British BBC Baptiste actress said she lost roles because she’s not ‘trans-enough’

From Gay Star News:

“I’d just want them to go, “Here’s a woman, what’s the problem?”‘

18 February 2019

Viewers of the British BBC drama Baptiste were left stunned when the lead female character, Kim Vogel, was revealed as trans yesterday (17 February).

And the actress who plays her, Talisa Garcia, came out too, offscreen that is.

However, speaking to The Sun, the 45-year-old said she has lost out on roles in the past as she ‘wasn’t trans-enough’.

‘But in Baptiste you’re not meant to know that she is. She’s not the obvious transgender person,’ she said.

‘With transgender characters it has always been the same, the 6ft tall builder with a wig tilted to the side.

‘Thankfully we’ve moved on.’

In the interview, the BBC star said she had gender confirmation surgery over 28 years ago.

‘Everybody used to call me “boy girl”‘

Significantly, Garcia said she took her new name after the Puerto Rican model and Bond girl, Talisa Soto.

Speaking on her childhood, she said: ‘When I was a kid, everybody used to call me “boy girl” and “sissy”.

‘I used to wear lip gloss and I was the only boy in the school doing ballet. But no one ever picked on me.

‘All the tough kids in school were my best friends.’

‘Here’s a woman, what’s the problem?’

However, Garcia said she feels nervous about how men will react to the news.

‘I always have men hitting on me. But I don’t say anything to them about myself.

‘They’re going to start thinking of a million and one scenarios of what’s going on “down there”.

‘They don’t know how good the operation is. When I’ve slept with men and after it’s gone a couple of months, I’ve told them.

‘They’ve said, “It’s impossible, I’d know. No operation can do that.”‘

She added: ‘I think guys’ reaction will be, “I’d still give her one.”

“I’d just want them to go, “Here’s a woman, what’s the problem?”‘

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Aimee Maddonna Was Told She’s The ‘Wrong’ Kind Of Christian To Help Foster Kids. AU Says That’s Discrimination – And We’re Suing.

From Americans United for Separation of Church and State:

by Liz Hayes
Feb 15, 2019

Aimee Maddonna, a South Carolina mother of three, knows firsthand the impact a loving family can have on foster children.

Aimee was raised alongside both biological and foster siblings because her father – who grew up in the system at a time when foster parents weren’t well-vetted – opened their home to hundreds of the most vulnerable foster kids. Aimee’s parents weren’t wealthy, but they made sure each child was welcomed and had happy memories.

Aimee’s father instilled in her the desire to help children in need, so Aimee and her family began looking for opportunities to volunteer with a foster care agency near their home.

Miracle Hill Ministries, the largest taxpayer-funded foster care agency in the state, stood out because of their prominent advertising. Plus, the agency allows children as well as adults to volunteer. Because Aimee’s own children have special needs, she wanted the whole family to volunteer to make sure they had a good connection before taking the next step of fostering.

Miracle Hill told Aimee her family was a great fit to help these children. Then the agency asked what church the Maddonnas attended. After learning they are Catholic, Miracle Hill turned the family away, saying they will only work with evangelical Protestants – not Catholics, Jews or people of any other faith.

“I’ve never considered myself a religious minority until that moment,” Aimee told The Associated Press today. “I had to tell my kids that, because we’re Catholic, we can’t take these kids out for ice cream and cheer them on at their games. I was devastated.”

Instead of denouncing this discrimination, the Trump administration and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster doubled down, sanctioning the government-funded religious discrimination. Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a policy allowing all government-funded foster care agencies in South Carolina to explicitly reject parents and volunteers who don’t share their religious beliefs; McMaster issued a similar order last year.

While this policy only applies to South Carolina for now, it sets a dangerous nationwide precedent that could have a significant and lasting impact on our most vulnerable children. There are nearly 5,000 children in foster care in South Carolina, and nearly a half-million kids in care nationwide. By allowing agencies to turn away qualified parents, these kids will spend even longer in an already overburdened system instead of being welcomed into loving, stable homes.

Americans United won’t allow the narrow religious beliefs of a government-funded agency to override the best interest of America’s most vulnerable children or our fundamental principle of religious freedom.

That’s why we filed a federal lawsuit today on Aimee’s behalf – to stop the federal government and South Carolina from authorizing and encouraging religious discrimination with taxpayer dollars. Because no child should be denied an opportunity for a loving and stable home when one is available to them, and no one should face religious discrimination from a publicly funded agency.

“At its heart, this case is about two of our country’s most sacred principles: defending religious freedom for all and protecting vulnerable children,” said Rachel Laser, AU’s president and CEO. “It is unconscionable – and unconstitutional – that an amazing mother like Aimee Maddonna and her loving family are barred from helping children in need because they are the ‘wrong’ religion. We will not allow this country to return to the days of ‘no Catholics or Jews allowed.’”

For Aimee and her family, while they were devastated by the discrimination, she’s most concerned for the kids they aren’t able to help.

“It was demoralizing to hear we are not good enough because we aren’t the right kind of Christians,” Aimee said. “It was difficult for my family, of course, but at the end of the day my kids still have parents. These foster children need and deserve to have someone looking out for them – and the government is taking that away. That isn’t right, it isn’t fair and it isn’t necessary.”

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Jackie Shane, Transgender Pioneer of 1960s Soul Music, Dies at 78

From The New York Times:

By Liam Stack
Feb. 22, 2019

Jackie Shane, a black transgender soul singer who packed nightclubs in 1960s Toronto before she stepped out of the spotlight for decades, only to re-emerge with a Grammy-nominated record in her 70s, has died. She was 78.

Her death was confirmed by Douglas Mcgowan, her producer and friend. He said her body was found at her home in Nashville on Thursday. He said he did not know when she had died or the cause.

Almost five decades passed between Ms. Shane’s 1960s career in Canada and her 2018 Grammy nomination for best historical album, for “Any Other Way.” The record introduced her to a new generation of fans, and today her face is part of a towering mural in downtown Toronto.

“I do believe that it’s like destiny,” Ms. Shane told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation this month. “I really feel that I have made a place for myself with wonderful people. What I have said, what I have done, they say it makes their lives better.”

Jackie Shane was born in Nashville on May 15, 1940, and grew up as a black transgender child in the Jim Crow South. But she made her name after she moved to Toronto around 1959, becoming a force in its music scene and packing its nightclubs.

She scored the No. 2 spot on the Canadian singles chart in 1963 with her silky cover of William Bell’s “Any Other Way.” The song is about putting on a brave face for the friend of an ex-girlfriend, but Ms. Shane gave it a subversive twist when she sang, “Tell her that I’m happy, tell her that I’m gay.”

Ms. Shane said she identified as female from the age of 13, but throughout her 1960s career she was publicly referred to as a man. Speaking to The New York Times in 2017, she said she sometimes described herself to peers as gay.

“I was just being me,” she said. “I never tried to explain myself to anyone — they never explained themselves to me.”

As a child, she said, her unabashed femininity and unwavering self-confidence turned heads. In 2017, she told The Times about a grade school bully who unwisely threw a stone at her. The rock hit her, and the bully’s fate was sealed.

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Anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan Teams Up With Notorious Holocaust Denier at Saviours’ Day 2019 Conference

From The Anti-Defamation League:

February 17, 2019

Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam teamed up with a Holocaust denier and anti-Semitic ideologue to attack the Jewish religion and blame numerous ills of modern society on Jews, during the keynote event at the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day conference in Chicago.

Speaking before a crowd of several thousand at the United Center and an unknown number on a livestream, Farrakhan was preceded by Michael A. Hoffman II, who suggested that ancient Jewish texts are equivalent to teachings “from the church of satan.” Hoffman is a well-known Holocaust denier who has denounced belief in the “fake homicidal gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau,” though he did not reiterate those beliefs at this event.

When he took the podium, Farrakhan unleashed a torrent of attacks on Jews, claiming that anti-black racism “was started by Jewish rabbinical leaders” in ancient times, and that Jewish racism towards Africans is ultimately responsible for the “enslavement… colonization…dehumanization…[and] denial of self-determination” to black people throughout history. Farrakhan based much of his mischaracterization of Judaism on a distorted reading of the Talmud, an ancient compilation of legal and ethical debates among rabbis. Attacks on the Talmud were first instigated by Christian and Muslim polemicists in the early Middle Ages, and have become a staple of extreme anti-Semitic ideologues. Tonight Farrakhan claimed that Talmud created “the poisonous belief that justified and guided the entire institution of the transatlantic slave trade and the continuous exploitation of our people.” He also attempted to sow ill will between Jews and African Americans by saying that “sharecropping can be traced to the Talmud.”

Farrakhan reiterated classic anti-Semitic beliefs about Jews and money, claiming for example that Jewish principles “have exploited the American people through institutional usury and predatory lending practices.” He rehashed the tired cliché that the federal reserve is run by “a family of rich Jews.”

Farrakhan also blamed Jews for “pervasive rape culture…sex trafficking and prostitution,” and for emasculating black men. The latter theme was elaborated upon in an earlier speech by NOI official Brother Wesley Muhammad, who said that “Jewish genius had feminized the black male. The NOI is standing in between the demasculazination of the black man… this is why they hate Farrakhan.” Farrakhan outrageously claimed that ancient Jewish texts condone pedophilia, and that “pedophilia and sexual perversion exercises in Hollywood can be traced back” to Jewish religious texts.

Several times Farrakhan attempted to link current Israeli policy with his allegations against Jews and Judaism. When he attacked Jews for allegedly valuing the lives of their six million coreligionists who died in the Holocaust over the lives of all the other non-Jews on the planet, he added, “That’s how cheap they think of Palestinian life. The life of the gentiles. Only their life is sacred.” Later in the speech he referred to Israel’s effort to come to grips with an influx of refugees from Africa, saying, “Israel sees the black youth as a problem for them. Israel, a government after black youth. Well let me tell you something Israel, you’re making a very big mistake and you’re hastening your doom. You leave my black brothers and sisters alone because you fear what they’re gonna become because they listen to Farrakhan.”

Referring to the controversy over the struggles of Women’s March leaders Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Carmen Perez to forthrightly condemn Farrakhan and his anti-Semitic bigotry, Farrakhan claimed that “the wicked Jews want to use me to break up the women’s movement.”

Farrakhan also claimed that “talmudic principles run the American jurisprudence system” and have informed the movement to create and maintain the right to legal abortion in this country. He described Margaret Sanger, who opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. and established organizations that served as the precursors for Planned Parenthood, as a “so-called Jewish woman,” who “didn’t want black babies so she tried to get rid of as many as she could.” In fact, Sanger was of Irish Catholic extraction.

See also JTA: Louis Farrakhan accuses ‘wicked Jews’ of using him to ‘break up the women’s movement’

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Right-wing media and think tanks are aligning with fake feminists who dehumanize trans people

From Media Matters:

TERFs use feminist vocabulary but are aligned with national anti-LGBTQ groups

February 26, 2019

Tucker Carlson recently hosted Julia Beck, a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” or “TERF,” in a segment promoting the illusion that there is an important divide over the importance of transgender rights within the LGBTQ community.

Beck and other TERFs claim to be feminists, but they hold vehemently anti-trans views and are widely rejected by LGBTQ advocates and organizations. In fact, TERF groups and activists have joined with right-wing, anti-LGBTQ organizations around the country in lawsuits against trans rights.

Beck’s appearance on Fox was just the latest example of right-wing figures and groups promoting TERFs, who use feminist vocabulary to disguise their anti-trans bigotry.

TERFs have appeared on right-wing media and at right-wing events

Beck appeared on the February 12 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss her recent removal from Baltimore’s LGBTQ commission for her anti-trans views. During the segment, Beck, who is a lesbian, said, “Women have been speaking out about this for decades, but we have been effectively silenced. Many women like myself have been pushed out … simply because we acknowledge biological reality.” She also claimed that transgender identities are “opposed to biological reality,” said she doesn’t “think it’s fair to lump us all into the same acronym,” and pushed the thoroughly debunked myth that trans-inclusive policies threaten the safety of women and girls.

Beck has also appeared at the anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation as part of a panel of people labeled as being “from the Left” who oppose the Equality Act, a bill that would add “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to existing nondiscrimination laws. The January event was moderated by Ryan T. Anderson, an anti-LGBTQ activist who has previously hosted other TERF activists at the Heritage Foundation to attack trans-inclusive legislation.

On the panel, Beck said, “There are only three sexualities — homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual; all the hip new identities in the alphabet soup like nonbinary, gender-fluid, [and] pansexual are not actually sexualities. Neither is transgender.” She added that the “T” in LGBTQ is “diametrically opposed to the first three letters” and claimed that transgender identities “undermine and erase homosexuals.” She also said the definition of a woman is limited to an “adult human female,” echoing a rallying cry of the U.K.-based TERF movement.

Beck spoke on the panel alongside Kara Dansky, a leader of the TERF group Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) who has also appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight. During her 2017 interview, Dansky said, “We’re called transphobic bigots because we ask questions about gender identity. We’re asking questions and we’re standing up for women and girls.”

Another TERF activist has recently leveraged her anti-trans beliefs into a flood of sympathetic coverage from right-wing outlets.

Meghan Murphy, who founded the pro-TERF blog Feminist Current, is suing Twitter after she was banned from the platform for intentionally misgendering and deadnaming a transgender person. Deadnaming is the act of calling a transgender person by the name given to them at birth that they no longer use and that does not align with their gender identity, and it is a violation of Twitter’s new hateful conduct policy. Right-wing media rushed to cover Murphy’s lawsuit after she posted a YouTube video about the ban, leading to favorable coverage from Quillette, The Federalist, National Review, The Daily Wire, Townhall, The Spectator, LifeSiteNews, the Washington Examiner, and The Daily Caller.

Right-wing media suggest TERFs are liberals; in fact, they’re aligned with extreme right groups

Right-wing outlets seized on Murphy’s self-identification as a “feminist” as evidence that anti-trans reactionaries do not solely come from the far-right. On his Fox show, Carlson similarly identified Beck as a feminist and claimed that WoLF leader Dansky is a “radical feminist” and “not on the right at all.” And during their appearance together on the Heritage Foundation panel, which was titled “The Inequality of the Equality Act: Concerns from the Left,” Beck expressed her surprise at participating in an event hosted by a conservative think tank.

TERFs’ embrace of supposedly feminist aesthetics and rhetoric can make it more difficult for media consumers to identify what they really stand for, and right-wing media take advantage of this confusion to push the illusion that activists “on the Left” share their anti-trans agenda. But TERFs are distinctly on the side of right-wing groups, and they have even allied with the efforts of national anti-LGBTQ groups to oppose trans rights in the judicial system.

In 2016, WoLF sued the Obama administration after it issued guidance to public schools regarding transgender students’ access to bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. In the suit, WoLF alleged that these accommodations would lead to “indecent exposure” and “voyeurism” — a claim that has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked. In reality, transgender people are more likely to be victims of harassment, assault, and discrimination in bathrooms than to be perpetrators of such crimes.

In G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, WoLF submitted an amicus brief filed jointly with the Family Policy Alliance, a national anti-LGBTQ group with an alliance of state groups that work to deny LGBTQ people their civil rights. The brief argued against extending Title IX protections — which “protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance” — to include gender identity. WoLF’s brief was submitted in support of a school district that refused to accommodate the needs of a transgender student.

WoLF also filed a brief in the Doe v. Boyertown Area School District case in support of a client of the extreme anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom, who sued his school district for allowing transgender boys to use the same restrooms and locker rooms as him.

Another coalition, called Hands Across the Aisle, which includes TERFs as well as conservative Christians, has also been actively supporting anti-LGBTQ groups in their legal actions against transgender civil rights. Like WoLF, the group filed an amicus brief in the Boyertown case supporting ADF’s efforts to roll back protections for transgender students.

Hands Across the Aisle also wrote a 2017 letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson urging him to rescind protections implemented by the Obama administration in 2016 for transgender people seeking assistance in homeless shelters. The letter was signed by dozens of leaders of various anti-LGBTQ groups such as the Family Policy Alliance, Concerned Women for America, and the Texas Eagle Forum. (A prominent member of Hands Across the Aisle, Meg Kilgannon, was recently interviewed on Fox’s The Ingraham Angle about the group’s opposition to transgender athletes.)

One prominent TERF has also connected with extremist movements overseas to support reactionary movements seemingly unrelated to her anti-trans agenda. Kellie-Jay Minshull, who goes by Posie Parker, recently traveled to Norway for a conference where she posed with far-right Hungarian politician, Holocaust denier, and Islamophobe Hans Lysglimt Johansen.

Additionally, Parker has repeatedly expressed support for far-right anti-Muslim activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson. Robinson, another former Tucker Carlson Tonight guest, has also expressed anti-trans views in a video for far-right media outlet The Rebel.

Right-wing media misleadingly suggest TERFs demonstrate a division within the LGBTQ community

The idea that TERFs are liberal feminists — bolstered by right-wing media — helps create the illusion of a growing division within the LGBTQ community over transgender civil rights. In reality, mainstream LGBTQ rights organizations support and campaign for transgender civil rights, and lesbian institutions such as the Dyke March explicitly champion issues impacting transgender and gender-nonconforming people while also preserving pride events as a form of radical protest. Civil liberties advocates have also taken on the Trump administration’s anti-trans agenda and sued on behalf of transgender people for their right to access public accommodations. There is no such “divide” among mainstream feminists and LGBTQ advocates regarding the inclusion of transgender people in the queer community, as TERFs would like us to believe.

In a piece about U.S. TERFs for Bitch Media,Tina Vasquez wrote that the debate over transgender rights “is not just feminist-theory inside baseball. Though outspoken, politically active trans-exclusionary radical feminists are relatively few in number, their influence on legislation and mainstream perceptions of transgender people is powerful and real.”

Right-wing media figures like Carlson — who has time and again demonstrated his intimate familiarity with extremist movements and a willingness to champion their causes — are pushing a larger agenda that is anti-transgender, which includes denying trans people health care, expelling them from the military, and legally undermining their existence. And along the way, they’ll undoubtedly continue to uplift TERFs’ viewpoints under the guise of progressive feminism. But other media outlets and media consumers should be aware that nothing could be further from the truth; without transgender people leading the way, LGBTQ liberation cannot take place.

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