189 posts categorized "Gender"

April 13, 2014

Walking While Trans

DC_Anti-PFZ_rally
(Photo by John Riley for Metro Weekly)

Planet Transgender reports:

Just days after Monica Jones was seen in this CBS video (embedded below) protesting the failed religious discriminatory law in Phoenix, she was offered a ride while walking to a bar. The driver turned out to be an undercover police officer who then arrested her for "manifestation of prostitution'.

This law is a vague statue which enables officers to arrest woman for no other reason than asking if they are police. The law is used to feed people to "Project Rose" as the city conducts massive drag nets hauling in dozens of individuals at a time. This profiling of woman by police is contested by the Arizona ACLU which notes that "The difference between 'innocent' and 'criminal' behavior often comes down to how a person looks.

A 2011 study in NYC found that 59% of transgender respondents said that they had been stopped by police. So over half of our sisters in NYC had they lived in Phoenix would have faced the prospect of "Project Rose".

In short, a transgender woman of color is simply assumed to be guilty. This makes things more convenient, except of course for the woman criminalized essentially for existing. The Monica Jones case illustrates why we are not done in our battle for equality and justice. Those of us who do not fit the police profile owe it to our trans sisters of color to stand up against this relentless legal assault on their existence.

On Friday, April 11, I participated in a rally outside the Wilson Building here in D.C. at which we expressed support for Monica Jones and called for repeal of the District's so-called Prostitution Free Zones law, which discriminates against transgender women and solves nothing. GLAA's views on PFZs are expressed here.

Metro Weekly reports. I am quoted at some length in the article.

April 04, 2014

'Safe Bathrooms DC' Aims to Increase Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

The D.C. Office of Human Rights announced on April 3:

D.C. Office of Human Rights

“Safe Bathrooms DC” Aims to Increase Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

Innovative reporting method uses Twitter (#safebathroomsDC) to accept complaints

Thursday, April 3, 2014

CONTACT: Elliot Imse, Director of Policy & Communications – 202.481.3773; [email protected]

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Public bathrooms can present many challenges: inevitably long lines, empty paper towel holders, and faucets that manage to spray more water onto your clothes than into your hands. Yet these challenges are trivial when compared to those some transgender and gender non-conforming people face when using gender-specific public bathrooms. Fear of harassment or violence can create a stressful experience, and many people report scouring the neighborhood until they can locate a gender-neutral bathroom. Now, the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) is asking community members to help make it a bit easier for the transgender and gender non-conforming community, with today’s launch of its Safe Bathrooms DC campaign.

Aimed at rapidly increasing the number of single-occupancy gender-neutral public bathrooms in the District, the campaign features photos of common bathroom challenges, and aims to encourage people to report non-compliant bathrooms using Twitter or the OHR website. The District is one of the few jurisdictions in the nation that requires all single-occupancy bathrooms at restaurants, businesses or other public places to be gender-neutral, without labels such as “male” or “female.” While in the past non-compliant bathrooms could be reported to OHR through the traditional complaint submission method, now community members can quickly alert OHR by tweeting the business name and location using the hashtag #safebathroomsDC, or by submitting a short five question form on the OHR website.

Continue reading "'Safe Bathrooms DC' Aims to Increase Gender-Neutral Bathrooms" »

April 03, 2014

GLAA renews call to repeal 'Prostitution Free Zones'

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance
Fighting for equal rights since 1971
P.O. Box 75265, Washington, DC 20013
(202) 667-5139 • [email protected]

April 3, 2014

To:Councilmembers Tommy Wells, Mary Cheh, Jack Evans, Anita Bonds, Muriel Bowser
Cc:Councilmember David Grosso, Council Chair Phil Mendelson
Subject:Please repeal Prostitution Free Zones

Dear Members of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety:

It has come to our attention that Councilmember David Grosso is preparing to introduce a bill to repeal so-called Prostitution Free Zones. It will likely be referred to your committee.

We strongly support repeal of PFZs, as we have previously testified.

The use of Prostitution Free Zones (or PFZs) facilitates discriminatory police profiling of transgender people.[1] It is also a constitutionally questionable practice. As our colleagues from the DC Trans Coalition note:

  1. The Attorney General has determined that PFZs can't be defended in court and are likely unconstitutional.
  2. MPD has suspended PFZ implementation and is working to rescind its PFZ general order.
  3. Eliminating PFZs is a step toward reducing violence against sex workers.
  4. PFZ repeal makes sense from a public health perspective.

We agree with the 2005 testimony of Stephen M. Block, then legislative counsel for ACLU of the Nation's Capital, concerning the bill authorizing temporary PFZs that was then under consideration. I will summarize some of his citations.

Continue reading "GLAA renews call to repeal 'Prostitution Free Zones'" »

March 28, 2014

Transgender rights bill passes Maryland House

Metro Weekly reports:

The Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill to prohibit discrimination against transgender people in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations by a vote of 82-57 on Thursday, setting it up to to be signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

The bill, SB 212, takes protections for transgender people that already exist on a local level in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Montgomery County and extends them to the state's remaining 20 counties. The measure previously passed the state Senate earlier this month on a 32-15 vote.

Congrats to our Maryland colleagues on this landmark victory.

March 02, 2014

D.C. activists critical of MPD actions that led to transgender woman's arrest for an expired driver's license

John Riley at Metro Weekly reports a disturbing story that illustrates a continuing problem of DC police profiling of transgender people, especially trans women of color.

February 27, 2014

Mayor Gray acts to end anti-transgender discrimination in health care

Vince_Gray_by_MW

LGBT activists in D.C. won a major victory Thursday morning in the area of transgender health care. From Mayor Gray's office:

Today, the District of Columbia advanced the rights of the city’s transgender community by prohibiting discrimination in health insurance based on gender identity and expression. Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB) is issuing a bulletin to District health insurance companies addressing the application of anti-discrimination provisions in the insurance code, including recognizing gender dysphoria, or gender identity disorder, as a recognized medical condition....

This action follows DISB’s March 15, 2013 bulletin notifying health insurers to remove language that discriminated on the basis of gender identity and expression from their policies and permit those with gender dysphoria to obtain medically necessary benefits. Today’s action goes one step further in protecting this community’s health insurance rights by affirming that gender dysphoria is a recognized medical condition and thereby treatment, including gender reassignment surgeries, is a covered benefit....

Moreover, individuals with gender dysphoria are entitled to receive any medically necessary benefits and services under individual and group health insurance policies covering medical and hospital expenses. In determining the medical necessity of services and benefits provided to individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria, insurance providers must refer to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care, known as WPATH, the recognized standard of medical care for transgender individuals requiring treatment for gender dysphoria. These benefits are not newly mandated, but rather clarify District law to assure that individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria are afforded the same benefits under health insurance policies as individuals seeking medically necessary treatment for non-gender identity or expression-related conditions.

With this executive action, a major unfinished piece of the LGBT equality agenda in D.C. is won. Thanks to all who helped make this possible, including our fellow advocates (especially the fabulous Andy Bowen) and Vince Gray for his leadership. There is no mayor or governor in America with a stronger record on behalf of transgender citizens. Today he earned his championship point all over again.

January 19, 2014

Trans Woman Commits Suicide Amid Fear of Outing by Sports Blog

Jezebel reports a tragic story in which a couple of ethical issues arise, including journalistic ethics. Bottom line: Dr. V's credentials fraud was separate from her gender identity and did not require disclosure of it.

January 14, 2014

Gov. Christie vetoes transgender rights bill

Chris Christie

Metro Weekly reports:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation Monday that would have lessened the requirements for transgender individuals seeking to obtain an amended birth certificate in what one advocate calls a "vindictive move to punish the LGBT community." ...

Noting that a birth certificate is often the prerequisite for other forms of identification, the Republican governor and likely 2016 presidential candidate stated that "proposed measures that revise the standards for the issuance of amended birth certificates may result in significant legal uncertainties and create opportunities for fraud, deception, and abuse, and should therefore be closely scrutinized and sparingly approved."

Christie trots out the usual b.s. about fraud, deception and abuse. Really? I guess he's afraid of someone else challenging his dominance on that turf.

January 03, 2014

GLAA releases candidate questionnaires, LGBT policy brief

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
www.glaa.org

For Release:
Friday, January 3, 2014
Contact: Rick Rosendall
202-328-6278


GLAA releases candidate questionnaires, LGBT policy brief


The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., today launches its 2014 Election Project and releases its questionnaires for Mayoral and D.C. Council candidates plus its LGBT policy brief, "Building on Victory."

GLAA President Rick Rosendall stated, "GLAA gathered input from a wide range of local LGBT advocates including the DC Center, DC Trans Coalition (DCTC), Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) and others. The result is 'Building on Victory,' the most comprehensive single document advancing LGBT issues in D.C."

On January 3, 2014, GLAA will email its questionnaires and policy brief to candidates in the April 1 D.C. primary election. The deadline for receipt of candidate responses is February 6, after which GLAA will assign ratings to the primary candidates (on a scale of -10 to +10) based on their questionnaire responses and their records on LGBT issues. GLAA does not endorse candidates in partisan elections.

Continue reading "GLAA releases candidate questionnaires, LGBT policy brief" »

December 24, 2013

Alabama town, meet the Prancing Elites

Somehow, an Alabama town invited a troupe of black drag queens to dance in its Christmas parade. This took some parade-goers by surprise. The above news clip includes footage of them in the parade.

November 25, 2013

On why to avoid that trans-related slang word

Parker Marie Molloy writes at HuffPost Gay on why gay men and drag queens should not use the term "tranny":

A common argument in favor of using "tranny" is, "But that word is just part of drag culture!" Here's my rebuttal: I don't care. "Drag culture" or not, that's not a word that's appropriate to throw around. It's a hateful slur that is often the last thing that trans women hear before being beaten or murdered. Just as it wouldn't be acceptable for me to go around using the word "f*ggot," as I'm not a gay man, it's inappropriate for gay men and male-identified drag queens to use "tranny."

Parker, you are right. I am sorry that you had to spell that out at this late date, but thanks for it.

November 19, 2013

November 20, 22 - Transgender Day of Remembrance and Day of Action

Transgender_Day_of_Remembrance_Jessica_Xavier_insert_c_Washington_Blade_by_Michael_Key
(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Transgender Day of Remembrance will be observed in D.C. in a service on Wednesday, November 20 at the Metropolitan Community Church at 474 Ridge Street, NW, from 6-9 pm. For more info, call 202-638-7373.

Also, Casa Ruby will host a Transgender Day of Action on Friday, November 22 from 6-9 pm at The Next Step Charter School, 3047 15th St. NW. For more info, email [email protected].

Metro Weekly writes about the 2013 TDOR:

Transgender activist Earline Budd, one of the chief organizers of the event, says several musical groups, including the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington's a cappella group Potomac Fever, gospel singer Shirley Hughes and Company, and the AGAPE choir of Unity Fellowship Church, will participate in the three-hour service.

Organizers have also confirmed that Mayor Vincent Gray (D) and D.C. Fire Chief Ken Ellerbe will also attend, as will Alvin Bethea and Judean Jones, the parents of Deoni Jones, a young transgender woman killed while waiting at a Northeast D.C. bus stop in February 2012. The service will make special mention of the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act, which was signed into law by Gray, and will honor the D.C. Council and advocates who helped to pass the law providing residents more control over their official documents with regard to gender identity.

The TDOR website states:

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn't perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who've died by anti-transgender violence.

I note that the above-referenced birth certificate equality law has taken effect after completing its congressional review period. So there will be something to celebrate this year, in addition to mourning those we have lost due to senseless hate and violence, and committing to continuing the struggle for justice and a city that values all its people.

November 09, 2013

California’s Battle Over Transgender Student Rights

Time reports:

The latest battle in California is over 37 words. They are the final clause in a law that Gov. Jerry Brown signed this summer affirming the rights of transgender students to use facilities and play on sports teams that align with their gender identity. On Friday, groups led by the same strategist who masterminded the successful drive to ban gay marriage in California will submit a petition to the state that could lead to the landmark measure being overturned.

August 22, 2013

Bradley is now Chelsea

The former Bradley Manning's lawyer appeared on the Today show this morning and reported that Manning now identifies as a transgender woman named Chelsea.

I apply to Chelsea Manning one of the earliest and best statements on gay rights made 50 years ago by Frank Kameny: WE are the experts on ourselves. The same goes for trans folk. So whether you call her a hero or a traitor, she is a she because she says so. It's not about you. (That's another good rule of thumb when thinking about the rights of people unlike yourself.) We are diverse. Let's figure that out. The implications are fairly extensive. BTW, I think 35 years is too harsh a sentence.

Someone on Facebook named John responded to my above statement. I will paste our exchange below as it may help illuminate the issues swirling around the case.

Continue reading "Bradley is now Chelsea" »

August 19, 2013

Jose Julio Sarria, first openly gay candidate in North America, dies at 90

Sarria1961campaign_1

LGBT Weekly reports the death of Jose Julio Sarria, who in 1961 became the first openly gay candidate for public office when he ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was also the founder of the Imperial Court System.

GLAAD pays tribute to this pioneer. GLAAD national spokesperson Wilson Cruz writes:

José Julio Sarria's passing today is an enormous loss. His work as a politician, humanitarian, and performer was unprecedented, and has rightfully earned him a place in history. He was an icon who stood his ground for himself and so many others when it was hardest to do so. During such a formative time for the LGBT and Latino communities it is crucial that we remember and honor the exceptional people like José for making our successes possible. He will forever reside in the hearts and minds of the LGBT and Latino communities and their allies. Thank you, José.

May Sarria rest in peace.

July 22, 2013

Casa Ruby named 'fiscal agent' for Wanda Alston House

Lou Chibbaro reports in the Blade:

In a little-noticed development, an organization that oversees the city’s housing programs for the homeless terminated its contract with the local group Transgender Health Empowerment to operate the Wanda Alston House, the city’s only residential facility for homeless LGBT youth.

The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness on July 1 awarded the Alston House contract to Casa Ruby, an LGBT community center on Georgia Avenue in Northwest D.C. with an outreach to the Latino and transgender communities.

The action by the Community Partnership, which is funded by the D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS), came after it determined that T.H.E. was no longer capable of overseeing the Alston House due to financial problems that forced it to lay off most of its employees in May, sources familiar with the organization said. T.H.E. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 7.

Best of luck to Ruby, and thanks to her for stepping up.

July 15, 2013

Trans victims of workplace bias find relief in historic decisions

The Blade reports.

July 10, 2013

GLAA praises passage of birth certificate, marriage officiant bills

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013

For Release:
Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Contact: Rick Rosendall
(202) 667-5139

GLAA praises passage of birth certificate, marriage officiant bills


The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance celebrates the passage of two of our legislative priorities at today’s D.C. Council legislative meeting: Bill 20-142, the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013 (which allows people who undergo treatment related to gender transition to obtain original birth certificates that match their gender identity); and Bill 20-118, the Marriage Officiant Amendment Act of 2013 (which expands the list of those who can serve as officiants at couples’ wedding ceremonies). Both bills passed their second readings as part of the consent agenda.

GLAA thanks the members of the Council for passing both bills, in particular:

For Bill 20-142 (birth certificates): Thanks to Councilmember David Catania, who wrote and introduced the bill and named it after JaParker Deoni Jones, a young transgender woman who was murdered at a Metrobus stop in February 2012. Thanks also to Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Chair of the Committee on Health; and Councilmember Tommy Wells, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, for seeing the bill through to passage. Thanks also to their committee staff, including (at Health) Senior Policy Advisor Ronald King, Committee Director Rayna Smith, and CM Alexander's Legislative Counsel Terrance Norflis; and (at Judiciary) Committee Director Anne Phelps. Special kudos to Andy Bowen (at DC Trans Coalition) and Lisa Mottet (at National Center for Transgender Equality, formerly at National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) for their leadership as advocates for the bill. Thanks also to those who joined us in testifying for it.

For Bill 20-118 (marriage officiants): Thanks to Councilmember Tommy Wells, who wrote and introduced the bill and shepherded it through his Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. Thanks also to Committee Director Anne Phelps. Special kudos to Bob Summersgill for his leadership as an advocate for the bill. Thanks also to those who joined us in testifying for it.

Continue reading "GLAA praises passage of birth certificate, marriage officiant bills" »

June 30, 2013

Report: six anti-transgender attacks in D.C. in first week of summer

WUSA 9 reports. Thanks to Ruby Corado for speaking up. We need to shine a light on these crimes and make them a source of public shame. It is simply not acceptable.

June 25, 2013

Drag Performer Viciously Attacked As Crowd Watches And Encourages Fight

Queerty reports:

While customers in a Washington, D.C. restaurant watched, cheered and filmed, drag performer Heidi Glüm sustained multiple injuries during a violent and bloody attack on June 22 which the victim described as "really petty drunk girl nonsense that escalated into insanity."

Glüm, whose real name is Miles DeNiro, told Queerty that female patrons of Manny & Olgas, a popular D.C. pizzeria, approached him and made derogatory comments about his makeup and shoes....

Where was the restaurant staff during the melee? DeNiro told Queerty they remained behind the counter working and ignored the fight. In the video one employee appeared to push his way past the throng of onlookers to carry on with his delivery duties. Equally disturbing is the glee with which the restaurants patrons watched and even encouraged the fight. Some pulled out smart phones to film the fracas and one repeatedly yells "World Star," a hip-hop-oriented website to which he uploaded the video with the pejorative “tranny” used in the title, rather than trying to break it up. DeNiro said he believes the two men who actually tried to stop the fight rushed in from outside the restaurant.

A concerned woman sent me a link to the video at 5:30 pm yesterday. I saw it an hour later and forwarded it to the Metropolitan Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, along with contact info for the victim that the woman sent me. The police only learned about it from me, though apparently some people had been talking about it online all day.

The disturbing video (in which the videographer cheers on the attackers) was removed from YouTube for its offensive content, but it surfaced on a hip-hop website. Such videos of bias-fueled attacks serve as accelerants for some people, which is why I did not post the video and am glad Queerty only posted a still photo. The police are in touch with the victim. The video should help them apprehend the assailants. This was in Manny & Olgas, a pizza shop on 14th Street NW that is open late.

Queerty also shows a racist comment that DeNiro tweeted after the incident, as well as DeNiro's subsequent apology for it. Oy, what a mess. We can do better than this.

Update: It occurs to me, perhaps we should start a media campaign titled, "We Can Do Better."

Update 2: Metro Weekly reports.

June 23, 2013

"Coup" at OutServe/SLDN forces out Allyson Robinson

Allyson_Robinson

Bilerico reports:

OutServe/SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson was fired after a board coup yesterday according to a leaked email sent to Bilerico Project. Robinson was the only transgender leader of a major LGBT organization that is not specifically trans-related.

The organization's entire senior staff quit immediately following the board vote. Director of External Engagement Zeke Stokes, Director of Chapter and Member Services Gary Espinas, and David McKean, Legal and Public Policy Director, have all resigned in protest of Robinson's termination.

So far two board members have also resigned over Robinson's firing. Other board member resignations are expected later today.

Most Executive Directors are given at least a year to get their feet wet and get ensconced in their positions. Robinson has only been the head of OutServe/SLDN for approximately nine months.

Chris Geidner reports at BuzzFeed.

What we need now is more information, though whatever problem was at the root of this, it appears to have been handled disastrously.

(Photo from @allysonrobinson on Twitter)

June 06, 2013

June 11 - GLAA Meeting

Friends,

Happy LGBT Pride! It's been a busy year for LGBT advocacy in D.C., and below is a list of highlights.

GLAA's next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 11 at 7:00 pm in Room 104 of the John A. Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (Closest Metro stations: Metro Center, Federal Triangle.) Click here for the meeting agenda. Please bring your concerns and issues you want us to address, and your ideas and suggestions for our next efforts. I am going to propose that we change from the quarterly meeting schedule that we implemented earlier this year to a monthly meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. (I expect, however, that we will take the months of July and August off.)

Three bills that GLAA called for in our Agenda: 2012 policy brief are currently before the D.C. Council:

  1. Bill 20-118, the Marriage Officiant Amendment Act of 2013, passed the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety on June 6 on a voice vote. The bill allows people other than ministers, judges, and court clerks to serve as marriage officiants, thus giving more options to couples planning their weddings. GLAA testified for the bill at a hearing on March 14.
  2. Bill 20-142, the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013, passed the Committee on Health on June 5 and Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety on June 6 on voice votes. It was jointly assigned to Health and Judiciary. Thanks to Councilmember David Catania for introducing the original bill. With the changes requested by GLAA and our allies, this is model legislation allowing people to obtain new birth certificates, in particular transgender people who have faced considerable ID-related discrimination over their gender identity. Thanks to Andy Bowen of DC Trans Coalition and Lisa Mottet of NGLTF (who has recently moved to the National Center for Transgender Equality) for their leadership on this bill. GLAA testified for the bill at a joint hearing by the Health and Judiciary committees on June 16.
  3. Bill 20-32, the Surrogacy Parenting Agreement Act of 2013. We will testify at a hearing scheduled for June 20. This bill legalizes and regulated parenting surrogacy agreements. At present such arrangements are against the law in the District, which causes hardship on many LGBT families. Thanks to Councilmember David Catania for introducing the original bill. A redraft is underway by committee director Anne Phelps in consultation with LGBT family law experts Nancy Polikoff and Michele Zavos. Here's a link to GLAA's discussion of the issue in Agenda: 2012.

Continue reading "June 11 - GLAA Meeting" »

June 05, 2013

Andy Bowen on transgender organizing in DC

The fabulous Andy Bowen talks about her work as Social Policy Organizer for the DC Trans Coalition. This video is part of the oral history project of students at Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School on Capitol Hill.

May 16, 2013

All witnesses support birth certificate bill at D.C. Council hearing

About 20 witnesses testified at the May 16 hearing on Bill 20-0142, the "JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013," and all were in favor. It was a joint hearing by the Committee on Health and the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary. Read GLAA's testimony, in which we endorsed the bill with the changes requested by the DC Trans Coalition.

With the recommended changes, this is going to be model legislation and help fulfill DC's promise of trans equality. Kudos to all, especially Andy Bowen, Lisa Mottet, Bob Summersgill, our Council allies, and Health and Judiciary committee staff. I am so proud of our coalition. And the three students from Cesar Chavez Public Charter School who testified were great.

BTW, one of the Cesar Chavez students was a friend of JaParker. And JaParker's parents testified. So the hearing took on the aspect of a memorial in addition to a legislative hearing. I thought it was rather remarkable that not one person showed up to oppose the bill. The haters are obviously out there; but they did not crawl out from under their rocks to attend the hearing.

The practical question is whether the changes can be made to the bill and a markup scheduled to allow for the two requisite readings of the bill is legislative sessions before the summer break. It's iffy. Then there's the much more complex surrogacy bill, which will almost certainly not be done and passed before the break. But the Judiciary staff are working apace.

May 08, 2013

Transgender Health Empowerment in financial crisis

The Blade reports. This is disturbing news. T.H.E. has been the key organization providing services to the trans community in D.C. Like several people quoted in the article, I had not heard about this crisis until this week. I would like to advise community members who want to support them on what to do; but we will have to wait for guidance.

April 26, 2013

Speech of the night from GLAA reception: Jason A. Terry

Jason_terry

Congrats again to all five honorees from GLAA's anniversary reception on April 25. For me, the highlight of the evening was this inspiring speech by the remarkable Jason Terry of the DC Trans Coalition.

JASON A. TERRY
REMARKS TO GLAA AWARDS RECEPTION
25 APRIL 2013


Thank you to GLAA, and especially to Rick, Charles, Kevin, Gary, and Alison, for this distinct – and truly undeserved – honor. Thanks also to those who have shaped me, guided me, and inspired me all through life: the fierce and fearsome Appalachian women who raised me; my three grandfathers who taught me patience and calm; the teachers, choir directors, and old school activists who lit my path, taught me discipline, and gave me hope; and to my beloved and ever-growing community of rabble rousers here in DC who make this city more livable, and bring us closer to peace. Chief among those, I have to thank Ruby Corado for teaching me everything I know. And, of course, I must thank my partner Elijah Edelman, who is with me not just in life, but in an ongoing journey towards justice, and who, without his unending support, absolutely incredible intellect, and remarkable strength, I would be less than half the activist I am.

Continue reading "Speech of the night from GLAA reception: Jason A. Terry" »

April 11, 2013

D.C. shelter accused of rejecting trans women

Lou Chibbaro reports in the Blade:

A shelter for homeless women located three blocks from the U.S. Capitol is violating the D.C. Human Rights Act by refusing to admit transgender women unless they provide “documentation” of a legal name change or gender reassignment surgery, according to separate complaints against the facility by two transgender women.

In a lawsuit filed April 5 in D.C. Superior Court and a complaint filed with the D.C. Office of Human Rights on March 22, the two women charge that employees at the John L. Young Women’s Shelter at 119 D Street, N.W. said they could not be admitted because of their status as transgender women.

An attorney with the D.C. Trans Coalition filed the lawsuit on behalf of Lakiesha Washington against New Hope Ministries, Inc. of Woodbridge, Va., which owns and operates the John L. Young Women’s Shelter.

The lawsuit says Washington, who was homeless, attempted to gain admission to the shelter on April 3, when the lawsuit says the alleged discriminatory action took place.

Brava to Lakiesha and Andy for doing this. It is long past time for the city to obey its own laws.

March 28, 2013

March 30 - Rally for Trans Health Equality and Economic Justice

Rally_for_Trans_Health

This just in:

Rally for Trans Health Equality and Economic Justice
Date: March 30, 2013
Time: 4pm

Columbia Heights Civic Plaza Circle (14th and Park NW).

For more information contact:
Nico Quintana nicoquintana1 at gmail.com

For the first time, LGBT equality groups and labor unions folks are working together to advance access to basic health care for transgender people, and to expand health care insurance to cover trans-related health care nationwide. The March 30th Rally for Trans Equality and Economic Justice will bring together local trans communities, activists, union members and leaders to celebrate our victories and to continue to build momentum and power to fight for trans equality, trans economic justice and equal access to quality jobs, health care and housing for DC trans residents. Speakers will include local activists, labor leaders, artists, and poets.

Rally message: We want full coverage of all transgender health needs across all insurance policies –public and private in dc now.

Organized by: DC Trans Coalition, The National Transgender Month of Action 2013: Trans Health Care Access, SEIU, Pride at Work, DC trans organizers

February 28, 2013

House passes LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act


(Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida urges passage of LGBT-inclusive VAWA.)

Big news today: a win for women, LGBT rights, and President Obama. Multiple reports/reactions:

Thanks to all who made this victory possible.

February 20, 2013

Furr appealing conviction for off-duty assault

John Riley reports at Metro Weekly:

A lawyer for Kenneth Furr, the Metropolitan Police Department officer found guilty of an off-duty assault with a dangerous weapon and solicitation of prostitution, filed a notice with D.C. Superior Court Feb. 11 stating that Furr's defense team will be appealing his conviction.

Furr, who was found guilty of the two charges in October 2012, a year after the Aug. 26, 2011, incident, was sentenced to three years and 30 days in prison, 100 hours of community service and a $150 fine, which he has already paid, according to court records. But Judge Russell Canan also took into account the 14 months Furr spent in prison as he awaited trial, as well other circumstances, and suspended the prison sentences, allowing Furr to be placed on three years' probation.

Both convictions related to a series of events that included Furr brandishing a gun, and shooting at a car in which five people sat, including two transgender women.

A police officer who should be counting his blessings that he got off so lightly instead tacitly asserts his right to be above the law. If such an out-of-control cop gets away with this, the police lose moral authority. Without the self-policing that sustains their credibility as servants and defenders of the public, police are little more than frontiersmen with a bigger arsenal and a stronger network. Why would anyone but sociopaths want that?

February 19, 2013

D.C. Council introduces bill to allow transgender residents to obtain new birth certificates

Metro Weekly reports on the introduction of legislation in the D.C. Council today to make it easier for transgender people to obtain new birth certificates.

This is excellent news. The bill, which enjoys overwhelming support by Council members, advances one of GLAA's policy goals, described in GLAA's Agenda: 2013. Thanks in particular to Andy Bowen of DCTC for her efforts.

February 18, 2013

GLAA Announces 2013 Distinguished Service Awards

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
www.glaa.org
www.glaaforum.org (blog)

For Release:
Monday, February 18, 2013

Contact: Rick Rosendall
(202) 667-5139

GLAA Announces 2013 Distinguished Service Awards

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., is pleased to announce its 2013 Distinguished Service Award recipients. GLAA presents awards to local individuals and organizations that have served the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the national capital area. The awards will be presented at GLAA’s 42nd Anniversary Reception on Thursday, April 25 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Washington Plaza Hotel at 10 Thomas Circle, NW. Tickets are $55 and can be purchased by contacting GLAA at [email protected] or (202) 667-5139; a range of donor levels is also available.

GLAA’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award recipients are:

  • Diana Bruce, DC Public Schools
  • Clarence J. Fluker
  • Brent Minor
  • Peter Rosenstein
  • Jason A. Terry

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February 05, 2013

Feb. 23 - memorial gathering for Dan Massey

Dan_Massey

Our friend Dana Beyer, Executive Director of Gender Rights Maryland, has a lovely eulogy at HuffPost for D.C. activist, sexual freedom advocate, and GLAA member Dan Massey, who passed away on January 28 at age 70.

Dan was a gentle and generous soul, and will be missed by the many people he helped and inspired. Our hearts go out in particular to Dan's wife and soulmate, GLAA Secretary Alison Gardner.

Update: A memorial gathering will be held for Dan on Saturday, February 23 at 1:30 pm at the Josephine Butler Center overlooking Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park at 2437 15th Street, NW.

February 04, 2013

Remembering Deoni Jones

Tyler Grigsby posted this slide show of Saturday's vigil for Deoni Jones at 49th and East Capitol Streets with the following note:

The family of Deoni Jones (also known as JaParker), a transgender woman who was murdered last year while waiting for the bus, held a memorial and candlelight vigil at the location of the crime on Febuary 2, 2013 on the one year anniversary of her death.

Local community leaders, politicians, law enforcement as well as Deoni's friends and family gathered to remember her and rally against hate crimes in the District of Columbia.

Yes, that's me speaking with Mayor Vincent Gray in the first photo. Meanwhile, our friend Brian in Ward 5 shares these recent stories about the Metropolitan Police Department's failings:

January 28, 2013

GLAA releases LGBT policy brief, questionnaire for special election

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
www.glaa.org
www.glaaforum.org (blog)

For Release: Monday, January 28, 2013

Contact: Rick Rosendall 202-667-5139

GLAA releases LGBT policy brief, questionnaire for special election

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., today launches its 2013 Election Project and releases both its questionnaire for D.C. Council candidates and its policy brief on local LGBT issues in Washington, D.C., "Agenda: 2013." This updated compilation of local advocacy on a wide range of issues is intended for candidates in the April 23 special election for At-Large Councilmember as well as journalists, activists, and the general public. "Agenda: 2013" is online, in both PDF and HTM formats, at:
http://tinyurl.com/glaa2013pdf
http://tinyurl.com/glaa2013htm

GLAA's D.C. Council candidate questionnaire is online at: http://www.glaa.org/archive/2013/cqspecial.pdf

GLAA's Election Project 2013 main page is at: http://www.glaa.org/archive/2013/election2013.shtml

The "Agenda: 2013" policy brief is divided into six broad subject areas: Marriage and Family, Public Health, Public Safety and Judiciary, Human Rights, Youth and Seniors, and Consumers and Businesses. It is prefaced by a two-page Action Item Summary listing specific actions GLAA seeks from D.C. officials. Included are 88 footnotes to provide documentation and to facilitate further investigation of the issues raised.

The following are some of the legislative and oversight actions GLAA seeks from D.C. Councilmembers:

  • Pass Bill 20-0032, "Surrogacy Parenting Agreement Act of 2013."
  • Repeal the so-called Prostitution Free Zones (PFZs) law, which facilitates anti-transgender profiling.
  • Allow for the issuance of new birth certificates for individuals who undergo treatment related to gender transition; end the requirement for publishing notice of a name change in the newspaper; and allow issuance of new birth certificates via administrative process instead of a court order.
  • Ensure enforcement of LGBT nondiscrimination policies in District homeless shelters and transitional housing.
  • Ensure that all health insurance policies sold and used in DC cover the full spectrum of transgender health care needs.
  • Enforce the anti-bullying law in all D.C. public and charter schools.
  • Ensure equal Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections for same-sex partners.
  • Eliminate legal standing for ad hoc protest groups and citizens associations in liquor licensing cases, to permit input by all community stakeholders via the great weight already accorded Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.

GLAA President Rick Rosendall stated, "It is a tribute to the strength of coalition efforts in the District that 'Agenda: 2013' reflects input from allies across the District's entire LGBT community and its supporters. The resulting policy brief is the most comprehensive single document advancing LGBT issues in D.C."

On January 28, 2013, GLAA will email its questionnaire and policy brief to every candidate in the April 23 special election for At-Large Councilmember. (The filing deadline for the primary was January 23.) The deadline for receipt of candidate responses is March 7, after which GLAA will assign ratings to the primary candidates (on a scale of -10 to +10) based on their questionnaire responses and their records on LGBT issues.

For more information on GLAA and its four decades of nonpartisan advocacy, visit GLAA's main website at www.glaa.org and its blog at www.glaaforum.org.

Founded in 1971, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington (GLAA) is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization that defends the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Nation's Capital. GLAA lobbies the D.C. Council, monitors government agencies, educates and rates local candidates, and works in coalitions to defend the safety, health, and equal rights of gay families. GLAA remains the nation's oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization.

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January 26, 2013

DCRA to enforce gender neutral signage requirement

WbjThe Washington Business Journal reports that the Department of Cosumer and Regulatory Affairs will has adopted rules making failure to adopt gender neutral signage for single occupancy bathrooms a class 3 civil infraction that carries the possibility of a $500 fine for non-compliance with the law.  The Office of Human Rights adopted rules requiring this but they don't have a team of inspectors to ensure compliance.  Initially the effort will be mostly educational with warnings being issued.  The was no opposition from the apartment, office building or restaurant sectors to the proposed regulations.

January 19, 2013

D.C. Court orders suspect in transgender stabbing to undergo mental observation

John Riley at Metro Weekly reports:

Gary Niles Montgomery, the 55-year-old Washington man accused of fatally stabbing transgender woman Deoni Jones, aka JaParker, at a Northeast bus stop in February 2012, appeared in court Friday morning, where his lawyers convinced U.S. Superior Court Judge Robert Morin to order Montgomery to submit to a mental-observation screening.

After hearing arguments from Montgomery's lawyers regarding their client's mental state, Morin ordered two separate hearings for Montgomery, one Jan. 24, for screening purposes only, and a mental observation hearing on Feb. 8. Last year, Morin found Montgomery competent to stand trial, based on the results of two separate mental-observation hearings.

Montgomery, who in November pleaded not guilty after being indicted on a charge of first-degree murder while armed, remains held without bond as he awaits trial, scheduled for June 10.

January 11, 2013

DCTC: Sentencing of MPD Officer Furr Devalues Trans Lives

An excellent statement by DC Trans Coalition condemning the light sentencing of D.C. police officer Kenneth Furr, who shot up a carful of trans women and gay men in August 2011.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2013
Contact:
Jason Terry or Elijah Edelman: 202.681.3282 / [email protected]

Sentencing of MPD Officer Furr Devalues Trans Lives

If roles were reversed, outcome would have been drastically different

Washington, DC – Community members expressed outrage at the sentencing of Metropolitan Police Department Officer Kenneth Furr, who was released from prison today after convictions of assault with a deadly weapon and soliciting prostitution. In August of 2011, a group that included black trans women and gay men confronted Furr after he harassed one of them for refusing his sexual advances. Furr consequently shot at the individuals involved, wounding several of them. Because the judge suspended 46 months of the 60 month sentence, Furr left jail having already served the remaining 14 months.

"This result is the product of a legal system that constantly devalues trans people's lives," said DC Trans Coalition member Jason Terry. "Officer Furr's defense team actively sought to portray the victims as somehow deserving of this violence, and apparently they succeeded. If roles had been reversed and a trans woman had gotten drunk and flashed a gun at a police officer, the results would be drastically different." It is important to note that Furr was convicted only of flashing a weapon at two gay men involved in the incident, not for shooting at the trans women and others involved.

Several studies document deep levels of mistrust toward police in trans communities. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that 46% of trans people are reluctant to call police when they need police services. The Move Along study here in DC noted that 78% of respondents feared the police. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has found that transgender people of color are nearly two and a half times more likely to face violence from police officers than other lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and trans white people. DCTC's own needs assessment found in its first phase that safety and risk is a paramount concern. DCTC expects that the results of our survey phase will reinforce these other findings.

"Officer Furr exemplifies why this fear exists," said Terry. "DC's trans communities face blatant discrimination, harassment, and violence from police officers every day, yet when an officer drunkenly shoots at trans people, accountability seems to disappear."

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The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) is a volunteer, grassroots, community-based organization dedicated to fighting for human rights, dignity, and liberation for transsexual, transgender and gender-diverse people in the District of Columbia. To learn more, please visit our website at http://www.dctranscoalition.org. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

December 11, 2012

DC ESPN 980 broadcasts anti-transgender rant

Outsports has covered the comments of Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin regarding transgender student athelete Gabriel Ludwig.  During the show:

  • They said transgender people should not be allowed to play sports. ”Whatever you’ve got to do to scratch that inner itch and quell those inner demons, that’s fine. But don’t go playing sports then. And don’t go playing sports saying, ‘but I’ve go the rights of everyone else.’” 
  • They make fun of Ludwig’s appearance, including her biceps and tattoos. Clearly reacting to photographs, they expressed deep-seeded disgust at her appearance. “That could be a Russian chick,” they said as they cackled.
  • They referred to her as “he/she” and as “it.” “I think ‘it’ is the politically correct term.”

 You can listen to their comments at Outsports.  The hosts have issued a 10 second apology for referring to her as 'it' but this has not ended calls for their suspenstion without pay or firing.  You can can send an email to ESPN 980 regarding these demeaning and unprofessional comments here.

November 21, 2012

Nov. 22 - Thanksgiving at Casa Ruby

Casarubythanksgiving

Casa Ruby is hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day that is open to all. If you have no plans, you are welcome to join the folks at Casa Ruby between 3:00 and 7:00 pm. Casa Ruby is at 2822 Georgia Avenue, NW, a couple of blocks above Howard University. Details are attached.

Also, yesterday (Nov. 20) was the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. The one in DC was a fine event featuring beautiful music performances, moving words from the families of the victims of anti-trans violence, and was attended by hundred of people including Mayor Vincent Gray and members of his cabinet. Here are links to two Metro Weekly stories on TDOR:

Remembering and Rallying:
Large crowd at D.C.'s Transgender Day of Remembrance event hears from Mayor Gray, families of victims

LGBT-Rights Leaders Mark Transgender Day of Remembrance