I peed in Target and no one died

target-logo-2Target announced a new policy this week. Well, really not a new policy. A policy that until some recent inane legislation was unnecessary.

The policy is this: People may use the appropriate restroom.

All people.

Women — including Muslim women, Christian women, lesbians, transwomen, handicapped women and other women not already listed — may use the women’s room. Men should use the men’s room.

They should have added, “When you’re using our restroom, please mind your own damn business, not everyone else’s.”

Well, they didn’t enumerate, but I thought I would, because people are having conniptions and threatening boycotts against the company, because Target provides restrooms for all of their customers to use. Knowing the bigots are boycotting and will be staying away should make your Target shopping experience even nicer.

Here’s an example of the stupidity coming from Twitter:

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You do that Sassy. How dare Target allow someone other than your daughter into their Sassy’s daughter room.

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Maybe.

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Mia, I don’t know about all Targets, but the one at CityPlace in Dallas has one dressing area for men and women. You choose a dressing room, close and lock the door behind you, try on your clothes and then leave. I assume in the women’s restroom, it’s pretty much the same thing. Go in, pick a stall, lock the door, pee, flush, leave.

Tyler, Texas pride and joy and brain trust of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Louie Gohmert, declared he’ll never shop in Target again, according to The Hill. More reasons to shop at Target. No threat of ever meeting Gohmert there.

Aimee D summed it up best on Twitter:
Let’s be honest here, the folks boycotting Target for its bathroom policy are the ones shopping at Walmart in their pajamas anyway.

I just have one question: Why are people such fucking idiots when it comes to peeing?

—  David Taffet

Oak Lawn Library supports National Transgender HIV Testing Day

Trans HIV Testing DayOak Lawn Library, 4100 Cedar Springs Road, is offering free HIV testing today (April 18) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. to mark National Transgender HIV Testing Day. Free coffee will be available all morning and free hot dogs at noon.

No appointments are necessary.

The event is sponsored by Trans Pride Initiative, UT Southwestern and the Dallas Public Library.

 

 

—  David Taffet

Ban people who pose a threat from public restrooms

Craig  Senate

Sen. Larry Craig

On Feb. 4, 1981, Rep. Jon Hinson (R-Miss.) was arrested and charged with sodomy in a public men’s room in the Longworth House Office Building. In 1976, he was charged with committing an obscene act at the Iwo Jima Memorial. Hinson was married.

Rep. Bob Allen (R-Fla.) was convicted of soliciting sex in a park bathroom in 2007. He offered an undercover officer $20 to perform oral sex. Allen maintained his innocence although he was fined $250 and given six months probation. He consistently voted against any LGBT legislation.

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was caught in an airport bathroom soliciting sex in 2007 and was arrested for lewd conduct. Craig was named in a book by Henry Vinson as a frequent customer of his male prostitution ring. His wife stood by his side each time he denied the charges.

And the biggest brain Texas ever sent to Congress, Louie Gohmert, (R-Tyler) said, “in the seventh grade if the law had been that all I had to do was say, ‘I’m a girl,’ and I got to go into the girls’ restroom, I don’t know if I could’ve withstood the temptation just to get educated back in those days.”

Of course, sex in bathrooms aren’t the only things anti-gay Republicans in Congress have been caught doing.

Rep. Ed Schrock (R-Virg.) was caught on tape in 2004 soliciting sex from a male prostitute.

Rep. David Dreier, (R-Calif.) voted against a number of gay rights proposals and then was outed in 2004 for having a relationship with his male chief of staff .

Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) resigned his House seat in 2006 after sending sexually explicit e-mails to teenage male congressional pages.

But, of course, it’s bathroom safety we’re concerned with.

So let’s compare this record from Congress with arrests of transgender people in bathrooms. Here’s a complete list of crimes committed by trans folk in public restrooms:

Ummmm …. sorry, I got nothing. Probably because it’s never happened.

So shouldn’t North Carolina and Mississippi change their laws to protect us in bathrooms by banning congressional Republicans from using public restrooms? Or at least insist businesses and public accommodations provide separate facilities for those people?

—  David Taffet

Eight-year old transgender activist wants to purchase house across from Westboro

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How could you deny Avery Jackson her vision to create a Transgender House across from Westboro Baptist Church?

Avery Jackson, an eight-year-old transgender child, wants to help a LGBT nonprofit do something bold: purchase a house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan.

Planting Peace, which wants to buy the property, already manages the neighboring Equality House. The house, painted the colors of the rainbow, was founded in 2012 to counter the Westboro Baptist Church’s angry message with love and compassion and serve as a symbol to the LGBT community that they are not alone.

With another house now available next to the church, Avery and Planting Peace need to raise $70,000 via the fundraising website CrowdRise platform. The goal for the transgender house is to continue the organization’s LGBT equality efforts. It will be painted blue, pink, and white – the colors of the transgender flag.

Avery was the inspiration for establishing the house, Planting Peace President Aaron Jackson said in a statement.

Avery first visited the Equality House when it was painted with the colors of the transgender flag. After hearing Avery describe how the house made her feel proud to be transgender, Aaron realized the need for a transgender house.

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Avery and Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace.

“I was deeply touched when Avery visited us and said it brought her joy and gave her confidence. She inspired us to partner with her to create a symbol of support for the transgender community by expanding the Equality House and permanently painting our neighboring house the colors of the transgender flag,” Aaron said.

“The Equality House has always been a positive, iconic landmark for LGBT people to visit,” said Debi Jackson, Avery’s mother. “I would love to see a Transgender House embraced the same way – with enthusiasm, love and pride.”

“We’ve painted the house the colors of the transgender flag each year to honor the transgender community, and specifically, those who have taken their lives because of violence and bullying,” Aaron said.

Having a house next door painted blue, pink, and white would make the annual tradition instead a daily one.

—  James Russell

Georgia gov vetoes discriminatory bill and Lambda Legal sues North Carolina

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Gov. Nathan Deal

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a discriminatory “religious protection” bill that’s been sitting on his desk for several weeks after passing both houses of the Georgia legislature.

“This is about the character of our state and our people,” Deal said. “Georgia is a welcoming state full of kind and generous people.”

Well, actually it was about money. The state’s major corporations — OK, not Chik-fil-A — but the state’s other major corporations and employers threatened to pull business from the state. Disney, for example, which does quite a bit of filming in the state, said it would move production elsewhere.

“Our people work side by side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to,” Deal said according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way.”

North Carolina

Lambda Legal is representing Equality North Carolina in a suit against that state’s new anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2, signed by Gov. Pat McCrory earlier this month.

Lambda Legal represents Joaquín Carcaño and Payton Grey McGarry, who are trans, and a lesbian named Angela Gilmore.

“This outrageous new law targets them for no reason other than prejudice and puts them at risk every day for simply living their lives — for going to work and school,” Lambda Legal Legal Director Jon Davidson wrote in a press release. “Let’s be clear: HB2 violates the constitution and federal law.”

Once this gets to the Supreme Court, the discriminatory law will be thrown out and the LGBT community will be given more rights than the North Carolina legislature ever thought of taking away. That will take several years. In the mean time, I reached out to Lambda Legal to find out if they’ll be filing an injunction preventing the law from going into effect while the lawsuit makes its way through the courts.

—  David Taffet

BREAKING: South Dakota legislators fail to override governor’s veto

CcpddBRVAAAHQo9The South Dakota legislature failed to override the governor’s veto of a bill that would have restricted use of bathrooms by transgender students today (Thursday, March 3) by a 36-29 vote.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed the legislation on Tuesday, March 1, after meeting with transgender South Dakotans. In his veto message he said the legislation “does not address any pressing issue.”

 

—  James Russell

S.D. governor vetos anti-trans legislation

Gov. Dennis Daugaard

Gov. Dennis Daugaard

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would restrict use of bathrooms by transgender students, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Daugaard decided to veto the legislation after meeting with transgender South Dakotans and realizing they presented no threat. In his veto message he said the legislation “does not address any pressing issue.”

The law would have been a first of its kind by legislating bathroom use by anatomy and targeting minors.

“Thank you Governor Daugaard for meeting with transgender people to see through their eyes that they are our friends, family, and neighbors, worthy of the same fair treatment and dignity as everyone else,” said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation. “The more people get to know about the real lives of transgender people, the more empathy prevails. All students, including transgender students, should be able to fully participate and have a fair opportunity to thrive in school.”

“We salute Governor Daugaard for meeting with students and listening to the concerns of legal experts and medical professionals about the serious harms caused by denying students equal access to all school programs and activities,” said Erik Olvera, communications director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “School policies should be based on evidence, not irrational stereotypes and fears, and should support the health and well-being of all students.”

—  David Taffet

A transgender discrimination case with a quick, happy ending

KFC_LogoGeorgia Carter, a transgender woman, was hired by a Richmond, Va., KFC and then fired within an hour, because of her gender identity, according to an ABC News report.

The restaurant’s manager of the location initially said he fired the woman because he didn’t know which bathroom she would use. Then he said she was fired because her gender was listed as male on her identification. He said if her gender was changed, she could have the job. Finally, he said she only had an interview and was never hired.

When KFC’s corporate office was contacted, a spokesperson made it clear the company doesn’t tolerate discrimination.

“KFC will not tolerate discrimination. The franchisee terminated this manager & Ms Carter was offered a job at any Richmond KFC,” KFC tweeted.

So the manager was fired by the franchisee and Carter has a job.

—  David Taffet

Funeral set for Nino Jackson

Nino Jackson“With sorrow, we confirm the passing of our brother, Nino Acox Jackson,” the Rev. Alex Byrd wrote today (Friday, Feb. 19)  on his Facebook page. “His body was recovered only days ago.”

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22 at Living Faith Covenant Church, 3403 Shelly Blvd.

Jackson, 26, had been missing since Jan. 19. Dallas police issued a “critical missing” bulletin on Jan. 29. Jackson’s car was found abandoned on the Highway 190 exit ramp to I-30 over Lake Ray Hubbard. Divers searched an area of the lake, but found nothing in the murky water.

This week, a body was pulled from the lake, which has now been identified as Jackson’s.

—  David Taffet

HHS rules Medicare must provide gender affirmation surgery

Official portrait of the Secretary of Health & Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell

The Department of Health and Human Services ruled that a private insurance company that provides coverage under the Medicare Advantage program must cover a transgender person’s gender affirmation surgery. Charlene Lauderdale, a 55-year-old Texan covered by United Healthcare through Medicare Advantage, filed the lawsuit.

HHS lifted a ban on transition-related coverage in May 2014, but didn’t specify how that would apply to gender-affirming surgery.

HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow called it “a tremendously important step towards helping ensure that transgender people who rely on Medicare are no longer denied access to the basic, yet crucial, medical care they need.”

In September, HHS issued rules that insurers couldn’t deny coverage for trans-related healthcare. This ruling, however, is the most specific interpretation the department has issued.

Lauderdale is a former airport operations officer for the Houston aviation department, according to her Facebook page.

—  David Taffet