HRC Mourns Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, Black Trans Woman Killed in Atlanta

From HRC:

by Madeleine Roberts
February 2, 2021

HRC is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, a Black transgender woman in her early 30s who was killed in Atlanta, Georgia. Bianca, who was nicknamed Muffin by her close friends because of her love for blueberry muffins, was shot to death on January 17. Her death is at least the third violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021. We say “at least” because too often these deaths go unreported — or misreported. HRC has also recently learned of a fourth death, that of Dominique Jackson in Mississippi, who was killed on January 25.

According to Project Q Atlanta, on Friday, January 29, Bianca’s friends and the Trans Housing Coalition (THC) held a vigil outside of her apartment to remember her. Friends described her as “sweet and kind,” and said that one of her dreams was to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race. According to THC, Bianca was living with a friend, Africa, whom she had known for eight years. Bianca found her chosen family in Atlanta. Said THC’s Founder and Co-Director Jesse Pratt López, “Muffin was just blossoming into herself.” Her friend Angel Karmarain said, “I wish she [would] call my phone right now… But she’s not here. I just love her and I will miss you.”

Muffin was truly loved by so many people in her short lifetime. As Black trans women, we are in fear for our lives! Already this year, we’ve lost multiple trans and gender non-conforming people to fatal violence, a majority of whom were Black transgender women. We need to do more — we need everyone in Atlanta and across the country to take action and show that Black Trans Lives Matter.”

Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative

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.

More than 10,000 hate crimes in the U.S. involve a firearm each year, which equates to more than 28 each day, according to a 2020 report from HRC, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, Giffords Law Center and Equality Florida titled “Remembering and Honoring Pulse: Anti-LGBTQ Bias and Guns Are Taking Lives of Countless LGBTQ People.” The report also notes a marked increase in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes, especially against transgender people. According to the 2017-2019 Transgender Homicide Tracker, three-fourths of homicides against transgender people have involved a gun, and nearly eight in 10 homicides of Black trans women involve a gun. Further, advocates saw a 43% increase in the formation of anti-LGBTQ hate groups in 2019.

At the state level, transgender and gender non-conforming people in Georgia are not explicitly protected in state laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, education and public spaces. While Georgia passed hate crimes legislation in June 2020 that does include sexual orientation, the law does not explicitly cover gender identity. While the past few years have been marked by anti-LGBTQ attacks at all levels of government, recent weeks have seen marginal 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

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Lambda Legal Celebrates Repeal of “Walking While Trans” Ban and Recognizes the Leadership and Advocacy of Transgender Women of Color

From Lambda Legal:

By Lambda Legal
February 2, 2021

Lambda Legal today hailed the elimination of the “Walking While Trans” ban, Section 240.37 of the New York penal law relating to loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense. Richard Saenz, Senior Staff Attorney and Criminal Justice and Police Misconduct Strategist, released the following statement:

“Lambda Legal applauds the historic passage of the bill to repeal P.L. § 240.37, the Walking While Trans ban, in the New York legislature today. Since its passage in 1976, critical concerns about P.L. § 240.37 have included questions about the constitutionality of the law and its potential for abuse.

“This repeal is a call for justice. It is a significant step to address violence perpetuated against transgender women and women of color by the state. The repeal eliminates a discriminatory law that has been used by police officers as a ‘stop-and-frisk’ to profile, stop, search, harass, and arrest LGBTQ and gender nonconforming people based on their clothing or appearance. It will remove an overbroad, racist and discriminatory law which is used to target and criminalize marginalized women – specifically and disproportionately transgender women of color.

“Lambda Legal wants to recognize the extraordinary leadership and advocacy work by transgender women of color, the Walking While Trans coalition, community members, and organizers to achieve this moment. This repeal represents years of advocacy, education, and organizing. Sadly, we have lost leaders and community members who have been in this fight – though their spirits will always be with us.

“We applaud Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin who sponsored the bill. We thank Governor Cuomo for quickly signing this bill and providing much needed justice for transgender women who needlessly suffer because of unfair and discriminatory policing.”

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Iowa bill would criminalize medical treatment of transgender youth because they will “outgrow” it

Trans Eliminationist Bigots (TEBs) have all these brilliant ideas that have never worked. They will out grow it. Well no. Instead they will spend the rest of their lives trying to undo their damaged childhoods and large sums of money trying to undo the damages of involuntary puberty.

From LGBTQ Nation:

The bill’s author claims that after puberty, trans youth “will eventually have a gender identity that aligns with their sex.” (Pro tip: That’s not how it works.)

By Bil Browning
Monday, January 25, 2021

Iowa Rep. Sandy Salmon (R) has introduced one of the nation’s most egregious pieces of anti-transgender legislation so far this year – and with the numerous attacks already launched on trans youth, that’s a dubious distinction.

Salmon’s bill would make it illegal for medical professionals to treat transgender youth as medically necessary, saying they will “outgrow” it.

Treating the youth as recommended by major medical associations could cost a doctor their license and fines of $1,000.

The bill’s author claims that after puberty, trans youth “will eventually have a gender identity that aligns with their sex.”

Children do express their gender freely, but therapists and doctors don’t diagnose gender dysphoria unless the child has repeatedly reiterated that they identify differently and have shown emotional distress. Puberty blockers are a hormonal treatment that delays the onset of puberty – and therefore secondary sex characteristics – so that transgender youth and their parents and doctors can have more time to decide on an appropriate medical treatment.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement in 2018 that affirmed the use of puberty blockers as part of a care model for young people with gender dysphoria.

A study published last year found that transgender people who wanted puberty blockers and got them were far less likely to have suicidal thoughts later on in life than transgender people who wanted them but didn’t get them.

“When we say something is standard of care in medicine, that means we have data,” Dr. Larson Ode, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, told local news. “We are very clear when we’re experimenting on people and transgender care for children is not experimental. It’s standard of care and it’s standard of care for all our major societies.”

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Violent Far-Right Agitators Behind Vast Majority of Extremist Killings in US, New ADL Report Shows

From The Algemeiner:

by Algemeiner Staff
February 3, 2021

Far-right extremists were connected to “at least 16” of 17 extremist murders in 2020 as “extremist activity in general” continued to rise, a new Anti-Defamation League (ADL) study revealed on Wednesday.

“While there were fewer extremist-related killings in 2020, extremist activity in general was on the rise,” the Jewish civil rights organization said in a statement.

“ADL recorded 16 right-wing extremist-related terrorist attacks or plots in 2020 (through November), an increase from the 13 recorded in 2019. Additionally, ADL documented more than 5,000 incidents of white supremacist propaganda distribution in the U.S. in 2020, compared to 2,724 in 2019,” the statement said.

In its annual analysis of fatalities caused by domestic extremism, the ADL observed that social distancing protocols arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a more proactive approach from law enforcement, had impacted extremist behavior. Data gathered in 2020 showed a “significant decrease from the 45 extremist-related murders in 19 incidents documented in 2019, and the 54 murders in 20 incidents in 2018.”

The ADL noted that in 2020, “there was an absence of mass shooting sprees, such as the August 2019 white supremacist attack on a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, which resulted in 23 deaths. It is possible that fewer public gatherings may have discouraged mass shootings of that nature, as well as early intervention by law enforcement, which thwarted several terrorist plots in 2020.”

Breaking down the 16 far right extremist killings in 2020, the ADL noted that “slightly over half (nine) were committed by white supremacists. Four of these murders were committed by people tied to white supremacist prison gangs, while the others appear to have been carried out by non-affiliated white supremacists rather than members of specific groups.”

On Thursday, the ADL will present a new plan to combat domestic terrorism — called PROTECT — at a public House Committee on Homeland Security hearing that will examine the events that led to the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot. The organization’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said that the plan “takes aim at violent conspiracies, hate attacks, terroristic threats, campaigns of intimidation and harassment and other offenses.”

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Texas Republicans don’t want trans girls on girls’ sports teams

From The Beaumont Enterprise:

ShaCamree Gowdy
Feb. 1, 2021

Following in the footsteps of states such as Montana and Tennessee, Republican lawmakers in Texas have filed legislation that would prohibit transgender girls and women across the state from playing on single-sex sports teams designated for girls and women, according to the Texas Tribune’s Kate McGee and Aliyya Swaby. 

According to H.B. 1458, “Each interscholastic, intramural, or other extracurricular athletic team sponsored by a school district or open-enrollment charter school shall be designated for participation by only students of the same biological sex; or students of both biological sexes.”

The legislation was filed by Spring representative Valoree Swanson and prohibits the University Interscholastic League of Texas or the National College Athletic Association from taking “adverse action” against those who comply with the rule. Currently, both organizations allow students to play on the sports team of the gender they identify.

“This is bathroom bill 3.0,” said Equality Texas senior adviser Angela Hale, as reported by McGee and Swaby. “It’s very unsettling to transgender children who just want to live. They don’t want to have to come down to the Capitol and testify every single legislative session just so that they can live and go about their daily lives.”

A “bathroom bill”  limits transgender people’s access to bathrooms in public schools and government buildings.

The Texas Tribune also reported that Republican lawmakers also filed a bill that would make it illegal for doctors and mental health providers to provide care to children outside of the sex they were assigned at birth or prescribe a treatment known as puberty blockers, which transgender children use to delay puberty. The bill would also prohibit gender-confirming surgeries and hormone therapies, the Tribune reported.

“This bill is a common sense measure that is sadly necessary in a world where male athletes are robbing women of both championship trophies and educational opportunities,” Swanson said in a statement, as reported by the Tribune.

Echoing Swanson’s statement, Lubbock representative Charles Perry filed a similar Senate bill, claiming “individuals who are confused” could have an unfair advantage in strength and ability.

Contrary to lawmakers’ beliefs, a 2016 study is one of many that found no direct or consistent research suggesting transgender people have an athletic advantage at any stage of their transition.

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Alabama’s trans ID law requiring proof of surgery is unconstitutional, court rules

From NBC News:

Fewer than 10 states now require transgender residents to provide proof of surgery to change the gender markers on their driver’s licenses.

By Jo Yurcaba
Jan. 29, 2021

Alabama’s policy requiring transgender people to have undergone gender-affirming surgery before they can get state IDs that accurately reflect their gender identities is unconstitutional, a federal court ruled this month.

Fewer than 10 states now require proof of surgery to update the gender marker on a driver’s license.

The Alabama case began in 2018, when three transgender people — Darcy Corbitt, Destiny Clark and an unnamed third person — sued the state after they were denied driver’s licenses that reflected their genders, opposed to their sexes assigned at birth, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The policy for driver’s licenses, which is what we challenged with this lawsuit, requires that people either submit an amended birth certificate or submit proof of having had what they call ‘complete surgery,'” which Alabama interprets to mean both “genital surgery and top surgery,” said the lawyer who litigated the case, Gabriel Arkles, senior counsel at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. An amended birth certificate also requires proof of surgery, although this case didn’t challenge that rule.

On Jan. 15, the U.S. District Court for Middle Alabama, part of the 11th Circuit, ruled that Policy Order 63, the state’s driver’s license policy for transgender people, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it discriminates based on sex.

“By making the content of people’s driver licenses depend on the nature of their genitalia, the policy classifies by sex; under Equal Protection Clause doctrine, it is subject to an intermediate form of heightened scrutiny,” Senior Judge Myron Thompson, who was nominated to the court by President Jimmy Carter, wrote in the opinion.

Arkles said that any time officials make a policy that treats people differently based on sex, “they have to have a very good reason for what they’re doing, and here they really did not.”

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Montana advances bill to ban transgender girls from competing in school sports

From LGBTQ Nation:

Montana has become the latest battleground over elementary school girls’ right to be part of a team.

By Bil Browning
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Montana legislators have advanced a bill to ban transgender girls from school sports through the state’s House Judiciary Committee.

The proposed legislation would require that elementary, high school, college and private schools that compete against a public school all reject the student athletes.

“It is unconscionable that Montana lawmakers are focused on restricting transgender and nonbinary youth’s ability to play school sports in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic and economic turmoil. Transgender students, like all students, deserve the chance to learn teamwork and to build self-esteem and a sense of belonging with their peers through sports,” said Sam Brinton, vice president of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project.

The group runs the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people.

The bill will now to go the full House for a vote.

“At The Trevor Project, we constantly hear from transgender and nonbinary youth in crisis who want nothing more than to be recognized for who they are — and we know based on our research that respecting and affirming a young person’s gender identity is essential to their mental health and well-being. This discriminatory policy would only work to increase the kind of social isolation and stigma that contributes to self-harm and suicide risk. We urge the Montana House to reject this cruel and unnecessary bill, and to instead focus on expanding opportunity and support for Montana’s trans youth during this difficult time.”

The legislature is also considering a bill that would prohibit medical professionals from providing best-practice medical care to transgender youth.

H.B. 112, dubbed the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” is “a carbon copy of Idaho’s HB 500” according to Chase Strangio, the Deputy Director for Transgender Justice for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)’s LGBT & HIV Project. Idaho’s law is a similarly-named ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ proposal that passed, but is currently blocked from being enacted by a federal court’s injunction.

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Lege 2021: A coordinated attack against trans kids

From Equality Texas:

January 22, 2021

In the newest attempt to erode support for equal rights in Texas, Representative Steve Toth and Senator Charles Perry are directly targeting transgender youth, putting them under a harmful spotlight in two pieces of dangerous legislation. 

Toth’s bill, HB 68, would ban transgender youth from accessing affirming, best practice healthcare by reclassifying it as child abuse. For transgender youth who are insistent, consistent, and persistent about their gender identity, parents, guardians and medical experts work together to provide age-appropriate care. This is a thoughtful and lengthy process that is personal and private to each family. Classifying best practice medical care as child abuse sets a dangerous precedent for all Texans by allowing non-expert lawmakers to criminalize care that is live-saving and consistent with prevailing medical standards. 

Perry’s bill, SB 373, would require K-12 youth to participate in sports according to the gender on their birth certificate, essentially banning transgender youth from participating in line with their gender identity. Attacking trans youths’ access to sports — a tactic that, like debating bathrooms, has no basis in real-world facts — is another attempt to isolate vulnerable trans kids, barring them from the friendship, education, teamwork, and health benefits of playing a sport.

Every year, opponents of equality in state legislatures present the public with a new, fabricated “emergency” related to LGBTQ+ people. These policies are designed to create fear, spread misinformation about who LGBTQ+ people are, and erode the steady and rising support for laws and policies, like nondiscrimination, that give LGBTQ+ people the opportunities to participate fully in their communities. A majority of Texans in every region, religion and major ethnic group support nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ+ community, according to polling by the Public Religion Research Institute.

You can help us stop these attacks on transgender youth and end the gross misinformation about transgender people by advocating during this legislative session. Being a kid is hard enough. Lawmakers claim these bills are designed to protect vulnerable youth, but they do just the opposite. We don’t need politicians making it even harder for kids who are transgender, denying them best practice medical care and singling them out for increased bullying and harassment.

While this session may look different than others, there are still many ways you can participate and ensure that your voice is heard. Contacting legislators, virtually mobilizing the community, providing testimony (including written), and helping people call decision-makers at the legislature are all ways you can get involved. 


We’ll walk you through every step of the way. Together we can stop these bills in their tracks and create a Texas with full and lived equality for all of us. 

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As Elliot Page fights for trans people, Caitlyn Jenner whines that everyone likes him better

Not hard to understand why. Caitlyn needs to wake up and stop supporting our enemies.
From LGBTQ Nation:

Jenner supported Donald Trump and reaffirmed her opposition to marriage equality shortly after coming out as trans. And she wonders why Elliot Page is more popular with LGBTQ people?

By Alex Bollinger
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A mere month since Elliot Page announced that he’s transgender, he’s already helping to fight back against anti-transgender legislation in Montana.

Meanwhile, Caitlyn Jenner is wondering why people didn’t show her the same love they’re showing Page, even though she was one of Donald Trump’s most famous LGBTQ supporters in the 2016 elections.

The Olympic gold-medalist appeared on The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast yesterday, and host Michael Bosstick wanted to talk about “double standards” and brought up Page.

“I feel like when you transitioned,” Bosstick asked, “but I feel there’s a double standard where, like, you also got a lot of shit from a lot of people that are very supportive of other people in Hollywood who are transitioning but maybe if you don’t fit that agenda or that kind of typecast, if they’re not as forgiving with someone like yourself, and I wonder if you’ve ever thought about that double standard.”

“The trans community is probably more critical than the general public,” Jenner said, and Bosstick brought up Page.

Jenner said that transgender people are more critical of her “being white, I have a job, I’ve been successful, I have white privilege, celebrity privilege, I’ve had every privilege there is in the world. I agree with them, I do, I’ve worked hard my whole life.” None of these things distinguish her from Page.

“And for that, you can’t be a spokesperson for the community. You didn’t live in the gutter, and 25% of all prostitutes are trans women. ‘You didn’t go hooking for a living,’ and this and that, ‘So you don’t understand, you don’t understand,’” Jenner said, paraphrasing what she believes her critics have said.

She said that she thought she “could really make a difference and change the world. In a lot of ways, I did that by just being myself. But, I mean, I tried to do things politically, I was back in Washington D.C. all the time, to try to change things.”

She explained that she had a long dinner with major evangelical leaders in D.C. and that she’s “still friends with some of them. I did a lot of that.”

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Transgender athletes look hopefully to White House transition

From PBS:

Jan 15, 2021

ransgender athletes are getting an ally in the White House next week as they seek to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports — although state legislatures, Congress and the courts are all expected to have their say this year, too.

Attorneys on both sides say they expect President-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Education will switch sides in two key legal battles — one in Connecticut, the other in Idaho — that could go a long way in determining whether transgender athletes are treated by the sex on their birth certificates or by how they identify.

Debate is also expected in statehouses. Last year, bills to restrict transgender athletes’ participation to their gender assigned at birth were brought up in 17 states, although only one, Idaho’s, became law.

It may ultimately fall to Congress to clarify once and for all whether Title IX, the civil rights law that guarantees equal opportunities for women and girls in education, protects or bars the participation of transgender females in women’s sports, said Elizabeth Sharrow, an associate professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts.

“I think if they do that, lawmakers at the state level can propose laws, but it doesn’t mean those proposals are going to be taken seriously in the legislative bodies they serve in or that if the state passes those laws anyway that they would necessarily be considered legitimate,” she said. “The courts will sort that out.”

During his campaign, Biden committed to restoring transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.

“States that like Idaho attempt to bar trans girls from girls sports, regardless of age of transition, medical intervention or anything else, with a new federal administration, will now be risking lawsuits by the federal government, Justice Department intervention and the loss of federal funding,” said Chase Strangio, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy director for transgender justice.

In Idaho, a law signed in March became the nation’s first to prohibit transgender students who identify as female from playing on female teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities. The law was supported by President Donald Trump’s administration but blocked from implementation by a federal judge while a legal challenge by ACLU proceeds.

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States Are Gearing Up to Attack Trans Kids’ Rights in 2021

From Vice News:

Legislation introduced in 13 states is mainly focused on cracking down on health care for trans children.

by Carter Sherman
January 13, 2021

It’s only the second week of 2021, and legislators across 13 states have already introduced 19 bills aimed at stripping away the rights of transgender people.

This onslaught suggests that the U.S. is on track to see a huge amount of anti-trans legislation, according to a tally by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) provided to VICE News. There were 52 bills that explicitly attacked trans rights in 2020, a record, the ACLU found.

The bills introduced so far in 2021, like those from 2020, are mainly focused on prohibiting health care for trans kids or keeping them from participating in sporting events that match their gender. Their texts are, at times, identical, suggesting that they could be based on model legislation provided to state legislators by a special interest group. This kind of “copy-and-paste” legislation occurs across the political spectrum but is a prominent tactic among conservative groups. 

“It’s certainly the most aggressive attack I’ve seen,” said Chase Strangio, deputy director for Trans Justice at the ACLU. “At a time when perhaps bill-drafting and government might be slowed down by the states due to practical constraints because of COVID, you have well-resourced anti-trans groups that are drafting these bills and shipping them out to states. And they’re moving incredibly quickly.”

Last year, states introduced dozens of bills that would have restricted trans people’s ability to change their IDs to match their gender, blocked trans kids from getting health care, or stopped them from participating in sports. But when coronavirus hit and the country ground to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic, just one state—Idaho—managed to pass anti-trans legislation.

This year, a bill in Kentucky and another in South Carolina would expand the ability of individual medical providers as well as corporations—including hospitals and insurance companies—to deny care to trans people based on their “religious, moral, ethical, or philosophical beliefs or principles.” 

Bills in Texas and New Hampshire want to define gender-affirming health care for trans kids as child abuse. A Montana bill, which was slated to be discussed in a legislative committee on Wednesday, would impose fines on health care providers of up to $50,000 for providing trans kids with medical or surgical gender-affirming health care. 

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House Republican introduces anti-trans legislation that could lead to genital exams for school girls

From LGBTQ Nation:

His federal bill to ban transgender girls from sports is a direct challenge to Joe Biden’s pro-LGBTQ policies.

By Alex Bollinger
Friday, January 22, 2021

A Congressional Republican has introduced a federal bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in school sports.

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced H.R. 426 yesterday, which would threaten federal funds to state and local athletics organizations if they allow “a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls.”

The bill does not describe exactly how schools should determine what someone’s sex assigned at birth is, just vaguely stating that “sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

In a press release, Steube touted support from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a Christian organization run by men that has already attacked President Joe Biden for supporting “further expansions of abortion and contraception.”

Steube said in the release that the point of the bill is to help cisgender women participate in women’s sports.

The bill – which is unlikely to come up for a vote in the Democratic House – would be a direct challenge to the Biden administration’s position that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is already illegal under federal law and that transgender people have the same rights to participate in sports like anyone else.

In a sweeping executive order signed on Wednesday, Biden expanded protections for LGBTQ people and specifically cited discrimination against transgender people in schools.

“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” Biden’s executive order said.

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Montana Republican targets transgender youth with 2 new bills

From NBC News:

State Rep. John Fuller, the bills’ sponsor, called gender-affirming care for transgender youth “barbaric.”

By Dan Avery
Jan. 15, 2021

A Republican lawmaker in Montana has introduced a pair of bills targeting transgender youth.

House Bill 112, authored by state Rep. John Fuller, requires athletic teams at all public educational institutions — from elementary schools to colleges — to be designated based on “biological sex.” The measure, also known as the Save Women’s Sports Act, would prohibit transgender students from joining teams that match their gender identity, no matter how long ago they transitioned.

“Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex,” it reads in part.

Fuller told Montana Public Radio that, as a former women’s soccer coach, he believes allowing transgender girls to play on women’s teams is unfair. His bill would allow students to sue if they feel they’ve been deprived or harmed in some way by a trans athlete participating in school sports.

“I want to protect and defend women’s sports,” he told the Helena Independent Record. “I believe this continued practice of allowing males to compete as females … is egregious and wrong.”

Another bill, also penned by Fuller, would bar health care professionals from providing transgender minors certain transition-related care.

Under House Bill 113, also known as An Act Providing for Youth Health Protection, physicians and other medical professionals are prohibited from treating gender dysphoria in minors by prescribing, providing or administering puberty-suppressing drugs or cross-sex hormones (including estrogen and testosterone); performing gender-reassignment surgery; or removing “any otherwise healthy or nondiseased body part or tissue.” Penalties for providers who violate the law would include fines of up to $50,000.

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In ‘nasty parting shot,’ HHS finalizes rule axing LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections


Under the new Health Department rule, taxpayer-funded adoption agencies can refuse to acknowledge same-sex marriages and turn away qualified LGBTQ parents.

By Dan Avery
Jan. 12, 2021

With little more than a week left to the Trump administration, the Department of Health and Human Services has finalized a rule permitting social-service providers that receive government funds to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Critics claim the new guidance could have wide-ranging implications for agencies that address adoption and foster-parenting, as well as homelessness, HIV prevention, elder care and other public services.

“Even as Trump administration officials abandon ship, HHS has announced yet another dangerous rule that invites discrimination against the very people federal grant programs are meant to help,” Sasha Buchert, senior attorney for the LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal, said.

According to the 77-page release, published Tuesday in the Federal Register, Obama-era requirements that agencies refrain from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity and recognize same-sex marriages as legally valid violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“Given the careful balancing of rights, obligations, and goals in the public-private partnerships in federal grant programs, the Department believes it appropriate to impose only those nondiscrimination requirements required by the Constitution and federal statutes,” the rule states.

Slated to take effect on Feb. 11, the rule change is targeted at child welfare organizations, according to Julie Kruse, director of federal policy for LGBTQ advocacy group Family Equality. Whether private adoption agencies receiving taxpayer money can deny services to same-sex potential parents is at the heart of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, now before the Supreme Court.

Kruse said both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have made allowing discrimination in adoption and foster care a priority over the last four years.

At the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2019, Trump bemoaned that St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Michigan was facing legal action “for living by the values of its Catholic faith” and turning away same-sex prospective parents. The president vowed that his administration was “working to ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are able to help vulnerable children find their forever families, while following their deeply held beliefs.

(For what it is worth: I left the Catholic church over 55 years ago because of its bigotry.)

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Songs from the Civil Rights Movement

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Detransition as Conversion Therapy: A Survivor Speaks Out

From The Medium:

Ky Schevers
Dec 21, 2020

For seven years I lived as a detransitioned woman. I believed that I had transitioned as a way to cope with trauma and internalized sexism, that I had been trying to escape the stigma of being a butch lesbian in a homophobic society. I thought I had to reclaim womanhood in order to heal and find wholeness. I was part of a larger community of detransitioned women and re-identified women, a community heavily influenced by radical feminist and lesbian separatist theory and culture. Together we worked to support each other in healing from “female disidentification” and reconnecting with being women. Many of us shared our stories online, through blogs, videos and other media.

I blogged and made videos under the name CrashChaosCats, or Crash for short, presented workshops and helped organize in-person gatherings for detransitioned and re-identified women. I was profiled by The Outline and was one of the detrans women interviewed by Katie Herzog for her controversial article on detransitioning that appeared in The Stranger. I believed I was doing important work, educating people that gender dysphoria could be caused by trauma and sexism and healed by using psychological means rather than medical transition.

Now I see my detransition as a kind of anti-trans conversion therapy, grounded in transphobic radical feminist ideology. Like all forms of conversion therapy, it was unsuccessful and deeply damaging. I have indeed been hurt by trauma and living in a sexist, homophobic society but coming to believe that I needed to give up being trans in order to heal those wounds only caused further damage. I can see now that I wasted years of my life trying to fix a part of myself that was never broken and suffering needlessly in the process. Even worse, I fear that I’ve mislead other people into engaging in similar self-destructive practices. I presented myself as a detransition success story but the truth is that detransitioning did not work for me and was an act of self-denial and rejection.

I followed the radical feminist prescription for “curing” transmasculinity. I tried living as a butch woman who was completely woman and female-identified. I worked to expand my definition of womanhood and examine the effects of living in a misogynistic and homophobic society. I did “consciousness raising” with other detrans women, where we processed our experiences through a radical feminist lens. I challenged any internal sense of gender that wasn’t female, learning how to reinterpret, disconnect from and/or suppress my feelings. I learned to emphasis any commonalities I shared with women since one of the central problems of “female disidentifcation” was feeling different from them. I sought out strong gender nonconforming women as friends, mentors and role models. I read a ton of books on radical feminism and radical lesbian culture and attended lesbian feminist gatherings. At one point, most of the people I hung out with on the regular basis were radical feminist lesbians.

At first it seemed to work, though it helped that my sense of gender had already shifted in a more female direction on its own before I ever considered myself detransitioned. I had long felt like a blend of transmasculine and butch but had spent most of my young adulthood living as a trans man, largely because I worried people would not understand my gender complexity. In my mid-twenties, I started feeling more like a dyke and wishing I could be seen as a genderqueer female person. I had never lived as a adult butch woman and was curious about exploring that possibility. I didn’t think of myself as detransitioning, more as exploring and experimenting with my gender.

After embracing radical feminism, I rejected my gender complexity in favor of declaring myself a woman who’d been so badly hurt by sexism that I’d developed a sense of having multiple genders in order to cope. I saw my butch womanhood as being my one true gender and treated any sense of being male or genderqueer as a symptom of trauma and dissociation. My sense of being other genders never entirely went away but my sense of being a woman was strong and reinforced by other detransitioned women and radical feminists. For years I managed to convince myself that I’d finally figured myself out and was on the path to healing.

Eventually though, my transmasculinity and genderqueerness came back with a vengeance. At first I interpreted this an as episode of gender dysphoria, brought on by stress in my life. In the detrans women’s community, gender dysphoria is separated from trans identity and treated like a symptom to be managed much like ex-gays draw a distinction from experiencing same-sex attraction and identifying as gay. We rejected the whole concept of gender identity. Biological sex was real but gender identity was false consciousness stemming from gender roles and sex stereotypes. We weren’t trying to change gender identity as much as we were trying to eradicate it, privileging radical feminist theory over our internal sense of self. So I dutifully treated my re-emerging gender identities as delusions to work through. Living as a woman felt increasingly wrong but I was terrified of giving up the life I had built as a detransitioned lesbian with a prominent role in the detrans women’s community. I struggled with these feelings, doing my best to keep them in check, for three years.

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Lesbians Aren’t Going Extinct- But Transphobes are Coming out of the Closet

From The LA Blade:

by Brynn Tannehill
December 28, 2020

There has been a spate of articles in conservative publications by transphobic authors like Andrew Sullivan alleging that transgender people are making lesbians go extinct. This isn’t just wrong, it exposes some of the anti-trans hatred, and fearmongering strategies, of conservatives who never really cared about LGBT people in the first place.

First off, lesbians aren’t going extinct. Neither are butch lesbians, unless every single one of them decides they’re trans men. When I asked my wife, who identifies as a cis butch lesbian, if she’d ever wanted to be a guy or transition, her response was a visceral, “Eww. No. Why would I want to be covered in hair?” The number of people who identify as trans remains tiny compared to rest of the LGBT community (1.4 million out of a community of 9.4 million adults). Indeed, that data shows that the number of people identifying as LGB has been growing for decades, and it has been driven by bisexual women.

The people who fear monger about this like to cite the “rising number of young trans men.” They leave out the crucial part where the number of young trans men seeking treatment levelled off years ago in the UK. It’s like that moment in the Simpsons where Disco Stu is trying to get Homer to invest in his academies by telling him, “Did you know that disco record sales were up 400% for the year ending 1976? If these trends continue… A-y-y-y!” It’s also worth pointing out that less than 1% of people were left handed in the 19th century, which rose to 10% and stayed there after the beatings stopped.

This line of thinking is intensely disrespectful of trans people as well. It treats most of them as if they are not members of the LGB community, and signals that the authors are revolted by trans bodies. Two-thirds of trans men and women do not identify as straight, which means that the majority of trans men didn’t start off considering themselves as lesbians.  So, where is Andrew Sullivan celebrating that the gay community is adding trans men to its diversity? Or that for every trans man who leaves the lesbian community, there’s roughly one trans woman who enters?

The answer is, of course, that he doesn’t, because he doesn’t consider trans men to be real gay men, or trans women to be real lesbians. At some fundamental level, he finds transgender people repulsive, and refuses to even grant them honorary status within the LGB community. Indeed, he would likely accuse trans women of being interlopers, and warn trans men that they need to disclose their genitals to him immediately. 

The outlets publishing these sorts of articles aren’t friends to the LGB community either. For years they published articles urging society to hold gay men responsible for AIDS, supporting “no promo homo” laws, and opposing same sex marriage. This is merely part of the ongoing right-wing effort to divide and conquer by separating the trans population from the rest of the community, destroying them, then coming back to finish off the LGB community later using the laws they just created. Supposedly “moderate” conservative commentators like David French have lamented not crushing lesbians and gays when they had the chance, and urged fellow conservatives to do the same to trans people while they can.

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Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe urge court to overturn Idaho anti-trans sports law

From Washington Blade:

by Chris Johnson
December 21, 2020

Lesbian athletes, including tennis legend Billie Jean King and World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe, were among the 176 women who signed a legal brief submitted to a federal appeals court Monday calling on judges to overturn an Idaho law barring transgender girls from participating in school sports.

The friend-of-the-court brief, coordinated by the LGBTQ group Lambda Legal, urges the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule against the law, HB 500, arguing school athletic participation “provides unparalleled opportunities to forge a sense of belonging, connectedness, and contribution.”

“The benefits of sports extend to all aspects of school and throughout life. But these benefits are diminished when some athletes are excluded because of who they are,” the brief says. “Amici’s experiences in sports and in life are a testament to the value of inclusion in building powerful teams and social, societal, and business institutions.”

The attention to the experiences of women athletes is key to the context of the 38-page brief, which is filed amid debate on whether transgender girls should be allowed in school sports.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who had apologized for her anti-gay past during her presidential run, has introduced in her remaining days in Congress legislation that would amend Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 essentially to prohibit transgender girls from school athletics. In a subsequent video, Gabbard justified this legislation by saying biological males have inherent physical advantages over women and would compromise paths to victory and scholarships for non-trans girls.

King, who won the “Battle of the Sexes” match against Bobby Riggs in 1973 and was ranked the world’s number one ranked tennis player six times, said in a statement “there is no place in any sport for discrimination of any kind.” (King was ostracized after coming out as a lesbian in 1981 and lost an estimated $2 million in sponsorships.)

“I’m proud to support all transgender athletes who simply want the access and opportunity to compete in the sport they love,” King said. “The global athletic community grows stronger when we welcome and champion all athletes – including LGBTQI+ athletes.”

Other women athletes who signed the brief in the case, Hecox v. Little, are Candace Parker, who was trailblazer in women’s basketball; Phaidra Knight; a former rugby player who was a member of the United States National Team from 1999 to 2017; and Esther Lofgren is an American rower and an Olympic gold medalist. Athlete Ally and the Women’s Sports Foundation also roles in coordinating the brief.

Many of the same athletes also co-signed a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association in June urging the organization to nix all sporting events in Idaho in the wake of the anti-trans law. The NCAA, however, has yet to act in response publicly.

The case comes to the Ninth Circuit upon appeal after U.S. District Judge David Nye, appointed by President Trump in 2017, ruled in August against the Idaho law, conceding his order “is likely to be controversial.”

The Trump administration has participated in the case and filed its own friend-of-the-court brief before the Ninth Circuit in November urging the court to uphold the law. The efforts got a boost from President Trump himself, who retweeted a Brietbart on the U.S. Justice Department filings from his Twitter account.

Carl Charles, staff attorney for Lambda Legal said, in a statement the dozens of athletes who signed the brief “a deep understanding and appreciation of the life-long benefits that come from participation in sports.”

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They The People: The Biden Administration Must go Beyond Repealing Trump’s Attacks on Trans Rights

From The ACLU:

Access to accurate IDs reduces violence and discrimination faced by trans and non-binary people.

Arli Christian 
December 17, 2020

The federal government has not been kind to transgender people over the last four years. Trans students were put at risk when the Department of Education withdrew critical guidance explaining how schools must protect transgender students. Trans people facing housing instability were left in the cold when the Department of Housing and Urban Development rolled back rules protecting trans and gender non-conforming people from discrimination at homeless shelters and other housing services receiving federal funds. Trans military members were devastated by a single tweet from the president that put their careers and livelihoods at stake. And the list of attacks goes on.

The government is supposed to support and serve all of us, but trans folks have been intentionally and cruelly cut out these last four years, along with so many other communities. Of course, we are still here, and will continue to take care of each other no matter who is in the White House. We’ve heard Biden and Harris pledge to repeal the trans military ban and pass the Equality Act, and assure us that their administration will work to undo the harms of the last four years. Now we must must hold this administration accountable and ensure that they make a meaningful difference in the day-to-day lives of trans and non-binary people around the country.

There’s one important action this administration can take right away to show transgender people that they respect and support us: give us identification that reflects who we are. That’s why one of the ACLU’s top priorities for the Biden-Harris administration is an executive order updating the process by which federal agencies change gender markers on IDs.  s order will ensure that all transgender people have access to an accurate ID. Currently,  to update a gender marker in the social security system, on a passport, on immigration documents, or on any other federal ID or record, an applicant must submit a letter from a medical doctor attesting to appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. This executive order would remove those burdensome medical documentation requirements so that everyone has access to the appropriate gender marker, and add an “X” option so that non-binary, intersex, and other folks have an accurate designation.

Access to accurate IDs is personally meaningful for trans folks but also practical, ensuring we can travel, apply for jobs, and enter public establishments with less risk of harassment or harm. But this update is not just about us, it’s a sensible solution for the federal government. IDs are intended to identify people, and are useless when they don’t match the applicant. Requiring trans folks to jump through hoops with doctor’s visits and medical letters to obtain updated IDs is costly, complicated, an invasion of privacy, and entirely unnecessary — and prevents many people from getting an updated ID to move through the world.

Accurate IDs are not possible without appropriate options for non-binary folks, intersex people, and anyone else for whom an “M” or “F” is not suitable. An “X” designation is used throughout the world to indicate a sex or gender other than male or female, and must be available on our federal documents. Nearly 20 states already have self-attestation and an “X” designation on driver’s licenses and state IDs, so this update is also important to ensure that people can have consistent state and federal documents.

The ACLU is excited to encourage this important step forward. In 2021, we’ll be sharing stories from trans and non-binary folks about the importance of accurate IDs, meeting with White House officials, and pushing the administration to follow through on their promises to the trans community. With one stroke of the pen, President-elect Biden can issue this order to not only provide a common-sense solution to access accurate IDs, but send a critical message to transgender people across the country: Our government sees you as exactly who you say you are, and we want you to be supported and included in this country.

Building trust between the government and trans communities is a long and hard process, but it starts with recognition. 

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Transgender Brits Struggle Against a Toxic Tide: ‘I Don’t Feel Safe Anywhere’

From Yahoo News:

Katherine O’Donnell
Wed, December 9, 2020

Almost every trans person I know tells me the same things: “I can’t read or watch the news any more” … “I’ve had to go onto meds just to function” … “I don’t feel safe anywhere” … “I’m afraid every time I leave the house” … “I’m thinking about moving” … “We’re going to live abroad.”

Opinions differ as to the exact moment that the world lurched and the lives of trans people in the U.K. began rapidly to slide into an unbearable daily onslaught of lies, hatred, discrimination and violence, yet as we come to the end of 2020 that’s where we are.

Around the time that Trump and Brexit arrived in our nightmares a culture war was ignited over the human rights of trans people, a war that trans people didn’t want and where the forces ranged against them included not just the usual ranks of the religious right, the far right and antediluvian social conservatives, but U.K. Government ministers and an astonishingly transphobic mainstream media.

British Court Ruling on Puberty Blockers Stinks of Anti-Trans Cruelty

Since 2015 the UK has slipped from being the most progressive LGBTQ nation in Europe and occupying the top spot on the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association Europe’s (ILGA) annual 49 country Rainbow Map to 10th place and falling.

The report’s section on the UK highlighted the steep rise in hate crimes and evidence of a slowing down of public acceptance of advancing LGBTQ equalities as factors in the decline—a depressing trend given the roster of equality victories, from the equalizing of the age of consent through to marriage equality that had predated it.

Now, it’s an anti-trans blitz out there, and the bombs keep falling. A week ago, judges in the High Court took away the right of families of trans children to access lifesaving puberty delaying medication.

The decision, which has been widely condemned for its medical ignorance and cruelty, hinges on children’s competence to understand and give informed consent. It has huge ramifications beyond trans lives and opens the way to a rolling back of women’s and children’s rights of bodily autonomy around contraception and abortion.

What the world beyond may not have noticed is the glee with which this was celebrated by anti-trans campaigners, the far right and newspaper columnists and editors. Katy Montgomerie, a trans woman who monitors and patiently interacts with Twitter and Facebook’s anti-trans ‘gender critical’ legions in the hope of combatting disinformation, told me that not one of her correspondents had shown any care or compassion for the trans children and their families whose lives were now devastated.

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