The following is a guest post by Sharon Brackett, Board Chair for Gender Rights Maryland. It was originally published in Baltimore OUTloud on November 16, 2012 and is reprinted here with permission of the author. Note from Laurel: Just as those of us in blue states must not forget the ongoing struggles of our friends [...]
|By: Autumn Sandeen Monday July 2, 2012 5:50 pm|
Pride marches are born of two thoughts that can be perceived as both complimentary and contradictory: Political action and community celebration. Pride Month is in June because the Stonewall Riots, and follow-up Stonewall Uprising Gay Liberation Movement, began on June 28th, 1969. The LGBTQ community was born in a political act — riots often being [...]
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Saturday March 3, 2012 11:50 am|
A bill to add gender identity to the list of classes protected against discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment got its first hearing last week in the Maryland state Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Maryland law already prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation and disability in [...]
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Friday February 24, 2012 8:03 am|
Guest post by: Dana Beyer, Executive Director of Gender Rights Maryland. It’s time, Maryland. We’ve made great progress protecting transgender and gender non-conforming persons in Baltimore City, Montgomery, Howard and Baltimore counties. Fifty percent of the state is now covered, more than 2.5 million people, the last two counties both within the past three months. [...]
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Thursday February 23, 2012 9:55 am|
With a decisive 5-2 vote by the Baltimore County Council on Tuesday evening, Baltimore County became the fourth jurisdiction in Maryland protecting residents against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression and sexual orientation in the areas of housing, employment, public accommodations, and financing. Howard County, Montgomery County and Baltimore City already have [...]
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Saturday December 31, 2011 2:02 pm|
With the start of a new legislative session in Maryland right around the corner, this report from Sharon Brackett, Board Chair for Gender Rights Maryland, is welcome news indeed: Last evening I had a brief moment to chat with Governor O’Malley just after he had finished a rare and wonderful performance with his band O’Malley’s [...]
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Thursday August 25, 2011 6:56 am|
Note from Laurel: On 9/20 I invite you to join us for a moment of silence to honor our transgender brothers and sisters who, despite the repeal of DADT, are still forced to serve in silence. Let’s let them know that they are not forgotten and that we LGB people are as committed to their [...]
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Monday August 15, 2011 2:31 am|
A vigorous debate was sparked by my recent diary about the anti-trans letter that Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford submitted to the United Nations. However neither Brennan nor Hungerford were willing to participate in a meaningful dialog on Pam’s House Blend. Instead they’ve opted to post a response to some of the criticisms their letter [...]
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Wednesday August 10, 2011 11:49 am|
Note: Last week I wrote a diary similar to this one. It and other diaries and comments posted over a period last Friday-Saturday got scrubbed from the database due to a glitch in an upgrade conducted by Soapblox (our current host platform). I didn’t have a backup copy of the diary. Since it doesn’t appear that it will be restored any time soon, I have re-written it from memory and with the help of fragments captured on other websites.
Responding to a Call for Communications: Human Rights Violations Affecting the Status of Women posted by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, lesbian attorneys Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford submitted a letter last week opposing laws prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations based on gender identity and expression.
[The] proliferation of legislation designed to protect “gender identity” and “gender expression” undermines legal protections for females vis-a-vis sex segregated spaces, such as female-only clubs, public restrooms, public showers, and other spaces designated as “female only”. Females require sex-segregated facilities for number of reasons, chief among them the documented frequency of male sexual violence against females and the uniquely female consequence of unwanted impregnation resulting from this relatively common form of violence.xxi
Brennan & Hungerford are alleging that laws protecting all our rights — but in particular trans women’s rights — to use public bathrooms and locker rooms puts non-trans women at greater risk of predation by men. It’s “bathroom bill” rhetoric dressed up to look like feminism.
The problem for Brennan & Hungerford is that their allegations about the consequences of including gender identity in anti-discrimination laws are not only dehumanizing to trans people, they’re based on intellectual dishonesty and the same fear mongering used by the radical religious-right.
Like Brennan & Hungerford, I am a lesbian born with a female brain and a female body. (For a trans woman’s take on the letter, read Mercedes Allen’s post at Bilerico.) Unlike Brennan & Hungerford, I demand solid reasoning from anyone who would seek to deprive a class of people of their civil rights. So when I see members of my demographic jumping on the international stage, engaging in intellectual dishonesty while seeking to deprive others of their rights, I am compelled to call them out lest my silence be interpreted as tacit support. It is not.
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Friday February 18, 2011 2:48 pm|
GenderQueer Chicago has launched an initiative to have friendly Chicago businesses identify themselves to trans customers. Talk about turning the bathroom meme on its head. It’s positive, it’s proactive, it puts the lie to the bathroom meme…I think I like this idea! What say you, transfolk? CHICAGO- In an unprecedented effort to make the city [...]