Watch “Changing the Game” and come to know the transgender experience

“Changing the Game” staring Mack Beggs, Sarah Rose Huckman, and Andraya Yearwood is available on Hulu starting Tuesday, the first day of pride. Changing the Game highlights the struggles and personal victories of three extraordinary transgender high-school athletes.

Cast members Mack Beggs, Sarah Rose Huckman, Terry Miller, Ngozi Nnaji, and Andraya Yearwood bring to the small screen a poignant first-hand account of what it is to be young, transgender, and successful.

Although it won huge accolades at the film festivals, Changing the Game wasn’t picked up for big-screen distribution. That could be attributed to the pandemic since those venues just begun to reopen but it’s more than that.

The film is premiering commercially in a time when it’s a curse to accel as a trans athlete. Arguably the best known of the three, Andraya Yearwood, has been vilified by hate groups in 30 states as they push their discriminatory agenda and held up as the black athlete white people should fear.

Mack Beggs, a transman from Texas won two state championships in Texas while enduring tremendous abuse. This could have been different if the Governor’s office hadn’t forced rule changes prohibiting trans people from competing in their authentic gender. Not a single Republican lawmaker mentioned Mack Beggs during the 2021 session because that would have pointed out the folly of their anti-trans sports legislation.

Instead, they all singled out two transgender runners from Connecticut, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood. The truth is that they prevailed over their competition because they were faster. The cisgender runner who led the lawsuit failed to qualify for her college team because she wasn’t fast enough.

Twenty-year-old transgender activist Sarah Rose Huckman is attending university in New Hampshire.

Sarah transitioned to her authentic self in the 7th grade. Like many families with a transgender child, she and her family have advocated to ensure Sarah is treated with dignity and respect in school, sports, and all aspects of life.

In High School, Sarah was just like most of her classmates: when not in class, she enjoyed spending time with her friends and as a 4-sport athlete, participating on her high school’s Nordic Ski, Winter Indoor Track, Spring Track and Cross Country teams.

Sarah is often invited to speak about the importance of protecting transgender youth from discrimination. As a political activist, she served 3 years on the New Hampshire Legislative Advisory Council and was instrumental in the passage of legislation that explicitly extended New Hampshire’s nondiscrimination protections to transgender people.

Sarah is active as a YouTube vlogger and was recently featured in the award-winning documentary “Changing the Game” about transgender high school athletes.

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Florida Gov DeSantis signs Trans Sports Ban in violation of DOD policy

Gov DeSantis signed the Florida law banning transgender girls from interscholastic sports sending a clear message of hate on the First Day of the LGBTQIA International Pride Month.

Although it wasn’t mentioned, DeSantis also sent a message to ROTC programs that transgender students can’t participate in Officer Cadet programs which is a violation of both DOD policy and BOSTOCK v. CLAYTON COUNTY 

ROTC programs are vital to the US military Officer Core as a way to earn a commission in the military, and to individuals as a means of obtaining scholarships and future employment. The other officer programs, such as West point admits transgender candidates now that President Biden has reversed Trump’s military trans ban.

In 2019 a Trans student lost his ROTC scholarship due to Trump’s military policy

Florida’s law prohibits transgender students from participating in the University of Central Florida’s ROTC program. The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board is the Department of Defense Agency responsible for the determination of medical qualification of applicants for appointment to a United States Service Academy, not Governor DeSantis.

The Department of the Defense statement celebrating Pride.

“Today kicks off Pride Month, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is proud to celebrate and honor the service commitment and sacrifice of our LGBTQ personnel in and out of uniform”, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby told reporters in a briefing on Tuesday.

“He’s proud that one of his first actions after being sworn in was to implement President [Joe] Biden’s directive to ensure that all transgender individuals who wish to serve and who can meet the appropriate standards to be able to do so openly and free from discrimination,” the press secretary said.

At Austin’s direction, the Defense Department also has taken concerted action to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQ persons around the globe, he said, adding the secretary remains committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive force. During June, DOD will celebrate “the rich contributions of LGBTQ personnel,” Kirby added.

Gov. DeSantis is one of seven governors, HRC Reports, including Gov. Greg Gianforte in Montana, Gov. Kay Ivey in Alabama, Gov. Jim Justice in West Virginia, Gov. Tate Reeves in Mississippi, Gov. Bill Lee in Tennessee, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas — who have signed anti-transgender legislation this session. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued a “style and form” veto to similar legislation in her state before issuing two executive orders to similar effect.

The NCAA Board of Governors released a public letter making clear that it “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.” Moreover, “When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.” This puts the 30 states with discriminatory anti-transgender.

More than 100 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoke out to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton, and Dell join companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber, and Verizon in objecting to these bills.

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Jin Xing is the new face of Dior’s J’adore fragrance

Chinese transgender personality and pioneer Jin Xing, the first person to publicly transition in china is the new face of Dior’s J’adore fragrance, a choice that was met with excitement and lots of praise from social media.

To announce the partnership, the French luxury house released a video in which Jin monologues about the value of independence and individuality, as well as the bumpy road that was her transition.

Jin Xing followed the same path many people around the world do. She was picked by the government as a child to be a military dancer. Highly successful, Xing quickly rose to the rank of colonel, but she knew in her heart that she had to live authentically.

In a video, Jin said that she supports women’s independence and individuality and that these are the qualities the fragrance hopes to deliver.

According to local media, the luxury brand described Jin as a woman of courage with a passion for freedom.

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It’s #IDAHOBIT2021 and Why that Matters

It’s #IDAHOBIT2021 and Why that Matters

Today is #IDAHOBIT the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. Every May 17th we join together on the world stage to say no to those who oppress us.

Many people in the US aren’t aware of IDAHOBIT and wonder why the fuss so here’s the answer. Trump took us out of the UN because our united voices are powerful and louder than his.

This year in the United States we are experiencing an attack on transgender people like never seen before. Nationalists who remain loyal to the trump regime are trying to disenfranchise, discriminate against, and take essential life-saving medication from our children.

48 black and brown trans people have lost their lives since the Transgender Day of remembrance on November 20, 2020. at that rate this year we will have 96 transgender people to mourn on the 2021 TDoR.

These haters mean business. Republican Legislators across the country are promoting state-sponsored eugenics and efforts to ‘purify’ the population that hasn’t been seen since the civil war. At risk in their minds, is the future of mankind led by evolved species of humans that they just can’t fathom.

Washington Blade: Biden administration announces global LGBTQ rights priorities

Alone we can fend them off for only so long. United with the world these transphobic, homophobic, biphobic, and xenophobic nationalists in the US don’t stand a chance and they know it. Hence the war on transgender children, the next gendernation.

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The Anti-Trans Sports Bill Redux: You Decide Ohio

Opinion By Eliana Turan,
Director of Development at The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.

This article was first published at Cleveland Scene com “Op-Ed: Ohio’s Proposed Anti-Trans Sports Bills Are Dangerous State-Sanctioned Bigotry.”

On March 2, 2020, I was, invited by one of my favorite morning shows, The Sound of Ideas, to discuss HB527, which would have effectively barred trans students in Ohio from competing as their true selves. Joining as guests in favor of the bill were Beth Stelzer and Jena Powell. The former founded an organization she hyperbolically named “Save Women’s Sports.” The latter is an Ohio House representative.

Anticipating a civil conversation, I was stunned by the language of my co-guests, which I personally felt was aggressive, sexist, and transphobic. During the subsequent debate, I noted that Save Women’s Sports was collaborating with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed as an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group. I was so noticeably shaken from the exchange that show host Mike McIntyre even called me afterward to make sure I was ok (a gesture from the veteran journalist that I appreciated). After the radio program, Save Women’s Sports posted video of me from the show onto their social media, where my digital effigy may now be trolled into Internet oblivion.

HB527 failed to advance forward in the Statehouse last year, its supporters blaming the onset of COVID-19 as its reason for stoppage. That original bill was not truly dead, however. In 2021, it rose like a zombie to become the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” which would prevent trans female students from competing on female teams in Ohio’s schools and colleges, if passed. This time, the anti-trans Ohio bill is joined with a tidal wave of similar sports bans in other states.

In this way, the recent onslaught of sports bans mirrors similar transphobic legislative assaults of recent history, such as the bathroom bills. Both campaigns rely heavily on the unfounded and transphobic paradigm that inclusion of trans people into public life will preclude and necessitate the dissolution of public life itself. This, despite the trans community making up only 0.6% of the U.S. population and having peacefully co-habited with our cisgender neighbors since the beginning of humankind.

As a trans woman and advocate in the LGBTQ+ community, I feel that the dual anti-trans sports bills in the Ohio Statehouse would be extremely harmful if passed. These bills would hurt trans women and girls by invalidating our identities, normalize and promote transphobic bullying, and effectively prevent trans youth from partaking in the natural human right of athletic participation.

Trans people would lose opportunities and face greater dangers. Four out of 10 trans people already attempt suicide at some point in our lives. Half of us will be sexually assaulted. Trans people often face rejection by peers, authorities figures, and even loved ones. We are at heightened risk for many health perils including addiction, mental health struggles, homelessness, incarceration, HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19. Worse yet, Northeast Ohio is an epicenter of transphobic violence. Does a “public safety” bill really make sense when it targets our most vulnerable?

If we are going to talk about saving women and girls, let’s save all women and girls, trans females included. Athletic participation keeps kids safe by affording comradery, role models, friendships, and protections from life’s many dangers. Likewise, trans athletes strengthen their teams and act as positive examples for those around them – a valuable thing for kids who often feel unwanted.

Supporters of these bills claim they are meant to protect opportunities for cisgender women and girls. But that is not true, either. The Ohio High School Athletics Association (OHSAA) has affirmed that no evidence exists of trans athletes disrupting opportunities for their cisgender teammates in the state. Moreover, OHSAA’s governance framework that manages trans inclusion in sports is based on medical and scientific research, coupled with legal and human rights. In contrast, the proposed anti-trans bills are rooted in fear, prejudice, and ignorance.

Worse yet, these proposed sports bans actually hurt female athletes across the board, cis and trans alike. Supporters of these bills claim that female athletes are inherently inferior to male athletes. As an intersectional feminist, I find this proposition highly insulting. I believe that women can do anything just as well as men can. Invalidating female athletes undermines the broader push for female equality in sports. This is why Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, and Candace Parker, and nearly 200 other athletes have come forward in support of trans inclusion of athletics.

By claiming that female athletes aren’t as good as our male equivalents, proponents of these sports bans reinforce societal misogyny that robs women’s teams and leagues of needed resources, coaching, scholarships, compensation, and recognition. But it doesn’t stop there. Young women and girls who internalize such messaging will be less likely to pursue opportunities in STEM, law, public service, finance, and other male-dominated fields. Is it is any surprise then that these sports bans are being pushed by lobby groups with long histories of keeping women oppressed?

Female athletes have been unjustly maligned as less than compared to male athletes. Unparalleled champions such as Serena and Venus Williams, Candace Parker, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and many others will never be seen, valued, or remembered for their true magnificence due to gendered sports discrimination and collective misogynistic beliefs.

A cynical gamble by the supporters of the proposed anti-trans sports bills is that they can effectively sell such ongoing misogynistic oppression in sports as existing toward the protection of cis women. As such, they frequently quote statistical data underscoring performance disparities between female and male athletes. Lost in their analysis, however, is the influence of the gross imbalances of resources and prestige allocated toward boy’s and men’s teams and leagues compared to their female counterparts, coupled with the influence of widespread cultural expectation that boys enter into sports and girls do not. Ignoring such factors, the proponents of the anti-trans sports bans simply conclude that females are inherently inferior in athletics to males, and that a full blanket ban on trans girls and women – whom they wrongly equate as being biologically identical to cis boys and men – is now needed urgently, despite long-running positive relations between cis and trans female athletes statewide.

Across the country, cisgender people are now debating whether trans people should enjoy the same inalienable rights that they do. To my cis neighbors, I would implore you to consider the long-view of this crossroads. America has a long and shameful history of sports discrimination against oppressed communities. Black Americans were barred from competing against white athletes during the shameful Jim Crow era. Indeed, the struggle for racial desegregation in the U.S. played out in many of the same venues the fight for trans inclusion plays out in today: bathrooms, locker rooms, schools, military service, etc. Does Ohio really want to fall on the wrong side of a 21st Century civil rights issue?

Even now, in the absence of formal homophobic discrimination, very few LGBTQ+ athletes compete out of the closet at the collegiate and professional level. Many likely fear losing scholarships or promotional sponsorships if they are outed. With so much more work to do toward LGBTQ+ equality in sports, what effect would the formalized barring of trans athletes from public life have on the broader rainbow? Anti-LGBTQ+ groups like the ADF likely gamble that a strategic wedge issue like trans inclusion in sports may pit cis and trans women against one another, thus weakening the struggle for gender equality, while simultaneously striking a major blow to the LGBTQ+ empowerment movement.

And what are the likely consequences if Ohio chooses the wrong side of history? To be sure, they would be steep. The NCAA has already suggested that it may not hold events in states that pass such bans. Is Ohio really in a financial position to needlessly imperil such opportunities? Perhaps Ohio’s many small-government Republicans and Libertarians should consider their own messaging about how draconian government can drive businesses away.

But that is not likely all. If we are to learn from the failed bathroom bill campaigns of yesteryear, more commercial and economic interests will likely step forward to affirm their stated policies toward diversity and inclusion. In March 2016, North Carolina initiated a statewide bathroom bill, thus setting off a flurry of transphobic copycat bills across the U.S. For its role as the flashpoint, North Carolina may have lost an estimated $3.76 billion in diverted economic activity. Even a fraction of such losses could thwart Ohio’s fragile recovery from COVID-19 and prolong unemployment for untold numbers of our neighbors. As of this writing, 19,428 Ohioans have died of the disease. Shouldn’t this be the primary concern of our lawmakers, alongside putting people back to work?

But beyond our state’s immediate needs, the issue of trans inclusion in Ohio’s sports teams bears implications for generations to come. As we emerge from the seclusion of COVID-19 lockdown and re-enter the world, we will find a world quickly transformed by the forces of innovation and change. Ohio lost the last innovation wave, and we desperately need to win the next for our state and region to remain relevant. That innovation will come largely from a new generation of thinkers and entrepreneurs, a new generation with vastly different attitudes and understandings toward gender, sexuality, biology, and identity. Recently, Governor DeWine announced that “he wants to spend $50 million on a marketing campaign to convince East Coast and West Coast residents to live, work and spend their money in Ohio.” But will Ohio likely attract such talent by openly embracing state-sanctioned bigotry?

Our future is ours to decide, Ohio.

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Dreamer to continue on in DC Pride Comics past Super Girl finale

“Shes not even acting, everything she said about the community came from her heart”

Via Screen Rant:

Nia Nal aka Dreamer, an original character from The CW’s Supergirl, just debuted in comic form in a new stunning preview. It sees Dreamer, played by Nicole Maines in the TV show, in action as she continues supering around National City. The Dreamer story, within the upcoming DC Pride anthology series, is written by Maines herself. DC Pride is an anthology series that will shine a light on DC’s roster of LGBTQIA+ characters, made by LGBTQIA+ creators. Along with Dreamer’s transition to the comics, other popular characters like DC’s newest Flash will be returning in their own stories.

“I love her so much, and this right here. This made me cry. Growing up there really wasn’t a role model in my experience who was trans, and to see Nia and know that for so many young people she can be that role model, she can be a beacon of visibility, it just makes me happy.”

Dreamer was introduced in Supergirl Season 4, she is the first transgender superhero on television. As an original creation from Supergirl, Nia has never been featured in any comic book. However, she is a relative to Nura Nal aka Dream Girl, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the comics. With her family being linked to characters from DC Comics, it was only a matter of time before she would make the leap. With Supergirl ending, there has been an outcry for Nia Nal to continue past the show’s finale and this could be the conclusion that fans have been hoping for.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, BIPHOBIA: CORRUPTION & DISCRIMINATION IMPEDING GLOBAL LGBTQI+ EQUALITY

Today, 17 May, is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It’s a day to recognise that while the rights of the LGBTQI+ people have significantly advanced in recent decades, progress remains patchy and geographically uneven.

Just as the gradual expansion of anti-discrimination legislation offers optimism, tragedies like the recent honour killing of 20-year-old gay Iranian Alireza Fazeli Monfared serve as a stark reminder of the work ahead. The past year has also put an incredible strain on LGBTQI+ communities, as governments in all regions of the world neglected them in their responses to COVID-19 pandemic.

Corruption and discrimination are both significant barriers to achieving an equal and inclusive future, but have so far been studied in isolation from one another, with little research being done on the nature of the relationship between them.

Corruption is bad for society in general, but it typically hits already marginalised groups harder than most by exacerbating inequality and skewing resource distribution to the advantage of the powerful.CORRUPTION AND DISCRIMINATION: TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN?

The link between the two phenomena is painfully evident in Russia, which is one of the countries where LGBTQI+ people still live in fear.

In a case documented by the Russian LGBT Network, Fedor, a young man from Krasnodar, was subject to entrapment, physical assault and threats of criminal charges from police officers extorting bribes. Police officers were waiting for Fedor when he arrived at the apartment of a man he had met on a dating app. Claiming that the man he was meeting was a minor, the officers took Fedor to a police station where they assaulted and threatened him with criminal charges, unless he paid them off.

Fedor’s story makes up one of the several illustrative cases featured in a forthcoming study by Transparency International and the Equal Rights Trust. It investigates the interplay between corruption and discrimination, and the impact these dynamics have on individuals and groups subject to discrimination on different grounds, including sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Greater exposure to corruption

Due to stigma against them in many countries, LGBTQI+ people are at a greater risk of becoming victims of coercive corruption – the kind where those in power use threats or force to extort money or even sexual bribes.

Sexual extortion, or sextortion, is a common but largely invisible form of corruption. It happens when people are coerced into paying a bribe with sexual acts rather than money. While women are disproportionally targeted, men, transgender and gender non-conforming people are also affected.THE DEAFENING SILENCE AROUND SEXTORTION

Consider contexts where people’s sexual and gender identities and behaviour are criminalised. When a person’s very identity, or perceived identity, becomes a crime, it creates an environment that leaves them greatly exposed to abuses of power. Discriminatory legal contexts enable unscrupulous officials – often the police – to abuse their power for private gain.

In a modern twist on age-old homophobia, police officers around the world have resorted to cyber-attacks and used dating apps to identify and entrap gay men and transgender women, in particular.

In contexts where their identities are criminalised, LGBTQI+ people already have limited ways of forming communities and meeting each other. Meeting people offline is significantly harder for LGBTQI+ people in many other settings due to the lack of welcoming queer spaces and visibility. In the United States, for example, the Pew Research Centre found that LGBTQ adults use dating apps nearly twice as much as straight adults. This makes the use of dating apps to harass LGBTQI+ people feel especially sinister.

Corruption preventing redress for discrimination

LGBTQI+ people are often unable to challenge the discriminatory corruption they face as a result of the same reasons that make them vulnerable to it in the first place. The very environment that enables discriminatory corruption, such as widespread anti-LGBTQI+ sentiment, prevents people from seeking and achieving redress.

In many countries, there are also no channels for queer people to seek redress. And in places where such channels exist, other barriers can stop people from using them, such as having little trust in public officials, having little hope that justice will be done and, most importantly, having to disclose their LGBTQI+ identities and private life in a potentially queerphobic environment.

These concerns are not unfounded. Fedor, for example, filed a formal complaint with the help of the Russian LGBT Network, but the authorities have reportedly so far refused to open an investigation.

Leaving no one behind

We already knew that corruption and discrimination were two major obstacles to the achievement of sustainable and inclusive development. Our upcoming study with Equal Rights Trust aims to demonstrate that discrimination and corruption are not just correlated but that, in fact, there is a causal and a mutually reinforcing relationship between the two. It shows that corruption is impeding progress towards equal treatment and remains a vehicle for discrimination, and investigates how this affects communities at risk of discrimination across nine countries.

These findings bring home the need to tackle the two phenomena together, if countries are to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, underpinned by the commitment to leave no one behind.

To achieve a world free from corruption, we must fight discrimination too, and vice versa. Otherwise, we risk leaving the people who are most vulnerable to abuses of power – LGBTQI+ people, but also women, racial and ethnic minorities at risk of discrimination and other marginalised communities – further behind and perpetuating structural inequalities. We cannot have fair and just societies unless everyone can enjoy equal rights and protection.

US Health and Human Services – Transgender Healthcare will be protected

The Biden administration put Arkansas on notice today that the state is in violation of the law by denying transgender children healthcare. The HHS through the revitalized Office of Civil rights is open for business to take complaints from LGBTQI people who have been denied healthcare.


HHS press release May 10, 2021:

“The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences. It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone – including LGBTQ people – should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”

Discrimination in health care impacts health outcomes. Research shows that one-quarter of LGBTQ people who faced discrimination postponed or avoided receiving needed medical care for fear of further discrimination.

“The mission of our Department is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. All people need access to healthcare services to fix a broken bone, protect their heart health, and screen for cancer risk,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health. “No one should be discriminated against when seeking medical services because of who they are.”

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) is responsible for enforcing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Section 1557) and regulations issued under Section 1557, protecting the civil rights of individuals who access or seek to access covered health programs or activities. Covered entities are prohibited from discriminating against consumers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“OCR’s mission is to protect people from all forms of discrimination,” said Robinsue Frohboese, Acting OCR Director. “OCR will follow Supreme Court precedent and federal law, and ensure that the law’s protections extend to those individuals who are discriminated against based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)’s prohibition on employment discrimination based on sex encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Bostock v. Clayton County, GA, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020). The Bostock majority concluded that the plain meaning of “because of sex” in Title VII necessarily included discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. Id. at 1753-54. Consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock and Title IX, beginning today OCR will interpret Section 1557’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex to include: (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity. This interpretation will guide OCR in processing complaints and conducting investigations, but does not itself determine the outcome in any particular case or set of facts.

In enforcing Section 1557 as stated above, OCR will comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq., and all other legal requirements. Additionally, OCR will comply with all applicable court orders that have been issued in litigation involving the Section 1557 regulations, including Franciscan Alliance, Inc. v. Azar, 414 F. Supp. 3d 928 (N.D. Tex. 2019); Whitman-Walker Clinic, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Health & Hum. Servs., 485 F. Supp. 3d 1 (D.D.C. 2020); Asapansa-Johnson Walker v. Azar, No. 20-CV-2834, 2020 WL 6363970 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 29, 2020); and Religious Sisters of Mercy v. Azar, No. 3:16-CV-00386, 2021 WL 191009 (D.N.D. Jan. 19, 2021).

OCR applies the enforcement mechanisms provided for and available under Title IX when enforcing Section 1557’s prohibition on sex discrimination. 45 C.F.R. § 92.5(a). Title IX’s enforcement procedures can be found at 45 C.F.R. § 86.71 (adopting the procedures at 45 C.F.R. §§ 80.6 through 80.11 and 45 C.F.R. Part 81).

If you believe that a covered entity violated your civil rights, you may file a complaint at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/complaints.

Washington D.C. – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557 and Title IX’s prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include: (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in covered health programs or activities. The update was made in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County and subsequent court decisions.

The Notice may be found at: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocr-bostock-notification.pdf – PDF.* **

* This HHS-approved document is being submitted to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for publication and has not yet been placed on public display or published in the Federal Register. This document may vary slightly from the published document if minor editorial changes are made during the OFR review process. The document published in the Federal Register is the official HHS-approved document.

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Trans Weightlifter Set to make History at the Tokyo Olympics

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard must overcome a horrific physical injury she suffered in 2018 in order to have a chance at the Olympics. But it’s more than that. Laura’s success has led to an onslaught of transphobic diatrades like the world has never seen. It’s going to take encouragement to empower her.

The Kiwi governing body has not only helped her overcome obstacles in her push for Olympic selection, wrote Sports Bible, but they also supported her through a devastating arm injury in 2018 that threatened to derail her dream of competing in Tokyo.

“Best of luck Laurel Hubbard,” wrote LGBTI Rights Australia.

“It means Hubbard, who won silver at the 2017 world championships and was sixth after a severe injury in 2019, is almost certain to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics…
Under IOC guidelines, issued in November 2015, athletes who transition from male to female can compete in the women’s category without requiring surgery to remove their testes provided their total testosterone level in serum is kept below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months – a rule followed by the IWF

In 2015 the IOC made amendments to their qualifying guidelines which ultimately allowed for trans athletes to compete in women’s events depending on their testosterone levels.

As long as the athlete’s levels of testosterone were 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months prior to competition, then they were eligible to compete.

For the Olympic Games, Hubbard’s inclusion will serve as a landmark moment.

But for Hubbard herself, she’ll be purely focused on coming away from Tokyo with a medal wrapped around her neck.

She is currently ranked fourth overall out of the 14 other qualifiers in the super heavyweight class, meaning she has a genuine shot of clinching gold.

You got this Laura Hubbard, go for the gold.

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Doctor: Alabama lawmakers want to punish me for treating transgender youth

Dr. Izzy Lowell
Special to the Advertiser
Dr. Izzy Lowell is a family medicine physician whose clinic QueerMed specializes in transgender medicine.

“I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.”

Years ago, I donned a white coat and uttered these words. I gathered with other young doctors and pledged to provide comprehensive and compassionate care for all my patients.

Now the state of Alabama, where I practice, is on the verge of passing a bill that would make it a felony for medical professionals to provide essential care to transgender youth. This is unconscionable, especially in the middle of a public health crisis that has killed half a million Americans.

When I first took the Hippocratic Oath, I understood the obligation I was assuming. I knew I would become responsible for fellow humans’ lives and be a harbinger of the worst or best possible news a family could hear.

Never though, in all of my training, did I imagine that those in our highest offices of power would work to subvert our solemn oath, using their positions to make determinations about who can and cannot receive care. Yet here we are. If this law is enacted, I could face up to 10 years in prison just for doing my job.

The Alabama bill would be one of the most harmful pieces of anti-trans legislation in our nation’s history. But it’s far from the only attempt to discriminate against trans people and punish those who provide them care. Trans rights, and specifically trans children’s rights, are under brutal attack by state legislatures across the country. State lawmakers have proposed a record number of anti-transgender bills this year — from banning trans kids from playing on sports teams in nearly 20 states to criminalizing doctors who provide trans youth essential healthcare in a dozen.

Compounding these legislative attacks, COVID related clinic closures and travel restrictions have further limited access to medically necessary, gender-affirming care for transgender patients during the pandemic.

Moreover, about two-thirds of LGBTQ adults have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or HIV, conditions that put them at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Access to essential care for trans Americans is more imperative than ever.

Even without this law in place, trans people face rampant discrimination in healthcare settings.

In Alabama, one in four transgender people who visited a healthcare provider had a negative experience related to being transgender, according to a 2015 survey. More than a third did not see a doctor when they needed to because they feared being mistreated as a transgender person. And 17 percent experienced issues with their insurance because of their gender identity.

The barriers to care for trans people are extensive and dangerous.

The evidence is irrefutable. Transgender children who receive gender-affirming care such as puberty-delaying medication and hormones when they are young have better mental health outcomes and report fewer cases of depression and suicidal ideation. As COVID-19 continues to take an enormous toll on the mental health of children, access to this care is critical.

The passage of this bill would make it nearly impossible for trans youth in Alabama to receive the care they need and jail doctors like myself who are committed to treating all people. And it’s not just Alabama. Bills like this are proliferating all across the country, and trans youth are relying on healthcare providers to fight for their rights.

“May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”

I write today to uphold this oath — to preserve this fine tradition and fight back against hate. So to the lawmakers who insist on legislating intolerance, quit standing in the way of healthcare professionals who only seek to help.

Dr. Izzy Lowell is a family medicine physician whose clinic, QueerMed, specializes in transgender medicine and treats trans patients in Alabama and across the Southeast.

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