Queery: Kye Allums

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2013/08/28/queery-former-gwu-basketball-player-and-trans-advocate-kye-allums-lgbt-sports-issue/

on August 28, 2013

When Kye Allums told his fellow players on the women’s basketball team at George Washington University during his sophomore year that he wanted them to start using male pronouns and his new name it took a little time for them to get it.

“They laughed at first,” the 23-year-old St. Paul, Minn., native says. “They were like, ‘Yeah, you woke up, now you’re a boy, whatever,’ but when they knew I was serious, they didn’t understand it at all, but they started seeing how it was affecting me. I was smiling then. In the end, they started to switch because they could see using the appropriate name made me happy and in the end they wanted to support me.”

Allums says the issue of being male on a women’s team “didn’t bother me at all.”

After graduating, Allums (imenough.org) parlayed his career into trans advocacy work — mostly visiting college campuses where he spreads his belief that “I am enough — what I say, what I feel, that is enough. You shouldn’t have to tweak yourself to make somebody else happy.” He splits his time between New York and Washington when he’s not traveling (which he says was about 93 percent of the time in the last year). He just got back from London and Scotland where he worked on a documentary about the experiences of trans people around the world. He hopes to finish it with a trip to the United Arab Emirates and Thailand in December.

Allums is single — one of the downsides of constant travel, he says. He enjoys writing, shopping for shoes, Netflix and traveling in his down time.

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?

I’ve always known who I was. However, I didn’t always have the vocabulary to describe myself. When I was 14, I came out to my friends as a gay female. The hardest person to tell was my best friend at the time. In the end I never told her. I let someone else (who loved to spread other people’s business) tell her for me. When I was 18, I found out what being a trans man meant. Then I came out to myself. Honestly I’d say coming out to myself was harder than coming out to anyone. I had these negative views of trans people and what I thought it meant and I hated that I fit under that “label.” Little did I know that being trans is simply customizing my identity to what I want it to be. Not my parents, friends or society. Me. I get to be who I choose to be and I love everything about that. Oh yeah, and I recently came out as a gay man!

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2013/08/28/queery-former-gwu-basketball-player-and-trans-advocate-kye-allums-lgbt-sports-issue/

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Rumble: Doesn’t Chelsea Manning Deserve Her Rights?

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Getting Hormones and Surgery for Transgender Prisoners

From The Atlantic:  http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/getting-hormones-and-surgery-for-transgender-prisoners/278998/

The Army’s blanket denial of hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery to Chelsea Manning may not be the final word on the matter.

Aug 23 2013

Yesterday, one day after the whistleblower formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking thousands of classified documents, Manning announced that she has embraced her true gender identity and would like to live out the rest of her sentence—and the rest of her life—as Chelsea Manning, a woman. So how does the criminal justice system care for the health and well-being of transgender prisoners?

Access to transition-related healthcare services, such as hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery, has been a major concern for transgender prisoners and advocates. Before 2010, it was the policy of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to provide hormones at whatever level was maintained prior to the incarceration. After a 2010 lawsuit, however, the bureau reformed those regulations to include transgender women who did not begin hormone therapy until after their incarceration—and today, for the most part, transgender prisoners are able to access necessary hormone therapy. When Pfc. Manning mentioned in her statement that she would like to begin hormone therapy “as soon as possible,” the Army quickly released a statement saying that it “does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder.”

“It seems odd that the Army would make a determination on Manning’s healthcare needs before they’ve even had an assessment,” says Masen Davis, the Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. “Manning has the right to access necessary medical care while she is in prison, which may include estrogen. That should be determined by a doctor and the patient, not by bias.”

Although transgender inmates are not currently able to receive sex reassignment surgery while incarcerated, in 2012 a U.S. District Judge ordered Massachusetts prison officials to provide sex reassignment surgery to Michelle Kosilek, a transgender woman serving life in prison for murder, on the basis that the surgery would meet Kosilek’s “serious medical need.” The Massachusetts Department of Correction is currently appealing the decision, but according to Jennifer Levi, Director of the Transgender Rights Project for the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), the decision opens the door to the possibility that transgender inmates might be able to access sex reassignment surgery.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/getting-hormones-and-surgery-for-transgender-prisoners/278998/

Transgender People Being Murdered At A Rate Almost 50 Percent Higher Than Lesbians And Gays

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/transgender-people-being-murdered-at-a-rate-almost-50-percent-higher-than-lesbians-and-gays/news/2013/08/26/73904

by David Badash
on August 26, 2013

Transgender people were murdered last month at a rate that is almost 50 percent higher than the murders of lesbian and gay people. From Canada to the United States to Central and South America, in the month of July alone, 23 transgender people and 16 gay men and lesbian women — a total of 39 people — were murdered, according to a study from the Organization of American States. The OAS represents all 35 countries of the American continent. In just the U.S., an estimated .3 percent of the total population openly identify as transgender, and 3.5 percent of American adults openly identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, with bisexual people making up 1.8 percent of that 3.5 percent, according to the Williams Institute.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the OAS issued a warning earlier this month, “reiterat[ing] its deep concern on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersex persons (LGTBI), and against persons perceived as such in the Americas.” The group “urges OAS Member States to adopt urgent measures to prevent this violence and discrimination. In particular, the Commission is concerned about the high levels of violence and discrimination faced by gay, lesbian and trans youth in the region.”

The IACHR added it “was informed that, during the month of July 2013, 23 murders were committed against trans persons and trans women or those perceived as such in Brazil (9), Colombia (2), Honduras (4), Jamaica (1), Mexico (2), Paraguay (1), Peru (2), the United States (1), and Venezuela (1). It is reported that most of these victims were less than 35 years of age, a majority of them being under 25.”

The report adds, “the majority of these victims were shot, most of them multiple times.”

Additionally, the IACHR was informed of 13 cases of murders of gay men of all ages in Brazil (8), Honduras (1), Mexico (1), Peru (2), and Venezuela (1), the vast majority of which were beaten to death. It also received information on the murders of three Brazilian lesbian women, two of them less than 25 years of age.

The report does not specify numbers for bisexual people.

In all likelihood, these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/transgender-people-being-murdered-at-a-rate-almost-50-percent-higher-than-lesbians-and-gays/news/2013/08/26/73904

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Chelsea Manning Considered Gender Transition Long Before Announcement

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/chelsea-manning-gender-transition_n_3818080.html?ref=topbar


NEW YORK — Chelsea Manning’s announcement about her gender transition last Thursday seemed to catch many casual observers by surprise. The former Army intelligence analyst and WikiLeaks source arrested in May 2010 wanted to be known as a woman, not as Bradley.

“I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible,” the 25-year-old Manning wrote. The day before the announcement, a military court gave Manning a 35-year sentence for leaking 700,000 files to WikiLeaks.

To many LGBT advocates, Manning’s declaration came as a relief. They had struggled for years over how to handle the numerous signs suggesting Manning’s desire to transition. Now, The Huffington Post has obtained another data point in Manning’s long, mostly private transition to transgender woman: an email Manning sent to a leading “don’t ask, don’t tell” researcher asking for advice on military service for transgender people.

That email, with the subject line “Questions,” arrived in researcher Nathaniel Frank’s inbox on April 28, 2010.

“I’m doing a little research, and I have a few questions regarding Transgender people and the U.S. Military,” Manning wrote. “What laws / policies bar servicemembers from seeking name changes, birth certificate changes, and hormone replacement therapy, etc? … What changes would be required for these policies to feasibly allow a soldier to transition in the military?”

That email came four days after Manning sent the non-commissioned officer in charge of discipline in her Army intelligence unit an anguished email titled “My problem” with an image of herself in a woman’s wig and makeup attached.

The email also came just days before a dramatic late-night counseling session on May 8, 2010, in which Manning made a “revelation” about her gender identity to her Army psychologist, Capt. Michael Worsley. Manning was in fact in the process of being administratively separated from the Army because of Worsley’s diagnosis of gender identity disorder (a condition now known as gender dysphoria), which Worsley felt could only be effectively treated outside of the Army.

Transgender people are not allowed to publicly serve in the military, and the Army does not provide soldiers with hormone therapy. Manning’s lawyer introduced the “My problem” email, as well as Worsley’s testimony, during the sentencing phase of the trial to show the judge overseeing the case that Manning was under extreme stress when she made her leaks. The testimony suggested that Manning’s judgment about the consequences of her actions had been affected by the stress.

Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/chelsea-manning-gender-transition_n_3818080.html?ref=topbar

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Senator Leahy Calls For Federal Marijuana Hearing; Invites Attorney General Holder

From Toke Signals: http://tokesignals.com/senator-leahy-calls-for-federal-marijuana-hearing-invites-attorney-general-holder/

On August 26, 2013

Hearing To Address Differences Between Federal and State Cannabis Laws

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced on Monday that he will address discrepancies between federal and state marijuana laws in an upcoming hearing on September 10. Leahy has invited Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole to testify.

“It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal,” Sen. Leahy said. “I believe that these state laws should be respected. At a minimum, there should be guidance about enforcement from the federal government.”

Twenty states now allow medical marijuana, and Colorado and Washington recently became the first two states to approve the legal regulation of marijuana for non-medicinal purposes.

Last December, in a letter to U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, Senator Leahy asked how the federal government intends to deal with states like Colorado and Washington. In the letter, Senator Leahy also suggested that federal legislation could be introduced to legalize up to an ounce of marijuana, at least in states that have legalized it. He also sought assurances that state employees would not be prosecuted for implementing state laws.

There are several bipartisan bills in the U.S. House that would reform federal marijuana laws, but so far none in the Senate.

“Two states have made marijuana legal for adult use and are establishing regulated systems of production and distribution,” said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Twenty states plus our nation’s capital have made it legal for medical use. By failing to recognize the decisions of voters and legislators in those states, current federal law is undermining their ability to implement and enforce those laws.

Continue reading at:  http://tokesignals.com/senator-leahy-calls-for-federal-marijuana-hearing-invites-attorney-general-holder/

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Misogynistic GOP’s gross new talking point Lie: Feces

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2013/08/28/gops_false_new_talking_point_feces/

The right claims abortion rights protesters brought excrement-filled jars into the Texas Capitol. Here’s the truth

Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013

There was a minor, kind of disgusting subplot in the high-profile fight over Texas’ strict new antiabortion law that made Wendy Davis a star: Pro-choice activists were accused of bringing jars of feces and urine into the state Capitol.

The Texas Department of Public safety said that it had confiscated “one jar suspected to contain urine [and] 18 jars suspected to contain feces,” which naturally provoked the kind of schadenfreudish condemnation from the anti-choice right that can only be achieved when your political opponents are caught doing something distasteful.

Conservative blogs and tweeters assumed protesters were going to use the jars as scatological bombs against pro-life lawmakers and naturally flipped out. National Review called it “typically charming,” Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman said it was “Texas Democrats [sic] idea of ‘civility,’” while WND even claimed some activists were wearing diapers to resupply their ammunition.

Well, as it turns out, there was no poop in poop-gate. The AP reports today:

Texas Department of Public Safety documents show troopers seized no jars of urine or feces from Capitol visitors the day of debate of controversial abortion bill. That’s counter to a DPS statement issued the night of the July 12 debate and filibuster by Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis.

The Texas DPS came under scrutiny for the statement, with pro-choice protesters saying they most certainly had not brought jars filled with toilet matter into the Capitol. DPS initially stood by the statement, but refused to release additional information.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2013/08/28/gops_false_new_talking_point_feces/

See Also:

Slate: Remember How Pro-Choicers Brought Jars of Feces to the Texas Statehouse? Turns Out That Probably Didn’t Happen.

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