transgender-legal-defense

anonymous asked:

I was at my school and I used the bathroom of my choice (the men's) and I was physically assaulted by another student. I told the principal and he told me to talk to the counselor but the counselor didn't do anything. That was back in February and it's now June. I don't know what I was supposed to do but obviously no authority figure at the school was willing to help. What am I supposed to do now? Should I forget it?

Don’t forget it. Seek help. When I experienced a transgender harassment situation in my grad school housing at Cornell, I reached out to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, who referred me to a local lawyer that took my case pro bono and was able to help me negotiate a settlement and, more importantly, give me emotional closure. It sounds like you might be in high school so the first people you should talk to are your parents. If you don’t think that’s a good avenue for you, I would try to call TLDEF anyway and see if they can find ways to help you as a minor.

I am so sorry to hear this happened to you, I would work with advocates and allies in your school to ensure policies exist that allow you to safely use a bathroom of your choosing. Know that there are organizations and people all over the country who will stand with you and fight for your rights. I would suggest contacting organizations like the ACLU or the Transgender Law Center.

Often times, school officials have no idea how to handle these types of situations or they simply don’t care to resolve them. I would bypass the school and go directly to the authorities, if you feel comfortable doing so. Although you aren’t obligated to anything you don’t want to, it could potentially help another trans person who could be targeted by the same student. Also, you deserve justice for the ordeal that you went through. Transgender people are valid and shouldn’t be stripped of their humanity without any type of repercussions for the offender. Organizations like the Transgender Law Center and the ACLU may be able to offer you reduced or free trans-friendly legal assistance to navigate this situation, in case your school or local law enforcement officials don’t cooperate. I would also consider telling a trusted friend or family member because it may help you to unpack your feelings around the trauma.

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In landmark gesture, Canada has granted Wren, 12, a male birth certificate without reassignment surgery

“A birth certificate is a fundamental form of identification. This will ensure that transgender people can obtain accurate birth certificates that reflect who they are,” Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, said earlier this month following New York’s policy change.

Read more | Follow policymic 

huffingtonpost.com
New York City Lays Out Transgender Protection On Dress Codes, Bathroom Use
New York City has warned landlords, employers and businesses they could be running afoul of the law by purposely calling a transgender woman "him" or "Mr." when she prefers a female title and pronoun, or by barring her from using a women's restroom.

New guidelines detail the legal protections of transgender and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers and what constitutes discrimination under the city’s Human Rights Law, the New York City Commission on Human Rights said on Monday. Some 25,000 transgender and gender non-conforming people live in New York City, where discrimination based on gender identity and expression has been illegal since 2002.

“Today’s new guidelines strengthen those laws by ensuring that every transgender and gender non-conforming person in New York receives the dignity and respect they deserve,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

The guidelines said dress codes requiring men to wear ties or women to wear skirts are discriminatory.

Failing to provide employee health benefits for gender-affirming care or failing to accommodate people undergoing gender transition, such as medical appointments, could violate the law as well, they said.

“It’s a huge step forward and really catapults New York City to the forefront of the struggle for transgender rights,” said Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, a non-profit law office based in New York. “This is an extremely positive development for transgender New Yorkers who face enormous rates of discrimination, unemployment and difficulty accessing things like health care that people take for granted.”

Three-quarters of transgender New Yorkers have reported harassment and mistreatment in the workplace, and more than half said they had been verbally harassed or disrespected in public, according to a survey cited by the Commission on Human Rights. One in five said they had been refused a home because of their gender identity, the 2011 survey said. New York City provides stronger protections than most local laws in the United States and goes beyond federal law as well, said Silverman and other advocates.

“By issuing some of the strongest and most comprehensive legal guidance in the country, New York City has taken a major step toward ensuring that transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers can enjoy dignity, respect and access to opportunity in our city,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

huffingtonpost.com
Gender nonconforming teenager forced to remove makeup for driver's license photo

In Anderson, South Carolina, a gender nonconforming teenager says the DMV wouldn’t let him take a driver’s license photo wearing makeup, because “that’s not what boys look like.”

Chase Culpepper, a 16-year-old who regularly wears makeup and androgynous or women’s clothes, went to the DMV to get his license after passing his driver’s test. But the DMV employees said he couldn’t take the photo while wearing makeup because it served as a “disguise.” The Transgender Legal Defense Fund has sent a statement to the DMV on Chase’s behalf asking them to change their decision. 

However, a representative from the DMV told HuffPost that it is unlikely Culpepper will be able to retake the picture because of a 2009 clause added to the driver’s license photo policy. The clause reads: “At no time can an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposefully altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity.”

According to the rep, the DMV works with law enforcement on these decisions.

“If it says male [on the license], that’s what they’re gonna look for. They expect the photo to be of a man,” she said. “If they stop somebody and they’re dressed as a woman, they can straighten that out.”

Gross gross gross. This is gender policing at its finest. 

anonymous asked:

You do know that cis people can't help being cis any more than trans people can't help being trans, right? The constant cis hate on this page is getting to be a bit much. I don't hate anyone, I've never bullied anyone, I'm a nice person. It's not ok to generalize and bash on others simply because some people might have been mean to you. It seems a bit childish. Good grief, can't we all just get along?

Upon receiving this message, I (a trans guy) mentioned to my (cis) boss that hey, we got our first official anonymous comment accusing us of “cis hate!” Started from the bottom now we here, or something, right? Instead of laughing it off or telling me “don’t feed the trolls” like I was expecting, she instead asked that she write the response to this one. Ask and you shall receive: 

Hey Asker, we got your message and it was handed up to me as program manager because it’s kind of a big thing to toss out an accusation of cis hate, and I wanted a chance to air my thinking on this one. So, the whole tenor of your comments kinda rubbed me super wrong in a way that I decided to take a day to breathe and think and decipher what exactly I wanted to say. Here are a few things:

1)    Constant cis hate? On this blog? Dude? Whaaaat the hell? If you’re talking about a specific post prior to our receiving your anonymous comment, the one about pronoun usage in a mythological culture in a fantasy series and how cis people would likely do awesomely in such a lovely made up world of using new pronouns all of the time without weirdness or slip ups or comments? Well, yeah, we totally stand by that. I mean. Fantasy fiction is a place where you can magically unseat cultural hegemony (thanks Marx!), socially constructed and habitually deployed notions of gender and language, and instead, create a world in which people express their identity in words or actions that are wholly respected and received with reverence and a non-negotiable truth and certainty. Period. You are what you say. I am what I say. Full stop. My name is_________ and my pronouns are _______, period.

This is why I like fantasy fiction so much. Dragons hatch from eggs after being sat on in a fiery pit by a really pretty blonde almost-Queen and we get addressed by whateverthefuck pronouns and names we assert as ours. Cool. And everyone does it without fail and without asking questions or diving into analysis that just isn’t theirs to dive into. Because names matter. Pronouns matter. And a fantasy world is a good place to feel affirmed and seen and magically respected by the rest of humanity (or druidom, or whatever).

2)    Trans presence, trans voices, trans-a-palooza will always be a vital element to our work on queer tips. Why? Because trans erasure, and stigma, and bias, and discrimination is so freaking real it hurts our soul and if we, on this fabulous little interweb platform can step up and be vocal about the awesomeness of transness, transgression, non-binary expressions and identities, and people just livin’ how they want/need/are called to live as their authentic genuine self, we are going to blog the hell out of that shit and do it with gusto, commitment and a fierce sense of obligation to create more and more spaces online and in the human world where the BS that trans people of all their glorious permutations are forced to grapple with and confront. So yeah, if our calling out the fact that trans people are routinely discriminated against by cis people, makes you feel like we’re hating on you, personally calling you a bully, not acknowledging that you’re a nice person, or feeling bashed by our truth-telling and reality-naming approach to transphobia, violence and marginalization, I might suggest taking a deep breath and thinking things through. Maybe check out this post again.

Bottom line. Our comments and reblogs and sharing of jokes and cute-ass GIF sets are not a direct comment on your you-ness, but rather, commentary on a routinely fucked up systemic and pervasive approach to trans people and queer people, a system we are all a part of holding up or dismantling in some way. We don’t think that’s childish, we think it’s pretty grown up awesomeness to want to take responsibility for our learning, education, action and work toward a more pluralistic and respectful cultural norm. I say this a cis chick. I know I have work to do and keep doing and doing again. Because oppression of trans people is real. I have to listen and learn more than anything. Certainly more than anonymously commenting about how I’m a nice person in response to a blog that acknowledges a ciscentric and transphobic world.

3) Want to read more than just my slightly snarky thoughts?

Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice edited by Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, Pat Griffin

Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination SurveyThe National Transgender Discrimination Survey is the first large-scale national study of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming Americans, and paints a more complete picture than any prior research to date.

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Health Care Access Information

Just to add my final two cents, asker: if your hurt feelings over a joke made on the Internet and not aimed at you are so troublesome that you feel the need to accuse us of hatred (hatred of the vast majority of the human race,) you’re free — encouraged, even — to unfollow us. Have a good one.