Three years ago, I first told my story in Marie Claire. Today, I am proud to announce that I am joining the magazine’s editorial team as a Contributing Editor. In my role, I will write for the print and online versions of the magazine, act as a brand ambassador and contribute insight and ideas about culture and beauty, politics and pop culture.
It’s official! President Obama has signed an executive order granting workplace equality to LGBT federal workers. This is a historic day — but we’re not done yet. Next up, let’s enact workplace protections for every LGBT employee, everywhere in the country.
First shirtless run with my buddy! :) I’ve never felt so free !!
We Got Issues – All back issues are 50% off now through Friday July 18th. No coupon code needed. #collectall13
Last day for this! Ends at midnight.
Los Angeles folks — We are looking for 2 volunteers for Friday night’s big OP-sponsored event, the Outfest Platinum Party | NIGHT MOVES NYC: BOTTOMS + MACY RODMAN. Get in touch for details!
In Silver Eye’s center room, an Apple computer sits below a wall of portraits of subjects ranging in age from 12 to 21. On the computer are slides with their first names, ages, hometowns and stories. This display belongs to the “We Are The Youth” project. Written by Diana Scholl and photographed by Laurel Golio, the series blends portraiture and personal narrative to document the experiences of LGBTQ youth.
“We think it’s important that youth who are maybe just coming out can see these stories and know that they’re not alone,” said Ms. Scholl. “They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but there are words it can’t say, so being able to let the youth speak for themselves is powerful.”
For four years, the duo has traveled to photograph and interview America’s youngest queer population. In addition to activist goals, Ms. Scholl notes that their work — most notably the book they just released — documents the experiences of LGBTQ teenagers and young adults in an era of rapidly changing politics and social norms. Ms. Scholl and Ms. Golio hope that such experiences will be radically different within a few decades. Ultimately, the project’s diversity ties it to the other artists featured at Silver Eye.
“There is not one way to be queer,” said Ms. Scholl.
Big Congratulations to OP blogger Chris Mosier! Last week the triathlete and founder of transalthlete.com became the first trans man to be inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame! We’re so proud of him.
Last night my little sister (5th grade) was making an e-mail account
She saw gender and went to click female when she noticed the “other” choice
She looked at me confused and I started to explain that some people don’t think they fit in with strictly male or female
"Oh! You mean like transgender and stuff like that. I was freaked out for a second- I thought they meant robots."
Yet another example the kids are more open-minded than adults
A Texan retired United Methodist minister has made the ultimate sacrifice to protest discrimination against LGBTI people and other injustices in the world, burning himself to death in a car park in his home town of Grand Saline.
The Rev. Charles Moore, 79, doused himself with gasoline and set himself alight in the car park of a shopping mall, emulating Buddhist monks who burned themselves to death to protest the South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War and Tibetan monks who did the same more recently to protest China’s rule over their country.
Shocked onlookers rushed to put out the fire with bottled water but the burns were too bad and Moore was flown unconscious to a Dallas hospital where he later died.
Moore left a number of suicide notes and cited his own church’s continued refusal to marry same-sex couples, discrimination against LGBTI people, the use of the death penalty in America and growing economic inequality and cuts to social programs as issues that he wished to highlight with his death.
'I would much prefer to go on living and enjoy my beloved wife and grandchildren and others, but I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service,' Moore wrote in one of the notes.
There has been a growing movement within the clergy of the US United Methodist Church of dissenters who want to be allowed to marry same-sex couples, with a number officiating at same-sex weddings in violation of the church’s official position.
This act was not the first act of self-sacrifice that Rev. Moore had taken in support of LGBTI rights.
In 1995 he went on a 15 day hunger strike to oppose his church’s teaching on gays and lesbians.
Moore leaves behind a wife, children and grandchildren and a career of working to support life’s most downtrodden people, having spent years working in slums in India and in developing nations in Africa and the Middle East.
Son-in-law Bill Renfro told the Dallas Morning News that he wished that he could have told Moore that he could have still done more to transform the world with his life than with his death.
‘I wish I could have sat down and pointed out, “Charles, look at what your life has meant to the world. Look at what it’s meant to individuals. You’ve changed their lives.”’ Renfro said.
On the night of Dec. 10, 2009, 44-year-old Patti Hammond Shaw was drinking at her house in the Fairfax Village neighborhood of Washington, D.C., with her cousin’s friend. They were sitting on the couch, watching TV, when Shaw says the man put his hand on her leg. She pushed him away and he became violent, she says. When she fought back, he hit her across the face with an 18-inch, gold-painted replica of Michelangelo’s “David.” The statue knocked out one of her teeth and left a raw, purple welt on her head.
When the police responded, the man claimed Shaw punched him first. Despite Shaw’s injuries, the officer arrested only Shaw. He brought her first to the United Medical Center so she could receive medical care for the wounds on her face, and then to the 6th District police station.
At the station, Shaw was placed alone in a cell — in the men’s cellblock. While she waited in her single cell, in full view of the men in lockup, she says one of them demanded she show him her breasts and said if she didn’t, he’d hit her in the face when they got to the U.S. Marshals’ bullpen. (In D.C., most people in police lockups are later transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshals, a federal agency within the Department of Justice, before they see a judge.) “I’m facing a lot of time,” she alleges he told her. “I got no problem taking another charge.” Scared, she complied. After, she claims, men in a nearby cell masturbated.
When Shaw was transferred to U.S. Marshal custody, she alleges a marshal named Troy Musgrove strip-searched her, forced her to show her breasts, and to pull down her pants and cough.
“You need Jenny Craig,” he allegedly told her. Shaw argued that she is a woman and shouldn’t be searched with men but alleges that Musgrove dismissed her. “That’s what you all say when you come through here. Let your dick out, man. I said, open your legs, and let your dick out.”
After Musgrove searched her, Shaw was put in the bullpen with men, including the one who had threatened to punch her at the 6th District station. “That n****r got a pussy,” Shaw says he told others in the cell, demanding she show her vagina. She says that the marshals did nothing to stop the harassment.
Shaw, whose driver’s license identifies her as female, was searched by men and put in jail with men because she is a transgender woman. She legally changed her name from Melvin to Patti in 1989. Ten years later, she had sex reassignment surgery — a procedure informally known as “bottom surgery” that cosmetically transforms male genitalia into female genitalia.
Nightmare scenarios like this were not new to Shaw, who’s been arrested 18 times in her life. The first time, in 1984 (an arrest for sodomy, which was then still illegal), she hadn’t yet legally transitioned from male to female. The Metropolitan Police Department gave her a police department identification (PDID) number, and according to that number, her name is Melvin and her gender is male. Sources inside the department say the MPD does not update the information associated with that PDID number. Though Shaw’s name and gender have changed, her gender at the time of her first arrest is how the MPD has viewed her since.
The violence and discrimination that Shaw has faced as a black transgender woman is not unusual — nor, statistically speaking, is the fact that she’s had numerous interactions with police. According to a 2011 survey of 6,450 transgender people by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, 40% of black transgender women claim they’ve been harassed by police, and nearly half of the respondents say they are uncomfortable seeking help from law enforcement. Twenty-one percent of transgender women and almost half of all black transgender people report having been in jail at least once.
For years, Shaw wanted to sue, and in 2011 tried without success; in April 2012 she tried again. The complaint her attorney filed would come to name alleged abuses related to three arrests (the December 2009 one being the second of the three), and nine defendants, including MPD Chief Cathy Lanier, members of the MPD, members of the U.S. Marshals, as well as the District of Columbia.
As Shaw’s case has lumbered along over the last two years, transgender issues have captured the interest of mainstream media and public attention like never before. In late May, Emmy-nominated Orange Is the New Black actress and activist Laverne Cox was on the cover of Time magazine with the headline “The Transgender Tipping Point.” She and others have raised awareness around trans women like Shaw who allege their rights have been violated by the police — like Phoenix’s Monica Jones (popularized by the hashtag #StandWithMonica) and more recently, the Connecticut 16-year-old “Jane Doe” who was held without a trial or formal hearing in solitary confinement in an adult women’s prison (#JusticeForJane).
Patti Hammond Shaw’s lawsuit has resulted in two victories: In May 2013, a D.C. District Court judge refused to dismiss the case, finding that because Shaw is legally female she has “the same rights as any other female detainee.” In other words, being searched by male officers and locked up with men was a threat to her safety and violated her rights not as a trans woman, but as a woman. The case was set to go to trial. Then, though none of the defendants admitted any liability or wrongdoing, this month, the MPD and the U.S. Marshals agreed to an undisclosed monetary settlement in Shaw’s case — and to change how gender is reported in the PDID system.
June 27, 2014
New York, New York