Category: LGBT

Congressman Dan Kildee speaks out against Michigan’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill

Congressman Dan Kildee speaks out against Michigan’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill

Champion for equality says Michigan Legislature should focus on real problems, urges Michiganders to voice opposition to bigoted bill.

Never one to mince words, Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) is particularly blunt in his condemnation of the “bathroom bill” introduced by State Senator Tom Casperson. I spoke with Rep. Kildee the day after Senate Bill 993 was introduced in the Michigan Legislature.

“The Michigan Legislature is either sinister or cynical,” he told me. “Either they plan to enact it, in which case we need to take action now, or they’re so cynical they’re willing to incite hate even though they don’t plan to act on it.”

SB 993 forces transgender students to use separate restrooms from the rest of the student population, according to a statement issued by Progress Michigan.…

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Reid’s story: Speaking out for safe spaces

Reid’s story: Speaking out for safe spaces

This transgender teen is thriving in a nurturing school environment.

This is part of a story series about the lives of transgender people. Read the introduction here.

When he was in 10th grade, Reid Ellefson-Frank realized he could no longer stay at the public school he attended.

He had come out as transgender to his parents at the end of freshman year, and they were completely accepting and supportive. But even though he hadn’t come out publicly yet, everyone in his small Michigan town knew he was different. And Ellefson-Frank struggled as a result.

I was completely closeted because I was afraid to be isolated and maybe face physical violence.…

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Tom Casperson, Republican pandering bigot, introduces transgender bathroom bill he knows will never become law

Tom Casperson, Republican pandering bigot, introduces transgender bathroom bill he knows will never become law

Early this month, in a piece about Republican attacks on State Board of Education President John Austin, I noted that State Senator Tom Casperson was moving forward with introducing one of his own here in Michigan. Sure enough, as he promised, today that bill was introduced as Senate Bill 993.

In that piece, I also said this:

Sen. Casperson’s yet-to-be-introduced “bathroom bill” will cause the same type economic hardship for the Michigan as it has for North Carolina and will very likely result in a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s also being spit on by the leaders of a number of major Michigan corporations.…

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Sara’s story: Finding her place in the world

Sara’s story: Finding her place in the world

By expressing her authentic self, this transgender woman learned the meaning of true acceptance.

This is part of a story series about the lives of transgender people. Read the introduction here.

For much of her life so far, Sara thought she had to change herself. But once she started living authentically, she realized that the people who matter most value her exactly as she is.

It’s certainly true about her wife, Nicole (at right in photo). They’ve been together for 20 years, and although they struggled to find their footing after Sara said she could no longer live as the male gender she was assigned as birth, Nicole realized that what was most important was the love they shared with each other and their two children.…

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Jayne’s story: Revealing the woman within

Jayne’s story: Revealing the woman within

Like every transgender person, she has her own unique worldview.

This is part of a story series about the lives of transgender people. Read the introduction here.

Jayne Locke is proof that no two transgender people are alike. That always has been — and always will be — true, but Locke defies many of the expectations people have about trans people.

For one thing, many people think transgender women and men must be liberal in their political views, especially given the current political climate in which Republicans seem determined to discriminate against the entire LGBT community. But Locke is a proud conservative.…

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TRUTH: So-called “Bathroom Bills” are bigoted transference of fear of straight male sexual predators onto trans women

TRUTH: So-called “Bathroom Bills” are bigoted transference of fear of straight male sexual predators onto trans women

The national discussion of “bathroom bills” like North Carolina’s H.B. 2 is everywhere. Every time you turn on a news program or open the newspaper, it’s there. The discussion mainly focuses on how it aimed at transgender Americans, which it is, in part. But what’s often missing in the discussion is how this isn’t based on any facts related to crimes by trans people. That would be nearly impossible because there are so few of them. It’s based on the fear that straight men will dress like women in order to sexually assault people in women’s restrooms.

It’s just one more example of bigots using people’s fears against one of the most vulnerable groups in our country, a group with virtually no history of violence – sexual or otherwise – to advance their agenda.…

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Thank you to Governor Snyder and the GOP-controlled legislature

Thank you to Governor Snyder and the GOP-controlled legislature

As posted on the Eclectablog website, tonight is a big night for the blog, the first amendment and free speech in general. The Eclectablog site proudly states:

Our third annual Eclectafundraiser party will be Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at the ABC Microbrewery (aka, Corner Brewery) in Ypsilanti from 7-9 p.m. In an effort to better connect with our readers and to help build a more well-connected community, this year’s event will feature an “Ask Us Anything!” interactive discussion with all of the Eclectabloggers and YOU! Even better, the discussion will moderated by two of our favorite progressives: State House Rep. Jon Hoadley and former State House Rep.…

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Obamacare’s stronger anti-discrimination protections couldn’t come at a better time

Obamacare’s stronger anti-discrimination protections couldn’t come at a better time

New rule clarifies access to coverage and care for LGBT people, as anti-equality sentiment continues to run high.

Discrimination against transgender people is nothing new — and it’s a problem that’s sadly going to get worse before it gets better. (See: North Carolina’s HB2.)

Consider Jay Maddock of Kalamazoo, Mich., whose coverage for care he needs as a transgender man was actually taken away by his insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

That’s all going to change thanks to a final rule issued last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). When it comes to healthcare coverage and care, LGBT people can no longer be discriminated against.…

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Obama administration releases historic guidance to educators on making schools safe & welcoming for transgender students

Obama administration releases historic guidance to educators on making schools safe & welcoming for transgender students

Today, The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released a joint guidance to help provide educators the information they need to provide all students, including transgender students, a school environment that is safe and welcoming. The guidance is not legally binding but it makes clear that the Obama administration sees anti-transgender rules, regulations, and laws in violation of federal law including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Here are some of the comments from members of the Obama administration connected to this historic letter:

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.:

No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at school or on a college campus.

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Michigan GOP using anti-LGBTQ bigotry & fear as smokescreen for destroying Democratic control of state Board of Education

Michigan GOP using anti-LGBTQ bigotry & fear as smokescreen for destroying Democratic control of state Board of Education


State Board of Education President John Austin, photo by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog

In December of last year, Rick Joseph, the 2015 Michigan Teacher of the Year and self-described “former homophobe”, approached State Board of Education president John Austin asking if he’d be interested in developing guidelines for Michigan school administrators when it comes to making the school environment safe and welcoming for LGBTQ students. That’s currently not the case in far too many places as the facts show:

  • 8.4% of Michigan students report as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • 12% of LGB students did not go to school in the past year, because they felt unsafe-twice the rate of heterosexual students
  • 46% of LGB students had grades that consisted mostly of C’s, D’s and F’s-twice the rate of heterosexual students
  • 29% have attempted suicide in the last year-4.5 times the rate of non-LGB students

For transgender students, it’s even worse and they face levels of violence and intimidation that surpass any other group.…

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Hunter’s story: Flourishing in an affirming environment

Hunter’s story: Flourishing in an affirming environment

This transgender teen knows he has the kind of support every trans person should have.

This is part of a story series about the lives of transgender people. Read the introduction here.

At age 17, Hunter Keith has more confidence and poise than some people twice his age. Maybe that’s because he already knows who he is, and he has the full support of his family, friends and school to express it.

Keith is transgender, something he’s known most of his life — even before he had the words to describe it.

When he was six years old, he told his mother, Roz, “I am a boy.” She asked if he felt like a boy or wanted to be a boy.…

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