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A Day in the Life of Ben Panico, the Only Openly Transgender Staffer on Capitol Hill: VIDEO

Pancio

22-year-old Ben Panico is living his dream working with Rep. Jared Polis and the LGBT Equality Caucus in Washington D.C. But as Fusion points out, Panico also happens to be the only openly trans staffer currently working on Capitol Hill - a reality not lost on him. 

Said Panico:

I think it's very important for trans people to be represented on The Hill so that people can represent their community and can really provide an extra voice, add something to the discussion. I have had unique experiences that no one on The Hill can speak for. 

Check out his incredible story, including how he deals with some of the more vocal anti-LGBT foes on Capitol Hill,  AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "A Day in the Life of Ben Panico, the Only Openly Transgender Staffer on Capitol Hill: VIDEO" »


Jenny McCarthy Says She Feels Transgender, 'Would Be So Excited' If Her Son Were Gay

JennyMcCarthy

Former Playboy bunny and The View host Jenny McCarthy opened up in an interview with Pride Source recently, and the results were unexpected to say the least. The model-actress, who has a 12-year-old son and recently married Donnie Wahlberg, was first asked about her acting career. As Us Weekly reports, one early role may have been particularly important for McCarthy to play.

It all started when the blonde was asked about playing a transgender woman in '90s sitcom Just Shoot Me! "I feel like that inside. I always felt like one of the guys wearing, like, a Playboy bunny outfit," [McCarthy] admitted. "I was David Spade’s buddy to begin with, so I was a natural fit, and I always felt like his brother. To play kind of the dude, was almost too scary natural," she added of starring alongside Spade in the series.

One wonders if McCarthy considers herself a tomboy or truly does feel akin to a transgender person, as a male gendered person who has been assigned a female sex. It is, of course, no one's place to judge.

It may be easier, however, to roll your eyes at the somewhat dated and stereotypical answer she gave later on in the interview:

The former Playboy model was also asked how she'd feel if her 12-year-old son Evan came out as gay. "Oh my god, I would be so excited," she exclaimed. "We can shop! Do my hair!"

Right, because that's what every gay boy likes to do! But at least McCarthy thinks that everyone might be a little bit gay:

"I really do feel like, with sexuality being more open and people coming out, there might be a little bi in everybody; it’s just a matter of who acts on it."


Nancy Pelosi Comes Out In Support of a Trans-Inclusive U.S. Military

PelosiNancy Pelosi has officially come out in support of a trans-inclusive U.S. military. Currently transgender people are barred from enlisting in accordance with Instruction 6130.03, a DoD rule that lists “history of major abnormalities or defects of the genitalia, such as change of sex [and] hermaphroditism,” as justification to turn away able-bodied perspective soldiers.

“Leader Pelosi believes there is no place for discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces, including on the basis of gender identity," Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill stated to the Washington Blade.

While gays and lesbians have been able to serve openly in the wake of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” being repealed, transgender individuals are still constrained by a set of archaic provisions rooted in homophobia and trans-exclusion. Though the Obama Administration has expressed its support for an eventual review of the current DoD provisions, progress on the trans-issue has been non-existent.

"Leader Pelosi is correct of course,” agreed Executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality Mara Kiesling. “The outdated, discriminatory ban on open trans service is bad for trans people, bad for military readiness, and bad for America. We are 100 percent confident that open trans military service is as inevitable as the military bureaucracy that seems to have stalled progress once again.”


U.S. Marine Identified, Charged in Murder of Filipina Transwoman

PembertonJoseph Scott Pemberton [pictured right] has been identified as the U.S. Marine connected to the murder of Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck, a 26 year-old transgender Filipina woman [pictured below]. Pemberton, 19, is a private first class from New Bedford, Massachusetts and a recent high school graduate. While Filipino authorities have filed murder charges against Pemberton, Marine officials have said that he will remain within U.S. custody.

"Under the Visiting Forces Agreement, the custody of the erring soldier stays with the Americans," said General Gregorio Catapang, head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. “[This incident will] not affect our relationship with the United States.”

Though the Marines have expressed that they will coordinate with Filipino authorities, LGBT rights groups have called for a temporary suspension of the Visiting Forces Agreement to ensure that Pemberton will be held accountable.

"We call for the immediate junking of the Visiting Forces Agreement,” the Bayan Queer Caucus intoned in a written statement. “[It has] been proven to not protect the rights of the Filipino people but are in favor of protecting the U.S. troops and its imperialist power."

The Associated Press adds:

LaudePolice suspect Pemberton may have been angered when he discovered in the motel room that Laude was a transgender individual or because of an argument sparked by other reasons.

Activists have held almost daily protests demanding that the U.S. hand over Pemberton to Philippine authorities and calling for the abolition of the Visiting Forces Agreement. The agreement allows U.S. forces to join large-scale combat exercises with Filipino troops and permits the U.S. to take custody of its soldiers who run afoul of Philippine laws.


Charice Talks Gender, Sexuality with Oprah: 'My Soul is Male' — VIDEO

Charice

Charice, a singer and actress (Sunshine Corazon on Glee) who rose to fame via YouTube and was the first Asian solo singer to land in the Billboard 200 Top ten album chart, made international headlines when she came out of the closet as a lesbian in 2013.

On a new episode of Oprah's Where Are They Now?, Charice talks more about coming out, saying she knew she was gay at age 6, and also talks about her gender identity:

"Basically my soul is a male. But I'm not going to go through that stage where I'm gonna change everything - not change my body. I would change like, this look, like cut my hair, and wear boy clothes, but that's all."

Charice has a prior relationship with Oprah, having debuted her 2010 single "Pyramid" on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Watch the interview along with an Oprah segment highlighting Charice's chance to sing with Celine Dion at Madison Square Garden in 2008, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Charice Talks Gender, Sexuality with Oprah: 'My Soul is Male' — VIDEO" »


Laverne Cox Talks New Show, Jenji Kohan, and 'Telling the T' on 'The View': VIDEO

Cox

Laverne Cox stopped by "The View" on Tuesday, gabbing with Rosie O'Donnell and Nicole Wallace. Tragically, Whoopi Goldberg wasn't there for this segment, so we didn't get another taste of their rapport.

For the most part, Cox spoke about her new project Logo documentary "The T Word." The doc follows the lives of young transgender people, who Cox points out face (on the whole) less adversity than you might have feared. Two of the show's castmembers were in attendance at "The View."

Cox also joked, defining the "T" in "T word," giving "trans" as a definition, but also pointing out the usage found among queens on "RuPaul's Drag Race." "T means truth," Cox said, with a laugh. "Trans folks started that by the way!" 

Cox talked her early days as an actress — working in independent film. She also talked her breakthrough — getting cast in "Orange is the New Black." Cox describes the serendipity of finding the show; in the early stages of casting Jenji Kohan had (jokingly) said: "We need to hire someone on this show, and ideally, they will have a twin brother." Along came Laverne and the rest is history.

Check out the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Laverne Cox Talks New Show, Jenji Kohan, and 'Telling the T' on 'The View': VIDEO" »


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