Image via American Apparel
Facebook will now allow users to add their own description beyond the pre-set options to accurately describe their gender identity. Users can also control with whom they share their gender identity, an important safety and privacy feature.
The change builds on the “Custom Gender” option introduced last year by Facebook, which provides users a list of more than 50 gender identities they can choose from to describe themselves while building their online profile at the site. The feature will now include a free-form field in which individuals who use Facebook in US English can self-identify with their own words.
“Facebook’s new free-form field for gender identity is a huge step forward for transgender, gender nonconforming and gender queer youth,” said GLSEN Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard. “The Internet is an essential source of resources, support and community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, and one of its most important ‘living rooms’ now better reflects their reality and self-understanding.”
Image via Passport
A press briefing today at the White House has confirmed that President Obama believes that transgender soldiers should be allowed to serve openly in the military. Secretary Carter said at an event in Kandahar: “And I’m very open-minded about…what their personal lives and proclivities are, provided they can do what we need them to do for us. That’s the important criteria. Are they going to be excellent service members? And I don’t think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them.”
See a transcription of today’s press briefing in which a reporter asks about Carter’s comments.
Q Thanks, Josh. During a military town hall event yesterday in Kandahar, Secretary Carter expressed an openness to the idea of openly transgender service, saying only suitability for service should bar an American from enlistment. Does the President share Secretary Carter’s views on this?
MR. EARNEST: Chris, I’ve seen the reports of Secretary Carter’s comments. I can tell you that the President agrees with the sentiment that all Americans who are qualified to serve should be able to serve. And for that reason we here at the White House welcome the comments from the Secretary of Defense.
But in terms of additional steps the Department of Defense will take to address this matter, I’d refer you to the Secretary’s office.
Q Is there any coordination going on between the White House and the Pentagon right now to coordinate those steps?
MR. EARNEST: Well, again, to talk about what those next steps might be, I’d refer you to the Department of Defense.
Chelsea Manning may be sentenced to 35 years in a high-security prison, but that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to spread the word about issues current to her. Manning last year came out as transgender, and is currently serving time for her involvement in handing over top-secret documents to WikiLeaks, but will now be contributing to The Guardian about war, gender, and freedom of information, according the US paper’s editor, Katherine Viner.
Laverne Cox. Image via Time.
From prison to the courtroom, Laverne Cox is set to take on the role as an attorney in a new CBS pilot. The Orange is the New Black actress will star as a transgender defense attorney in the pilot of Doubt. The show already sounds promising from the brief description from PEOPLE: “…defense attorney who becomes romantically entangled with one of her clients who is charged with a brutal crime.”
Glee photo by staff photogher via GLAAD
Tune in to this Friday’s very special episode of Glee (yes, it is still on) and watch the return of West McKinley High’s favorite show stopper, Unique (Alex Newell). The episode, appropriately titled “Transitioning” will put Unique upfront with a 200-person trans* chorus who will sing a rousing rendition of “I Know Where I’ve Been” from Harispray. The episode will deal with Coach Beiste’s upcoming female to male transition on the show. Transgender people from all over the country came to film the scene. [GLAAD]
Image via Sak’s facebook
In two major victories for transgender civil rights, today SaksFifth Avenue withdrew a motion to dismiss a lawsuit in which Saks had argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect transgender workers, and the U.S. Department of Justice filed a historic statement of interest in the same case affirmatively stating that Title VII covers transgender people. This is the first time that the Department has made clear that Title VII prohibits any type of discrimination against transgender people, not just discrimination based on gender stereotypes.
Find out more about the case after the jump…
Image via InTouch
We told you last week about the new cover of supermarket-rag InTouch that featured a Photoshopped image of Bruce Jenner wearing makeup and in a woman’s outfit. The magazine hasn’t apologized for the dehumanizing and distasteful cover.
A new petition from Care2 is quickly gaining traction online, you can click here to sign too.
Sarah Michele Gellar and Anthony Stewart Head. Screen Shot via Twitter.
Updated: All names and links have been deleted due to privacy concerns. But we do find the story to be inspiring and worth sharing.
Anthony Stewart Head, most famously known for his role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Buffy’s watcher Giles, granted the wish of one his number-one fans. Head responded to a Tumblr user, who is currently transitioning from female to male, by inviting him to spend the day at his farm in the UK. It all started when he wrote on Tumblr that an old autograph with his birth name and a photo were an uncomfortable reminder of his past self.
Head’s partner Sarah Fisher caught wind of the post, and within 15 minutes she responded to it. The teen was then invited up to the home, where he was able to live blog the entire experience. Suffice to say, he got more than just a new autograph. [via Tumblr]
Categories: television, Transgender Anthony Head, Anthony Stewart Head, blog, buffy, Buffy the vampire slayer, celebrities, draco, giles, trans, transgender
Image via InTouch
Above is the actual cover of this week’s InTouch Weekly. InTouch’s reckless “reporting” and photoshopping of Keeping up with the Kardashian–star Bruce Jenner is not only damaging to the image of transwomen everywhere, but also represents a new low for the rag. The irresponsibility, particularly after the death of a trans-teen Leelah Alcorn, in publishing an article/cover has no place in 2015. If the rumors of Jenner’s transition are true, the media should not treat Jenner as an oddity, but as a person finally finding who they are—shouldn’t that be something we collectively celebrate and not exploit for shock value?
Image via QueerRussia
A new report out of Russia says that those with “disorders of sexual preference” will be banned from driving. New legislative documents reveal a list of new medical regulations for those who are applying for a driver license in order to reduce the number of accidents in the country. Along with universally recognized driver impairmnets like blindness, the document also includes “gender identity disorders,” “transexualism,” and “dual-role transvestism” in addition to “sadomasochism” and “exhibitionism.” [HuffPo]