Today marks Transgender Day of Remembrance. The day was started in response to the murders, violence, and hate crimes that the transgender community faces each day (an emotional list of those who we have lost this year alone). It honors both those who have been tragically lost as well as those who continue the fight against transphobia. To end the violence, discrimination, and bullying, we must continue to educate, empower, and unite behind this important cause. Click here for a huge list of international events to mark the occasion.
Mexico City’s lawmakers have approved a groundbreaking transgender-rights bill that allows trans* people to change their gender without a court order. The law is the first-of-its-kind for a Latin American country and the overwhelming support for the measure (42-0) signals a major change for transgender people in Mexico. “It eliminates cumbersome trials and judicial proceedings, procedures, to generate the administrative change of a legal action to which everyone has the right,” said Manuel Granados Covarrubias of the Party of the Democratic Revolution. “Their dignity is also recognized.”
Elle Fanning is really taking her role as a transgender teenage to heart as new photos reveal the 16-year-old actress’s stunning transformation. Fanning will star in the upcoming movie Three Generations and will play a teenager transitioning from female to male. The movie film, which will star both Naomi Watts and Susan Saradon, will focus on the complex issues that arise in a family when a child is transgender. [E!]
Currently serving transgender service members from five of the 18 foreign militaries that allow transgender service today gathered alongside US service members in Washington D.C. The gathering, Perspectives on Transgender Military Service from Around the Globe, is the first-ever and largest international conference of transgender military service members on US soil. It is expected to inform the national conversation about U.S. military policy.
The conference included currently serving transgender personnel from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden. An estimated 15,500 transgender individuals currently serve in the US military, but they are banned by Pentagon rules from serving, and if their identity is discovered, the military is required to discharge them.
Also today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi openly supported lifting the ban on transgender service members from serving in the US Armed Forces with her rep saying: “Pelosi believes there is no place for discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces including on the basis of gender identity.”
Since one of America’s most famous inmates, Bradley Manning, officially began living as Chelsea Manning, there has been only one grain black-and-white picture of her. (We’ve used it many times.) Now, a little-known Philadelphia artist, Alicia Neal, a graduate of UArts was commissioned to create the first official portrait of the WikiLeaks leaker. The official portrait was thanks to The Chelsea Manning Support Network who recognized the unique challenges of getting a portrait drawn because of the high-security facility Manning is in. So, Chelsea Manning drew a self-portrait and mailed it off to the Support Network who commissioned Neal.
A full-page ad depicting two shower heads and the message “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter, are YOU ok with that?” has enlivened a debate over whether or not to allow transgender students to join sports teams based on their gender identity. The completely bigoted and transphobic ad was placed in Sunday’s paper and is in reaction to a proposed policy change that will be discussed this week by the Minnesota State High School League. The ad, which is being paid for by an organization called the Minnesota Child Protection League, echoes the terrible misconceptions that people have concerning transgender issues and only highlights the need for further education. [FX]
With the Help of the ACLU, Chelsea Manning Files Lawsuit Demanding Medical Treatment for Gender Dysphoria
Chelsea Manning filed a lawsuit in federal court in the DC against Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and others in the Department of Defense and Department of the Army officials for their failure to provide necessary medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, a condition with which she was originally diagnosed by Army doctors more than four years ago. The complaint is accompanied by a motion for preliminary injunction demanding that Ms. Manning be provided hormone therapy, permission to follow female grooming standards, and access to treatment by a medical provider qualified to treat her condition.
Although the military recognizes that she has gender dysphoria requiring treatment, critical care has been withheld without any medical basis. “The government continues to deny Ms. Manning’s access to necessary medical treatment for gender dysphoria, without which she will continue to suffer severe psychological harms,” said Chase Strangio, an attorney in the ACLU project and co-counsel on Ms. Manning’s case. “Such clear disregard of well-established medical protocols constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.”
“From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body,” a new picture book that explores a transgender child’s story reads. Based on the real-life story of Jazz Jennings, the O Network put Jazz in the spotlight as a transgender girl. The book continues: “She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.”
The book, written by Jessica Herthel is the director of the Stonewall National Education Project and Jazz, is set to be release on September 4.
The androgens supermodel, Andreja Pejic, most famous for her high-fashion modeling career posing as both male and female in both print and on the runway has come out as a transwoman and will no longer take jobs where she is required to pose as a man. The Australian model, who has also created a stunning line of jewelry to benefit the Ali Forney Center, told Entertainment Tonight, People.com, and Style.com that her agency supports her decision. “To all trans youth out there, I would like to say respect yourself and be proud of who you are. All human beings deserve equal treatment no matter their gender identity or sexuality. To be perceived as what you say you are is a basic human right,” she told GLAAD, an organization that helped her and her team with the social aspects of her transition. “As a transgender woman I hope to show that after transition (a life-saving process) one can be happy and successful in their new chapter,” she posted on her FB.
Congrats Andrewja, we’re excited to see what’s in store for you!
The Pentagon has agreed to begin providing Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) with rudimentary gender treatment. The 26-year-old private, who was found guilty of declassifying military documents, announced that she identified as female after she was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
“Chelsea has been asking for medical treatment from the military for the past ten months. So far, the military has outright ignored her requests. The military absolutely needs to revisit its ‘policy’ on transgender medical care and adapt it to 21st century medical standards. It cannot continue to bury its head in the sand any longer,” Manning’s attorney David Coombs wrote.
During Manning’s trial, she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and gender identity disorder, hopefully with hormone therapy, Manning will be able to live as herself.