On Monday the editorial staff of the New York Times launched a series about transgender rights.
Transgender Today used up the entirety of the space usually used for editorials (usually three articles).
One of the great things about an editorial page is that you can decide to make a big deal out of something, and we decided to make a big deal out of transgender equality.
There has been progress in this area, but there is a long way to go. This is not a front-burner issue for people, and we hope to make it one. We want policy makers to read this and think about policies they need to change.
Hina Wong-Kalu is a māhū. That is the native Hawaiian term for a person who embodies both male and female spirit. In the language of Western culture a māhū would be called transgender.
But that is limiting the concept.
It is not a gender, it’s not an orientation, it’s not a sect, it’s not a particular demographic and it’s definitely not a race. It is simply an expression of the third person as it involves the individual. When you find that place in yourself to acknowledge both male and female aspects within and accept the capacity to embrace both … that is where the māhū exists and true liberation happens.
The Smith College board of trustees has voted to accept that transgender women are women.
The shift to a self-identification admissions policy at the women’s college in Northampton goes into effect for students submitting applications this fall. The decision was revealed Saturday afternoon in a message to students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumnae.
Under the new admissions policy, applicants who were born male but identify as women are eligible for admission. Applicants must select “female” on the Common Application to be considered.
From the civil rights perspective, we’re saying trans women are women. What we’re doing here is really affirming that we’re a women’s college and we have an unwavering mission and identity as a women’s college.
--Smith College President Kathleen McCartney
The move follows the leads of Mills College in California, and Wellesley, Mount Holyoke and Simmons Colleges in Massachusetts and Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania.
Our clarified admission policy reflects a women's college that is steadfast in its founding mission yet evolving to reflect a changing world.
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).
New York is one of only three states which protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but not on the basis of gender identity. The other two are Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
Partially that is because too many people believe that the protections afforded to LGB people automagically extend to transgender people. But the law knows what we have have been enunciating for years: sexual orientation and gender are not the same.
Sexual orientation is about who you desire to go to bed with. Gender identity is about who we go to bed as. In other words, sex is between our legs. Gender is between our ears.
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.
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.
Originally forced to remove her makeup for a driver's license photo, a transgender teen will be allowed to wear makeup for her driver's license photo like any other girl. The change of position comes in settlement of a lawsuit brought by Chase Culpepper, 17, of Anderson, South Carolina. She sued last year after being told that DMV policy required her to remove her makeup for the photo. "You need to look like a boy," DMV reportedly told her.
The article by the BeatDMV folks does a good job of summarizing the story, but I'll at least quote the policy DMV used to discriminate against Ms. Culpepper.
"At no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity."
DMV, who by the terms of the settlement must formally apologize, never explained how Ms. Culpepper--who wears makeup every day--actually violated the policy by altering her appearance or disguising her identity.