Friday Philosophy: Trans News Update

Usually I have a longer break between summaries of news of interest to the trans community and perhaps to our allies.  But I have only had a couple of days since I returned from the desert to gather my wits together and try to develop a topic and an essay…and one of those was consumed by a medical test.

Additionally, there have been several items of interest that have transpired while I was gone.  I doubt many of them were covered by anyone else.  A few of them were touched on in previous trans news diaries…so consider this to be a set of updates, if you wish.

Without further ado, here is the introduction to the first story:

Vandy Beth Glenn was a legislative editor in Georgia who came out to her boss about beginning to transition at her workplace.  She was fired by Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby  because he believed her transition would make her colleagues feel uncomfortable and be viewed as immoral by Georgia legislators.  

Here is Vandy Beth testifying about ENDA in September of 2009.

In early July US District Judge Richard W. Story ruled (pdf) that the firing violated Ms. Glenn’s constitutional rights under the Equal Protection Clause.  The remedy phase of the proceedings were to begin on July 13.  We await the results.

We are not totally pleased with the judge’s opinion.  He found that Ms. Glenn was discriminated against…as a man.  We would rather she have been recognized as the woman she is.  Because of this, reaction in the trans community seems to be mixed.

Governor Bob McDonnell’s former in-law Robyn Deane is in the news again.  The Washington Post decided to do a feature on her, complete with a several sex-stereoptypical photos and the obligatory attack that she has only become politically active for personal attention and aggrandizement.

I have never watched any of the Degrassi television series, but they are going to have a transgender storyline in the coming year.  Jordan Todosey will play a new student who was born female but presents as a boy.  

Personally I am somewhat disappointed that positive portrayals of transfolk in the media tend to stick with the transguys.  Maybe the feeling is that people will be able to more easily relate.

Massachusetts is still struggling to pass a civil rights bill for transpeople.

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) held a press conference at the State House on Wednesday, July 14 calling on the leadership of the Massachusetts State legislature to act favorably on H1728/S1687, “An Act Relative to Gender Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes

If nothing happens by July 31, they will have to start all over from the beginning.

The T was silent.

The DC mayor’s Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs has released the the 2010 Report of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Health in the District of Columbia (pdf) and everyone is wondering where the T went.

Once more we are only visible when it serves someone’s purpose.

The Anti-Violence Project has produced a summary of Hate Crime Violence against GLBTQ communities in the US for 2009 (pdf).  The number of incidents increased by 7% over 2008 and the number of survivors and victims increased by 12%, while the 22 murders was down 30% from the 31 in 2008, which had been an all-time high.  the 22 murders in 2009 was the second highest annual total ever.  Of the 22 people murdered, 17 or 18 were people of color and 11 were transwomen.  I should note that this data does not include Puerto Rico, where there is currently a rash of anti-GLBT violence.

Women demanding Change Now offered a panel a couple of nights ago, hosted by Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Transsexual/Transgender People (MAGNET — a new anti-defamation organization), which I understand was to be filmed.  Such film is not yet available.  Some of the issues addressed were:

Gay males producing stigmatizing, over the top & unkind images of transsexual women

Inaccurately depicting transsexual women as “drag queens”, “caricatures of femininity”

Dangerous propaganda that miseducates public and assaults transsexual women

I’ll withhold my opinions on this until I see the footage or read a report.

The Memoirs of Randa the Trans has been released, I understand…but may be available only in arabic.  It was written by Randa who is originally from Algeria, with assistance by Lebanese journalist Hazem Saghieh.

I can’t provide more than what I have.


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    • Robyn on July 17, 2010 at 00:00

    I have no blockages and thoracic surgery can be scheduled as soon as the surgeon can schedule it.  I’ll call him on Monday.

    • melvin on July 17, 2010 at 00:16

    Total marriage equality is now the law in Argentina, moving it ahead of California, New York, etc.

    • Robyn on July 17, 2010 at 01:04

    …in Orange.

  1. First I`m pleased you have been cleared for surgery of any nature.

    “Gay males producing stigmatizing, over the top & unkind images of transsexual women”

    Am I to believe that transexual women do not have the support of gay males in the fight for equality for all?

    If so, … well I`ll wait for a response before continuing.

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