Showing posts with label Transgender. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transgender. Show all posts

October 24, 2019

Boys Don't Cry





Boys Don't Cry opened in theaters Oct. 22, 1999, first on 25 screens before spreading to hundreds. It became a runaway hit that drew rave reviews for its empathetic portrayal of a young person on a quest for love and acceptance — based on the true story of murdered Nebraskan Brandon Teena — at a time when transgender characters were just not represented on screen.
When Riki Wilchins began transitioning in the late 1970s, she says there was very little trans visibility, even in large cities.
"Trans people were like unicorns," Wilchins says. "I mean, no one had actually seen one in the wild. There was really no one to talk to. The term transgender wasn't even in use." 
In the early 1990s, Wilchins co-founded Transexual Menace, one of the first transgender rights organizations. Among its first goals was the documentation of anti-trans murders, which often went unreported. And when they were, says Wilchins, the stories were often coded.
"When trans people were killed the only way we would find out about it was there would be four paragraphs in the back of the local paper, you know, 'Man Found Wearing Articles Of Women's Clothing Murdered In Alley,' says Wilchins. "And that meant that a transgender woman had been violently murdered, but you had to kind of read backward." 
The murder of 21-year-old Brandon Teena was different — it garnered national headlines. In 1993, Teena was killed in the town of Humboldt, Neb., along with two witnesses, Lisa Lambert and Phillip DeVine. The brutal triple homicide garnered salacious, victim-blaming headlines, such as "Cross-Dresser Killed Two Weeks After Town Learned Her True Identity." 
When two men stood trial for the murders, members of Transexual Menace and their allies planned a vigil outside the Falls City, Neb. courthouse. They were met with a harsh reception, recalls Kimberly Peirce, who directed and co-wrote Boys Don't Cry.
"We were standing in front of the court building and guys would go by in their big truck and scream terrible things at us and throw things," Peirce says. "And certainly us being there, you know, was catalyzing some kind of anger and that was scary." 
Peirce, then a graduate film student at Columbia University, had hitched a ride to the trial with Riki Wilchins and other members of Transexual Menace. She decided to make her thesis film about Brandon Teena after reading an article about him in the Village Voice
"I fell instantly in love with Brandon," Peirce says. "I was coming at it as a person who was discovering my own gender queerness, and getting to know trans people, and saying, 'Help me tell this story in a way that would be the most authentic.' And I wanted to tell his story as a movie so that other people could empathize with him."
Peirce's thesis evolved into a full-length feature film, and over the next four years she immersed herself in Brandon Teena's world, returning to Falls City to interview his girlfriend and other townspeople. When it was time to cast the film, she says hundreds of actors auditioned, starting with the trans community.
But Peirce says trans actors were harder to find than they are today. The part ultimately went to a relatively unknown cisgender actress: Hilary Swank. When Swank won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Brandon Teena, she used her acceptance speech to honor his courage. 
As the first film to introduce mainstream audiences to a transgender man, Boys Don't Cry was a landmark, says Nick Adams, director of transgender representation at GLAAD. But today, Adams says we expect trans roles to be played by trans actors, who now appear in such popular television shows as Good Girls and Grey's Anatomy. He points to Orange is the New Black's Laverne Cox.
"Prior to Orange is the New Black, almost every transgender character was portrayed by a cisgender actor," Adams says. "And with transgender women, men playing them, which only reinforced in people's minds that transgender women are not women, but just men in dresses." 
Transgender directors and writers also work behind the scenes on hits including Transparent and Pose.
At the same time, Boys Don't Cry has taken on a more complicated legacy. Some trans audiences object to the brutal violence depicted in the film, others to Peirce's decision to cast a cisgender actress. 
Wilchins says sure, the film might not be made the same way today, but Peirce doesn't deserve the backlash. 
"It's not fair to go back and apply standards 20 years later that didn't exist back then," Wilchins says. "What she did is a major, major accomplishment. It legitimated and made possible all of these other representations that we've had since."
That includes an increasing number of nonbinary characters who are portrayed by nonbinary actors. One of those actors, Asia Kate Dillon, of Showtime's Billions, has called on the major acting awards to jettison gendered acting categories altogether.
Although visibility continues to expand, violence against trans people persists. According to the most recent figures, at least 19 trans people have been killed so far this year, the majority trans women of color. Nevertheless, Wilchins says she's hopeful that will change, encouraged by other recent studies that indicate that binary definitions of gender have less meaning for the next generation.
ALLYSON MCCABE

October 2, 2019

A Man Attacked Transgender Woman in Jacksonville Leaving Her Unconscious Between Cars in The Street






By Brooke Sopelsa

Eric Shaun Bridges.
Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, arrested a man Sunday in connection with a brutal attack on a victim who local activists say is a transgender woman.
 Eric Shaun Bridges, 34, has been charged with attempted murder and is being held on $500,003 bail. Police found the victim, whose identity has not been made public, lying on the street Friday morning after she “appeared to have been beaten severely, as well as dragged behind a vehicle by the lower extremities” for approximately two blocks, according to a statement from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant Chief Brien Kee told The Florida Times-Union on Friday, before the suspect was apprehended, that the attack was caught on a camera but could not be shared with the public: “The video was so graphic we can’t release it. It’s horrendous,” Kee reportedly said.
The victim was transported to an area hospital and her condition continues to be life-threatening, according to authorities.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident and has not disclosed a motive for the crime, according to First Coast News, NBC’s Jacksonville-area affiliate. Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact them at 904-630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.
Bridges is the second person in Jacksonville charged this week in connection with a violent attack on a victim thought to be transgender. Sean Bernard Phoenix, 21, was charged with second-degree murder last Tuesday in the February 2018 shooting death of Celine Walker, a transgender woman. 
Four transgender women were killed in Jacksonville last year alone, almost 20 percent of the 22 reported killings of trans women across the United States in 2018, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The string of transgender murders led the Daily Beast to refer to the northeastern Florida city as “America’s Transgender Murder Capital” in a November 2018 article.
While the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office did not mention the victim's gender in its social media posts about the incident and did not respond to NBC News' requests for additional information about the victim, several local news outlets reported that the victim is transgender. Paige Mahogany Parks, head of the Jacksonville-based Transgender Awareness Project, told NBC News that she visited the neighborhood where the attack took place and was told by several people the victim is transgender. "The trans community doesn't feel safe with all these murders that have been happening here," Parks told NBC News.
When asked whether she thinks the broader LGBTQ community also feels unsafe, Parks said no.
"It's so split here in Jacksonville," she replied. "Other than the trans girls, everyone else is fine."

September 6, 2019

How Terrible A Thing How India Tried To 'erase' Their Third Gender in The Communities



          Image result for eunuch called Bhoorah

 She lived in what was then the North-West Provinces with two disciples and a male lover, performing and accepting gifts at "auspicious occasions" like births of children and at weddings and in public. She had left her lover for another man before she was killed. British judges were convinced that her former lover had killed her in a fit of rage.
During the trial they described eunuchs as cross-dressers, beggars and unnatural prostitutes.

'Moral panic'

One judge said the community was an "opprobrium upon colonial rule". Another claimed that their existence was a "reproach" to the British government. 
The reaction was strange considering that a eunuch was the victim of the crime. The killing, according to historian Jessica Hinchy, curiously triggered British "moral panic about eunuchs" or hijras as they are called in South Asia. 
"She was a victim of the crime but her death was interpreted as evidence of criminality and immorality of the eunuchs," Dr Hinchy told me. 
The Hijra community of Mumbai in Andheri (surbub of Mumbai), Indian hijras, or eunuchs, adopt a feminine gender identity, women's clothing and other feminine gender roles on March 15, 2012Image copyrightAFP
Image captionEunuchs describe themselves as being castrated or born that way
British officials began considering eunuchs "ungovernable". Commentators said they evoked images of "filth, disease, contagion and contamination". They were portrayed as people who were "addicted to sex with men". Colonial officials said they were not only a danger to "public morals", but also a "threat to colonial political authority".
For nearly a decade, Dr Hinchy, now assistant professor of history at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, trawled the colonial archives on eunuchs that provided unusually detailed insights into the impact of colonial laws on marginalised Indians. The result is Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India, arguably the first in-depth history of eunuchs in colonial India. 
Eunuchs often dress up like women and describe themselves as being castrated or born that way. A disciple-based community, it has important roles in many cultures - from sexless people guarding harems to singing and dancing entertainers. 
In cultures in South Asia, they are thought to have the power to bless or curse fertility. They live with adopted children and male partners. Today, many consider eunuchs transgender, although the term also includes intersex people. In 2014, India's Supreme Court officially recognised a third gender - and eunuchs (or hijras) are seen as falling into this category. 
Eunuch handsImage copyrightAFP
Image captionEunuchs have important roles in many cultures
Bhoorah was among the 2,500 recorded eunuchs who lived in the North-West Provinces - now India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Uttarakhand. 
Years after her murder, the provinces launched a campaign to reduce the number of eunuchs with the objective of gradually causing their "extinction". They were considered a "criminal tribe" under a controversial 1871 law which targeted caste groups considered to be hereditary criminals.
The law armed the police with power of increased surveillance of the community. Police compiled registers of eunuchs with their personal details, often defining "an eunuch as a criminal and sexually deviant person". "Registration was a means of surveillance and also a way to ensure that castration was stamped out and the hijra population was not reproduced," says Dr Hinchy.  
Eunuchs were not allowed to wear female clothing and jewellery or perform in public and were threatened with fines or thrown into prison if they did not comply. Police would even cut off their long hair and strip them if they wore female clothing and ornaments. They "experienced police intimidation and coercion, though the patterns of police violence are unclear", says Dr Hinchy.
The community reacted by petitioning for the right to dance and play in public, and perform at fairs. The petitions, says Dr Hinchy, point to the economic devastation caused by the ban on dances and performances. In the mid-1870s, the eunuchs of Ghazipur district complained that they were starving. 
An eunuch displays a placard during a silent protest in Bangalore, 23 June 2004.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionEunuchs have a visible presence in India
One of the most shocking moves of the authorities was to take away children who were living with eunuchs to "rescue them from a life of infamy". If eunuchs were living with a male child, they risked fines and jail. 
Many of these children were actually disciples. Others appeared to have been orphans, adopted or enslaved as children. There were also children of musicians who performed with eunuchs and appeared to have lived alongside them with their families. Some eunuchs even lived with widows who had children. British officials saw the children as "agents of contagion and a source of moral danger".
"Colonial anxieties about the threat that hijras posed to Indian boys overstated the actual number of children residing with the community," says Dr Hinchy. According to records, there were between 90 and 100 male children found living with registered eunuchs between 1860 and 1880. Very few of them had been emasculated and most of them were living with their biological parents.
"The short-term aim of the law included cultural elimination of the eunuchs through erasure of their public presence. The explicit, long-term ambition was limiting, and thus finally extinguishing, the number of eunuchs," says Dr Hinchy. "To many high-ranking colonial officials, the small eunuch community endangered the imperial enterprise and colonial authority."
Eunuchs embrace in a hotel room April 24, 1994 in Villupuram, India.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionIndia recognised transgender people as a third gender in 2014
The British also began policing other groups which didn't fit the binary gender categories - effeminate men who wore female clothing, performed in public and lived in kin-based households, men who performed female roles in theatre and male devotees who dressed as women. "The law," says Dr Hinchy, "was used to police a diverse range of gender non-confirming people."
In many ways, the attitudes of the British and the English-speaking Indian elites to eunuchs echo aspects of Hindu faith that colonial rulers found abhorrent. 
Indologist Wendy Doniger has written about the British rejection of the sensual strains of Hinduism as filthy paganism. However, religion was not a factor in the colonial rejection of eunuchs - it was more about "contamination", "filth", their sexual practices and public presence.
Yet, despite this dark history, eunuchs survived these attempts to eliminate them by evading the police, continuing to have a visible public presence and devising survival strategies. Dr Hinchy writes that they became skilful at law breaking, evading the police and keeping on the move. They also kept their cultural practices alive within their communities and in private places, which was not illegal. They also became adept at hiding property, so that police could not register it. 
Their success is clear by the fact that despite being often defined as deviant and disorderly, Dr Hinchy says eunuchs "remain a visible presence in public space, public culture, activism and politics in South Asia". 
In India, they continue to make a living by dancing at weddings and other ceremonies despite facing discrimination and living on the margins. Theirs is a stirring story of resilience and survival.

August 4, 2019

Trump Obamare Changes Goes After The Health of Gay, Transgender in The US



LGBTQ rights have come a long way in the U.S. But the community still faces threats in the form of legalization, discrimination and even violence. Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

Trump's proposal would put LGBTQ lives at risk. The right to health cannot be obfuscated by the political or social beliefs of others. 

Katherine Archuleta , Opinion contributor


As a former director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under President Barack Obama, I oversaw the federal government’s 2-million-strong civilian workforce on everything from human resource policy to retirement benefits to health care. This included implementation of all regulations outlined in the Affordable Care Act, including Section 1557 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs or activities.
This section covers discrimination on the basis of gender identity, but the Trump-Pence White House has needlessly proposed a new regulation that would cruelly strip the ACA of specific protections for LGBTQ patients, specifically transgender people. This proposed regulation callously puts lives at risk, and it’s imperative the American people make their voices heard on why this it is dangerous and unacceptable.
On June 14, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a proposed regulation based on a court's outrageous claim that the ACA's protection against discrimination on the basis of gender identity is “likely unlawful.”  This initiated a 60-day public comment period that runs through Aug. 12. In a press release sent out by HHS, Roger Severino, the Director of the department's Office of Civil Rights, offered this ratonale: “When Congress prohibited sex discrimination, it did so according to the plain meaning of the term, and we are making our regulations conform.”

Denying care over personal beliefs 

This is a bad faith and incorrect view of “sex discrimination,” but it’s unsurprising coming from Mr. Severino. His long history of attacking the civil rights of LGBTQ people and women includes calling same-sex marriage part of a “radical” agenda, defending the abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy, and espousing anti-choice opinions, even at the expense of an individual’s health care. He has said that being LGBTQ is “against your biology” and stated that sexual orientation, when compared to race, is an issue of “character.” 
This is not a person who prioritizes the health and safety of all Americans but, rather, consistently seeks to push his personal beliefs on the citizens who look to him for quality and safety in our their health care system.
Over the past two decades, federal courts have made it clear that sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers LGBTQ people due to discrimination based on sex stereotyping. Numerous federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, have reaffirmed this interpretation and incorporated it into their policies.
Simply put, there is longstanding precedent for ensuring LGBTQ people, particularly transgender people, are free from discrimination in health care spaces, which makes this administration’s attacks on the medical access of LGBTQ people all the more heinous.

Don't inflict harm on LGBTQ people

All medical access for all LGBTQ people and their loved ones is affected by this proposed regulation and the blanket "religious freedom" exemptions it would offer: a gay man who goes into the emergency room with a broken arm, a lesbian with cancer, a bisexual person with diabetes, a trans child getting immunizations prior to the start of the school year. This regulation goes against everything medical science has fought to make clear: that the right to health cannot be obfuscated by the political or social beliefs of others.
In a 2009 survey echoed in later studies, Lambda Legal found that 56% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and 70% of transgender and gender non-conforming people reported experiencing discrimination by health care providers — including refusal of care, harsh language and physical roughness because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In a free society that places human rights and life above personal beliefs and petty differences, that is unacceptable.
It is imperative the public submit comments urging the Trump-Pence White House and HHS to abandon this reckless proposed regulation that would inflict cruel and unnecessary harm on marginalized communities.
Katherine Archuleta is a founding partner at Dimension Strategies and was the director of the Office of Personnel Management under President Barack Obama. Follow her on Twitter: @Archuleta2012
You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

June 14, 2019

A Man Caught and Charged With The Murder of Transgender Muhlaysia Booker in Dallas




Image result for murder charge for Kendrell Lavar Lyles
 On left Kendrell Lyles on right his allegedly his victim Ms. Booker
         The BBC reports:

 That a man has been charged with murder following the fatal shooting of transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker last month, police in Dallas, Texas say.
Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 34, has also been charged with the murders of two other people, officials said.
Ms Booker's killing caused an outcry and highlighted the issue of violence faced by transgender people in the US.
Weeks earlier, she was assaulted during a traffic accident and video of the incident was shared on social media.
In a statement, Dallas police said Mr Lyles was charged with Ms Booker's murder after he was arrested on 5 June in connection with the other two killings.
The first was the fatal shooting of a woman in Dallas on 22 May and the second was the killing of a man in a drugs-related incident a day later. The victims have not been named. Neither was transgender, the Washington Post quoted police as saying
Investigators said that, during the course of investigating these two cases, detectives noticed that Mr Lyles drove the same type of car believed to have picked up Muhlaysia Booker on 18 May - the day she was found dead. 
Mobile phone analysis indicated he had been in the area where she was picked up as well as at the scene of her murder, the police statement said.
"Muhlaysia Booker was last seen getting into a light coloured Lincoln LS, which is the same type of car driven by suspect Lyles," the statement said, adding: "Thus far... Lyles has been charged with three counts of murder. 
Police have not suggested a motive for the killings. 
Detectives said Mr Lyles was also a "person of interest" in the death of 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey, a transgender woman whose body was found floating in a Dallas lake on 1 June, the Washington Post reported.
Chynal LindseyImage copyright
  DALLAS POLICE
Image captionChynal Lindsey's body was found in a lake in north-eastern Dallas

What's the background?

Police had earlier said there was no evidence linking the death of 23-year-old Ms Booker to Edward Thomas, a 29-year-old man charged with assaulting her in April.
During that incident, Ms Booker had said she backed into another vehicle while reversing out of a parking space. The driver allegedly pointed a gun at her and refused to let her leave unless she paid for the damage.
As a crowd gathered around, police say one onlooker, Mr Thomas, was offered money to beat Ms Booker.
A video of the incident showed a man putting on gloves and punching her repeatedly, giving her a concussion and a broken wrist.
Mr Thomas was charged with aggravated assault, but denies using homophobic language during the attack.
A second person was arrested for kicking Ms Booker in the face but has not been charged.
Figures show that transgender people, particularly trans women of colour, are disproportionately likely to be the victims of violent attacks in the US.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said that at least 26 trans people were killed across the US last year - the majority of whom were African-American trans women.
Its report said that "some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias", for example, where the perpetrator may have used transphobic language.

May 21, 2019

23 yrs Old Transgender Woman Fatally Shot in Dallas Texas











Muhlaysia BookerImage copyright 
Image captionNo arrests have yet been made over the death of Muhlaysia Booker, who was assaulted last month

A transgender woman has been fatally shot in Dallas, Texas, according to local police.
Muhlaysia Booker, 23, was found dead on a street on Saturday morning, and police are investigating the case as "homicidal violence".
Police said it is unclear if her shooting was a hate crime or motivated by retaliation.
Last month, Ms Booker was assaulted during a traffic accident, which was filmed and shared on social media.
Dallas police have declined to comment on whether she received any death threats before this latest shooting.
They added that there is no evidence linking her murder to Edward Thomas, a 29-year-old man who was charged with assault against her in April. 
As a crowd gathered around, police say one onlooker, Mr Thomas, was offered $200 (£156) to beat Ms Booker.
A video of the incident showed Mr Thomas putting on gloves and punching her repeatedly, giving her a concussion and a broken wrist.
Mr Thomas was charged with aggravated assault, but denies allegations that he used homophobic language during the attack.
A second person was arrested for kicking Ms Booker in the face but has not been charged.

Women at risk

Figures show that transgender people, particularly trans women of colour, are disproportionately likely to be the victims of violent attacks in the US. 
In many cases, such as Ms Booker's, this violence is fatal.
According to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), at least 26 trans people were killed across the country last year - the majority of whom were African-American trans women.
Its report says that "some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias", for example, where the perpetrator may have used transphobic language.
However, in other cases the victims' gender "may have put them at risk in other ways, such as forcing them into unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and/or survival sex work" that leaves them vulnerable to violent attacks.
HRC adds that institutional transphobia, combined with racism, makes it more likely for trans women of colour to not have housing, healthcare or work, leaving them more vulnerable as a result.

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