"Trans folks have been saying for a long time that in order to be seen, we need to be counted. Now, people can look back at their own high schools and see that out of 50 of their classmates — the kids that they played soccer with, the kids that they sat with at lunch, the kids in their algebra class — at least one is trans."
New York state added gender identity and gender expression to the state's anti-discrimination law Friday, making it illegal to deny people a job, housing, education or public accommodations because they are transgender.
Angela Ponce will become the first ever transgender women to compete in Miss Universe later this year after being crowned Miss Universe Spain, six years after the organisation finally ended a ban on transgender contestants competing
Have you seen this? It's causing quite a stir this pride season. Philly launched an addition to the iconic pride flag and the world is going crazy trying to figure out how they feel about it.
Amber Hikes, director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, further explained, “We’re proud to host this celebration for the community to come together not just for Pride, but also to reinforce our strides towards combatting discrimination within our community, honor the lives of our black and brown LGBTQ siblings, and uplift our shared commitment to diversity and inclusion within our community.”
You can find out more about the flag on the website. "In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag. An iconic symbol of LGBTQ+ unity. So much has happened since then. A lot of good, but there’s more we can do. Especially when it comes to recognizing people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. To fuel this important conversation, we’ve expanded the colors of the flag to include black and brown. It may seem like a small step. But together we can make big strides toward a truly inclusive community."
Podcasts are in full bloom this season. Many of these downloadable programs frequently tell feature stories about transgender people. Have you missed any of these?
Radiolab: The Gondolier
We travel to Venice, Italy with reporters Kristen Clark and David Conrad, where they meet gondolier Alex Hai. On the winding canals in the most hidden parts of Venice, we learn about the nearly millennia old tradition of the Venetian Gondolier, and how Alex was forced into a 20 year battle against this job that he loved, and, in some ways, himself.
Death, Sex and Money: A Prison Guard In Transition
Mandi Hauwert thought coming out as a transgender woman while working as a guard at California's San Quentin State Prison would be "insane." She did it anyway. Find out more at Deathsexmoney.org.
Nancy, the new podcast on WNYC
BFFs Kathy Tu and Tobin Low are super queer, super fun and ready to take over your podcast feed. Join them for provocative stories and frank conversations about the LGBTQ experience today. Because everyone’s a little bit gay…
Being Emily by Rachel Gold
They say that whoever you are it’s okay, you were born that way. Those words don’t comfort Emily, because she was born Christopher and her insides know that her outsides are all wrong.
They say that it gets better, be who are you and it’ll be fine. For Emily, telling her parents who she really is means a therapist who insists Christopher is normal and Emily is sick. Telling her girlfriend means lectures about how God doesn’t make that kind of mistake.
Emily desperately wants high school in her small Minnesota town to get better. She wants to be the woman she knows is inside, but it’s not until a substitute therapist and a girl named Natalie come into her life that she believes she has a chance of actually Being Emily.
A story for anyone who has ever felt that the inside and outside don’t match and no one else will understand…
Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristin Cronn-Mills
This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. Im Gabe. Welcome to my show."" My birth name is Elizabeth, but Im a guy. Gabe. My parents think Ive gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know Im right. Ive been a boy my whole life. When you think about it, Im like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B sidenot heard as often, but just as good. Its time to let my B side play. Winner of the 2014 Stonewall Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. Praise:Every so often a book comes along that is so sharp, so moving, so real, and so good, you want to press it into everyones hands and say, Read this! READ THIS!Courtney Summers, author of Cracked Up to Be and This is Not a Test.
Whipping Girl by Julia Serano
A provocative manifesto, Whipping Girl tells the powerful story of Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely intelligent writing reflects her diverse background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist. Serano shares her experiences and observations—both pre- and post-transition—to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole.
Serano's well-honed arguments stem from her ability to bridge the gap between the often-disparate biological and social perspectives on gender. She exposes how deep-rooted the cultural belief is that femininity is frivolous, weak, and passive, and how this “feminine” weakness exists only to attract and appease male desire.
In addition to debunking popular misconceptions about transsexuality, Serano makes the case that today's feminists and transgender activist must work to embrace and empower femininity—in all of its wondrous forms.
Dan Savage raised over $100,000 from 5,000 people by selling t-shirts, pins and hats that read "Impeach the Motherfucker Already" or ITMFA.
"We're in for a long and ugly four years, readers. Let's raise some money for groups fighting Trump, let's bring ITMFA back into our everyday vocabulary, and let's remember that we -- people who voted against Trump, people who want to see him out of office as quickly as possible, people who are appalled by this andthis and this and this—are the majority.” — Dan Savage
And Dan is right. In his first 100 days CNN reports that "One hundred days of Trump translates into 100 days of erasure for the LGBTQ community," said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of advocacy group GLAAD. "From the census exclusion, to rescinding Obama's guidance for trans youth in schools, and lack of any LGBTQ mentions on the White House website, he has spent the early days of his administration trying to remove us from the very fabric of this country, and we must resist."
And what next? The religious liberty law pushed by the conservative Christian right is looming ever closer. A Huffington Post commentator writes, "Trump removed Eric Fanning as Army Secretary, appointed by President Obama and the first openly gay Army Secretary in history, and has now nominated an anti-LGBTQ Tennessee legislator, Mark Green, to the job ― a man who sponsored a bill allowing discrimination against LGBTQ people and who has called transgender people 'evil.”' Read the rest here.
Henry McGregor Sias is a transgender attorney running for Court of Common Pleas judge here in Philadelphia. "To have the city look at me as an out trans guy and elect me would send the message that trans people are a part of our community and have a lot to contribute," Sias said in an interview with Phily.com. You can read the full interview here.
Henry Sias would be the first out trans judge in Philadelphia. On April 28th he was recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association for the Court of Common Pleas. In an interview with Phillymag.com he talked about the landscape for LGBTQ people.
"As an out trans attorney, I think Philadelphia is improving on its handling of LGBTQ issues, but there is always room for more growth! I’m excited about the Mayor’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. There are so many wonderful people in that group, and I can’t wait to see what they do when they combine their talents. The citizens of Philadelphia themselves have been very kind to me, overall, especially given that I was approaching them with clipboard and pen on random street corners of the city during the petition period (and we all know how much people love being approached with a clipboard and pen!). I was warmly received by so many Philadelphians while I was loudly outing myself as trans, and that will be a great memory from the campaign trail that I keep throughout my life.
"Sometimes people in government lead, and that’s when they are at their best, and sometimes they are caught flat-footed and go into reaction mode. What happens then is seldom as satisfying and workable in the long-term. I think the Commission on LGBTQ Affairs puts the city in a good position to lead rather than react, and I am also enthusiastic about seeing Amber Hikes’s vision for her office. I love that Amber Hikes and Sharron Cooks are leading a “Pop-Up Love Party” to counter the trans deniers that are taking their ignorance on the road and possibly bringing it to Philly this weekend." Read the full interview here.
Janet Mock is BACK and with a brand new book to knock us off our feet. Set to launch in June Janet's book "Surpassing Certainty" is available for pre-order on Amazon and boy are we ready to read it!
A few months before her twentieth birthday, Janet Mock is adjusting to life at the University of Hawaii and finally content in her own body. It’s here that she experiences her first love story—an infatuation with Troy, a yeoman stationed at Pearl Harbor Naval Base. With Troy, she experiences several incredible firsts: he becomes the first person to whom she truly opens up, the first person to witness her embrace her natural hair, and the first person to provide for her in ways that her parents failed to do. The pleasures and perils of their union as they navigate disclosure, infidelity, and distance serve as a backdrop for Janet’s progression—her stint as a stripper, her first-generation college experience, her move to New York, and her start in journalism.
Surpassing Certainty is a riveting, rousing, and real portrait of a young woman before she became one of the world’s most respected voices in media and lauded leaders in feminism, social justice, and LGBT rights. If you are currently on your own journey towards self-discovery, Surpassing Certainty will embolden you to seek your voice, purpose, and place as you witness Janet exploring the unknown, making mistakes, learning from them, and eventually finding her place in the world.
For trans Christians there is good news. There is now a bible app pending approval that will be available to LGBT Christians world wide. Our Bible App is uplifting believers of all stripes and is branding itself as offering devotionals for the outsiders. Coming June 2017 Our Bible App will offer devotionals for queer people, bible translations that are gender queer affirming, a community of chat users around the world, the ability to make friends and include Facebook friends, the list goes on! Find out more about Our Bible App today.