September 17, 2016
ISSUE | TRANSGENDER BIAS Bathrooms don't pose any risk of violence It is a cynical lie that "bathroom bills," which would require transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex instead of their gender identity, are intended to or would safeguard anyone. They are hate laws. They put into law discrimination against transgender people and put transgender people at even greater risk for assault or harassment. Reacting to the NCAA's decision to pull seven championship events from North Carolina over the law, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest doubled down on his rationale for defending it: "The protection and safety and security of women and girls in North Carolina is our utmost importance.
September 14, 2016 |
An online petition to support a 14-year-old who was initially accepted to Camden Catholic High School - and then rejected once officials there learned he is transgender - has collected more than 800 signatures. "Madelyn Catrambone was accepted to Camden Catholic High School last February, but when Camden Catholic learned that since then Catrambone goes by Mason and identifies as male, the school refused to accept him for who he is," the petition on change.org says. "I ask that students, faculty, alumni, and anyone else who doesn't support Camden Catholic's decision, sign this and show that you stand with Mason.
June 29, 2016 |
WHEN IT IS her time, Sophie Kandler knows she will die alone, but it will not be by her own hand. In an act of confusion, anger, frustration, and desperation, in 1990 Sophie went to one of her favorite places, Valley Forge Park, with one of her favorite things, Southern Comfort. She poured rat poison into the bottle and quickly drank as much as she could. Her loathed body saved her life by vomiting it up. Sophie is among an estimated 700,000 transgender Americans. The actual number is probably higher, but the U.S. census does not request gender identity, and most hide who they are. More than 40 percent have attempted suicide at least once between ages 18 and 35 (the actual number is probably higher)
June 24, 2016
THERE HAVE BEEN transgender people throughout the centuries, but the wide use of the word is fairly recent. And that is doubly true for teenagers. Ten years ago, it would have been unheard of for a 13- or 14-year-old to come out in public as someone who was born as a boy but identified as a girl. Or a 15-year-old who was born as a girl - or perhaps grew up as a girl - but now wants to be considered a boy. This is not a mass movement. The Philadelphia School District reports only 30 parents have asked about transgender rights in the last seven years.
June 23, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - On the heels of the Orlando massacre, bills seeking equal protection for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender residents are getting a renewed push in the Capitol. Three bills championed by Senate Republicans would add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the list of groups already protected under the state's antidiscrimination laws - and one of the measures could come up for a committee vote as soon as Wednesday. A top aide to Sen. Scott Wagner (R., York)
June 20, 2016
ISSUE | MASS SHOOTING Set tone from pulpit Maybe if we straight priests, ministers, rabbis, imams, and anyone else who preaches morality preached that homosexuality is not a sin, we would be less complicit when a demented zealot takes an automatic weapon into a gay bar in God's name. For any actual sin to be sinful, one has to actually will or choose it. Psychologists say, however, that a child's gender identity is fixed by the age of 3, if not earlier. The familiar biblical injunctions were meant to stimulate responsible parenthood, to discourage sexual experimenting at a time when disease saw to a serious need to populate for the chosen people, and to condemn oppressive prostitution, especially of children.
June 19, 2016 |
When other high school seniors are fretting over test scores and class rank, Adrianna Branin's struggle is to be called by the right pronoun. For Branin, 17, who was born female and appears feminine and attends Franklin Learning Center and will graduate Monday wearing a navy blue boys' robe, it's never she. Branin prefers them, they, or their. And when the principal or teachers slip up and call Branin she, Branin is offended. "Pronouns are huge," Branin, who works at Attic Youth Center, which aids and supports LGBTQ youth, said in an interview Friday.
June 18, 2016
The School Reform Commission on Thursday adopted a new policy for how Philadelphia public schools deal with transgender students. Effective immediately: Students may be addressed by names and pronouns corresponding to their gender identity. This applies to interactions with other students and staff, and all written records, including report cards, class rosters, and photo ID. Transgender identity, legal name, and sex assigned at birth are confidential. Students may participate in gender-segregated groups that correspond to their gender identity.
June 14, 2016 |
Leaders in Philadelphia's gay community were horrified and heartbroken Sunday by the pre-dawn shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 50 people and wounded 53 more, the worst mass shooting in American history. Through shock and anger, fears and resolve, they universally described the massacre as feeling personal and terrifying, like an attack on the entire LGBT community. "It's a reminder that as much progress as the gay community has made, there's still an incredible amount of pushback and hate in America," said Malcolm Lazin, founder of the Equality Forum, an LGBT civil rights group based in Philadelphia.
June 1, 2016 |
It turns out it's not that easy to change your name in college systems: There's no one record. Many documents - financial aid, insurance, medical records - require students' legal names. Colleges have more flexibility with other registries, such as class rosters, housing lists, student ID cards, and email addresses, but those often dwell in disparate systems. As colleges and universities examine their support for transgender students, they're struggling to find ways to recognize the students' name preference across the board.