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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.
Check out the fascinating story over at the Verge for a detailed account of how the portrait came to fruition.
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]
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.”
Image via Dial.
“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.
Image via Facebook.
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.
Categories: chelsea manning, Transgender american hero, bradley manning, Bradley Manning Support Network, chelsea manning, Collateral Murder video, Colonel Denise Lind, Courage to Resist, David Coombs, gay soldiers, transgender, Whistle Blower, wikileaks
Image via Passport
Beginning July 23, the three-week long Queer Arts Festival will feature a multitude of events and performances for all ages. The event includes everything from a youth improv dance workshop to Canada’s first Lesbian Opera; there is literally something for everybody in Vancouver this summer!
Categories: Canada, Gay Travel, Lesbian, theater, Theatre, trangender, Vancouver canada, gay canada, gay travel, Gay Vancouver, Lesbian theater, Queer Arts Festival, Theatre, transgender, vancouver
Najda Karlsson photo via Visit Sweden
Here’s a great interview with Nadja Karlsson that our friends at Visit Sweden sent to us today. We couldn’t wait to share it with you.
Transgender Nadja Karlsson is an ABBA-loving Tasting Room Manager at Spritmuseum in Stockholm. Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network asked her about everything from where she finds her inspiration, to what not to miss in Stockholm.
Who inspires you?
Queen Christina, Sweden’s most queer regent! Though she reigned in the seventeenth century, she continues to inspire fascination, debate and controversy even today. In her own time she was widely known as a rebel queen, a woman who followed her own path and refused to limit herself to the social norms of the day. I always ask for a statue of Christina as often as I can.
If you could spend an entire day in Stockholm with anyone in the world, who would you choose and what would you do?
Lasse-Maja (1785-1845) was a notorious Swedish transgender criminal. I would so much love to spend a day with her and let her show me her Stockholm.
What is your favorite neighborhood?
I must say Östermalm. Not around Stureplan, but the more quiet streets. Many of the houses here are from the last century and constructed in a very grandiose manner. On Östermalm you’ll find the churchEngelbrektskyrkan, the Stockholm Olympic Stadium and the Historic Museum.
Spritmuseum, the Museum of Spirits is the best! Always with new and exciting exhibitions. I also like the city walks made by the Stockholm City Museum.
Continue reading on the next page…
Categories: Gay Travel, Scandinavia, Sweden, trangender Conchita Wurst, gay stockholm, Gay Sweden, Najda Karlsson, stockholm, stockholm pride, sweden, transgender
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R&B singer R. Kelly’s youngest child has come out as transgender. Thirteen-year-old Jay, who changed his name from Jaya, said that his father was unaware of the transition up until three months ago, but says that his mother, R. Kelly’s ex Andrea Kelly, has been fully supportive of the change. “[My mom] was like, ‘Baby, you know I love you if you were bi, gay, [lesbian], you name it and I would still love you so much,’” he wrote on his Ask.fm page. Jay has said that he has identified as male since “six or seven” and hopes to one day undergo transitional surgery. “I believe I am a boy and want surgery, and the medication to help me (be) who I was supposed to be.” So far, R. Kelly has not made a public statement about his son.
Congrats Jay, we can’t imagine the courage needed to come forward at such a young age!