Thursday, December 9, 2010

For Transgender Homeless, Choice Of Shelter Can Prevent Violence
A pilot policy to allow transgender people to choose between men's and women's shelters has reduced violence. But women's shelters are safer for either identity.

Tiffany Jones is legally a man but identifies as a woman. Thanks to a pioneering New York City policy, she was able to go to a women's shelter when she became homeless. Were she to go to a men's shelter, she claims, "I’d be beaten up or raped."

Tiffany Jones became homeless when she aged out of foster care last year. Although Jones identifies as a woman and takes female hormones, her legal paperwork identifies her as a man. But Jones was pleasantly surprised when she went to apply for help at a men's shelter last September and was asked if she was transgender and wanted to live in a women’s shelter.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Passport Gender Marker

June 10, 2010
State Department Issues New Policy Guidelines on Passport Sex Marker Changes
Happy LGBT Pride Month! We are very pleased to tell you that the U.S. Department of State today introduced new policy guidelines on changing the sex marker on passports.

Beginning today, when a passport applicant presents a doctor's certification that he or she has undergone treatment for gender transition, their passport will be updated to accurately reflect their sex. Sex reassignment surgery is no longer required to change the gender on an American passport.

Transgender Americans face extreme danger when traveling abroad in the many countries that are hostile to them. Many also experience harassment when entering and leaving this country. Adoption of this safety-focused policy is a giant step forward in protecting transgender Americans and in fulfilling the State Department's commitment to protect all Americans when they travel, work or live overseas.

Under the new policy, it is also possible to obtain a temporary passport in the appropriate sex if a physician's statement shows that an applicant is in the process of gender transition.

The new policy and procedures are based on standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). We are happy to bring you this news and we will continue to update our web site with more detailed information.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tiwonge and Steven

A gay couple who were jailed in Malawi have been pardoned by President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Mr Mutharika, speaking as UN chief Ban Ki-moon visited Lilongwe, said he had ordered their immediate release.

Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were given 14-year jail terms after being convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts.

The case has sparked international condemnation and a debate about homosexuality in the country.

Mr Ban said he welcomed the president's decision.

Correspondents say Malawi is a deeply conservative society where religious leaders equate same-sex liaisons with Satanism.

Mr Mutharika, who has in the past dismissed homosexuality as alien, said he had set them free on humanitarian grounds.

"These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws," he said after meeting Mr Ban.

"However, as the head of state I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions."

Aid donors and human rights groups have been putting pressure on his government to respect the rights of minority groups.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Invisible: By Samantha Box


We've just gotten word. Congress is scheduled to vote this week on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" – and we urgently need your help.

The right wing has been gearing up for this fight and their barrage of e-mails and calls has already started. It is critical that your legislators hear from you today!

In the House, Rep. Jerrold Nadler has already joined the 190 members of Congress who have said they'll vote to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

If we're going to win this, we need as many New York residents as possible to speak out against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" within the next 24 hours.

There's not a moment to lose. Click here to help flood Rep. Jerrold Nadler's office with emails calling for an end to this discriminatory law.

Every moment this failed law stands, it not only hurts our military readiness and national security – it insults the dignity and equality of every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender American.

Your email today will help us show Rep. Nadler that the residents of New York recognize that – on the battlefield – it doesn't matter whether a soldier is lesbian, gay or straight. What matters is that a soldier gets the job done.

After years of fighting to ensure that men and women in uniform can serve openly, we've never seen this much momentum for repeal. But our progress has been the right's battle cry – and at this pivotal moment, we can't leave a single vote to chance.

Click here to tell Rep. Nadler to repeal this law now and include a timeline for implementation that allows the Pentagon to complete its study.