Ryan Cassata – Hands of Hate (Anti-Bullying/LGBT Suicide Awareness

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Death Sentence? The Public Perception of Transgender Women of Color

From Loop 21: http://www.loop21.com/life/black-transgender-women-murder-rate

By Aaron Morrison
Jun 11th, 2012

Persistence in murder rate indicates gross lack of public empathy for LGBT’s minority

If George W. Bush didn’t “care about black people,” then people generally don’t care about the lives of transgender women of color.

That’s not exactly the way writer and activist Janet Mock put it. She and others believe a rash of murders, as well as uneven media coverage, suggest a gross lack of empathy for gender non-conforming individuals.

Mock, a 29-year-old Hawaii native, was her parents’ firstborn son. She transitioned when she was a teenager and is aware of her privilege of not having her gender identity questioned by society.

It’s a privilege that isn’t a reality for many women like her, Mock acknowledges.

That premature death for transgender women may lurk around the corner, at the bus stop or in the presence of an intimate partner is an existence that hasn’t quite caught fire in the mainstream.

“Being trans should not equate to a death sentence,” Mock said in an interview with Loop 21.

But it’s hardly that simple. Mock knows that better than most, as an outspoken advocate for transgender women. She says fighting for the rights and safety of transgender women of color requires a level of inclusiveness that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates don’t yet have down to a science.

Continue reading at:  http://www.loop21.com/life/black-transgender-women-murder-rate

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Canada: Wildrose leader takes heat for gender-reassignment stance

From The Edmonton Journal: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Wildrose+leader+opposes+public+funding+gender+reassignment+surgery/6752467/story.html

By Keith Gerein
June 8, 2012

EDMONTON — Two days after Danielle Smith promised to begin healing wounds with Alberta’s gay community, the Wildrose leader slammed the province’s promise to reinstate funding for gender-reassignment surgery.

Smith said while individuals should be free to pay for the “elective” surgery, public health dollars should go to more pressing needs such as dentistry for low-income children, insulin pumps and hearing aids for seniors.

She further accused the Tories of playing politics with the issue, saying their decision to fund the procedure was based more on currying favour than common sense.

“I think it’s clearly elective surgery,” Smith said. “I sympathize with those who want to have the surgery, and I absolutely support their right to pay for it, but when we are talking about medically necessary treatment, I think for most people this is not something that would fall into that category.

“I think that when people look at the kind of procedures that aren’t covered by the system, they sort of scratch their heads and say why would this be a higher priority than some of those other things?”

She said the government should focus on bringing down wait times down for things that are already covered, such as seniors’ care, knee-and hip replacements, cataract surgeries, and MRIs.

Continue reading at:  http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Wildrose+leader+opposes+public+funding+gender+reassignment+surgery/6752467/story.html

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Scanners will display prosthetics and identify transgender travellers

From the Sydney Morning Herald:  http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/scanners-will-display-prosthetics-and-identify-transgender-travellers-20120610-204g9.html

Rory Callinan
June 11, 2012

CONTROVERSIAL full body scanners due to be introduced in airports next month will identify prosthesis wearers, including breast cancer survivors and transgender passengers.

Earlier this year the federal government announced that the new scanners to be installed in eight international terminals would be set to show only a generic stick figure image to protect passengers’ privacy.

But documents released under freedom of information show that in meetings with stakeholders, Office of Transport Security representatives confirmed the machines would detect passengers wearing a prosthesis.

This week Breast Cancer Network Australia said it had alerted its 70,000 members that prosthesis wearers should carry a letter from their doctor and speak to security staff before passing through the body scanner to ensure discreet treatment. While breast implants would not be detected, prosthetic breasts used by those who have had a mastectomy will be.

During the meetings, OTS officials confirmed the situation would also apply to transgender passengers.

Last week a spokesman for the Infrastructure Department said there were ”procedures currently in place for the appropriate clearing of medical devices and aids and these will continue largely unchanged”.

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Federal Ban on Job Bias Still Eludes Gay Rights Groups

From Truth Out: http://truth-out.org/news/item/9720-federal-ban-on-job-bias-still-eludes-gay-rights-groups

By Curtis Tate
Monday, 11 June 2012

WASHINGTON — Gay rights activists have made significant strides in recent years on marriage and military service, but one longstanding policy goal remains elusive: a federal law to ban discrimination against gay workers.

Gays now can serve openly in the military. Gay couples now have some form of legal recognition in 19 states and the District of Columbia. But in 29 states, gay workers can still be fired or denied promotions simply because they’re gay.

To be sure, 21 states ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and all but five of those prohibit bias based on gender identity. Hundreds of cities and counties across the country have enacted nondiscrimination laws. Federal government employees are protected by a policy that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. And nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies have their own nondiscrimination policies.

But some legal experts say workers and their employers need the kind of legal clarity that only a federal law can provide.

Just because municipalities and companies have nondiscrimination policies, it doesn’t mean discrimination doesn’t happen, or that an employee who experiences discrimination has any legal recourse.”It’s very important for the law to be clear and for both employers and employees to have clear rules in place,” said Jennifer Pizer, the legal director for the Williams Institute, a research group that advances sexual orientation law and public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

A federal law to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation has languished for years. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act was first introduced in 1994. The House of Representatives approved it in 2007 on a bipartisan vote, but the Senate never took it up.

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/9720-federal-ban-on-job-bias-still-eludes-gay-rights-groups

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Amanda Marcotte interview at Netroots Nation 2012

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Working Less for a Sustainable Future

From Solutions:  http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/1099

By Anders Hayden
June 2012

Since the Industrial Revolution, two main motivations have driven the movement for work-time reduction. Free time away from the job improves individual well-being, while reducing work hours can cut unemployment by better distributing the available work. These historical motivations for work-time reduction have been joined by a new rationale: the need to reduce the impact of human societies on the environment.

The urgency of reducing humanity’s impacts on the earth is well documented. Estimates of our ecological footprint suggest that we need 1.5 planets to sustain current consumption practices, while studies of humanity’s “safe operating space” have concluded that we have already crossed some critical planetary boundaries, including safe levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Two dominant responses to this threat have emerged. One has been to carry on with business as usual, pursuing endless economic expansion while downplaying or denying the severity of environmental problems. But in some countries, business as usual has given way to a second paradigm: the idea of green growth through eco-efficiency and low-impact technologies. While laudable, evidence to date suggests that such efforts do not go far enough, as steady production and consumption growth frequently outpaces eco-efficiency improvements, resulting in continued increases in environmental impacts. Sustainable outcomes also require ideas of sufficiency, which see a need to limit the relentless expansion of output. Work-time reduction would be one way to do this that could also improve well-being.

Noticeable differences already exist among wealthy nations in terms of average hours worked per employee, which, in combination with hourly labor productivity and the percentage of the population that is employed, determine a nation’s level of production. Since the 1970s, a gap has emerged between long-hours nations, such as the United States, and several shorter-hours nations in Europe, including the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries. This gap in work hours had become, by the mid-1990s, the main factor behind the United States’ greater output per capita than Europe.1

Continue reading at:  http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/1099

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