In a disappointing conclusion to a struggle that has galvanized Americans across the country, a Boy Scout was told he would not be receiving his coveted Eagle Scout award because he is openly gay.
Ryan Andresen, 18, had fulfilled his Eagle Scout requirements back in October but was shut down by his local scoutmaster due to his sexuality. On appeal, a volunteer Eagle Scout Board of Review decided that Andresen was in fact worthy of the award and approved his application.
Eagle Scout and Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls told GLAAD that once an application has been OK’d by a Board of Review, the understanding is that the member has been approved. Continue reading “Boy scouts fail again”
“Last May I had the pleasure of hearing Mariela Castro, daughter of current Cuban president Raúl Castro and niece of the infamous dictator Fidel Castro, speak while she was visiting on her extremely controversial trip to the United States,” writes David Duran on todays’ Huff Post. “ The following night I was fortunate enough to be granted direct access to her at a private event where I was able to hear more about her efforts to change Cuba with respect to human rights issues, particularly LGBT rights”.
“Mariela’s mother, Vilma Lucila Espín Guillois, was a revolutionary who was the head of the Federation of Cuban Women and helped change policy and the lives of women in her country. Continue reading “Cuba still leading in human rights”
A researcher at the University of Colorado has presented new evidence
on how word pronunciation affects gender recognition among listeners.
While this may not be a great revelation to those who provide or receive speech training for gender reassignment, the story has significance in further documenting the social construction of gender identity.
The story appears on a noteworthy site called RedOrbit (see link below) on science and health. According to the study, “the style of a person’s speech may help listeners guess their gender just as much as the high or low pitch of their voice.” The researcher examined transgendered people during transition to figure out how humans associate gender categories with different characteristics of speech. Continue reading “Speech style and gender performance”
By some estimates, LGBT youth account for as many as 40 percent of young people on the streets. Huff Post today featured a story on this matter, along with an accompanying documentary short of interviews and expert discussion. As it begins:
“Homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth may represent a disproportionate number of people living on the streets and in shelters –- but despite this fact, they are not alone.
“A number of advocates and young LGBT people who’ve experienced homelessness firsthand appeared on HuffPostLive to talk about the unique problems facing that segment of the community in particular.
“You have the classic situation where a young person comes out and gets kicked out,” said Kate Barnhart, director of New Alternatives, a homeless LGBT youth advocacy organization in New York. “But then you also have a fair number of young people who become homeless for socioeconomic reasons.”
“We have a long history in the US of giving people involuntary medical treatment and using mental institutions to lock up people who are “different” or threatening to social norms,” says University of Washington law professor Dean Spade, author of the book, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law.
Spade was speaking about California’s “Laura’s Law” which provides court-ordered outpatient treatment for the seriously mentally ill. “So many people who could use mental health care do not reach out for it because they are afraid that they will be locked up involuntarily if they reach out to a provider,” Spade said.
Spade is the subject of an interview appearing in today’s issue of The Nation conducted by Laura Flanders. The article begins,
“Exactly as the shootings debate is playing out, funding for mental health services are teetering on the fiscal brink. Obama and Speaker John Continue reading “Dean Spade on the shootings and mental health care”
“While there’s still a lot more work to be done, 2012 saw some remarkable milestones for transgender people both in the U.S. and abroad,” said today’s Huffington Post in the beginning of its 2012 year-in-review series
“From Vice President Joe Biden declaring transgender rights as the ‘civil rights issue of our time,” to the huge update made by the American Psychiatric Association to its Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, trans acceptance has certainly made some enormous strides this year.
“We even saw one of our favorite TV shows, ‘Glee,’ include a transgender character in its diverse cast, and the transgender flag was flown in place of the iconic rainbow flag at Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco for the first time ever.
Check out some more phenomenal transgender stories from 2012 in our roundup below and be sure to let us know what other moments captured your attention in the comments section.”
For more on this story, see “2012 Top Transgender Moments” in Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/22/top-transgender-moments-stories-2012_n_2347346.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices
“A beauty queen who claimed this year’s Miss USA contest was fixed has been ordered to pay the pageant organization $5 million for defamation,” reports Yahoo News today.
“In a decision signed last week, an arbitrator found that the comments from Miss Pennsylvania USA Sheena Monnin were false, harmful and malicious. Monnin had alleged that the five finalists had been selected in advance of the pageant’s live telecast.
“The arbitrator, Theodore Katz, said Monnin had two motives: ‘She was a disgruntled contestant who failed to make it past the preliminary Continue reading “Miss USA contestant to pay $5-million for defamation”
Gabrielle Ludwig takes the courtAs the buzzer sounds to announce the substitution, a handful of Mission College basketball supporters chant: “Gabbi! Gabbi! Gabbi!”
The Contra Costa Times reports that “’ost of the 50 or so onlookers in the dingy, yellow-tinted gym briefly look up from their chili-cheese nachos and smartphones, and then back down. A few whisper and point at No. 42, marveling at her size.
‘It was the debut of Gabrielle Ludwig, and at 6 feet 8, 220 pounds, with tattoos on her arms and legs, she stands out in the Contra Costa College gym. At 50, the Fremont resident is about three decades older than her Santa Clara community college teammates and opponents — and much taller.
‘What many at the 19th annual Comet Classic did not know was Ludwig had only been a woman since July, when she had a sex change operation. Continue reading “Gabrielle Ludwig takes the court”
For anyone who hasn’t heard about Andrew Solomon’s Far from the Tree, this book is much more than a tome (900+ pages) about parents and special-needs kids. Solomon has written a tour-de-force discussion on difference and identity worthy of anyone’s attentions, especially those of us who do not conform to the tyranny of normativity. Julie Myerson wrote a wonderful piece on the book in a recent New York Times Book Review. While the later chapters in Far From the Tree each could be their own separate books about specific conditions of being, the first 200 pages are pure gold. As Myerson begins her review,
“How does it feel to be the mother of a teenage dwarf who’s desperate to start dating? What if you love the daughter you conceived when you were raped but can’t bear to be touched by her? And, as the father of a happy, yet profoundly deaf son who’s forgotten how it feels to hear, how do you deal with your memories of the times you played music together? Continue reading “Far from the tree”
November 20 is the international Transgender Day of Remembrance, an opportunity for communities to come together and mark the passing of transgender and gender-variant individuals, or those perceived to be transgender.
For complete listings of events and specific memorials, see “International Transgender Day of Remembrance.”
As public sentiment favoring marriage equality continues to grow, troubling realities persist for the transgender community. A new analysis in the state of Colorado points to striking patterns of employment discrimination, which the study links to poverty, homelessness, and limited health care access.
As reported today by Lindsay Miller in Edge, state-wide analysis of the National Transgender Discrimination Study finds that “transgender Coloradans still face serious obstacles in the form of discrimination that affects nearly every aspect of their lives, from workplace discrimination to unemployment to homelessness to health care inequalities.
The One Colorado Education Fund and the Gender Identity Center of Colorado released the state’s breakout data. See, “Transgender Coloradans Face Daunting Obstacles.” Continue reading “Troubling report on trans discrimination”
“Vice President Joe Biden said transgender discrimination is ‘the civil rights issue of our time’ during a visit to a Florida,” as reported in The Huffington Post. Biden was meeting with volunteers at an Obama for America office in Sarasota, Fla., when he singled out one woman “who he thought had beautiful eyes,” reads the pool report. The woman said something to Biden that was inaudible to the pool reporter, but Biden responded to her by saying it was the ‘civil rights issue of our time.’” The statement is circulating widely on internet news feeds. For more, see “Joe Biden: Transgender Discrimination is the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time.”
Biden’s statement is important at a moment when LGBT issues like marriage equality seem to be getting more attention. As The Huffington Post‘s Jennifer Bebdery continues “The vice president has been a steadfast ally to the LGBT community. He told gay rights advocates in August that they are “freeing the soul of the American people.” Most notably, however, he got out in front of President Barack Obama in May Continue reading “Biden on transgender civil rights”