Periodical Political Post *76

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Live in Massachusetts? Please help keeping trans people safe <3

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People in Massachusetts, USA, will be voting on whether to repeal a nondiscrimination law in November. The vote is on whether to repeal a 2016 law which prohibits discrimination in areas of public access on the basis of gender identity. It will be the third question on the ballot. So, a ‘Yes On 3’ campaign is encouraging residents to protect transgender rights when they go to the polls.

Opponents of the non-discrimination law, Senate Bill 2407, gathered enough signatures for a state-wide referendum. The ballot will take place alongside upcoming midterm elections on 6 November. A No vote would repeal the law, while a Yes vote would preserve it and continue protecting people who are not cisgender in Massachusetts.

A group encouraging a No vote, to ‘keep MA safe’, released a transphobic advertisement last month. One of the biggest myths surrounding bathroom laws is that sexual predators will take advantage of laws protecting trans people. In fact, it’s trans people who face disproportionately high amounts of discrimination, harassment, and violence.

Russia’s first gay married couple had to run for their lives

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Yevgeny Voitsekhovsky and Pavel Stotsko aren’t just a married gay couple — they were the first married gay couple in Russia after their January marriage was officially recognised by a government official. But their bliss was short lived, and they were quickly forced to flee the country in fear for their lives. The couple has been staying ever since in a small town in the Netherlands.

Although gay marriage is illegal in Russia, Voitsekhovsky and Stotsko took advantage of a loophole earlier this year after discovering the government recognises foreign marriages. They wed in Denmark in January, seven years after they first started dating. On their return to Russia, they took their internal passports to a government office to be officially registered. To their surprise, registering at the municipality office went off without a hitch.

“They just took our marriage certificate and stamped our passports. At the time, the woman that did it saw that there are two men before her, but she wasn’t in any way shocked. She acted by the order they have that marriage registered abroad is recognised in Russia”.

The trouble came afterwards, when the couple went on television to talk about their status as Russia’s first married gay couple. Over the next few days, they say, they were harassed by police and had their domestic passports containing their marriage stamps confiscated and cancelled.

On the advice of lawyers — and with the financial support of LGBT activists — Voitsekhovsky and Stotsko fled to Amsterdam, without even saying goodbye to their family. They declared themselves as asylum seekers to police at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, and have been living as refugees ever since. Last week, after six months of uncertainty and adjustment to life in a place very different to Russia, they received their permanent resident cards.

“We went to gay parade in Amsterdam and there we could hold hands in public for the first time in the street because we saw same sex couples — females, males — who were also walking holding hands without any problems,” said Yevgeny Voitsekhovsky. “No one was abusing them by shouting insults behind their backs. No one was threatened physically. We know that we are in a safe environment.”

Trans kid left in the open during mass shooter drill at school

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During a lockdown drill at a middle school in the state of Virginia a trans kid sat on the bleachers as teachers prioritised refusing to let her into the girls’ locker room over assuring her safety in a crisis.

The drill is designed to ready students in case of a mass shooting, the kids practised finding shelter in sex-segregated locker rooms, local LGBTQ group Equality Stafford reports in a Facebook post. However, the transgender child was forced to remain on the gymnasium bleachers throughout the drill rather than prepare for a potential emergency.

“The student was forced to watch the adults charged with her care debate the safest place (for the other students) to have her shelter,” Equality Stafford wrote. “During this debate, she was instructed to sit in the gym with a teacher until the drill was complete, away from her peers and identified as different.”

Teachers eventually decided that the trans teen should sit in the locker room hallway, a door away from her peers – a place unlikely to offer much protection during a mass shooting. Why kids need to be divided by gender in the case of a mass shooting to begin with remains a mystery to everyone.

Study finds people who are trans are likely “born that way” indeed

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A new study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that there may be a link between being transgender and a person’s genetic makeup. Researchers looked at 380 trans women as well as 344 non-transgender men in Australia and the United States, studying connections between gender dysphoria and a dozen sex hormone signalling genes.

They found a “significant association” between several genes and gender dysphoria, implying a strong likelihood that transgender people are different from non-transgender people at a genetic level. The research backs up other studies that point to a biological component to transgender identity, including a study from May that shows that brain activity in transgender adolescents is strongly similar to that in those of the sex they identify with.

Studies like this also reinforce the point that transgender activists have long put forth: trans people are not “mentally ill,” but are indeed the sex they identify with, not that which their physical body may display.

Read more…

Periodical Political Post *75

milkboys News & Articles 12 Comments

Queer News

Other News

Periodical Political Post *74

milkboys News & Articles 15 Comments

Queer News

Other News

Stilettos for all genders

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Stilettos are frequently seen as a sexist relic of the male gaze, but just as backwards as being compelled to wear high heels is not being allowed to. Men have been wearing them since O.G. royal fashion plate Louis XIV was tottering around Versailles in stacked red heels, but after France’s post-industrial revolution, society decided feet had a gender and relegated them to the wardrobes of women. Fast-forward to the increasingly gender-blind climate of today, where Harry Styles is rocking elevated boots and loafers, while Sam Smith pairs sparkly platforms with prim suits. But options are kinda limited if you can’t squish into standard women’s sizes.

Italian cobbler Francesco Russo is now bringing inclusive heel sizing to the market — and to stiletto enthusiasts of all genders. Russo’s new capsule collection, fittingly called “A-Gender,” aims to further divorce shoes from gendered stereotypes. The capsule officially comprises a classic Chelsea boot, a tasselled loafer, and a posh burgundy lace-up, with each style available in Italian sizes 35-45.

“It’s very defined in the market, what is for men and what is for women, but the reality is: That definition, which is a gendered definition, is out of date,” the designer explained to Vogue. “It’s not a polemic, it’s not political. It’s simply how society is moving forward. I think it’s in our duty as people who produce product to respond to the world… Between the gender you are born with and the identity you have, there are a thousand shades of gray.”

The capsule is modeled by Oslo Grace, a nonbinary designer who has appeared on the runway for both menswear and womenswear brands. Meanwhile Brooklyn-based gender-neutral heel brand SYRO is bringing towering platform boots and strappy stiletto sandals to feet of all sizes. All hail the nonbinary future of heels. [via i-D]

K-pop group BTS give emotional “Love Myself” speech at U.N.

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The the K-pop group BTS attended a meeting focused on youth issues at the United Nations in New York City yesterday, where they took to the podium to deliver a speech about their “Love Myself” campaign which launched last year.

Though Kim Namjoon, better known as RM, delivered the speech on behalf of the group, his fellow six band members—V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, Jimin, J-Hope—all joined him at the mic, delivering a unified speech about finding self-acceptance that is now going viral on the Internet.

In the six-minute speech, Namjoon specifically spoke of his upbringing in Ilsan, South Korea, and how he struggled to find his true passion and identity while growing up. “I would look up at the night sky and wonder… I used to imagine I was a superhero who could save the world,” he said. “In the intro to one of our old songs, there’s a line that says my heart stopped when I was maybe 9 or 10. Looking back, that is when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes.”

He continued, “I stopped looking up at the night sky, the stars. I stopped daydreaming. Instead, I tried to jam myself into the other molds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and listen to the voice of others. No one called out my name and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. Like this, I—we—all lost our names. We became like ghosts. But I had one sanctuary, and that was music.”

BTS fans quickly reacted to the speech on Twitter, where many thanked the group for sharing the message about self-confidence and self-acceptance. Namjoon specifically spoke of the success of the “Love Myself” campaign with his fans, saying he has heard remarkable stories from “all over the world.” The message is not a new idea for BTS, either—they have released several “Love Yourself” albums, all promoting the same idea. They also spoke out about queer and mental health issues before.

Batman is not allowed to have a penis because people are whack

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Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s Batman: Damned #1, the first in DC Comics’ Black Label series for “mature readers”, reveals a new look at the Caped Crusader. You can have a look below:

Inevitably body shame is still a hot trend in the 21st century, even in a publication made specifically for adults. So objection to the revelation actually prompted DC to edit the superjunk out in digital editions. And Bleeding Cool reports that some retailers in more conservative areas of the U.S. are calling to make the comic returnable. Because we all know that smashing people to a gulp with baseball bats is all good but showing the human body goes too far, right?