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Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and / or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the gender they were assigned at birth.
These boots were made for walking… More like made for men to be walking in
Intersex status discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably because that person has physical, hormonal or genetic features.
Perhaps the biggest and most seminal piece of legislation in recent memory was the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in 2013. But while this was a ‘game-changing’ law, it wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for a number of Acts that were passed over the last few decades.
As someone who sees these rights enforced on a daily basis, I often feel these other acts don’t get the attention they deserve which is why, for LGBT History Month, I’d like to look back and applaud some of these integral laws… as they are the bones around which everything else has been constructed.
Human Rights Act 1998
This remarkable Act allowed for fundamental human rights, including the right not the be discriminated against for sexual orientation. It was later used to also advance the rights of LGBTQ individuals both for legal protection in a relationship.
In 2000, a case relied on it to lift a ban on gay and bisexual people serving in the armed forces and was further instrumental in equalising the age of consent to be the same as opposite-sex partners.
Adoption and Children Act 2002
This Act wasn’t really advertised at the time but ground-breaking for same sex individuals as it was the first time in law that they were able to adopt. While the practice has ebbed away from discriminatory behaviour, it was still not expressly permitted.
This Act is one of the first that allowed the formation of same-sex families who had the right to be considered not just as a person who helped care for their partner’s child but as their actual legal parent too.
Civil Partnership Act 2004
This Act marked a significant change in legal standing for couples and allowed the formation of legal partnerships, the sharing of property and the ability to apply to the family courts for a fair resolution on separation. While no one likes going to court, previously LGBTQ couples had to rely on the stricter and more money-based property courts to seek remedy and protect their homes and future.
While it did not equalise marriage in name and still has some lingering faults – it nonetheless compliments the Adoption and Children Act.
© Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr
Gender Recognition Act 2004
When it comes to progressive LGBTQ legislation, 2004 was a good year and this seminal piece of legislation cannot go without mention. While it has recently come under more severe criticism (and justly so, in my view) it nonetheless provided for the first time a mechanism which allows an individual to be recognised by something other than their assigned gender at birth.
Issues include the fact it did not provide any retrospective action, it caused problems for married couples and ignored the basic tenant about the individuality of each person going through the process. But while imperfect it was game-changing and not to be underestimated.
The Equality Act 2006
This was quickly followed up by the Equality Act 2010 which added gender reassignment as a ‘protected characteristic’.
While the Act has not eradicated employment discrimination (which unfortunately my employment team still deal with on a frequent basis), in other cases it has had an impact – such the ‘Gay Cake’ case in Northern Ireland too. In this instance a bakery refused to make a “gay cake” with the slogan “support gay marriage” because of their religious views.
The court upheld this was “direct discrimination”.
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
Although surrogacy was permitted before, the Parental Order process was not available for same-sex male couples. The Act rectified this but also introduced the ability for same-sex female couples to be both named on the birth certificate as the legal parents of a child after using a known donor. This was allowed even if they were not in a civil partnership, provided they went through a clinic and filled the correct forms.
With this Act and the change it brought, LGBTQ families have really flourished and I now meet couples applying for recognition of legal parenthood with increasing frequency. As recently as 14 February, Tom Daley and his partner Dustin Lance Black announced they’re having a family. I am sure everyone will wish them well with parenthood, but it is also clear to show that same-sex families are now in the mainstream and here for good.
That happened though because of this Act and, despite its long-winded title, it should not be underestimated.
Andrew Spearman is a leading family and LGBTQ rights lawyer, and a Director at ACityLawFirm (www.acitylawfirm.com).
The post 6 game-changing laws that have transformed the LGBTQ community appeared first on Gay Times.
But it wasn’t just the lives of the cast involved that have changed since its release, as actress Keala Settle – who plays the Bearded Lady – revealed about one young LGBTQ teen who was struggling with their sexuality.
“I got a message the other day from a man who is gay and was about to take his own life,” Keala reveals exclusively to Gay Times. “He sent me a thing saying, ‘I heard your song and I took the gun down.’ I wept.
“It’s that kind of impact that gives me goosebumps to tell you that because it makes me realise, again, not only does that young man have stuff in themselves to last a lifetime and let shine, but I do too because of what he told me I’d given him – that I didn’t even know. It’s that type of impact that’s being made.”
“We are universally in a time where things are very negative,” Keala continues when referencing the current political and social climate. “There’s a lot of anger that is going on and, not so much fighting, but that it’s getting really, really personal – attacking individually and collectively on another level.
“What the film has done – as well as the music – has given everyone a free pass to let all that go, and that pass is almost the ultimate fast pass for any ride you could ever go on. Not only does it give you that pass, but it lets you relish in the fact that what is happening to the characters in that film, and the stories that are going on in the film, are all relatable – no matter what year we are in, who you are or what you are.”
But what does the voice of This Is Me think of the suggestion it has become a modern LGBTQ anthem?
“I couldn’t be more honoured and privileged,” she beams – much to our enjoyment. “It’s one of those things where this community of people are continually fighting and striving for not only equality rights but to feel like they are part of a community and have the lives they’ve always wanted to live because that is who they are!
“When the song was first released as a single at the end of 2017, my life started ringing off the hook and I didn’t know what was going on. I gave my first interview about eight hours after the song was released and they asked if I knew what type of anthem I’d created. I started to cry and said, ‘Errr… no, I don’t!’ I had no idea and didn’t realise.
“All of the fears that I had are in that song. Those fears aren’t going to go away, but what’s so comforting and continues no matter what I’m doing daily is the likeness with each individual that’s touched by the song. That’s what blows my mind and I had no idea.”
Fox / The Greatest Showman
Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerising spectacle that became a worldwide sensation – championing the power of the underdog and those that feel different.
And while The Greatest Showman follows the life of an aspiring man who dreams of a better life for his family, Keala tells us she took a slightly different message from the movie.
“The moral of the story for me is that you shouldn’t keep chasing and trying to be accepted by somebody else,” notes Keala before pausing. “In the words of RuPaul, ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you going to love somebody else? Can I get an amen?!’”
She adds: “It’s about not seeking permission for somebody else to tell you that you’re worth it – ever.”
“I remember when I saw my first Instagram video of a drag queen lip-syncing This Is Me,” Keala recalls with great excitement. “I was sat in the chair getting ready to go out and I cried. When you have a drag queen lip-syncing your song for their life, you have won. You’ve now won everything in life!
“When I saw that first clip, I said ‘Oh my gosh, this really is a game-changer. It really is a life-changer.’ This wasn’t just changing my life but is continuing to change the lives all around the world, so when I first saw that I bawled because of how much was coming out of her. I’ve seen others since and it’s just breathtaking, and it makes me so happy that people can find who they are in themselves absolutely perfectly.”
Fox / The Greatest Showman
Caught in great laughter when recalling how the filming of This Is Me was repeatedly stopped and started due to the cast caught singing along when they shouldn’t, Keala tells us why the song meant more to her as an individual than as an actress.
“I’m not going to lie… I’ve felt different since I knew how to feel,” she begins quietly. “That’s one of the reasons why I first didn’t want to do the song because of facing my fears.
“Even in the rehearsal space before the presentation to get the movie greenlit, I didn’t want to do it. I was petrified. That meant that I had to know that I’m good enough to stand in front and sing by myself – not hiding behind a brunch of Broadway costumes or lights. I had to do that, and I still freak out about it.”
With a movie that asks people to look beyond what society would deem as ‘different’, Keala faced a small number of remarks during the initial movie release, explaining: “I think in the beginning when I was promoting it, everybody was like ‘who is this fat chick? She has no business.’ I didn’t even think about it because I had a beard on, but thanks for throwing that into the fire.”
But her now loyal and rather great social followers soon came to her defence…
“It was interesting with the following that I now have – and am very grateful for – that they are warriors and are not only fighting for each other and themselves, but fight for me which is humbling. I’ve never really seen anything, and I’m sure it has been around all over the place, and humans will be humans – nor will I want to.”
Fox / The Greatest Showman
And a stage transfer? Keala is totally game for it happening when we inform her that co-star Hugh Jackman has revealed he’d like to see it happen.
“He said that?!” she questions with great delight. “I’d love to, but I know how hard it was to tap into it just for the film.
“For a Broadway production, which you may know is eight shows a week, it’s raw and it’s full out. It’s the film for two and a half hours, eight shows every week if that did happen.
“It’s a lot of work, but hey, he’s [Hugh Jackman] number one on the call sheet so if he wants to do it then heck… are you kidding me? I’ll have to be. He’ll send the car and be like ‘get in the car, let’s go.’ I’ll be there. I’ll do anything for that man. He’s the reason that I’m out here. He is the reason and the one. I had t-shirts made that say ‘It’s Your Fault Hugh Jackman’.”
And the casual Oscar nomination? “It’s interesting because it’s not totally mine,” Keala giggles. “It’s Benji and Justin’s and I’m really aware of that. I’m extremely happy to be participating in that and getting to say those words as it’s something I’ve always dreamed about. To actually see it come to tuition, as I never thought I would, is very fantastic.”
Laughing that she’d totally be up for ‘doing an Adele’ and splitting the Oscar with her musical co-stars like the British singer famously did with Beyonce last year, Keala does have one name she’d like to meet at the coveted awards ceremony later this year.
“I’m excited to be there and hopefully Meryl Streep will be on the front row – that’s all I care about,” she giggles. “I just had an awards ceremony I went to Stateside and Dame Helen Mirren was being honoured and I did have to do an acceptance speech in front of her and I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to talk, actually! So mid-way through the acceptance speech, because I had nothing prepared, I just sang it!
And with that, Keala cleared her throat and gave us a first-hand example of why she should probably start clearing some space on her mantlepiece for a looming Oscar…
The Greatest Showman is out in cinemas now – including special sing-a-long performances. More information can be found here.
The post This is how The Greatest Showman helped save one gay teen from suicide appeared first on Gay Times.
The critically-acclaimed show, which tells the story of a trans woman who comes out to her family late in life, has faced an unknown future since lead actor Tambor was accused of sexual harassment by two colleagues.
Amazon have now confirmed the decision to drop him from the show following an investigation.
Trace Lysette, one of Tambor’s co-stars on Transparent, alleged back in November that the actor had “made many sexual advances and comments” towards her and detailed one time that things got physical.
Prior to her allegations, Tambor’s former assistant Van Barnes claimed that he had propositioned her, groped her, made inappropriate comments and threatened her not to share her story.
Jill Soloway, creator of the Emmy-winning series, released a statement praising those who spoke out about their experiences.
“I have great respect and admiration for Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their experience on Transparent is an example of the leadership this moment in our culture requires,” she wrote.
“We are grateful to the many trans people who have supported our vision for Transparent since its inception and remain heartbroken about the pain and mistrust their experience has generated in our community.
“We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family.”
Lysette tweeted about the news, saying it offered her “some closure” and encouraged fans to keep supporting the show following Tambor’s departure.
Finally some closure I hope. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. Please show your support for @transparent_tv so we can make season 5 something great. Thank you all for your love and endless support ❤️ https://t.co/g0sbXJ70xt
— Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) February 15, 2018
On Thursday, Tambor released a statement in response to Amazon’s decision, saying: “I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me.
“I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast mates.
“In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon. Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set.
“As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself.
“I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak.”
The post Jeffrey Tambor officially dropped from Transparent following sexual harassment claims appeared first on Gay Times.
This All Stars 3 episode of Snatch Game wasn’t the best in the show’s HERstory, but, the episode did make up for it in drama, unexpected twists and turns, and that elimination… ooh hunny, that elimination!
In the most awaited episode of the season (well, any season), the queens hit Snatch Game and gave their best celebrity impersonations. Snatch Game is usually the challenge to determine which queen is a Heather, and which queen is a Booger, and hunties, we’re truly cooped and gagged at the outcome.
The panel consisted of: Trixie Mattel as RuPaul; Kennedy Davenport as Phaedra Parks; BenDeLaCreme as Paul Lynde; Chi Chi DeVayne as Maya Angelou; Shangela as Jennifer Lewis; Aja as Crystal Labeija; Bebe Zahara Benet as Grace Jones and Kristen Chenoweth as… Kristen Chenoweth?! First gag-worthy moment of the episode? Check.
Surprisingly, Trixie’s Ru-isms landed the Drag Barbie in the bottom three, along with Chi Chi and former Snatch Game winner Kennedy. Shangela and Ben’s performances earned them the win, making it Ben’s fourth consecutive win… which has never been done in Drag Race HERstory (gag #2!). At this point, it really is BenDeLaCreme’s Drag Race.
As the queens deliberate in the workroom, Shangela takes Trixie aside. Earlier in the episode, the queens had some drama-mama when Shangela found a note on Trixie’s wall from Thorgy Thor, calling Shangela a “shady bitch”. They made up, hugged it out etc, but Shangela told Trixie it was still on her mind, giving viewers the impression that the season three contestant could eliminate the fan-favourite…
Shangela and Ben hit the runway, and lip-synced the motherf**king house down to Katy Perry’s I Kissed a Girl. The queens served some Raja vs Carmen – Straight Up realness, and both queens won a cash prize tip of five thousands dollahhhz, and the power to eliminate a queen… each (gag #3!). Ben chooses Chi Chi – which comes as no surprise, considering the trash-bag queen has landed in the bottom four times in a row (she shouldn’t have been in the bottom for the Divas challenge, but whatever).
Then, Shangela alluded to having Trixie’s name in her bra, by telling the judges: “The person I have chosen, I don’t want them to feel like it is personal in any way. This person left RuPaul’s Drag Race not winning the crown, but definitely going forward as a winner, and creating a career for themselves.” Cue some shady cutaway music and a close-up of Trixie’s tears, and bam, gag #4!
However, the name in Shangela’s bra was also Chi Chi. The anticipation… oh hunny the anticipation nearly killed us.
We’ve collected some of the best Twitter reactions from the episode below…
I love BenDeLaCremes Drag Race All Stars 3
— Lara McLaren (@LaraMcLaren_) February 16, 2018
— James Hultgren (@jameshultgren) February 16, 2018
We all wish every Drag Race season is an All Stars season but this isn’t as great as we hoped it would be. The competition is too easy for Bendela. And half these girls lack star power. #AllStars3
— Lorenzo Paolo Garcia (@LorenzoPaoloG) February 16, 2018
DRAG RACE ALL STARS GOT ME SO FUCKEN SHOOKT MY WIG IS FLYING
— Vanessa Espeleta (@banbanessa) February 16, 2018
drag race all stars has killed me
im gagged, sinaksak sa baga ko, dineepthroat lahat-lahat
— Trix (@trixcarreon) February 16, 2018
— AGM (@stuffnthangs81) February 16, 2018
Honestly, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars has me so shook omg. I was so scared for Trixie ????????????
— Dee ????⭐️ (@Diah_Styles) February 16, 2018
can’t believe shangela gave every 14 year old drag race fan a heart attack. a true legend icon star winner of all stars 3
— ⭐Lex⭐ (@orangeherbtea) February 16, 2018
That was one of the best episodes in drag race herstory, suspense and drama all through. It’s right up there with the revenge episode in Allstars 2 and the season 9 finale. #AllStars3
— hamZa (@Zephten10) February 16, 2018
Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars brought to you by Game of Thrones!
— Kelly Schiess (@Kelly_Schiess) February 16, 2018
The kind of domination DeLa is giving us in All Stars 3 is unheard of Drag Race herstory. She lip synced for her legacy four times in four weeks.
— Raul (@icy464) February 16, 2018
What are your thoughts on the episode? Did Chi Chi deserve to go? Was Trixie’s performance as Mama Ru really that bad? Will Ben snatch her fifth win next week? Lord, this season has snatched us so far. Bring on the next episode… henny.
All Stars 3 currently airs Thursdays on VH1 in the United States, and Saturdays on Comedy Central in the UK.
The post Drag Race fans are shocked at this week’s All Stars 3 elimination… appeared first on Gay Times.
Aceh – the only province in Indonesia to rule with Islamic Sharia Law – has furthered its clampdown on the LGBTI community, this time banning trans women from working in hair salons.
Working in hair salons is one of the few sources of income for trans women. In Indonesia, trans women are are also known as waria.
The district of Aceh Bersa, which includes the local capital Banda Aceh, issued the ordered on Friday 9 February.
The order stated that any beauty business owned by a waria or employed warias would face a penalty.
‘The circular is true, and soon we will meet with all district heads to pull together data on salons in Aceh Besar,’ said Aceh Besar chief, Ali Mawardi.
‘If we find that [a salon] employs waria, we will pull its permit.’
Mawardi also told Kumparan that his local government prohibited any actions or behaviors that contravened the province’s Sharia Law. He included being LGBTI as an illegal activity in Aceh.
His order came a day before a public seminar was held in Aceh to warn people of the looming dangers coming from the LGBTI community.
Aceh Besar was in the news recently after Mawardi ordered all female Muslim flight attendants to wear hijabs when flying into the province.
Aceh’s history of LGBTI persecution
The conservative Islamic province has been one of the worst perpetrators in Indonesia’s increasing persecution of the LGBTI community.
Last year it became the first place in Indonesia to cane men for being gay.
The two men aged in their early twenties were charged with homosexuality and sodomy. Their public caning – in which they received 82 lashes – drew international condemnation.
Trans women have also been the target of authorities in Aceh.
In December last year, a group of waria were followed by vigilantes and then detained by police without explanation after attending a birthday party. They were released the following day.
Earlier this year in a incident that may have prompted the waria hair salon ban, 12 trans women were rounded up from five different hairs salons.
They had their hair forcibly shaved and were made to wear men’s clothes. Police remanded them in custody to train them into behaving like men again, including shouting until they sounded like men.
The women were released a few days later on the condition they lived like men.
Late last week, one of the province’s federal politicians, Muslim Ayub, called for the death penalty or life in jail for LGBTI people.
A court in China ruled in favor of a trans man who sued his employer for unfair dismissal after he was sacked for wearing men’s clothes.
Known as Mr C, he was fired from his job a week after starting at the health center in Guizhou. The town is about 1200 miles south west of Beijing.
In a first hearing on the matter in early January, the Guiyang Yunyan District People’s Court did not rule the man was discriminated against exclusively because of his gender identity.
The court ordered Mr C’s employers to pay him a salary 843 yuan (US$133) and compensation of 1,500 yuan (US$238).
At the time Mr C said the decision was a landmark for trans people in China.
‘It is the first case in China where a sexual minority wins,’ he told the AFP.
‘It is also a piece of good news for the community.’
Mr C (R) with anti-discrimination lawyer Liu Xiaonan. | Photo: Weibo
Mr C appeals the decision
But Mr C was not satisfied with the court’s ruling that he was not discriminated against because he was trans. He quickly appealed the decision in Guiyang Intermediate People’s Court .
‘I have not received an apology up until now, which actually means that – in law – there is still very little protection in this area,’ he told Radio Free Asia.
The court ruled in favor of Mr C. It ordered the court to pay him an increased amount in lost wages and compensation totalling to about 4000 yuan (US$635).
The appeal ruling read that a person should not be discriminated against because of their gender identity.
‘An individual’s gender identity and gender expression falls within the protection of general personality rights, [everyone] should respect others’ rights to gender identity and expression,’ the ruling read.
‘Workers should not experience differential treatment based on their gender identity and expression.’
Trans rights in China
The National Survey of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Population found almost 50% of the study participants said they had considered suicide or self-harm.
Also, due to widespread workplace discrimination, trans people often lived with very low incomes. A third of people earned less than 25,000 yuan ($3,770) a year.
‘The discrimination from work is a reason that a relatively large number of transgender respondents earn a low income,’ the Beijing LGBT Center’s director, Xin Ying said at the time
Celine Walker, age 36, became the fourth transgender person murdered in the United States in 2018.
Walker was found dead from a gunshot wound in a Jacksonville, Florida motel room. She was pronounced dead at the scene on Sunday, 4 February.
Why it matters
According to PghLesbian Correspondents, a Pittsburgh-based LGBTI blog, Walker was the third trans woman of color and second black trans woman to be killed in the country this year.
Walker’s death is the second reported murder of a trans person within a week.
‘The reason the media has misgendered her is because it started with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, who is claiming they have a policy that does not refer to victims as transgender,’ writes blogger TransGriot. ‘Well Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department, y’all need to deal with the reality that trans people exists, because it was not only disrespectful to refer to Celine as a man, not stating from the outset that a transgender female was murdered (see how easy that was Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office) has delayed your investigation.’
‘Celine was not a pageant girl. She didn’t even enjoy going to gay clubs or events,’ Walker’s friend, Naomi Michaels, wrote on Facebook.
‘There are several parts of this story that disturb me very much. One is that Jacksonville is home to some of the most amazingly talented Transwomen I know. That being said you’d think that this city could have some type of policy for dealing with the death and murder of transpeople. They don’t,’ Michaels said.
How can I help?
Police ask that anyone with information about Walker’s death contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at +1 (904) 630-0500, or via email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org, or contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at +1 (866) 845-8477 (TIPS).
Donald Trump and his administration have plans to introduce a new transgender military policy on 21 February.
The date seems to refer to the memorandum Trump inititally released regarding his transgender military ban. In the memo, there was direction for the defense secretary to submit an implementation plan by 21 February.
In the order, Garbis writes that Trump’s counsel will not be defending the original policy. Instead, they will defend the new policy coming out this month.
As of 1 January, trans people were allowed to join the military again.
It is unclear what the new policy will entail and how it will change matters.
Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News they would be making ‘recommendations’ to the White House. However, a final decision on the new policy will only come from Trump and his team.
Cruel and unconstitutional
In an emailed statement to GSN, HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride responded to the upcoming policy.
‘There has already been extensive and thorough study of allowing transgender people to serve openly,’ she said. ‘A process which led the Pentagon two years ago to announce that the United States would join eighteen other nations that allow open trans service.
‘There are currently thousands of transgender people serving in the U.S. military,’ the statement continued. ‘Their skills and service are already proving invaluable to our national security. In their repeated attempts to implement and justify this cruel and unconstitutional policy, the Trump-Pence Administration has been the only source of disruption on this issue.’
Indeed, a study by RAND discovered trans inclusion in the military would have ‘minimal impact on readiness and health care costs’.
A newly released Abel Cedeno video shows the queer student defending himself from punches, but does it prove he stabbed a bully in self-defense?
Identity and who we are attracted to is a diverse and multifaceted spectrum. Gender stereotypes are often ingrained in our minds from being born into communities and household that are Continue Reading
I’m a bit surprised that the government has not made a move yet on “Civil Unions “or “Life Partners” being legally recognised in Australia.
Lets talk about sexual orientation, sometimes it’s used to include romantic orientation, the tendency to feel romantic attraction to certain kinds of people. Words for orientations involving non-binary people are, at this time in history, not satisfactorily developed or agreed upon.