Why Are So Many Black Transgender Women Being Killed In Detroit?

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I had a feeling this article would draw several divisive comments. Please take time to read them if you read the full story posted on November 19, 2015, at 11:28 p.m. by BuzzFeed News Reporter Dominic Holden.

More trans women were killed in the United States in the past 12 months than any year on record — and nowhere do the violence and homicides appear as concentrated as the Palmer Park area in Detroit. BuzzFeed News went to ask trans women who live there what they think is happening.

“I know of seven girls who have been murdered out here,” said Lakyra Dawson. Out as a transgender woman for seven years, Dawson was standing across from Detroit’s Palmer Park on Woodward Avenue. The area is known as an enclave for LGBT people during the daytime, but at night, the park’s 300 acres of fields and forest are the city’s epicenter of violence against transgender women — a problem worsening at the same time awareness about transgender people has been growing.

“People are kinda ruthless now more than ever, you know,” said Dawson. “The killers, the murderers. The violence is getting more wild and more crazy. I feel like we are being targeted.”

In a three-month span, three black trans or gender-nonconforming people were killed in Detroit this year, two near Palmer Park. During one week in summer 2014, three transgender women were shot, one fatally, near the park. Those incidents don’t include countless other stories relayed to BuzzFeed News by police and trans women about robberies, knifings, sucker-punchings, more homicides, dismemberment, charred bodies, trans women being shoved out of moving cars, and other acts of violence against trans women nearby in recent years.

Click here to continue reading.

Transgender Day of Remembrance #TDOR – November 20


Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. You can read more about the Transgender Day of Remembrance and find out how you can participate. Additionally, during the week of November 14-20, 2015 individuals and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people and address the issues these communities face.

Everything You Need To Know About The New Attacks On Caitlyn Jenner In One Sentence

Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Noah Michelson @NoahMichelson
Voices Editorial Director, The Huffington Post

A friendly reminder in light of some of the nonsense (like this and this) we’ve seen around the web this week:

Critiquing our heroes, role models or just regular folks in and outside of our community is a crucial part of holding people accountable for what they say and do and hopefully allows for the creation of critical dialogues about identity, privilege and politics that can lead to very real and incredible change, but claiming that someone isn’t a woman — or woman enough — or calling someone’s gender identity into question simply because you don’t like the way they feel about something is never OK and says a whole lot more about who you are and what you stand for than the person you’re attacking.

Click here to continue reading.

Author Pens Inspirational Fairytale Transgender Princess

Once upon a time: Greg McGoon created the children's book The Royal Heart, the first fairytale featuring a transgender princess.

Once upon a time: Greg McGoon created the children’s book The Royal Heart, the first fairytale featuring a transgender princess.

The modern fairytale features illustrations by J. Orr, and tells the heartwarming story of Lyric, a child who was born a prince but doesn’t feel male.

Lyric fears that he will never be the great king his parents expect him to be, and on his 16th birthday, he runs away because he can no longer live a lie.

During his journey, Lyric meets the spirit of his grandmother, who helps him transition into the princess, and at the end of the book she is a ‘beautiful girl dressed in a royal gown’.

‘Lyric finally felt free,’ Greg wrote in the story. ‘Tears trickled down her cheeks. “This is who I am. This is who I’ve always been. In my heart I knew I was not meant to be King. But maybe I can still be a leader.”‘

Greg said the response to the book, which debuted in September, has been ‘fantastic and overwhelming’, noting that he has received messages from transgender women thanking him for creating a story focused on love and acceptance.

Those who reviewed The Royal Heart on Amazon also praised Greg for creating a tale with an important message for people of all ages.

‘What a heartwarming and moving story – simple enough for a child to follow, powerful enough for an adult to learn,’ one person wrote. ‘This new spin on the classic royal fairytale reminds us all that the most important things about a person are passion, drive, truth, and love. ‘I [highly] recommend this for anyone!’

Click here to continue reading.

Former ITV newsreader quit high-profile job to have sex change

Photo Credit: Charlie Hedly

Photo Credit: Charlie Hedley

19:24, Nov 7, 2015 Updated 08:34, Nov 8, 2015
By Patrick Hill

I understand India’s decision to resign in 2010. But I wonder if it would have been different in today’s climate. Click here to read the full story.

A former ITV newsreader has told how she quit her dream job to have a sex-change operation and ­become a woman. India Willoughby completed her transformation last month at an NHS clinic, reports the Sunday People. But for years she was ­married TV newsreader and dad-of-one Jonathan Willoughby.

India, 50, wanted to come clean to viewers and ­colleagues but was frightened of a ­possible backlash. She said: “There were many occasions towards the end of my time at ITV that I thought, ‘I just can’t carry on going in as Jonathan’.

“I used to dream of going in one day and just carrying on my career as the real me, as India. Then I would realise it just wasn’t possible.

“I remember in our ­newsroom when transsexual people featured in the news and it was considered a joke. Guys would gather around having a laugh.

“To my shame, I would join in because I had a fear that people could see through the act I was putting on. So I would be a bit laddish to hide my true feelings.

“But inside I knew it was me I was laughing at. The ­climate back then left me in fear.”

India was on the verge of suicide when she quit broadcasting in February 2010 to embarked on a bizarre double life.

Change.org Drop The T Petition


It has just come to my attention that trans exclusionary members of the LGBTQ community have come together to form a Change.org petition. While I have struggled with where the trans community stands within the LGBTQ community as a whole, this is an act of pure bias and hatred. The time to separate might someday come, but it’s certainly not now. Caramel 

Drop The T is a petition to drop the “T” from the LGBTQ community. The letter was sent to the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal, The Advocate, Out Magazine, HuffPost Gay Voices and reads as follows:

We are a group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community; in essence, we ask that organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal and media outlets such as The Advocate, Out, Huff Post Gay Voices, etc., stop representing the transgender community as we feel their ideology is not only completely different from that promoted by the LGB community (LGB is about sexual orientation, trans is about gender identity), but is ultimately regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men.

There are several areas in which the ideology of the trans community is at odds with or actively hostile to that of women and gay men; among the most important are:

• The vilification and harassment of women and gay/lesbian individuals who openly express disagreement with the trans ideology; a simple disagreement over an issue can result in responses that range from insults (“transphobic bigot”) to threats of physical harm (often, in the case of women, rape) and even death; the harassment by the transgender community of prominent individuals ranging from iconic gay rights activist/drag queen RuPaul and legendary feminist Germaine Greer has been particularly loathsome.

• The infringement of the rights of individuals, particularly women, to perform normal everyday activities in traditional safe spaces based on sex; this is most pernicious in the case of men claiming to be transgender demanding access to bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters and other such spaces reserved for women.

• The appropriation and re-writing of gay and lesbian history and culture, most notably attempting to re-cast the majority gay white men who participated in the Stonewall riots as transgender, specifically casting as “transgender” men who adopted feminine attire but still identified as men (they called themselves transvestites, which is not the same as the modern transgender identity); particularly frustrating was the fact that media outlets such as The Advocate, Out and Huff Post Gay Voices, who should have been the first to point out the fallacy of this notion, actually went along with the lie.

• Most troubling, by persuading parents and health professionals to diagnose children as young as four as transgender, despite considerable research that shows that more than 90% of children who express “gender dysphoria” at a young age grow out of it by adolescence and, in most cases, grow up to be well-adjusted gay men and women; ideologically, it runs counter to traditional LGB and feminist philosophy – whereas feminists and gay men/women advocate for expanding and re-defining gender concepts, the trans movement is regressive, insisting upon re-asserting and codifying classic gender concepts of what is masculine and what is feminine.

Please note that we are not advocating intolerance or prejudice against the transgender community: we recognize and respect the right of adults to determine their own path in life, including transitioning to the opposite gender if they so wish. However, that cannot occur by infringing upon the rights of women, gay men and children.

At the very least, a discussion must be opened up to these issues, which for too long are being suppressed and censored – they are genuine concerns that need to be aired. In the end, we feel that the transgender ideology is not compatible with the rights of women, gay men and children and ask that the organizations and media outlets mentioned above disassociate themselves from the transgender movement and return to representing their base support of gay men and lesbians.

Click here if you’d like to review the appalling petition.

The Trans Movement Needs a New, Science Based Strategy


Brynn Tannehill, Director of Advocacy, SPARTA.
Posted: 11/03/2015 8:53 pm EST

Tuesday’s defeat of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) highlights several conclusions that the LGBT movement needs to take to heart for the next decade or so. Foremost is that we will not win transgender issues directly at the ballot box, or in the gerrymandered republican legislatures which dominate the political landscape.

Fighting to preserve HERO was expensive. Proponents spent $3 million dollars, five times as much as their anti-LGBT opponents. Similarly, the campaign to pass a ballot measure similar to HERO in Anchorage in 2012 spent four times as much as the anti-LGBT opponents, and lost exactly the same way.

When opponents frame legal protections for transgender people as a choice between a group strangers (who are suspected of being perverts anyway) and the safety your wives and daughters, transgender people will lose every time. So far, anti-LGBT forces have been far more successful at pushing their narrative. I don’t foresee this changing anytime soon.

One has to ask, how many homeless LGBT youth could those $3 million dollars have given shelter to in Houston? What could it have done in terms of community health care? Or educating doctors in Texas on transgender health issues? Or any number of things? Most importantly, though, how do we win on transgender issues going forward if traditional organizing techniques don’t work?

With science, applied like scalpel.

Click here to continue reading this post by @BrynnTannehill, Director of Advocacy, SPARTA.

Trans prisoner Tara Hudson moved from all-male prison to female facility


Yay! This change.org petition we signed made change with 159,845 supporters! Okay, let me shut up. Here’s the news:

October 30, 2015, 3:32 pm PinkNews Exclusive by Michelle O’Toole

A trans woman who was sent to an all-male prison has now been moved to a female one, sources tell PinkNews. It emerged this week that 26 year old trans woman Tara Hudson has been sentenced to 12 weeks in the all-male Bristol Prison. Current policy states that a Gender Recognition Certificate is required for trans prisoners to be placed in the correct prison for their gender, which Ms Hudson did not have despite living full-time as female for six years.

The Ministry of Justice has repeatedly declined to intervene in the case – but senior sources in Whitehall and Parliament have today confirmed to PinkNews that she will be moved to a female facility, HM Prison Eastwood Park.

Ben Howlett MP told PinkNews “We have had contact confirming that Tara has been moved… I’m really pleased to hear that she has been transferred to a female prison, and will no longer be held in a male facility.”

Click here to continue reading.

Transgender Contestant Wins “Holland’s Next Top Model”



Lamers posing in the requisite zany 'Top Model' photo shoots, including body paint (second left) and roller skate shots (far right). Courtesy of Holland's Next Top Model

Lamers posing in the requisite zany ‘Top Model’ photo shoots, including body paint (second left) and roller skate shots (far right). Courtesy of Holland’s Next Top Model

Twenty-year-old Loiza Lamers is the first trans winner of the Top Model franchise.

Oct 27, 2015 @ 12:03 pm Cosmopolitan.com Article by Alex Rees

A popular contestant, Lamers reportedly did not tell producers of her background during auditions (and really, nor should she have to, as she now identifies as a woman and that’s that). But let’s not pretend there aren’t background checks happening either; speculation online — as a child, and already living as a girl, she appeared in a Dutch documentary short, which resurfaced — as episodes aired led her to confirm the rumors, and mid-cycle she discussed her transition publicly on the show. (She has since noted the overwhelmingly positive response to the news.) Following her big win, she described herself as “the luckiest woman in the world” on Instagram

Court Sides With Transgender Widow In Fight Over Firefighter’s Estate

In this April 20, 2011 photo, Nikki Araguz stands in front of a monument to fallen volunteer firefighters in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/ Chris Tomlinson)

In this April 20, 2011 photo, Nikki Araguz stands in front of a monument to fallen volunteer firefighters in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/ Chris Tomlinson)

Monday, October 26, 2015 02:36 PM ABC 13 Eyewitness News Article

WHARTON, TX — A state appeals court has reaffirmed its earlier decision to validate the marriage of a transgender widow seeking the estate of her firefighter husband who died battling a blaze.

The ruling Friday by the 13th Texas Court of Appeals sent the case of Nikki Araguz Loyd back to a Wharton County judge who originally voided the marriage because Texas did not recognize same-sex marriage. Kent Rutter, an attorney for Loyd, said Monday that ruling meant Loyd was not entitled to Thomas Araguz’s estate.

Rutter says the appeals court had ruled early last year in Loyd’s favor – determining she was a woman at the time of her marriage – but had to issue another ruling this month after an appeal sent to the Texas Supreme Court was not heard.

The U.S. Supreme Court has since legalized gay marriages. Click here to continue reading.

How This Transgender Woman Went from Homeless to Starring on ANTM

Photo by Cory Malcolm

Photo by Cory Malcolm

Article by Vera Papisova posted October 16, 2015

Isis King broke barriers, but she’s not done yet.


Before being the first trans woman to compete on America’s Next Top Model (Cycles 11 and 17), Isis King graduated from the Art School of Philadelphia, where she was on a full scholarship for design and illustration, and spent the following year living at the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City. After her stint on America’s Next Top Model, she became one of the most visible members of the transgender community. She has helped change public perception of trans men and women, and her participation in ANTM has been called an “unprecedented opportunity for a community that is underrepresented on television,” by GLAAD president Neil Guiliano.

Since appearing on ANTM, Isis has been featured in US Weekly, OUT, and Seventeen, and even became American Apparel’s first openly transgender model. She has gone on to design her own fashion line, and cites her main influences as Donatella Versace and Betsey Johnson, for whom she walked the runway last fall. The 30-year-old trailblazer is now focusing on her acting career, with off-Broadway plays and a recent role on The Bold and the Beautiful under her belt. She says her dream role would be “anything that has to do with superheroes,” and we say that’s a perfect fit considering she’s already a living and breathing superhero for so many. Teen Vogue chatted with Isis to talk HG beauty products, what it was like to be homeless and trans, and what we, and others, can do to support the transgender community.

Read the Teen Vogue interview with Isis King.

Will Young features naked trans guy in new music video


Michelle O’Toole October 19, 2015, 5:40 PM Pink News

Pop star Will Young has unveiled his new music video – and it makes history by starring an openly trans man. The video follows the young man as he walks naked through the streets of Brighton and encounters hostility and acceptance from members of the general public.

The man’s trans status is not revealed until the end of the video, when he reveals polaroid photos of himself which appear to be taken from before his transition.
Will Young posted the video to his social media accounts this morning along with a long statement explaining the genesis of the video.

“It seems extremely brave to be a man in a woman’s body and then decide to do something about this” he wrote.

“As I thought more about it, I realised that there is often coverage of what it is to be a woman in a man’s body, but never to my knowledge the documenting of the opposite (almost a perverted kind of patriarchy).”

“To express and show this is actually the bravest and most wonderful thing to do. I know that transgender people do not like being called brave. It is something that is innate. Not a choice, but a given. Being a gay man I feel the same. I wasn’t ‘brave’ to come out it was simply what I had to do.”

Young went on to give plaudits to Finn, who starred in the video, Wiz who directed and Fox Fisher, a prominent trans activist, film-maker and artist who was in charge of casting.

Embracing God’s Transgender People

Trans Rights

Trans Rights

By Susan M. Shaw, Professor of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Director of the School of Language, Culture, & Society at Oregon State University

Posted: 10/20/2015 4:12 pm EDT Updated: 10/20/2015 4:59 pm EDT

Another transgender woman is dead. Keisha Jenkins became the 21st transgender or gender non-conforming person murdered in the United States this year, the 18th transwoman of color.

Transphobia is a problem, a matter of life and death for some people. The pope says transgender people, like nuclear weapons and genetic manipulation, do not recognize the order of creation. The Southern Baptist Convention is opposed to any efforts to validate transgender identity. Mormons who undergo sex-reassignment surgery cannot receive the priesthood or a temple recommend. Missouri Synod Lutherans think such surgery is a mutilation of the body and transgender identity is a disorder.

Of course, these churches also tell us to love transgender individuals and not to bully them, but they are clear: transgender people are outside God’s created order. Without irony, they suppose that they can tell us something is wrong with transgender people and then assume they are not partly responsible for the climate that has led to those 21 murders, not to mention all the other acts of violence against trans people that happen every day.

These churches, however, do not speak for all Christians, and some churches have proclaimed welcome and solidarity with transgender and gender non-conforming people. In 2003, the United Church of Christ encouraged its churches to welcome transgender individuals and to become involved in advocacy for the human rights of transgender people. In 2012, the Alliance of Baptists called on churches and community leaders to work to end discrimination and violence against transgender people. That same year the Episcopal Church extended the right to ordination to transgender people.

At the core of the Gospel is a call for what theologian Grace Ji-Sun Kim calls “embracing the Other.” The “Other” is any of us who are outside the mythical norm (In the U.S., that includes those of us who are people of color, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer, poor, immigrants, non-Christian). When the dominant culture constructs a group of people as “Other,” it dehumanizes them, it makes them less than, and it provides justification for mistreatment. But the power of the Spirit, Kim says, “opens our hearts to cross borders and embrace the Other” (Embracing the Other: The Transformative Spirit of Love. Grand Rapids, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2015).

Certainly, in the dominant culture in the U.S., particularly in the dominant Christian culture, transgender people are Other. They are stereotyped, marginalized, discriminated against, and victimized by violence — including the rhetorical violence of many Christians.

Yet even the biblical witness itself proclaims that God is One who transcends gender. Trans means “across,” “beyond,” “through,” “changing thoroughly,” “transverse,” “on the other side of.” The transcendent God is the one who crosses over, the one who moves beyond and through boundaries. God encompasses all gender and is therefore trans-gender.

Those humans who are transgender also reflect this crossing over, this moving beyond boundaries. They too are people created in God’s image, reflecting yet another aspect of God’s transcending and encompassing gender. Therefore, they are not outside God’s creation but are a reflection of the very diversity that is the being of God.

For people of faith, no group should be seen as “Other.” If God is the One who transcends, transgresses, transforms, the One who crosses over, then surely all of God’s people should be people who cross over — who cross over prejudices and stereotypes and bigotry — to embrace God’s transgender children as fully human, fully created by and loved by God, fully welcome in God’s family and in our churches. We should lead our world in embracing the Other, who is not really Other, but is one of us.

Follow Susan M. Shaw on Twitter: www.twitter.com/drsusanmshaw

Caitlyn Jenner going on motivational speaking tour

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03:  TV personality and activist Caitlyn Jenner speaks onstage during the Point Foundation's Annual Voices On Point Gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on October 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Point Foundation)

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 03: TV personality and activist Caitlyn Jenner speaks onstage during the Point Foundation’s Annual Voices On Point Gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on October 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Point Foundation)

Caitlyn Jenner is hitting the road.

The 65-year-old reality star will embark upon a five-city motivational speaking tour in early 2016, Page Six has confirmed.

No stranger to public speaking, the former Olympian was known for years as a master of the lectern, but these engagements — billed as “a personal and intimate evening” — will primarily focus on the journey of her recent transition.
“She’s in her element,” explained Howard Szigeti, a spokesman for Unique Lives & Experiences, the company hosting the tour, which counts Bill and Hillary Clinton among former speakers.

“[The speeches will detail] Caitlyn’s personal journey with an inspiration message of acceptance towards the transgender community and what it takes to lead an authentic life,” Szigeti added.

Stops include San Francisco and Denver.
Jenner’s sentiments will be followed by a moderated Q&A and, for those willing to shell out $500 on VIP tickets, a meet-and-greet reception and photo op with the “I Am Cait” star. Click here to continue reading.

Support Transgender Suicide Prevention


Trans Lifeline is a crisis line staffed by transgender people for transgender people. They are selling these Iria Villalobos designed t-shirts to help spread the word and help raise money to pay for the cost of running the crisis line. Since Trans Lifeline has launched this last November, they have received an average of sixty calls a day. They have trained two hundred volunteers and received nearly five hundred applications to volunteer. The transgender community has a 41% suicide attempt rate and their goal is to sharply reduce that number. By purchasing a shirt from www.booster.com/translifeline102015  you will not only be donating to Trans Lifeline but you will also be helping to spread the word about this important resource for the transgender community.