So they finally got their straight pride parade

By Heather McNamara

Since the dawn of pride parades, homophobes have been demanding to know “why isn’t there a STRAIGHT pride parade, huh?” Many patient queers have articulated far better answers to that question than I ever could. Personally, I prefer just to respond with “Fuck off.” At least as far as I have always been concerned, it isn’t important how we respond anyway. The question has always been a mixture of an empty threat and a poorly laid trap intended to make some kind of point about how they, too, experience discrimination from queer people and we should all just “be equal” (read: shut up and get back in the closet so they would no longer have to acknowledge our presence). And for a long time anyway, it was an empty threat. At least until John Hugo, Mark Sahady, and Chris Bartley set out this past June to make all of our nightmares come true. Continue reading “So they finally got their straight pride parade”

Scraping the bottom of the transphobia barrel: Daily Mail fearmongers about trans-inclusive safer sex advice

The British press often seems to have an insatiable need to find the next big thing to get upset about regarding trans people – and what could be a more sensational topic than having sex with us? This month, the Daily Mail decided it was necessary to express pretend bafflement at NHS safer sex guidance for lesbian women. What’s the issue? Well, the materials outrageously acknowledged that not all lesbians are cis: Continue reading “Scraping the bottom of the transphobia barrel: Daily Mail fearmongers about trans-inclusive safer sex advice”

WHO Reclassifies Trans People: From Mental Disorder to Sexual Health

By Penny Robo

When it comes to medical care, trans people have long been trapped between a rock and a hard place: the same mental health classifications that have been used to stigmatize us has also been our point of access to health services. The American Psychiatric Association used to have us classified as having “gender identity disorder”, changed it to “gender dysphoria” with the release of the DSM-5 to alleviate negative connotations but stopped short of declassification for a very simple reason: removing us from the DSM could be used as grounds for halting treatment.

This week, the World Health Organization made a move to further destigmatize by not simply renaming the diagnosis to “gender incongruence” (which I must admit sounds pretty slick, like the kind of forced slang you’d find in old sci-fi short stories, though to say it seems lightweight compared to the reality of it all is an understatement) but also moving it from the mental disorders category over to the sexual health section. Continue reading “WHO Reclassifies Trans People: From Mental Disorder to Sexual Health”

Colorado Signs Pro-Trans Bills Into Law

By Penny Robo

Two pieces of LGBT-friendly legislation were introduced in Colorado. Today, Governor Jared Polis signed them into law.

The first is a ban on conversion therapy: HB19-1129 prevents health care providers from forcing the awful, abusive practice on minors, and, obviously, provides a roadblock for parents looking to subject their children to it. Maine signed a similar bill into law earlier this month, making Colorado the 18th such state to do so. Continue reading “Colorado Signs Pro-Trans Bills Into Law”

Yes, the shirt is real

By Penny Robo

The Trump Administration has gone full bore on anti-LGBT initiatives, and trans people are feeling the bulk of it. Beyond the recent installation of a new version of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that specifically targets trans members of the military (for literally no reason), a slew of new efforts are also taking shape. A recently unveiled HUD proposal says that state-funded shelters should be permitted to deny entry to trans people. The language is a bit more obtuse, but it’s clear enough, as seen below (emphasis mine):

This proposed rule provides that grant recipients, subrecipients, owners, operators, managers, and providers (Shelter Providers) under HUD programs which permit single-sex or sex-segregated facilities (such as bathrooms or temporary, emergency shelters and other buildings and facilities with physical limitations or configurations that require and are permitted to have shared sleeping quarters or bathing facilities) may establish a policy, consistent with state and local law, by which such Shelter Provider considers an individual’s sex for the purposes of determining accommodation within such shelters and for purposes of determining sex for admission to any facility or portion thereof. The proposed rule permits Shelter Providers to consider a range of factors in making such determinations, including privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs, any relevant considerations under civil rights and nondiscrimination authorities , the individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents, as well as the gender which a person identifies with. The proposed rule does not dictate a required basis for making determinations other than that they be consistent with an overall policy.

The final line is the icing on the cake… Continue reading “Yes, the shirt is real”