HRC Mourns Alexus “Kimmy Icon” Braxton, Black Transgender Woman Killed in Miami

From HRC: https://www.hrc.org/news/hrc-mourns-alexus-kimmy-icon-braxton-black-transgender-woman-killed-in-miami

by Madeleine Roberts
February 11, 2021

HRC is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alexus Braxton, also known as Kimmy Icon Braxton, a 45-year-old Black transgender woman who was killed in Miami, Florida on February 4. Her death is at least the sixth violent death of a transgender person in 2021. We say “at least” because too often these deaths go unreported — or misreported. So far this year, five of the six known deaths have been Black transgender women.

According to Alexus’s Facebook, she was a hairstylist. She was active on social media and posted frequently, often discussing time spent with friends or the obstacles she had overcome in her life. A recent post stated, “they can’t stop my shine.” Family and friends held a balloon release to honor Alexus’s life on February 8 and have been remembering her on social media, with one saying “I’m beyond devastated.”

Tatiana Braxton, Alexus’s mother, said, “Twenty two years later and Black Trans Women’s lives are still not VALUED. In 1999, I witnessed my best friend get murdered in the streets of Miami. Sadly, since her murder, I’ve lost many more friends due to senseless violence. Here we are in 2021, it’s my daughter Kimmy. There’s one thing that remains the same: law enforcement, state officials and local politicians have no sense of urgency to address this growing epidemic. Please help us!”

Not much is currently known about the circumstances surrounding Alexus’s death. According to Gay City News, police confirmed that they are investigating her death as a homicide.

HRC recorded 44 deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people in 2020, more than in any year since we began tracking this violence in 2013.

At the state level, the Florida Commission on Human Relations recently announced its intention to fully implement the Bostock v. Clayton County decision to effectively extend protections in employment, housing, and public spaces to LGBTQ residents. While Florida does include sexual orientation as a protected characteristic in its hate crimes law, it does not expressly include gender identity. While the past few years have been marked by anti-LGBTQ attacks at all levels of government, recent weeks have seen some gains that support and affirm transgender people.

We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation at the local, state and federal levels, while also considering every possible way to make ending this violence a reality. It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, especially Black transgender women. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive, so we must all work together to cultivate acceptance, reject hate and end stigma for everyone in the trans and gender non-conforming community.

In order to work towards this goal and combat stigma against transgender and non-binary people, HRC has collaborated with WarnerMedia on a PSA campaign to lift up their voices and stories. Learn more and watch the PSAs here.

In the pursuit of greater accuracy and respect, HRC offers guidelines for journalists and others who report on transgender people. HRC, Media Matters and the Trans Journalists Association have also partnered on an FAQ for reporters writing about anti-trans violence.

For more information about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit hrc.org/transgender.

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This Group Wants to Solve Sports’ “Transgender Problem.” There Are No Trans People in It

These women perfectly illustrate the acronym: TERF.

From Them.com: https://www.them.us/story/womens-sports-policy-working-group-anti-trans-athletes-martina-navratilova

It’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

By Britni de la Cretaz
February 4, 2021

A group of former Olympians kicked off National Girls and Women in Sports Day by attacking trans youth who want to play sports, particularly trans girls.

On Tuesday, the new Women’s Sports Policy Working Group (WSPWG), which aims to influence policy regarding trans inclusion in girls’ sports, held its first press conference to introduce the world to what they said was a “balanced” and “science-based” proposal for “preserving girls’ and women’s sport and accommodating transgender athletes.” The language is carefully crafted to appear reasonable and unbiased but is easily recognizable as trans exclusionary to anyone who has followed attacks on trans athletes.

The group’s mission, as stated on its website, is “to protect girls’ and women’s competitive sport for biological females while accommodating trans girls and trans women through evidence-based, respectful criteria.” The coalition attempts to take a “both sides” approach by claiming that people who are advocating for what they call “unconditional” trans inclusion in sports are on one extreme end of a spectrum and are just as wrong as transphobes who believe there is no place for trans women and girls in U.S. athletics.

“We reject both the effort to exclude trans girls and trans women from girls’ and women’s sport and the effort to disadvantage biological females by forcing them to compete against athletes with male sex-linked physical advantages,” its website reads.

The group is composed of six members, all of whom are cisgender and none of whom are scientists. The most well-known of the bunch is (famously transphobic) tennis champion Martina Navratilova, who was removed as an advisory board member and athlete ambassador for Athlete Ally, an organization that promotes LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports, after publishing an op-ed in The Times of London in 2019 in which she claimed that allowing trans women to compete in women’s sports was “cheating.”

Other members include Donna de Varona, the former president of the Women’s Sports Foundation; Doriane Coleman, a co-director of the Center for Sports Law and Policy at Duke Law School; and Donna Lopiano, the former CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation.

When asked in a Zoom press conference by The 19th’s Kate Sosin whether any trans people had been involved in this plan, the WSPWG cited that they had consulted with several trans athletes and trans advocacy groups, but failed to name any of them specifically. Former professional tennis player Renee Richards and researcher Joanna Harper, both trans women, are listed as “supporters” on the WSPWG’s website. But Richards has not been an elite athlete for nearly 40 years and Harper’s research is controversial and has been used to exclude athletes like Caster Semenya from international competition.

When them. followed up to ask which trans advocacy groups had been consulted, the WSPWG said those consultations “were off the record.” The presser and launch of the working group was co-sponsored by the Duke Center for Sports Law and Policy, and when asked about Duke University’s involvement, them. was told they had “no role” beyond initial sponsorship.

The WSPWG says it plans to ask the Biden administration to make girls’ sports exempt from enforcement of the executive order President Joe Biden signed his first day in office, which committed to enforcing its ruling regarding the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace across all areas of federal policy. These include areas like housing and education, the latter of which includes the right of trans students to be affirmed by their gender in the classroom and varsity athletics. “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” the order said.

Continue reading at: https://www.them.us/story/womens-sports-policy-working-group-anti-trans-athletes-martina-navratilova

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Texas: Dan Patrick revives his old war against transgender kids

From The San Antonio Express News: https://www.expressnews.com/news/news_columnists/gilbert_garcia/article/Garcia-Dan-Patrick-revives-his-old-war-against-15983882.php

Gilbert Garcia, Metro Columnist
Feb. 27, 2021

Transgender issues were everywhere this past week.

On Thursday, the U.S. House passed the Equality Act, basically an LGBTQ-focused addendum to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The House vote prompted Marjorie Taylor Greene, the conspiracy-prone Georgia Republican, to post an anti-transgender sign across the hall from the office of Illinois Rep. Marie Newman, whose daughter is transgender.

The same day that the House passed the Equality Act, the Senate held a confirmation hearing for Dr. Rachel Levine, President Joe Biden’s pick for assistant health secretary, and the first openly transgender individual ever nominated for a federal office.

During Levine’s hearing, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul falsely accused the pediatrician of supporting “surgical destruction of a minor’s genitalia.”

In Arkansas, two separate bills — including one from the Republican Women’s Caucus — were introduced with the shared goal of preventing transgender women and girls from competing in female sports.

Meanwhile, Hasbro announced that it planned to drop the “Mr.” title from the name of its Mr. Potato Head toy, in favor of the gender-neutral Potato Head. The move prompted swift outrage from GOP culture warriors, with Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz devoting part of his Friday CPAC speech to a rumination on Mr. Potato Head’s genitalia.

“Mr. Potato Head was America’s first transgender doll,” Gaetz said. “And even he got canceled!”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has never seen a transgender political battle he could resist, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the list of 31 legislative priorities he released on Tuesday included an item euphemistically called “Fair Sports for Women & Girls.”

Patrick wants to ban transgender Texas athletes from competing under the gender by which they identify, just as four years ago, he was determined to prevent transgender Texans from using public restrooms that matched their gender identity.

The transgender sports question is one that’s been building momentum over the past year. In 2020, 18 states considered bills restricting transgender sports participation, with Idaho passing its bill into law.

Continue reading at: https://www.expressnews.com/news/news_columnists/gilbert_garcia/article/Garcia-Dan-Patrick-revives-his-old-war-against-15983882.php

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