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Fri May 01, 2015 at 04:07 PM PDT

Hallmark jerks tears for Mother's Day

by rserven

Reposted from Robyn's Perch by rserven

 photo Alex_zpssd4tc1kx.jpgHallmark has a new campaign for Mother's Day, #PutYourHeartToPaper

Alex, a transgender man, begins with this:

My mom is the most light, bright, positive person I have ever met in my life, and that's just how she's always been.

When she hugs me, she really hugs me. And when you get a good hug, that is something that makes you feel safe and loved and she's the only one that has that effect on me.

I've never felt [at] home in my body, and even though I was born a girl, I always felt like I was a boy.  And I was afraid to tell her because I thought love would have conditions.

And the unconditional love that she's shown has made me a better person in all of my relationships.

The video is on the other side.
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Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 04:18 PM PDT

Data diving at Pew

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

Apparently Pew Research Center didn't want to be left behind in the transgender race, so Sara Kehaulani Goo dug up a survey from 2013 and spelunked in the data contained therein.

The online survey interviewed 1197 self-identified LGBT adults, of which 43 identified as transgender (3.6%).  Forty percent of respondents identified as bisexual, 33.2% identified as gay men, and 23.1% were lesbians.

As often happens, all transgender respondents were apparently excluding from the other groups, under the apparent assumption that transgender people do not have sexual orientations (actually, a footnote acknowledges that transgender people might also be gay or lesbian).

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Tue Apr 28, 2015 at 05:15 PM PDT


by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

One thing the Bruce Jenner interview accomplished for the transgender community that we can point to as perhaps most important was bringing our plight to the forefront of local awareness.

Across the nation local news media determined that they needed to suplement the interview with local interest.

And I can't speak for anyone else, but I've had about a dozen people from past communities in which I have lived ask to friend me on Facebook...mostly people I've either forgotten or never knew in the first place.

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Sat Apr 25, 2015 at 01:07 PM PDT

The morning after

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

The Interview last night was...not a disaster.  There was some doubt about that running up to the occasion.

But Bruce did okay, for the most part.  I mean, I could have written some o the words she used.  In fact, I did write some of them, as you could find in my autobiographical pieces I shared over the first ten weeks of this year.

I'm not claiming that Jenner used my writings inappropriately...or even that she read them.  It is the case that many of us transgender people analyze the experience and progression of our lives in similar ways, so it is not surprising that we might use some of the same words.

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Fri Apr 24, 2015 at 02:13 PM PDT

That Transjenner moment

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

(Re:  the title

I swear, I couldn't help myself.  We all know someone was going to use it.  I just thought I'd avoid the rush.

It's a play on the CNN story from yesterday, America's transgender moment.)

The LA Times put the following byte under their lead photo:

Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer will be so widely watched Friday night it could prove a tipping point, further normalizing Americans' perceptions of the nation's transgender population.
Or, you know, not.  It could also be a huge disaster for us public-relations-wise.
 photo cardassian_zps602gqsbd.jpg
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Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 05:35 PM PDT

Persistence, Consistence and Insistence

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

 photo Jacob_zpsyjl3u7rj.jpgBackground

NBC has allotted time the last couple of nights to the subject of transgender children.  On Tuesday, Kate Snow reported about Jacob Lemay.

No matter what, I'm in his corner...and I love him, and I always will.

--Mimi Lemay

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Wed Apr 22, 2015 at 04:52 PM PDT

Survey Says: Visibility Matters

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

 photo VisibilityMatters_blog263_2_zpsd4w0hmxm.pngThe Human Rights Campaign (HRC) commissioned Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research to survey likely voters about their knowledge of and attitude toward transgender people.

In 2013 the Public Religion Research Institute reported that 9% of Americans reported having a close friend or family member who was transgender.  Last year, an HRC survey revealed that 17% of respondents either personally knew or worked with someone who was transgender.  This year that latter number is up 5 points to 22%.

What’s important is that the number of Americans who know someone who is transgender is growing rapidly. And what’s equally important, those who do know a transgender person are much more likely to have a positive impression of transgender Americans. This is consistent with our survey research on marriage equality and other LGBT issues, which has consistently found that it is important for LGBT people to share their personal stories. We asked if likely voters “personally know or work with someone who is transgender.” For those who responded to our survey saying they “personally know or work with someone who is transgender,” their favorability for “transgender people” is 66 percent,  with 13 percent unfavorable. That’s a favorability a net of +53 percentage points. Compare that to those who said they  “do not” personally know or work with a transgender person. The rating for those who don’t is 37 favorable, 30 unfavorable, a net of only +7. (The margin of error for this survey subgroup is 6.67 percent).
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Reposted from TransAction by rserven

 photo aydian_zpsffnfholk.jpgAydian Dowling is a transman, originally from New York, but now living in Eugene, OR.  Aydian is set to be the first transgender man to grace the cover of Men's Health magazine by winning their Ultimate Guy contest.

While the ultimate decision is made by a panel of judges, Aydian has a substantial lead with 48732 total votes in the Reader's Choice portion of the competition, compared to the second place contestant, who currently has 10070.

The contest advertises, "Our judges are looking for a guy who is fit and fearless, a doer who gives back and leads by example."

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Reposted from TransAction by rserven

A group calling itself the Privacy for All coalition has filed what they call the Personal Privacy Protection Act for consideration as a ballot initiative in California.  The PPPA is indeed all about the P (as in pee).

It would require that:

a person shall use facilities in accordance with their biological sex in all government buildings
.  Without using the word transgender, the PPPA seeks to remove the right of transgender people to actually identify as such by defining "biological sex" as "the biological condition of being male or female as determined at or near the time of birth or through medical examination."

As the mechanism to enforce this the Act would create a civil claim against any individual who seeks to use  facility in accordance with their gender identity rather than their biological well as any government entity that allows that to happen.

Such claim includes equitable relief and damages up to a maximum of three times the amount of actual damage but in no case less than $4,000, and attorney’s fees that may be determined by a court
Yes, you should read the word "bounty" there.
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Fri Apr 10, 2015 at 04:40 PM PDT

Not Newsworthy

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

Media Matters has studied the network and cable news coverage of transgender issues for the first two months of this year.

Anyone want to guess what they discovered?

Network news spent 19 minutes and 19 seconds on transgender issues (ABC = 2:06, CBS 10:48, NBC = 6:25).  ABC decided transgender issues were worthy of no more than one segment in that two month period. Almost half of the CBS coverage concerned the phenomenon on Amazon's Transparent.

The Cable news outlets, were marginally better, spending one hour, 58 minutes, and 57 seconds (CNN = 46:20, MSNBC = 61:20, FOX = 11:17)

Media Matters reports that nearly half of the MSNBC coverage occurred during Ronan Farrow Daily (in excess of 29 minutes), which was cancelled at the end of February.

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Reposted from TransAction by rserven

Michael Stipe and Elton John issued a joint statement yesterday condemning the treatment of transgender prisoners in the state of Georgia.

Transgender women in male prisons have an equal right to protection from violence and abuse in prison, yet they continue to face horrific injustices

The musicians referred to both the situation of Ashley Diamond, linked above, and that of Zahara Green, who was forced to perform oral sex on a prisoner at Rogers State Prison in 2012.  When Ms. Green complained, she was placed in protective the same cell as her abuser.  There she was raped repeatedly for 14 hours before a guard came to check on the situation.

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Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 04:12 PM PDT

An Enlightened Mayor

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

 photo betsy-hodgesweb-817x404_c_zps4xiso5n8.jpgLast Thursday Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges gave the 2015 State of the City Address at the American Swedish Institute.

She demonstrated what a progressive mayor can be.

I intended to put the video of the speech across the fold, since it is nearly an hour long, but it fails to embed.  It is available at The  I suggest listening to the whole of it when you have time.  Climate change, equal opportunity regardless of race, parental leave, mass transit, living wage, paid sick leave, strengthening'a all there.

Personally I want to zero in on the last approximately six minutes.

At 42:30 in Mayor Hodges' speech, she says:

Recently, a person very dear to me let me know she was a transgender woman. My first response? Congratulations, and how great! The ability to know who she is and live as herself is a wonderful thing and worthy of celebration.

Now all of us must work together to make that truth real everywhere she goes.

Last year saw history made in our state and in the city of Minneapolis. I was so proud of the Minnesota state high school league when they voted overwhelmingly in December to make sure transgender athletes could play and participate as their lived gender. We at the city convened the first Transgender Issues Work Group, tasked with examining and recommending policy for the City enterprise and the city as a whole. They also hosted the city’s first-ever Trans Summit, bringing together community members, community organizations, City departments, and overall community resources to take the next steps toward community-generated policy change. I was proud to be part of it. Much love and credit to Andrea Jenkins, whose dedication and activism made it possible; I wish her well in her new role as the new and first ever oral historian for the Transgender Project at the University of Minnesota Libraries.

The 2015 horizon is bright as the next generation of city policy begins to take shape. This work is needed. Transgender people experience some of the worst levels of violent crime, hate crime, discrimination in the workplace and in public, stereotypes, and ignorance of any group in this country or in the world. Here in Minnesota, 77% of transgender people report experiencing harassment on the job. 27% of transgender kids in school report being assaulted. Most damning, 43% of the trans people surveyed reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population.

What can any one of us do in the face of this data? In our interactions with transgender people — frankly, as in our interactions with anyone — we must start with love and with celebration. We must start with the knowledge that being who you are in this world is to be celebrated. We must follow that with the commitment to making each one of us safe as we walk through the world as ourselves. And we must follow that with policies that support it.

Everyone in our city can learn from the courage that our transgender friends display every day. To my transgender friends, I want to thank you for your investment in Minneapolis, our community, and our people. The best way I can thank you is by persisting in my commitment to making sure that all of us know that all of us need to be in the picture of this city for us to succeed, including and especially you.

Because we can’t do this without you, Minneapolis. Everyone must be in this picture or we will not be One Minneapolis.

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