February 18, 2014 |
YOU WOULDN'T think that anyone who had endured what Jaci Adams had in a life of childhood abuse, drug addiction and prison would have any right to be cheerful and friendly. And yet there Jaci was, in many a social gathering, "the brightest spot in the room," as Ronda B. Goldfein, executive director of the AIDS Law Project, put it. "All the laughter came from her corner of the room," Goldfein said. "She had a great outlook on life. " Jaci Adams, a transgender woman and an inspirational leader for others in Philadelphia's LGBT community, a busy volunteer in HIV and AIDS programs, died Saturday of cancer.
February 11, 2014 |
A few antagonistic words can go a long way toward deepening the divide between transgender Philadelphians and the people sworn to protect them. It's the little things that tend to sting: a police officer who uses "sir" instead of "ma'am," or declines to use one's chosen name. "It's enough to put fear into you or make you feel uncomfortable or uninvited," said Samantha Dato, director of Philadelphia's Trans Health Conference, which promotes health in "mind, body, spirit, and community" for the city's transgender residents.
January 8, 2014 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Police Department will soon implement a new set of guidelines for how officers interact with transgender people. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel worked with members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to fine-tune the nine-page directive, police spokesman Lt. John Stanford said. "The times have evolved, and not just within the Police Department," Stanford said yesterday. "You see it across the board in so many different areas. We have to learn to adapt to the times.
August 9, 2013 |
RUTH WOODS laid out a few of the family photos she'd been staring at all night on her kitchen table. Marky, at around 12, posing sheepishly in a family portrait. Marky, an awkward teen, holding his cat Fluffy near the family Christmas tree. Marky, with that beaming Woods-family smile, laughing at his grandmother mugging for the camera. Woods, 69, had called me to set the record straight. Or as straight as a grandmother in mourning could, given her unresolved shame and guilt and denial.
July 26, 2013 |
MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE there have been so many rallies lately - for Trayvon Martin, for victims of urban violence. But there was a familiar attitude among those who stood vigil for a transgender woman allegedly butchered by a john in Strawberry Mansion: The media ignore us, and when they don't, they disrespect and misrepresent us. Society views us as disposable, expendable. I didn't totally disagree. But, as I stood in the crowd listening to friends and advocates mourn Diamond Woods, I wondered: If we can't even manage to care about the deaths of people we should be able to relate to - children - what chance do people often viewed as spectacles and freaks have at getting our attention, let alone our sympathy?
July 25, 2013 |
NEAR THE end of her life, Diamond Woods searched desperately for help. She had spent 14 years on the streets battling drug addiction and making money the only way she believed she could as a transgender woman sidelined from mainstream society: by selling her body, and she was tired. Two weeks before authorities say Woods was slain and dismembered by a man who picked her up earlier this month on a desolate stretch of Old York Road in Hunting Park, she reached out to Rachel Rose, 30, and Cassie Hart, 35, who refer to Woods as their sister.
July 25, 2013 |
Rachel Rose last saw her best friend, Diamond Williams, on Old York Road in the city's Hunting Park section earlier this month. Williams was caught up in the world of drugs and prostitution, but she didn't let it get her down, said Rose, 30. For transgender women facing discrimination in mainstream society, resorting to the sex trade "is a matter of survival," said Aamina Morrison, 33, of the Trans-Health Information Project. The risky occupation turned fatal when, according to police, Williams was picked up by Charles Sargent, who took her to his home in Strawberry Mansion sometime around July 13. Police say Sargent, 43, killed Williams and dismembered her body, scattering her remains in a weed-choked field near York Street and Sedgley Avenue.
July 18, 2013
D EAR ABBY : I am a 30-year-old transgender woman who has just started her journey. Feeling more comfortable in my skin, I have been going to some local hangouts with some friends from work and meeting straight men. My question is: When is it appropriate to disclose that I am a preoperative trans woman? I have tried online dating on trans-friendly websites, as well as visited the local transgender bar, but those men tend only to be looking for sex, and I am looking for more than that.
June 26, 2013 |
DENVER - Colorado officials say a suburban Colorado Springs school district discriminated against a 6-year-old transgender girl by preventing her from using the girls' bathroom, in what advocates described as the first such ruling in the next frontier in civil rights. Coy Mathis' family raised the issue after school officials at Eagleside Elementary in Fountain said the first grader could use restrooms in either the teachers' lounge or in the nurse's office, but not the girls' bathroom.
June 21, 2013 |
DOVER, Del. - Transgender people are now protected under the state's antidiscrimination laws. The Senate voted, 11-9, Wednesday to approve a bill adding gender identity to the list of protected discrimination categories, including race, age, religion, and sexual orientation. The legislation also allows for enhanced penalties under Delaware's hate-crimes law for targeting someone based on his or her gender identity. Democratic Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill into law Wednesday evening, calling discrimination against transgender people "inherently wrong.