HRC LOST Trans people in 2007 – Now they are losing our Human Rights

I was a part of a national transgender movement protesting HRC in Dallas, Austin, Houston, and New Orleans. 12 more protests happened around the country before HRC began to accept trans people couldn’t be erased.

HRC and the equality Federation lost the transgender community in 2007 by being complicit with Congressman Barney Franks when he divided the workplace protections act ENDA into SENDA(sex) and GENDA(gender).

Today I am sitting in a room with Equality Texas members waiting to testify. I am surrounded by scowling faces. I feel othered, unwanted, and reviled, even hated.

I showed planet transgender to an inquisitive parent of a trans girl. Her response was “what good is that?”

That is our history, lady.

It was getting late and the prospect of testifying against another anti-trans bill in front of THE SAME hateful committee faces was too much to take. I am 62. I am tired and too old for this mess so I went home.

See, I was the only one in that room who had protested HRC shaming them to acknowledge our existence in 2007. We brought HRC to their knees, forced Joe Solomenese to resign, and an apology at the Southern Comfort Conference from the incoming president, Alphonso David.

A must-read. Washington Blade : “10 years later, firestorm over gay-only ENDA vote still informs movement.”

HRC has been in losing a battle against right-wing hate groups ever since and they have no one to blame but themselves.

This year there are 20 anti-transgender bills in Texas alone. Most of those will pass now that House Speaker Joe Stauss, our saving grace was forced out.

Two weeks before I saw the power of allyship in Arkansas when we gathered in Little Rock. Most of the people there weren’t LGBT. Just concerned friends and pediatricians and not a single HRC sign insight. They lost that fight but I never once felt out of place, othered, or hated.

I will gladly return to Little Rock to stand by my community when the time is right.

That community feeling was missing again in Texas. I was persona non grata in 2017 when I testified against the Bathroom bill in Austin. But it didn’t matter because I had transgender contemporaries to stand with. But no one came this year. Not one person.

They asked me if I wanted to testify again. I answered yes. They want me to meet them at the Equality Texas office, a place I have never been, to march over to the Legislative building in a show of solidarity.

Solidarity? Really? Good, God!

There is no doubt that HRC and Equality Texas has played a part in losing our personal freedoms. But I can’t help but wonder if this wasn’t at least in part, by design. As long as the battle for trans rights continues the Equality Federation and HRC have a mission.

Meanwhile, those young people just keep dying.

The only saving grace will be President Biden. On his 99th day in office, he is making the highly unusual move to address a joint session of Congress in his first speech to the nation.

News outlets are saying he will pitch his infrastructure plan. I hope and pray he will also be announcing the results of his 100-day plan to identify states like Texas and Arkansas and make good on this threat to defund them if they refuse to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

If he does President Biden will be our savior on a national scale just as Republican Joe Strauss was in Texas.

I believe in miracles and that #TransRightsAreHumanRights.

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Poll: 70% of Republicans oppose bills criminalizing transgender healthcare

Two-thirds of Americans are against laws that would limit transgender rights, a new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found. That opposition includes majorities of every political ideology from liberal to conservative and every age group.

Most Americans who oppose anti-transgender legislation have met us. According to the PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, more than half of Americans say they personally know someone who is transgender. That includes 53 percent of Democrats, 39 percent of Republicans, and 61 percent of independents.

Transgender visibility.

“It’s really hard once you’re informed or you know a trans person to support one of these bills because it really strikes at the humanity of a trans person,” said Kate Sosin, who reports on LGBTQ+ issues at The 19th.

“More than half of people do know transgender people and that number is only going to go up…and if that is the case, this is inevitably going to be a losing issue for lawmakers trying to make this a wedge issue, because even if you don’t support transgender rights, you don’t want to be the lawmaker pushing something that is seen as bigoted,” said Sosin.

I have experienced the same feeling in the heart of Texas. During the previous administration, right-leaning Texans were angry often displaying that in road rage. Having a Honda Civic with a transgender Biden flag on it I was often targeted with that anger. But in recent weeks Texan curtesy, an ingrained part of our southern culture has returned to the roadways. It is truly remarkable and welcomed. I am first and foremost a Texan. I love my land and the diverse people who live here. And I believe that feeling is mutual.

The most far-reaching bills introduced this year would limit transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming medical care. Twenty-one state legislatures have considered such bills this year, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA, which also estimates more than 45,000 youth could be affected, including nearly 1,500 kids in Arkansas who will lose medical care after the state became the first in the country to enact such a law just last week.

Fewer than three in ten people support state laws that prohibit gender-affirming care for minors or that criminalize providers of that care. Among Republicans, 26 percent support bills that prohibit this medical care, while 70 percent are opposed. That’s on par with where Democrats landed on the issue, with 26 percent in favor of such bills and 69 percent opposed.

Read the full PBS article to understand how far we have come and how very far we have to go.

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Families rally in Austin against anti-transgender healthcare legislation

HB 1399 denies insurance to doctors who prescribe puberty blockers to children diagnosed with gender dysphoria, but doctors with cisgender patients diagnosed with “precocious puberty” may receive the same medication without penalty. This destroys the bill sponsors’ contention that the medication is experimental and those who prescribe it are committing child abuse.

More than a hundred parents and their children railed in Austin Wednesday against Texas anti-trans legislation. They gathered in the rotunda before testifying in committee against the bills speaking passionately on how it would adversely affect their families.

HB 1399 would tell insurance companies that they can’t ensure doctors who prescribe puberty blockers to transgender children. However, a carveout just made allowing insurance companies the option to insure those doctors who prescribe the same hormone blockers to cisgender children.

CBS Austin: Despite immense opposition, the texas senate advanced a bill barring transgender students from playing ssports.

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Black Trans woman elected to a School Board the First in the Nation

If you are a member of Maines’s Passamaquoddy Tribe or if your transgender student attends Decatur Public School in District 61, you can rest easy. Both school boards now have transgender board members to look after your child’s safety.

Geo Soctomah Neptune, (They/Them), a Two Spirit educator, Master basket Maker, and Idle No More activist of the Passamaquoddy Tribe was elected to the Indian Township school board Wednesday. September 9th, 2020. According to records, Neptune is the first non-binary trans person to be elected in the state of Maine and possibly the nation.

WCIA reports that Alana Banks became the first black trans-binary woman to be elected to a school board in the entire country.

“It’s always a big focus for Alana to champion LGBT rights for students,” said childhood friend and campaign aid Anay Hunt. “Within that age range, it is so important to look at someone like them that is out there making a positive change.”

Banks, a binary transgender woman, ran on policies such as safely returning to school, establishing permanent e-learning options and being open about mental health and one’s identity.

One of her campaign aids, Astrid Prater, believes it is the first step among many towards acceptance and equality for the LGBT community.

“I think we need to look at this moment with Alana to know that our community can change, it can grow and it can get better,” Prater said.

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President Biden addresses the National Center For Transgender Equality Awards Ceremony

President Joe Biden stopped by the NCTE Trans Equality Now Awards with a special message in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility.

A few days later on April fifth, the Hill reports, The Department of Justice (DOJ) told federal agencies that gay and transgender students are protected from discrimination under civil rights laws, reversing Trump administration guidance that limited the impact of a landmark Supreme Court decision last year extending employment discrimination protections to LGBT workers.

In a memo dated March 26 to federal agencies, Pamela Karlan, the head of the DOJ’s civil rights division, said that based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, the 1972 education civil rights law known as Title IX should be read as covering gay and transgender students.

“After considering the text of Title IX, Supreme Court caselaw, and developing jurisprudence in this area, the Division has determined that the best reading of Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’ is that it includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation,” Karlan wrote in the memo.

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Review: 2021 feature Haymaker staring Nomi Ruiz

Trans women Nomi Ruiz is one of the most stunning women you will ever see. She is gorgeous in a smoking Jessica Rabbit sort of way, sashaying silently about the blood-splattered rings. I won’t spoil this movie for others by saying it was filmed from tomorrow to today with what is normally saved for a dramatic reveal early in the reel.

That moment could have opened the door for character building and intense conversations but sadly, that wasn’t to be had. To be fair I have to say it got a 3.4 overall rating at imdb with 122 male reviewers rating it at 3.2 and eight women users who believed it deserved a 5.0. The majority of the demographic reached was obviously disappointed by the lack of nudity and gratuitous sex.

But that was by design, with the showrunner electing to seek parity and sometimes even dominance over the male-dominated fight ring, This is a hard pill to swallow unless it is coated with, well yeah. Haymaker kept it classy.

Ahead of the release of Haymaker this Friday January 29th, The Queer Review’s editor James Kleinmann had an exclusive conversation with Nomi Ruiz about her reaction when reading the script for the first time, wanting to be part of creating progressive trans narratives on screen, getting acting tips from her friend, award-winning A Fantastic Woman actress, Daniela Vega, and why she loves the TV series Veneno. read this at the queer review.

Directors Nick Sasso
Starring Nomi Ruiz, Nick Sasso, John Ventimiglia
Genres Action, Drama
Subtitles English [CC]
Audio languages English

You can watch Haymaker on Amazon for a couple of dollars. It was such a great break from today’s traumas.

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Trans Pride flag flown on the TDOV at M16 and Alan Turing on a £50 Note

One of the benchmarks of LGBT progress is our inclusion in defending our respective countries. While the British has benefited from our LGBT brethren efforts in times of greatest need, they have simultaneously accused them of being a threat to their county’s security.

This has begun to change with the Trans Pride flag being raised at the M16 on the TDOV. Even though transgender people have served openly in the military for years they did so at great personal peril due to the stigmatism of being called untrustworthy for years.

On March 31st the Trans Pride Flag flew at the M16 in conjunction with an apology and a promise of inclusion.

After decades of waiting, queer spies finally received the apology they deserved in February for a ban on openly LGBT+ intelligence officers that branded them a “national security threat”.

The ban, only lifted in 1991, was based on the bizarre idea that being LGBT+ would make spies more susceptible to blackmail.

MI6 chief Richard Moore, known as “C”, admitting that “secret does not mean unaccountable”, said in a statement:” Committed, talented, public-spirited people had their careers and lives blighted because it was argued that being LGBT+ was incompatible with being an intelligence professional.

“Because of this policy, other loyal and patriotic people had their dreams of serving their country in MI6 shattered. This was wrong, unjust and discriminatory.

“Today, I apologise on behalf of MI6 for the way our LGBT+ colleagues and fellow citizens were treated and express my regret to those whose lives were affected.” said Moore.

Every American family who fought fascism during world war two recognizes the name, Alan Turing. We know that against all odds he broke the Nazi’s secret code, something that gives us courage while dealing with insurrectionists in the USA today.

Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, noted in prepared remarks that Turing is arguably best known for his code-breaking work, which historians credit with shortening World War II by about two years and saving millions of lives. But far beyond that, he said, Turing’s pioneering work in computing and artificial intelligence “has had an enormous impact on how we all live today.”

“Alan Turing was a gay man, whose transformational work in the fields of computer science, codebreaking, and developmental biology, was still not enough to spare him the appalling treatment to which he was subjected,” Bailey said. “By placing him on this new £50 banknote, we celebrate him for his achievements, and the values he symbolises, for which we can all be very proud.”

Instead of paper, the new note is made from polymer, which is longer-lasting and harder to counterfeit. It completes the bank’s “family” of polymer banknotes, Bailey said, joining the Winston Churchill £5, Jane Austen £10 and J.M.W. Turner £20.

Lawmakers override Gov. Hutchinson’s veto of their anti-trans healthcare law

This action puts at severe risk hundreds of Arkansas minors who’s family’ previously obtain puberty blockers from licenced state pharmacies. They will now have to search the internet for online pharmacies or travel out of state to obtain their medications.

While some of those online sources vet their pharmacies most don’t. Transgender people in southern states have historically utilized these healthcare resources as a last resort when they lose a doctor in rural areas. But this is the first time an entire state has been put into such desperate straights because of the willful ignorance of vindictive lawmakers.

The legislator’s actions tell transgender children that they don’t care how they get their medications.

The legislator’s actions exponentially increased transgender people’s feelings of isolation and suicidal ideation because they are now suddenly cut off their hormones or puberty blockers.

They refused to listen to the entire medical community which came out in the 100s of thousands to voice their opposition to HB 1570 or any law that puts politic’s over the lives of their constituents.

The only people who will celebrate this out of all those rallying at the Statehouse Saturday are the uniformed confederate flag-waving white supremacists who stood in formation and fired their guns not fifty feet from the doctors and children.

Opponents of the measure have vowed to sue to block the ban before it takes effect this summer.

Hutchinson vetoed the bill following pleas from pediatricians, social workers, and the parents of transgender youth who said the measure would harm a community already at risk for depression and suicide.

Governor Hutchinson signed a religious and moral refusal law giving doctors the right to refuse to medically treat anyone, ironically including the children of Arkansas Republican state legislators.

These 31 major medical associations have joined in opposition to the healthcare rollbacks of the previous administration. But those measures don’t hold a candle in comparison to what Arkansas legislators did today.

American Academy of Nursing
American Academy of PAs
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Psychiatry and The Law
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
American College Health Association
American College of Physicians
American Medical Association
American Medical Student Association
American Medical Women’s Association
American Nurses Association
American Pediatric Surgical Association

American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Doctors for America
Endocrine Society
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality
HIV Medicine Association
LBGT Physician Assistant Caucus
National Association of Social Workers
National Council for Behavioral Health
National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
Society of General Internal Medicine
Society of Physician Assistants in Pediatrics
The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists
United States Professional Association for Transgender Health
World Professional Association for Transgender Health

Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director, condemned their actions in this statement:

“Today Arkansas legislators disregarded widespread, overwhelming, and bipartisan opposition to this bill and continued their discriminatory crusade against trans youth. As Governor Hutchinson noted in his veto message, denying care to trans youth can lead to harmful and life-threatening consequences. This is a sad day for Arkansas, but this fight is not over — and we’re in it for the long haul. Attempting to block trans youth from the care they need simply because of who they are is not only wrong, it’s also illegal, and we will be filing a lawsuit to challenge this law in court. We are hearing from concerned families all over the state who are afraid about the impact of this bill and others like it. We are committed to doing all we can to support these families and ensure they know how to continue to fight for their rights and get the care and resources they need.”

“No matter what these politicians do or say, one thing has not changed: trans youth are loved, they are seen, and we will never stop fighting to defend their dignity, their rights and their lives. To everyone who spoke out against this bill: now is the time to stay loud, not only for trans lives, but for all the fundamental rights that politicians are hellbent on attacking.”

Va First Southern State to Prohibit Trans Panic Defence thanks to Del. Danica Roem

Danica Roem – Virginia Delegate 13th District, had a lot to celebrate on the Transgender Day Of Visibility. Virginia just became the First Southern State to Prohibit the reviled Trans Panic Defence.

Related: Trans woman Danica Roem Defeats Bob (Bathroom bill) Marshall in VA House of Delegates Race

Del. Roem posted on Facebook “The Governor of Virginia just signed my last two bills of the 2021 Virginia General Assembly session into law today, both of which came by request from my constituents in Manassas Park.”

HB 2132 Summary as passed:

“Homicides and assaults and bodily woundings; certain matters not to constitute defenses. Provides that another person’s actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation is not in and of itself, or together with an oral solicitation, a defense to any charge of capital murder, murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, voluntary manslaughter, or assault and bodily wounding-related crimes and is not provocation negating or excluding malice as an element of murder.”

“HB 2132 bans the gay/trans panic defense, making Virginia the first state in the South to prohibit this injustice. Given that today is the Trans Day of Visibility, I’m grateful as a transgender state legislator to get this done so no one has to live with the same fear in 2021 that I had as a 14-year-old closet case in 1998.”

In Vermont, Taylor Small, who was elected to the state House in 2020 and is the state’s first openly trans legislator, introduced a similar bill there.

“You’ll notice with me introducing this bill, with Taylor Small introducing this bill in Vermont, that, as more of us who are coming from the very communities that are most affected by legislation like this have that lived experience that we were bringing to the table, we are able to speak to this,” Roem told NBC.

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Arkansas Alumni Elite Runner Nikki Hiltz Comes Out As Transgender

Pan American Gold Medalist and six times NCAA all American Nikki Hiltz came out as gender non-binary on the Transgender Day of Visibility. Nikki wrote on Instagram, “Hi I’m Nikki and I’m transgender. That means I don’t identify with the gender I was assigned at birth. The word I use currently to describe my gender is non-binary. The best way I can explain my gender is as fluid. Sometimes I wake up feeling like a powerful queen and other days I wake up feeling as if I’m just a guy being a dude, and other times I identify outside of the gender binary entirely”

A post shared by Nikki Hiltz (@nikkihiltz)

“It’s complicated and complex and something I’m still trying to navigate myself, but I’ve decided it’s time to share my gender fluidity with you all. Posting this is both exciting and terrifying but I am and always will be a firm believer that vulnerability and visibility are essential in creating social change and acceptance. So here I am, once again, coming out of a closet to be my true authentic self.”

“Today I can be visible because of the many Trans folks who have paved the way for me. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you and happy trans day of visibility to my beautiful and powerful trans family.”

A post shared by Nikki Hiltz (@nikkihiltz)

Hiltz ran for the University of Oregon before transferring to Arkansas, where she finished her collegiate career. She ran onto the podium at multiple NCAA Championships, including second in the 1,500m at the NCAA Outdoors in 2017 and 2018. Hiltz graduated and turned pro in 2018, and a year later she won gold in the 1,500m at the Pan Am Games in Peru. That same year, she won the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships, and later that fall she represented the U.S. at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, where she placed 12th in the 1,500m.

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