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Congressional Staffers Blocked From Making Changes On Wikipedia After Anti-Trans Edits Surface

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Someone using an IP address linked to Capitol Hill has been making anti-trans edits on Wikipedia pages - and it's been happening all month long. Twitterbot @congressedits has tracked the activity which is coming from somewhere within Congress and the program has created a record of those edits on the several of the site's pages, such as one on transphobia.

Business Insider reports:

LavIt's impossible to know whether the edits are coming from one or multiple users, but the changes come from an IP address, 143.231.249.138, that has repeatedly been linked to House of Representatives computers. In the "talk" discussion section of one article, an individual making the changes has also claimed to be a staffer on Capitol Hill.

The anonymous user has demonstrated a relatively specific focus on transgender topics. For example, a Wednesday edit to the "Tranny" article changed the phrase "assigned sex" to "biological sex" — a term that has been criticized as transphobic. Articles on "body integrity identity disorder" and "gender identity disorder" were also edited. Even the Wikipedia article on transphobia was edited on Tuesday to include an external link — since been removed for its reported "hateful or abusive content" — defending transphobia.

"This article is too pro-trans," the user complained after his or her edit was removed. "When I attempted to add an alternative point of view regarding this topic ... it was reverted right away."

A Wikipedia editor blocked the IP address due to numerous offensive adjustments several times this month already but on Wednesday, the website decided to put a stop to any further hate speech by barring all Congress staff members from making edits on the site.

According to The Hill, transphobic new edits that surfaced on Wednesday afternoon related to actress Laverne Cox led to the wide ban:

The final straw came on Wednesday afternoon, when someone from the House edited the page for the Netflix hit show “Orange is the New Black” to change the characterization of an actor from “a real transgender woman” to “a real man pretending to be a woman.”

GLAAD responded later that afternoon:

"It's chilling to think that this dangerous misinformation about transgender Americans could be coming from our nation's Capitol," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "At a time when transgender people still face horrific rates of violence, trailblazers like Laverne Cox are helping millions understand that ignorance like this can have life-threatening consequences."​​


ABC's 'This Week' Looks at America's Trans Movement 'Tipping Point' - VIDEO

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With TIME magazine declaring in May that the U.S. had reaching a "trangender tipping point," ABC's "This Week" interviewed Laverne Cox about her role in helping bring greater visibility to trans issues.

The segment also featured a great panel discussion - with National Center for Transgender Equality's Mara Keisling and Rolling Stone's Sabrina Rubin Erdely bringing up some of the day-to-day struggles that trans folks continue to face in America today. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Laverne Cox and the 'Orange is the New Black' Cast Take Over Conan: VIDEO

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Conan O'Brien devoted his entire show last night to Orange is the New Black, inviting seven members of its cast to their first-ever group late night appearance.

Laverne Cox opened the show, which was attended by a group of actual hardened criminals, by discussing a makeover for Conan. Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba talked about their crazy fight scene, and Aduba taught Conan to make crazy eyes. Kate Mulgrew says Conan once almost ruined her career by forcing her to perform an Irish jig. Cox talked about her TIME magazine cover, giving trans people a voice, and her brother who is sometimes mistaken for her. Finally, Lea Delaria explains how she taught Natasha Lyonne about lesbian sex.

Watch all the clips (if video thumbnail does not appear, click through on title),
AFTER THE JUMP...

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Here's Why Laverne Cox Will Never Marry Jason Biggs - VIDEO

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While waitkng in the Watch What Happens green room, transgender actress Laverne Cox ponders the more important questions in life, such as why she should never marry her Orange is the New Black co-star Jason Biggs, even though she finds him attractive.

Hint: it has to do with the wording on their hypothetical wedding invitations. Of course, Biggs is also already married, so there's that too.

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP…

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Laverne Cox Featured In John Legend's Moving 'You And I': VIDEO

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Though she has an Emmy nomination and a Time cover under her belt, there is no sign that Laverne Cox is slowing down. These days the actress/activist is everywhere, including the music video for John Legend's eye-watering and treacly single "You and I (Nobody in the World)."

The music video features women of many shapes, ages, sizes, and backgrounds staring into the camera while going about their daily routines. In the accompanying song, John Legend sings words of unconditional love. Taken together it's a bit of a tear-jerker, so if you're not in the mood to get a little misty, don't say we didn't warn you!

Keep your eyes peeled not just for Cox, but also for other recognizable faces in cameos — comedian Tig Notaro and Tatyana Ali of Fresh Prince fame make appearances.

Check the video out AFTER THE JUMP...

[YouTube Screencap via Idolator]

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Laverne Cox Talks About the Backlash She Received After Appearing on TIME Magazine: VIDEO

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Laverne Cox’s cover on the June edition of TIME Magazine solidified the actress-cum-activist’s position as one of the country’s leading voices in the fight for trans rights. While TIME’s exposure strengthened Cox’s ability to amplify her message, the increased attention hasn’t been entirely positive for the Orange Is The New Black star.

“I’ve felt it since the cover of TIME Magazine, like all of a sudden like my Twitter feed and my Instagram there’s all this negativity.” She told BET. “I was getting Google Alerts about me [somehow being in league] with Satan.”

Fame monster notwithstanding, Cox’s star is on the rise. In addition to being nominated for an outstanding guest actress Emmy this morning, she’s producing Free CeCe!, a documentary chronicling the life of Cece McDonald, a transwoman sentenced to 41 months in prison after surviving her own bashing.

Watch Laverne’s full BET interview AFTER THE JUMP...

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