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"GLBTI Weddings PLUS!"

The Blog of the U.S.'s first GLBTI-specific Wedding and Events firm. Discussion spot for clients and visitors to interact with staff and experts, in an informal forum, regarding Gay Weddings or Same-Sex Marriage, LGBT weddings and Traditional weddings and other issues affecting the GLBTI.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Transgender Day of Remembrance

by Steve Rothaus, Miami Herald

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance

News release:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is today commemorating the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the day when the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community remembers people lost to anti-transgender violence over the past year. The Task Force Web site banner is black today and features the phrase "We Remember," in memory of the 11 known deaths of transgender people in 2007.

This year marks the ninth year that the Transgender Day of Remembrance has been commemorated. A list of transgender people lost to violence can be found here. Events marking the day are being held in many cities across the United States, including New York City, Washington, D.C., and Seattle, Wash.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"Anti-transgender hate violence remains disturbingly pervasive in our society. While we must continue to fight for hate crime laws that punish perpetrators of these crimes, and employment nondiscrimination laws that rightfully allow transgender people to keep their jobs and stay off the streets where they are more vulnerable to attacks, we must also continue to help every American understand who transgender people are and how anti-transgender bias leads to discrimination and violence. Until no more of our transgender friends and family are lost to senseless hate violence, we must not rest."

Visit the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Web site here.



Transgender Day of Remembrance Links via Questioning Transphobia

Keeping Yourself Safe: Anti-trans violence awareness and prevention tips

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

This Veteran's Day

It's quite moving to think about the nearly one million GLBT service people who have served under our flag.

According to the SDLN (Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) there are currently 65,000 on active duty worldwide.

While I have respect for all those following their conscience and representing this nation all over the world, GLBT or not, this Veteran's Day I particularly offer my respect and thoughts to all those serving our "land of the free" in silence and shadows--- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual AND Transgender , soldiers and support personnel.

DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell) will eventually be repealed and you will be able to serve your country, based on the tenet of 'liberty and justice for ALL' without being forced to be relegated to the darkest of corners while being taken for granted and sacrificing greatly and equally with your non-GLBT peers.

Thank you all for your service and contributions! There is no gray area in equality.
Be safe and be blessed.

Thanks and regards,
MW Savant, CEO

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Monday, November 05, 2007

New York activists renew push for transgender rights bill

by Cody Lyon
EDGE New York City Contributor
Monday Nov 5, 2007

Transgender activists plan to step-up their lobbying efforts in Albany in support of GENDA
Transgender activists plan to step-up their lobbying efforts in Albany in support of GENDA
Less than a month after lesbian Khadijah Farmer sued the Caliente Cab Company after a male bouncer allegedly kicked her out of the women’s restroom at the popular Manhattan eatery because he thought she was actually a man, a number of LGBT activists and leaders say her case highlights the need the proposed Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act in New York State.

GENDA, which was first introduced in 2003, would ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression in housing, employment and other public accommodations. The bill currently has 72 co-sponsors in the state Assembly and 14 in the Senate. These numbers indicate GENDA could pass next year if it came up for a vote on the Assembly floor.

The bill remains, at least for the time being, in committee due, in part, to Albany’s famously stagnant legislative process. LGBT activists (and their constituents) will almost certainly begin to pressure state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver [D-Lower Manhattan] and his Democratic colleagues to bring up the bill for a vote. The New York State Democratic Party endorsed GENDA early last month but an even greater task remains to convince the majority Republican state Senate to pass the bill.

New York Transgender Rights Organization state director Joann Prinzavelli, a resident of Westchester County, blamed the Assembly leadership for GENDA’s delay.

"The message we’re getting from... Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office is we passed enough LGBT friendly bills this year and we like things the way they are (politically)," she said. "Our friends in the Assembly are letting us down by not voting on and passing this bill."

Empire State Pride Agenda spokesperson Joe Tarver maintained GENDA is necessary to protect transgender New Yorkers.
"A lot of discrimination is not about who you go home to at night; it’s about the fact that you are breaking some kind of gender norm in the eyes of your boss or co-workers," Empire State Pride Agenda spokesperson Joe Tarver said.
New York City activist D’Angello Johnson has been involved in the movement for transgender rights in New York through TransJustice and other organizations. He pointed out transgender people often face discrimination based on their gender identification in the Human Resource Administration, other social service agencies and even in homeless shelters. Johnson adds gender non-conformists often face additional difficulties that gays and lesbians simply don’t because of their gender identity or expression.
"Sexual orientation can be hidden, not purposefully," he said as he pointed out gender identity and expression is "in your face." "You might not know somebody’s sexual orientation right off the bat."

Johnson said he is optimistic about GENDA’s prospects and what he described as the growing climate of inclusiveness among gay and lesbian New Yorkers in regards to gender identity and expression. He further pointed out this struggle follows the path other civil rights movements have taken over the last century.

"I’m optimistic because it’s a process," Johnson said.

Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Rochester along with Suffolk and Tompkins Counties has already added gender identity and expression into their non-discrimination statutes. California, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island are among the 13 states and the District of Columbia which have enacted similar legislation.

GENDA supporters maintain it is necessary to add gender identity and expression to supersede laws which prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians. But the current debate rages within the context of political wrangling on Capitol Hill and in-fighting among the movement for LGBT rights over the elimination of transgender-specific protections from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Openly gay Congressman Barney Frank [D-Mass.] and other Democratic leaders maintain the elimination of gender expression from the bill was more about politics than morality. Others argue the reality that protections against sexual orientation discrimination alone aren’t enough.

New York transgender activist Melissa Sklarz told EDGE in a recent interview she feels younger people have a greater understanding of the role gender identity and expression plays among gays and lesbians.

"With the younger generation, there’s no difference between the gay and transgender community," she said. "People in their 20s get it - even in their 30s - but over 40, it takes more work and education."

Sklarz added she remains cautiously optimistic about GENDA’s prospects in Albany.

"I see progress with each passing year," she said. "It may be small, you may need night goggles to see it, but yes, I see progress."

Cody Lyon is a New York freelance writer whose work has appeared in a number of national daily newspapers and New York weeklies. Lyon also writes a political opinion blog at

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