Trans Rights

Daniela Vega to Become First Transgender Person to Present at the Oscars

Daniela Vega, a transgender actress who received major critical acclaim for her performance in Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, has just made award show history.

She will be the first transgender person to present an award at the upcoming 90th Academy Awards, taking place on March 4th in Los Angeles, California.

The Chilean actress, although not nominated for her work at the Oscars, has received nominations and wins elsewhere for her incredible performance in the film, including winning Best Actress at the Palm Springs International Film Festival as well as two nods for the Gay and Lesbian Critics Association.

The film itself is however nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.  It stars Vega as a a trans woman mourning the death of her older lover.

Also on deck to present at the 2018 Oscars include Viola Davis, Greta Gerwig, Mahershala Ali and Chadwick Boseman.  The ceremony will be hosted by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and will air live on ABC.  

Check out the trailer for A Fantastic Woman below:


Palm Springs Swears In Newly Elected All LGBT Council

At Wednesday night’s council meeting, the City of Palm Springs swore in the two most recent elected council members, Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege. Middleton and Holstege are the two local politicians that had a record-breaking win last month and made Palm Springs, the gay Mecca, the first California city with an all LGBTQ council.

Holstege is the youngest councilmember who identifies as bisexual.

Middleton is, remarkably, the first transgender person to be elected to a non-judicial office in the entire state of California.

After her win, Middleton shared with the Desert Sun:

We’re very proud of being an inclusive community. And I’m absolutely convinced that commitment to inclusivity is one of the factors in the growth and the Renaissance of Palm Springs.



Middleton and Holstege join Mayor Robert Moon & Councilmembers J.R. Roberts and Geoff Kors.

Here’s a video posted by a council meeting attendee that welcomes the two councilmembers to the city.



Amazon Urged To Drop Tambor After New Allegations From Co-Star

Less than a week after Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor’s previous assistant Van Barnes accused him of sexual abuse, actress Trace Lysette has come forward to recount instances when Tambor has engaged in sexual misconduct her.

The actress, who plays Shea on Transparent, took to social media to share her #MeToo story, in hopes that Amazon would re-center the show on the rest of the characters and remove Maura, played by Tambor, from the show. We wrote about it just a couple of days ago!

Here is Trace Lysette’s full official post:



Now, GLAAD has released a statement in support of Lysette’s requests and is being joined by Transparent writer, Our Lady J, against the inexcusable allegations.

According to an official press release, GLAAD states:

Trace Lysette is a gifted actress and a trailblazer for the inclusion of transgender women in Hollywood. For too long transgender women have been forced to hide stories of harassment and abuse in the workplace, and Trace has taken a powerful stand in calling for an industry where all women can work in safe environments. The show ‘Transparent’ is bigger than one person and is home to some of the most talented trans people in Hollywood – both in front of the camera and behind. GLAAD stands with Trace in her hope that the inappropriate situations she and others endured on set will be remedied, and that future seasons will focus on more of the many brilliant characters that audiences love and care about.

Our Lady J, immediately posted the following in response to Lysette’s claims:

My heart is broken. I’m struggling to put together words right now, as I’m flooded with emotions. Any abuse of power is inexcusable, but hearing the stories of Van and Trace have particularly shattered me. I honor the strength and courage that it must have taken for them to tell their truth.

Thank you for your leadership, Trace. Thank you for speaking up. And thank you for your proposed solution at the end of your statement. You are right — we cannot let trans content be taken down by a single cis man. 

I’m sure I’ll have more to say, but this is as much as I can get out in this very emotional moment.

My heart goes out to all victims of abuse, told and untold. I hope this is the beginning of our time to heal.

But the support for Trace Lysette doesn’t end there. Many are sounding off as allies to the trans actress:











Could this be only the beginning of allegations against Jeffrey Tambor? And will Amazon decide on a future for Transparent without its leading character?


Trans Awareness Is Everyday for This Trans Activist

November 13-17 marks Trans Awareness Week, a week when individuals and organizations around the country have helped raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people.  Transgender people and allies have taken action to educate others on the injustices that the trans community faces on a daily basis and to, hopefully, end violence against trans individuals.

According to the HRC, 2017 has already seen 25 transgender people killed due to violence that spawns from racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. But awareness and advocacy for the trans community necessitates more than a single week of exposure. Prejudice is killing us all—we endure ridicule and regardless of the progress we have made as the LGBTQ community, we have a long way to go.

Acceptance must also begin from within our inner circles. In the LGBTQ family, we often are quick to ignore members of the acronym or discredit narratives we don’t identify with. We come from positions of privilege and must understand that no matter how perilous our path, there are others whose struggles are fatal because we choose not to speak up.

Qween Amor, a 26-year-old trans activist from New Orleans promotes trans awareness every day. It is her reality and she uses her platform on social media to supplement her in-person demonstrations. With a larger-than-life flag that reads “I will not CENSOR myself to comfort your ignorance!” and attire that would definitely warrants a response, Qween Amor stops traffic, dancing to the beat of her own drum, inviting others to react to the way she carries herself—for the good of others. She welcomes dialogue and hopes that her own cosmic journey will shed light on the beauty that is our diverse world.



A post shared by Mary Magdalene (@qweenamor) on




I will not censor myself to comfort your ignorance! #qweenamor #transawarenessweek #translivesmatter

A post shared by Mary Magdalene (@qweenamor) on


What kind of dialogue do you hope to create with your demonstrations?

I'd really like to start conversations that include creating safe environments for Transqueer POC. That includes acknowledging pronouns and not assuming gender. If you don't know or aren't sure, please feel free to ask. We, as a society, need to have real conversations about Police Reformation. The biggest threat to our community are the police. They reinforce racist social structures and often times are not held accountable for violent or excessive force. What can we do to reprogram the program? I hope my work inspires people to take action and feel inspired to fight for what they believe in because the truth is unless we stand United, we don't stand a chance and things can get so much worse. Let's not forget that there are still concentration camps in Chechnya for gay men and trans women, of which the media stopped reporting on back in May 2017.



Police violence is real #qweenamor #disarmthepolice #qweenamor

A post shared by Mary Magdalene (@qweenamor) on


With the death toll rising on a daily basis for the trans community, how can trans Awareness be a catalyst for change?

Visibility! Visibility! Visibility! The reason the death toll is rising is because we are often times running in the shadows of society. A lot of us are sex workers and that's how we survive in a world that says we shouldn't exist. Our government is doing everything in it's power to dehumanize the trans community, from passing bathroom bills to denying us healthcare and firing us from our jobs. These struggles that we are facing are struggles that we can only overcome through the support of our community. In my experience, as a transqueer person of color, staying safe means being involved in community. People need to know you're here, people need to see and meet you. We need each other to protect our rights and our freedoms. Trans Liberation is Gay Liberation. True liberation for our community cannot exist until we are all liberated. 



Do you feel the LGBTQ community often forgets the trans community? If so, why do you think that is?

Oh fuck ya. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera are the Mothers of our movement. They gave us permission to fight back and stand our ground. Our pride celebration started as a riot because two Trans Women of Color had enough. In all the years I've celebrated pride, I never hear Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera mentioned. Gay men forgot about those two women and they don't see us now. Trans women of color face oppression from their own community because We are no longer sexually desirable. I find that a lot of people in the LGBTQ community find safety in hetereonormative lifestyles but that is a privilege that most Transqueer POC do not have and that failure to meet such heavy societal expectations is why trans people of color are the most marginalized and oppressed communities in our society.



I will not censor myself to comfort your ignorance! #qweenamor #transawarenessweek #translivesmatter

A post shared by Mary Magdalene (@qweenamor) on


How are your demonstrations received by others?

Alot of time people are moved to dance and take a small break from life for a moment. I open space for everyone to let go and breathe. I give people permission to be themselves and through this we experience our humanity. The best is when I get hundreds of people dancing in the street, TOGETHER! I do understand that my performances really force people to confront their prejudices. I have been assaulted, I have been targeted by police, I have been dragged through the dirt. Each time, I pull myself up out of the gutter, brush that shit off my shoulder and keep going. I have to keep fighting.



We need #guncontrol laws #qweenamor

A post shared by Mary Magdalene (@qweenamor) on


What messages do you hope to convey?

I hope to convey a message of freedom and love. And that no one in this world is just gonna hand you freedom. You take your freedom, you take it and you own it. The most powerful force in the world is when the people actively take their Freedom. Together, we can move mountains like poverty and racism. The most important event that could ever happen in human history is US coming together. That's what we're waiting for. Our power lies in our unity. That's our revolution. Our rights are human rights and they can never deny our humanity. The love I aim to spread is a love that can only be found within. True love is self-love. Love your body. Love your skin. Love your hair. Love your mind and your heart. No one told me growing up to love myself, it would have been great had that told me that secret.



A post shared by Mary Magdalene (@qweenamor) on




#metoo For the first 24 years of my life I walked through the world as a man. Revered and respected by society at large because I happen to have a penis. The worst case scenario was that I was hyper feminine and i would get the occasional faggot by a stranger out the car window as they drove by. I used to call myself lucky as I heard the horrifying stories of other people (women, really) about their encounters with sexual violence. My mother was molested as a little girl, I had a friend who had 3 daughters and her daughter's were molested. I once had to fight 3 men off as they tried to coerce my drunk girl friend into their apartment. It wasn't until i started my Trans-queer journey that i realized my experience wasn't "lucky" it's absolute privilege. As soon as I started my transition, my experience dramatically shifted. I went from walking down the street feeling fairly safe to walking down the street being verbally and sexually berated because I was perceived to be a biological female. I've had to do live videos as I walked home because the onslaught of harassment just kept coming with every block. Since my transition, I've had men follow me home because they assumed I was a prostitute. Ive had had men drag me in the street and physical assault me once they realized what was between my legs, they went from sexualizing my body to pure hatred and disgust just as quick as lightning. Surviving those encounters is lucky because a lot of my trans sisters didn't survive those same encounters. Last New year's eve, I was performing at a party and this man kept touching my butt, I asked him to stop because I'm literally standing on an amplifier during the performance, I asked him to stop twice and on the 3rd attempt he shoved his finger up my ass to display some show of force and entitlement that my body was not mine but his, so I cracked him in the head with my crucifix and blood gushed from his forehead. His response, "look what you did to me with tears in his eyes and blood dripping down his face." The fact that he didn't believe he did anything wrong in that moment to deserve a cracked forehead just triggered the fuck out of me.

A post shared by Mary Magdalene (@qweenamor) on

For more information on Trans Awareness Week, visit GLAAD

Gay Men Share Their Experiences Of Being Tortured In Azerbaijan

Several men have shared their experiences about the anti-LGBTQ crackdown happening in the country of Azerbaijan.

One anonymous man told Radio Free Europe that he was tortured for nine days.

 “They gave me electric shocks.”

“They beat me with a stick on my knees. I couldn’t move afterwards.”

This man was one of dozens of gay and transgender people who have been arrested and tortured in the country. Many of which are being abused, beaten, forced into medical tests, and more. Including, trans women having their heads forcibly shaven.

As with many of the countries where these crackdowns are currently happening (like Egypt or Tajikistan), being gay is not illegal. That said, a stigma spread by conservative mentality is allowing for these internal terroristic actions to happen.

Authorities have been claiming that the LGBTQ people they captured are involved with sex work, which most have denied, in order to arrest them.

Activists have been calling for the cease and desist of this wrongful treatment of LGBTQ people in Azerbaijan, but to no avail yet.

James Corden Responds To Trans Military Ban With A Song

In response to Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, The Late Late Show host James Corden took some time during the show to step on his musical soapbox and be another voice for the trans individuals and the greater LGBT community.

Using the acronym L.G.B.T. he sampled Nat King Cole’s L.O.V.E. and used resonating lyrics to show that he is a great ally and supporter of trans military individuals and LGBT people.

The song starts like this:

‘L,’ he doesn’t care for lesbians

‘G,’ he thinks two men should just be friends

‘B,’ to his dumb knowledge is just a phase in college

‘T,’ he finds confusing so the army’s now refusing trans women who only want to serve, trans men who want rights we all deserve

POTUS thinks it’s unsavory

Patriots who know real bravery

Trump’s got hate for me and you.

Check out the whole performance here:

Corden began to gain attention with this Carpool Karaoke where he has featured many gay icons. His musical background has given him a platform unlike any other for late night talk show hosts and here is proof that he’s on our side and is willing to do anything to protect the rights of others.


Jinkx Monsoon Sounds Off For Trans Individuals

Jinkx Monsoon, who snatched the crown on Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race has taken to Twitter to take a stance for trans individuals and non-binary/non-gender individuals. It’s definitely Monsoon Season because Jinkx went on a long Twitter rant explaining that they came out as genderless 4 years ago, but they feel the need to continue speaking out for those individuals who still need a voice and support.





Jinkx wants to set the record straight about how they identify—expressing that drag has nothing to do with gender.





This is not the first time Jinkx has been vocal about gender identity



Jinkx slayed the competition on RPDR Season 5 and has since had great success with their vaudeville and variety shows. It appears like Jinkx is ready to “begin the Drag-Haute-Bohemian-Revolution” as stated on their Twitter profile.

Way to show them that standing up for ourselves and others is like “water off a duck’s back”, Jinkx!

Ya'll can take a seat now!



Check out more of Jinkx in the Twitterverse HERE

Tech Companies Stand Up To Oppose Texas 'Bathroom Bill'

On July 18th, Republican Governor Greg Abbott Texas ordered a 30-day special session in in state legislature to debate a list of items of which the Texas 'bathroom bill' is high priority. 

The ‘bathroom bill’ would force transgender individuals to use the bathroom that is designated for their birth gender. Disregarding their safety and identity.

Abbott aims to identify who is with him or who is against him as he claimed at the Texas Public Policy Foundation event:

I’m going to be establishing a list. You all, or other organizations, may be establishing a list. We all need to establish lists that we publish on a daily basis and call people out. Who is for this, who is against this, who has not taken a position. No one gets to hide.

Now, corporate tech giants led by IBM are taking a stance on the controversial bill. The company currently employs more than 10,000 people in Texas and has taken out full-page ads in major Texas publications urging Texas legislators to go against the bill.

The ad reads:

As one of the largest technology employers in Texas, IBM firmly opposes any measure that would harm the state's LGBT community and make it difficult for businesses to attract and retain talented Texans

They even changed their logo in protest.

IBM General Manager, Phil Gilbert said in a press conference:

It just behooves any company to really figure out, if you're going to really try to recruit the best talent and you're competing with companies that are operating in locations that do no have this type of discriminatory bills, you have to ask yourself, where are you going to grow 

Other companies include Apple, Facebook, AT&T, American Airlines, and Lyft, which signed a letter opposing the bill.


It’s so nice to see that these tech companies are ready to swipe left on this matter that in 2017 we shouldn’t have to be discussing anymore.




Congress Rejects Anti-Trans Military Amendment

An amendment proposed by Republican Missouri congresswoman, Vicky Hartzler was narrowly voted down in Congress today with a 214-opposing to 209-supporting. 24 Republicans joined all 190 Democrats in the vote.

Had the amendment passed, it would have restricted funds available to the Department of Defense to go toward transition-related health care affecting thousands of transgender members of the armed forces and military families. This is in direct action against a Pentagon policy that has been in place since October.

Congresswoman Hartzler argued that taxpayers should not be responsible for transition-related healthcare, including hormone therapy.

Hartzler argued today:

"This is different from somebody going in and having a cold.”

California Representative, Nancy Pelosi took on an opposing stance by saying:

"We owe these heroes an immense debt. The defense bill before us today should be about honoring that responsibility."

In a statement, Executive Director of OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Matt Thorn said:

“Congresswoman Hartzler’s attempt to strip healthcare from service members and their families in a time of war was unpatriotic, unconstitutional, and just plain vile, we are pleased to see that the House of Representatives voted down this amendment. It would have been harmful to trans servicemembers, spouses, and families with trans children; it would have undermined our mission readiness by degrading our capabilities as a fighting force. OutServe-SLDN will continue to support and defend our trans brothers and sisters in any and all legal and advocacy matters.”

 Nice try, Hartzler!