Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On TV And In the Movies

GLAAD has a report on their blog about trans-people on the television,
GLAAD's third annual Trans Images on TV report finds some improvement
By Megan Townsend, GLAAD's Entertainment Media Strategist
November 18, 2014

In the latest installment of its annual Trans Images on TV report released today, GLAAD finds some improvement over the previous year's results when it comes to transgender representation on scripted television. This year, GLAAD reviewed 13 new scripted episodes with trans characters that have aired since November 2013. In a slight improvement, 46% (6) of the 13 episodes tracked were considered defamatory. This is a drop of 8% from the previous two reports. Another 39% (5) fell in the range of problematic to acceptable. But still only two episodes (15%) were considered outstanding: Drop Dead Diva's "Identity Crisis," and Orphan Black's "Variable and Full of Perturbation." Both episodes focused on transgender men, which is quite unusual as trans men remain largely invisible in mainstream media.
[…]
There was only one episode this year in which a trans character was portrayed as a victim, and none where they were portrayed as the villain. In the previous two reports, 35% of episodes tracked included characters classified as victims, while 19% of tracked episodes included trans characters in the role of murderers or villains. Additionally, only one character this year was portrayed as a sex worker, Venus Van Dam on FX's Sons of Anarchy. This is an improvement over previous years in which the most common profession for trans characters was sex worker.

Unfortunately, anti-transgender slurs, language, and dialogue continue to be prevalent in television. Of the 13 episodes tracked, 39% (5) of them contained problematic language - often spoken by popular or sympathetic characters with whom the audience is supposed to identify. These slurs typically go unchallenged by anyone else in the episode.
Candis Cayne was back on TV show, this time for a guest appearance as a housekeeper on CBS' Elementary, the last time she was on TV it was on the show “Dirty Sexy Money” and she played a prostitute. The only other show that had a trans-actress actually playing a trans-person was the Netflix’s show “Orange is the New Black.” All the other shows had actresses imitation a trans-person.

On the big screen, even though the article didn’t cover movies, there was one movie that is making the rounds of LGBT film festivals that is getting acclaims, Boy Meets Girl, it is a very good love story, and it actually has a trans-woman playing a trans-woman. I have seen the movie twice and want to buy the DVD when it comes out.

The other movie is in the works, “The Danish Girl” about the life of Lili Elbe who will be played by actor Eddie Redmayne.

Will Florida Become Number Nineteen?

A sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination bill has been introduced in the Florida legislature.
Florida lawmakers peg anti-LGBT discrimination bill to economic viability
Tampa Bay Business Journal
By Margie Manning
Nov 24, 2014

Measures that would prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the job and in public housing and accommodations will get another chance in the Florida Legislature.

Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, and Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach, filed bills in the Florida House and Senate respectively that would add protections for more than 536,000 LGBT adults in Florida, according to a statement from Equality Florida, a civil rights organization focused on the LGBT community. Florida is one of 29 states that lacks statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals.
[…]
Raschein co-sponsored the measure last year, but it failed to advance out of committee.
Will the bi-partisan bill make it out of committee this year or will it meet the same fate as all the other bills? Will we be dropped in order to pass the bill?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We Are Different

We have our own unique problems, we are a lot like gays and lesbian but we are slightly different in one sad way… we commit suicide more often. In the national survey of trans-people they found that 41% of us have tried to commit suicide, which is almost one in two of us!

So when it comes to suicide hotline are problems might be just like everyone else’s but having a hotline that is just for us is a lot better,
Trans Lifeline: Trans People Helping Trans People to Prevent Trans DeathsHuffington Post: Gay Voices
By H. Adam Ackley, Ph.D
Posted: 11/20/2014

As the world marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance to commemorate the transgender and gender-nonconforming people taken from us by violence in the past year, a new resource -- the trans-staffed crisis phone line Trans Lifeline -- is now available to help trans people. "According to the most recent and comprehensive statistics available, 41% of trans people attempt suicide at least once in their lives, and the figures go up to 50% if their trans status is known or disclosed," said Trans Lifeline President Greta Gustava Martela. "We'd like to get that to zero. Our community needs every one of our members." Trans Lifeline launched on November 1, 2014 and is staffed and managed by volunteers and staff who are themselves trans. It is the first crisis and suicide prevention hotline specifically focused on the trans community and all services are free. The hotline number is 877-565-8860.
[…]
About one in three transgender people worldwide are reported to die from suicide attempts, including after beginning transition. Though a few vocal opponents of gender transition may use this statistic to argue against trans* identities entirely, a careful contextual analysis of the discrimination against trans people (the main trigger for suicide attempts) demonstrates discrimination, which only occurs after a transgender person has revealed their gender complexity to others, to be a significant triggering factor in the majority of attempts. Thus, trans suicides are driven not by our gender itself but by our reactions to transphobia -- social hatred of us expressed in countless daily microaggressions (not being able to use a public restroom for example); being excluded from and even hounded by our own faith communities; job discrimination and all that ensues -- homelessness, lack of access to medical care, poverty, and so much more. Legal protections have helped some of us, but they are not always enforced. And as Martin Luther King, Jr. always said, one can legislate public morality but the real work (spiritual work) is to change people's hearts, to grow beyond hate and fear of the "other."
For many of us just going out in public every date takes its toll. As he says it the daily it is the social isolation and the daily microagressions that take taxes us. It is like a dripping faucet at night, it is not that one drip that gets to us but rather the drip, drip, drip…

We are social animals we need the personal interaction in our daily lives, society pushes us into boxes and the more we do not conform to those boxes the harder society pushes back. We need to talk to others who know what that pressure is like and that is why a trans specific hotline makes so much sense.

When Will They Ever Learn – The Continuing Saga

You would think by now that schools will have learned by now that they cannot block GSAs (Gay Straight Alliances) in their schools.
Putnam County principal: Adding LGBT club would ‘create bullying’
The Charleston Gazette
By Mackenzie Mays, Staff writer
November 14, 2014

A Putnam County high school will not allow a Gay-Straight Alliance club on campus, despite students’ requests.

Winfield High School Principal Bruce McGrew said that, while there was student interest in such a group, no teachers wanted to sponsor it.

“It’s not a subject to even discuss, because [we] don’t have one,” McGrew said. “That’s all I’ll say about it.”

When asked if he would allow a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender student support club at the school if a teacher did offer to chaperone, McGrew said he would “rather not answer that.”

McGrew said he believes the creation of such a group would allow more opportunities for students to bully other students.

“It’s an issue. If you’re asking my personal beliefs, that’s one thing, but what you’ve got to understand is we don’t want to have anything where there’s bullying involved, and if you bring attention to that sort of thing, it’s going to create bullying,” McGrew said. “It would bring more problems to the issue of bullying and so forth if it were to occur. Our job is to protect all kids from that.”
Yes, your job is to protect the students and it is not done by discriminating against them. The Equal Access Act (1980’s) applies to LGBT organizations and the courts and the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice has made it very clear that schools must allow GSAs and also provide a safe learning environment for all students.

An article in QUEERTY said that under pressure the school has agreed to have a GSA there,
The petition [a Change.org petition] garnered over 150 signatures and got the media’s attention. This ultimately prompted McGrew to reverse course. Within a day, he located a faculty member to oversee the group and gave the GSA the green light.

Jeff Haught, the school’s show choir director, will be the club’s sponsor.

Monday, November 24, 2014

An Acceptable Alternative

Most of the time you see where a trans-student is delegated to use a teachers’ or nurses’ bathroom which segregates us from the rest of the school population. But this practice is illegal under Connecticut law.

Clifton Park school district in New York has an acceptable alternative,
School district weighing transgender policyOfficials plan to offer alternative bathrooms, locker rooms for studentsTimes Union
By Dennis Yusko
November 21, 2014

Transgender students at Shenendehowa schools could soon gain access to alternative bathrooms and locker rooms under a move the district says reflects "the changing needs and demands" of students.

The new policy would allow Shenendehowa High School students to request to use bathroom facilities that correspond to their gender identity. The superintendent of schools and a building-level administrator would decide whether to grant the requests on a case-by-case basis.

The policy also would ensure that all of the district's 9,797 students have access to single-user bathrooms and alternative areas to change their clothes. Students would not be required to use a facility that conflicts with their gender identity or makes them uncomfortable.
Did you notice the difference?

All the students can use a single-user bathroom or locker room. They are not forcing trans-students to be isolated from the school population but instead are allowing any student who is uncomfortable to have a private area to go the bathroom or change. Many students are uncomfortable changing in public and they should not be forced to change in front of other.

This is a great policy.

Dissed In Death

A trans-woman who dies last month was dishonored in death by her family,
Transgender woman dies suddenly, presented at funeral in open casket as a man
Miami Herald: Gay South Florida
By Steve Rothaus
11/21/2014

Jennifer Gable, an Idaho customer service coordinator for Wells Fargo, died suddenly Oct. 9 on the job at age 32. An aneurysm, according to stunned friends.

Just as shocking, they say, when they went to Gable’s funeral in Twin Falls, Idaho, and saw her in an open casket — hair cut short, dressed in a suit and presented as a man.

“I am disgusted,” Stacy Dee Hudson posted on Facebook. “A great and dear friend’s mom went to the funeral today. It was not closed casket. They cut her hair, suit on. How can they bury her as geoff when she legally changed her name. So very sad. Jen you will be missed and people who know you know that you are at peace.”
[…]
Mike Parke of Magic Valley Funeral Home and Crematory in Twin Falls said Gable’s death certificate listed her as male.

“The death certificate says Geoffrey AKA Jennifer Gable,” Parke said Friday night. “The last few years she lived as Jennifer. They buried him as Geoff. A tormented situation for all those involved.”
But out in California this past September…
Calif. governor signs bill allowing transgender status on death certificates
LGBTQ Nation
Associated Press
September 26, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Transgender Californians will have the right to have their gender identity properly recognized on death certificates under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The governor announced Friday that he signed AB1577, the “Respect After Death Act,” introduced by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, a fellow Democrat from San Diego.

Starting in July 2015, the legislation requires the person who fills out a death certificate for a transgender person to record the sex that reflects his or her gender identity.
It is time for us to be respected in death!

One of the things that you can do is have a will and have the executor that you can trust to carry out your wishes.