Category: LGBT

Celebrating a year of marriage equality: “Joy” – June 26, 2015 (PHOTOS)

Celebrating a year of marriage equality: “Joy” – June 26, 2015 (PHOTOS)

This is a repost of piece Anne posted a year ago. The piece has photos taken in Braun Court in Ann Arbor, part of Kerrytown, where the celebration of the Supreme Court decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case which made marriage equality for all Americans the law of the land took place.

Whether you’re married or not, we hope you enjoy the day and reflect on the fact that America became just a little bit more of a perfect union a year ago today.

Enjoy.
The following images were captured at the Braun Court Decision Day celebration in Ann Arbor on June 26, 2015.…

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Justin’s story: Advocating for respect and compassion

Justin’s story: Advocating for respect and compassion

This father of a transgender daughter is committed to overcoming ignorance, online and off.

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

At some point, a Facebook meme that demeans transgender people — usually with vicious lies — has come across your feed. If you’re a person with any empathy, it’s probably made you angry, sad or at least disappointed in the person who shared it.

Now imagine you’re the father of a transgender daughter, who is subjected to a barrage of these images day after day, particularly in the wake of the anti-LGBT “bathroom bill” law in North Carolina.…

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Lilianna’s story: Shaping a brighter future

Lilianna’s story: Shaping a brighter future

Raised in an affirming family, this transgender woman now works to lift up marginalized communities.

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

Lilianna Angel Reyes has never felt like a woman trapped in a man’s body. To her, transitioning from a boy into a woman felt like something very natural. As she matured into adulthood, she simply decided to embrace exactly who she is.

Growing up in a tight-knit Mexican family with her parents and older brother, Reyes was shaped by principles of faith and feminism. She witnessed racial tensions in her hometown of Saginaw, but also saw her parents’ acceptance of others, including their gay friends.…

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Once again we’re forced to protect ourselves from insane civilians with semi-automatic weapons with ‘thoughts & prayers’

Once again we’re forced to protect ourselves from insane civilians with semi-automatic weapons with ‘thoughts & prayers’

If you’re a politician commenting on the tragedy in Orlando, Florida where the lives of 49 people were extinguished by a madman with a semi-automatic weapon, do us all a favor and do NOT include the phrase “thoughts and prayers” or any iteration of it in your reaction. Thoughts and prayers are like a tissue paper vest when it comes to protecting innocent people from being slaughtered by legally-obtained semi-automatic weapons with the unique ability to mow down large numbers of people in mere moments.

And let’s make no mistake, this was a preventable tragedy. From Barbara Morrill at Daily Kos in her piece, “Here’s what we know about the worst mass shooting in U.S.

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Hate is a Pandora’s Box that has been opened wider this past year

Hate is a Pandora’s Box that has been opened wider this past year

I am not a late sleeper and never have been as an adult. This Sunday morning woke at 4:30 a.m. and, sadly, it’s another morning filled with news of a new hate crime that is being called “domestic terrorism” by Orlando, Florida police. But it is clearly a stark and heartbreaking reminder that hatred is still very prevalent is America today and has been emboldened by a political candidate who, either purposely or not, opened a Pandora’s Box of what some in America see as acceptable.

I am NOT blaming Donald Trump for the atrocious act that we know so little about this morning as I write this, but as we look at at least 20 dead, over 40 injured, and a story that will unfold over the course of the day and weeks ahead, I once again fear that hatred is here to stay for a very long time.…

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Codie’s story: Defying labels to live authentically

Codie’s story: Defying labels to live authentically

However you might define him, this man is who he is.

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

Codie Stone isn’t big on labels. He accepts them as a fact of life in our society. But for Stone, what matters most is living his life authentically. He just wants to be who he is.

Stone’s gender identity wasn’t always clear to him. In fact, he says he didn’t have the “classic transgender” experience of knowing since he was a kid that the female gender he was assigned at birth didn’t reflect his true self.…

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GUEST POST: House ‘bathroom inspection’ bill targets local LGBT ordinances, exposes Republicans’ hypocrisy

GUEST POST: House ‘bathroom inspection’ bill targets local LGBT ordinances, exposes Republicans’ hypocrisy

The following guest post was written by my friend Jen Eyer, Vice President of Vanguard Public Affairs. Jen has spent many years in the world of journalism and most recently managed the newsroom for The Ann Arbor News, part of the MLive Media Group. You can read her full bio HERE. This piece was first published at the Vanguard Public Affairs site HERE.

Enjoy.

One year ago, House Republicans boasted about protecting local anti-discrimination ordinances while passing the “Death Star” bill.

Now that seems so quaint. Now, certain Republicans have embarked on a new campaign to mobilize their base by targeting perhaps the most marginalized group of all: transgender kids.…

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Kel’s story: Exploring gender identity and expression

Kel’s story: Exploring gender identity and expression

How one agender person is learning to present their personal truth.

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

Like most 20-year-olds, Kel is on a journey of self-exploration. But there is one thing Kel is certain of: They do not want to be defined by gender.

That’s why Kel uses they/them/their pronouns, for one thing. In fact, Kel would prefer xe/xem/xyr, but knows those pronouns are difficult for many people to understand. Still, they do reflect the way Kel identifies.

My gender and I are sort of two very different things.…

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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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