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NYC Councilman Corey Johnson Introduces Groundbreaking Transgender Birth Certificate Legislation

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A bill introduced yesterday by New York City councilman and LGBT rights activist Corey Johnson aims to change the law under which transgender people wishing to change sex on their birth certificate must prove that they have had “corrective surgery,” reports Capital New York.

The Department of Health will propose new regulations mirroring Johnson's legislation.

Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Tuesday that will make it easier for transgender Californians to obtain a birth certificate with sex and name alterations

New York City law currently requires anyone wishing to change their birth certificate to undergo surgery. However, under the proposed change, transgender people would only be required to provide a signed form from a physician, a doctoral level psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, licensed master social worker, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, marriage family therapist, mental health counsellor or a midwife.

According to advocates, although New York City in 1971 became the first municipality to permit changes to a birth certificate for transgender people, the policy has not been updated and now stands as too restrictive.

Johnson - a former political editor for Towleroad - said that the change is a human rights issue and is necessary “because transgender people currently do not have accurate documents to be able to access basic things like a driver's license that matches who they are.”

Michael Silverman, Executive Director of Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, said:

“We applaud both of these efforts to help transgender people born in New York City update their birth certificates to match who they truly are. These proposed policy changes reflect modern medical standards for transgender health care.

"A birth certificate is a fundamental form of identification. Yet New York City’s existing policy makes it all but impossible for transgender people to get birth certificates that reflect their true identities. It requires surgical procedures that most transgender people have not undergone, either because of discriminatory health insurance exclusions that make such procedures unaffordable, or because such procedures are medically inappropriate for some people.”


Ohio Gay Teen Crowned Homecoming Queen

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A high school in Lakewood, Ohio, has crowned a gay male student as homecoming queen, reports Cleveland.com.

Last September, a transgender student in Huntington Beach, California, was crowned homecoming queen. In August 2013, two out gay students in Illinois were named homecoming king and queen.

Instead of naming a traditional king and queen, Lakewood High School decided to crown three people after Cooper Robar won the race for homecoming queen. Also named as members of “royalty” were Tess Jones, who received the most votes among girls, and Xavier Pedro, who was elected king.

Cooper’s mother Wendy explained that what started out as a joke turned into a statement on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community:

"It was him being a goofball and saying wouldn't it be fun if he could be queen. I was pretty shocked [that we won]. I was surprised by the roaring of applause and the yelling for Cooper….We are very proud of him being able to stand up for himself and tell the world he is who he is and have no misgivings about it.”

She added that although Cooper is popular at school, she was surprised he didn't encounter any serious backlash from critics.

Lakewood Principal Keith Ahearn said there was nothing in the rules preventing a boy from running as queen and deciding to name three members of royalty was the fairest way to handle the situation.


MSNBC Profiles Trans Minister and Former Outserve_SLDN Director Allyson Robinson: VIDEO

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Allyson Robinson, the former executive director of Outserve_SLDN who became one fo the few openly trans pastors in the U.S. when she was ordained in July at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., is speaking out about her journey to personal and spiritual fulfilment in a new profile video for MSNBC.

Said Robinson:

What I see happening in the church today is a restoration of balance - and that radical welcome, those open arms being given, restored to their proper place in the expression of God's people in the world...if you want to know what the future of the kingdom of God on Earth lookls like, it looks like more of this. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "MSNBC Profiles Trans Minister and Former Outserve_SLDN Director Allyson Robinson: VIDEO" »


First Look at 'Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word' Spotlighting The Lives of Trans Youth: VIDEO

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Earlier this month, we told you about an upcoming documentary Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word - which chronicles the lives of seven youths from different backgrounds as they explore what it means to be trans-identified in America today. 

The film, part of MTV's Look Different campaign aimed at combating racial, gender, and LGBT bias, has released a first look that you can check out AFTER THE JUMP...

CoxSaid MTV and Logo TV president Stephen Friedman:

Laverne Cox has been a pioneer in bringing transgender issues and stories into the national spotlight, and we are proud to work with her on this new documentary. Every young person struggles to define their identity, but for transgender people that struggle is magnified. 'The T Word' shows how challenging it can be – and how inspiring it is when people discover themselves and truly live their authentic lives.

Following the documentary's premiere October 17, Laverne Cox will host a live "Trans Forum" to further discuss issues and questions surrounding the lives of transgender people. 

Continue reading "First Look at 'Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word' Spotlighting The Lives of Trans Youth: VIDEO " »


Hillsborough County, Florida Extends Non-Discrimination Protections To LGBT Citizens - VIDEO

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Florida’s Hillsborough County Commission voted Wednesday to extend its Human Rights Ordinance to protect LGBT citizens, reports The Tampa Tribune.

The ordinance prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations, real estate transactions and county contracting and procurement.

The unanimous 7-0 vote reverses a 1995 decision that removed gay people from the county’s protection ordinance.

Several speakers at the commission meeting opposed extending protections to LGBT citizens. One speaker referred to homosexality as a “disfunction” and suggested that to extend protections would lead to special rights for pedophiles.

The vote was a victory for Kevin Beckner, the county's first out gay commissioner, who had assembled a business coalition in support of the amended ordinance, making it easier for some of the more-conservative commissioners to vote yes.

Members of the coalition argued that a more inclusive and diverse community is also more prosperous and attractive to highly trained workers.

Terry Wolfe, a resident who spoke in favor of the ordinance, said that the vote “goes a long way toward creating a climate of equality” in the county.

Watch a report on the leadup to the vote, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hillsborough County, Florida Extends Non-Discrimination Protections To LGBT Citizens - VIDEO" »


California GOP Congressman Posts, Removes Image Insulting Transgender People

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Commenting on a bill allowing death certificates to reflect the expressed gender identity of the decedent, Devin Nunes [pictured below], a Republican representative for California’s 22nd District, has posted an image insulting to the transgender community on his official Congressional website, reports Queerlandia.

NunesThe post on Nunes’s blog, which appears to have since been deleted, included an image of Johnny Depp portraying the title character in Tim Burton’s biopic Ed Wood. Wood was an actor, writer, director and producer who is best known for his B-movies including “Glen or Glenda” and “Plan 9 From Outer Space.”

Wood was open about both cross dressing and his interest in drag.

According to Queerlandia, the image “does not reflect what transgender is, but is clearly an a snarky put-down of both a Democratic attempt to respect a group of citizens long treated poorly by society, and of that group itself.  Nunes should be ashamed.”


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