Month

June 2016

Transgender Woman Accused Transat of Denying her Board Plane

transat-flikr

Ari Bianca, a transgender Woman with dual citizenship (Argentinian and Italian) was travelling to Canada flying with Air Transat. However, despite having both of her passports, and a legal document validating their authenticity, she was denied to board the plane.
As previously stated. She has dual citizenship, and while her name and gender marker were changed on her Argentinian passport, her Italian one still marks her male.

This is her story:

My name is Ari Bianca. I am a dual citizen of the Italian Republic and the Republic of Argentina. Today, Air Transat has denied me boarding a flight bound to Toronto, Canada from Glasgow, Scotland.

I am a transgender woman. My Italian documentation was made before transition and uses the first name “Ariel”, shows an older photo, and a gender marker “M”. However, I have used it consistently to travel for the last 8 years, both within Europe, to the United States, and to South America, with no issue. This is the first time I have been denied boarding a flight.

I travel with supporting documentation because I have been questioned about my passport photo before. This documentation includes my Argentinean passport with the correct gender (and a recent photo), and a notarized sworn affidavit with a legalized translation. This affidavit is a binding document of the Argentine Republic declaring my change of name from Ariel to Ari Bianca, and declaring my change of gender.

When asked for documentation, I provided all three documents (two passports and affidavit) to an Air Transat representative. They spoke to a representative of the Canadian High Commission in the United Kingdom and told me that I can only travel on my Argentinean passport, but I wouldn’t be travelling today as I didn’t have a visa. I did not apply for a visa because it was not needed with my Italian passport.

The Air Transat representative called “Emma”, refused to give me her last name but phoned the High commission representative for me. The High Commission representative kindly explained this was a decision made by the airline at their discretion. In other words Air Transat made the decision to deny my flight, today, despite my carrying two legal documents, simply because I don’t look the same way as I did 8 years ago, before I began taking hormones.

I have not managed to obtain a new Italian passport yet due to the complex nature of gender recognition procedures through Italian bureaucracy. However, this decision is illegal under anti-discrimination UK law; it refuses to accept my legal Italian documentation, thus breaking Canada-Italy travel treaties; and it fails to recognise my sworn affidavit and its connection to my Italian passport as valid.

All because of a simple photo. A photo which, when provided with supporting documents, has never caused any airlines (Ryanair, American Airlines, British Airways, EasyJet, to name a few) from ever preventing me from boarding a flight. Today, Air Transat has broken the law.

Transgender Pilot Destroys Peter Spigg on Live TV

Transgender Airline Pilot Destroys Peter Spigg on LIVE TV

Transgender pilot Jessica Taylor was invited to discuss North Carolina’s controversial new bill that mandates trans people use the bathroom indicated by their birth certificate, rather than the gender with which they identify.

“This puts us at risk,” she claimed. “And we’re already at risk — our numbers of suicide and murder are outrageous!”

Jessica makes very good points, and when Peter Sprigg attacks the community, her comeback is golden.

Coming out as Transgender at 48

By Anna Walker

“I’d never even heard of gender dysphoria. I was 48 so I was massively relieved because I’d felt like a freak all my life.”

For most of his life, Rhys Carter—a traditional, spiritual, family loving man—has been caught in a wholly untraditional identity crisis.

The relentless buoyancy that Rhys maintains throughout our interview is made all the more remarkable when he tells me that he only learned about gender dysphoria two years ago when a doctor diagnosed him with the condition.

“Ever since I started transitioning my life has exploded, it’s been really nice.” Exploded seems like something of an understatement. A PE teacher for 28 years, Rhys has recently branched out to start his own trampolining business, which goes into several schools and is now considered an academy; all funded off his own back. He’s also started doing sports massage therapy and has a treatment room at home.

marathon

Amid this career success, he’s also found time to run five marathons, including New York, Dublin, London and Amsterdam and about 30 half marathons. “At the moment everything is really peaking and ironically it’s all started happening since I told the world I was transitioning.”

“I’d never even heard of gender dysphoria. I was 48 so I was massively relieved because I’d felt like a freak all my life. I’ve got ginger hair too so I had the full whammy. Thankfully I was very good at sport, which was my saving grace. I think it probably saved my life in the end.”

Rhys’s memories of his longing to be a boy go way back through his childhood. “I wrote a letter to Father Christmas when I was four years old and said ‘can you make me into a boy?’ That was my Christmas wish.”

“My sister can even remember me pulling my bikini top off as a child on the beach and my mum saying ‘why is she doing that?’ I was very frustrated and very confused. There was no information. I couldn’t speak to my parents, my sister, or my brother. I didn’t know what it was; I just knew I wanted to be a boy. Nobody could help me and nobody could explain it. I had to hide it and shut my inner self off and pretend. It was like I was pretending to be a girl.”

As he tried to force himself to act female, Rhys remembers how exploring his sexuality only led to further confusion.

“My mates became dates, which was horrendous. I thought that maybe I fitted into the gay box for a while and had gay relationships but then I realised no, I definitely fancy straight women. I certainly didn’t fancy men, I wanted to be one.”

“I decided in the mid-’80s that after trying relationships with both genders, I couldn’t settle with either. I had a hard time then. I didn’t know what to do and felt like I couldn’t find a relationship. It was hard.”

Rhys does hope to find love in the future. When he meets the right person, he’s confident they won’t care about his past. “You don’t fall in love with a man or a woman, you fall in love with a person.”

Now that he has begun his transition, Rhys has also had to tell his family. “My dad is 80 now and he’s been brilliant about it. But telling the rest of my very Catholic, very traditional Welsh family… I knew they were going to take it exceptionally hard.”

“My younger brother is a pastor in a Christian church and he said biblically speaking he couldn’t call me a man. My sister is the same. I said to him ‘If someone who is transgender walks through your church door, are you going to turn them away?’”

“I love them deeply and we’re still very close but they don’t really understand. My sister is worried about losing her sister, but I’m not going anywhere! I think they’ll come around in the end.”

“For me by far the easiest generation to tell were my nephews. One just said, ‘we’re happy as long as you’re happy. It must be a big relief for you.’ Pure acceptance. They thought I looked wrong in a frock anyway.”

As a secondary school teacher, you’d think that coming out at school would be about the most terrifying thing one could do, but Rhys says his transition there couldn’t have been better.

“Telling the head teacher was a massive relief. It’s a big secondary school with nearly 2000 pupils, and on the last day of term, my head teacher did assemblies to say I was now Mr Carter and my pronouns were he, his, him. Letters went out to the parents and it was all done within 24 hours.”

“I found myself sat on the couch that evening thinking about how 2000 letters had gone out about my transition. It felt like the whole of the West Midlands was talking about me, but in a nice way.”

There’s an emotional shift when Rhys explains how he chose his new name. A friend who had transitioned decided to ask their mother what they would have named them if they’d been born a boy, but Rhys’s mum passed away before he began transitioning.

 

“It felt like the whole of the West Midlands was talking about me”

 

“At the same time that I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer which was so hard. I had to put my life on the backburner and not tell my family while she was ill. I couldn’t ask her, but we’re very Welsh and her favourite Welsh name was always Rhys, so that’s what I picked.”

The family ties in Rhys’s name run deeper still. While he wanted to change his surname, to fully distance himself from his previous self, Rhys didn’t want to disassociate from his family. “I used my grandmother’s maiden name [Carter] instead. She was a great lady and lived until she was 91. She was very small but very feisty.”

Rhys’s life has changed beyond recognition in the past two years, but one thing that’s remained solid is his faith, which he credits with getting him through rougher times.

“If I had a different personality I might not have been as strong as I have. I’m a Christian so I believe in God and I feel very blessed. That’s helped because I always knew I wasn’t a bad person. I followed my heart and fortunately, God gave me the strength to get through.”

Stonewall Inn to become first Gay monument in America

stonewall-inn

The Stonewall Inn, in New York, believed to be the place where the gay rights movement began after a 1969 police raid led to riots, has been designated as a US national monument.

US President Barack Obama named the Stonewall bar as the first national monument to gay rights.

The Stonewall National Monument will cover 7.7 acres (3.1ha) of land, including the nearby Christopher Park.

Gay marriage was legalised nationwide last year after bitter legal battles.

Same-sex marriages

“I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country: the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us,” Mr Obama said in a video announcing the creation of the monument.

“That we are stronger together, that out of many, we are one.”

The video will be played on the billboards in Times Square on Saturday, the White House said in a statement.

At the time of the Stonewall riots, in July 1969, police said they acted to enforce a law that made it illegal to sell alcoholic drinks to “homosexuals”.

Since then, the riots – widely known as the Stonewall Uprising – the US has enacted a number of anti-discrimination bills, including allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US armed forces.

 

Source: BBC News