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Transgender Rights

Activists Outraged As Democrats Withdraw Trans Healthcare Bill

Democrats in Maryland recently withdrew their own bill to expand healthcare coverage for trans people, despite having a majority to pass it, leaving transgender Marylanders feeling betrayed by the party that’s long claimed to champion their rights. House Bill 746, the Trans Health Equity Act, would have forced Maryland’s Medicaid program to provide coverage for transgender people’s transition-related treatments, including hormone therapy, surgeries, and voice therapy. According to its sponsor, Delegate Anne Kaiser, some 2,000 transgender Marylanders use Medicaid. The bill easily passed Maryland’s Senate, but just as the House of Delegates’ legislative session was ending in early April, the bill mysteriously disappeared.

There Still Is No Hierarchy Of Oppression

In 1983, Poet and philosopher Audrey Lorde published a short essay  called “There is no hierarchy of oppression.” In it, she lays out a maxim that is elegant in its simplicity and profound in its meaning. She asserted that people experience various oppressions simultaneously, so we are obligated to fight all oppression wherever it exists. She wrote, “I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot afford to believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. And I cannot afford to choose between the fronts upon which I must battle these forces of discrimination, wherever they appear to destroy me. And when they appear to destroy me, it will not be long before they appear to destroy you.”

Doctors Who Care For Trans Kids Are Being Targeted, Protested, Harassed

Protests are pretty common at the Little Rock, Arkansas, clinic where Dr. Janet Cathey works. After all, she works for Planned Parenthood. Controversy is practically part of the job description. But at one recent protest, Cathey noticed an unusual sign. It was homemade, and it wasn’t  condemning abortion. Instead, its message was: “Boys are born boys, girls are born girls.” “Oh, so they’re picking on us for the transgender care, too,” Cathey, director of gender education for Planned Parenthood of Great Plains, recalled thinking. Arkansas is the only state whose governor has signed into law a bill to restrict healthcare for trans kids, and although that law has been halted by a court challenge, it hasn’t dissuaded a flurry of other states from trying to enact similar laws this year.

‘These Attacks Are On Children And Their Families’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion calling gender-affirming care for trans young people “child abuse.” The state’s governor, Greg Abbott, doubled down, directing the Texas Department of Family and Planning Services to investigate parents who support their trans children in accessing care as child abusers. Abbott also suggested that teachers, doctors, nurses—anyone, really—could face criminal penalties if they don’t report parents and providers who support trans kids. It’s frustrating to read media accounts that say “LGBTQ advocates” disagreed with or were concerned about this event, because, actually, pretty much every relevant medical and legal authority weighed in immediately to say not only do those statements not reflect the legal understanding of child abuse, but they fly in the face of the fact that support for gender-affirming medical procedures comes from, for instance, the American Medical Association, which states that not only is gender-affirming care appropriate, but that the absence of it leads to poor mental health outcomes.

Transgender Rights: China Advances While US Backslides

New Orleans, LA - This year, transgender star and People’s Liberation Army veteran Jin Xing announced the re-launch of her talk show. It aired from 2015 to 2017 as the most-watched show in China. With 100 million viewers, Jin was the world’s most popular trans celebrity. Her rise to fame foretells the Chinese people’s rise against transphobia. But in the U.S., trans people have suffered sharpening attacks. Last year broke records for trans murders and state-level anti-trans legislation. What does this difference tell us? The U.S. empowers bigots The Republican evangelical right scapegoats trans people as their latest “culture war” to mobilize far-right support and secure corporate interests. In a coordinated transphobic attack, state legislatures introduced over 100 anti-trans bills in 2021.

A TERF-Far Right Alliance Has Launched A New Transphobic Onslaught

Modern-day transphobia, embodied by the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) movement, emerged across the English Channel. Until now, it has been mostly anecdotal in France, but the rhetorical apparatus they have constructed is beginning to pick up in France by relying on the reactionary situation that France is experiencing. This is a short guide to survival in a transphobic environment.

China Opens First Clinic To Support Transgender Youth In Shanghai

The Children's Hospital of Fudan University in the eastern city of Shanghai recently inaugurated a new multidisciplinary clinic to provide support for transgender children, including safely managing their transition needs, the Global Times, a newspaper operated by the Communist Party of China-owned People’s Daily, reported on Friday. According to the paper, the clinic was formed in reaction to the hospital’s encounter with trans children, whose needs they had inadequate means to support.

Five Things We Should Fight For This Pride

Trans youth are under attack around the country. Though we are only halfway through 2021, it has already become the worst year in recent history for legislative attacks on trans youth. 33 states have introduced anti-trans laws across the country, many of which ban trans students from playing sports. Arkansas recently became the first state to ban trans youth from accessing gender-affirming health care, and many other states have either passed or are debating similar bills. All of these laws must be repealed, and we need to build a militant trans rights movement to defend against these right-wing attacks. The results of efforts to oppress and dehumanize trans people hit trans youth the hardest. The American Journal of Psychiatry reports that trans people are about six times more likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, and over half of trans and nonbinary youth in the U.S. reported having seriously contemplated suicide in 2020.

Supreme Court Allows Gavin Grimm’s Victory To Stand

Washington — The Supreme Court today declined to hear Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, allowing lower court decisions in support of transgender students to stand. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit have both ruled that the school board violated Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause by prohibiting Grimm from using the same restrooms as other boys and forcing him to use separate restrooms. The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear Grimm’s case at an earlier stage of the litigation in 2017, but the case was sent back to the lower courts after the Trump administration withdrew the government’s support for Grimm’s claims.

Honoring The Movement To End Discrimination Against LGBTQ People

June is Pride Month – a time set aside to honor the Stonewall uprising, which launched the movement to end discriminatory laws against LGBTQ people – and to remember the many important cultural and legislative victories since that pivotal summer in 1969. This year, the celebration occurs under the cloud of more than 125 anti-LGBTQ bills that have been introduced in state legislatures, many targeting children who identify as transgender by denying them access to lifesaving medical treatment, banning them from participating in sports or using the restroom. This is up markedly from last year when more than 40 such bills were introduced. In fact, 2021 has set a record for the number of anti-trans legislative efforts.

Republicans Are Quietly Giving Up On Anti-Trans Bills

Bills targeting the transgender community have stalled all over the country this week as legislators debate the effects these laws will have on trans youth. 2021 has marked an onslaught of hate in state legislative sessions across the country as Republicans sponsored bills that seek to limit trans youth’s access to gender affirming health care as well as prohibit their ability to participate in school sports. While several have passed, multiple bills in at least six states have been set aside or gotten veto threats from governors this week. In Missouri, after a contentious debate between Republicans and Democrats, the state house agreed to put a proposal on hold that would require athletes to participate on sports teams based on the sex written on their birth certificate.

Visibility Alone Will Not Keep Transgender Youth Safe

On March 3, Missouri father Brandon Boulware begged lawmakers not to pass a bill that would ban his transgender daughter from participation in her dance squad, volleyball, and tennis teams. To date, a video of his testimony shared by the American Civil Liberties Union has impressively drawn more than 7.5 million views. But visibility alone has been no match for the tide of anti-trans legislation introduced over the past three months. The Missouri bill that Boulware testified against is just one of the more than 100 bills introduced around the country targeting trans people’s ability to update our identification documents to accurately reflect our gender, play sports in school, and access health care.

Will We Stand Up For Black Trans Lives Too?

Last summer, during what some have called the largest social justice uprising in United States history, the lives of Black trans people were ignored. While many rightly raged against the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, few know the names of Black trans people like Kim Wirtz, who have also been murdered by a racist policing and prison system. In Baltimore, trans activists from the LGBTQ organization Baltimore Safe Haven protested, demanding an end to police violence and an end to the erasure of the Black trans community. The Real News’ Eddie Conway talks to activists on the ground in Baltimore about their fight.

Governor Signs Executive Orders Barring Transgender Athletes From Women’s Sports

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has signed executive orders barring transgender athletes from women’s sports in the state. “Only girls should play girls’ sports,” Noem tweeted on Monday. “Given the legislature’s failure to accept my proposed revisions to HB 1217, I am immediately signing two executive orders to address this issue: one to protect fairness in K-12 athletics, and another to do so in college athletics.” The executive orders direct the state’s Department of Education and Board of Regents to align its policies so only those who are biologically female can participate in women’s sports.  Last week, Noem refused to sign the GOP bill barring transgender athletes from women’s sports.

College Athletes Demand NCAA Pull Championships From States With Anti-Trans Sports Legislation

Nearly 550 collegiate athletes from across the nation signed onto a letter sent to the NCAA on Wednesday demanding that the association stop holding championships and events in states that have passed or are considering passing laws that effectively ban transgender women and girls—and, in at least one case, trans boys and men—from participating in youth and college sports aligned with their gender identity. Idaho passed such a bill last year, while ones in Mississippi and South Dakota are awaiting governors’ signatures. Similar laws in other states are expected to follow. “We, the undersigned NCAA student-athletes, are extremely frustrated and disappointed by the lack of action taken by the NCAA to recognize the dangers of hosting events in states that create a hostile environment for student-athletes,” the letter opened. Addressing NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors, it continued...
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