Friday Night Fun and Culture: James McMurtry

Man charged with hate crime in death of transgender teen

BTW How come he wasn’t also charged with Statutory Rape as his victim was legally a minor?

From NBC News:

David Bogdanov, 25, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen.

By Associated Press
Jan. 3, 2020

VANCOUVER, WASH. — A judge on Thursday set bail at $750,000 for a man charged with a hate crime in the death of a transgender teenager.

Prosecutors had asked Clark County Judge David Gregerson to order no bail, or a minimum $6 million bail, for David Bogdanov, of Vancouver, but the judge said the lower amount was appropriate because Bogdanov has no prior criminal history.

Bogdanov, 25, was arrested Dec. 17 and charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen.

Kuhnhausen disappeared June 6 and her remains were discovered in a remote area of Larch Mountain on Dec. 7 by someone gathering bear grass.

Prosecutors recently added a hate crime charge because they believe Bogdanov strangled Kuhnhausen after learning she was transgender, The Columbian newspaper reported.

A large crowd turned up for the bail hearing and rallied outside the courthouse to show support for Kuhnhausen’s family and to raise awareness of the dangers that face transgender youth. So many people attended the hearing that some had to watch the hearing from a second room through a closed-caption TV system.

Hundreds of people also attended a Dec. 20 vigil for the teen at Vancouver United Church of Christ in Hazel Dell.

In court documents, Vancouver police say Kuhnhausen and Bogdanov met in downtown Vancouver on June 6 and he and his brothers invited her to a bar for a drink. Bogdanov told detectives he gave her his coat because she was cold and after one drink, he let her keep what was left in a bottle of vodka before she returned home.

Kuhnhuasen did go home, but went out again to meet Bogdanov several hours later. At some point, court documents say, she told Bogdanov she was assigned male at birth.

In an Oct. 2 interview with police, Bogdanov said at that point he asked Kuhnhausen to get out of his van and he never saw her again.

He told detectives he was “shocked,” “uncomfortable,” and “really really disturbed” to learn that Kuhnhausen was transgender, according to the affidavit. Detectives wrote in court documents that they believe that is when Bogdanov killed the teen.

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Death of trans woman in vacant apartment shrouded in mystery

From The Washington Blade:

by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
January 15, 2020

The mother and sister of a transgender woman who was found shot to death in a vacant apartment building in Southeast D.C. on Dec. 30 strongly dispute speculation by police that a security guard fatally shot her after she allegedly fired a gun at the guard and another guard with him one day earlier in the same building.

D.C. police on Jan. 7 publicly identified the person found dead in the vacant three-story apartment building at 4273 Barnaby Road, S.E. as 26-year-old Lamont Penny of no fixed address. In a statement, police said investigators learned that Penny identified as a transgender woman and preferred the name of Mia Penny.

The statement identifying Penny as the decedent in the case came over a week after D.C. police announced that armed private security guards on Sunday, Dec. 29, at approximately 10:43 p.m. “came in contact with an armed, adult suspect” in the Barnaby Road apartment building.

After ordering the suspect to leave the building the suspect began to fire a handgun at the two guards, prompting one of the guards to fire back, police said in an earlier statement.

“Following the exchange of gunfire, the suspect fled from the security guards,” the Jan. 7 statement says. “MPD responded to the scene to secure the building and conduct a search, and were unable to locate the suspect,” according to the statement.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told a news conference on Dec. 31 that D.C. police officers used a dog to help in the search for the suspect but were unsuccessful in finding the suspect inside the building. A police report says the exchange of gunfire took place on the third floor of the building “in what would possibly have been apartment 301.”

The Jan. 7 statement says that on Monday, Dec. 30, at about 4:51 p.m. D.C. police responded to a call from the same building for an unconscious person who was found to be suffering from gunshot wounds. D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services workers who also responded to the scene determined the person showed no signs of life, the statement says. It says the individual, later identified as Penny, was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The statement, which was released in the form of a press release, includes a photo of a handgun that police said was found near Penny’s body in the apartment building.

Tasha Penny, Mia Penny’s mother, and Emonie Penny, Mia Penny’s sister, told the Washington Blade in a phone interview on Jan. 6 that they don’t believe the gun belonged to Mia Penny. Both said Mia Penny never showed any inclination to have a gun and wouldn’t know how to use or shoot a gun.

“He doesn’t even know how to pull a trigger,” said Tasha Penny, who, along with Emonie Penny, refers to Mia Penny as her son Lamont but says she recognized and loved Mia as a transgender person who lived as a woman.

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My Pride Story | ep13 | Aviya Eschenazi

TERFs claimed they were being censored, but they found a safe space in right-wing media in 2019

From Media Matters:

Outlets like Fox News often feature trans-exclusionary radical feminists to demean trans people and cry censorship

Brianna January

Anti-trans activists known as trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs, spent 2019 complaining that media have “censored” and “silenced” them, but in reality, they were granted a large platform dozens of times throughout the year in right-wing media.

TERFs have historically opposed trans-inclusive measures and refused to accept the identities of trans folks. They identify as liberal or feminist, sometimes referring to themselves as “gender-critical” or “radical feminists,” and generally do not associate themselves with the term TERFs.

TERFs cry media censorship

TERFs have asserted that media outlets refuse to feature them and and their transphobia. For example, on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, Kara Dansky complained that they are “generally subjected to a media blackout” and that “many of us cannot get a voice on this issue in most media.” Dansky is a board member of the TERF organization Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF).

WoLF member Julia Beck had previously mirrored this sentiment on the same program, saying, “Women have been speaking out about this for decades, but we have been effectively silenced. Many women, like myself, have been pushed out of spaces that we built, spaces that are intended to include us, simply because we acknowledge biological reality.” Beck was removed from Baltimore’s LGBTQ Commission in 2018 after other members became aware of her anti-trans positions.

TERFs have similarly claimed to be unfairly silenced and banned from social media platforms for their anti-trans rhetoric, and right-wing media often propagate these narratives. For example, Meghan Murphy, who founded the TERF blog Feminist Current, is suing Twitter after she was banned from the platform for intentionally misgendering trans people. Deadnaming is the act of calling a transgender person by the name given to them at birth which they no longer use or identify with, and it is a violation of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy.

Right-wing media widely covered Murphy’s lawsuit after she posted a YouTube video about the ban, with pieces in Quillette, The Federalist, National Review, The Daily Wire, Townhall, Spectator, LifeSiteNews, the Washington Examiner, and The Daily Caller.

Fox News gives TERFs a large cable platform to espouse anti-trans rhetoric

Fox News is a safe space for TERFs and elevates their anti-trans rhetoric to a large audience. In 2019, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson hosted TERFs at least four times to discuss trans people. He even offered Dansky an open invitation to his program, saying, “Boy, you’re always welcome on this show.”

Some notable appearances by TERFs on Carlson’s program in 2019 include the following:

Beck appeared on February 12 and pushed the thoroughly debunked myth that trans-inclusive policies will allow “predatory men … to gain access to women’s single-sex spaces” and threaten the safety of women.

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Bari Weiss: Jews Do Not Cause Anti-Semitism

The full text of Bari Weiss’s address to the “No Hate, No Fear” march

New York Times columnist Bari Weiss gave the following speech at the solidarity march today in New York. There were an estimated 25,000 people in attendance:

My name is Bari Weiss.

I am a proud American. I am a proud New Yorker. And I am a proud Jew.

I am not a Jew because people hate my religion, my people, and my civilization.

Not for a single moment does Jew-hatred, like the kind we are seeing in this city, make me a Jew.

I am a Jew because of the audacity and the iconoclasm of Abraham, the first Jew of all. The whole world was awash in idols and he stood alone to proclaim the truth: There is one God.

I am a Jew because my ancestors were slaves. And I am a Jew because the story of their Exodus from Egypt, their liberation from slavery, is a story that changed human consciousness forever.

I am a Jew because our God commands us to never oppress the stranger.

I am Jew because Ruth, the first convert to Judaism, told her mother-in-law Naomi, “your people will be my people and your god will be my god,” reminding us of the centrality of the Jewish people to Judaism.

I am a Jew because of Queen Esther, who understood that she had attained her royal position in order to save her people from destruction.

I am a Jew because the Maccabees were the original resistance. Because they modeled for us — and for all peoples — how to resist the temptation of self-erasure.

I am a Jew because when Rabbi Akiva was being tortured to death by the Romans he laughed. He laughed and he told his students that he could finally fulfill the commandment to love God with all of his being.

I am a Jew because even after the heart of Judaism and Jewish sovereignty were destroyed my people refused to accept the logic of history and disappear. And I am a Jew because some of our greatest renewals took place in exile.

I am a Jew because my people has been targeted and despised and murdered by the Nazis and Soviets.

I am a Jew because evil hates my people.

I am a Jew because because my people managed to turn destruction into redemption by returning to their land after 2,000 years.

I am a Jew because our Founders saw themselves as new Israelites.

I am a Jew because the biblical words on the liberty bell — proclaim liberty throughout the land! — rang out from the righteous mouths of this country’s abolitionists as they fought for universal freedom in this New Jerusalem.

I am a Jew because it was Emma Lazarus who etched the biblical injunction to welcome the stranger onto the consciousness of America when she wrote the words: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

I am a Jew because of the martyred of Tree of Life and Chabad of Poway and Jersey City. And I am a Jew because of the courage of those who fought back in Monsey and who then, immediately after the attack, gathered together to sing. And I am Jew because my brothers and sisters in Crown Heights and Boro Park and Williamsburg who refuse to hide their Judaism.

I am a Jew because of students across this country who refuse to be smeared and denigrated because of who they are, who are standing up against humiliation, pressure and abuse to affirm the justness of Zionism.

I am a Jew because my brothers and sisters in England and France are battling the anti-Semitism of populist thugs and the anti-Semitism of politicians in parliament.

I am a Jew because I refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. I am a Jew because I have no patience for leaders who speak boldly while failing to take the actions necessary to protect our community. Or for partisan hacks that claim anti-Semitism is the exclusive domain of their political opponents. Or for leaders who believe they can fight Jew-hatred while making political alliances with anti-Semites.

I am a Jew because I refuse to lie.

I am a Jew because Jews are of every color and class and politics and language. And I am a Jew because hatred of us has no color or class or politics or language.

I am a Jew because Jews do not cause Jew hatred. Ever.

Today, as in so many times in history, there are many forces in the world insisting that Jews must disappear or die. Some say it bluntly. Some cloak it in the language of progress.

But I am a Jew because of I know that there is force far greater than that. And that is the force of who we are and the force of our world-changing ideas.

The Jewish people were not put on Earth to be anti-anti-Semites. We were put on Earth to be Jews.

We are the people whose God never slumbers or sleeps, and so neither can we.

We are the lamp-lighters.

We are the ever-dying people that refuses to die.

The people of Israel lives now and forever.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Media’s ‘detransition’ narrative is fueling misconceptions, trans advocates say

From NBC News:

They say the current narrative makes “transition regret” seem more common than it is and contributes to misconceptions about transgender people in general.

By Liam Knox
Dec. 19, 2019

In early October, the United Kingdom’s SkyNews ran a story about the “Detransition Advocacy Network,” a new charity founded by Charlie Evans, a former transgender man who detransitioned in 2018. Evans told SkyNews that “hundreds” of young trans people were seeking her help to return to their sex assigned at birth, and she said more resources are urgently needed for people experiencing post-transition regret.

“I’m in communication with 19- and 20-year-olds who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn’t, and their dysphoria hasn’t been relieved, they don’t feel better for it,” Evans told SkyNews. “They don’t know what their options are now.”

Following SkyNews’ interview with Evans, news outlets across the U.K. and the United States covered the phenomenon of detransitioning. The BBC dedicated an hour to the topic on two of its flagship programs in late November, and right-wing outlets such as The Daily Wire and Breitbart covered the topic with an explicitly transphobic spin. New York magazine published a piece last month about another advocacy group for ex-trans people where one interviewee expressed concern that “many teenage women … have been convinced too quickly that the only solution is to change their sex.”

No one disputes that transition regret does exist and that there are trans people who return to the sex they were assigned at birth. However, trans advocates say some of the recent coverage around the topic portrays detransitioning as much more common than it actually is, fueling misconceptions about the gender transition process and painting trans people as just temporarily confused or suffering from a misdiagnosed psychological disorder. This misleading information, they say, can have serious real-world consequences, from misguided policy proposals to social stigma.

“I think the reason why detransition stories are popular in this given time is because it neatly fits into this idea that young people especially are being made to be trans,” Lui Asquith, a legal counselor for U.K.-based LGBTQ group Mermaids, told NBC News. “The media are conjuring up a panic about trans lives, and the first victims of that panic are the young people who are indirectly being told that they’re a phase.”

There are an estimated 1.4 million transgender adults in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, and the U.K.’s Government Equalities Office “tentatively” estimates there are between 200,000 and 500,000 trans people in Britain and Northern Ireland.

While the information regarding how many trans people detransition is sparse, those who work with the trans community say it is uncommon. “The actual numbers around them are significantly low,” Asquith said.

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