22 Year Old Ohio Trans Woman Stabbed to Death By Father

From Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents: http://www.pghlesbian.com/2015/02/22-year-old-ohio-trans-woman-stabbed-to-death-by-father/

Sue Kerr
February 15.2015

22-year-old Bri Golec has recently returned to a transgender support group in the Akron, Ohio area. She had participated a few years ago, then stopped attending. Recently, she began to more assertively explore her gender identity.

Sadly, Bri will not have the chance to continue her journey after an altercation with her father,  Kevin Golec, left her dead in their home. Please note that the media misgenders Bri. They use male pronouns, but have not released any name at all for the victim.

An Akron man has been charged with stabbing his 22-year-old son to death during an argument Friday night.

Kevin Golec, 52, of Inman Street, is charged with murder and domestic violence and is being held at the Summit County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Akron Municipal Court.

Akron police said they responded to a call for a robbery at 10 p.m. in the 1100 block of Inman Street and found a man dead near the side of the small yellow house in the city’s Firestone Park neighborhood.

But authorities say that no robbery occurred and that there was an altercation between the victim and Golec.

Trans activist Jacob Nash has confirmed that Bri was a transwoman and was involved in the community. According to Bri’s obituary, Facebook page and friends, she was a drummer and an artist. She loved her cat and had many friends. Bri will be buried this Friday, February 20 in Ohio.

Her father’s attempts to cover up the murderous attack took a bizarre turn when he told police that Bri was in a cult, implying the cult was responsible for the non-existent robbery. Local activists believe the elder Golec may have been referencing the transgender community. They are hopeful that the police will consider Bri’s gender identity in their investigation.

Bri Golec is the 6th transgender individual to die a violent death in 2015. She is the 5th transgender woman to be murdered in Ohio since 2013 along with Cemia Acoff, Betty Skinner, Brittany Kidd-Stergis, and Tiffany Edwards.  Another trans woman, Candice Milligan, was brutally attacked in Toledo.

It is critical that we talk more openly about family rejection and domestic violence. We’ve lost at least 3, possibly 4 other women this year to assaults by intimates. We also need to talk about the fact that our young people are being slaughtered – almost all of the above deaths were individuals under 30 with a few exceptions.

I hope more information comes to light to offer comfort to Bri’s family and the Akron LGBTQ community.

Rest in power, Bri. Your beautiful light will continue to inspire all of us to demand a safer community for your trans siblings.

**This post has been updated to reflect that while activists have hopes for police conduct, there has been no direct communication (or miscommunication.) .

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Saudi cleric rejects that Earth revolves around the Sun

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America’s hair-removal insanity

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2015/02/15/americas_hair_removal_insanity/

The United States’ obsession with hair-free bodies is nearly unprecedented in history. So what gives?

In the contemporary United States, few practices are as taken for granted as the deliberate removal of body hair. Recent studies indicate that more than 99 percent of American women voluntarily remove hair, and more than 85 percent do so regularly, even daily. The usual targets, for the moment, are legs, underarms, eyebrows, upper lips, and bikini lines. Those habits, furthermore, appear to transcend ethnic, racial, and regional boundaries. Over the course of a lifetime, one 2008 survey indicated, American women who shave (a relatively inexpensive way to remove hair) will spend, on average, more than ten thousand dollars and nearly two entire months of their lives simply managing unwanted hair. The woman who waxes once or twice a month will spend more than twenty-three thousand dollars over the course of her lifetime. Most American men, too, now routinely remove facial hair, and increasing numbers modify hair elsewhere on their bodies. Research indicates that as of 2005, more than 60 percent of American men were regularly reducing or removing hair from areas of the body below the neck. Although generally ignored by social scientists surveying hair removal trends, transsexual, transgender, and genderqueer people also express concern with hair management, and employ varying techniques of hair removal.

The ubiquity of personal hair removal in the United States is particularly striking given its relative novelty. To be clear: forcible hair removal is not new. The use of hair removal to control or degrade, as with the beard removals at Guantánamo, has been imposed on inmates, soldiers, students, and other captives for centuries. Despite the recent treatment of U.S. detainees, American courts have tended to frown on the forced removal of hair by agents of the state. In an influential 1879 decision, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field held that the San Francisco officials who cut off the long queues of Chinese men confined in county jails were in violation of both the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and its prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Nonstate actors also have removed hair as a way to maintain and reproduce specific relations of domination. Particularly telling in this regard were the slave traders who shaved and oiled the faces of enslaved men being prepared for sale. Because vigorous men drew higher prices, traders sometimes shaved away signs of grey beards or the first stages of pubertal growth in order to make the men appear younger. An eighteenth-century engraving of a slave market depicts an Englishman licking the face of an enslaved man to check for telltale traces of stubble before purchase.

Although overtly coercive hair removal has a long history in the United States, the more widespread practices of voluntary hair removal evident today are remarkably recent. So, too, is the dominant culture’s general aversion to visible hair. From the first decades of contact and colonization through the first half of the nineteenth century, disdain for body hair struck most European and Euro-American observers as decidedly peculiar: one of the enigmatic characteristics of the continent’s indigenous peoples. In sharp contrast with the discourse surrounding bearded detainees at Guantánamo, the beardless “Indians” were described as exceptionally, even bizarrely, eager to pluck and shave. Only in the late nineteenth century did non-Native Americans, primarily white women, begin to express persistent concern about their own body hair, and not until the 1920s did large numbers begin routinely removing hair below the neck. By the mid-twentieth century, however, the revolution was nearly complete: where eighteenth-century naturalists and explorers considered hair-free skin to be the strange obsession of indigenous peoples, Cold War–era commentators blithely described visible body hair on women as evidence of a filthy, “foreign” lack of hygiene. The normalization of smooth skin in dominant U.S. culture is not even a century old.

What accounts for this increasing antipathy toward body hair? Previous historical investigation sheds little light on the matter. Even the voluminous scholarship devoted to various beauty practices in the United States—cosmetics, breast enlargements, plastic surgery, hairstyling—largely overlooks hair removal. How, then, might we understand the prevalence of practices that are repetitive and expensive, at best, and not infrequently messy, painful, disfiguring, and even deadly?

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2015/02/15/americas_hair_removal_insanity/

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As gay marriage bans fall, LGBT rights come under fire from state legislatures

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/13/lgbt-rights-under-fire-oklahoma-arkansas-florida-kansas

From bill protecting clergy refusing to conduct gay marriages to law defining gender as binary, several states attempt to beat back rising tide of acceptance

in New York
Friday 13 February 2015

As the US supreme court’s deliberation of same-sex marriage draws closer, lawmakers in several states are attempting to reign in other civil rights recently granted to the LGBT community.

Conservative lawmakers from Kansas to Florida are working to repeal anti-discrimination laws, stop new ones from being enacted and expand laws on religious freedom.

On Thursday in Oklahoma, the state House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for a bill which would protect members of the clergy who refuse to perform same-sex marriages. The bill now passes to the state Senate.

In Arkansas, the state’s 35-member Senate has passed a bill barring municipalities from creating protected classes. The law is reportedly part of a backlash against city council members in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where a law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation passed before being repealed by referendum.

State lawmakers are touting the bill as an Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, which would create legal uniformity. It is unclear whether Arkansas’ governor, Asa Hutchinson, will sign the bill into law.

“People are very upset,” said Holly Dickson, legal director at the Arkansas American Civil Liberties Union, told BuzzFeed News. “As soon as LGBT people get some protections against being evicted or fired just because of who they love, the state is going to absolutely prohibit them from obtaining that sort of protection.”

In Florida, Republican House member Frank Artiles introduced a bill that would bar transgender people from choosing a bathroom. Instead, the law defines gender as binary and declared “at birth” as either “male or female”. Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and be sued. Artiles says the legislation is a meant to protect people in bathrooms, places of “increased vulnerability”.

That bill is also in response to local legislators protecting the LGBT community. The Miami-Dade board of county commissioners passed an ordinance that bars discrimination on the basis of gender expression.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/13/lgbt-rights-under-fire-oklahoma-arkansas-florida-kansas

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