The Transsexual Empire 2: Coming to a Bookstore Near You in 2013!!!

From Transmeditations:  http://transmeditations.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/the-transsexual-empire-2-coming-to-a-bookstore-near-you-in-2013/

By Joelle Ruby Ryan
May 29, 2012

Reposted with Permission

I truly enjoyed reading Roz Kaveny’s spot-on article on Rad Fem 2012 that was recently printed in the UK Newspaper The Guardian.  If you have not read it, please read it here.

While reading Roz’s article, I discovered that “rad fem” anti-trans ideologue Sheila Jeffreys is working on a new book.  Entitled Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism, and slated to be published by Routledge in October 2013, the blurb for the forthcoming book reads as follows:

“Transgender describes those who seek recognition as the opposite sex or gender on a long-term basis. The idea and practice of transgenderism now affects legal systems, schoolteachers, parents, wives and partners, and the politics of gender in profound ways.  Gender Hurts examines the wider social and political context and implications of the phenomenon of transgenderism. Jeffreys and Gottschalk propose that gender in western culture is socially constructed as the basis of male domination and that the concept of gender has the potential to hurt many. They argue that in transgenderism the hurt can take several forms; psychologically, physically and socially. This book explore how the phenomenon is affecting people’s lives from exploring the implications for the children and adults who are diagnosed as having gender identity disorder, to the survivors’ movement who claim to have been misdiagnosed, and the impact on the partners of transgenders.  This controversial book is a must read for all students and scholars of the politics of sexuality, women’s studies, gender studies, queer studies, transgender studies and cultural studies courses.”

When perusing the page on Amazon, I noticed that Jeffreys has a co-author for the book, another Australian professor named Lorene Gottschalk.  I had never heard of her, so after a Google search I found this page, which is principally about Jeffreys’s slate of research.  However, Gottschalk name’s had come up because:

“Phd supervisions completed:
2000: Lorene Gottschalk’s ‘Feminism and the Construction of Lesbianism. A Comparison of Lesbians’ Experiences in Feminist and Non-Feminist Contexts’.”

So, Jeffreys is writing a new transphobic book with her former dissertation advisee.  Can you say déjà-vu?  Back in 1979, Janice Raymond released her anti-transsexual screed The Transsexual Empire and poisoned the feminist well against trans folks for many years to come with her vitriol.  And guess what?  Raymond began the project at Boston College under her dissertation adviser, lesbian separatist Mary Daly.  Nearly 35 years later, we see history repeating itself.  But my question is this: given how far we have come in terms of transgender liberation, activism and civil rights in the past three decades, how has it come to pass that another bitterly anti-trans book in the name of “feminism” (The Transsexual Empire 2?) is being written at all, much less published by a reputable publisher of gender studies books, Routledge?   I mean if it was Spinifex, I would be highly unsurprised, but Routledge?

Jeffreys wrote a sort of rebuttal to Kaveny’s piece complaining bitterly about Conway Hall’s decision to disallow her from speaking on the Rad Fem 2012 platform of scheduled speakers. See here. She particularly does not like us transgender activists spreading the word about Jeffreys vile work on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as all over the Blogosphere.  Jeffreys has the audacity to complain about this commendable action by Conway Hall as “censorship” and bemoans trans activists like myself for calling her out for her hatefulness.  SHE IS HATEFUL!  Sorry, but given that the kind of person she is talking about is my kind of person [trans folks], WE get to decide what is and is not hateful to us, not her privileged, cisgendered behind.  And this is from a woman who has published eight books, is a Full Professor, and someone who has lectured around the globe?  And yet she is claiming to be “censored”? Is this a joke?  And you are going to make outlandish, outrageous, and deeply offensive claims about trans people and not expect to get any push-back and paint yourself as the victim?  And you are going to frame yourself as contributing to a “debate” about transgenderism?  Really???  And since this “debate” was to happen at Rad Fem 2012, how in the hell were transgender women going to take part in the debate given that we are officially banned from attending?!?

If Sheila Jeffreys had her way, gender confirmation surgery, hormone replacement therapy, puberty blockers, etc.  would not even be available to transgender youth and adults as the necessary medical treatments that they are.  She would, like her transphobic predecessor, Raymond, gleefully like to “morally mandate” the “problem” of transgenderism out of existence.  Well, the good news is that it is not 1979 anymore.  The trans community is exponentially more powerful than it was then, and the Internet has help to propel our activism like never before.  I, of course, strongly support freedom of speech and freedom of expression.  But frankly, that is neither here nor there in this case.  Just as I do not want to roll out the red carpet for Klansmen and Neo-Nazis, nor do I want to aid and abet cis-supremacist Jeffreys from getting more and larger platforms from which to spread her transphobic vitriol.  I hope that people continue to speak out against Jeffreys and use whatever power and agency they have to expose her dangerous bigotry and her attempts to negatively affect social policy regarding one of the most vulnerable and discriminated against groups in the world.

All Survivors Deserve Support: Activists Intervene at Rape Relief Walkathon

Well the transsexual/transgender hating RadFem Bigots of the Vancouver Rape Crisis Centre are back in the news again…

From The Vancouver Media Co-op:  http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/blog/flux/11077

by The Homomilitia
May 28, 2012

This blog post was written by The Homomilitia.

VANCOUVER – A small group of activists gathered at Second Beach in Stanley park Sunday to provide participants in Rape Relief’s Annual Walkathon with some alternative information highlighting the organization’s ongoing and outspoken exclusionary stance on trans women, sex workers, and substance use.

We had decided on maintaining a relatively low key presence at the event, recognizing that the space created there may be important to some survivors of sexualized violence and that having a more aggressive demonstration would be inappropriate as it could be triggering or potentially invalidate their experiences.

We distributed pamphlets (click here to download our pamphlet) to walkathon participants and decorated the pavement with positive messages in support of trans women’s rights, sex workers’ rights, harm reduction, and access to support for all survivors of sexualized violence.  Shortly into our intervention, we were approached by three disgruntled representatives from Rape Relief, who proceeded to use scare tactics in an attempt to intimidate and silence us.  They told us that we had to leave, asked for our names, photographed us, said they were going to turn the photographs in to park security, and demanded we hand over our pamphlets.  When we calmly refused, they said they were going to call the park rangers and the police.

When they returned after having allegedly called the police, they asked us to “put politics aside” and use the time before the police arrived as an “opportunity” to either dialogue or leave.  When we again refused, they demanded to know if we were affiliated with a group and why we were “interfering” with their event.  They also claimed that they “already provide this information to women accessing [their] services” and that they don’t “disrupt” “our events”.

Although the police didn’t show up, two park rangers approached us along with the Rape Relief representatives and told us that it is against a bylaw to distribute pamphlets in the park without a permit, that we couldn’t “advertise” in the park, and that we couldn’t have signs (which we didn’t).  They said that we could stay in the park and talk to people if we stopped handing out pamphlets.

Although the park rangers asked for a copy of our pamphlet and wanted to know if we were “with a group”, they insisted that they were not targeting the content of the pamphlet or our presence there.  After the park rangers and Rape Relief representatives left us alone, we regrouped and moved on to the area of the sea wall that participants would reach at the end of the walk.  We covered about 50 feet worth of pavement with positive messages (including “end transphobia,” “end violence against all women”, “transphobia is violence against women”, “<3 harm reduction”, and “<3 sex workers’ rights”), receiving positive feedback from a few passersby.

Our chalk-work was interrupted when two Rape Relief representatives aggressively confronted us, telling us again that we had to leave.  This time, one representative actually grabbed all of our remaining pamphlets and refused to return them.  We took hold of half the stack she had in her hands, at which point she reluctantly let go.  She insisted that we “obviously don’t understand her organization” because she is a volunteer who has worked with both sex workers and trans women – as if claiming to work with a community automatically makes Rape Relief an ally that provides support that is appropriate and non-judgemental.

Moments later, we noticed Rape Relief representatives carrying buckets of water, which they were using to wash away our messages, including messages which simply read, “end violence against all women” and “support services for all women.”  We noticed that they seemed to take extra care to erase all remaining traces of messages that read, “ask Rape Relief about their trans policy,” “transmisogyny is violence” and “end transphobia.”

At this point, the park rangers returned to inform us that they “obviously weren’t clear enough” regarding their bylaws.  They handed us a copy of these bylaws, with the section stating that we couldn’t affix, paint, advertise, or distribute information highlighted.   They informed us that our messages were “defacing park property” and were in breach of the “no advertising” bylaw.

When we challenged them on this, stating that children often draw on sidewalks and that the rain will eventually wash the chalk away, the park rangers argued that “children’s messages aren’t political,” thereby contradicting their earlier insistence that we weren’t being targeted for the content of our messages.  They told us that we could either leave the park, or provide identification and be issued a warning ticket.

We were fairly shaken by Rape Relief’s aggressive, and intimidating response and particularly upset over their choice to efface our messages in such a hostile  manner.  Although we weren’t necessarily shocked, we were disappointed that the organization chose to remove messages of ending violence against all women – messages that we would hope, and perhaps even assume, that any rape crisis centre would support.

Unfortunately, we recognize that we aren’t alone in our experience attempting to confront Rape Relief’s violent policies.  Their actions conform to their now predictable pattern of dismissing and silencing criticism of their organizational policies and culture.  We are committed to challenging how Rape Relief contributes to rape culture through their practices and will continue to support the growth of community responses to violence that support all survivors.

Having attended this event for the first time, we can already think of many ways to improve next year’s strategy.  For anyone interested in sharing this information and strategizing, please contact rape.relief.intervention@gmail.com

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Transgender prostitute awarded $46,000 after sex attack

It should go without saying that sex workers deserve the same rights and protections as non-sex workers.  Including the right to refuse to have sex without condoms.  Or for that matter the right to decide to not have sex with a client and refund the money without being subjected to assault or rape.

From Perth(Australia) Now:  http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/transgender-prostitute-awarded-46000-after-sex-attack/story-e6frg13u-1226374391972

Emily Moulton
May 30, 2012

A FORMER transgender sex worker who was raped by a client has been awarded more than $40,000 criminal injuries compensation.

The woman, who can not be identified, was attacked by a man who she agreed to meet for sex at a Perth hotel in June 2007.

Jason Juma was convicted of three counts of sexual penetration without consent and one count of attempted sexual penetration without consent in the District Court on September 19, 2008. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

According to documents submitted to the criminal injuries assessor, the pair arranged to meet via telephone and once inside the hotel room, agreed on a fee. After they undressed, Juma asked if he could not use a condom.

When the woman refused, Juma persisted with his request several times before attacking his victim.

In her submission, the woman said she told Juma she did not want him in the room anymore and refunded his money. When she walked him to the door he attacked her from behind and digitally penetrated her. He then threatened to punch her and tried to sexually penetrate her up to 15 times.

The woman, who moved to Perth from Sydney to work as a prostitute so she could save money for gender reassignment surgery, claimed she suffered psychological injuries as a result of the attack and had to be hospitalised on a number of occasions.

Continue reading at:  http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/transgender-prostitute-awarded-46000-after-sex-attack/story-e6frg13u-1226374391972

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Faces Transforming: research on female-to-male transsexuals

From The Skinny UK:  http://www.theskinny.co.uk/deviance/features/301923-faces_transforming_research_femaletomale_transsexuals

by Stenton Mackenzie.
Published 29 May 2012

As I study the photographic images before me, the boy’s face radiates innocence and boldness. He looks like a bit of an imp. I look at his adult face, and can still see the impishness in his expression. He is middle aged now, balding, with ruddy, coarse skin and beard shadow. This is rather astounding – because this person started out life as female.

He is one of a growing number of transsexuals in Scotland and, as such, is one of my research subjects. In the Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification (CAHId) at the University of Dundee, my PhD project is documenting for the first time the changes that take place in the faces of FTMs (female-to-male transsexuals) when they take testosterone.

I too, am a female-to-male transsexual – I am an ‘embedded’ researcher. A late starter, I began my transition at age 37 in Canada. My background is in social, and more recently, forensic anthropology.

Female-to-male and male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals are commonly grouped under the Transgender ‘Umbrella’. The trans in transgender means to “cross over”. Transgendered individuals may express a gender presentation and behaviour that does not match their ‘assigned sex’, or the norms of culturally conventional roles. Having said this, categories of gender, sex and sexuality are frequently controversial. More often than not, the most vociferous arguments over labels take place among those on the transgender continuum. This loose collation may embrace a range of identities that resist the male/female binary, such as transvestites, drag Queens and Kings, cross-dressers, and the genderqueer.

At some point or another in their lives, often as young as two or three years, but also as late as their 50’s and 60’s, transsexuals experience overwhelming feelings of dysphoria – a profound sense of disconnection between the sex of the body and a self-perception of gender. Depending on their geographical location and the entrenched concepts and bureaucracy of their society, they may change their bodies hormonally and surgically to reflect the gender identity which defines them.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theskinny.co.uk/deviance/features/301923-faces_transforming_research_femaletomale_transsexuals

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Canada ‘Church vs. State’ showdown sparked by dispute over gay-straight alliances

From LGBTQ Nation:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/05/church-vs-state-showdown-sparked-by-dispute-over-gay-straight-alliances/


May 29, 2012

TORONTO — A dispute over the use of the term “gay-straight alliance” in Ontario schools has prompted the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto on Monday to accuse Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s administration of making “religious freedom . . . a second-class right.”

The church-versus-state showdown was sparked by an amendment from Education Minister Laurel Broten to the anti-bullying bill, closing a loophole that gave schools veto power over club names.

Under the proposed change, all schools — including those in the Catholic system — won’t be able to stop students from calling anti-homophobia clubs “gay-straight alliances.”

Broten said that Ontario’s LGBTQ students received highlighted mention in the legislation, as statistically LGBTQ youth are at increased exposure and risk to being bullied and that schools, parents, and government needs to reinforce the message that this behavior will not be tolerated.

But in an interview with the Toronto Star, Marino Gazzola, chairperson of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, said Tuesday that using the word “gay” in the name of supportive clubs is going too far.

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/05/church-vs-state-showdown-sparked-by-dispute-over-gay-straight-alliances/

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Casseroles across Canada: Tonight we resist and dream together

From Rabble Canada:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2012/05/casseroles-across-canada-tonight-we-resist-and-dream-together

By Derrick O’Keefe
May 30, 2012

I don’t care what the weather report says where you are today: it’s a beautiful day across Canada.

Tonight, in over 60 communities big and small, people will be gathering to celebrate and defend the determined student and people’s movement in Quebec. It’s a night of cross-Canada Casseroles, inspired by the spirited pots and pans protests of the past week in Quebec.

The world’s joining in too, with solidarity Casseroles happening tonight in London, Paris, Brussels, New York City – and even Little Rock, Arkansas, believe it or not.

This is a remarkable and nearly totally spontaneous coming together; the idea of a coordinated ‘Casseroles Night in Canada’ was hatched barely 72 hours ago in some late night twitter banter.

Tonight, in every corner of the country, from Halfmoon Bay to Halifax, Saltspring Island to Sudbury, Whitehorse to Winnipeg (and in 50-some other not-necessarily-alliterative towns and cities), neighbours, friends and perfect strangers will gather to bang some pots and pans in solidarity with the student strike and in defence of civil liberties in Quebec.

Continue reading at:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2012/05/casseroles-across-canada-tonight-we-resist-and-dream-together

See Also:

Activist Communiqué: Could Wednesdays become ‘Casserole Night in Canada’ in support of the student strike?

Jacques Parizeau weighs in on Quebec protests, NDP remains neutral

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Bilderberg 2012: Secretive summit kicks-off in Virginia

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Chris Hayes Is Right About Heroes

I am sick and tired of the meme that says that those in the military are heroes.

Just like I am sick and fucking tired of being told I owe them my freedom.  What the Fuck?

The only people who owe the military for their freedom are the rich and powerful.

As for them being heroes.  My heroes don’t murder people.

My heroes say no to war.

From Mother Jones:  http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/05/chris-hayes-heroes

By Erik Kain
Tue May. 29, 2012

On his show on MSNBC this Sunday, Chris Hayes dedicated an hour to the subject of Memorial Day. During the show, Hayes admitted that labeling all fallen American soldiers as “heroes” made him uncomfortable.

“It is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the word hero. Why do I feel so uncomfortable about the word hero?” Hayes said. “I feel uncomfortable with the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. And I obviously don’t want to desecrate or disrespect the memory of anyone that has fallen. Obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is tremendous heroism. You know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that’s problematic, but maybe I’m wrong about that.”

The backlash was as swift and fierce as one would expect.

Breitbart.com’s Kurt Schlichter argues that “the real problem for Chris Hayes is that he actually said what he thinks. He thinks our soldiers are suckers and fools at best, brutal sociopaths at worst. At a minimum, he feels that honoring those who died for this country might encourage people to see that actually defending our country is a good thing. He’s not quite ready to make that leap; after all, most progressives are ambivalent about this whole “America” concept, if not actively opposed to it.”

This is obviously silly. American conservatives carry on endlessly about the value of individualism, but when it comes to praising soldiers on their individual merits, rather than en masse, it’s suddenly downright anti-American. Chris Hayes is practically spitting on the troops, according to Schlichter, who does his very best to avoid context and nuance in favor of ad hominem and vitriol. It’s par for the course with all-things-Breitbart, but does a good enough job illustrating the cultural divide animating this dispute.

Continue reading at:  http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/05/chris-hayes-heroes

The Coming Mega-Drought: Tightening the Screws of Want and Thirst in the American Southwest

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/9439-the-coming-mega-drought-tightening-the-screws-of-want-and-thirst-in-the-american-southwest

By Evaggelos Vallianatos
Wednesday, 30 May 2012

I have traveled extensively in America’s Southwest. I have visited cities like Austin and El Paso, Texas; Denver and Boulder, Colorado; Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Tucson, Arizona. I have walked in the great deserts of Sonora in Arizona, Mojave in California and Chihuahua in Mexico. In fact, I live in Southern California, not very far from Los Angeles, a monster city built in the desert.

When I went to the Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, I thought I was on another planet. Massive boulders, one over the other like pancakes, of great diversity in size, shape and form, and spread all over the desert landscape, give the impression that this is a place the gods created only recently, or that it was made in the beginnings of time but forgotten for countless millennia. The cacti stand next to these giant stones like witnesses of an extraordinary story never told. Bushes and exquisite flowers add luster to this gem of the natural world.

The Southwest is a beautiful country of blue skies, little water and plenty of land, most of which is semi-arid, arid or desert. Deserts are by definition inhospitable to human habitation. These are places reasonable people abandon quickly. The land is dry, sand-like, harsh and unforgiving. Even the vegetation and wildlife are sparse, accustomed to little moisture and nutrients, save for plenty of sunshine and heat.

The Southwest is not exclusively desert, but it contains an unusually large number of deserts. Only some of the surviving fragments of Native American populations live in the deserts. The rest – mostly white – live in the deserts because they have the illusion that the panoply of their civilization can defeat the aridity of the land and either mine the aquifers or bring water from elsewhere. As for the unbearable heat, the denizens of the deserts bring with them air-conditioned cars and homes, pretending nature – the hot nature of the deserts – can be domesticated, perhaps defeated.

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/9439-the-coming-mega-drought-tightening-the-screws-of-want-and-thirst-in-the-american-southwest

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Romney pledges to expand military

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Maine Governor Vetoes Teachers Bill, Cites Union’s ‘Endorsement Of Same-Sex Marriage’

What a vindictive little Nazi Prick.

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/05/30/492623/lepage-teachers-union-marriage/

By Igor Volsky
on May 30, 2012

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) vetoed a bill on Tuesday that would have provided “additional pay to public school teachers who receive special national certification” and specifically pointed to the teachers’ union recent endorsement of a referendum to repeal the state’s ban against same-sex marriage as a reason for his opposition.

In his veto message, LePage claimed that improving the quality of teachers required “a larger more coordinated statewide solution,” before lashing out at the teacher’s union, which would partially fund the certification program. The governor said the union requires teachers to pay dues “which are squandered on a host of activities not even remotely related to professional development” and singled out its position on marriage equality:

“The MEA announced its endorsement recently of the same-sex marriage proposal on the November ballot,” LePage said in a press release Tuesday. “This announcement is an example of what the union is choosing to focus on rather than expanding and enhancing opportunities for teacher development.”

LePage had lashed out at the teacher’s union after members unanimously voted in favor of marriage equality on Sunday. “Too often, however, union bosses worry about a wide variety of efforts — political campaigns, lobbying, protecting bad teachers, insurances sales, and providing golf and skiing discounts — which are not related to furthering the education of our children,” he claimed, dismissing science which has shown that legal and social inequalities undermine LGBT families and their children. Research has also shown that schools that discuss gay and lesbian people are safer for LGBT youth than schools that don’t.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/05/30/492623/lepage-teachers-union-marriage/

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Kansas pastor calls on U.S. government to kill LGBT people

Some of us have read our history and know what happens next when Nazi Pricks like this start screaming from pulpits about killing people.

Some make think they will stop with the queers but next come the people of color and the Jews.

The time to say no is now before it is too late.

Never Again!

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/30/kansas-pastor-calls-on-u-s-government-to-kill-lgbt-people/

By David Edwards
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas says President Barack Obama has gone too far in supporting same sex marriage and it’s time for the U.S. government to begin killing gay men and lesbians.

“Terrorists are dangerous, the economy is a real and present danger,” Pastor Curtis Knapp told his congregation on Sunday. “But there is simply nothing other than the holocaust of the unborn which imperils the safety of our country or places our people in jeopardy as does the leader of the Western world publicly raising his fist at the heavens and declaring that the bedrock institution of society, ordained of God and meant to be protected by the state, is little more than a convention of convenience with the children of Sodom to transform the meaning of something, which is precious to Jesus Christ, and a living picture of his love for the church into a legally protected justification for perversion and a vehicle of hatred aimed directly at that love.”

Knapp went on to read from Leviticus 20: “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.”

“They should be put to death,” Knapp declared. “‘Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no?’ — I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/30/kansas-pastor-calls-on-u-s-government-to-kill-lgbt-people/

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BREAKING: ExxonMobil shareholders again reject LGBT employment protections

From The Dallas Voice: http://www.dallasvoice.com/exxon-voted-lgbt-protections-10116107.html

Posted on 30 May 2012

ExxonMobil shareholders have again voted down a proposal to add gay and transgender employees to the Irving-based corporation’s nondiscrimination policy.

Meeting at the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Dallas Arts District, the ExxonMobil shareholders voted 80 percent to 20 percent Wednesday morning against a resolution asking the corporation to amend “its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to substantially implement the policy.”

The proposal has been introduced each year since Mobil and Exxon merged in 1999. The highest level of support came in 2008 at nearly 40 percent.

“It’s disappointing, but this isn’t the end of the issue for us,” said Resource Center Dallas’ Rafael McDonnell, who has lobbied the company on the issue. “We’re going to continue to reach out and engage them. … I think the White House needs to go back and revisit this executive order.”

The proposed executive order would require contractors to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies if they do business with the federal government, which Exxon does. However, President Barack Obama’s administration indicated earlier this year that he doesn’t plan to sign the proposed order anytime soon.

Continue reading at:  http://www.dallasvoice.com/exxon-voted-lgbt-protections-10116107.html

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The Florida election fix is in for 2012

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Women’s Center In New Orleans Destroyed By Arson, Third Incident in the South

From Progressive Democrats of America:  http://www.pdacommunity.org/louisiana/1729-womens-center-in-new-orleans-destroyed-by-arson-third-incident-in-the-south

Written by Annie-Rose Strasser posted from ThinkProgress Health
Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A New Orleans women’s health organization was destroyed last week by an unknown arsonist, becoming the latest target of attacks on women’s health clinics in the south.

The organization, Women With A Vision, was likely singled out because it offers AIDS prevention help, HIV testing, and substance abuse assistance to sex workers, transgender women, poor women, and women of color. The clinic also does community outreach and education on those issues. Like two incidents in Georgia last week, no one was injured in the fire, but the clinic lost a good share of its resources.

The fire burned female and male condoms, HIV education posters, and suits donated for women to wear to job interviews. In a letter on their website, the group discusses the losses, and calls for donations from anyone who can help:

Thanks to the fast response of all of our supporters across the country, many of you have already heard that our office was broken into last night and set on fire. The worst damage was concentrated in our community organizing and outreach office where we store all of the resources we use to educate our community. We lost everything. We do not have an office to operate out of right now. Most of our office equipment and all of our educational resources were destroyed. Because of the targeted nature, we can only assume that this was intentional.

Complete article at:  http://www.pdacommunity.org/louisiana/1729-womens-center-in-new-orleans-destroyed-by-arson-third-incident-in-the-south

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JESUS LOVER

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SEIU Passes Resolution to Support Transgender Workers

From HRC:  http://www.hrc.org/press-releases/entry/seiu-passes-resolution-to-support-transgender-workers

Press Release

Labor union vows to advocate on behalf of transgender workers during contract negotiations

05/30/2012

Washington – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, applauds the member-delegates of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for passing a resolution at their 2012 national conference in Denver yesterday.  The resolution states that SEIU local groups and members will bargain for transgender-inclusive heath care coverage as part of their contract negotiations with businesses and employers.

“This is a tremendous step forward in the fight for workplace equality for LGBT people,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “Our friends at SEIU recognize that all workers should be treated equitably, and that includes being free from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  We are incredibly grateful to Mary Kay Henry and the SEIU member-delegates for continuing to be champions of justice and equality.”

With the passage of this resolution, SEIU joins the HRC Foundation, who, for the last decade, has been working to make workplace policies and protections more inclusive for transgender employees and their families through its Corporate Equality Index (CEI). This year the CEI rating criteria was made more stringent, requiring employers to have transgender inclusive health insurance coverage.  A remarkable 206 companies met the criteria.  Furthermore, HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index recommends that all U.S. healthcare facilities provide transgender-inclusive health coverage to their employees.

Historically, transgender people have been categorically denied health care coverage for medically necessary treatment, irrespective of whether treatment is related to sex reassignment/affirmation.  Until recently, nearly all U.S employer-based health insurance plans contained “transgender exclusions” that limited insurance coverage for this population.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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Against Me! Laura Jane Grace Makes Live Debut In San Diego

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S/He

From New York Magazine:  http://nymag.com/news/features/transgender-children-2012-6/

Parents of transgender children are faced with a difficult decision, and it’s one they have to make sooner than they ever imagined.

By Jesse Green
Published May 27, 2012

Looking up from the changing table, the beautiful boy said to his mother, “I want to be a girl.”

This was not a passing phase. At 3, Mark asked to dress for Halloween as Dora the Explorer; his parents bargained him down to Darth Vader, which at least featured a cape. At 5, he insisted on trick-or-treating as Gabriella Montez, the High School Musical sweetheart. By then, his birthday parties were girl-only, with girl-only themes. Any boy toys received were instantly re-gifted to a cousin.

At first, his mom was “all Free to Be You and Me about it,” she says, willing to let Mark experiment within reason. But whose reason? The neighborhood’s? (The Benders, as I’ll call them, live in a conservative suburb in the tri-state area.) Their own? They of course loved Mark, the middle of their three sons, but worried that permission amounted to encouragement. As for Mark’s “reason”—well, as many people trying to be helpful pointed out, it was pre-rational, as if this diminished instead of intensified its authenticity. Who credits a child’s wishes? Their youngest son wanted to be Spider-Man.

But the Benders knew that Mark’s desire was different: It went far deeper than a costume donned or discarded. When asked to explain himself, he’d say things like, “I want to have long hair that moves.” The Benders would counter: Well, there’s the dad at the bus stop whose hair is like that, and he’s a boy; you can be a boy like that. “But I don’t want to be a boy with those things,” Mark would answer. “I want to be a girl with those things.” The more he pushed, the more they worried, and the more desperate his rhetoric became. “Why did God make me this way?” he cried. “I don’t like myself.” “I hate myself.” “I want God to take me up to the clouds and bring me back down as a girl.”

Through her reading on the subject, Mark’s mother gradually came to feel that she and her husband had to be that “God” for their son. But it took Mark’s implicit threats of self-harm to convince his dad. “I’m in a conservative business; I sell software,” he says. “I want the normal life. And this was gonna be different, when my son is getting out of the car in a dress in front of everybody. But then you have to think about who are you protecting? Yourself or your kid? People would say, ‘I can’t believe you’d let your kid do that. That’s abuse.’ I’ll tell you what’s abuse: suicide. Do you want a live daughter or a dead son?”

Continue reading at:  http://nymag.com/news/features/transgender-children-2012-6/

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Transgender Inclusion for LGBT Aging Organizations

I added a link under Resources for The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging.

From The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging:  http://www.lgbtagingcenter.org/resources/resource.cfm?r=512

Harper Jean Tobin, Policy Counsel, National Center for Transgender Equality
May 2012

Organizations serving LGBT older adults regularly ask the National Resource Center, or my organization, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), how they can better serve transgender people. They may not see trans older adults taking advantage of their services and programs, or they may feel staff or volunteers are unprepared to adequately serve this segment of the community. They may even have encountered prejudice against trans older adults among other LGBT community members. These are common challenges for LGBT organizations of all kinds. The following advice is adapted from Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People: The Nine Keys to Making Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations Fully Transgender Inclusive a publication of NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. These principles can help guide organizations toward full inclusion of transgender older adults.

The Basics

  • Work toward inclusion at every organizational level. Transgender people should be among your clients, members, guest speakers and event participants, volunteers, staff and board members. Get to know the trans community, organizations, advocates and trans-friendly faith organizations in your area. These may not include many trans older adults, but these connections will help you recruit and include trans older adults. Visible trans participation and leadership tends to attract more participation by trans people. Try not to rely on the leadership of one or a select few people to act as a representative of the entire trans community – try to be include trans people in all aspects of your organization. This takes time but is worth the effort.
  • Recognize the diversity of the trans community. Trans older adults are diverse in gender, race, religion, income, education, ability and sexual orientation. Again, recruiting a broad range of trans people takes time, and the trans individuals and organizations that are most visible in your community might not be very diverse.
  • Educate yourself about transgender people’s lives, experiences and concerns. Make a personal commitment to increase your knowledge through reading, research, and attending educational events. The onus should not be on individual trans people to provide basic education. If possible, arrange for training focused on transgender cultural competence.
  • Adopt a policy of respect. Understand that every person’s gender identity is who they are, and is entitled to respect. Simply put, this means that if a person identifies as a woman, she should be treated as a woman; if a person identifies as a man, he should be treated as a man.

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtagingcenter.org/resources/resource.cfm?r=512


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