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Foundations pledge $20 million to improve trans lives

A consortium of philanthropic foundations has pledged to contribute $20 million to transgender charities across the US and the world over the next five years in order to

ensure that all transgender people live in a world where they are recognized, valued, and supported by their families and in society.

In their press release the foundations point out that

  • Globally, more than 1,700 transgender murders have been reported in the past seven years alone and many cases have involved extreme violence and torture
  • In the United States, transgender people are twice as likely as other Americans to earn $10,000 a year or less
  • In the United States, 20% of transgender people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
  • Tribune reporter communicates with Student A

    The Chicago Tribune's Rex Huppke Has attempted to bring some sanity into the case of the Palatine transgender strudent.

    At the center of a suburban school board's dispute over allowing a transgender student access to the girls locker room there is, of course, a human being.

    A teenage human being. A female teenage human being who I believe would appreciate it if people would stop trying to tell her who she is and who she is not.

    That's the point, Rex.

    At bottom, they do not accept that we are human beings.

    A settlement was reached last week to allow this girl to use th girls locker room, but that didn't end the disagreement between the Department of Education and the school board, so the school board met again last night and reaffirmed the settlement.

    We believe this is the best course of action for this student while balancing the needs of all the teenage students in our district. The district will accommodate gender-identified locker room access for this student predicated on agreement to use the privacy measures provided.

    We are installing privacy curtains in our locker rooms, with the assurance that this student will use them.

    --school board President Mucia Burke

    WE NEVER FORGET: Fellow Worker & Rebel Songwriter Joe Hill, 100 Years Later

    Goodbye, Joe: You will live long in the hearts of the working class.
    Your songs will be sung wherever the workers toil,
    urging them to organize.
    -W. D. HAYWOOD


    Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at San Pedreo Sailors Mission.png
    Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at Sailors' Rest Mission in San Pedro, April 1911

    Joe Hill on the Writing of Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent:

    A pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over; I maintain that if a person can put a few cold, common sense facts into a song, and dress them up in a cloak of humor to take the dryness off of them, he will succeed in reaching a great number of workers who are too unintelligent or too indifferent to read a pamphlet or an editorial on economic science.

    This is the last of the WE NEVER FORGET series honoring the memory of our Fellow Worker and Rebel Songwriter, Joe Hill. Celebrations of the life and songs of Joe Hill have been going on across the nation. Joe Hill's songs are still being sung one hundred years after the State of Utah attempted to silence him forever. New recordings have been made by many talented singers, so that now, even most of FW Joe Hill's lesser known songs are featured in one or more youtube videos.

    Joe Hill Centennial Celebration: Joe Hill's Great-Great Niece, Lovisa Samuelsson
    She is playing on the guitar of Utah Phillips which contains some of Joe Hill's ashes.

    More from Centennial Celebration:

    Dean of St. John's College, Cambridge re: Trans in the Church

    The Dean of St. John's College, Cambridge is the Reverend Duncan Dormor. He has published a new paper, Transgenderism and the Christian Church in the book The Legal Status of Transsexual and Transgender Persons

    His paper is discussed by Madeleine Davies at the Church Times.

    While a “growing number of Liberal Protestant denominations” are changing their policies, the advocacy of transgender groups and the reassessment of medical evidence may also produce a shift in conservative circles.

    --Rev'd Dormor

    The Dean concludes that

    Over the past 20 years, there has been a very significant increase in the number of liberal and mainstream Protestant denominations which welcome transsexual and transgender Christians as congregational members and affirm their ministry as leaders and teachers.


    There is always an important but...

    Confusion and Conclusions in Jackson Heights

    Transgender activists marched Tuesday to protest the savage beating of Kathy Sal in Jackson Heights last Sunday and the actions of the police and media since that took place.

    NYPD identified the victim as a man in their report, even though they were aware that she was known by a female first name. Television station WCBS deadnamed the victim (deadname: verb transitive, "identify a transgender person by their former name instead of their perferred name"). The Daily News and Newsday both misgendered the victim.

    Daily News headline: EXCLUSIVE: Crossdressing Queens man brutally attacked, suspect repeatedly smashed his head into a curb

    Newsday headline: NYPD: Cross-dressing man attacked in Jackson Heights, Queens

    Outside Society

     photo religionvtransgender_zpsmyazjh4s.png

    As we approach a time of year which is holy for most religious for one reason or another, the Pew Research Center has taken a look at where transgender people stand in relation to them.

    As we can see from Pew's handy-dandy summary image, the Episcopal church, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist Church and Reform Judaism have all issued specific edicts saying that transgender people should be included in the life of the church and that they can be ordained as ministers.

    A Settlement in Palatine

    The Illinois School District 211 school board in Palatine, Illinois voted in the wee hours of last evening to approve a settlement about a transgender girl's access to girl's locker room facilities, much to the apparent displeasure of many in the community.

    With hundreds gathered in the cafeteria at Hoffman Estates Conant High School last evening, the majority speaking against any settlement, but apparently favoring rather punishment of the child who dares to be different.

    Signs were carried by opponents to fairness which read:

    Settling is losing.

    God does not make mistakes. God made man and then God made woman.

    As always, I would respond to that, using their own vernacular, with, "And God made transgender people, but your God is too limited to have done anything like that."

    The Economics comes down on our side

    The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has done a new analysis of the current situation with transgender health coverage. As you may know, while the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has started paying for transition-related healthcare for transgender people, many private insurers deny such coverage, judging it to be "experimental," purely cosmetic," "elective," or just plain icky...even though the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological association all consider the treatment to be medically necessary to be available for transgender people.

    It's the same as saying if you have cancer, you need chemotherapy if you are going to survive.

    --William Padula, Johns Hopkins

    WE NEVER FORGET: Fellow Worker Joe Hill, True Blue Rebel

    Joe Hill died game.
    -Ed Rowan
    November 19, 1915


    Candle Flame for We Never Forget.png

    Joe Hill, True Blue Rebel

    Joe Hill was born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle, Sweden. He immigrated to the United States in 1902 and, at some point, began using the name Joseph Hillstrom. He joined the Industrial Workers of the World, most likely in 1910 in Portland, Oregon, and soon thereafter began writing songs under the name of Joe Hill, eventually becoming the most popular rebel songwriter of his time. His songs were published in the songbook, "I. W. W. Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent," famous then and now simply as the "Little Red Songbook."

    By the time of his murder at the hands of the Utah (in)Justice System, Joe's songs were being sung on picket lines all across the nation, in Britain, Australia, and many other far and distant lands, where, after his death, his ashes were scattered to the winds. Perhaps, some fading flowers will yet arise to take up the cause of Industrial Freedom for which Fellow Worker Joe Hill so courageously gave his life.


    What you gonna learn today?

    It seems to be a day for skimming the news involving the trans community. What do we discover?

    The PP shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, is not transgender, but this won't stop right-wingers from using the claim, or anything else they can grab on to in order to demonize transgender people as threats to public safety.

    Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton has been found guilty of choking and then drowning transgender woman Jennifer Laude in Olangapo City, The Philippines.

    The Liberty Counsel lawyers bully six-year-old Wisconsin student

     photo Jazz_zpskynuyeyk.jpgMount Horeb Primary Center in Dane County, Wisconsin has a transgender student who has just come out. In an attempt to be inclusive and supportive of the trans girl a letter to parents was written and signed by the principal, the school psychologist and a counselor, informing the parents about the plan to have the students read and discuss I am Jazz, a book co-written by Florida transgender teen Jazz Jennings.

    We believe all students deserve respect and support regardless of their gender identity and expression, and the best way to foster that respect and support is through educating students about the issue of being transgender.

    It is our primary responsibility to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all of our students. Please let us know if you have concerns about your child participating in this discussion; we respect the beliefs and convictions of all families.

    --The letter

    For some of the parents withdrawing their children from the discussion was not sufficient. They felt the need to contact the SPLC-identified hate group, The Liberty Council, which threatened legal action if the book was read to students, claiming that such action would violate parental rights.

    The US now even further behind

     photo kDIXLnji_zpsfy5wr35l.jpgThe Vietnamese National Assembly last Tuesday approved a revision to the Civil Code that includes a new provision of recognition of the right to have one's gender reassigned. The measure received 77% support in the Assembly (282-84).

    Congratulations to all of us, after years of sweat and tears.

    --Tran Khang Di, Ho Chi Minh City

    The law is an attempt to “meet the demands of a part of society … in accordance with international practice, without countering the nation’s traditions.

    --report from the parliament

    Climate Change Tipping Point Realities v. COP21 Paris Pt. I

    Crossposted from: café babylon

    cop 21

    heads of state will arrive on nov. 30

    WHAT IS COP21 ?

    It is the 21st Conference of the Parties, i.e. the annual meeting of all countries which want to take action for the climate..  It will be held in Le Bourget, France, from 30 November to 11 December 2015. (the website)

    Profile of an American Mass Murderer, Deranged by Politics, Religion, and Phantom Baby Parts.

    Two days after Thanksgiving, a gunman opened fire at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic killing three people and wounded nine others. This, after incendiary lies about Planned Parenthood were featured during the Republican Primary Debates, based on videos taken at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic that falsely portrayed the clinic selling fetal organs for profit.

    Leaving the US in the dust

    Lest you be an ardent believer in American Exceptionalism one should take note that some countries are leaving the US in the dust when it comes to human rights advances.

    Bolivian Justice Minister Virginia Velasco Condori on Wednesday announced new policy which will allow transgender people to register legal documents using their new identities.

    The policy is not perfect.

    People who want to alter their name and sex on official identity documents must apply to the Ministry of Justice where a "psychological examination will be held to approve the process.

    --Velasquez Condori

    But it is light years ahead of the US, which has no federal policy on transgender people whatsoever.

    Blind And Dirty

    And as we went up into the mountains we met a blind man.
    Where are you going, my friends? he asked.
    Into the regions of the mysteries, I answered.

    —Kennneth Patchen, Sleepers Awake

    One Thanksgiving I spent in the jail.

    I was then in the pharmaceutical trade. There were apparently laws governing my trade. And I had transgressed them.

    Who knew?

    Presenting the new "Peoples Party" platform for 2016

    As I understand it:

    The Peoples Party* starts as a coalition of American voters and the Platform, below, is a required candidate pledge. All party machinery and experienced activists (Occupy) are currently in place. The Platform was written by Occupy and needs only a preamble. Platforms change over time; this first platform addresses the past wrongs and injustices that must be fixed to improve the lives of the People and give them a meaningful future.

    To begin, the Peoples Party will not have candidates, but will grow a national coalition of voters registered to the Peoples Party. The larger the number of Registered Peoples Party voters, the more powerful the coalition. In order to gain votes, Republican or Democratic candidates must pledge to the platform of the Peoples Party. If they do not, votes and money will be withheld during that election. Businesses and industries can pledge to the Peoples Party PAC.

    If a Presidential candidate does not pledge to the Peoples Party Coalition, Party members will be told to withhold all campaign contributions during that cycle. Direct contributions to the Party, and contributions from affiliated businesses and industries to the People's Party PAC, will be used to grow the size of the Party's registered voter base and groom future Peoples candidates. Businesses that do not affiliate with the Peoples Party will be designated as "enemies of labor, Democracy, and essential human rights" and will be subject to a organized, years-long, nation-wide boycotts.

    Without votes from the Coalition of the members of the Peoples Party, US Federal elections will not receive total vote numbers that are plausible in a Democracy. The Peoples Party will spring into actions to make this known throughout the world. Thus, the US government will be declared by the world to be "rogue, illegal, and invalid." The power will return to the people. At this point, Peoples Party candidates will stand for elections throughout the nation.