‘Transgender Day Of Visibility – 2020’
(31 Mar 2020)
I begin on a hopeful note.
I found a niece here at social media; she seems to be LGBT-friendly. Her mother, Cousin Nancy at North Carolina, replied to my correspondence to her that I don’t exist to her (2025); likely that she never told her children that I exist. Julia will probably never know who I am, while I shall find a place for her in my heart.
Please review this year’s selection of memes and images for TDoV 2020 as you read today’s composition.
– Nick: age 15 (1971), age 16 (1973 – with Slim), age 25 (1981).
– Sharon: age 29 (1985), age 40 (1996), current.
I posted an essay to my social media last year. I pondered:
Who will be seeing this post now that TDoV is passed. Likely that the only readers will be people finding this in some future curiosity.
Lemme ask you, Dear Reader of the Future. Did any of your non-Trans family or ‘friends’ make an effort to show support for you, a member of Our Community?
Great for you who received support.
Pffft! I have family who know that I post here. They rarely correspond with me; business, not pleasure, the odd times when they do.
Not one family acknowledged my existence on TDoV. Not any. I can’t remember when was the last time any family sent any friendly correspondence to me. Or called me. Not from my sister; I have not seen her since 1993. Not from my family who reside within 30 minutes of me; I have not seen them since 1994. Not from family who reside elsewhere; I have not been welcome to travel and visit distant family since 1989 (not quite welcome to stay with my terminally ill father in a basement). My mother visited me in 1992; that ended poorly when she threatened me with her pistol.
They can’t be ‘family’. That is not what family does.
Seems in my life that Cis people nearly always set their questioning as ‘want’
– Why do you ‘want’ to be a girl / woman / Female?
My memory of my parents – either asking or yelling or trying to beat it out of me – was only of them always putting that as their question to me. For example:
– ‘Why do you ‘want’ a girl’s name?’ was what my mother said in a demeaning manner one Saturday morning when I told her at age 8 that I need my name to be Sharon, not Nickie, because I AM a girl, because I should have a girl’s name.
– The essence of my tantrums and arguments with my father as I grew up, my father yelling to terrorise me: ‘Why do you ‘want’ to be a girl?’. My argument in reply was ‘I AM a girl!’ – Psychology termed my responce ‘Feminine Protesting’ during the 1960s.
The Cis person doesn’t seem to comprehend that difference as acutely as does the Trans person. Cis are satisfied because their gender identity, their sexual anatomy, their social structure are fully compatible; Cis people are innately satisfied, their ‘need’ complete, they can advance to their ‘want’.
Additionally to being Transsexual, I am also Inter-sex – Female XXY.
Being innately Inter-sex proves an additional spectrum of chemical mix. There are Inter-sex people who present male, prefer male, but have Estrogen as their predominant hormone. Vice versa, there are Inter-sex people who present female, prefer female, but have Testosterone as their predominant hormone. And there are many Inter-sex people who determine that they are neither male nor female, that Inter-sex is its own sex. As with Inter-sex, I’m my own mix of that:
– I cherish much of my life as Nickie / Nick, when I lived as a boy according to my parents’ demands, though I hated being forced to present as that ‘boy’ all those years.
– I was Female even while I had T-poisoning coursing through my veins, before I ever began prescribed Estrogen hormones, before I added phyto-Estrogen to my diet.
– Much of my Gender Identity is absolute Female while my loyalty remains entrenched embracing my ever-evolving, ever-learning Inter-sex.
Some people consider that being in Transition brings about a form of Inter-sex via the affects of exogenous hormones upon external genitalia. I can say that, in this way, I know some of what it is to be F-M Transsexual – my Inter-sex T-poisoning brought about similar anatomical change as exogenous Testosterone changes the phenotypic F-M anatomy.
Ask an Inter-sex person:
The following is an article from Marie. Questions other than ‘Why do you want to be a girl?’ Thank you, Marie.
(30 Mar 2020):
🌹❄️ Trans Day of Visibility ❄️🌹
Hey y’all. I’m a trans person. The Trans Day of Visibility is March 31 and in that spirit I want to help us all get to know each other a little better. Way too often we all talk right past each other and get mired down in arguments. This is me saying to you I would LOVE for you to ask me questions about my experience as a trans person. Ask me a question and I’ll respond. You can ask as many as you like. I promise I’ll answer as honestly as I safely can and with a spirit of kindness and education.
If you’re a cisgender (that means you are the gender/sex combo that you were assigned at birth) person and you don’t know what to ask me, pick something from the list! Maybe something here will spark another question for you. You can ask me anything but the list can make a nice guide!
If you’re a transgender person, feel free to copy this image or share. If you’re uncomfortable answering some of these questions just say.
I hope this year we can all get closer by getting to know each other better.
———– 🌹 ———–
For our friends using screen readers, I’ve copied the whole list below:
1. Has being trans been an obstacle in your life with friends, family, work, etc?
2. How long have you known?
3. What are your pronouns?
4. How did you pick your name?
5. What’s your favorite dinosaur?
6. Why would you want to be a guy/girl?
7. What does AMAB or AFAB mean?
8. What do you feel like you missed out on most in your childhood (if you transitioned later)
9. What has been your favorite part of transitioning so far?
10. What worries you most as a trans person?
11. Does your family accept you?
12. How has transitioning changed your life?
13. What has surprised you most about transitioning?
14. What would have made it easier for you to come out?
15. What has been the hardest part of your transition so far?
16. How do you know you’re trans?
17. How does it feel to transition?
18. How did you tell your family, friends, work, etc.,?
19. Are you fully transitioned?
20. What’s the hardest part of your experience as a trans person?
21. Why not just be a “feminine guy”/”masculine woman”?
22. How do you think your life would be different if you could have transitioned younger?
23. What is the best part about being trans?
24. Have you had any surgeries? Are you going to?
25. How can I make things better for you?
26. What are you most excited about in your transition?
27. What’s non-binary?
28. What do you wish you could tell younger you, as a trans person?
29. What are you most excited for in your transition?
30. I want to ask another question / AMA
Here are a variety of questions posed to me, and my reply.
Seems in my life that Cis people nearly always set their questioning as ‘want’
– Why do you ‘want’ to be a girl / woman / Female?
My memory of my parents – either asking or yelling or trying or beat it out of me – was only of them always putting that as their question to me. For example:
– ‘Why do you want a girl’s name?’ was what my mother said in a demeaning manner one Saturday morning when I told her at age 8 that I need my name to be Sharon, not Nickie, because I AM a girl, because I should have a girl’s name.
– The essence of my tantrums and arguments with my father as I grew up – Psychology termed it Feminine Protesting during the 1960s – my father yelling to terrorise me: ‘Why do you want to be a girl?’. My argument in reply was ‘I AM a girl!’.
Cis people don’t seem to comprehend that difference as well as the Trans person. Cis are satisfied that their gender identity, their sexual anatomy, their social structure are fully compatible; Cis people are innately satisfied, their ‘need’ complete.
Question: How does Inter-sex mix with Transsex?
Answer: Being innately Inter-sex proves this spectrum of chemical mix of anatomical sex and one’s gender identity, its own spectrum of biological presentations of the X and the Y chromosomes. Your physician can test for it.
There are Inter-sex people who present male, prefer male, but have Estrogen as their predominant hormone. Vice versa, there are Inter-sex people who present female, but have Testosterone as their predominant hormone. And there are many Inter-sex people who determine that they are neither male nor female, that Inter-sex is its own sex.
Sex Reversal Syndrome is similar terminology used to describe someone who is Inter-sex.
Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome is a form of that Reversal. They have the typical XY chromosome pattern usually associated to male, but their body develops an incapacity to process Testosterone and results in Female phenotype. This could be you – XY chromosomes, but external female appearance.
Lemme share about me and what I have been learning of my own situation.
Some people consider that being in Transition brings about a form of Inter-sex via exogenous hormones affect upon external genitalia.
My family raised me as a ‘boy’ -against my will as an out Transsexual child. I began my adult Transition to live Female at age 18, not knowing at that time that I was biologically Female.
My physician diagnosed me as Inter-sex at age 26 (1982); I am apparently Female XXY. In other words, opposite of AIS, my body chemistry over-produced Testosterone or over-reacted to the otherwise normal level of Testosterone such that my external genitalia was sufficient for the birth room doctor to assign me as male, but I had female internal reproductive anatomy.
I learned several years ago that the Inter-sex person most often remains the sex that they were assigned at birth, whereas the Transsex person most often changes the sex that they were assigned at birth because that aligns with their innate gender identity. Inter-sex people tend to have a more malleable gender identity compared to Cis and Trans. I grew up with my first sense of my self as Transsex, thus my imperative to change sex over-rode whatever might have been my Inter-sex inclination, a condition that I did not learn til near the conclusion of my Transition. One psychologist, he knew me only as an Inter-sex patient, insisted that I cease my Transition, while I countered that I am compelled to complete my Transition.
Question: How you come up with your name when you decided to rename your self?
Answer: I tested several names during my childhood. I told mother Sharon when I was age 8. She belittled me:
– ‘That’s a g-u-r-l-s’ name. Why do you want a g-u-r-l-s’ name!
A few years later, I had a nightmare about a woman named Sharon who was murdered; a few months later, news reported that a woman named Sharon was murdered. I felt compelled to keep Sharon in her honour.
My last name is from playwright Anne Nichols. Read ‘Abie’s Irish Rose’, it’s about overcoming prejudice and bigotry.
My father was hypocritical – on the one hand, he was angry that I rejected the name that he gave to me and his family name; but, he was adamant that I dare not besmirch his family name. My mother never expressed much opinion about my decision beyond that long ago Saturday.
This is an abbreviated reply. I discussed my name change at multiple other pages here at this web-site if you want to read more.
(1 Apr 2020):
Most cisgender people are ignorant af everything related to being a transgender person, gender Dysphoria, and transition.
They don’t know that over 3 million Americans were surgically modified at birth, not including millions of circumcisions.
The didn’t know that the MRI of a transgender girl looks very much like the MRI of a cisgender woman, or that a trans boy and cis boy also have similar MRIs.
They don’t know that 45% of transgender kids attempt suicide before transition, yet teens with parental support for transition have lower suicide attempt rate than cisgender teens.
They don’t realize that transgender girls can be identified by absentee rates and medical records, cause by the stress of physical assaults, threats, and verbal abuse by other students, teachers, and family members.
They don’t know that Gender Dysphoria is a life threatening disease that is caused by being forced to conform to their ASSIGNED gender.
They don’t know that the ONLY effective treatment for acute gender Dysphoria is social and hormonal transition, followed by surgical transition if necessary.
They don’t know that transition after puberty costs over 50 times more than transition prior to puberty using puberty blockers and hormones.
They don’t know that most transgender teen girls who transition hormonally don’t have sex until a year or more after their genital surgery.
They don’t know that transgender people have very high intelligence, with IQs in the 160 to 180 range.
They don’t realize that transgender men fought in the Revolutionary war and Civil war, or that transgender girls often worked as spies in both wars.
They don’t know that transgender men and women played a major role in nearly every piece of technology they use, especially computers, the Internet, social media, and secure systems that allow them to make purchases and conduct business.
They don’t realize that transgender people have been around for over 10,000 years and were the Angels of the Bible. They don’t realize that the first non-Jewish Christian was transgender, or that the world’s greatest lover was transgender.
They don’t realize that transgender girls had such a knowledge of cause/effect, science, and human nature that they were believed to be magical. They could tell the future, cure the sick, and negotiate treaties. They could also cause sickness and even death.
They are ignorant because priests, politicians, and pedophiles want them ignorant. They fear our insight and ability to see past deception and misdirection, and our ability to expose their dirty secrets.
Conservatives want the world to believe that we are weak, powerless, unnatural, to be ignored or despised. Because they fear us.
As they should.
I support all Trans children and all Trans adults participating in whatever school or community activities that they desire, on the teams that they choose to play.
I can speak of my own experiences in sports.
– I played tennis beginning at 2nd Grade (as a boy). During 9th Grade, I played on my high school’s tennis team. I was at about the middle of the pack on a team that won state championship.
– I played Little League baseball for seven years – the last year was an advanced League – as a boy. I also played neighbourhood and schoolyard softball throughout elementary school, high school. Then as an adult in men’s city league softball. And, by the way, I played men’s city league softball at least six years (1979 – 1985) while on my Female Estrogen hormones and phyto-Estrogen; the men’s league did not know about me playing in their league, never questioned me, made no objection to my presentation – effectively, I was a woman playing in their men’s league. I’m not gonna claim anything more than that I was a good player, good fielder who was never charged with a fielding error, with a .700 batting average – better than the men.
– I played high school basketball – on my school team during 10th Grade; neither the best, nor the worst, simply competent.
– I began my adult M-F Transition at age 18, I began Estrogen hormones at age 22.
– I played women’s Team Tennis for one season (age 29, 1986). I came in 5th Place in the women’s city league that year – hardly was I overwhelming the women competition. It was clearly my skill level – since the beginning of my tennis playing – I relied on the ‘woman’s game’ of technique rather than power. I submit that it also heplt being fully ambidextrous – I could switch hands at any time, serving or volleying.
– I played four years of women’s city league softball (from age 29, 1986). The city divided the levels in A League (women who had experience at college), B League (intermediate experience), and C League (women of lesser, minimal experience). In all my games, I hardly over-powered the other women. Again, as with the men’s league, it was more my skill in the sport that made me good, not muscles and strength.
No one among the administration of either the Team Tennis or city league softball, among the members and the teams on which I played, against the competitors and the teams I played, did anyone ever question or challenge my participation as a M-F Trans woman.
I can refer you to Renee Richards’ story of her own experiences. She battled and won the Constitutional Right for all Trans people of all ages to participate in the sport of their choosing. Watch the end of this TV movie:
March 30, 2020 at 10:02 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Idaho governor quietly signs anti-trans bills amid coronavirus crisis
As the nation’s focus has become fixated on the coronavirus, Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law Monday on the eve of the Transgender Day of Visibility two pieces of anti-trans legislation.
One measure, House Bill 500, is aimed at restricting transgender youth’s participation in sports. The other measure, House Bill 509, is aimed at banning transgender people from changing the gender marker on the their birth certificate.
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement the signing of the legislation is “unacceptable, and a gross misuse of taxpayer funds and trust.”
“Idaho is leading the way in anti-transgender discrimination, and at a time when life is hard enough for everyone, Idaho’s elected leaders will be remembered for working to make their transgender residents’ lives even harder,” David said. “Shame on Gov. Little and the legislators who championed these heinous pieces of legislation.”
Transgender advocates sounded the alarm bells as the advanced through the Idaho stage legislature, but the smoke signals yielded little attention in the media, which has been consumed with the coronavirus.
HB 500, dubbed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” requires college and public schools sports teams to be designed as male, female and co-ed — and any female athletic team “shall not be open to students of the male sex.”
In the event of a dispute, a student may be required to produce a physician’s statement to affirm her biological sex based on reproductive anatomy, normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone and an analysis of the student’s genetic makeup. That would effectively ban transgender athletes from participating in sports.
Although similar bills are percolating in state legislatures throughout the country, Little is the first governor to sign such a bill. Idaho is now the first state with such a law on the books.
Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government affairs for the Trevor Project, said in a statement Little has “pushed the transgender community of Idaho to the sidelines, further marginalizing a group that is already at high risk for harassment, discrimination and suicide.”
“It is a sad day in the United States when lawmakers are more determined to stop trans young people from playing games than to provide them with the care, support, and opportunities they need to survive and thrive,” Brinton said.
Little, a Republican, signed HB 500 into law despite an opinion from the Idaho attorney general opinion advising him against it.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, also a Republican, warned the legislation is “constitutionally problematic” and likely violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That a viewpoint was endorsed by five former Idaho attorneys general in a joint op-ed for the Idaho Statesman.
Lindsay Hecox, a transgender woman and a runner attending Boise State University, also condemned the new law in a statement.
“Supporters of this bill are attempting to fix a problem that was never there,” Hecox said. “It specifically targets people like me and all transgender female athletes and denies us the opportunity to compete in sports. It’s unfair, unnecessary and discriminatory, and it ignores the commitment we’ve made to rigorous training and the importance of athletic competition to our lives.”
The other bill, HB 509, is called the “Idaho Vital Statistics Act” and prohibits any changing of the gender marker on a birth certificate from sex assigned at birth except “on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.” That would make it impossible for transgender people to change the document to reflect their gender identity.
HB 509 appears to defy a court order in 2018 requiring Idaho to allow transgender individuals to change the gender marker on the birth certificates.
Peter Renn, counsel for Lambda Legal, was a member of the legal team that secured the court order and said in a statement HB509 flies in the face of that directive.
“At each step of the legislative process, from this bill’s introduction in the Idaho House, through the Idaho Senate, and on to the governor’s desk, policymakers were fully aware that they were explicitly flouting a binding federal court order,” Renn said. “And the court could not have been clearer: This policy was unconstitutional two years ago, and it is still unconstitutional today. Idaho has deliberately set itself on a collision course with the federal courts. It is in open rebellion against the rule of law.”
Because the birth certificate bill disregards a court order, litigation is expected to soon follow against HB 509.
Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told the Washington Blade he expects LGBTQ legal advocacy to file lawsuits against both new anti-trans laws.
“We stand ready to bring or support litigation challenging them, and we are coordinating with the other LGBT legal groups to ensure that we bring the full force of our movement to bear in this critical moment,” Minter said.
The Washington Blade has placed request in with Little’s seeking comment on why he signed the legislation into law.
Mar 26, 2020,05:01pm EDT
Attorney General William Barr: Transgender Girls Are Male
I report on the fight for transgender equality and other LGBTQ issues.
The U.S. Department of Justice is taking sides in a landmark federal lawsuit, and the man with his thumb on the scale in favor of the lawyers for a Christian rights organization is none other than Attorney General William Barr.
The DOJ filed a legal document Tuesday in Hartford, Conn., where the anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom is representing three high school girls in their suit to stop transgender girls from competing in school sports. The Trump Administration has now joined the ADF in resorting to transphobic terms to misidentify trans girls in court documents such as “biological males” and “boys.”
The Dept. of Justice’s statement of interest argues the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference is violating Title IX, the federal law that provides equal educational opportunities for girls, including in athletics.
The CIAC says its seven-year-old policy for trans student athletes abides by state law that requires schools to respect the gender identity of students and treat them according to how they identify. And the conference points to guidance by federal court rulings and the prior federal administration, including the Justice Department, in drafting the inclusive policy.
Barr and his DOJ cohorts argue the CIAC is mistaken.
“Under CIAC’s interpretation of Title IX, however, schools may not account for the real physiological differences between men and women. Instead, schools must have certain biological males — namely, those who publicly identify as female — compete against biological females,” wrote Barr and his team. “In so doing, CIAC deprives those women of the single-sex athletic competitions that are one of the marquee accomplishments of Title IX.”
Why is “biological male” a transphobic phrase? Because, as Simón(e) D. Sun wrote in Scientific American last year, “The truth is, your biological sex isn’t carved in stone, but a living system with the potential for change. Why? Because biological sex is far more complicated than XX or XY (or XXY, or just X).”
High school seniors Selina Soule of Glastonbury, Conn., and Chelsea Mitchell of Canton, Conn. filed the suit last month along with co-plaintiff Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury High School. They are all cisgender (meaning “not transgender”) track and field athletes who claim that they have been deprived of victories, state titles and scholarship opportunities because they were forced to compete with transgender athletes.
However, within eight days of going to court and pleading for fairness on the steps of the capitol in Hartford, Conn., Mitchell beat transgender runner Terry Miller, of Bloomfield High School, in the 55-meter dash, in both the Connecticut State Class S indoor track meet and the state open.
Mitchell beat Miller a third time a few days later and won All New England honors with a second place finish in the long jump and a third place finish in the 55 meters. Mitchell’s lawyer from the ADF — a group labeled an extremist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — dismissed her client’s back to back to back victories as inconsequential.
“What Plaintiffs alleged — and what is true — is that due to physiological differences, female athletes cannot beat ‘comparably talented and trained’ males,” attorney Christiana Holcomb told the Associated Press. “And if Chelsea beat Miller by a hair in a particular race, Miller nevertheless deprived one girl of the second-place title in that race, and pushed the third-fastest girl off the victory podium entirely.”
American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chase Strangio, who represents Miller and Connecticut’s other out trans student athlete, Andraya Yearwood, called out Barr on Twitter.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Idaho Gov. signs two hate bills on the Transgender Day of Visibility
Added by Kelli Busey on March 31, 2020.
Tags: Idaho, News and commentary, States That Hate, TDoV, transphobia kills
Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law two anti-transgender bills on the eve of the Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV).
Because the Idaho House and Senate adjourned a day apart and the law required action within ten days little gave himself until March 31, to enact or veto the bills.
By waiting until the TDoV Gov. Little drove home his hate of transgender people, in our time of greatest need, and on the day we traditionally celebrate our hard-won visibility.
One law bans transgender girls and women from participating in sports that align with their gender identity. The other law makes it illegal for transgender people to change gender markers on their Idaho birth certificates.
Under House Bill 509, introduced by Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, a birth certificate can be amended only within one year of its filing. After one year, it can be changed only via a court challenge “on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.”
Gov. Little enacted the Birth Certificate bill in contravention to U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale who ruled in March 2018 that Idaho officials can no longer “automatically and categorically” reject transgender individuals applications to change the sex listed on their birth certificates.
The transgender female athletes’ bill is likely unconstitutional, according to an Idaho Attorney General’s Office analysis.
House Bill 500, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, has legal flaws that include possible violations of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause, privacy violations in determining how a student’s sex would be established, and commerce clause violations because it could conflict with NCAA and other national sports organization rules, according to the AG’s office.
“Courts have found that governmental actions distinguishing between transgender and nontransgender individuals is a type of sex-based discrimination,” wrote Brian Kane, assistant chief deputy attorney.
The Idaho Statesman reports that Little signed the bills Monday afternoon. He didn’t issue signing statements on either bill.
Gov, Little appeared smug when asked about his chances at the supreme court regarding his appeal of the case in which Adree Edmo, a transgender inmate who won the right to state-financed gender confirmation surgery.
Idaho Republicans have already spent over $300,000 in a failed appeal to stop Edmo from receiving Gender Confirmation Surgery. They also failed to pass a law criminalizing trans confirming medical care.
To my trans fam on the TDoV, forget this bigot and the entire GOP. Be out, proud, and visible today. You deserve that much, you earned it.
Editor in Chief at Planet Transgender | Website
Kelli Busey an outspoken gonzo style journalist has been writing since 2007. In 2008, she brought the Dallas Advocate on-line and has articles published by the Reconciling Ministries Network, The Transsexual Menace, The Daily Kos, Frock Magazine the TransAdvocate, the Dallas Voice and The Advocate. Kelli, an avid runner is editor in chief at Planet Transgender which she founded in 2007.
Idaho governor signs into law anti-transgender legislation
The two new laws could face constitutional challenges.
Author: KTVB Staff, Keith Ridler / Associated Press
Published: 6:35 PM MDT March 30, 2020
Updated: 8:42 PM MDT March 30, 2020
BOISE, Idaho — (Note: the video above is from a March 9 story laying out both sides of this controversial issue)
Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law two controversial anti-transgender bills.
The Republican governor on Monday signed a bill that prohibits transgender people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates, and another that bans transgender girls and women from competing in women’s sports.
The sports-related bill would require high school girls to prove their gender to participate in high school sports through a genital exam, DNA test, or testosterone levels test.
The birth certificate legislation ignores a federal court ruling that a past Idaho law barring transgender people from making the birth certificate changes was unconstitutional.
The Idaho attorney general’s office said it could cost $1 million if the state had to defend the ban again and lost.
The ACLU of Idaho quickly condemned Little’s decision to sign the bills, calling them ‘discriminatory, unconstitutional, and deeply hurtful.”
“Leaders from the business, faith, medical, education and athletics communities will not forget this decision or what it says about the governor’s priorities during a global pandemic,” The ACLU said in a statement. “The ACLU will see the governor in court. We encourage all Idahoans to email, call, and tweet Gov. Little to express outrage and disappointment at wasting precious taxpayer resources on blatantly anti-transgender bills at a time when we should be coming together for the health and wellbeing of our people.”
Other groups, including the Idaho Joint Democratic Caucus and the Moving Toward Freedom coalition, also condemned the move.
“Idaho’s Attorney General, legal advocacy groups, and numerous qualified lawyers have already made it clear that these unconstitutional pieces of legislation will end up in court and Idaho will lose,” Rep. Lauren Necochea (D-Boise) said in a statement. “I am disgusted and disappointed that Governor Little has decided to waste valuable taxpayer money to fight court battles over issues that are not a priority to Idahoans. Our residents are losing their jobs, getting kicked out of their homes, and struggling to make ends meet. Instead of wasting state money to fight court battles that we have already lost in the past, we should be prioritizing taking care of our fellow Idahoans.”
Meanwhile, the Family Policy Alliance of Idaho hailed the bills as groundbreaking, not only for Idaho, but for the nation as well.
“Today is an exciting day for our state. Governor Little has proven himself to be a friend to Idaho families,” Family Policy Alliance of Idaho spokesman Blaine Conzatti said in a statement.
The group argues that the so-called “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” protects athletic opportunities for girls “by ensuring biological males don’t play in girls’ high school and college sports.”
“Idaho is the first state in the nation to enact this law protecting athletic opportunities for girls,” Conzatti said. “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will keep the spirit of Title IX alive for generations of girls to come. We’ve answered the naysayers: it isn’t exclusionary to say that girls’ and women’s sports are for women, not for biological men. Our daughters are thanking legislators and the governor for saving girls’ sports!”
As for the birth certificate bill, Conzatti says the so-called “Vital Statistics Act” will ensure the medical accuracy of state records and vital statistics by preventing people from changing their sex designation on birth certificates.
“As a state vital record, birth certificates are supposed to reflect the facts as they existed at the time of birth,” Conzatti said. “By ensuring that the “sex” marker on birth certificates accurately indicate biological sex, the State of Idaho makes sure law enforcement, our criminal justice system, and the public health infrastructure have the factual information they need to do their jobs well. It is indisputable that families are made safer by this law. Several national public interest law firms have vetted this legislation, and they have all come to the same conclusion: the Vital Statistics Act is constitutional and is defensible in court. We applaud legislators and the governor for this common-sense law.”
A teacher refused to gender a student properly in his classroom. Then a state delegate spoke up.
Representation is power and power is influence. And at that moment, she had the power.
Commentary by Danica Roem Thursday, April 2, 2020
“Mike, I’m going in.”
After two years of walking on eggshells, I finally had enough. As a transgender woman in the majority party, I didn’t have to put up with a member from the other side of the aisle trying to make a martyr out of a teacher who lost his job after he refused to acknowledge a transgender boy in his class as the boy who he is, despite his school board’s LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policy.
Related: Trans legislator Danica Roem’s takedown of Republicans is going viral for a good reason
“It’s unfortunate that those who demand tolerance the loudest want to push anyone who does not conform,” the delegate said.
I knew that boy. He didn’t need to be villainized yet again.
I pressed the yellow “Request to Speak” button.
“Keep it short,” Del. Mike Mullin instructed me as I grabbed the microphone on my desk, jacking my left elbow behind my shoulder as if to pull a lawnmower cord.
The 2017 election had changed almost everything: with the defeat of the self-described “chief homophobe” of Virginia to the first out-and-seated transgender state legislator in American history, Republican delegates finally stopped introducing explicitly anti-LGBTQ bills.
But still in the minority at 51-49, our pro-LGBTQ equality bills kept dying one after the next.
So after we won the majority in 2019, we could actually pass pro-equality legislation, including the bill we were debating by Del. Levine: HB 1049, to add sexual orientation and gender identity to 70 sections of the Code of Virginia.
We had the votes to pass it. But I wasn’t going to let what I just heard go unanswered.
As one of our two co-whips, Del. Mullin pushed his desk to roll his chair and made a beeline to Majority Leader Charniele Herring to tell the first woman and first African-American to serve as majority leader in the 401-year history of the Virginia House of Delegates, that I would rebut it.
“Good,” Del. Herring thought. “Thank God.”
She then leaned over to members on our side of the aisle who had clicked their “Request to Speak” buttons: “Danica’s got it.”
The members turned their lights off.
After 8.5 minutes of the other delegate’s speech, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn – the first woman and first Jewish delegate to serve as Speaker of the House – turned to her left.
“The delegate from Prince William,” she said. “Delegate Roem.”
I had spent most of the other delegate’s speech looking at a picture of two transgender teenagers standing at my sides during Equality Virginia’s “Commonwealth Gala” in 2019: Morgan and James.
Morgan was the girl who had been left with a panic attack by herself in a hallway during a lockdown drill when school officials refused to let her enter any locker room.
James was the boy singled out by the teacher being lionized on the House floor.
Both of them had been discriminated against. But when I introduced both of them to a crowd of more than 1,200 people at the Richmond Convention Center ballroom, they received a standing ovation.
On the House floor, I flipped my hair back over my right shoulder and told the stories of both teenagers.
“And if you believe in a deity, then you have to understand that deity made James who he is and made Morgan who she is,” I said.
I could have stopped there but I knew no one else in that chamber knew what it was like to be transgender like Morgan or James… except for me.
“I was too afraid to be them,” I told the members, my voice cracking with emotion. “I was too afraid to tell anyone who I was because that stigma and that fear is so real.”
My voice boomed.
“You have no idea what it’s like to be Morgan or what it’s like to be James. You don’t know until you have lived it, until you have cried yourself to sleep over it. No child in the commonwealth of Virginia and no person in the commonwealth of Virginia should ever be afraid to be who they are and be that well and to thrive because of who they are, not despite it and not for what discriminatory politicians tell them they’re supposed to be.”
I breathed and looked down at my microphone to close my speech: “Let’s pass this bill.”
The Democratic members stood for 12 seconds to applaud, just as I had seen for Morgan and James 10 months earlier.
Then we finally voted.
“Ayes 59, nays 39,” the Speaker said. “The bill passes.”
Having LGBTQ elected officials in office matters. On April 2, LGBTQ Victory Institute’s National Out to Win Day is a chance to tell LGBTQ people they are qualified to be an elected leader and to urge them to seriously consider a run, just as I did. While they may not register as a candidate this year or even next, you can be their first ask, and often it will light a spark that only grows with encouragement.
While there are 854 out LGBTQ officials nationwide, we need to elect 22,529 more to achieve equitable representation. We need every one of us to consider a run or inspire others if we are to close this gap.
Representation is power and power is influence. Whether in politics or life, when you have a seat at the table, you set the tone and make the rules. It can be a struggle for your lived experience to be reflected in the majority’s viewpoint but just remember: when you thrive, you make it a little easier for the next Morgan and the next James to thrive too.
Go run. Go win. Go serve. Go thrive.
Virginia Delegate Danica Roem represents the 13th District of the Virginia House of Delegates as the first out-and-seated transgender state legislator in American history. More information about LGBTQ Victory Institute’s National Out to Win Day is available at outtowin.org
I attended Jesuit boys high school for 9th Grade (1970 – 1971 school year). I wanted to attend the corresponding girls school instead. Starting a new school would have been a great opportunity to Transition. Yes, I had potential class-mates who would have known Nick, but I could have use my time for preparation during the Summer vacation between grades. I’m presuming that my girls school class-mates might very well have not realised that I was Nick.
The Catholic Church doesn’t want anything to do with me – Pope says so, ya know. They say that I’m going to Hell.
I am registered in the boys school Alumni association as Nick. They rejected my original registration as Sharon. Dunno if it was because of my name and sex?
I really wanted to attend our Jesuit boys High School Class Re-union last year, but did not sense being welcome, or safe, because of the Church’s antagonism towards Transsexual people.
The Jesuit girls High School Alumnae association accepted my registration as Sharon without any particular proof of my enrollment at that girls school. They decided to not have their re-union.
I would have attended the Re-union if the girls school had theirs with the boys school as they did for prior re-unions.
I remember both boy class-mates from the boys school and girl class-mates from the girls school. I wanted to see some of them. I figured that I would have attended as an Alumna of the girls school, would have felt safer among the women class-mates than the men class-mates. From that position, I then could have explored the Alumni group for potential friends or avoided them if I sensed hostility. Maybe I could have caught a glimpse of Jeff, my Bestie from those past years. Or maybe I would have enjoyed the entire event among the Alumnae.
I’ll need to wait til 2024 for my next possible school Jesuit school re-union. I’m also eager to attend class re-unions at my other high schools.
She left her all-boys’ school after coming out as trans. Now, she leads LGBTQ trainings there. | We the People
by Stephanie Farr, Updated: March 13, 2019
Meet Hazel Edwards, a 21-year-old trans advocate who helped craft the Philadelphia School District’s policy on transgender and gender-nonconforming youth.
Telltale art: Edwards, an artist, came out to her mother as trans in a painting: “It was a male silhouette looking into a mirror with a female silhouette looking back,” Edwards said. “All my mom could say was, ‘Nice texture.’ I said, ‘OK, she doesn’t get the hint.'”
On her strength: “I think I was forced to have it. Living every day in a society that was not meant for you to succeed inherently makes you strong and powerful.”
Hazel Edwards was four months away from graduation at Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School in 2015 when the principal called Edwards into his office to discuss ongoing tardiness and absence issues.
What the principal didn’t know is that Edwards had been missing classes at the all-boys’ school because she identified as a girl and didn’t feel comfortable there.
“I told the principal I was trans,” Edwards said. “The principal was like, ‘Whoa. I was not expecting this.’”
Edwards said the principal, a “sweet person who didn’t know what to do,” brought in another staff member who told Edwards she was a boy and couldn’t come to school with her hair or nails done. She said she wasn’t kicked out but did feel pushed out.
“I packed up my stuff and never went back to that school as a student,” Edwards said.
But later that year, Edwards did go back to Boys’ Latin — not as a student, but as an educator with the Attic Youth Center — to help train 86 teachers on the best practices for working with LGBTQ students.
“That was the first time that I walked into that school as Hazel,” said Edwards, who continues to lead training at Boys’ Latin. “I got so much good feedback from former teachers, and the principal came up to me, started crying, and said, ‘The student is now the teacher.’”
Noah Tennant, then principal and now CEO of Boys’ Latin, said he doesn’t remember the details of Edwards’ departure but confirmed the comment he made at the training.
“It really added a whole extra layer of relevance for us that Hazel walked our corridors and classrooms,” Tennant said. “The firsthand knowledge she had was invaluable to us as we thought about how we can grow.”
Edwards grew up in Overbrook Park with her mother, brother, and sister. Her father was incarcerated when she was 9, she said.
For many years, Edwards didn’t have the language of trans to express herself. She said it wasn’t until she met a trans woman her own age when she was 17 that she fully realized what she’d always felt.
“I was fighting it in mental hospitals and behavioral hospitals,” she said. “After meeting that trans person and seeing how happy they were and how unhappy I felt, I said ‘OK, now this is a time of life or death.’’
After she came out, Edwards’ relationship with her mother became rocky, and for a time, she experienced homelessness. The Attic, a center for LGBTQ youth, gave Edwards a paid internship during that tough period. Since 2017, she’s worked full time as an educator and outreach specialist there.
In 2016, Edwards helped University of Pennsylvania professor Amy Hillier, whose daughter is trans, develop a policy for the Philadelphia School District on protecting transgender and gender-nonconforming youth.
Hillier said she was impressed by Edwards’ ability to navigate institutions and inspire other young people.
“For someone who has a tough story, she’s just so full of love and optimism and energy,” Hillier said. “It’s remarkable that somebody who’s had as challenging a journey as she could be so gracious.”
Edwards has even become a mentor for Hillier’s 10-year-old trans daughter.
“My daughter said, ‘Hazel is fancy!’ which is high praise,” Hillier said.
Outside of Edwards’ advocacy work — for which she’s won local and national awards — Edwards is also a member of the Black and Brown Workers Cooperative and enjoys performing and painting, particularly around themes of black love, queer and trans love and liberation, and the universe.
Edwards, who now has her GED, plans to attend college to become an art therapist and community organizer for the queer and trans communities.
“I want to be an art therapist because all of the things I wasn’t able to vocalize when I was young, I was still able to get out through my art,” she said.
Lorena Borjas, Trans activist of the 1990s:
What is the catalyst for your Transition?:
This TDoV article from HRC:
Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) 2018 paper that unpacks the junk science and flawed logic behind the 80% de-Transition myth about Gender Dysphoria children: ‘A critical commentary on follow-up studies and “desistance” theories about transgender and gender non-conforming children’ (Vol. 19, 2018, Issue 2 of the International Journal of Transgender Health, formerly the International Journal of Transgenderism). A free, full manuscript is available (by permission of the publisher, under Green Open Access policy).
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