Costa Rica Is Creating New Decrees For LGBTQ Rights

Carlos Alvarado, Costa Rica’s President, has signed multiple ordinances that give rights and protection for LGBTQ people.

According to AFP, Alvarado signed several decrees into law this past Friday. Some of these decrees include allowing same-sex couples the same allowance for housing that low-income families receive, recognizing gay couples that consist of mixed nationalities, extending recognition of the gender identities of migrants, and more.

Costa Rica has been making a larger effort to support it’s LGBTQ citizens as of late. For instance, Costa Rica’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage this Summer, and a directive from Alvarado ordered the government to recognize the gender identities of transgender citizens earlier this year.

"We are recognizing that there are some rights enjoyed by the majority of the population, while others don't enjoy those rights," said Alvarado.

"What these measures are doing is implementing the equality that was missing."

h/t: AFP

Maryland School District Sued for Failing to Take Abuse Against Trans Teacher Seriously

Jennifer Eller, a transgender woman and teacher, is suing Prince George's school district because nothing was done to stop the abuse that she suffered for years from students, other staff members, and parents, according to Into More.

The abuse began in 2011 when Eller announced that she was transitioning. Her students called her a pedophile and the human resources representative who was assigned to help her through her transition insisted that she present as a male and even told her that a note from her therapist regarding the transition is "garbage." The school also refused to update her email address to reflect her gender identity. Because of the abuse mentioned above, Eller was afraid to go to work every day as she did not know "where the next attack would come from." She was also not allowed to wear a dress and when she transferred to Friendly High School, the abuse worsened. 

In Friendly High School, which is very ironically named, Eller was subjected to threats of rape from students and ignored reports of abuse from school principal Raynah Adams. One uncooperative student referred to her as a man and said that an earthquake was a punishment from God for the school hiring her. 

The school canceled its transgender sensitivity training program in 2015 and never reinstated it.  After transferring to James Madison Middle School, Eller continued to face discrimination and abuse and ultimately had to seek out outpatient psychiatric help from a therapist at a local hospital. She resigned during the next year. 

Eller is suing the school district because the abuse she suffered violated her rights under the Equal Rights clause in the Constitution, as well as the Civil Rights Act and the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act. She is seeking unspecified damages and back pay from the district. She is now acting as a youth counselor for the United States Navy's Child and Youth Programs. 

I hope that Eller gets the justice that she deserves because nobody should have to go through such abuse and have it ignored. The fact that it had to get so bad that she needed psychiatric help should be a wakeup call to many people about how transgender people are still treated in the United States and around the world. 

h/t: Into More

It looks like Spain's Miss Universe Contestant is a Huge Favorite to Win!

On December 16th the world will be watching as women from 94 countries and territories from around the globe vie for the crown and title of Miss Universe 2018. The 67th annual Miss Universe event will take place in Bangkok, the third time the event is held in Thailand. This year is historic, however, as Angela Ponce, the contestant from Spain enters the event as the first transgender woman to get to this point in the competition.

27-year-old Ponce was crowned and named the representative from Spain in June after years of competing in pageants. While pageants are often seen as events that objectify women, for Ponce, this platform is one of empowerment where she is claiming her femininity and taking a stand for her freedom to be who she is. Now, as Ponce enters into the most prestigious pageant in the world, it is believed that she is an early favorite to take home the crown as she has been a vocal advocate for trans rights and wishes to continue international work on trans visibility.




Falta muy poco para que España esté ante el universo!!

A post shared by ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceofficial) on


Ponce shared with LGBTQ Nation:

I’m very excited that I have not run into any obstacles, and all my competitors have accepted me very nicely. I feel like I’m being treated like anybody else — and to be here is marvelous.

Me being here and being accepted shows the rest of the world that I’m like any other girl. I think that I can open a lot of minds and eliminate a lot of prejudice: prejudice that is not founded in reality.

My main message would be one’s right to their identity before turning 18 years old. The children should have the right to use whichever bathroom they identify with, and they should be supported by education in grade schools, because this could benefit everybody in the future.



Does Ponce's firm platform give her an advantage to the 2018 title?

h/t: LGBTQ Nation

Students at Indiana High School Need Permission Slip to be Trans

Two transgender male students at Burris Laboratory School in Muncie, Indiana have been pulled out of class multiple times to discuss which bathrooms they can use with school administration, Ball State Daily News reports.

The students are Noah Golliher and Leigh Kumpe, both of who used the men's room in the school at the beginning of the year until other students reported them to the administration. Because of this, Golliher and Kumpe have been pulled out of class repeatedly to discuss what bathroom to use, which is not only disruptive academically but also highly personal and embarrassing. After the meetings with administration, a form was sent home to their parents in which they have to fill out their children's preferred name and the facilities that they use.  

Immediately I can see two things wrong with this: the school is effectively delegitimizing Golliher and Kumpe's gender identity by having them prove that they are indeed trans (because cisgender people do not have to prove that they're not trans) and that by sending that form to a student's parents, the school may prematurely out that student to parents which may create an unsafe home environment for the student. 

The purpose of the form, according to Kathy Wolf, Kathy Wolf, Ball State vice president of marketing and communications, is to facilitate communication between the school and parents. 

Golliher identifies as male but was assigned female at birth. He discovered that Burris Laboratory School had an open bathroom policy and began to use the men's room discreetly. Before 2018, the school did not have a policy that required trans students to provide a handwritten note and there is no such policy written in the Burris Laboratory School Student Handbook. Students are trying to get used to the change, but some found that certain school staff members were less eager to accommodate trans students. 

One example of this is how the student only has 24 hours to get the form signed from when they receive it. Laura Janney, the co-founder of Muncie OUTreach, an LGBTQ support group, said that if the form isn't signed and delivered within 24 hours, the school's staff will call trans students by their birth name, or, using colloquial nomenclature, their dead names. She believes that this is emotional blackmail and I am inclined to agree with her. Calling a transgender person by the dead name and purposely misgendering them can cause psychologically harmful effects for people who suffer from gender dysphoria. 

Janney is working with Golliher and Krumpe to provide support for trans students who are still closeted or feel unsafe revealing their gender identity. If Golliher and Krumpe did not get the permission slips signed, they would be holding in their urine for hours, which is very harmful to the kidneys and can cause a urinary tract infection. However, a student at Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation sued the school for prohibiting him from using the bathroom, as he feels that his Title IX and 14th Amendment rights were violated. The case is currently still active. 

Transgender people using the bathroom has been a hot-button issue for years, as many people believe that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity would open the door for predators to take advantage of women and girls, which is simply not true. The form that requires parents to verify their child's gender identity is harmful and embarrassing, and while the purpose of the form (if what Wolf said is indeed true) was created with good intentions, well... we know what the path to hell is paved with. 

h/t: Ball State Daily News

Transgender Bathroom Predator Myth Completely Made Up, Massachusetts Group Admits

An anti-trans group from Massachusetts has admitted to the fact that the anti-trans bathroom referendum that they created to keep trans people out of the bathroom that corresponds with their gender was just a fear-mongering tactic, according to Pink News.

This admittance came from an analysis that an unnamed member of MassResistence, an anti-LGBTQ group in Massachusetts, in which the anonymous person writes about the failure of the group to persuade people to vote against a pro-trans bill. The author mentions that groups who were against pro-trans bills used the argument that if states allowed trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender that it will open to door for predatory men to assault women and girls in public bathrooms. The author admitted that this argument is "largely contrived."

They also admitted that their side "concocted the 'bathroom safety' male predator argument as a way to avoid an uncomfortable battle over LGBT ideology, and still fire up people’s emotions." It doesn't get much clearer than that; this group literally admitted that their argument was just a way to get people to believe in their transphobic views while offering no support to their claim. 

The analysis goes on to mention that the "LGBT lobby" continues to win arguments against anti-LGBTQ groups, but does not offer any explanation as to how. Perhaps it's because reports of assault in public bathrooms do not correlate with pro-trans bills and that the perpetrators of such assaults rarely identify as transgender. 

So basically we know now what many already knew: that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom they're most comfortable using will not increase the instance of sexual assault in public bathrooms and that the people who claim that to be true are making it up to just scare people. The fact that the author mentioned repeatedly that pro-LGBTQ people are winning arguments should provide some perspective to anti-LGBTQ that supporting pro-gay and trans rights is the direction that society is generally heading in.

Let's hope people get the message. 

h/t: Pink NewsMass Resistance

US Doctors Reveal How They Feel About Transgender Patients

Many physicians in the United States are very willing to treat their transgender patients, but they may not know the best way to do so, reports Reuters

According to a small study, 86% of doctors said that they were willing to provide routine care to transgender patients. In addition, 79% of the doctors in the study said that they would have no problem performing a pap smear on transgender men to test for cervical cancer.

However, many of the doctors expressed a low level of familiarity with transgender transition care, a lack of training in transgender-specific care, lack of knowledge of transgender issues among the medical staff, and lack of exposure to transgender patients. This shows that while doctors are willing to help their transgender patients, they might not have the necessary skills to do so adequately.

The study leader, Deirdre Shires of Michigan University, said in an email that many studies have shown that transgender patients often have negative experiences while attempting to access healthcare services. The experiences include bias, harassment, and denial of healthcare. She noticed that no one has gotten the doctor's perspective as to why this occurs which prompted her to conduct the study. 

Her team sent out the survey to 308 internal medicine and family care physicians and received back 140 evaluable responses. The results show that older doctors are less likely to provide care to transgender patients than younger ones. Shires concluded that while clinical knowledge is important in regard to the medical field, it is equally important that doctors recognize their own internal bias as they should be able to provide a positive experience for all of their patients, not just the cisgender ones. 

John Ayers, a public health researcher from the University of California, suggests that a lack of training is not associated with an unwillingness to provide care; what's more important is that physicians have experience with transgender patients.

There are definite problems with this study, as the sample size was extremely small, which leads to an non-representative sample. Additionally, many of the physicians that were sent the survey declined to participate, which can cause the results of the survey to be over-reported, according to Dr. Janelle Downing of the University of South Carolina.

If my knowledge of methods of social research is correct, Shire's team used a stratified sample, i.e., the population is divided into subgroups and members of the subgroups are selected at random to answer the survey. While this method is the most appropriate for this study because the subgroups were separated from a wider homogeneous group (doctors), the sample size should have been much larger in order to provide a more representative sample of doctors. 

While the study is surely lacking, it is not without merit. We now have a general idea that the majority of physicians are willing to treat transgender clients. Whether or not they're prepared is a different story. I think that what physicians need now is to have sensitivity training regarding transgender issues as well as have more transgender patients, because having trans patients will increase exposure and decrease bias.

h/t: Reuters 

Ukrainian Activists Assaulted During March

About forty people took part in a demonstration in Kiev that sought to bring to light the struggles of transgender people in Ukraine, wielding signs that said "Transphobia must be stopped" and "If you stay silent, they will come after you too." Unfortunately, this demonstration had to be shut down due to violence from far-right protesters, according to Radio Free Europe

During this demonstration, protesters, who were members of far-right groups such as Tradition and Order, Right Sector, and Religious National Front,  lit and threw smoke bombs into the crowd of activists. In addition to throwing the smoke bombs, the protesters also pepper-sprayed two women who were given first aid at the scene. Michael Colborne, a Canadian journalist, attempted to cover the event but was also assaulted; the protesters punched him in the face and suffered a swollen lip and lacerations from his broken glasses. 

The police were present at the scene but did not attempt to remove the protesters. Instead, they shoved the activists through turnstiles in a metro station while yelling slurs at them. The police blocked the metro station to avoid more conflict between the activists and protesters. 

This attack is a clear example of how LGBTQ are still not seen as equal in many parts of the world. However, we must not give up hope that people will always think like this. There have been many successes regarding LGBTQ rights and as long as people continue to fight for what is right, positive change can be achieved. 



h/t: Radio Free Europe

LGBTQ Migrants Who Seek Freedoms Encounter Discrimination Among Others

A caravan with close to 80 LGBTQ individuals arrived in Tijuana, Baja California on Sunday only to be welcomed by opposition from the residents of the area. The caravan is comprised of people who separated from the main caravan of Central American migrants because of discrimination among the other travelers reports NBC.

Loly Mendez, a 28-year-old trans woman from El Salvador shared her experience:

In my country there is violence, a lack of work and opportunities. In the caravan there is also violence — against the LGBTQ community.

I am going to a country where I know I will achieve my dreams.

The group has traveled more than 1,000 miles, many of those miles have been on foot, others hitching rides on trucks, buses, or any vehicle they can. Many will charge a small fee to transport migrant groups, but the price goes up for the LGBTQ. They have even been kicked out mid-ride by transporters.

Lady Perez, a 23-year-old from Honduras said:

In our country the rights of the LGBTQ community are not respected, and anti-social groups take advantage of that. They have denigrated us. Supposedly you're emigrating from your country because of the violence, the discrimination, the homophobia, and it turns out that in the very caravan you face this kind of violence.

Those LGBTQ individuals who joined the separate caravan wanted safety in numbers since they were being threatened and ridiculed since they left their homelands. Those who arrived to Tijuana are staying in an Airbnb that is being financed by a group of unnamed American lawyers as you will see in the video below captured by journalist Jorge Nieto. In the video you can witness residents of the Playas de Tijuana area opposing the group of LGBTQ individuals for fear that they will be persecuted and bring more issues to the area.

The neighborhood association made a Spanish public post on Facebook reading. Translation of the statement reads:

We spoke with Efrén González, coordinator of human rights and César Mejia, leader of the LGBT community, members of the migrant caravan, commenting that they were guided and supported by US lawyers to solve their immigration status, they estimate that their stay will be one week in the house they rented on Olas Altas street. They will be presenting themselves 15 people at a time to the United States border to resolve their immigration status, there are 77 people, are organized as follows; CDH staff supports them to make their food purchases, they will avoid walking around the streets, talking loudly, avoid making noise at night. They were warned that the area is patrolled, that there is insecurity, that they avoid being confused. We agree that respect should prevail, since this section is continually affected by crime and we do not want both them and us to be harmed.

César first, apologizes because he asserts that he was upset when he was approached by some neighbors and considers that if he does not manage to resolve his issue in a week they will look for a shelter. Neighbors, we ask for tolerance, and tomorrow I will seek to speak with the Delegate to give us security given the conditions of the section.



José Martínez, a resident of Playas de Tijuana shared his perspective with Spanish media outlet Desastre.mx. Translation of his statement reads:

We have nothing against them, but we also don’t want them to come out with their colorful flags to provoke us…I’m not against gays or anything like that, but it’s not fair that I have a small daughter and I don’t want to her to see any of that. Why? Because men kissing other men should be done in the privacy of their own home, they shouldn’t bring that to our community.

The LGBTQ caravan includes many individuals who are escaping unbearable and dangerous conditions in Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. They seek asylum in a place where there is hope and resources for their community. Just days ago Trump signed an executive order that states that applicants for asylum will be ineligible unless they are coming to a designated port of entry. Tijuana borders San Diego, a designated port of entry, but asylum seekers could face problems during the process.

Watch the video of the interaction between members of the LGBTQ migrant caravan and the Tijuana community who opposes their presence.

h/t: NBC, Jorge Nieto, Desastre.mx, Ricardo Peralta

Have You Seen the Video of a Group of Trans Women Beating Up a Man for Insulting Them?

Around 2 a.m. on June 24th in the Leicester Square tube station in London, three transgender women and their friend attacked a man who allegedly shouted a slur at the group. According to DailyMail, the group of drunken women continuously beat the man after a crowd of people attempted to stop them. Meanwhile, others shouted “Fight! Fight! Fight!” perpetuating the situation.

The victim of the ‘heinous attack’ was rushed to the hospital with several lacerations and a black eye.

The assailants include Tylah-Jo Bryan, Amarnih Lewis-Daniel, Tamzin Lush, and Hannah Bryan who were arrested after the violent crime.

Their assault was so bad that the Westminster magistrate, Kristy Walker, asserted the offense was too serious to deal with in a regular court and would have to escalate to the crown court. The four are awaiting sentencing at Blackfriars crown court, but no date has been set.

No other information on condition of the victim.

Check out the graphic video of the attack below. WARNING: it includes sensitive visuals that are not suitable for everyone.


Is this a case of three trans women standing up for themselves that went too far?

Or did this guy get what he had coming?

h/t: DailyMail

An Enormous Trans Rights Banner Was Displayed at the World Series Finale, But You Didn't See It on TV

If you watched the World Series on Sunday night, you know that the Red Sox beat the Dodgers 5-1 and claimed their fourth national title of the century.

Here’s something you didn’t see on TV though:

As reported by THR, fans in Dodgers Stadium unfurled an enormous banner in the stands reading “TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE TO LIVE” during the game.

The protest comes days after news that the Trump administration is potentially seeking to legally determine gender based on the genitalia you are born with.

The fans who unrolled the banner were located in the reserve section above the Dodgers’ dugout on the third base side.

The game was broadcast on Fox, and the banner didn’t make it to broadcast.

The big question is: how did this banner get past security? Banners, flags, etc. aren’t allowed in Dodgers stadium. Security is generally, obviously, even tighter than usual during the championships.

h/t: THR