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Oxford Dictionary Adds Gender-Neutral Mx Title

August 27th, 2015 Comments off
Justin Vivian Bond famously goes by Mx. Image via Facebook

Justin Vivian Bond famously goes by Mx. Image via Facebook

Earlier this year the Oxford Dictionary added the word cisgender into the Oxford English Dictionary, and now the board has approved the title Mx. as a title for a person who doesn’t fit into traditional male or female roles (Mr., Ms, Mrs.). The honorific is defined as “a title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female.’ Originating in around 70s, Mx can be widely used in forms, banks and government institutions in the UK.”

The Oxford Dictionary keeps a record of all words that permeate into the English lexicon, and is not an authority on the English language. Other words that were added this year include Wine O’Clock, fat-shame, butt dial, and Redditor.

 

 

Transgender Bill Goes “Beyond the Pale,” Says Chris Christie

August 14th, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Passport Magazine

Photo via Passport Magazine

On Thursday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights advocacy organization, issued the following statement in response to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who reportedly “laughed on Thursday about his recent veto of legislation that would have streamlined the process in his state for transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.”

“It was bad enough that Governor Christie vetoed this bill. Now he has added insult to injury by demeaning the entire transgender community,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof.

During an interview on a right-wing radio talk show, the Republican presidential candidate stood up for his veto, saying, “Certain things go beyond the pale.”

“What’s really beyond the pale is that a sitting governor, much less a candidate for the presidency, would use such offensive and harmful rhetoric in 2015. Chris Christie should immediately apologize,” Winterhof went on to write.

In talks with conservative radio host Michael Medved, Christie cited his thinking (or, lack thereof ) behind the veto was that the bill did not make sense to him.

Christie added, ” … That’s why I vetoed it again, and if they send it to me again, I will veto it again.”

First Look: Elle Fanning Playing Transgender Teen in ‘About Ray’

August 10th, 2015 Comments off
Image via E! Online

Image via E! Online

Elle Fanning completely takes on the role as a transgender teen. As show in the recently released trailer, the 16-year-old actress’s stunning transformation into a young boy. Fanning will star in the upcoming movie About Ray and will play a teenager transitioning from female to male. The movie, 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.

The film has a September 18th release date.

Watch the new trailer after the jump…

Read more…

Hello Sunny! Fort Lauderdale Puts the T in LGBT Travel and Gets Set to Host the Largest Transgender Conference

August 7th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Greater Fort Lauderdale has actively attracted gay travelers by hosting a massive same-sex wedding and its commitment to equality for the community. It’s also the first visitors’ bureau in the U.S. with a designated LGBTQ department, and last year became the first to commission the first-ever survey of transgender travelers in North America with the goal of identifying the travel motivations, needs, and priorities of the market. With its findings, the tourist board was able to better understand the needs of the transgender community and even created a designated landing page for transgender travelers, placing the forgotten “T” in front of the well-known acronym LGBT.

Now, the city is welcoming the 25th Annual Southern Comfort Conference, one of the largest gatherings of trans* individuals in the world, for the next three years. Taking place at Bonaventure Resort and Spa from Sep. 9-Oct. 3, the four-day conference will welcome over 1,000 attendees with its seminars, workshops, and networking events.

“As a destination that welcomes all people with a diverse, safe and open community, we aim to put trans people in the forefront of the LGBTQ community instead of being the often forgotten ‘T,’” said Richard Gray, LGBTQ managing director for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are educating lesbian and gay travelers, mainstream audiences and using our platform as a leader in the LGBTQ travel space to illustrate Broward County’s commitment and respect for trans individuals.”

Find out what went down at Fort Lauderdale’s mass same-sex wedding in our Globetrotting article. 

Norway to Allow Trans Kids Over Seven To Change Legal Gender

August 5th, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Passport Magazine

Photo via Passport Magazine

Children as young as seven years old will be able to change their legal gender with parental consent under new legislation proposed by the Norwegian government.

If passed, the bill would make Norway the most progressive country in the world in respect to transgender rights. Gender identity alone would merit legality in and of itself, eliminating Norway’s existing requirements for preemptive genital surgery and sterilization.

While transgender children will be able to make the gender change for legal purposes, custodial permission will be required to attain legal status up until the age of 16, at which time parental consent will no longer hold legal currency. Transgender people will not be permitted to undergo sex change operations before turning 18.

Norway’s existing policy regarding transgender people has gone untouched for six decades. Landmark at its conception, Norwegian policy currently allows transgenders to change their legal gender, provided they undergo psychiatric evaluation, surgical sex change, and sterilization.

Now, it appears those hoops will become a thing of the past in Norway.

“This is an important area where Norway has lagged far behind many other countries for many years,” Health Minister Bent Høie said while announcing the proposed bill at Oslo Europride in June.

“Now, we can be proud that we are implementing this law.”

Groundbreaking Transgender Student Publication Provides Guidelines for K-12

August 5th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Today, five national organizations introduced Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools, a first-of-its-kind publication for school administrations, teachers, and parents about how to provide safe and supportive environments for all transgender students, kindergarten through twelfth grade.

The lead authors are Asaf Orr, the Transgender Youth Project Staff Attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and Joel Baum, Gender Spectrum’s Senior Director for Professional Development and Family Services. Other co-authors include the National Education Association (NEA), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Schools are increasingly being called upon to include and support transgender students. Recognizing that this can seem daunting or overwhelming, Schools In Transition offers practical guidance and field-tested tips to parents, educators, administrators, and community members on planning and supporting a transgender student through a transition at school. The guide is geared toward the needs of all students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, and incorporates recommendations that will allow schools to tailor those plans to the particular circumstances of the student and school. The authors include statements, recommendations, and resources which are based on data, research and best practices that have been tested in this field, as well as narratives of real experiences from students and educators.

“Having worked with many transgender students and their families, I know that school administrators want to do what they can to meet the needs of their transgender students and comply with Title IX. Unfortunately, many are unsure about how to achieve that goal,” said Asaf Orr. “This guide changes that by giving all the stakeholders in a school the tools to support a transgender student in their school. Following this guide will not only assist schools in complying with Title IX, but also create a safe and more supportive environment for all students in the district.”

Joel Baum added: “Schools in Transition is a unique and crucial resource for educators, caregivers and students. A young person’s assertion of their authentic gender, and the attendant questions it raises can feel overwhelming for all involved. This invaluable tool effectively breaks down the process, helping convert uncertainty to action. It provides a roadmap in which everyone can locate themselves on the journey to a successful experience for all.”

‘I Am Cait’ Scores Gold in the Ratings

July 29th, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Youtube

Photo via Youtube

It seems the American public can’t get enough of Caitlyn Jenner as the Olympian has proved to be ratings gold. In addition to drawing massive audiences to the Diane Sawyer interview and the two-part Keeping Up With the Kardashians special, the transgender icon’s new reality show on the E! network, I Am Cait, brought in record numbers for the cable network.

The show, which follows the day-to-day routine of Caitlyn, brought in over 2.7 million people — making it the third-largest premiere for E!. Making up over half of the audience were the coveted 18-49-year-0ld demographic.

The Real First Agency For Trans Models Merits Media Spotlight, Too

July 27th, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Transcendence Icon

Photo via Transcendence Icon

Apple Model Management L.A. made headlines this week after becoming “the world’s first agency to represent all-transgender models,” The Advocate reports. This summer, the Bangkok-based modeling agency will put down roots in Los Angeles to begin exclusively promoting their transgender model division.

“We see trans individuals as beautiful,” says LA agency director Cecilio Asuncion. “Our strong commitment to developing them as successful models is never about quantifying or qualifying their gender. It’s never a question of if they are women or men, it’s about their passion and commitment to being the best possible models they can be.”

Asuncion went on to tell The Advocate that plenty of trans* models have been unable to achieve their true potential over the years, curbed by stigmas the fashion industry held toward the community. Now, he says, is time that changes.

There’s just one thing.

The world’s first transgender-specific modeling agency already exists in none other than Boise, Idaho. And its those exact stigmas that are keeping it out of the week’s discourse on transgender models over on Buzzfeed, Elle, Hollywood Reporter, and beyond.

Transcendence Icon, a small, yet growing firm, has been way ahead of the curve in promoting trans* beauty, fostering the careers of transgender models, commercial actors, dancers, and others since last March.

On Thursday, the agency issued a press release in response to The Advocate, who falsely attributed Apple Agency as the world’s first agency of its kind.

“Recently, other existing modeling agencies, both in the United States and overseas (namely Apple Models, Bangkok, Thailand) have begun to add representation of transgender models to their existing format, and some of those agencies claim to be first out of the gate.”

Apple Model Management’s height requirements for its models, a 5’8” requirement for trans* woman and a 6′ and up requirement for trans* men, are not only unrealistic for trans* individuals, but breed a serious lack of diversity, says Amy Icon, creator and executive director of Transcendence Icon.

On The Advocate’s report, Icon told Passport: “It’s a real disfavor to us, and to our 14-year-old brand ambassador D.W. Wiona. They clearly didn’t check their facts.”

Among the transgender models who wouldn’t make Apple’s cut is D.W. Wiona, a key player in lobbying state legislation to the Senate floor this year that allowed transgender students to use preferred-gender restrooms in public schools. A true beauty, the young trailblazer stands at 5 feet, 6 inches.

“While the agency doesn’t have an office in New York or Paris or Milan, it was the first of its kind and manages a number of unique and beautiful models with unbelievable potential.”

Caitlyn Jenner Dazzles in ‘I Am Cait’ Series Premiere

July 24th, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Youtube

Photo via Youtube

“What a responsibility I have towards this community,” Jenner says in the opening moments of I Am Cait, wide awake from uneasiness at 4:30 A.M. “I just hope I get it right.”

And right she did by the premiere episode of her highly anticipated, eight-hour docuseries, which stars Caitlyn — formerly Bruce Jenner — as she takes her next steps into the uncharted territory of womanhood with admirable poise.

Caitlyn Jenner’s debut sails on with her new E! series, I Am Cait, a poignant move among many as of late for the 65-year-old trailblazer. Her last public appearance as Bruce Jenner in April, an unforgettable interview with Diane Sawyer, saw 17 million viewers tune in. It’s fair to say her “Call Me Caitlyn” Vanity Fair cover, in which she presented as a woman for the first time, sent the media into full-fledged blitz, further dizzied when she usurped President Obama’s Twitter-follower record later that day. And just last week, the former Olympian went on to deliver a remarkably articulate speech at the ESPY Awards, where she was honored with the evening’s high honor, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

But I Am Cait tops all else, making its Keeping Up predecessor look even less substantive, if at all possible. Kim Kardashian does (of course) make a short appearance, offering Jenner the reminder, “All eyes on you now. You cannot disappoint.”

In this Sunday’s premiere episode of I Am Cait, viewers will be introduced to a new father-daugher dynamic between Caitlyn and her 17-year-old daughter Kylie Jenner, who “meets” Caitlyn for the first time as the cameras are rolling, per usual.

“Hey, pretty!” Kylie says before giving Caitlin a big hug.

“Hey, baby! I didn’t know you were here!” Caitlyn says. “You look so pretty,” Kylie lights up.

It’s a moment that’s colored with a sincerity that almost leads you to wonder if you’ve stumbled upon a different E! entirely, one that doesn’t air shows like the #RichKids of Beverly Hills, a notoriously snobbish melodrama that hits viewers with questions like, “Have you ever partied so hard you partied your eyebrows off?”

Take note, reality TV. Catch the premiere of I Am Cait this Sunday on E!, and watch a snippet of when Kylie met Caitlyn below.

Read more…

Ireland Passes Historic Transgender-Rights Bill

July 16th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Glynnis Jones

Image via Glynnis Jones

Ireland will be one of the few countries in the world to allow transgender individuals to legally change their gender without medical or state intervention. Most Western countries require transgender people to undergo gender-reassignment surgery and sterilization before legally changing their gender.  Only Denmark and Malta have similar laws.