2/15/13

Open Letter to Angie L. Pineda, Lariet Student Newspaper

In response to Angie L. Pineda's comment left on the planetransgender post "California Saddleback College Breaks Laws Denying Public Accommodations Outing Transgender Student".

Dear Ms. Pineda,

I will take this opportunity to educate you and your staff about how to write about transgender people. I am somewhat a authority on this subject having published thousands of articles about people under our umbrella. Besides drag queens I can only recall one prior instance when a trans person was publicly equally comfortable with both gender pronouns and names.

To say it was s surprise when Kevin Balot won the Thai transgender beauty contest would be a understatement. To the best of my knowledge that was the the first time I wrote about a transgender person who identified publicly as female but was equally at ease being addressed with male pronouns and presentation.

There were no condemning responses to the multitude of articles about Kevin Balot because they were respectful in making sure the reader was aware of the trans persons extraordinary identity.

Your article did not do that. I was taken unaware as you made no effort to educate readers Natalie Smith is currently at ease with both her male and female names. That could be construed as exploitative but for the sake of argument lets just assume you are ignorant about transgender sensitivities.

Let me explain why you article was seen as problematic.

Glaad has established the industry style guide when writing about transgender victims, which Natalie Smith is.


As you can see it's not acceptable to place a trans persons name in parentheses regardless. If you still doubt Glaad and I, take a moment and sample the millions of articles about trans people on the web. You will find haters put our preferred names in parentheses to invalidate us consistently. On the whole, you will not see that practice in respectable informed media sources.

Now, I'm not suggesting you edit your article to adhere to this style guide. What I am trying to do Ms. Pineda is to educate you about what is expected from the media.

So in the future, now that you are are aware this, please help trans peoples struggle for respect by making your readers aware of extraordinary circumstances such as these so they know it's unusual to use a name other than a trans persons preferred name when writing about us. That way your articles will be received like the articles about Kevin's were, with amazement and open minds and gratitude.

Truly,
Kelli Anne Busey



Texas State Rep. Lon Burnam announces HB 1300 Freedom To Marry For ALL

Transgender Texans are 'allowed' to marry the opposite sex but sadly we know all too well that these marriages do not stand legal challenges.

And what is we want to marry a person who is of the same sex? Marriage equality is for everyone transgender, gay, cisgender or straight.

Rep. Lon Burnam announced HB 1300 (text) (current status) as his Valentine present to us. His legislation to extend the freedom to marry to all Texans, gay and straight or transgender.


Published on Feb 14, 2013



My dear friend Daniel Williams field organizer for Equality Texas, legislative expert author of Legislative Queery and amazing trans ally explains the obstacles to passing this bill:



Love ya Daniel. You rock. See you on the 11th.



Thirty seven Senators Urge President Obama To Act on ENDA

The Washington Post  published a letter signed by thirty seven Democrats urging Obama to sign a executive order banning job discrimination with companies that contract to the Federal Government.

Trickle Down Transgender Protections?

Many of us ask, OK so thats nice, cynically remembering the HR3015/3685 debacle, even if there was a executive order how would that affect me as a civilian?
Nether executive orders, legislation or company policy guarantee fair treatment, but it does affect employers perceptions on how they should treat all LGBT people.

The letter published on the Post can be read in full Here:
[Y]ou are in a position to protect millions of American workers immediately by including sexual orientation and gender identity alongside long-standing anti-discrimination protections.

As you know, ENDA would prohibit most workplaces in the United States from discriminating against potential and existing employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. From our perspective, ENDA’s premise is simple: it would make federal law reflect the basic principle that Americans should be judged on their skills and abilities in the workplace, and not on irrelevant factors such as their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Currently, an Executive Order prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin…Issuing an Executive Order that includes sexual orientation and gender identity is a critical step that you can take today toward ending discrimination in the workplace.

The Washington Blade reports that support for ENDA is building in the Senate:
In addition to Merkley, who has sponsored ENDA in the Senate, signers of the letter include longtime members of the chamber who’ve supported the bill, such as Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Senate Health, Labor & Pensions Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who pledged to move the ENDA legislation out of committee this year.

New faces to the Senate have also signed the letter, including Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), William Cowan (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Lesbian Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only openly gay member of the Senate, is also a signer. No Republicans signed the letter, but an Independent, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), penned his name