January 31, 2016 |
If your son insists he is a girl, what should you do? Eric Vilain, professor of human genetics and pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and J. Michael Bailey, professor of psychology at Northwestern University, pose dueling scenarios: You could persistently tell him he is a boy and try to put an end to behaviors such as cross-dressing and telling others he is a girl. Or you could let him be a girl: grow long hair, choose a new name, and when it is time, obtain the necessary hormones and surgery for a female body.
January 30, 2016 |
Ten-year-old Nyr Medina-Castrejon admired herself in the mirror as she twirled around the bedroom in a pretty purple dress. "She was smiling and skipping and so happy," remembers Thomas, her older brother. "I wanted that sister. " Nyr, now almost 13, and Thomas, 17, are each other's best friend. They soothe each other in a world that often feels hostile and sometimes threatening; their unique bond gives them strength and courage. Both adolescents are transgender. Thomas refuses to acknowledge the girl's name his parents gave him at birth.
January 14, 2016 |
The Cherry Hill Board of Education is expected next month to adopt a policy to allow transgender students to use facilities, including restroom and locker rooms, based on whether they identify as male or female. Parents or guardians are required to provide a letter confirming a student is "gender nonconforming," according to the proposed policy. If the parents or guardians do not consent, the policy calls for a meeting between schools officials "to determine how the student's gender identity shall be addressed by the school district.
January 8, 2016 |
Donna Mae Stemmer was a pistol. You can see it in each faded Polaroid and snazzy outfit of hers on display at Philly AIDS Thrift on South Fifth Street and Philly AIDS Thrift Giovanni's Room at 12th and Pine. In all of them, no matter the year, there's a mischievous glint in her eye and a smile playing on her lips. "She might have come out a bit less toward the end of her life, but she was still decked out," says friend Michael Byrne. The 82-year-old transgender trailblazer, who died in June at her Pennsauken home, was a University of Pennsylvania grad with a law degree from Temple who worked as a lawyer and served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, fighting in Korea, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel, and being decorated 25 times, including a Distinguished Service Award in 2008.
December 31, 2015 |
We are leaving behind a year of fedoras and lapel pins, rainbow hair and stiletto nails, man buns and topknots. Other stylish staples of 2015 included athleisure - Tory Burch debuted her active line, Tory Sport, in September - and animal prints - see the formfitting wardrobe of Empire 's Cookie Lyon. But the biggest style stories touched on race, gender, sexuality, and body image. Designer comings and goings were big news, too, as were their collaborations with fast-fashion haunts.
December 7, 2015 |
When former Inquirer writer Buzz Bissinger made the media rounds after penning the Vanity Fair cover piece announcing to the world Caitlyn Jenner's transition, reporters kept asking him how much he knew about transgender issues before working on the story. (I know, because I was one of those reporters.) He didn't know much, he told me and others he talked with, but what he did know he learned from Amazon's Transparent , the second season of which debuts Friday. Transparent was one of the first shows to present a transgender person as a human being - not comic relief or crazy, but a member of a family whose decisions affect not only her, but everyone else in her orbit.
December 3, 2015 |
If you hear baby Max Zuckerberg crying, she's got a good reason. Her parents followed up her birth announcement with one that they were giving away 99 percent of their wealth. And even after that, daddy Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan are still in the 1 percent. That's rich. The news came out in a Facebook post by daddy Mark that Priscilla gave birth last week to Max, and that Mark and Priscilla also plan to donate most of their wealth, $45 billion , to a new organization to tackle a broad range of the world's ills.
November 4, 2015 |
HOW MUCH BLOOD has been spilled and battles fought to protect something that so few of us take advantage of? Yes, we're talking about voting and yes, we're talking to you. If you're trying to decide whether to go to the polls today, think about this: Plenty of people hope you stay home today. Some wish you didn't have the right to vote, and continue to work to try to take it away. They think it's an easy right to chip away at, because so few people care. They would rather have money decide elections.
October 28, 2015 |
DIAMOND WILLIAMS is finally among friends. Williams is the transgender woman I wrote about last week who was dismembered by a john in 2013. For two years, her remains sat in the Medical Examiner's Office. And for two years, I called her grandmother hoping that she or someone in the family would claim her. No one did. And when it became clear that no matter how many times I called, it was unlikely anyone would, I called on GALAEI, a queer Latino social-justice organization in North Philly.
October 23, 2015 |
EVERY MORNING, in the empty hours between midnight and dawn, a thousand stories are told on Old York Road. Tales of desperation, isolation, resignation. Above all, tales of danger. Transgender women, about a dozen at a time, wrap themselves in body-clinging outfits, their nails long, hair crimped. They coo at passing drivers, greet them with a smile. At first glance, it's easy to reduce these women to caricatures of grinning prostitutes eager to trade their bodies for a few bucks.