Gender Identity Hub




Facebook Expands Custom Gender Identity Options Even Further

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Beginning today Facebook users will be able to describe their gender using whatever kind of personal language they feel the most comfortable with. The move comes after an increased demand from the public for Facebook to allow people to choose from a wider array of gender descriptors in their “About Me” sections. Last year Facebook took a major step forward by expanding its list of selectable genders from three (male, female, or none) to over 50 terms including male to female, gender queer, and cisgender.

“Facebook’s new free-form field for gender identity is a huge step forward for transgender, gender nonconforming and gender queer youth,” said GLSEN Executive Director

Dr. Eliza Byard, “The internet is an essential source of resources, support and community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, and one of its most important ‘living rooms’ now better reflects their reality and self-understanding."

Speaking to Motherboard, Facebook engineer Ari Chivukula explained that the company deployed a special team focused specifically on buffing out the social network’s expanded gender settings. Moving forward users will be able to more finely customize their privacy settings to better control who sees their gender displayed on their profiles.


Israel To Recognize Sex Change Without Gender Reassignment Surgery

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Israel plans to allow transgender people to legally change their gender without having to undergo gender reassignment surgery first, reports Haaretz.

The announcement comes after two transgender women filed a petition against the Interior Ministry’s demand that they undergo gender reassignment surgery as a condition for altering their identity card gender from male to female.

One of the petitioners is Ronit Liran Shaked (above), a lawyer who up until two years ago lived as a man and was married to a woman. 

The two women argued that they were not interested in sex reassignment surgery, and that making this a prerequisite is unreasonable.

At a meeting on the issue held by Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber, the Health Ministry explained that other countries have recognized criteria for determining that a person has changed his gender even without sex-change surgery. Based on this information, a decision was made to change the existing Interior Ministry procedure. 


Russian Government Bans Transgender People From Obtaining Driver's Licenses

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The Russian government continues its steady persecution of LGBT citizens as Russian transgender people no longer qualify for driver’s licenses in the country under a new set of revisions to medical controls for drivers, reports BBC News.

The Russian government says the new rules are to help cut down on the number of car accidents. Although most of the provisions refer to physical impairments, such as blindness, “gender identity disorders” including transsexualism and dual-role transvestism are referenced in the revised provisions. Sadomasochism and exhibitionism are included as well according to BuzzFeed’s J. Lester Feder and Susie Armitage.

Human rights activists and organizations, including the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights, are justly outraged, calling the new law “discriminatory.” The Association of Russian Lawyers is demanding clarifications from the Russian Constitutional Court and seeking support from international human rights organizations in the process. Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First calls the banning of people driving based on gender identity ridiculous.

Said Gaylord:

"Beyond the denial of basic freedoms, this provision may deter transgender people from seeking mental health services for fear of receiving a diagnosis that would strip them of their right to drive, and leaves the door open for increased harassment, persecution, and discrimination of transgender people by Russian authorities.

"We urge the United States to immediately condemn this provision and to press the Russian government to repeal this decision."

Russian psychiatric experts Mikhail Strakhov and Valery Evtushenko of the Russian Psychiatric Association also condemned the regulations. However, the Professional Drivers Union supported the move, including union head Alexander Kotov. "We have too many deaths on the road, and I believe toughening medical requirements for applicants is fully justified,” said Kotov.

The driving regulations is just one more contribution to creating a hostile, oppressive environment for LGBT Russians and it’s clearly working. Since Russia passed it’s anti-gay “propaganda,” law in June 2013, hate crimes against LGBT people in Russia have dramatically increased. 


Appeals Court Denies Gender Reassignment For Trans Prisoner: VIDEO

  Michelle Kosilek

The full First Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a ruling that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must provide an incarcerated transgender woman with medically-necessary gender reassignment surgery, reports Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

The Court of Appeals issued an initial ruling in January upholding an earlier finding that the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC) engaged in a pattern of “pretense, pretext and prevarication” to deny Michelle Kosilek (above) treatment against the recommendations of multiple doctors, including those hired by the DOC itself. Born Robert Kosilek, Michelle Kosilek is serving a life sentence for the murder of her wife Cheryl (below, right) in 1990.

Cheryl KosilekThe latest decision was divided with a 3-2 majority and two sharply worded dissents.

Predicting that the case will not stand the test of time, Judge Thompson wrote:

“I am confident that I would not need to pen this dissent, over twenty years after Kosilek’s quest for constitutionally adequate medical care began, were she not seeking a treatment that many see as strange or immoral. Prejudice and fear of the unfamiliar have undoubtedly played a role in this matter’s protraction.”

Jennifer Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project at GLAD, said:

“I am appalled by this decision, which means that Michelle Kosilek will continue to be denied the life-saving medical care she needs and has been seeking for years.  

"It is difficult or impossible to imagine a decision like this one – that second-guesses every factual determination made by the trial court – in the context of any other prisoner health care case.  

"This decision is a testament to how much work remains to be done to get transgender people’s health care needs on par with others in the general public.

“There is no scientific or medical basis for denying transgender people their health care needs. The consensus position of the medical community is that surgery may sometimes be essential treatment.”

Watch a report on a television interview with Kosilek, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Appeals Court Denies Gender Reassignment For Trans Prisoner: VIDEO" »


Animated Web Series 'McTucky Fried High' To Deal With LGBT Teen Issues - VIDEO

McTucky Fried High

Premiering in January, McTucky Fried High is a new animated web series that deals with issues faced by LGBT teens such as coming out, gender identity and bullying.

The series is made by Chicago-based film student, activist, graphic designer, feminist, vegan and animator Robert Carnilius.

Watch a preview clip of the series, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Animated Web Series 'McTucky Fried High' To Deal With LGBT Teen Issues - VIDEO" »


Inspiring Parents Announce 'Arrival' Of 19-Year-Old Transgender Son - VIDEO

Kai Bogert

In a move that may well restore your faith in humanity, the parents of Australian transgender teenager Kai Bogert - who was born Elizabeth Anne - have placed a birth notice in their local newspaper to celebrate the “arrival” of their 19-year-old son, reports The Daily Mail. 23AA5C2200000578-2857263-This_birth_announcement_appeared_in_Tuesday_s_edition_of_Queensl-10_1417521571927

Kai’s parents Yolanda Bogert and Guy Kershaw placed the notice in yesterday’s edition of Brisbane newspaper The Courier Mail to correct their “mistake” and place a “retraction.”

The message reads:

“In 1995 we announced the arrival of our sprogget, Elizabeth Anne, as a daughter. He informs us that we were mistaken. Oops! Our bad. We would now like to present, our wonderful son – Kai Bogert. Loving you is the easiest thing in the world.”

Explaining the notice, Kai’s mother said:

“I needed to show my son I support him 100 per cent and wanted to let the world know that. It is all very new to us. Kai just told me a few days ago that he no longer wanted to live as a girl.”

Kai added:

“This last week has changed everything for me. I am still me but I am more me than I was a few days ago and feel free.”

Kai is yet to undergo gender reassignment.  His parents have now set up a transition fund.

Watch a preview of an Australian documentary about the struggles of young transgender people, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Inspiring Parents Announce 'Arrival' Of 19-Year-Old Transgender Son - VIDEO" »


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