Author Topic: Real male or Real female?  (Read 11526 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2021, 05:06:29 pm »
Sunday, 4th April Twenty One
Virginia becomes 12th state to ban gay/trans panic defense
by Jo Yurcaba

Virginia has become the 12th state to ban the use of the “gay/trans panic” defense.

Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill Wednesday against the defense, which has allowed those accused of homicide to receive lesser sentences by saying they panicked after finding out the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill passed the state House and the Senate in February.

The bill’s author, Democratic Delegate Danica Roem said she first became aware of the defense after Matthew Shepard, a gay man, was murdered in 1998, and the men who killed him used the defense in court, according to the American Bar Association.

Then, in 2004, one of the four men who were convicted of killing Gwen Araujo, a trans teenager, also used it.

Roem was a college freshman and knew she was trans when she read about Araujo’s death.

It terrified her, she said.

But what made her determined to introduce a bill to ban the defense in Virginia was a letter she has received from a 15-year-old LGBTQ constituent.

“He's out, and he sent me an email asking me to pass this bill, and I came to realize that in 2021, my out teenage constituents are living with the same fear that I did in 1998, after Matthew was killed, and that I did in 2002 after Gwen Araujo was killed,” Roem said.

“And you think of how many other people will stay closeted because they have a fear of being attacked, let alone all the other fears that a closeted person who wants to come out has.”

Roem said that a researcher who studies the LGBTQ panic defense testified that it has been used at least eight times in Virginia.

She said some Virginia lawmakers questioned it, arguing that other legal defenses aren’t banned, which Roem said is not true.

“We went through the list,” she said.

“The rape shield law — you cannot blame a rape survivor or a rape victim’s past sex life, more or less, for that person's rape in that encounter. Their sexual history is irrelevant.”

In addition, committing statutory rape against someone 14 or older and then marrying that person does not exonerate the rapist, she said.

The marriage “is not a viable defense in court,” Roem said.

“What we were showing was, sometimes things are so egregious that when we have this universal acknowledgement that this shouldn't be happening, we codify that,” she said.

“And so that's what we did with this bill.”

Though only 12 states have banned the defense, Roem said it’s still progress.

And, she said, it’s a sign that the makeup of state legislatures is changing.

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 said.

Having more openly LGBTQ representatives, particularly trans people, affects whether constituents feel like their concerns will be heard, she said.

“In my case, my teenage constituent — who knows that his delegate is trans, and he as someone who's out feels safe talking to her — can send me a bill idea and say, ‘Delegate Roem, can you carry this, can you make this happen?’ And my answer to that constituent, my answer is ‘yes.’ And we did.”

Roem said that Virginia, as the first Southern state to pass a ban on the defense, also sets an example for other states.

She said Virginia banned the defense before Vermont, Maryland and Massachusetts, though both Vermont and Maryland are considering similar bills.

Roem said that once Delaware “gets on board,” she hopes the Mid-Atlantic states can send a message to LGBTQ people.

“I hope that as a region, the Mid-Atlantic can really tell people that you are welcome here because of who you are, and we will protect you here because of who you are,” Roem said.

The delegate also said that if an LGBTQ person is killed or hurt, the state will not "let them use your mere existence as an out LGBTQ person — or the perception of you being LGBTQ — be a reason that they can hurt you.”

« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 01:59:43 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2021, 01:02:39 pm »
Monday, 5th April Twenty One
Arkansas' republican governor vetoes anti-trans health care bill
by Devan Cole

Arkansas' republican governor on Monday vetoed an anti-transgender health care bill that would've prohibited physicians in the state from providing gender-affirming "procedures" for trans people under age 18.

Governor asa hutchinson told reporters that he killed HB 1570 because the bill "would be and is a vast government overreach" and because it would've created "new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people."

The governor called the legislation "a product of the cultural war in America," adding that his veto comes even though he believed the bill was "well-intended."

The bill, called the Arkansas Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, passed the state Senate late last month by a vote of 28-7.

The state House passed it in early March by a vote of 70-22.

The bill made what it called an "exception" for some intersex people with unspecified chromosomal makeup and hormone production, and those with difficulties resulting from previous gender-affirming treatments.

It also would have banned ​so-called cross-hormone therapy,​ a gender-affirming treatment that allows for trans people to ​change their physical appearance to be more consistent with their gender identity.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 01:58:50 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2021, 03:52:59 am »
Wednesday, 7th April Twenty One
Youth activists lead the fight against anti-trans bills
by Jo Yurcaba

Eli Bundy, an 11th grader, sat in the teacher’s lounge for two hours February 23rd, missing class to testify in front of a South Carolina House subcommittee against a bill that would ban transgender athletes from competing in school sports.

Bundy, 16, said while it was frustrating to miss class, the bill “directly impacts me and my friends.”

“They didn't want to hear from us,” Bundy, who uses gender neutral pronouns, said of lawmakers who supported the bill, adding they believe the timing of the hearing was strategic.

“I think that's part of the reason why they weren't more accommodating — they didn’t want to sit through that.”

Bundy is a nonbinary activist who has been involved in challenging anti-LGBTQ legislation in the state, including a bill last year that would’ve banned transgender minors from accessing certain medical care.

Young activists like Bundy are taking a leading role in the fight against anti-transgender legislation in states across the country.

Some have testified at hearings for the more than 70 state bills targeting transgender people, and some have filed lawsuits against bills that have successfully become law.

Eliza Byard, a senior executive adviser at GLSEN, which advocates for LGBTQ youth, said that as conservative organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom have helped craft and support the increasing number of bills, trans youth have “come up with ways to fight back.”

“The incredible well of youth activism that has been at the vanguard of LGBTQ progress for the last 30 to 40 years continues to push back in new ways,” said Byard, who was the executive director for GLSEN from 2008 until a few months ago when she stepped down.

Youth activism “goes way back, and it continues today, and I feel very confident given what I've seen over the years that these advocates will prevail,” she said.

Young people say they’re stepping up because they have to, though it can be emotionally challenging for them to stay engaged.

“In my case, it feels like a necessity,” Bundy said.

“I feel like I can't afford to not pay attention, because it's my life and the life of my friends on the line, and that feels like much too high of a cost not to be paying attention to, even though it definitely can be very painful.”

Over the last few years, state lawmakers have moved away from “bathroom bills” targeting transgender adults and toward legislation meant to “protect” transgender minors or protect their cisgender peers from them.

At least 20 states are currently considering bills that would ban transgender young people from competing in school sports or limit their access to medical care, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

LGBTQ young people have been fighting restrictive legislation for decades, Byard said.

In the 1990s, one of her first projects for GLSEN was to support a young woman in Salt Lake City named Kelly Peterson, who was fighting legislation designed to prevent students from forming gay-straight alliances, or LGBTQ school clubs also known as GSAs.

“What I think is particularly true about this wave of attacks on trans students is the unbelievable and twisted invasiveness of these bills,” she said.

“Whereas Kelly Peterson in Salt Lake City was fighting for the right to form a GSA in her school, these bills are saying that any person can challenge a female athlete and subject them to a physical examination, including transvaginal examination by a doctor.”

Supporters of the bills often claim that the increasing number of youth coming out as trans is evidence that they’re being “brainwashed.”

Byard said it’s the same argument that advocates have heard for decades.

“I would remind you that 30 years ago, we were brainwashing young children to be lesbian and gay,” she said.

“In 1990, the argument was, ‘What are you talking about, there is no such thing,’ because no one was really out except the bravest young people.”

Byard said it takes “huge cultural shifts” that then allow more young people to come out.

“There is a symbiotic relationship between individual bravery and choices, cultural shifts and movement advocacy over a long period of time that has led us to the point where there is a vibrant visible population of transgender, nonbinary, LGB youth out there,” she said.

“And right now, trans youth across the country are fighting for their right to exist.”

Elliot Vogue, a 17-year-old activist who lives in Hartford, South Dakota, said he thinks young activists like himself are stepping up because “we're being silenced by our own state government and it feels powerless.”

Last year, he protested against a bill that would have made it a felony for medical professionals to provide gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers to trans minors.

In January, he testified against a measure to require birth certificates to reflect assigned sex at birth, because he is in the process of trying to change his gender marker.

Vogue said every time state lawmakers propose anti-trans bills, trans people in the state speak out against them.

Activists defeated the gender-affirming care bill, the birth certificate measure, and, on Monday, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem rejected a bill to ban transgender athletes from competing in school sports, arguing that it was too broad.

“When these bills come up and trans people are saying, ‘Hey, this isn’t OK, this isn’t going to help us, this isn’t going to help anybody else, why are you doing this?’ And then they ignore us and continue to make these bills again, it's really frustrating,” Vogue said.

“Even when we do talk to them, they don't want to listen.”

Anti-trans policies, even when they don’t pass, take a toll on young trans people’s mental health, Bundy said.

For example, a survey by the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization, found that calls to its hotline from transgender young people rose from 7.3 percent to 17.5 percent in the 24 hours following individual-1’s tweet in 2017 that he would ban transgender people from the military.

Calls to the hotline from trans young people also doubled to 14.7 percent in the week after the Texas Legislature introduced its “bathroom bill” in 2017, which would’ve required trans people to use the bathroom for their assigned sex.

Trans and nonbinary youth also have higher rates of suicidal ideation, with 52 percent reporting that they seriously considered suicide between December 2019 and March 2020, according to the Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health.

The data shows that the rhetoric surrounding anti-trans policies is “a clear danger to trans young people who are already potentially vulnerable,” Bundy said.

“I think that's what scares me the most about it, is that it is just another harmful thing in the lives of people who already potentially are struggling with a variety of other outside pressures or issues or lack of support.”

Some young people have taken their activism to the courts.

Lindsay Hecox, a 20-year-old sophomore at Boise State University, has been involved in a legal battle against an Idaho law for nearly a year.

Hecox planned to join the university cross-country team in September 2020.

She ran 70 miles a week and did all the workouts the team did, she said.

But last March, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed a bill banning transgender athletes from competing on the sports team of their gender identity.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Voice filed a lawsuit on behalf of Hecox in April, and in August, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction that prevented the law from taking effect.

“It's been quite the journey,” she said of the lawsuit.

“I can say that nothing prepares you for this, especially if you're part of a marginalized group and you don't really want all that attention, which is definitely my case.”

Hecox said she’s “cautiously optimistic” about the outcome of her case.

“I'm in this for the long run,” she said.

“Over the course of the past year that I started being an activist for this, I've gained so much more confidence in asserting that, yes, I'm doing the right thing. I should never feel like I should back down due to the amount of pressure from people who don't believe that trans women don't have any advantage in sports. I know I don't have any advantage and it's just up to the legal team, these judges, when it gets down to the decision time.”

In South Carolina, the House Judiciary Committee tabled its trans athlete bill, making a vote in 2021 unlikely, The Associated Press reported.

Bundy said it’s a positive update, but that the bill’s sponsors have said they plan to bring it back next session.

“I’m definitely glad that it isn’t going to pass this time around, but it’s one of many bills that would do harm to trans youth both in our state and others, so the fight is certainly long from over,” they said.

Offline Battle

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2021, 04:22:53 am »
Wednesday, 7th April  Twenty One
Arkansas lawmakers enact transgender youth treatment ban
by Andrew DeMillo

(LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas) — Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday made the state the first to ban gender confirming treatments and surgery for transgender youth, enacting the prohibition over the governor’s objections.

The Republican-controlled House and Senate voted to override GOP Governor asa Hutchinson’s veto of the measure, which prohibits doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.

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

Hutchinson vetoed the bill Monday 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.

The ban was opposed by several medical and child welfare groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“This legislation perpetuates the very things we know are harmful to trans youth,” Dr. Robert Garofalo, division head of adolescent and young adult medicine at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, told reporters on a press conference call held by the Human Rights Campaign.

“They’re not just anti-trans. They’re anti-science. They’re anti-public health.”

The bill’s sponsor dismissed opposition from medical groups and compared the restriction to other limits the state places on minors, such as prohibiting them from drinking.

“They need to get to be 18 before they make those decisions,” Republican Representative Robin Lundstrum said.

The Family Council, a conservative group that backed the measure, praised lawmakers for enacting “historic legislation.”

Hutchinson said the measure went too far in interfering with parents and physicians, and noted that it will cut off care for transgender youth already receiving treatment.

He said he would have signed the bill if it had focused only on gender confirming surgery, which currently isn’t performed on minors in the state.

“I do hope my veto will cause my Republican colleagues across the country to resist the temptation to put the state in the middle of every decision made by parents and health care professionals,” Hutchinson said in a statement after the vote.

The law will take effect in late July at the earliest.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it planned to challenge the measure before then.

“This is a sad day for Arkansas, but this fight is not over — and we’re in it for the long haul,” Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas’ executive director, said in a statement.

The override, which needed only a simple majority, passed easily in both chambers, with the House voting 72-25 in favor and the Senate 25-8.

The ban was enacted during a year in which bills targeting transgender people have advanced easily in Arkansas and other states.

Hutchinson recently signed legislation banning transgender women and girls from competing on teams consistent with their gender identity, a prohibition that also has been enacted in Tennessee and Mississippi this year.

Hutchinson also recently signed legislation that allows doctors to refuse to treat someone because of moral or religious objections.

And the Legislature isn’t showing signs of letting up.

Another bill advanced by a House committee earlier Tuesday would prevent schools from requiring teachers to refer to students by their preferred pronouns or titles.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ rights group, said more than 100 bills have been filed in statehouses around the country targeting the transgender community.

Similar treatment bans have been proposed in at least 20 states.

The foundation established by the family of Bentonville-based Walmart’s founder on Tuesday raised concerns about the recent measures in Arkansas targeting LGBTQ people.

“This trend is harmful and sends the wrong message to those willing to invest in or visit our state,” Tom Walton with the Walton Family Foundation said in a statement released before the override vote.

One lawmaker opposed to the measure compared it to the anti-integration bills Arkansas’ Legislature passed in 1958 in opposition to the previous year’s desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.

“What I see, this bill, is the most powerful again bullying the most vulnerable people in our state,” Democratic Senator Clarke Tucker said before the vote.

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2021, 11:10:29 am »
Wednesday, 7th April  Twenty One (originally published Sunday, 11th October  Twenty Twenty)
Authors Including Roxane Gay And Stephen King Have Signed A Letter In Support Of Trans People
by Rebecca Shaw

More than 1800 literary figures from the US and Canada, including Stephen King and Roxane Gay, have signed a letter pledging their support for trans and non-binary people.

Authors like Stephen King, Roxane Gay, and Neil Gaiman have joined almost 2000 American and Canadian writers, editors, and publishing professionals in making a public statement in support of trans and non-binary people.

In recent times we have seen transphobic opinions given credibility in news organisations, and famous figures like J.K Rowling using their platforms to espouse transphobic beliefs.

In an attempt to show support for trans and non-binary communities, by using an equally public platform, a new letter has been released, with many well-known signatories publicly declaring that they agree with the contents.

It begins with a short but direct statement.

“As members of the writing and publishing community of the United States and Canada, we stand firmly in support of trans and non-binary people and their rights. We are writers, editors, journalists, agents, and professionals in multiple forms of publishing. We believe in the power of words. We want to do our part to help shape the curve of history toward justice and fairness.”

Much of the discourse around trans people and their rights is muddied by transphobic activists.

They want to use semantics, and misinformation to try and get other people over to their side.

The letter opening with such a strong stance cuts through all of that, and makes it clear that it comes down to fairness, and respect.

The opening statement is then followed up with a more personal declaration.

“To that end, we say: non-binary people are non-binary, trans women are women, trans men are men, trans rights are human rights. Your pronouns matter. You matter. You are loved.”

The letter has been signed by almost 2000 people, and is expected to grow.

You love to see it.

Although the letter itself never explicitly mentions J.K Rowling by name, creator and author Maureen Johnson told Publisher’s Weekly that J.K’s involvement in the debate over transgender rights had a direct impact on the trans community.

“When J.K. got involved, it gave a lot of legitimacy to something that before seemed fringey. It became more accepted, because people know J.K. from Harry Potter,” and saying that she had organised the letter because “it’s human decency. Sometimes you need to put your name on the line and say I don’t agree with what’s going on.”

Offline Battle

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2021, 12:45:04 pm »
Wednesday, 7th April  Twenty One
NC bill orders any school employee to 'immediately' notify parents if a child 'exhibits gender nonconformity'
by David Badash

North Carolina bill attacking the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and especially transgender and queer or questioning youth and young adults violates their right to privacy and places tremendous power in the hands of any person – regardless of training or expertise – who is employed by, contracted by, or is even a volunteer to any school district, court, or child placement agency.

Senate Bill 514 makes it illegal for any teacher, school administrator, contractor, and even volunteers, among other "government agents," to not "immediately" inform, in writing, the parents or legal guardians of any child or young adult – up to the age of 21 – if that "minor under its care or supervision has exhibited symptoms of gender dysphoria, gender nonconformity, or otherwise demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner incongruent with the minor's sex."

"The notice shall describe all of the relevant circumstances with reasonable specificity," the legislation adds.

In other words, the bill's author, republican state Senator ralph hise, a individual-1 acolyte, is deputizing every government "agent, employee, volunteer, or contractor of a public child services agency, private child placing agency, court, or school district" to not only determine what constitutes symptoms of gender dysphoria (a medical diagnosis) or gender nonconformity, an entirely subjective belief.

The legislation also "would prevent doctors from performing gender confirmation surgery for transgender people younger than 21," the Associated Press reports.

"Medical professionals who facilitate a transgender person's desire to present themselves or appear in a way that is inconsistent with their biological sex could have their license revoked and face civil fines of up to $1,000 per occurrence. The measure bars doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery."

The mis-named legislation, the Youth Health Protection Act, pushes the age of majority from 18 to 21 for the purposes of banning gender confirmation treatment of any kind, and for reporting to parents the possibility their children may be transgender.

It literally puts some LGBTQ children at risk of physical and emotional abuse and homelessness, and sends the message statewide to be on the lookout for LGBTQ children and young adults, and that their behavior should be subject to extraordinary action.

"Transgender youth have the best chance to thrive when they are supported and affirmed, not singled out and denied critical care that is backed by virtually every leading health authority," Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, said in a statement to the AP, adding that "a person's gender identity shouldn't limit their ability to access health care or be treated with dignity and respect."

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2021, 10:17:40 am »
Sunday, 11th April  Twenty One
Alarm grows over impact of states banning trans youth treatment
by Justine Coleman & Lauren Vella

Medical experts and LGBT advocates are sounding the alarm over the physical and mental health risks to the transgender community after at least 19 state legislatures, including Arkansas, have proposed or passed bills seeking to ban trans youth treatment.

Proponents of the bills have argued that the legislation is in place to protect children from making irreversible decisions about their bodies.

But earlier this week, doctors and LGBT organizations defended treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, and warned about a potential increased suicide rate among trans youth if such legislation is enacted.

Arkansas on Tuesday became the first state to pass a law prohibiting treatment for trans individuals younger than 18 years old.

The bill passed after the state legislature overrode Governor asa Hutchinson's (R) veto against the bill.

The law does not address what happens to children who have already started trans treatment, which experts warned could be dangerous.

Several states are close behind Arkansas.

The Alabama Senate passed a bill that makes providing treatment like puberty blockers or hormones to minors a felony.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has tracked at least 25 bills specifically targeting trans youth health care, proposed in at least 19 states this year.

Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said that just the act of lawmakers proposing this legislation poses a mental health threat to transgender youth and the community as a whole.

"In the past when states have floated anti-trans bills, we've seen calls to the trans lifeline as much as triple," Heng-Lehtinen said, recounting calls placed to suicide lifelines following North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill, H.B. 2.

"That really shows the extreme mental health harm inflicted on trans people of all ages. They really send a message to all trans people about whether or not your government cares about you," Heng-Lehtinen said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Endocrine Society and several other large medical groups have publicly opposed bills outlawing trans youth treatment.

Robert Garofalo, the division head of adolescent and young adult medicine at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, called the Arkansas legislation "not just anti-trans" but "anti-science" and "anti-public health."

"These are not experimental treatments," he said during a press conference with the Human Rights Campaign ahead of the Arkansas legislature's override.

"They've been well-studied, and they're well-supported by scientific evidence that has been conducted globally."

"There's a need to really understand that there are many studies that detail the very benefits of these treatments, and almost none of them suggest that there's any harm in accessing care," he added.

Jack Turban, a fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine, pointed to research that "consistently shows" how health care for trans minors "results in better mental health outcomes."

"Kids who want these interventions but can't access them have higher rates of a whole range of mental health problems, including considering suicide," he said at the HRC briefing.

"My fear, and the fear among a lot of doctors and parents and researchers in this area, is that if these bills were to pass, we're going to be throwing away decades of medical progress and really putting the health of these vulnerable people at risk," he added.

Kansas Representative Stephanie Byers (D), the first transgender lawmaker to serve in the Kansas legislature, pushed back on the notion that treatments such as puberty blockers cause irreversible change and suggested access to such treatment supports youth mental health.

"It's a misdirection," she said during an interview with The Hill.

She added that these treatments give children a head start and make it so that they are "not having to combat a body that's developed backwards from where they need to be," she said.

Medical experts recommend puberty blockers and hormone therapy as the best way to give adolescents more time before making more permanent decisions, such as surgery.

More than half of trans and nonbinary youth, aged 13 to 24, already report that they had seriously considered suicide, compared to 34 percent of cisgender LGBT youth, according to The Trevor Project's 2020 National Survey.

Crisis line supervisors at the Trevor Project, a crisis and suicide prevention organization for LGBT youth, have already received calls from youth and family in which they ask what they can do about losing "life-saving" care, said Casey Pick, the senior fellow for advocacy and government affairs.

"When you take away that hope of treatment, you increase a sense of hopelessness," she said.

"You increase a sense of lack of control over their own lives. And all of these are negative factors when it comes to an individual's mental health and to potential suicidality."

Pick said she's concerned the Arkansas law will cause a "domino" effect of other successful legislation in other states.

The ACLU has committed to legal action to prevent the Arkansas law from being enforced 90 days after the state's legislative session.

Arli Christian, a campaign strategist with the ACLU's National Political Advocacy Department, said the union is "determined to continue to fight this bill."

"If our Arkansas legislature cannot have the decency to understand that this is flying in the face of medical science and experts, and it is discriminatory, then we will bring that to the courts and show that this is pure and simple discrimination against transgender people and transgender youth specifically," Christian said.

The legislation barring treatment for trans youth are not the only bills proposed this year that target transgender individuals.

Various state lawmakers have also proposed a series of legislation that prevents transgender girls from participating on middle school, high school and college sports teams aligned with their gender identity, including bills enacted in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.

Arkansas Representative Robin Lundstrum (R) sponsored the health care legislation that made it to Hutchinson's desk but initially received a veto instead of a signature.

The governor labeled the bill as "well-intentioned, but off course," saying it amounted to government overreach.

Lundstrum has asserted that the state bill was designed to ensure the safety of children, saying "they need to be protected" from transgender treatments.

"Even medicine sometimes is wrong," she said, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

"We should never experiment on children. Ever."

But advocates argue that it is medical professionals, along with trans youth and their parents, who should be making decisions about health care.

"We know that people are able to live their best lives and be productive and find joy when they are treated with dignity and respect and have support," Kierra Johnson, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, told The Hill.

"These anti-trans bills are creating barriers to just that. It interrupts the opportunity for physicians to make the best recommendations for the child."

As state legislatures battle over whether to restrict trans health care, President Biden issued the first presidential proclamation officially recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility last month.

His administration includes the first openly transgender official in a Senate-confirmed position.

Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Rachel Levine faced questions on trans youth treatment during her confirmation hearing from Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who said Levine backs surgeries for trans minors in a misleading claim.

"Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed," Levine said to Paul, without specifically answering his question.

Despite efforts in state legislatures, critics say that one way to change the conversation surrounding transgender treatment as a whole in the U.S. is to increase visibility.

Sasha Buchert, a senior attorney at Lambda Legal, said that many of these bills are "preying on a misunderstanding and fear about who trans people are."

But, she argues, humanizing trans people will inform the public about the trans community and the challenges they face.

The more visible the trans community is to others, she says, the more "the personal experiences they've had with trans people has shifted them and their views."

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2021, 11:55:09 am »
Sunday, 11th April  Twenty One
Trans official who met with Arkansas governor before the anti-trans bill vote
by Ali Velshi

Arkansas is the first state to ban health care and gender-affirming treatment for transgender youth, after the legislature overrode a veto by republican Governor asa Hutchinson.

In the days before he vetoed the bill, Hutchinson met with health officials, and members of the transgender community, including the state's first transgender elected official, Evelyn Rios Stafford.

She says, “there was a moment where I said to the governor, ‘I thought Republicans were supposed to be the party of small government and here we've got nine bills in all in our state that are doing everything from reaching in between families and their doctors’…They're reaching into every aspect of life and collectively they're just trying to make life impossible for trans people in this state, especially trans youth.” She added,

“in a state like Arkansas, I almost feel like the best thing that could happen right now is for legislators to just leave us alone.”

« Last Edit: April 11, 2021, 08:33:50 pm by Battle »

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2021, 05:47:01 am »
Thursday, 5th May  Twenty One
‘The Normal Heart’ virtual reading set with Sterling K. Brown & Laverne Cox
by Blue Telusma

For the first time in history, a predominantly Black, LGBTQ and POC cast – led by Sterling K. Brown and Laverne Cox – will be starring in Larry Kramer’s famed play, The Normal Heart.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the play, which follows the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, will have it’s historic virtual table read on May 8th, 2021.

In addition to Brown and Cox, the cast will be rounded out with Jeremy Pope, Vincent Rodriguez III, Guillermo Díaz, Jake Borelli, Ryan O’Connell, Daniel Newman, Jay Hayden, and Danielle Savre.

Martin Sheen, who starred in the original London production back in 1986, will also make a cameo to provide a special introduction.

Ahead of the show, director Paris Barclay spoke to THR about the decision to re-imagine the story in a way that highlighted Black love against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was in New York when this play happened and felt the reverberations of it in every aspect of my life,” explained Barclay.

“I went and saw the original production at The Public Theater, in which Brad Davis played the Ned Weeks role, and not only was I moved by it, but it’s one of the things that made it clear to me that I couldn’t have a career without also being some kind of an activist.

“That’s the plea of the play, that we have to all get involved. We have to all do something to help each other. And so very, very early before I even was a director, I was still an advertising copywriter at that time, this play is one of the things that instilled the idea that there really isn’t a public life without activism.”

The 64-year-old then explained how the impressive A-list cast was assembled to take part in the project.

“What happened was I was offered the opportunity to do the reading of the play by the heroes at the ONE Archives Foundation. I immediately grabbed at it — I said, “Sure, I’ll do a reading, I don’t have anything to do with my spare time, I’ll just do a reading of The Normal Heart, why not,” he recalled.

“I immediately thought of Sterling K. Brown. I thought Sterling K. Brown would be exactly suited to the power, the passion and the emotion of Ned Weeks,” he continued.

“Before the casting process even really began, I ran that name up the flagpole, it was agreed, I reached out to him and he agreed to do it.

“So he was the linchpin of the cast for me — I’ve always admired him, I’ve never had a chance to work with him directly, and we’re going to have that chance at some point soon, I hope. But he became Ned Weeks and once he became Ned Weeks I thought well, there’s no reason when you’re doing a reading not to cast it with people that you also think would be powerful in the roles regardless of who they appear to be.”

This week’s reading is being organized by ONE Archives Foundation, the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the U.S., along with the Invisible Histories Project, which is dedicated to making LGBTQ Southern history accessible to the community.

One hundred percent of ticket sales will go towards the One Archives Foundation and its initiatives.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 10:00:15 am by Battle »

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2021, 09:49:40 am »
Monday, 10th May  Twenty One
Biden administration restores protections for LGBTQ folks in health care
by Marissa Higgins

When individual-1 was in office, we know he and his administration pushed numerous harms onto the nation, including the most marginalized communities.

As Daily Kos covered, we saw enormous steps backward in terms of immigration, COVID-19 response, and transgender rights and equality, among countless others.

Because individual-1 left the nation in such shambles, much of President Joe Biden’s early days in office have focused on fixing the mess individual-1 left.

In this case, the Biden administration just announced its reversal of a hateful individual-1-era policy that is sure to give LGBTQ people a breath of relief.

On Monday, the Biden administration affirmed it is reversing the discriminatory individual-1-era policy that tried to minimize legal rights for LGBTQ people receiving health care, as reported by the Associated Press. ⚧️

What does this mean in simple, practical terms?

Already existing federal laws that protect people from health care discrimination on the basis of sex do also apply to LGBTQ people, including transgender folks. ⚧️

Basically, Biden is bringing us all the way back to the Obama years, and in terms of LGBTQ health care protections, that’s a very good thing.

Hospitals and other medical entities that violate the law can also face government sanctions.

In a statement, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra explained that people may forgo medical care because they fear discrimination.

Becerra stressed that “Everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.” ⚧️

Becerra is correct: Studies show that LGBTQ people do report discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and that it can contribute to people not seeking care. ⚧️

For example, as reported by the American Independent, a national CAP survey found 8% of LGBTQ respondents said a physician refused to treat them because of their perceived sexual orientation, while 9% said a physician used abusive language while treating them, and 7% said a physician refused to recognize their family, such as a same-sex partner.

If you can imagine it, the outlook can feel even more dire when it comes specifically to the transgender community. ⚧️

For example, as found in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, nearly 30% of respondents said they delayed medical care when hurt or sick because they feared discrimination. ⚧️

Sadly, this fear isn’t totally outside the realm of reality as nearly 30% of people also said they had survived harassment in medical settings.

About 19% said they had been refused care because they were transgender or gender nonconforming.

So, all in all, this change by the Biden administration is an important one.

As Becerra pointed out, it will also bring the HHS up to speed with the Supreme Court ruling protecting LGBTQ folks from employment discrimination on the basis of sex. ⚧️

“Now it’s clear, there’s no ambiguity,” Becerra said, as reported by Reuters.

“You cannot discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” ⚧️

That said, we know these changes are not enough.

For example, state lawmakers are pushing a truly overwhelming number of anti-trans bills, most focused on health care, girls' sports, and birth certificates.

Some of these bills have been signed into law—including by republican governors who claim they’re not even priorities—and some have failed in various state committees.

Every failure is a relief, but just the fact that republicans are pushing this anti-trans hysteria so strongly and getting it out into the public dialogue is concerning.

The national effort can cement the notion that these ideas are actually popular, and that they are reasonable and deserving of a platform.

So we need to take steps forward with joy, but also not hesitate in the fight to protect the most vulnerable among us.

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2021, 04:00:21 pm »
Wednesday, 16th June   Twenty One
Education Department says Title IX protects LGBTQ students
by Jo Yurcaba

The Department of Education will interpret Title IX, a federal law that protects students from sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools, to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination, according to a federal notice published Wednesday. ⚧️

The update is a reversal of a individual-1 policy rolling back Obama-era guidance that directed schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms, changing rooms and other school facilities that aligned with their gender identity. ⚧️

The department said in a press release that its interpretation came from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which held that LGBTQ people are protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. ⚧️

President Joe Biden issued an executive order in the first days of his presidency directing all federal agencies to implement the Bostock ruling and update their enforcement of sex discrimination protections accordingly.  ⚧️

In the 6-3 Bostock majority opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch, an appointee of individual-1, wrote that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is discrimination based on sex.  ⚧️

"The Supreme Court has upheld the right for LGBTQ+ people to live and work without fear of harassment, exclusion, and discrimination — and our LGBTQ+ students have the same rights and deserve the same protections," U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.   ⚧️

"I'm proud to have directed the Office for Civil Rights to enforce Title IX to protect all students from all forms of sex discrimination. Today, the Department makes clear that all students—including LGBTQ+ students—deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in schools that are free from discrimination."  ⚧️

The directive will allow the Department of Education to pursue Title IX complaints from LGBTQ students — reversing individual-1's 2018 announcement that it wouldn't investigate civil rights complaints from trans students prohibited from using school facilities that aligned with their gender identity.  ⚧️

The policy could also affect states that have passed laws barring trans student athletes from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender.  ⚧️

Nine states have passed such measures — eight of which passed in 2021.  ⚧️

After the department announced the policy, Cardona tweeted video of an interview he did with ESPN about trans athlete bans.

"Transgender athletes are students, first and foremost, and they deserve every right that every other student gets," including access to extracurricular activities such as sports, he said.  ⚧️

Sponsors of trans athlete bans have said trans girls have a competitive advantage over cisgender girls, but they've been unable to cite clear scientific evidence to show that's true or examples where trans girls competing in girls sports have caused problems.

Cardona said he recognizes there's "a lot of concern" around the issue of fairness, "but what's not tolerable is saying that some students cannot participate because of their gender."   ⚧️

He added that he does believe in states having control over their own laws, "but we do have a responsibility to protect the civil rights of students, and if we feel the civil rights are being violated, we will act."   ⚧️

A peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization, found that trans and nonbinary youth who reported experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity had more than double the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those that didn't. ⚧️

It also found that the odds of trans youth attempting suicide declined by 25 percent when they reported having at least one gender-affirming space.

“Young people spend most of their time at school and it’s crucial that all students are protected from discrimination and afforded the same rights," Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project said in a statement.

"This policy clarification is welcomed, but we must continue to push the Senate to pass the Equality Act and codify nondiscrimination protections for the trans community, and to resist efforts to restrict trans students’ access to gender-affirming bathrooms, school sports, and LGBTQ-inclusive curriculums.”   ⚧️

« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 07:54:12 pm by Battle »

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2021, 02:45:59 pm »
Thursday, 17th June  Twenty One
Supreme Court unanimously rules in favor of Catholic foster agency in case that pitted religious freedom against LGBTQ rights
by Kelly McLaughlin & Madison Hall

The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday in favor of a Catholic child welfare organization, saying the charity has a right to decline to place foster children with same-sex couples.

Catholic Social Services sued the City of Philadelphia after it informed private agencies that provided foster care services that it would not refer children to the agencies unless they agreed to nondiscrimination requirements.

Catholic Social Services argued that it had the right to opt-out of the nondiscrimination requirement, citing the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that Philadelphia cannot force the charity to certify same-sex couples as foster parents, saying the rule violated their First Amendment rights.

The case marks a win for religious groups in a case that pitted religious freedom against the rights of LGBTQ citizens.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 07:07:35 pm by Battle »

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2021, 10:32:08 pm »
Monday, 21st June  Twenty One
Transgender weightlifter Hubbard selected for Tokyo Olympics
by Associated Press

(WELLINGTON, New Zealand) — Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard will become the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics after being selected by New Zealand for the women’s event at the Tokyo Games, a decision set to test the ideal of fair competition in sports. ⚧️

Hubbard will compete in the super-heavyweight 87-kg category. ⚧️

Her selection was made possible by updated qualifying requirements. ⚧️

The 43-year-old competed in men’s weightlifting competitions before transitioning in 2013.  ⚧️

“I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders,” Hubbard said in a statement issued by the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) on Monday.

Hubbard has been eligible to compete at the Olympics since 2015, when the International Olympic Committee issued guidelines allowing any transgender athlete to compete as a woman provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months before their first competition.  ⚧️

Some scientists have said the guidelines do little to mitigate the biological advantages of those who have gone through puberty as males, including bone and muscle density.  ⚧️

Advocates for transgender inclusion argue the process of transition decreases that advantage considerably and that physical differences between athletes mean there is never a truly level playing field.  ⚧️

Kereyn Smith, the CEO of New Zealand’s Olympic Committee, said Hubbard met the IOC and the International Weightlifting Federation’s selection criteria.   ⚧️

“We acknowledge that gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the field of play,” Smith said.   ⚧️
“As the New Zealand Team, we have a strong culture of …. inclusion and respect for all.”

Save Women’s Sport Australasia, an advocacy group for female athletes, criticized Hubbard’s selection.  ⚧️

“It is flawed policy from the IOC that has allowed the selection of a 43-year-old biological male who identifies as a woman to compete in the female category,” the group said in a statement.  ⚧️

Weightlifting has been at the center of the debate over the fairness of transgender athletes competing against women, and Hubbard’s presence in Tokyo could prove divisive.

Her gold medal wins at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa, where she topped the podium ahead of Commonwealth Games champion Feagaiga Stowers, a Samoan, triggered outrage in the host nation.

Samoa’s weightlifting chief said Hubbard’s selection for Tokyo would be like letting athletes “dope” and feared it could cost the small Pacific nation a medal. ⚧️

Belgian weightlifter Anna Vanbellinghen said last month allowing Hubbard to compete at Tokyo was unfair for women and “like a bad joke”.   ⚧️

Australia’s weightlifting federation sought to block Hubbard from competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast but organizers rejected the move.   ⚧️

Hubbard was forced to withdraw after injuring herself during competition, and thought her career was over.

“When I broke my arm at the Commonwealth Games three years ago, I was advised that my sporting career had likely reached its end,” Hubbard said while thanking New Zealanders on Monday.  ⚧️

“But your support, your encouragement, and your aroha (love) carried me through the darkness.”

Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand President Richie Patterson said Hubbard had “grit and perseverance” to return from injury and rebuild her confidence.   ⚧️

“We look forward to supporting her in her final preparations towards Tokyo,” he said.

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2021, 08:33:50 am »
Wednesday, 23rd June  Twenty One
Louisiana Won't Ban Transgender Athletes On Girls' Teams
by The Associated Press

(BATON ROUGE, Louisiana)Governor John Bel Edwards on Tuesday struck down a bill prohibiting transgender athletes from competing on girls' sports teams in Louisiana schools, pushing back against legislation that has passed several Southern states.

The veto from the Deep South's only Democratic governor was expected, since Edwards called the measure discriminatory.

"As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana," the governor said in a statement.

"Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn't a single case where this was an issue" in Louisiana.

Backers of the measure said they were trying to protect female athletes from unfair competition and preserve equality for women's sports across K-12 schools and colleges.

The proposal by Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell, the Senate's second-ranking republican, passed with bipartisan veto-proof margins:

a 29-6 vote in the Senate and a 78-19 vote in the House.

Still, it's unclear if enough lawmakers would hold together to call for a special veto session to try to override the governor's rejection.

The regular legislative session is over, and Louisiana has never held a veto override session under the current constitution adopted in 1974.

Mizell didn't immediately return a call for comment Tuesday about the veto and whether she'd seek an override effort.

The legislation was similar to bans passed by republican-led legislatures in several states.

Idaho was the first state to approve such a bill, and it's been followed by others including Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Proponents in Louisiana pointed to the state of Connecticut, where they said two transgender females participating in women's track events broke 15 records.

They suggested transgender athletes have an automatic, built-in advantage in competitions against other females.

"Nobody wants to treat anyone with inequity, but there is not an equal situation physically," Mizell said during legislative debate on the bill.

Though the ban would have kept both transgender girls and boys from competing on teams of their identified gender, nearly all the discussion centered on female sports.

Mizell named the bill the  "Fairness in Women's Sports Act."

She pushed back against arguments that the law was unnecessary in Louisiana because no specific examples could be located in the state.

She told colleagues:

"I don't know why we'd want to wait until the state is in a lawsuit with a school or a family."

Opponents said the ban would discriminate against people who already are marginalized and suggested Louisiana could lose businesses and events that refuse to locate in places that have enacted such laws.

Edwards cited similar concerns.

He said the bill "would make life more difficult for transgender children, who are some of the most vulnerable Louisianans when it comes to issues of mental health."

"We should be looking for more ways to unite, rather than divide our citizens," he said. ⚧️

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association already has enacted the equivalent of a prohibition on transgender athletes participating on high school sports teams in the state.

The organization requires student athletes to compete "in the gender of their birth certificate unless they have undergone sex reassignment."

« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 07:28:48 pm by Battle »

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Re: Real male or Real female?
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2021, 07:15:22 pm »
Friday, 25th June  Twenty One
President Biden Signs A Law To Memorialize Victims Of The Pulse Nightclub Mass Shooting
by Alana Wise

President Biden signed a memorial bill to recognize the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting and offered his condolences to people who are awaiting news on their loved ones in the wake of the deadly Surfside, Florida, partial condo collapse.

Biden — who was vice president when a 29-year-old man killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in the nightclub mass shooting — signed the bill to enshrine a monument to the dozens killed in the Latin Night massacre. ⚧️

The shooting occurred at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016.

The month of June is celebrated annually as LGBTQ Pride Month in the United States.

"May a president never have to sign another monument like this," Biden said.