Gov. Christie thinks the rights of trans people are laughable. What is laughable is that this smug bully is the governor of a state, much less a presidential candidate. But the rights of our transgender brothers and sisters are no laughing matter. The legal denial of trans people's existence is cruel, pointless, and must stop.
Our friend Andy Bowen at Garden State Equality comments:
Hey Governor Chris Christie: 33 trans women have been murdered in the US in the last two years. Our survival is #nolaughingmatter
There is so much hating on Kanye West, I thought I'd show you this video in which his decency shines. Caitlyn Jenner gives him credit for helping Kim Kardashian deal with Caitlyn's transition. And in case you forgot, Kanye came out strongly against homophobia in hip-hop ten years ago.
Hatred kills. Mourning is not enough. We must fight for justice and work for understanding and respect. We all have a right to live and thrive in our difference. There are many more India Clarkes, all of whom deserve to pursue their happiness in safety. When we say we are not done, this is an example of what we mean.
Dear trans friends: for this nutbag to call you mentally ill is like some drunk fatass on a couch insulting Serena Williams. Frank Kameny used to say he resented for more than six decades having had to lie in order to serve his country. Here again we have Americans who are slandered as they fight not for a benefit but for an obligation, for the right to serve. Thank you for putting up with so much ignorance and bile. You, unlike Erickson, have my respect.
What? The Obama administration is working to advance transgender equality? Outrageous! Interrupt the president at the Pride Month reception!
Dear GetEqual: If you can't get some manners, get a frigging clue.
Here is the video from yesterday's Pride Month reception at the White House, GetEqual heckler and all. The Blade reports. The heckler explains herself. Our friend Ernest Hopkins wrote on FB about the heckler:
Over the line. Protest is an honorable way to make a point and be heard. However, this was no way to treat the LGBT community members at the White House to mark LGBT Pride Month and the advances that we have achieved together with this Administration. The question can be reasonably asked: What do I get by being your friend if you treat me as badly as people who don't give you the time of day?
Holding principled positions because they are right is one thing, but inviting individuals to the White House for cocktails and lovely food and dessert is not a prerequisite. Respectful engagement is preferred when talking with friends, even when we disagree. Too bad this planned protest was timed for this celebratory event at the White House. The cause is just, the tactic was lousy.
Our friend Dana Beyer writes on Facebook:
Good story by Geidner on the continuing progress towards trans equality in the administration. We're now at the stage where muscle needs to enforce the words as they're being clarified.
“The rate for transgender people of color is as high as 4x the national unemployment rate.” http://t.co/J7er6HOpZo— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) June 5, 2015
Here are a few thoughtful entries in the national discourse prompted by Caitlyn Jenner's coming out on the cover of Vanity Fair. Also at WaPo, a story on social conservatives dancing the Apocalypso.
My latest Blade column looks at auspicious signs of #LGBT progress, including today's youth who are unfazed by apocalyptic prophecies by Republican politicians.
The reception to Caitlyn Jenner's glamorous coming out on the cover of Vanity Fair, judging by my fairly diverse Twitter feed, has been positive. Even those who point out that she is privileged and not typical of most trans people's experiences start with congratulations. See reactions from Marc Lamont Hill, Jonathan Capehart, and Laverne Cox. I think the coverage of Caitlyn's transition has an incalculable normalizing effect. But of course we have a long way to go.
On the vile side, there is always Breitbart Editor-At-Large Ben Shapiro.
I celebrated the news after Ugandan activist and trans man Pepe Julian Onziema won a GLAAD Media Award for his interview last year on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, but I hadn't seen the video. Here it is. Jussie Smollet of Fox's musical drama Empire presented the award. Pepe's poise, eloquence, and courage are once again on display here. What an asset he is to his country, his continent, and the world. Congrats again, @Opimva.
May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, hashtag #IDAHOT. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says of this video:
This video from the United Nations Free & Equal campaign celebrates the contributions that millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people make to families and local communities around the world. The cast features "real people" (not actors), filmed in their workplaces and homes -- among them, a firefighter, a police officer, a teacher, an electrician, a doctor and a volunteer, as well as prominent straight ally and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Observances of #IDAHOT around the world are taking many forms. Here is one, from London.
Good afternoon. I am Rick Rosendall, president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, which has worked for LGBT equality in D.C. since 1971. Thanks to Jody Westby for launching Communities Against Law Enforcement Misconduct, and to those who have helped her.
When thousands held a vigil in Meridian Hill Park last August 14 in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, a few Metropolitan Police Department officers were on hand to ensure order. There was none of the belligerence we have seen in other cities. D.C. has come a long way since the 1991 riot by police against revelers at the High Heel Race on 17th Street Northwest.
Police reforms in D.C. since then have included creation of special liaison units such as the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, which promote trust and cooperation between community members and police. With allies including the NAACP and ACLU of the Nation's Capital, GLAA helped push for creation of the independent Office of Police Complaints in the late 1990s.
After the unlawful mass arrest in Pershing Park in September 2002, our then mayor and police chief refused to acknowledge problems until a federal judge ordered the release of an internal report. Then-D.C. councilmember Kathy Patterson, with assistance from ACLU and support from GLAA, won passage of the First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act of 2004.
Vigilance, persistent engagement, and data are essential to reform. ACLU-NCA reported in 2013 on a dramatic racial disparity in marijuana arrests in the District. Given the roughly equal rates of self-reported marijuana use by white and black citizens, the disparity was scandalous. A partial remedy came with Initiative 71, the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014, which is now law. This was not the first time intervention was required. In 1998, we needed legislation to stop the arrest of people for drinking on their own front porches.
Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer is receiving glowing notices. Let's use this moment to fight the anti-trans panic that fuels discriminatory legislation.
Human beings are complicated. Pronouns are complicated. Deal with it, people. #BruceJennerABC— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) April 25, 2015
Bruce Jenner comes out as a transgender woman. The reaction I have seen on Twitter has been extremely positive. Garry Shandling's response is typical.
I think what Jenner is doing is as strong and courageous as winning the decathlon. Where's the confusion?— Garry Shandling (@GarryShandling) April 25, 2015
Springfield repeals LGBT rights after campaign focuses on religious freedom and cross-dressing predators in bathrooms http://t.co/QGbDY35rdk— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) April 8, 2015
Tell me again why my rights should be subject to my neighbors' veto? The U.S. Constitution guarantees a republican form of government. It says nothing about plebiscites.