of similar bills — they haven’t been able to provide any examples in their state of trans girls jeopardizing fairness, according to LGBTQ advocates.

Proponents of bans on gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers say the care is “experimental” and that children are too young to receive it. But medical experts who provide gender-affirming care say it is supported by all relevant major medical organizations, such as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association. Some of these groups note that gender-affirming care is backed by decades of research and has been used to treat cisgender kids experiencing precocious puberty, for example.

Image: Libby Gonzales tktktk
Libby Gonzales, right, and her sister, Cecilia, inside Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett’s office at the Capitol in Austin.Courtesy of the Gonzales Family

Parents like Gonzales have been fighting the bills so relentlessly because they say the proposals, whether they pass or not, have a devastating effect on trans youth in the state — especially youth who help advocate against them.

Libby, Gonzales’s 11-year-old daughter who is transgender, said the anti-trans bills reintroduced by Republican state senators make her “feel really scared and like they are trying to harm me in very terrible ways.”

She first became an activist at 6 years old, when conservatives in the state tried to pass a bill that would’ve banned her from using the girls’ restroom. Libby said being an advocate is important to her because if she wasn’t, “I would be really hurt, and people wouldn’t hear me.”

“It is very tiring,” she said. “Sometimes it takes me hours to fall asleep just because I’m so scared about these specific bills.”

Rebekah Bryant, who lives in Houston and has been to the Capitol six times this year to advocate against the bills, said they’ve also affected her 8-year-old trans daughter, Sunny.

Sunny has testified against the sports bills twice, in July and August. The first time she testified, she told the Senate committee she likes baseball, soccer, tennis and gymnastics, and that none of her teammates cared that she is trans.

“I’ve been with the same classmates for three years, and none of them knew I was trans until this year,” she said. “When my mom had to speak at the Capitol, they loved me just the same, because kids my age don’t care about that stuff. Kids care about what’s in your heart.”

“Only old people can’t see that,” she added, with a smile. Committee members, including Republicans, laughed, Bryant said.

The second time she testified, Sunny didn’t step up to the podium — which was taller than her — until 1 a.m. Afterward, when she and her mom got back to their hotel room, Sunny sat down on the bed and started crying.

Image: Sunny Bryant, 8.
Sunny Bryant, 8.Courtesy of the Bryant family

“She said, ‘Why do so many people not like me?’” Bryant said. “And that’s the first time she’s expressed any pain toward this. I was exhausted, and I just said to her, ‘Look, there are way more people there that love you. … There are so many more people in the world that are on your side than aren’t. Those people are the outliers.’”

She said Sunny developed anxiety afterward. Though it’s slowly gone away, Bryant hasn’t brought Sunny to the Capitol again.

Advocates say the rhetoric used in the bills has also had a negative effect on the mental health of transgender — as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer — youth statewide.

For example, between Jan. 1 and Aug. 30, crisis calls from LGBTQ young people in Texas increased 150 percent compared to the same period last year, according to data shared last week by The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization. About 4,000, or 36 percent of all contacts from Texas, came from transgender or nonbinary youth.

The post appeared first on NBCNEWS.

1 In 7 Transgender People Have Been Refused Care By GP In UK

Transgender People Protest 1 In 7 Transgender People Have Been Refused Care By GP

 NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES

A new report has revealed that one in seven transgender people have been refused care or treatment by their GP because they are transgender.

Carried out and published by TransActual UK, Trans lives survey 2021: Enduring the UK’s hostile environment has found that nearly half of GPs (45%) don’t have a good understanding of transgender healthcare needs. This rises to 55% for non-binary experiences.

It’s leading to six in ten transgender people to avoid asking for medical help when they are unwell.

The figures come from one of the most extensive direct surveys of UK trans experience in 2021.

TransActual says it’s more evidence of the high levels of daily discrimination faced by trans and non-binary people in the UK.

“These findings are shocking but in no way unexpected,” Chay Brown, director of TransActual, says. “They merely put figures to a perilous situation that almost every trans person in the UK is well aware of. Transphobia feels unescapable, whether we’re at home, at work or when we go to the doctor’s.”

Despite progressive laws on broader LGBTQ rights, the UK has now been downgraded in a number of reports that track human rights laws because of growing anti-transgender sentiment.

The latest, released this week from The Council of Europe, noted the “marked increase” in anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech and hate crime in the UK. The report names the UK alongside countries like Hungary, Poland, Turkey and the Russian Federation, where it is becoming increasingly challenging to be LGBTQ.

It follows the wider trend of how much transgender healthcare in the UK has been impacted over the last two years.

Last week i News reported not a single person under the age of 17 seeking treatment from a hormone specialist through England’s NHS trans youth service from December last year has been referred.

That’s despite a High Court ruling preventing this, being partially overturned in March, allowing them to access it with parental consent.

While life-changing surgery for transgender men has not resumed since the pandemic. Rules preventing elective surgery during Covid-19’s height were lifted in April. Trans Actual says patients still don’t have a timescale for when this will restart.

Last year the Good Law Project announced plans to take on NHS England with legal action for “persistent and long-standing breaches of the law,” within Gender Identity Development Services.

Also in the report is a focus on the overwhelming nature of anti-transgender sentiment in the UK media.

Because of this, it found practically all (99%) of transgender people had face discrimination on social media, with nine in ten saying the bias in the news is transferring to hate from strangers in the street.

“The real scandal here is how comprehensively the media have conspired to ignore this situation,” says Jane Fae, chair of Trans Media Watch. “They prefer, instead, to produce tens of thousands of words on the largely imagined consequences of reform to the Gender Recognition Act.”

“The bottom line is transphobia impacts all aspects of daily life for trans people, from relationships with our friends and families to healthcare, and even listening to the radio.

“Your actions (and inactions) have a profound impact on all of us.”

The post appeared first on FORBES.

Two transgender women win seats in German parliament

Tessa Ganserer, member of the German Green Party and transgender candidate for the German Bundestag elections walks from her office to the Parliament during a Reuters TV interview in Munich, Germany, July 6, 2021. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

Tessa Ganserer, member of the German Green Party and transgender candidate for the German Bundestag elections walks from her office to the Parliament during a Reuters TV interview in Munich, Germany, July 6, 2021. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

BERLIN, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Two German politicians from the Greens have made history by becoming the first transgender women to win parliamentary seats in Sunday’s national election.

Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik stood for the Greens party, which came third in the election, increasing its share of the vote to 14.8% from 8.9% in 2017 and is set to play a pivotal role in the building of a new three-way coalition government.

“It is a historic victory for the Greens, but also for the trans-emancipatory movement and for the entire queer community,” Ganserer, 44, told Reuters, adding that the results were a symbol of an open and tolerant society.

Topping the priority list for Ganserer, who was elected to Bavaria’s regional parliament in 2013, is an easier procedure for ratifying a sex change on identity documents.

Ganserer, who has two sons, also wants legislative changes to allow lesbian mothers to adopt children.

Slawik, 27, said the results were unbelievable. She secured a seat in parliament through the Greens list of candidates in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

“Madness! I still can’t quite believe it, but with this historic election result I will definitely be a member of the next Bundestag,” Slawik posted on Instagram.

Slawik has called for a nationwide action plan against homophobia and transphobia, a self-determination law, and improvements to the federal anti-discrimination law.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Germany in 1969 and same-sex marriage legalised in 2017. But hate crimes against LGBT+ people jumped by 36% last year, according to police figures that highlight a rising trend of homophobia in parts of German society.

The post appeared first on Reuters.