Trans Girl speaks about brutal Hate from her Schoolmates’ Parents

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Maddison, a 12-year-old girl living in the U.S. state of Oklahoma was the target of extremely hateful and violent comments from adults in her town.  The disturbing comments on Facebook drew national attention a couple weeks ago because of their casual brutality.

“If he wants to be a female make him a female. A good sharp knife will do the job really quick,” one parent wrote. “Just tell the kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won’t want to come back!” wrote another. It got so bad that the whole school district had to shut down.

Now Maddison is speaking out against the hate, while her family gets ready to leave the town. But her trouble in the small town started well before that discussion. Maddison’s family moved to Achille, Oklahoma, several years ago, and she presented as a girl. In fifth grade, a teacher outed her after looking up Maddie’s old school records, and then the whole town knew.

School administrators called in her parents and told them that their daughter would have to use the staff bathroom. “To be honest, Maddie didn’t care,” her mother Brandy said. “They had already shown Maddie the staff bathroom and she was like ‘Oh, it’s bigger, it smells better.’ She was happy.”

But people in the town talked and the issue went beyond bathrooms. Maddie had a confrontation with Burney Crenshaw, a adult man, when she attended a father/daughter dance with her stepdad Cory this past April. Crenshaw asked her repeatedly if she was a boy, and she kept on saying that she was a girl, until her father intervened. “My personal opinion is when you’re asking somebody if you’re a boy or a girl, you’re asking what their genitalia is,” her dad said. “My daughter’s genitalia? None of your business.”

When she started middle school, no one showed her where the staff bathroom is, so she went to the girls room. Crenshaw heard about it, posted about it on Facebook, and that’s when the violent comments started. “Who would do that? To a 12-year-old?” Maddie said in an interview with Vice News Tonight on HBO. “They can be hateful and rude about it, but they ain’t dragging me down.”

Despite her brave front, the family is too scared to stay in Achille. Even during the interview, someone in a truck slowed down in front of their house and the police warned Vice about doing an interview in their town. “This is why we’re moving,” Brandy said.

After the threats, the family started a GoFundMe page to move away from the town where they no longer feel safe. They have raised almost $54,000 so far and the family said that they have found a new home in Houston.

41% of Americans who are transgender tried to kill themselves at some point in their lives, compared to 4.6% of the general public. 

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Rest in Peace, Jamel

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Jamel, a 9-year-old in fourth grade at an Elementary School in Denver, Colorado killed himself last week, only four days after coming out to his classmates. He told his mom during a summer car ride that he was gay. “He looked so scared when he told me. He was like, ‘Mom I’m gay.’ And I thought he was playing, so I looked back because I was driving, and he was all curled up, so scared. And I said, ‘I still love you,’”

His mother said Jamel also told her he’d rather dress as a girl than a boy. She told a local news channel that Jamel was being bullied: “Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him. My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself. I’m just sad he didn’t come to me. I’m so upset that he thought that was his option.”

Denver Public Schools said it is providing crisis counselling to students and support to Jamel’s family. According to research, 40% of queer teens seriously considered suicide at least once in their life.

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Rolling back America’s cultural Hatred of Foreskin

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Throughout the course of human history, wars have been fought and lost for seemingly trivial things. Whether it’s a patch of land between two countries or the Second Amendment, there’s no end to the limits that people will go in order to defend an abstract concept or physical place they’re attached to in some way.

The foreskin is admittedly not exactly the same as the West Bank or the right to bear arms, but the issue of circumcision has still ignited a fierce internecine war that has swirled for decades. The ins and outs of the circumcision debate cut to the core of the cultural differences between Britain and America—nations with very different approaches when it comes to how we treat our infant males.

In an increasingly globalised world, the foreskin is so much more than just a piece of skin or the plotline in a Friends episode. It’s the cultural dividing line that separates Yanks from the Brits.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a uncircumcised penis,” says 27-year-old New Yorker Olivia. “If I saw one in the wild today I would probably not recognize it.”

Read on…

CupcakKe’s Crayons

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CupcakKe, a fresh new voice in rap, expands her sex-positive mission on Crayons, a queer anthem that takes on homophobia and transphobia head on while celebrating love, desire, and identity.

CupcakKe has always boldly brandished her sexuality in her raps, but now she widens her scope to include every stripe of the rainbow flag. This song embodies true allyship, representing the experiences of others without centering their proximity to CupcakKe’s own: “Boy on boy, girl on girl/Like who the fuck you like/Fuck the world,” she bellows defiantly.

My Name is Josie Totah — And I’m ready to be free

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Yesterday Josie Totah came out as transgender in an essay for Time. Josie, who starred in the sitcom Champions and appeared in Other PeopleGlee, and Spider-Man: Homecoming, explained she felt “like I let myself be shoved into a box: ‘J.J. Totah, gay boy’” in her acting roles, and in the discussions of herself in the press.

That description did not match her actual identity and “has never been the way I think of myself,” she explained. “My pronouns are sheher and hers,” Totah writes. “I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah.”

Totah says she came to terms with her identity when she was 14, watching the show I Am Jazz about a transgender girl who is transitioning. Days later, she started meeting with specialists and taking a hormone blocker.

She will start college this week, but she plans to continue acting. “I plan to play roles I haven’t had the opportunity to play. And I can only imagine how much more fun it’s going to be to play someone who shares my identity, rather than having to contort myself to play a boy,” she writes. “I’m going to gun for those roles, be it a transgender female or a cisgender female. Because it’s a clean slate — and a new world.”

You can read her powerful essay here.

Gaybusters

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United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a “religious liberty” task force for the U.S. Justice Department  The purpose of the task force is to ensure and implement broad religious liberty guidelines issued last year.

Numerous people and queer groups condemned the task force. They said religious liberty is often used as an excuse to justify discrimination against marginalised groups.

Comedian Stephen Colbert mocked the task force in the opening of his show with an animated segment about the Gaybusters.