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04/19/2007


Arkansas Transwoman Fired For Using Women's Restroom: VIDEO

Kaye Bowens

Kaye Bowens of Star City, Arkansas claims she was fired from her job at McDonald's for using the women's restroom. Bowens is transgender, a fact that she was up front with from the very beginning of her employment, and had been using the women's room for three months without issue. Then one day two weeks ago a shift manager confronted her about it, and the next day Bowens was called into the general manager's office and fired. 

Bowens threatened with a lawsuit and was offered her job back, but only on the condition that she used the men's room going forward. The franchise owner Michael Retzer issued the following statement about the incident:

We believe in the value of a diverse workforce, equal opportunity and a workplace free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment.  As such, we continue to do our best to meet the needs of our employees and customers, and we are reviewing this situation carefully. It is important for us to share that the employee in question is a current employee and has not been terminated. We have asked the employee to discuss this issue with us, but we have not received a response.

Bowens in the meantime has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and is considering hiring a lawyer. You can watch a news interview with Bowens AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Arkansas Transwoman Fired For Using Women's Restroom: VIDEO" »


Selena Tribute Event Tells Transgender Performer to Get Lost: VIDEO

Honey_andrews

Corpus Christi transwoman Honey Andrews was recently told that she could not perform at a Texas event commemorating the Tejano star Selena because “Nobody wants to see a male person dress up like a girl.”

Andrews has performed at the annual commemoration for the past three years and was planning on doing the same this year until she received the above message from event coordinator, Mario Gomez.

”I had to read it like three times to so I could even get it through. You know?” Andrews told her local CBS affiliate. “I am over here trying to do something good. Do something for Selena. I am sure she would not approve of [discriminatory messages] like that.”

Gomez has since backpeddled (while continuing to mis-gender Andrews) telling CBS news, “I was just uh letting him know that people were complaining to me that you know that they didn't want to see someone dressed up as a female. A male dressed up as a female singing.”

Even though Gomez has since invited to perform at his event, Andrews has declined, saying she has plans to perform elsewhere.

Watch the KZTV report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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ABC News Interviews Chloie Jonsson, Trans Woman Suing Crossfit for Millions: VIDEO

Abc_jonnson

JonnsonLast week we reported on Chloie Jonsson (right), a transgender woman from California who is suing Crossfit, the fitness enterprise, because they would not allow her to compete in the women's division at an annual competition.

Jonsson has filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against Crossfit.

ABC News anchor Dan Kloeffler interviewed Chloie, as well as her lawyer, discussing her newfound (and unappreciated) notoriety, the future of her participation in Crossfit, and the next steps in her lawsuit.

Watch the news coverage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "ABC News Interviews Chloie Jonsson, Trans Woman Suing Crossfit for Millions: VIDEO" »


Panel Recommends Obama Lift Transgender Military Service Ban

An independent panel convened by a think tank at San Francisco State University and led by former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders (pictured) and Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, recommends lifting the current ban on transgender service members and says Obama could lift it without congressional approval, the AP reports:

EldersThe report said Department of Defense regulations designed to keep transgender people from joining or remaining in the military on the grounds of psychological and physical unfitness are based on outdated beliefs that require thousands of current service members either to leave the service or to forego the medical procedures and other changes that could align their bodies and gender identities.

"We determined not only that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban, but also that the ban itself is an expensive, damaging and unfair barrier to health care access for the approximately 15,450 transgender personnel who serve currently in the active, Guard and reserve components," said the commission...

Thee report from the commission is to be released today.

The commission argued that facilitating gender transitions "would place almost no burden on the military," adding that a relatively small number of active and reserve service members would elect to undergo transition-related surgeries and that only a fraction might suffer complications that would prevent them from serving. It estimated that 230 transgender people a year would seek such surgery at an average cost of about $30,000.

A Defense Department spokesman told the AP there are no current plans to change the department's policy.


Lebanese Court Ruling Invalidates Law Criminalizing Gay Sex

A court case in Jdeideh, Lebanon has invalidated Article 534, a law which criminalizes "unnatural sexual intercourse," and is being heralded as a major step toward equal rights for LGBT persons. Judge Naji al-Dahdah ruled that the law did not provide clear interpretation for this case, which involved a sexual relationship between a transgender woman and a male lover.  

LebanonThe Daily Star reports:

“It’s a big step; it shows we’re moving in the right direction,” said Georges Azzi, a prominent activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights who is also the co-founder of Helem, a Lebanese group that has long been campaigning to change the law.

“The more we have decisions like this the more Article 534 becomes irrelevant,” Azzi told The Daily Star. “Any legal change takes a lot of time but at least this article might stop being used to persecute gay and transgender people in Lebanon.”

A prior ruling, from December 2009, argued that sex between two people of the same gender is another extension of man's nature and therefore cannot be prosecuted. This new case was complicated by the involvement of transgender politics, but LGBT rights activists are pleased with the outcome.

In his final ruling, Dahdah said that a person’s gender should not simply be based on their personal status registry document, but also on their outward physical appearance and self-perception.

“Dahdah is not someone that we know is particularly involved in these issues,” said Azzi. “He’s not part of the circle of activists, lawyers and judges [who campaign for gay rights], which makes his decision even more impressive.”

Azzi nonetheless insisted there was still much to do. “On the judges front we are making huge steps. Now we need to change the attitude of the police and security forces,” he said.


California Trans Student Recants Claim of Sexual Assault in School Bathroom: VIDEO

Hercules

A California transgender teen who was taken to a hospital Monday after telling school officials he was forced into the handicapped stall in the school bathroom and physically and sexually assaulted by three fellow students, told a police detective he made up the story, the AP reports.

BoysroomThe Contra Costa Times reported on the attack Monday, saying that "a 15-year-old transgender male student told police he was leaving the bathroom in the 300 building at around 11 a.m. when the three suspects pushed him inside a bathroom stall and physically and sexually assaulted him."

The paper also reported that no suspects had been identified or arrested.

Now the AP is reporting that the student confessed to making up the story:

Officers took his statement and opened an investigation that included a sexual assault examination. But as the investigation continued, officers could not substantiate the facts of the boy's statement, including the time frame, and the he lacked any physical injuries to his head, face and hands, police said.

The student finally admitted he had made up the story during the follow-up interview with a detective Tuesday, Van Putten said. She would not speculate on why he had lied.

"We investigated this thing as a true crime. We went at it full force until we found out there was no crime," Van Putten said. "So people should know if they believe they are a victim of a crime, we are going to give them our full attention."

The teen could possibly be charged by police with making a false report but the school has no plans to punish the student and says he clearly needs assistance of some sort.

Said the school spokesman: "We recognize that life is complicated, and at the end of the day this is a request for help."

The Transgender Law Center, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the RYSE Center and the Rainbow Community Center released an updated statement in response to the incident and false claims:

In light of recent reports, our hearts continue to go out to the youth and his family. We take very seriously every story about any student not being safe and supported. We understand violence and issues of safety are pervasive problems in West Contra Costa Unified School District, and we share the district’s stated goal of ensuring all students are able to learn and thrive in a safe, compassionate, and welcoming environment. We continue our strong commitment to all students, and our open invitation to partner with the district to create a positive school environment remains.

The student identifies as male and has the right to use the bathroom under the trans student rights law signed by Governor Jerry Brown last August which was the subject of recent failed efforts to have it repealed.

Watch CBS San Francisco's original report on the assault (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

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