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Transgender Hub



04/19/2007


'You Should Know I'm a Man Before This Goes Too Far': VIDEO

Truthinadvertising

In a misguided attempt at cheekily demonstrating their new tagline, "The truth's not always easy," Truth In Advertising included a transphobic joke in their ad. The ad features individuals singing confessions about various thoughts, deeds, and misdeeds, one of which is a woman and a man on a bed presumably about to undress for sex. When the woman opens her mouth to sing, a man's voice is dubbed over, saying "You should know I'm a man before this goes too far."

Obviously, a transwoman is a woman, not a man, a distinction that can be lost on people who are more ignorant of trans culture and issues. This misstep would be bad enough on its own if it weren't for the fact that the setup that's played for laughs is the very nasty and pernicious stereotype that trans people - transwomen in particular - engage in deliberate deception to trick a straight cisgendered man into sleeping with them. This irrational fear leads to unnecessary hatred for trans people, sometimes with deadly consequences.

For their part, executive director Bonnie Patten released a public apology for the video and it's going through the review process.

While we attempted to use humor in our ad to engage consumers on the serious issue of misleading marketing, it was truly not our intention to negatively portray a transgender person. We sincerely apologize and are reviewing it now.

Reviews like these tend to lead to removals, so if you'd like to see the ad for yourself while it's still live, you can watch it AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: And the ad has indeed been removed.

Continue reading "'You Should Know I'm a Man Before This Goes Too Far': VIDEO" »


Gypsy Vered Meltzer is Wisconsin's First Openly Trans Elected Official After Winning Council Race

Gypsy Vered Meltzer was elected to the Appleton City Council on Tuesday, making him Wisconsin's first openly trans elected official, the Post-Crescent reports:

MeltzerMeltzer identifies as a man and said his dreadlocks, 50-plus tattoos and gender identity are worth celebrating. But he says he’s ready to serve his constituents.

“I’m focused on the issues rather than myself and look forward to the day when this isn’t as interesting of a topic.

“It’s important to get more young people involved in politics. As someone who’s part of various subcultures, I want to show everyone that the door’s open, come on in and be part of local government.”

Fair Wisconsin applauded Meltzer's win:

“This election is an historic moment for Wisconsin in having the first openly transgender official,” said Katie Belanger, the group’s president. “I’d hope we’d see an increase in the number of elected officials from the transgender community across the state.”

Local and state advocacy groups cheered the election results.

The election was important for the often marginalized group, said Loree Cook-Daniels, policy and programdirector at FORGE, a Milwaukee-based transgender advocacy group.


Model Geena Rocero Comes Out As Trans During 'First Trans TED Talk': VIDEO

Trans_talk

Model, activist and the founder of Gender Proud — a movement that aims to change the global perception of and conversation about transgender individuals — Geena Rocero recently came out in what’s being lauded as the first TED talk about transgender issues on the main stage.

“Gender has always been considered a fact, immutable,” Rocero said. “But we now know it’s actually more fluid complex, and mysterious.”

When Rocero began working as a professional female fashion model, she felt that she had achieved her life’s dream — her outside self finally reflected her inner self.

But for the last nine years, some of her close friends and even her agent did not know that she was assigned a male gender at birth. She kept her past a secret because she was afraid of how people would treat her once she came out as trans.

“All of us are put in boxes by our family, by our religion, by our society — our moment in history, even our own bodies. Some people have the courage to breathe free, not to accept the limitations imposed by the color of their skin or the beliefs of those who surround them. Those people are always a threat to the status quo, to what is considered acceptable.”

Rocero moved from the Phillipines to the U.S. so that she could legally change her name and gender marker. In a column for CNN, Rocero wrote:

“A personal turning point came in 2005, a year before I became a U.S. citizen, when I was traveling through Tokyo. Back then, I still had my Philippines passport and my former male gender marker, but I presented as a woman. I was taken into the immigration office at the airport and questioned for hours about my identity. I have friends in the Philippines -- where there is no law that allows them to change their name and marker -- that have these experiences every time they travel. It's dehumanizing.”

In her TED talk, she explains, “For some people, their IDs are a license to drive or even to get a drink. For me that was my license to live. To feel dignified… Many are not so fortunate.”

In an attempt to help transgender people gain their dignity by affirming their gender in government documents worldwide, Rocero has launched a Change.org petition and an IndieGoGo account to help fund Gender Proud's initial efforts.

See her talk, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Model Geena Rocero Comes Out As Trans During 'First Trans TED Talk': VIDEO" »


Justice Department Launches Nationwide Transgender Education Training for Police Stations

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an education program designed to help local police departments better understand and handle issues affecting transgender individuals.

Chicago Phoenix reports:

Tony west“It’s clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue,” Associate Attorney General Tony West said. “Because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement.”

The program will be overseen by the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service, which works to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Lesson plans include suggestions for addressing school bullying, and lists of do’s and don’ts, with don’ts including using terms like “transvestite” and asking whether a transgender person has had “sex reassignment” or “sex change” surgery.

Harper Jean Tobin, who as policy director at the National Center for Transgender Equality helped design the program, said it was an important first step in improving how the nation's police departments address hate crimes against trans people. However, she said more work is needed in order to truly fix the problems between transgener individuals and law enforcement. 

"You can't train your way out of this problem. It's one piece of the puzzle. It's one tool that we can use," she said.


Maryland Trans Rights Bill to Become Law

A bill that would outlaw discrimination on the basis of gender identity in education, housing, and public accommodations has passed the Maryland House and has gone to Governor Martin O’Malley, who is expected to sign the bill into law. 

Maryland"After more than 15 years of advocacy for trans Marylanders, the tremendous work by all of our legislative champions, and the solid support of the leadership in Annapolis, history was made today. The House of Delegates sent the same loud and clear message the Maryland Senate did: Every Marylander deserves equal rights under the law. We welcome the Governor’s promised signature and the full and successful implementation of this bill," said Jenna Fischetti of TransMaryland, an MCTE coalition member.

The Advocate reports that opponents of the bill often derogatorily referred to it as a “bathroom bill,” playing on unfounded fears of men pretending to be transgender in order to access women’s facilities. Republican delegates unsuccessfully attempted to delay the bill through procedural motions and multiple amendments that would have removed all references to public accommodations.

A campaign to repeal the law through public referendum is also expected, according to Metro Weekly.


Opponents Of California Law Protecting Transgender Students File Suit Against Secretary Of State

Last August, California Governor Jerry Brown (right) signed AB 1266 into law, effectively protecting the rights of transgender students across the state to utilize whichever locker room and bathroom facilities match their gender identities, and to choose sports teams in a similar fashion.

The bill received a large amount of conservative backlash at the time, with one referendum petition from the group Privacy for All Students receiving nearly 500,000 valid signatures, falling just short of the amount needed to get on the 2014 ballot. Though the manual recount of the petition yielded similar results, opponents believe that some signatures were thrown out. Now they have filed suit against California's secretary of state.

JerrybrownThe Daily Bulletin reports:

“We have served the Secretary of State with another legal action asking her to qualify the referendum and we have served county officials across the state with a demand for the documents to prove the abuse of discretion in rejecting more than 131,000 signatures,” Gina Gleason, director of faith and public policy at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, wrote in a press release issued Tuesday morning...

“Keeping boys out of the girls’ bathroom and locker room is an issue of privacy and safety,” she wrote to PFAS supporters. “Counting all of the valid signatures is an issue of integrity and trust. We must fight for all of these things. Thank you for your continued support in this battle.”

The flagrant disregard for the sensitivities and tact necessary when discussing youth who are transgender-identified is disturbing. The evidence being used by the Pacific Justice Institute, the firm working with Privacy for All Students, while justifiably outraged, seems sketchy at best.

In the PFAS press release, Matthew McReynolds, an attorney for the Pacific Justice Institute...said his signature was one of those rejected by his local registrar of voters.

“You read that correctly -- a petition from one of the key backers of the referendum, more familiar than most with the rules, was not good enough to satisfy elections workers here in Sacramento County,” he wrote. “So what did I do wrong? The explanation was that my signature didn’t look exactly like it had on my registration card. And you know what? They’re probably right; my signature has undoubtedly changed over the last few years as I have become totally blind and no longer able to see what I’ve written. That’s a long story that I’ll save for another day. But my disability shouldn’t prevent me from participating in such a core function of democracy as signing a referendum petition.

“What’s really scary is that I only found out I had been disenfranchised because I am very involved in the massive effort by the Privacy for All Students coalition to examine the signatures that were invalidated.”

Proponents of the bill are confident that the lawsuit will not hold up and that the fate of AB 1266 remains secure.


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