Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military service people takes effect from today, jeopardizing the livelihood of thousands.
Almost two years after Trump first announced his much-maligned policy on Twitter, legislation banning trans people from openly serving in the military has been enacted.
According to the Palm Center, about 13,700 people will lose their jobs as a result.
“The military is the largest employer in the nation and, as the USTS found, transgender people are twice as likely to have served in the Armed Forces as the general population,” Gillian Bransetter, media relations manager for the National Center for Transgender Equality, told Advocate.
The 2015 US Trans Survey (USTS) found that 18 per cent of all trans people have served in the military, which is thought to be the single largest employer of trans people today.
When does the transgender military ban begin?Trump first announced the ban in a series of tweets on July 26, 2017.
“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military,” he wrote.
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
The White House formally announced the policy in March 2018, which was blocked by a series of four injunctions.
In January 2019, the first injunction was lifted by an appeals court in Washington DC, with the Supreme Court removing a further two (from California and Washington state) in the same month.
On March 27 the final hurdle was lifted, paving the way for the ban to be enforced from Friday (April 12).
Who will be affected by the transgender military ban?Since trans people were first allowed to enter service in 2016, almost 15,000 are estimated to have joined the military.
Any person who comes out or is outed as trans from April 12 will be discharged, unless they are willing to suppress their identity. The military will not pay for any gender confirmation surgeries, apart from those which will “protect the health” of people who have begun to medically transition.
After April 12, those applying to join the services with a record of gender dysphoria will have to adhere to the gender they were assigned at birth in order to serve. A doctor will have to certify that they have been stable in that gender for at least 36 months, and that they have not medically transitioned.
Transgender people without a diagnosis will be permitted to serve in the gender they were assigned at birth, but only if they have not had any confirmation surgeries.
There are exemptions for active service members who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, including those who have already completed a medical transition before the policy takes effect.
According to the Palm Center, just 937 people will qualify for the grandfather exemptions, which they note could be revoked at any time.
The Navy has released guidance noting that sailors will be permitted to live “in their preferred gender” while off-duty.
“Appropriate civilian attire, as outlined in the uniform regulations, will not be determined based on gender,” a statement read, though this may be limited “to meet local conditions and host-nation agreements with foreign countries.”
Criticism of the transgender military banThe Palm Center’s director Aaron Belkin is one of many who has called the ban “a return to don’t ask, don’t tell,” the military’s pre-2011 ban on LGB people.
“Fully 100% of transgender troops are threatened and stigmatised by this ban,” Belkin said a statement on April 9.
In Washington, criticism of the policy has come from both sides of the aisle.
Conservative pundit Meghan McCain tweeted on Wednesday (April 10): “It is indefensible that Trump’s ban on Transgender troops is being implemented on Friday.
“This discriminatory policy will lead Transgender service members, patriots who have decided to serve their nation, to live in the shadows.
“It’s an unfair, un-American, and dangerous policy.”
House speaker Nancy Pelosi is one of many Democrats to rebuke the ban, labelling it an “act of cruelty” on April 3.
Trump’s claims that transgender people “burden” the military “with the tremendous medical costs” has also been wide refuted.
In 2016 the RAND corporation estimated that these costs would amount to somewhere between $2.4 million (£1.8 million) and $8.4 million (£6.4 million) annually.
Written by: Reiss Smith. 12 April 2019. Current Affairs. Pinknews.co.uk
Research has found that LGBT+ people make up more of America’s rural population than is often depicted by mainstream culture.
According to the study by the Movement Advancement Project, between 2.9 million and 3.8 million LGBT+ people live in rural parts of America, meaning they make up around 5 percent of the population.
“Rarely do we see images of LGBTQ people in rural areas, and when we do, they are portrayed as the only one there and stick out like a sore thumb or a target of violence,” report author Logan Casey told USA Today.
LGBT+ people live in these areas for the same reason as everyone elseThe research showed that LGBT+ people often choose to live in these areas for the same reason as others: to be a part of a close community that share similar values to their own.
The report also noted that “the highest rates of parenting by both same-sex couples and LGBT individuals are in the most rural regions of the country.”
Discrimination in small communitiesDespite this, LGBT+ people do face some discrimination while living in rural places as prejudice can spread rapidly through tight-knit communities. This can lead to difficulties joining a church, getting work or even finding a doctor who will accommodate them.
While over half of LGBT+ people in urban areas have access to health centres designed specifically for their needs, only about 11 percent of LGBT+ adults over 45 have similar access in rural areas, which means trouble finding help can easily arise as a result of acute prejudice.
This can also go the other away according to Casey, who said: “When one person stands up and takes a stance for an LGBTQ person … and really embraces them, that sets the tone for how they should be treated.”
In the US, Vermont has the highest proportion of LGBT+ adults in rural areas at around 5.2 percent and was the first place to allow same-sex couples to have civil unions in 2000. It is also considered one of America’s most LGBT-friendly states.
Population of transgender people in the USMeanwhile, there have been various studies regarding the population of transgender people in the US.
Studies have suggested that trans people make up 0.6 percent of the population, with states North Dakota and Iowa having the lowest percentage, while California and Massachusetts have the highest.
Written By: Precious Adesina. 05 April. 2019. Current Affairs. Pinknews.com
One of telenovela biggest stars David Zepeda has split with girlfriends Lina Radwan. The 45-year-old leading man has been in a relationship with Radwan for the past eight years. However, last November the couple quietly split up. Now media outlets are reporting that the breakup was over Zepeda’s alleged bisexuality.
A source claims that David was exceedingly nice to Lina, but over time he transformed. The source who claims to be a close friend of the actor told a celebrity gossip rag TV Notas. “Especially in the last year, the relationship became hell for her.”
“David is bisexual,” the source continues. “One day he told me: ‘I also like men’, but he cannot freely exercise his preference because his family is from Sonora and is very old-fashioned.”
Just five years ago, Zepeda had a five-minute video of him masturbating leaked online. Oh yes, we found the video!
“David considers that he has an image to take care of as a telenovela lover,” the source says. “When the sex video was leaked of him masturbating, he was very concerned that it would bring consequences in his career.”
Zepeda has appeared in several popular telenovels, and a few American television shows including ER, The Shield and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He also appeared nude group sex scene in Desnudos and the stage play Cuatro XXXX.
There has been no comment from Zepeda or his agent regarding the bisexual rumors.
A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a group of Christians who sued a Texas library for having drag queens read stories to children.
Three Christian activists filed a lawsuit against two public library directors in Houston for hosting events from the Drag Queen Story Hour initiative.
The nonprofit Drag Queen Story Hour or Story Time series gets drag queens to read to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores throughout America.
The plaintiffs argued that public taxes should not be used to fund events ‘brainwashing the children of Houston’, Courthouse News reported.
However, the judge said that they had failed to prove that the events had caused any harm or misappropriation of public funds.
The Christian group, Christ Followers, took the case to court in October 2018 after an online petition and a protest were unsuccessful in deterring the library from hosting the events.
U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal on Thursday (3 January) dismissed the case for having a lack of standing and a failure to state a viable First Amendment Establishment Clause claim.
Rosenthal said that the men could not prove that the story hour events had caused any harm, as they were unclear if they had even attended any of the events.
‘The plaintiffs assert the very opposite: they purposefully avoided “Drag Queen Storytime” because of its alleged immorality and potential to harm their children,’ Rosenthal wrote in the 18-page order. ‘Instead of witnessing the event, the plaintiffs “researched [it] online”.’
The group has a history of anti-LGBTI beliefs.
‘The plaintiffs believe that LGBTQ ideology is immoral, obscene and subversive to human flourishing and that the LGBTQ ideology is inseparably linked to the religion of Secular Humanism,’ it stated in their lawsuit.
One of the group’s members, Chris Sevier, filed a similar lawsuit against a Louisiana library in September 2018.
Sevier had also previously filed a lawsuit to be able to marry his laptop as a form of protest against same-sex marriage.
Not their first storytime
Drag Queen Story Hour was started by RADAR Productions in San Francisco and has become a popular feature throughout America over the past two years.
However, the initiative has prompted a backlash from conservative and religious groups.
Right-wing Infowars host, Alex Jones, has railed against Drag Queen Story Hour, describing the events as a ‘societal wrecking ball’ and comparing the drag queens to demons.
Several Christian activists have attempted to interrupt events in the past.
In November last year, a woman interrupted a session being held in a private bookstore by shouting about a ‘homosexual agenda’ before being escorted out by police.
In June, Dave Grisham, an evangelical pastor in Alaska, videoed himself attempting to interrupt a drag queen children’s story time taking place in a public library.
He was instantly booed by the crowd and ushered out in under a minute.
Written by: Calum Stuart. 5 January 2019. Gaystarnews.com
Ryan Cleary and his The Bi Life co-star Michael Gunning sat down with PinkNewsUK to talk openly about their sexualities and share theyâre coming out stories.
The 27-year-old Cleary says he first became aware of his attraction towards both males and females, âwhen I hit pubertyâ but he didnât tell anyone about it for years.
It was the feeling of being depressed and isolated that made him finally come out to his mother and according to Cleary that when everything changed and he started to feel more comfortable with himself.
He came out as bi on the reality dating show Survival of the Fittest, and he told Attitude Magazine, âWhen I was younger Iâd have loved to have heard someone on TV say they were bisexual and it not be an issue. I donât think thatâs shown on TV often.â
Clearyâs advice for those who might be struggling to come out, âYou donât want to look back on your life and be like I lived for what I thought certain people in society wanted.â
âPeople DM me and I give them advice. They ask: âOh, what about the bad reactions? Have you had any?â I hear peopleâs worries and I donât want people to feel like that because itâs thatâs not a life to live.â
Cleary adds, âIf itâs safe for you to come out then I would definitely advise you to do soâjust to a friend, to a family member, and then to take it from there.â
âWhatever it is that you feel you are, itâs important that you do express that because life is short.â
Spain’s entry to the Miss Universe pageant, Angela Ponce, is breaking down barriers as the first-ever transgender woman to compete in the pageant that was formerly owned by Donald Trump. Ponce, a model who beat out 22 other women to become Spain’s entry to the pageant, which takes place on Sunday in Bangkok, said she hopes to use the platform to elevate trans visibility.
“If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me,” Ponce told the Associated Press after she won the title of Miss Spain in June.
Ponce competed in the Miss World pageant in 2015 and found that the rules made it such that a trans woman could not win, which crushed her, she told Time in late November. But since Ponce made it to the Miss Universe finals, Miss World has now changed its rules, she said.
"I changed the rules," Ponce of the impact she's already had.
But the Miss Universe pageant under former owner Trump did not halt its ban on transgender contestants in 2012 without pressure. The ban was speciously lifted at the same time that famed attorney Gloria Allred threatened legal action against it for banning Jenna Talackova, a trans contestant from Canada.
Considering Trump’s past relationship with the pageant and his ongoing attacks on trans people including a proposed military ban and his administration's attempt to define trans people out of existence, Ponce commented on what it would mean for her to win in terms of Trump.
It would send “More than a message to him [Trump]. It would be a win for human rights,” She told Time. “Trans women have been persecuted and erased for so long. If they give me the crown, it would show trans women are just as much women as cis women.”
Despite competing on the world stage for some audiences that may not be tolerant of her trans identity, Ponce said she’s excited to compete.
“I’m not trying to impose anything on anyone. I’d never try to change anyone’s culture or way of life,” Ponce said. “But by competing I’ll make trans people more visible for everyone, which is a big step. I’m not nervous. I’m excited.”
Written by: Tracy Gilchrist. 16 December, 2018. Advocate
Asia’s first trans body building competition launched in India this month.
The International Bodybuilding Fitness and Federation India (IBFFI) will include a trans male category in its March 2019 competition, according to IBFFI General Secretary Akshay Chopra.
‘Any step which will help the [trans] community gain more acceptance is a welcome step’ he told Gay Star News.
The Indian public had, so far, been supportive, Chopra said. ’There has only been praise for our bold step’.
Trans body builder Aryan Pasha prompted Chopra to introduce the category. Pasha made history earlier this month by coming second place in the male category of a competition.
Pasha told Gay Star News he was grateful to Chopra and the IBFF.
‘[The competition] has given a new hemisphere of dignity and respect to transpeople who have a passion for bodybuilding’ he said.
’India has become a global in the trans movement’, he said. ’No one ever thought there would a trans category in such a mainstream event.
He also previously told Gay Star News he hoped for a trans section in mainstream competitions.
This is because trans body builders rely on synthetic testosterone and it is not easy to compete against cis-male competitors, he said.
Chopra said he hoped to introduce a trans female category in the near future, depending on the response.
Visibility and acceptance of the LGBTI community is on the rise in India.
In September, the Supreme Court dismantled a colonial-era law that punished gay sex with up to ten years in jail.
But, LGBTI Indians, and particularly the trans community, remain marginalized by much of society.
‘The main issue in India was the lack of knowledge and the wrong light in which the LGBT community was being portrayed’ said Chopra.
The trans community says they continue to experience violence despite the landmark ruling. Trans women, in particular, are vulnerable to harassment, intimidation, and extortion by police.
Written by: Rik Glauert. 14 December 2018. Gay Star News
James Rackover, 27 has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for the brutal murder of 26-year-old Joseph Comunale. Rackover is the lover to prominent Manhattan jeweler Jeffrey Rackover. According to the New York Post, the murder happened November, 13, 2016 at Jeffrey Rackover’s Upper East Side apartment.
Not-with-standing the strange relationship, James is the lover and the adopted son of Jeffrey Rackoover, 57.
Prosecutors argued that Rackover and a friend Larry Dilione, 30, murdered Joseph Comunale after a night of hard partying. Reportedly Dilione met Comunale for the first time that night, and the two then went over to Rackover’s residence for a late-night afterparty.
Apparently, an argument broke out because of a lack of cocaine, which somehow leads Rackover and Dilione beating Comunale unconscious, then dragging him to the bathtub where they stabbed him 15 times.
A former friend of Rackover’s, Louis Ruggiero, son of Fox5 “Good Day New York” host Rosanna Scotto, was called to the stand to describe a confession he received from Rackover the following day.
“I slit his throat and stabbed him,” Rackover told him.
In an attempt to cover up the crime, Rackover, Dilione, and a third man who was present that night but not part of the killing, Max Gemma, bleached the bathroom.
After ordering takeout of “organic burgers and fries”, they drove the body to Oceanport, New Jersey, poured gasoline over it and burned it in a shallow grave.
Rackover’s defense team argued Dilione was the real killer, and that Rackover only helped cover up the crime.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke gave Rackover the maximum sentence available.
“This is precisely the rare kind of case that maximum consecutive sentences are reserved for, and no other lesser sentence would make much sense,” he said.
Michael Lucas, the Islamophobic founder of Lucas Entertainment has announced that in 2020 he will stop performing in adult films. Founded in 1998 he has performed in more than 233 scenes.
But what we found more interesting is in the interview Lucas stated,“I never considered myself a Democrat or a Republican,” however, that has not stopped him from espousing Republican policies and candidates over the past decade.
Michael Musto who interviewed Lucas pointed out, “Somehow, people perceive you as a gay Republican, and I think that’s one of the reasons some people dislike you,” Lucas responds, “I saw that on the industry blogs. Of course, I was pretty outspoken in the past about my support for Israel and opposition to radical Islam, both issues I used to associate more with the Republican party.”
Then there’s a 2012 Yahoo News article that says, “Lucas, by the way, considers himself a conservative, votes Republican and donates generously to several libertarian and right-wing causes. And when he casts a ballot in the November election, he hopes it will be for Mitt Romney.”
Lucas has always considered ‘the issues” more important than political affiliation. But the most Republican position Lucas holds is his contempt for Islam and Muslim culture.
He dismissed in a 2010 column for The Advocate all of the Islamic cultures by stating “whatever that may be” (even though Muslims invented algebra, coffee and surgery). In 2016, he wrote a column that ran both in the far-right website Brietbart.com and the gay magazine Out defending gay men who vote Republican.
In a podcast for the right-wing conspiracy theorist, Arron Klein Lucas referred to all Muslims as anti-gay “barbarians,” even though American Muslims support same-sex marriage more than Evangelical Christians.
The Russian-born Lucas admits he voted for Clinton in 2016 since he considers Trump to be beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republicans are “extremists.” Since nearly 20% of the world, population self-identifies as Muslim, and many men share his opposition, therefore, it’s un-American.
A Florida man is under arrest and two others remain at large after they allegedly kidnapped, stripped, beat, and robbed a man who had arranged a hookup with one of them on Instagram.
20-year-old Matthew Evans is charged with felony kidnapping and attempted robbery. The alleged attack happened last week near the Sebastian River Landing clubhouse in Sebastian, Florida.
According to the victim, whose identity has not been released, he had agreed to pay Evans $50 for a quickie. They arranged to meet in the club parking lot inside the gated community at 11 PM on the evening of November 18. Evans pulled up in a car and the man got in.
What happened next is truly horrifying…
Before the victim could register what was going on, Evans allegedly put him a choke hold and began shouting antigay slurs at him as a getaway driver of the car sped off down the dark street and out of the gated community.
The TCPalm reports:
They drove about a quarter-mile east and parked at San Sebastian Park, where another man with a handgun was waiting, the warrant said. Evans and the man with the gun demanded the $50 and punched the accuser in the face until he blacked out, breaking his nose and leaving him with a depression in his cheekbone, according to police. His sweatpants, cellphone and the money were gone by the time the man walked home 20 minutes later and called 911, according to a detective.
When police arrived at the victim’s home, he was in bad shape, his face swollen and bleeding.
Police were able to track Evans down through his Instagram profile. He is currently being held without bail.
The alleged gunman and the getaway driver still remain at large.