Over the past six years, state legislatures have made it a priority to attack transgender youth. This year, we are witnessing a record number of bills proposed in states across the country with many moving quickly through the legislative process. Most of the bills propose doing two main things: (1) bar trans women and girls from women’s athletics; and (2) criminalize (or otherwise ban) gender-affirming health care for trans youth. The underlying goal of these efforts is to entrench in law restrictions on self-determination for all youth and ultimately to prevent people from being trans at all. They are animated…
On this first day in office, President Biden signed an Executive Order promising to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination under federal law. As I have written elsewhere, though important and meaningful, the Order merely affirms what Congress and the Supreme Court have already said, that LGBTQ people are already protected under federal law, and directs the administration to enforce those laws and written — something his predecessor refused to do.
In the coming week much of our national attention will be focused on Super Tuesday primary voting and the domestic and global responses to COVID-19. But while these stories dominate our time, attention and resources, systemic attacks on trans lives will continue in many state legislatures. In the midst of critical national and global stories, we must not lose sight of what is happening locally.
Here is a rundown of states and issues to watch:
Arizona. On Monday, the Arizona House will likely vote on HB 2706. The bill would regulate girls’ and women’s athletics by imposing draconian standards on…
I didn’t learn much about how government works at various levels until I was several years into being a lawyer. We are strategically withheld information about how laws operate on our lives to prevent us from advocating for change and maintaining agency over our bodies and our survival. I wrote the below just to share a quick primer for those who are interested on the different branches of government and how they are separately empowered to make the rules that impact our lives and our ability to survive.
I. Big picture structure of government
There are three branches of government…
I heard that this year is an anniversary. 50 years since the Stonewall riots as they are sometimes called. And because of this anniversary, we are told, we should pause longer, pride harder, remember differently.
But what is an anniversary if we mark time through historical narrative that only some people get to tell?
What is 50 years but a story of resistance that is framed by a perspective of what constitutes a beginning (but whose beginning? And in the service of what end?)
And this story is always constrained by the unrelenting gaze and lens of whiteness…
One of the traumas of existing in this world can be the dismissal of our emotional pain. For trans people, this is a common theme in our lives: the insistence that we are responsible for our own pain — as if we chose it.
But we did not choose to exist in a world that hates us — you, non-trans people, chose to hate us and as a result, we struggle against the deeply internalized impulse to hate ourselves.
We are called freaks, snowflakes, “biological men” and “biological women”, not real, confused, sick, pathetic, and so many more things.
On Saturday morning, MSNBC host Joy Reid addressed the anti-LGBTQ language that she had tweeted in the past and which appeared on her old blog between 2006 and 2009.
I was a guest on the panel of “LGBT activists” brought in to engage with Joy about the blog and tweets. I was happy to be a part of a conversation about the dangers posed to the LGBTQ community from language that demeans our existence and the importance of embracing our evolution as people and thinkers in engaging with and coming to understand people who are different from ourselves. …
Below are the written remarks I delivered on November 13, 2017 at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Awards where I was humbled to be recognized. A modified version of these were spoken that evening.
Good evening, everyone.
Thank you all so much for being here to honor this incredible, life-saving, organization. And thank you to Callen-Lorde for this recognition.
What a challenging, humbling and beautiful time to be alive and to be doing this work.
Growing up, I had no sense that I would or could survive into adulthood. …
I love award shows. I always have. Last night, watching the Emmy’s, I was struck again by how many white people are present on screen at any given moment, validating the centrality of whiteness (often mediocre whiteness) in our society.
Growing up queer and trans, I was keenly aware of how deeply I longed for representation of myself in popular discourse and imagery but even as I craved a version of my story, I never lacked for images of people, success, and celebration that looked like me and my family — that tracked the possibility of my life as it…
I could not look away from the smiling images of the fourteen year-old trans boy who seemed to exude promise and joy — even if that joy was somewhat tempered by a familiar pain.
He was perfect. And he was gone.
The images were recurring on my Facebook timeline because this beautiful, young, soul had died by suicide last month. I saw myself in him, though I never found the strength to come out in childhood. …
Lawyer, dad, queer, pats fan