Board fires HRC president Alphonso David: he says without evidence

Alphonso David
Alphonso David

Alphonso David was unceremoniously fired by the HRC and Equality Board of Directors over the September holiday weekend. David who previously was the lead lawyer for former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was accused by the Boards of acting improperly by helping Cuomo discredit one of the #MeToo accusers.

Guilty or not, David made a valid point by not going quietly into the night. I too am an Equality Federation and HRC persona non grata because, as a trans person who protested at the HRC fundraisers resulting in HRC reluctantly becoming slightly more transgender-inclusive.

I met David when he spoke in Austin in support of our fight against anti-LGBT legislation. He was well-spoken and had a wide-ranging welcoming and inclusive message. For those reasons, he will be missed and as an outlier in the equality battle, I wish him well.


Alphonso David, the president of Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States, was fired on Monday after a New York Attorney General report said he had advised former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on how to handle sexual harassment allegations, the organization's board said.

 His dismissal was announced by the co-chairs of HRC's board, Morgan Cox and Jodie Patterson, in a statement that said that his actions in assisting Cuomo's teams had violated the campaign's mission. It also accused David of making statements that included "significant untruths" about the investigation and his role in the organization. 

 "At HRC, we are fighting to bring full equality and liberation to LGBTQ+ People everywhere. That includes fighting on behalf of all victims of sexual harassment and assault," the statement said. David said the Human Rights Campaign board had "unjustly" terminated him.

"As a Black, gay man who has spent his whole life fighting for civil and human rights, they cannot shut me up. Expect a legal challenge," David said in a statement. According to David's LinkedIn profile, he was president of HRC for over two years, having spent over eight years prior to that working for Cuomo's office - first as counsel for civil rights and then as chief counsel. 

 The report by Letitia James, the New York State attorney general, described allegations of sexual harassment by Cuomo, and efforts by his aides to retaliate against the former governor's accusers. David was identified in the report as involved in efforts to undermine Cuomo's first accuser, Lindsey Boylan. 

 Andrew Cuomo, 63, stepped down as governor in August after a state investigation concluded that he sexually harassed women who worked for him. He said it was "unfair" that he had to resign. He at times expressed regret for making young women uncomfortable, but denied criminal wrongdoing.

The HRC board said that David's conduct had violated the group's "conflict of interest" policy and that it resulted in "material damage" to the reputations of David and of the group. (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Sarah Morland in Gdansk; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Simon Cameron-Moore and Tom Hogue)


Transgender woman murdered in Honduras

Tatiana García
Tatiana García / 

Tatiana García, an active member of the LGBTQI community in Santa Rosa de Copán was stabbed to death in her home on Saturday, 25, 2021. 

She lived in the Díaz Valenzuela neighborhood of Santa Rosa de Copán in western Honduras.

On Sunday family members went to her home worried that she wasn't answering calls and found her dead. 

In social networks, many people expressed their regret and disgust at the atrocious death. “In this country, they kill people like nothing else and everything goes unpunished, they never solve it”, “Life is worth less and less in Honduras”, “May she rest in peace, I knew her, she was very helpful. God strengthen the soul of her mother”, were some comments. 

Trans lives Matter TDoR project reports that Tatiana García was the 5th transgender person murdered in Honduras and the 297th worldwide since November 20, 2020, the last TDoR.

The police authorities began the investigations, and are looking for the people with whom she last had contact with according to HCH TV

 R.I.P Tatiana García


Hundreds of Students Walkout of Texas High school in protest of anti-LGBTQI Administration

Irving Texas. - Hundreds of LGBTQI students and allies walked out of McArthur High School Wednesday after they learned teacher Rachel Stonecipher, a sponsor of the Gay Stright Alliance Club hadn't been to work in days.

Ms.Stonecipher, an out Lesbian, had handed out stickers to fellow staff for their claserooms indicating it was a safe space for LGBTQI students. Those stickers were 'scrached off with keys' last week according to students.

 Students said the stickers were put up on many teachers' doors last year and this school year. But last week, students said they began noticing the stickers were being removed from the classroom doors by the administration. 

 At least one of the teachers who helped spearhead the effort has also not been at school since last Thursday, Sept. 16, according to students.

 One of the teachers, Rachel Stonecipher, spoke to WFAA about Wednesday's walkout. “There’s a lot of hurt, confusion, and fear from students who feel like the administration has a problem with them for being LGBTQ+,” Stonecipher said. “It was emotionally terrible for them," she added. In a statement, Irving ISD said district policy does not allow teachers to use classrooms to "transmit personal beliefs regarding political or sectarian issues."

Kelli Busey, publisher of @Planetrans has been testifying against anti-LGBTQI legislation in Austin since 2017 had this to say about it. "I can't fathom how the school administration considers the stickers a 'sectarian issue', except perhaps our pride flag now has black and pink stripes to be inclusive of transgender and black LGBTQI people.

The school administration could have left those stickers in place and seriously lowered the suicidal ideation and self-harm that is beleaguering kids now in Texas.

Related: Gov. Abbott tries for the fourth time to pass anti-trans legislation, calling three special sessions this year alone. 

The Trevor Project received nearly 4,000 crisis contacts from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas in 2021, reports the LA Blade, with many directly stating that they are feeling stressed and considering suicide due to anti-trans laws being debated in their state. This new data comes during a year when Texas lawmakers have proposed nearly 70 anti-LGBTQ bills, including more than 40 bills that specifically target transgender and nonbinary youth — far more than any other state. The Texas State Senate passed its anti-trans sports ban SB3 this week, and the companion bill HB10 is now moving forward in the Texas House.


Family sues Georgia Dept of Corrections over 2017 Transgender Suicide


The parents of Transgender woman Jenna Mitchell are suing the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) over their daughters suicide.  In the lawsuit, GDC says she hung herself while an inmate in a Valdosta State Prison (VSP) and died at the hospital a few days later.

 WALB News 10 reports that Jenna Mitchell was seen with a rope around her neck threatening to hang herself at 1:30 pm.

The guards then taunted her and walked away. When they returned they did not lift her up to stop her strangling and did not call an ambulance when it was determined that she was unconsious. An ambulance was called but not until a tower guard did so later. 

The four defendants in the lawsuit are GDC, the warden at the time, Don Blakely, a correctional officer at the time, James Igou, and the Georgia Board of Regents. The regents board is named because it manages Augusta University’s program called Georgia Correctional Healthcare, which provides health care for inmates, including mental health care. 

Court documents show Mitchell was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery by intimidation in Union County in 2015.

In their lawsuit, Mitchell’s parents claim she died while in VSP because the prison and its employees failed to keep her safe.

They believe that violated her rights under the constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit said Mitchell was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and gender dysphoria and had a history of hurting herself.

Her parents said in the lawsuit they believe prison staff knew this and knew she intended to commit suicide on December 4, 2017.

The lawsuit focuses a lot on what happened between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. that day.

Around 1:30 p.m., the suit says Mitchell asked an attendant to find corrections officer, James Igou, and a sergeant, Wallace Richardson.

The lawsuit said Igou went to Mitchell’s cell and saw a noose around her neck.

The suit accuses Igou of taunting her and encouraging her to commit suicide.

Around 1:35 p.m., they say Igou walked away, and at least one other inmate told him Mitchell was committing suicide.

They say he laughed and shouted that she should wait until he got back because he “wanted to see.”
Before he returned, the lawsuit says Mitchell hanged herself.


First Transgender Lutheran Bishop Sends Message of Love and Acceptance

Reverend Dr. Megan Rohrer, (they/them) the first transgender person to become a Bishop in a mainline religion says that the Bible never once said that we should debate how God loves us. "God never once said, 'Let's take a vote before deciding who God loves", said Bishop Rohrer

Reverend Dr. Megan Rohrer is the bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod, overseeing nearly 200 evangelical Lutheran congregations from Central California and Nevada up to Oregon. The bishop is making history, reports ABC 7

 “It made the history books because I'm the first openly transgender bishop in the Lutheran Church and maybe in all of the mainline churches across the world,” Rohrer said. Rohrer says becoming bishop as a transgender person was not something they anticipated so soon.

 “God and I are good," Rohrer said. "And so when someone wants to send me a Bible verse to tell me where I'm wrong, I want to send them some of my favorite Bible verses not to like, have a debate with them because, you know, God never once said, 'Let's take a vote before deciding who God loves.' But because like, that's exactly why I think the Bible is such an important book. Like because the people that are going to preach the opposite of me for the rest of my life are just as loved by God as I am. And the book that I think is sacred fills their heart just as much as it fills my heart.”


Major Win as UK Appeal Court Overturns Bell v Tavistock

London-- The Endocrinology Society applauded the decision by the Appeal Court to overturn the High court’s December 2020 ruling in Bell v Tavistock and Portman NHS Health Foundation. 

The ruling preserves access to medical treatment for transgender and gender diverse teenagers and protects the ability of physicians, not the courts, to determine the capacity of a person under 16 to consent to medical treatment. 

The Endocrine Society and a coalition of LGBTQ+ youth and reproductive health organizations argued in a joint submission to the Court of Appeal of England and Wales that transgender teenagers should be able to give informed consent to treatment the same way teenagers with other medical conditions can. 

 “We are pleased the court agreed that the rules governing consent must be applied the same way to transgender and gender diverse adolescents as they are to other adolescents who are making decisions about medical care,” said Sabine Hannema, M.D., Ph.D., a paediatric endocrinologist at Amsterdam UMC in the Netherlands, a co-author of the Society’s Clinical Practice Guideline on Endocrine Treatment of Gender-Dysphoric/Gender-Incongruent Persons and a co-author of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health statement responding to the Bell v Tavistock ruling. 

 “We hope this ruling will set a precedent protecting access to care for transgender teenagers in the United Kingdom and in other countries,” Hannema said. 

Mermaids statement on the appeal of the Bell v Tavistock Ruling

"Mermaids and most importantly the trans young people and their families that we represent are relieved that the Court of Appeal has today (Friday 17 September 2021) overturned the High Court’s decision from December 2020 that effectively barred trans young people from accessing life-saving medical treatment on the NHS unless they had a court order. The decision today has reinstated the test of Gillick and re-emphasised that it is for the clinician together with the patient and the family to make decisions on a case-by-case basis. It was not for the court to make generalisations about consent at different ages, nor should the court be routinely part of the consent process for puberty blockers."

In May a Judge in Northern Ireland ruled that a 16-year-old transgender girl did not require court intervention to get transgender affirming medical care.

The High court ruling was used as a rationale in numerous bills filed in the US this year. While Arkansas was the only state to make it a felony to prescribe hormone blockers to minors 18 other states have tried.


Kim Petras Performance of "Future Starts Now" at the 2021 VMAs blew everyone away!

Kim Petras gave a shout-out to sex workers arriving at the VMA in a latex suit. 

 Kim Petras Performance of "Future Starts Now" at the 2021 VMAs preshow blew everyone away. But it also left everyone wondering why wasn't she on the main stage? Well, will be given the response she received for her first appearance at VMA it is almost assured this risk-taker will be an award winner in no time at all. 

 One person commented,"A Kim Petras tem tudo pra ser uma artista enorme, sem falar que essa música dela é nostálgica e virou hit semanas atrás assim que saiu no Spotify e agora olha ela aí na pré-apresentação"! 

 "Why wasn’t she on the main stage? I truly believe she was better than a lot of performers there tonight… She deserves a Grammy for Clarity. I’ve been listening to that album over and over for three days," another said.

This was the transgender superstar's first appearance at the VMAs. She might not be as well known but given her energy and talent, she has nowhere to go but up!


Transgender woman of color Disaya Monaee Smith shot and killed in Chicago

Transgender woman of color Disaya Monaee Smith shot and killed in Chicago
Disaya Monaee Smith / Facebook 

At 4:00 am on Sept. 6 police responding to a report of gunfire at the Prestige Inn and Suites at 1335 E. Sibley Blvd found transgender woman Disaya Monaee Smith suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Smith was pronounced dead a little after 5 a.m. at Franciscan Health hospital in Hammond.
Detectives are investigating the incident, and no one was in custody as of Tuesday morning, Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins said.

“We mourn the loss of Disaya Monaee Smith,” National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) Deputy Executive Director Victoria Kirby York said in a statement. “2021 is on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender and non-binary people – and in Chicago, Disaya Monaee Smith’s killing marks the fourth transgender person to be murdered in the Chicago region this year alone. Illinois, 

Dolton, and county police departments must do more to proactively prevent the continued loss of trans lives happening across their city,” said York.

It took a period of time to learn of her murder as the only news source to report on it, by no fault of their own, misgendered and deadnamed Smith.

The Remembering Our Dead project reports that Disaya Monaee Smith is the 6th person to be murdered in the Greater Chicago area and the 65th transgender person to have needlessly died in the US since Nov. 20, 2020, the last Transgender Day of Remembrance. 
Public visitation will be held on Monday, September 13, 2021, from 3pm to 7pm at the Higgins Funeral Home.

A balloon release and vigil was held on September 8.

David Bogdanov given maximum sentence for the 2019 murder of trans teen Nikki Kuhnhausen

A Vancouver judge sentenced David Bogdanov Thursday to 20 years in prison for the 2019 murder of transgender teen Nikki Kuhnhausen. 

Kuhnhausen, 17, was reported missing in June 2019, and a hiker found her skull in the woods near Larch Mountain in eastern Clark County in December 2019. Police arrested Bogdanov days later.
Prosecutors said Bogdanov strangled Kuhnhausen with a cellphone charger cord after learning she was transgender during a sexual encounter in his van.

 After dumping her body, Bogdanov booked a one-way flight to Ukraine and called a friend to "get rid" of his car, according to trial testimony. He returned to the U.S. about six weeks later.  Bogdanov’s attorneys claimed he was acting in self-defense and said in court they would appeal the conviction and sentence.



Missing transgender Teen Found Safe, Avon Police Say

Hernsdorf-Smith and their mother

Transgender high school student Ronan Hernsdorf-Smith, 17, was found safe Thursday according to Avon police Lt. John Schmalberger.

Their mother had feared that they were a victim of a child trafficking ring after one of Ronan's friend's phones pinged in Virginia.

Hernsdorf-Smith, who uses the pronouns, They/Them, was found in Chicopee, Massachusetts, as first reported by the Ct. Insider

Lt. Schmalberger said the teenager is safe and is with their family.

They had gone missing after the first day of high school and hadn't used their telephone, credit cards, or social media. They were found less than 24 hours after 100 people gathered in a vigil on Wednesday at the town gazebo in Avon.


A fundraiser to help pay for private investigatorstor find Ronan had raised $25,000 dollars. According to the site, the money collected will now be used to help find trafficked children.


Satan's Spawn, Greg Abbott recalls the legislature for the third time

How many children will Greg Abbott sacrifice on the GOP's alter of extreme politics?  The parents of cisgender children statewide are wondering as they openly reject his ban on masks.

How many victims of rape will kill themselves instead of birthing a relative's child?

How long will gender-diverse children continue to face twice the mortality rate as their cisgender counterparts because of Abbott's war on transgender children? 

How many times must we go to Austin sit overnight in that mecca of covid infested republican hate and listen to their lies and misgendering?

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced a third special legislative session that will begin on Sept. 20 and tackle redistrictingrestrictions on transgender student athletes and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, reports the Texas Tribune.

Abbott has waged war on LGBT+ people and women since 2017 and he will continue to do it until President Biden ends the Filibuster and expands the Supreme Court.

Time is short. Biden must do more than just promise to "have our backs" or democracy will die in this festering hate-filled red state.


Connecticut Mother searching for her transgender child missing for a week

Ronan Hernsdorf-Smith
A Silver alert has been issued for Ronan Hernsdorf-Smith, 17, who was last seen after their first day at Avon High School on Aug. 30. Ronan's mother used they/them pronouns when speaking of her child in a version of this interview published on the Fox 61 News site.

The Connecticut State Police issued a Silver Alert over the weekend for Ronan Hernsdorf-Smith and the investigation now involves multiple investigating agencies including the FBI.

The 17-year-old, who has been missing for eight days, comes from a loving home with a big support system, but their young life hasn’t been easy. Ronan is transgender and has struggled with mental health issues as first reported by Fox 61. Their family says they are vulnerable and may be in grave danger.

The teenager disappeared after the first day of school at Avon High School. They left their family a note that read, "I love you all so much. Thank you for everything. I'm so sorry." The Hersdorf family thanked the Avon community for their support. The community plans to show that support at the Avon town green gazebo for a vigil at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Security and Exchange Commission Approves Nasdaq Diversity Proposal

Image by giggel, CC BY 3.0Link

The new non-binding rules Bloomberg Law first reported will encourage over 3,700 public companies listed on Nasdaq to elect one woman and one LGBTQI person or under-represented minority to their board of directors.

Nasdaq, with a collective market capitalization of over $19 trillion—only slightly less than the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), with a total listed market cap of $25.5 trillion is a major player in the world economy.

Under the rules, which were first proposed in December 2020, each Nasdaq-listed company (subject to certain exemptions) will be required to have, or explain why it does not have, at least one director who self-identifies as female and one director who is either an “Underrepresented Minority” or is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ+).

“Underrepresented Minority” is defined as “an individual who self-identifies as one or more of the following: Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Two or More Races or Ethnicities.” 

If a company does not meet Nasdaq’s applicable standard for board diversity, it will be required to disclose its failure to achieve this standard and the reasons why it was not able to do so. This disclosure must be made in advance of the company’s next shareholder meeting in a proxy statement or on the company’s website. Nasdaq has stated that it will not substantively evaluate companies’ explanations of their failure to meet the standard.


Transgender girls are twice as likely to die as cisgender women, 50-year study finds

A long-term study in the Netherlands has found that Transgender people are twice as likely to die as their cisgender counterparts. 

This begs the question - why did US republicans try to enact over 100 anti-trans bills this session? Most of the bills targeted transgender girls attempting to ban them from participating in interscholastic sports.

 The answer will become apparent if you read the Lancet report and the summary as provided by the Swaddle below.

 A Netherlands-based study spanning 50 years — from 1972 to 2018 — found that transgender persons faced twice the mortality risks of cis people. Throughout the 50 years, there had been no decrease in the trend, the study found. The research, published last week in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, studied mortality trends among a cohort of around 4,568 trans people in The Netherlands who visited the gender identity clinic of the Amsterdam University Medical Centre, and who were undergoing gender-affirming hormone therapy.

There were no mortality risks associated with the hormone therapy; instead, factors like cardiovascular disease, suicide, lung cancer, and HIV influenced differing mortality outcomes among trans and cis people. While previous studies had established the difference in mortality rate, what was unknown was how the trend changed over time. Data from the trans people was compared with that of cis people obtained from the Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

This group of endocrinologists did a retrospective cohort study of adult transgender people who visited the gender identity clinic of Amsterdam University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. Data of transgender people who received hormone treatment between 1972 and 2018 were linked to Statistics Netherlands. People were excluded if they used alternating testosterone and oestradiol treatment, if they started treatment younger than age 17 years, or if they had ever used puberty-blockers before gender-affirming hormone treatment. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated using general population mortality rates stratified by age, calendar period, and sex. Cause-specific mortality was also calculated.

This observational study showed an increased mortality risk in transgender people using hormone treatment, regardless of treatment type. This increased mortality risk did not decrease over time. The cause-specific mortality risk because of lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, HIV-related disease, and suicide gives no indication to a specific effect of hormone treatment, but indicates that monitoring, optimizing, and, if necessary, treating medical morbidities and lifestyle factors remain important in transgender health care.

Haters across the USA watched in horror as the North Carolina "HB 2" bathroom bill went down in flames with an exclamation point as a federal court recently ruled that state employees who were discriminated against could sue for damages.

Then came Texas with their attempted bathroom bills in 2017. They failed to get those awful bills enacted because everyone from law enforcement to endocrinologists came out in numbers to fight it. 

This year the GOP tried and in some cases enacted laws to ban transgender girls from playing sports despite repeatedly acknowledging that there was no need for it. They would repeatedly attempt to validate their intentions arguing that they weren't hateful or bigoted, by saying "what if" a trans girl wanted to play and refining the target by saying it's only sports.

That argument falls apart when you look at the 50-year cohort study, Cardiovascular disease was found to be the number one cause of death for transgender women. That was followed by lung cancer, HIV-related disease, and suicide all of which are associated with physical inactivity calibrated by gender dysphoria induced by public shaming.

These laws have all been challenged in court leaving them all in suspension until a verdict can be reached. There is a reason why courts have done that. It was fully explained by the Republican sponsors who submitted them. There were no cases of transgender students excelling in sports in their states, as explained by the bill's sponsors over and over again, leaving a single explanation.

Deprive transgender girls to the right to play sports and the morbidity rate for transgender adults stays the same. It wasn't about fairness as the sponsors of the boilerplate bill portended. It has always been about a majority beating down a minority. And in this case, it's white supremacists proactively killing the next generation of transgender people.


Transgender bride Nuray Nuriyev murdered in Azerbaijan

Nuray Nuriyev
Nuray Nuriyev

Twenty-seven-year-old transgender woman Nuray Nuriyev was murdered on August 22 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The newlywed was found stabbed and burned Friday in the town of Puta, apparently just days after being married.

Ministry of Internal Affairs, Police Colonel Ehsan Zakhidov, said on Wednesday, August 25, that an arrest had been made. “A criminal case was immediately opened. In the course of the investigation, it was established that the killed is a resident of Aghdam region, 27-year-old Nuray Nuriyev, ”Ehsan Zakhidov told reporters.

Mirshahid Mehdiyev, a resident of the Agjabedi region, was detained as a suspect in the murder.

The speed with which the suspect was apprehended was at least partly due to a protest at the Ombudsman's office in which protesters demanded a meeting with the Ombudsman Sabina Aliyeva.

The LGBT+ community protested her murder bringing attention to the brutality of the act.