238 Trans People Murdered Worldwide In The Past Year

From Buzzfeed:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/238-trans-people-murdered-worldwide-in-the-past-year

The Transgender Murder Monitoring Project reveals the greatest number of killings took place in countries with some of the most progressive LGBTI rights laws.

November 13, 2013

Brazil and Mexico lead the list for the most reported killings of trans people in the past year, according to a report released Wednesday by Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project.

The report was released in anticipation of the 15th International Transgender Day of Remembrance, which will be observed on Nov. 20, 2013.

The report only includes murders of trans people that can be documented through publicly available information or are reported by local advocacy organizations, and so may not be a complete picture of the scope of crimes committed worldwide. But the map suggests even countries where rights for gays and lesbians have made huge gains remain dangerous places for trans people.

Same-sex couples in both Brazil and Mexico won judicial rulings in the past year that pave the way for nationwide marriage equality. Yet, 95 trans people were reported murdered in Brazil and 40 were killed in Mexico. Sixteen murders of trans people were reported in the United States.

Some small nations were also found to have very large numbers of murders relative to their population size. In Honduras, for example, three trans people were reported killed for every two million inhabitants.

The Trans Murder Monitoring project also found the highest number of murders of minors in the five years it has been keeping statistics. Since the start of 2013, 22 trans people were reported killed. Eleven of these were under the age of 18.

These include a 13-year-old trans girl strangled in Macaiba, Brazil, on June 9; a 14-year-old trans girl strangled in the city of Ibipora, Brazil, on Oct. 15; and 16-year-old trans girl murdered by a mob at a house party in St. James, Jamaica, on July 22.

Continue reading at:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/238-trans-people-murdered-worldwide-in-the-past-year

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What happens when a female model starts dressing as a man

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2013/11/10/what_happens_when_a_female_model_starts_dressing_as_a_man/

Elliott Sailors has gotten media criticism and homophobic slurs, but says she’s just expressing her masculine side

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013

A week ago, Elliott Sailors announced that she has reinvented herself as a male model after years of successfully modeling womenswear with the Ford agency. Since male models have longer careers than their female counterparts, Sailors took the drastic step of cutting her hair, binding her breasts and modeling as a man when she saw her job prospects withering at the age of 30. The media has been transfixed by Sailors’ transformation: She’s been covered by talk shows and news outlets around the world, where she has been celebrated for pushing the boundaries of gender fluidity. The collective fascination with Sailors reveals how transgressive it still is for a heterosexual woman to project a masculine identity.

In the midst of the fray, Katy Waldman of Slate accused Sailors of exploiting transgender narratives in order to further her career, writing, “To appropriate the trans/transition narrative when really all you intend to do is playact a different gender for the camera is just silly. Cut it out.” But Waldman’s accusation does not consider the complexities of gender identification that Sailors has experienced and, more broadly, it does not make room for the possibility that women may genuinely desire to embody masculinity without seeking gender reassignment.

When I spoke with Sailors, she explained that her decision to reinvent herself was not motivated purely by a desire to continue working in fashion. “As a model, there is a lot of direction that comes from the [modeling] agency in terms of how to present yourself,” she says. “This is something I took on outside of conversations with the agency. This is something I did on my own.” Indeed, she had been toying with the idea of gender transformation for many years, driven by a strong feeling that her identity is not encapsulated by traditional femininity. “I don’t identify as a man, but I don’t identify with feminine ways of being either,” she says. “For me, wearing a dress and heels always feels like ‘dressing up.’” Outside her modeling work, Sailors has always been more comfortable wearing men’s clothing. “I have purchased more menswear since doing this, but this is exactly the same kind of clothing that I would have worn before.” Sailors says that she is regularly identified as a man when she walks around Manhattan. “I am excited when people make the mistake sometimes because it means this is working,” she says. “People are realizing that my energy is inclusive of masculine energy.”

As many have noted, gender identity and sexual orientation are not one and the same — and Sailors’ transformation sends a liberating message to women who do not feel entirely at home within the trappings of femininity. Since taking on her new appearance, Sailors has heard from many other heterosexual women who are grateful they are not alone in yearning for more fluid gender identities. However, she makes it clear that she does not expect all women to want to embody masculine characteristics. “A lot of people don’t necessarily feel that their experience of themselves includes more than the gender that they were born into,” she asserts. “I don’t blame anybody else for not doing what I have done.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2013/11/10/what_happens_when_a_female_model_starts_dressing_as_a_man/

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Dress Codes and Other Sorry Excuses for Policing Identity

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-mollmann/dress-codes-and-other-sorry-excuses-for-policing-identity_b_4229414.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


Last month, the fifth grade parent group at my daughter’s school had the first of many conversations about how to mark our children’s transition to junior high. Unfortunately, the issue we discussed — whether the kids would be wearing caps and gowns at the end-of-year celebration — sidelined a much more important issue: what the kids would be wearing under these gowns. (My daughter’s school had sent out a notice to parents that boys must wear one thing and girls another.)

For many children, a gendered dress code may be just another imposition by adults, and to some it may seem small compared with decisions related to bedtime, computer usage, and the precise meaning of the phrase “clean up your room.” But to others it is a big deal. Indeed, clothing is such an essential expression of who we are that international law recognizes it as a human right to wear what we want, barring reasonable restrictions for the purposes of safety or to protect the rights of others.

And it is precisely because clothing can project our identity so concisely that the clothing associated with particularly stigmatized populations is vigorously policed around the world. For example, several European countries and some North American jurisdictions place restrictions on head coverings. These restrictions are closely linked to discomfort with Islam and are based on the negative and erroneous stereotype that Muslim women are “oppressed” and “submissive.” In fact, even where headscarves are not explicitly prohibited by law, women can be fired for wearing them, and many are discriminated against even before landing a job.

Likewise, many jurisdictions enforce strictly gendered dress codes in public by either requiring specific attire or criminalizing cross dressing. These restrictions are tied to stereotypes about sexuality and sex. Cross dressing is conflated with transgenderism, which again is conflated with an insatiable, predatory, or “perverted” sex drive. A good example of this is the comment reportedly made by a lawyer who was arguing against a 6-year-old trans girl’s right to use the girl’s bathroom at her school. “How do you know if someone is really thinking this way or not?” the lawyer is quoted as saying. “How do you know if someone just wants to go in the restroom and be a peeping Tom?”

The suspicion directed at trans people, cross dressers, or anyone whose gender expression is not traditional finds its most extreme expression in violent crimes committed against individuals who visibly do not conform to gender norms. But it is fueled by the little injustices in our daily lives. Being forced to wear clothing associated with an identity that we do not share or cannot align with is a powerful reminder that our true sense of self must be hidden to be safe.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-mollmann/dress-codes-and-other-sorry-excuses-for-policing-identity_b_4229414.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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ENDA: Stuck in a ’90s Time Warp

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/enda-stuck-in-a-90s-time_b_4225693.html


There’s been a lot of excitement over the Senate’s likely passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) since the bill cleared its first hurdle, with 61 votes for cloture, on Monday. Much of the media is looking at that as a milestone, the first Senate vote on employment protections around both sexual orientation and gender identity. And pundits have been focused on the political story: a handful of GOP senators moving in favor of equality, joining all 55 Democrats in bringing victory on a bill that is highly unlikely to get a vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

But ENDA has a problem: a disturbing religious exemption that has been included in the bill in one form or another ever since it was first introduced in 1994 — light years ago in terms of the speed of LGBT progress — and by gay advocates themselves, to appease conservative, religious Democrats and Republicans. In that regard, they haven’t updated ENDA for 2013. And really, the exemption should never have been in this civil rights legislation in first place, as The New York Times pointed out in an editorial this week:

The exemption would extend beyond churches and other houses of worship to any religiously affiliated institution, like hospitals and universities, and would allow those institutions to discriminate against people in jobs with no religious function, like billing clerks, cafeteria workers and medical personnel. The exemption — which was inserted to appease some opponents who say the act threatens religious freedom — is a departure from the approach of earlier civil rights laws.

So a Catholic school teacher who’s done a great job for years could still be fired under ENDA if the school’s principal discovers that she is a lesbian.

That’s abhorrent. I’m not sure that many LGBT people know that, in 2013, our advocates in Washington, D.C., are still going along with that. To many in 1994, it seemed like an ugly compromise that had to be made in order to get any rights of any kind (though there were voices warning about the religious exemption even then). But in 2013, with Illinois getting on track to become the 15th state with marriage equality just yesterday, ENDA’s religious exemption is clearly from the Stone Age and isn’t something we should settle for anymore.

Before the week is over, there will be attempts by conservative senators to broaden and strengthen the religious exemption further. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) wants to broaden the groups exempt under ENDA, allowing even private corporations to discriminate based on their religious beliefs, which would essentially gut ENDA. His amendment needs 60 votes and isn’t likely to pass. A second amendment by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), basically restating the original exemption more emphatically, appears likely to pass.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/enda-stuck-in-a-90s-time_b_4225693.html

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‘Asterisk Equality’ Isn’t Real Equality: Fighting for an ENDA Without Exemptions

From RH Reality Check:  http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/11/06/asterisk-equality-isnt-real-equality-fighting-for-an-enda-without-exemptions/

by Kirin Kanakkanatt, GetEQUAL
November 6, 2013

I attended Catholic school in Ohio for 13 years. For 13 years, I sat daily in religion classes and made weekly trips to church. I was taught to believe in a god that loved all of creation. I was taught to believe in a god that created a beautiful diversity of humanity. Sadly, the god being invoked today by conservative legislators bears no resemblance to the god I encountered in Catholic school. This god—a god of political ambition and radical ideology—has no place in my education, in my uterus, or in my civil liberties.

There is a bill pending in the Senate right now that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), has been languishing in Congress for decades. Despite popular support for passing the bill, legislators are invoking the god of political ambition and radical ideology to include a broad religious exemption in the bill—and there’s a threat of that exemption becoming even broader as ENDA is debated on the Senate floor this week.

To accept the broad religious exemptions in ENDA is in an insult to the incredible progress the LGBTQ community has already made. We come from a history of people who fought tirelessly to humanize our lived experiences. Our community, our culture, and our souls are rooted in the traditions of those warriors who have blazed trails ahead of us.

For them, and for us, separate but equal is not good enough.

As a first-generation Indian-American queer woman who is cloaked in “otherness” every day, I am distinctly aware of how being seen as “other” informs one’s reality. Historically marginalized communities are used to fighting for our very humanity. We fight because we are separate, and we fight to become equal.

We have been fighting for workplace equality for decades. This fight is steeped in generations of political complicity with inequality—of forced closets, of dehumanization, of separation. And this is the same fight that others who have been marginalized have fought and continue to fight.

Continue reading at:  http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/11/06/asterisk-equality-isnt-real-equality-fighting-for-an-enda-without-exemptions/

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Why the Hate-Filled, Retrograde Politics of the Tea Party Are Here to Stay

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/why-hateful-politics-tea-party-isnt-going-anywhere-hint-its-region-us

The Tea Party is not a movement, it’s a geographical region: the Old South.

By CJ Werleman
November 11, 2013

After last Tuesday’s creaming in the Virginia governor’s race, and with Tea Party negatives creeping toward 75 percent, the political punditry class has divided itself into one of two camps: those celebrating the demise of the Tea Party versus those forecasting its inevitable end. Who’s right? They’re both wrong, because it’s not a movement. It’s a geographical region, and if history has taught us anything, southern folk are a pugnacious bunch.

Despite political feel-good rhetoric, there are two Americas. Not just ideologically, but geographically. That’s what still makes this country unique among other Western democracies. America is two distinct nations with a distinguishable border that runs the breadth of the country from the Mason-Dixon line across the southern border of Pennsylvania, finishing in some Baptist church somewhere in rural Texas.

The Tea Party is overwhelmingly Southern. Michael Lind, author of Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States, writes, “The facts show that the Tea Party in Congress is merely the familiar old neo-Confederate Southern right under a new label.” If you include Texas as a member of the Old South (banning tampons from the state house earns the Lone Star state that honor), nearly 80 percent of the Tea Party’s support comes from the former Confederate states. So, stop calling it a movement.

The Republican Party is not only the party of plutocrats and oligarchs; it’s also the party of the South. The party’s leaders are predominantly southern. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is from Kentucky. House Speaker John Boehner is from Cincinnati, Ohio, but Cincinnati is as close to the South as a northern city can be, given the city’s airport is actually in Kentucky. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is from Virginia. ‘

And then there are the likely 2016 presidential hopefuls. With the exception of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and the pathologically homophobic Rick Santorum, the rest of them are as southern as Colonel Sanders. Rand Paul is from Kentucky. Bobby Jindal is from Louisiana. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are from Florida.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/why-hateful-politics-tea-party-isnt-going-anywhere-hint-its-region-us

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Pivotal Trans-Pacific Partnership Section Revealed

From Popular Resistance:  http://www.popularresistance.org/wikileaks-leaks-key-tpp-documents-us-isolated-in-corporate-advocacy/

By Staff, PopularResistance.org | Press Release
Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The TPP has been shrouded in secrecy from the beginning because the Obama administration knows that the more people know about it, the more they will oppose the agreement. The release of the full Intellectual Property chapter today by Wiikileaks confims what had been suspected, the Obama administration has been an advocate for transnational corporate interests in the negotiations even though they run counter to the needs and desires of the public.

This is not surprising since we already knew that 600 corporate advisers were working with the US Trade Representative to draft the TPP.  This means that for nearly four years some of the top corporate lawyers have been inserting phrases, paragraphs and whole sections so the agreement suits the needs of corporate power, while undermining the interests of people and the planet.

Now from these documents we see that the US is isolated in its aggressive advocacy for transnational interests and that there are scores of areas still unresolved between the US and Pacific nations. The conclusion: the TPP cannot be saved.  It has been destroyed by secret corporate advocacy.  It needs to be rejected.  Trade needs to be negotiated with a new approach — transparency, participation of civil society throughout the process, full congressional review and participation, and a framework that starts with fair trade that puts people and the planet before profits.

Congress needs to reject Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority as these documents show the Obama administration has been misleading the people and the Congress while trying to bully other nations.  This flawed agreement and the secrecy essential to its becoming law need to be rejected.

For more on the TPP visit www.FlushTheTPP.org

From Wikileaks:

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership AgreementToday, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states.

The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP.

From Public Citizen:

Leaked Documents Reveal Obama Administration Push for Internet Freedom Limits, Terms That Raise Drug Prices in Closed-Door Trade Talks

U.S. Demands in Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Text, Published Today by WikiLeaks, Contradict Obama Policy and Public Opinion at Home and Abroad

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secret documents published today by WikiLeaks and analyzed by Public Citizen reveal that the Obama administration is demanding terms that would limit Internet freedom and access to lifesaving medicines throughout the Asia-Pacific region and bind Americans to the same bad rules, belying the administration’s stated commitments to reduce health care costs and advance free expression online, Public Citizen said today.

WikiLeaks published the complete draft of the Intellectual Property chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed international commercial pact between the United States and 11 Asian and Latin American countries.

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