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Are Trans Lesbians Real Lesbians?

I came across a meme on the internet that read: “Trans lesbians are lesbians, get over it.” 

Copyright (C) 2017 / Pixabay

Are trans lesbians real lesbians? Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.

What is a real lesbian anyway?

Without falling into a game of semantics, we can all agree that a lesbian is a woman who is exclusively attracted to other women. Right?

There is no easy way to approach this topic, but as a transsexual lesbian, this is what I think, and I welcome everybody to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Gender identity, just like sexuality, doesn’t develop overnight. It’s a lengthy process for the most part so, naturally, there will be people who know they are women inside, who are legitimately attracted to other women, independently of the way they look, and this is basically what being a lesbian means.

It doesn’t mean that other lesbians will perceive you socially as a lesbian, it only means that you believe that you ARE one.

The disagreement stems from the socially-perceived image of what a woman should be and, the most discriminatory one: How a woman should look like. 

The most radical lesbians have some high standards for what makes a woman a real woman, and therefore a lesbian woman, a real lesbian woman.

There are lots and lots of discriminatory standards, but the most common ones are:

  1. Real lesbians should have XX chromosomes
  2. Transgender lesbians should be passable if they want to be taken seriously
  3. Transgender lesbians should do a “full transition” (which is strictly referring to performing a vaginoplasty)

The problem with these three statements is that they don’t stand to logic, or any rational thinking, for that matter.

Now, to debunk some myths:

The chromosome excuse always struck me as some kind of half-bothered attempt at trying to exclude transsexual women from womanhood in a rather uninformed and childish way. As a neurobiology student, I can confirm (with tangible evidence) that the gender of humans is determined by a small region in the nervous system, which has nothing to do with whatever set of chromosomes you were born with.

Some people heard about the myth that all women are XX and all men are XY without knowing very well what a chromosome pair is and what does it do. I, in turn, know what a nervous system is and how it works.

The passing excuse is a bit far fetched and discriminatory on itself. Every time I hear this argument I think to myself: Who sets the standard?

 

When it comes to anatomy, I know a lot of cisgender women who are much taller, wider and masculine-looking than myself. Would you say that, for example, a super pretty woman like Taylor Swift is trans just because she’s taller than me? Probably not.

Would you say that Ellen Degeneres is trans because her voice pitch is lower than mine? or that Hope Solo is trans because she’s bigger and stronger than me?

So who sets the standard?

 

The surgical reconstruction of genitals is not ideal. This reconstruction is known, in the transgender world, as GRS or SRS, which stand for Gender Reassignment Surgery or Sex Reassignment Surgery, respectively.

These procedures do not convert masculine genitals into female genitals. These procedures eliminate the testicles, reduces the size of the urethra and converts the penis gland into some kind of clitoris, where in most cases, for all intents and purposes, works like a working vagina.

But transsexual women who perform any of these surgical procedures on themselves are not getting working female genitals. Science still has to come a long way until some major breakthrough in these procedures provides transsexual individuals with a working uterus and ovaries. Transsexual women who perform an SRS/GRS still need to shoot themselves with estradiol shots since their main organ for producing a sex hormone is gone, and they have no ovaries to produce oestrogen naturally in large quantities.

My advice, as a psychologist, and as a somewhat-experienced transexual woman, would be to simply wait. Upon doubt, just wait. We don’t know if, within five or ten years time, a fully working reproductive system will be a reality. Don’t settle for something you may not absolutely need when you can wait for better options. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you are incomplete because you don’t want or cannot get surgery in your private areas.

So if no vaginoplasty is required to obtain your woman card, no anatomy can determine what your gender is, and chromosomes are proven to determine sex but not gender, then who can tell, apart from yourself, what a real lesbian is?

If you consider yourself a woman, independently of your biology, and you are sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women, independently of their biology, then you are probably a lesbian, but then again, the decision is exclusively yours.

 

By Ellie Hope (@elliehopeauthor on Facebook/Twitter

 

 

How to Spot “Fake News”

Follow Ellie on twitter (@elliehopeauthor)

“NEW YORK (AP) — The Pope has endorsed Donald Trump for president.”

“A Washington, DC, pizzeria is a front for a child sex abuse ring.”

“George Soros will “bring down” the U.S. by funding “black hate groups.”

 

These are just some examples of viral stories circulated on social media recently that are completely untrue. Facebook on Thursday announced some steps it’s taking to stop the spread of such “fake news” on its huge social network.

This includes working with outside fact-checking organizations and drying up financial incentives to what it calls the “worst of the worst” spammers that traffic in made-up stories. But there are basic things news readers can do themselves to spot fake news. And if you want, you can report them to Facebook, which can flag stories for fact-checkers to evaluate.

CHECK THE SOURCE

Some hoax sites, designed to draw you in for advertising revenue, feature designs that resemble legitimate, well-known websites. Such “spoofing” can be quite effective — but there are often telltale signs to indicate their true nature.

For example, you should be vary of articles on sites whose addresses, or URLs, that end in “com.co,” writes Melissa Zimdars, a communications professor at Merrimack College whose own list of “fake news” sites went viral. (She has since taken it down and published a more general guide .) You can also check the website’s “about” page, its list of contacts, and other stories and photos on it. Poke around a little; if things look less-than-official, you’re probably on a spoof site.

GRAMMAR AND EMOTIONS

Random use of ALL CAPS? Lots of exclamation points? Does it make sense when you read it out loud? Can you imagine a TV newscaster reading it out loud? Is there something just off about it? Does it sound very angry, inflammatory, emotional? None of these are good signs.

POKE AROUND FOR OTHER COVERAGE

If a story is real and really big, you will likely (though not always) see some version of it from multiple sources. Is it on sites like ABC News, The Associated Press, the New York Times, or other places you have heard of? Is it featured in your local newspaper, the one printed on actual paper?

Let’s put it this way: If the pope actually endorsed Trump, you’d see it everywhere.

SOURCES, SOURCES, SOURCES

Anonymous sources can appear in legit as well as made-up news stories. But Googling the people who are named in a story is a good way to check whether the story itself is real. They might have a LinkedIn profile, or appear in other news stories, for example. Someone says they are a university professor? Google the name of the university. Is it a health study on a new cure for cancer? Look it up.

ON FACEBOOK

Facebook users often share articles without reading them. Don’t be that person.

Instead, click on the link and read the story before hitting the “share” button. If you believe a story someone shared is fake, you can post a comment, or report it to Facebook for outside fact-checking by clicking on the gray arrow on the upper right corner and selecting “report this post.” You’ll get an option for “It’s a fake news story.”

 

Source: AP

Hundreds of Argentinian LGBT People Step Down From Buenos Aires Pride 2016 Amid Concerns Over Differences Of Vision Within The Community

Hundreds of people within the Argentinian LGBTQ community are stepping down from participating in the Buenos Aires Pride 2016 event in light of the organisers using the event “to push their anti-government agenda.”

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BA City displaying the LGBT Flag in solidarity with the victims of the Orlando Massacre, earlier this year

While the whole purpose of pride parades around the globe is to raise awareness on LGBT issues, this may not be the case for Argentina’s biggest LGBT event.

Buenos Aires Pride organisers are advocating for the legalisation of marihuana, legalisation of abortion, and the immediate release of Tupac Amaru’s Leader, Milagro Sala, who has been arrested earlier this year in connection with an ongoing investigation on extortion of government officials, corruption, and misuse of public funds.

Conversely, some pride goers are stepping down –and encouraging others to follow suit, because, in their own words, they are feeling “used” by political organisations opposing the Macri administration. They also want to discuss topics that, however important, they have nothing to do with LGBT, and they think it will only cause unnecessary friction with people outside the community.

Magui, 23, from Buenos Aires, told us on Friday: “The reason why, at least up until today I decided not to go to Pride this year is because I don’t feel represented. While It’s true that in many events, in the past, many of the topics have had little to do with LGBT issues, at least they weren’t strictly political. They were causes I could relate to. This year, however, the topics are mostly about a political party in specific.”

“It is essential [for the integrity of the Argentinian LGBT community] that we have the support of the people outside the community.”

“Don’t get me wrong. I am pro-choice, I also think marihuana should be legalised, but these topics should be left for another rally. Let’s keep LGBT issues apolitical and free of these [unrelated] issues.” She added.

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Official Flyer for Pride Buenos Aires 2016 / marchadelorgullo.org.ar

 

The Argentinian LGBT community seems to be split between those who insist on having a strictly kirchnerista political stance and those who would rather work alongside politicians, independently of their ideology.

“I would like the LGBT community to bury the hatchet and work alongside all government officials, independently of their party and political ideology.” Magui said.

Argentina legalised same-sex marriage in the year 2010, thus becoming the first country in Latin America, the second in the Americas, and the second in the Southern Hemisphere to allow same-sex marriage nationwide.

In the year 2012, Argentina passed a legislation known as the Identity Act, which allows transgender people to change their birth records and gender marker without reassignment surgeries or hormone treatments.

Despite being protected under law, LGBT people in argentina –most specifically transgender people, still struggle with the stigma, bullying, and there are many reports of transgender people struggling to find housing, jobs and quality healthcare.

According to the TDoR records, ten transgender women were murdered in Argentina in the year 2016.

New York Lawmaker Proposes ‘PENCE’ Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy

Patrick Burke, a legislator in New York’s Erie County, proposed a bill this week that would ban conversion therapy for minors. The proposed law would only affect Burke’s county, which includes the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area, but the bill has garnered national attention because of its name: Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment—or PENCE, for short.

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David Burke / Erie County Legislature

 

Burke named the bill after Vice President-elect Mike Pence in order to draw attention to Pence’s stated support of programs that would attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ people.

“Conversion therapy is an abomination. It is clearly abuse. It’s brainwashing. It does real damage. Even calling it conversion therapy takes the edge off of what it really is,” Burke told NBC OUT.

“The Vice President-elect has been a supporter of this, and he’s earned the name. People need to remember this. Mike Pence’s views are extreme. I don’t want them to become normalized. This isn’t normal—none of this is OK. We have work to do,” he added.
Read the full article on NBC Out

Source: NBC News 

Breaking: Trump Backs Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Gender Marriage

In an interview, American president-elect, Donald Trump, said he was “fine” with marriage equality “because it was already settled.”

bn

During his first broadcast interview as president-elect, with CBS’s 60 Minutes, which aired on Sunday evening, Trump also suggested he might deport as many as 3 million immigrants, and said that he intends to retain some of Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms.

In response to the host’s question about whether he was going to overturn the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, he said: “It’s irrelevant, because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the supreme court. I mean it’s done.”

Trump’s vice-presidential pick, Mike Pence, has opposed same-sex marriage throughout his career, and supported so-called “conversion therapy” programs that purport to change people’s sexual orientation.

Pence also signed a religious freedom law that sought to allow people to refuse service to same-sex couples because of religious convictions.

Trump, however, said he considered the matter resolved. “These cases have gone to the supreme court,” he said. “They’ve been settled. I’m fine with that.”

 

First Openly LGBT Governor Is Elected in America

Kate Brown, Governor of the state of Oregon, is openly bisexual.

Kate Brown and Democrats gather at the Oregon Convention Center for an election night party in Portland on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. / Beth Nakamura - The Oregonian
Kate Brown and Democrats gather at the Oregon Convention Center for an election night party in Portland on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. / Beth Nakamura – The Oregonian

Brown, buoyed by a wave of new voters and a solid edge in Democratic voter registration, jumped to a nearly double-digit lead over Pierce, a Salem cancer doctor making his first bid for elective office.

She thanked supporters during an election-night rally at the Oregon Convention Center, saying, “”No matter how you voted, thank you for making your voices heard, thank you for caring about the future of your state and thank you for your support.”

Kate Brown / Wikipedia
Kate Brown / Wikipedia (Public Domain)

In a speech interrupted by frequent applause, she touched on topics including gun control, mass transit, jobs, the economy, climate change, women’s rights, conservation, the economy and education.

Brown added, “I am so honored to be serving as your governor for the next two years.”

In closing, she said, “”I believe that the times call upon us to take action, and I believe that if we work together we can shape both the place and the times in which we live. Let’s work together to make Oregon, our home, a place where everyone can thrive.”

Brown said before the election she was planning to run again in 2018 if she won.

Pierce, after seeing the first returns, took the stage at the Oregon Republicans election night party at the Salem Convention Center to congratulate Brown “on a hard-fought campaign.”
The state of Oregon is one of the most progressive states in the United States, where LGBT people have the same rights as cisgender heterosexual individuals.
On June 10, 2016, an Oregon circuit court ruled that a resident could legally change their gender to non-binary, which is believed to be  the first ruling of its kind in the United States.

 

Source: The Oregonian

Equality House Vandalised

Kansas, United States — The “Equality House”, owned by Aaron Jackson, Founder of nonprofit organization Planting Peace, has been vandalised.

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A happy place ruined by the hatred of ignorant people. Wikipedia / Davis Hammet – Aaron Jackson (Facebook)

“This happened last night. A sad reminder of how far we have to go. 2 days ago someone shouted “faggot” at me as they drove by. That happens almost every week. Every morning I look out my window to hate speech from the Westboro Baptist Church.” Davis Hammet, from Planting Peace, said.

“Queer folks are bullied, terrorized, assaulted, and murdered all across the United States. Our country continues to deny basic employment and housing protections to LGBTQ folks. Our politicians continue to use the LGBTQ community as a scapegoat and spew dangerous rhetoric that emboldens the hateful fringes of our society. We went from over 3 years without being vandalized to being vandalized twice in a few months.”

RELATED: Pride Flag Launched Into Space To Declare Outer Space As LGBTI-Friendly

“This is an average experience for those marginalized in our society. Many will have much worse happen to them today. Please recognize that we still have so far to go. Please use your power to advocate for a better society for everyone.”

 

This happened last night. A sad reminder of how far we have to go. 2 days ago someone shouted “faggot” at me as they…

Posted by Davis Hammet on Saturday, 22 October 2016

Pure Advocacy: Kylie Minogue Won’t Marry Until All Australians Can

“We will not marry until all Australians can.” The couple said

Joshua Sasse, Dolly Parton and Kylie Minogue, Advocating for LGBT Rights in Australia
Joshua Sasse, Dolly Parton and Kylie Minogue, Advocating for LGBT Rights in Australia / PinkNews

Australia — Kylie and Joshua Sasse, British actor and LGBTQ+ advocate, announced their engagement earlier this year, but they said that they will not marry until all Australians can.


Minogue, also an LGBTQ+ Advocate, has been part of the “Say I do Down Under” Campaign, and also very outspoken about equal rights for LGBT people in her country.

 

“When I found out that gay marriage was illegal in Australia, I was astounded,” said Sasse, who launched the “Say I Do Down Under”campaign at the weekend.

“I simply can’t fathom on any level, whether it’s moral or religious or anything, that I have the right to get married and to marry the person that I love and that somebody else doesn’t because of their sexual orientation.” He added.

“Have you ever been in love? Are you in love? Could you imagine yourself there one day?

Imagine too then, having your government deny you that right — what if you couldn’t marry that person. Your person. ” the campaign states.

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Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, introduced a legislation last month to allow a public, non-binding vote on same-sex marriage early next year. The Telegraph reports

However, the February 11th plebiscite has been denounced by critics as a waste of public funds as it would have no legal weight and the parliament would ultimately have the final decision. Critics also say it would spur a highly divisive debate.