Minnesota Mom is Just… Terrible. Really Awful.

By Penny Robo

Already self-sufficient for years due to parents dealing with substance abuse issues, 13 year old “EJK” came out to her parents as gay, triggering a wave of verbal and physical abuse. Her mother permitted her to live with her biological father at 15, but he was soon incarcerated and, rather than returning to her mother, lived with friends and her grandmother, all while attending school and starting to work, eventually moving into her own apartment by 16. After more than 6 months without any contact with her mother, and considering the ongoing circumstances of her life (including her demonstrated self-sufficiency) she was considered for all intents and purposes to be an adult and in charge of her own medical decisions.

One of her first decisions was to begin hormone replacement therapy. Continue reading “Minnesota Mom is Just… Terrible. Really Awful.”

North Carolina takes another step in walking back their “bathroom bill”

By Penny Robo

North Carolina no longer requiring trans people to amend birth certificates to use public restrooms matching identity.

2016’s HB2 , North Carolina’s infamous “bathroom bill,” was far from a success. A mass (and very public) exodus of prominent entities ranging from the NBA to PayPal to Adidas (and even Ringo Starr) followed in the wake of HB 2’s passing, which prevented trans people from using the appropriate public restroom accommodations, and suits were immediately filed challenging the validity of such a law. Through considerable public shaming and legal efforts, HB 2 was officially dead not long after its birth, but elements of it were never fully repealed by its official replacement, HB 142, which left sufficient ambiguity to continue affecting trans people in their everyday lives. Continue reading “North Carolina takes another step in walking back their “bathroom bill””

Evidence of increases in homophobic bullying linked to anti-gay political measures

Referenda against marriage equality, and the accompanying public debates which inevitably surround them for months or years, have been among the ugliest episodes in American politics. In the heyday of these measures, campaigners against marriage equality routinely promoted some of the most brazenly scaremongering political ads, events, and materials, crafted to stir up significant public hostility against any recognition of the legal equality of same-sex couples. These campaigns attempted to convince voters that if marriage equality were not stopped at the ballot box, all manner of terrible fates would befall not only them but their children as well, evoking the perennial libel of gay people as an inherent threat to kids. Continue reading “Evidence of increases in homophobic bullying linked to anti-gay political measures”

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”