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ACLU to Sue Military If Chelsea Manning Isn't Given Appropriate Medical Treatment

Manning

ACLU lawyers for convicted Wikileaker Chelsea Manning have announced they will sue the military if the Army fails to provide Manning with appropriate medical treatment by September 4. 

Buzzfeed reports:

“Our constitution requires that the government provide medically necessary care to the individuals it holds in its custody,” Chase Strangio, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, said in a statement. “It is cruel and unusual punishment to withhold from Ms. Manning the care that the military’s own doctors have deemed medically necessary. The Army is withholding her care for political reasons, which is simply not permitted by our Constitution.”

In a letter dated Aug. 11, Manning’s lawyers note “[t]he Army’s continued indifference to Ms. Manning’s serious medical need for treatment, despite the recommendations of the Army’s own medical providers.”

Last month, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Manning would receive "rudimentary treatment" for her gender transition. 


Orlando Bans Anti-Trans Discrimination

Orlando City Council

This is some wonderful news, especially out of a place as unexpected as Florida. The Orlando City Council gave its final approval this past Monday to ban discrimination against transfolk, thus placing gender identity in the realm of protected classes alongside race, religion, and orientation. The ban means that someone who identifies as trans may not be denied employment or promotions, public accommodations, service, or prevented from buying or renting a home because of their gender identity. The ordinance was unanimously approved and about ten supporters showed up to speak in favor of the ordinance, while - shockingly (again, this is Florida) - no one spoke up in dissent. Said Mayor Buddy Dyer:

We've gotten to the point where we can do — with very little controversy — things we ought to be doing, so I'm very proud of that.


Nine-Year-Old Transgender Girl in Reno Declares Her Identity: VIDEO

Cee cee ott

Nevada Pride in Reno last Saturday gave nine-year-old transgender girl Cee Cee Ott a chance to express who she really is, reports KOLO TV.

Speaking to KOLO TV, Cee Cee said:

"I wanted to be a girl [when I was around three years old], but I couldn't because at the time I was a boy, so I had to be there and dress up like a boy. It was miserable."

After kindergarten, Cee Cee’s parents home-schooled her until they could decide what they needed to do to make her feel safe.

Nicole Ott, Cee Cee’s parent, says "we want our children to be happy and to be themselves and that's all we care about. We're not trying to make anyone be anything other than allowing them the space to figure out who they are and what they want from the world."

Cee Cee, who starts public school again in the fall, now aspires to be a transgender reassignment surgeon so that she can help other people like her.

Watch a KOLO TV interview with Cee Cee, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Colombian Transgender Women Form Soccer Club To Combat Transphobia: VIDEO

Colombian trans football team

A group of trans women in Colombia have decided to combat transphobia by forming an all-trans football club.

Mariana, who was crowned Ms. Trans last year, says “with the World Cup, we are honouring and are proud of Colombia. We are trans, but we are still Colombians, and we want to be involved in Colombian society.”

Another team member adds, “We hope there will be acceptance from the community with our game. There is a tendency to fear what you don’t understand. This is a way for people to get to know us.”

Watch the Vocativ report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Model Andreja Pejić Comes Out As Trans Woman

In a new interview with People magazine, model Andrej Pejić revealed that she is transgender. In the piece, Pejić says she began the transition process earlier this year and that she'll now go by the name Andreja.

969783_646605498683538_1707083999_nShe tells People:

"I want to share my story with the world because I think I have a social responsibility," Pejic, 22, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "I hope that by being open about this, it becomes less of an issue...I always dreamt of being a girl," explains the Serbian-born model. "One of my earliest memories is spinning around in my mom's skirt trying to look like a ballerina."

Pejić continues:

..."about a year and a half ago, I reevaluated things," says Pejic. "I was proud of my gender nonconforming career. But my biggest dream was to be comfortable in my own body. I have to be true to myself and the career is just going to have to fit around that."

In another interview with Style.com, she talks about her childhood.

...I went on sort of a boyhood campaign from age 9 to about 13. I tried to be a “normal” boy because I felt like my options were either to be a gay boy or a straight boy. I didn’t feel that I was gay, so I didn’t know that there were any other options until the age of 13, when I went online and discovered that there’s a whole community of trans people out there. There are doctors, there’s medical care, there’s research, and that was an eye-opener for me. From that day on, I knew what I had to do.

PejicPejić also posted a message (and the selfie to the right) to her fans on Facebook.

I think we all evolve as we get older and that's normal but I like to think that my recent transition hasn't made me into a different individual. Same person, no difference at all just a different sex  I hope you can all understand that. I would also like to to reach out to all young gender non-conforming youth out there: I know it's hard, I've been there, but remember it’s your right to be accepted as what you identify with---you deserve the same respect as any other human being on this planet. As a transgender woman I hope to show that after transition (a life-saving process) one can be happy and successful in their new chapter without having to alienate their past. Most importantly differences should not equal divisions, let's all stand together in union.

She tells GLAAD:

To all trans youth out there, I would like to say respect yourself and be proud of who you are. All human beings deserve equal treatment no matter their gender identity or sexuality. To be perceived as what you say you are is a basic human right.

Pejić has already received words of support from many members of the LGBT community including Laverne Cox.


Maryland To Provide Trans Health Coverage

As a result of a settlement to a legal claim filed on behalf of Sailor Holobaugh, the state of Maryland will now provide nondiscriminatory health coverage for its transgender employees. Holobaugh, a transgender man and neurological clinical research assistant at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, filed a lawsuit against the State with the help of FreeState Legal after being denied a medically necessary breast removal.

1280px-Flag_of_Maryland.svgAccording to FreeState Legal the denial of Holobaugh’s surgery resulted in language within Maryland state law allowed for the exclusion of coverage “for any ‘procedure or treatment designed to alter an individual’s physical characteristics to those of the opposite sex.’”

Maryland, in response to the lawsuit, not only removed the explicitly discriminatory provision from the books but also added a “gender dysphoria benefit” designed to cover the cost of hormones and certain medically necessary surgeries.

"This is basically a fabulous shift in policy," Holobaugh told the Baltimore Sun. "I think this will affect a large number of people, especially now that children can stay on their parents' plan until age 26 under the Affordable Care Act.”

Maryland is the third state in the country, following Oregon and California, to provide nondiscriminatory health coverage to its employees, but Maryland’s fight for trans-equality is far from finished, says Jer Welter, Managing Attorney of FreeState Legal:

“[T]here is still work to be done, including the elimination of similar transition-related care exclusions in the Maryland Medical Assistance (Medicaid) program and in policies issued by private insurers regulated by the Maryland Insurance Administration. FreeState Legal will continue to work diligently on these issues to further ensure that equal and fair health care coverage is a staple for all LGBTQ Marylanders.”

Read FreeState Legal's full press release AFTER THE JUMP...

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