4/16/24

The 4th Circuit Court Ruled West Virginia “Save Women’s Sports Act” Unconstitutional

The UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT ruled that West Virgina's “Save Women’s Sports Act” sole purpose is to prevent a 13-year-old transgender girl from playing on sports teams congruent with their gender expression and therefore unconstitutional.

The judge ruled the law as discriminatory ruling in favor of the transgender girl. However, it is not broad stroke ruling in favor of transgender woman in sports. The Fourth District Court of Appeals which covers MD, DC, VA, WV, NC, and SC previously ruled in favor of Trans student Gavin Grim and used that ruling as a benchmark regarding discrimination.

TOBY HEYTENS, Circuit Judge:

"A West Virginia law originally introduced as the “Save Women’s Sports Act” provides that “[a]thletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex,” while defining “male” as “an individual whose biological sex determined at birth is male.” W. Va. Code § 18-2-25d(b)(3) & (c)(2)."

"Because West Virginia law and practice have long provided for sex-differentiated sports teams, the Act’s sole purpose—and its sole effect—is to prevent transgender girls from playing on girls teams. The question before us is whether the Act may lawfully be applied to prevent a 13-year-old transgender girl who takes puberty blocking medication and has publicly identified as a girl since the third who takes puberty blocking medication and has publicly identified as a girl since the third grade from participating in her school’s cross country and track teams. We hold it cannot."

"The undisputed purpose—and the only effect—of that definition is to exclude transgender girls from the definition of “female” and thus to exclude them from participation on girls sports teams. That is a facial classification based on gender identity. And, under this Court’s binding precedent, such classifications trigger intermediate scrutiny. See Grimm v. Gloucester Cnty. Sch. Bd., 972 F.3d 586, 610–13 (4th Cir. 2020)."

"The defendants also insist the Act does not discriminate based on gender identity because it treats all “biological males”—that is, cisgender boys and transgender girls—the same. Appellees’ Br 21. But that is just another way of saying the Act treats transgender girls differently from cisgender girls, which is—literally—the definition of gender identity discrimination."

The ACLU of West Va issued a press release which reads in part:

“As the Fourth Circuit made clear in this ruling, West Virginia’s effort to ban one 13-year-old transgender girl from joining her teammates on the middle school cross country and track team was singling out Becky for disparate treatment because of her sex,” Lambda Legal Staff Attorney for Youth Sruti Swaminathan said. “That’s discrimination pure and simple, and we applaud the court for arriving at this just decision.”

“We hope today’s ruling sends a message of hope to the trans youth of West Virginia,” said Aubrey Sparks, Legal Director of the ACLU of West Virginia, “and a message of warning to politicians who continue to dehumanize this vulnerable population.

In April 2021, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed HB 3293 into law, barring transgender student-athletes from participating on the school athletic teams most consistent with their gender identity. In May 2021, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of West Virginia, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit challenging the law on behalf of Becky Pepper Jackson, a 12-year-old girl who would be kicked off her middle school’s track and field team if the law were enforced.

In a March 9, 2023 filing, Attorney General Patrick Morrissey asked the Supreme Court for an emergency motion allowing the state to enforce HB 3293 and kick 13 year old Becky off her middle school’s track and field team. The Supreme Court rejected this first attempt in April 2023.

Read the full 4th Circuit Court ruling Here

All Humans Begin Life With Female Genitalia

Did you know that geneticists have discovered that all human embryos start life as females, as do all embryos of mammals? I didn't until I watched the humorous take on it in the video below. About the 2nd month, the fetal tests elaborate enough androgens to offset the maternal estrogens and maleness develops.

The popular narrative is that it takes time to determine the sex of a baby because everyone is the same in the womb to begin with, which in itself is true. But what isn't said is that nearly every man had a clitoris and labia, the same as a female, during the 6 weeks or so of his life. Why isn't this talked about? That fact alone simply obliterates the patriarchy and most machismo men find the thought of it repulsive.

Warning. Adult conversation in the video below about sexual organs and gender. Sometimes laughter is the natural response when the truth is uncomfortable.

(Image Credit: Science Source)

Yes!!! So much yes!!! 🏳️‍⚧️
byu/sandboxvet inlgbt

4/13/24

Tennessee Senate Passes Bill Making Talking to Youth about medical Care A Felony

Mark Mekler laughs at trans advocates who confronted him at the anti-trans Marsha Blackburn rally

The Tennessee Senate approved a bill Thursday making "recruiting, harboring or transporting" a minor to receive trans-affirming medical care a class C felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail.

The legislation passed the republican senate Thursday on a 25-4 vote and now moves to the similarly GOP-dominated House for a vote.

The bill almost mirrors almost the same language from a so-called “anti-abortion trafficking” proposal that the Senate approved just a day prior. In that version, supporters are hoping to stop adults from helping young people obtain abortions without permission from their parents or guardians, the AP reports.

Both bills could be applied broadly. Critics have pointed out that violations could range from talking to an adolescent about a website on where to find care to helping that young person travel to another state with where gender-affirming care is available.

Source: Erin in the Morning

“We’ve had two bills in two days regulate the types of conversations people can have with each other,” said Democratic state Sen. Jeff Yarbro. “We shouldn’t be trying to violate constitutional rights and that’s what this is trying to do.”

This bill flys in the face of established medical protocols

Every major medical and physiology association recognizes that transgender care is essential for the well-being of trans youth. Read their statements courtesy of GLAAD.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Dermatology

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Physician Assistants

American Medical Association

American Nurses Association

American Association of Clinical Endocrinology

American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry

American College Health Association

American College of Nurse-Midwives

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American College of Physicians

American Counseling Association

American Heart Association

American Medical Student Association

American Psychiatric Association

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

American Society for Reproductive Medicine

American Urological Association

Endocrine Society

Federation of Pediatric Organizations

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality

The Journal of the American Medical Association

National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health

National Association of Social Workers

Ohio Children’s Hospital

Pediatric Endocrine Society

Pediatrics (Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics ) and Seattle Children’s Hospital

Texas Medical Association

Texas Pediatric Society

United States Professional Association for Transgender Health (USPATH)

World Health Organization (WHO)

World Medical Association

World Professional Association for Transgender Health

4/12/24

Case against Arkansas Transgender Youth Healthcare Ban Reaches Federal Court

Trans Rights Are Human Rights

The case against Arkansas's transgender youth healthcare ban was heard without much fanfare by a Federal appeals court on Tuesday, April 11, 2024. The en banc review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has yet to be reported on by right-wing news outlets. The Appeals Court likely will uphold the decisions by lower courts that found it unconstitutional and side with the plaintiffs.

A three-judge panel of the Eight Circuit did earlier affirm the lower court’s preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the SAFE Act in August 2022, according to Bloomberg Law

The state’s ban applies to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries to treat gender dysphoria. The lawsuit is one of several high-profile cases currently testing the rights of transgender minors to access medical care for gender dysphoria.

The Eighth Circuit is the first federal appeals court to delve into the merits of questions presented by 24 virtually identical state laws enacted between 2021 and 2024.

Upon the conclusion of today's en banc review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Brandt v. Griffin plaintiffs Dylan and Joanna Brandt, Sabrina, Lacey and Aaron Jennen, Parker and Donnie Ray Saxton, and Brooke, Amanda, and Shayne Dennis released the following statement to ACLU of Arkansas:

“We stand united in our belief that gender-affirming care is not just medical care; it is lifesaving care. This belief is not only ours, but is also supported by leading medical organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychiatric Association. These institutions have publicly recognized that gender-affirming care is crucial in significantly reducing the dire physical and mental health consequences experienced by those with untreated gender dysphoria."

"Despite clear evidence and expert consensus on the importance of gender-affirming care, we find ourselves once again defending our right to access basic healthcare against political interference. It is deeply disheartening to see that, in the pursuit of their ideological agendas, some politicians are willing to disregard the well-being and rights of transgender youth. This ongoing battle, in Arkansas and across the United States, is a stark reminder of the challenges we face in ensuring that everyone has the freedom to access the care they need and deserve."

"The fact that families are relocating to find safe havens where their children can live authentically and receive necessary medical care is a testament to the current state of uncertainty and fear. It is unconscionable that in the United States, a country that prides itself on freedom and justice for all, people are forced to flee their homes to secure basic human rights. The need to seek out ‘safe states’ not only underscores the uneven landscape of rights and protections but also highlights the urgency of our fight for equality and access to healthcare."

"As we move forward, let it be known that we are not just fighting for access to medical care; we are fighting for the right to live our lives authentically and without fear. We are fighting for the future of all trans youth and their families, who deserve to live in a world where their rights are protected and their health is prioritized. We call on everyone to stand with us in this fight, to recognize the humanity and dignity of trans Arkansans, and to work towards a future where no one has to fear being themselves or accessing the care they need."

"Our voices, combined with those of medical professionals and advocates across the nation, send a clear message: gender-affirming care is essential, and the rights of transgender Arkansans are non-negotiable. We urge the courts and policymakers to heed this message, to prioritize the health and well-being of all people, not just some; and to ensure that every person has the opportunity to live their life to the fullest, as their true self, in Arkansas. Together, we can build a more inclusive and compassionate society for everyone.”

The lawsuit — which aims to overturn a 2021 Arkansas law that prohibits gender-affirming care for transgender youth — was filed by the ACLU of Arkansas, ACLU’s Jon L. Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović LGBTQ & HIV Project, and the law firms of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and Gill Ragon Owen.

For more on Brandt v. Griffin, click here:https://www.aclu.org/cases/brandt-et-al-v-rutledge-et

4/9/24

Study of biology books "serve as a call to action" said Professor Andrei Cimpian, Senior Author

“The findings serve as a call to action—it is important that the high school biology curriculum is revised so that it reflects accurate scientific knowledge rather than misguided assumptions that may foster gender stereotyping and discrimination,” says Andrei Cimpian, a professor in the Department in the Psychology at New York University and one of the paper’s senior authors.

"The textbooks used in about 66% of U.S. classrooms teach outdated ideas about the differences between sex and gender, a new study published in the journal Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science found," Forbes reports.

The study examined six textbooks commonly used in California, Texas, New York and Florida—four of the most populous states in the U.S.—and found that none of the books differentiated between sex and gender.

According to researchers at BSCS Science Learning, New York University and the University of Texas, the textbooks “inappropriately conflate” sex, a biological phenomenon, with gender, which scientists widely consider to be socially constructed.

“The findings serve as a call to action—it is important that the high school biology curriculum is revised so that it reflects accurate scientific knowledge rather than misguided assumptions that may foster gender stereotyping and discrimination,” says Andrei Cimpian, a professor in the Department in the Psychology at New York University and one of the paper’s senior authors.

The study, which also included researchers from BSCS Science Learning and the University of Texas at Austin, examined whether textbooks communicated “essentialism” about sex and gender. Essentialism is a widespread, but scientifically inaccurate, view rooted in the idea that there is a genetic “essence” that makes women and men the way they are. Because of their assumed distinct genetic essences, women and men are also assumed to be discrete, non-overlapping groups—not just in terms of reproductive anatomy, but also in terms of their psychology and behavior.

The research published in Science set out to characterize how textbooks describe sex, which is a complex set of biological features related to reproduction, and gender, which is a socially constructed interpretation of the biological phenomenon of sex. The scientific consensus is that sex and gender are distinct phenomena and that both are inconsistent with the essentialist view that is common among the general public.

Its analysis of six textbooks—published between 2009 and 2016 and used in an estimated two-thirds of high school introductory biology classes across the U.S.—found that none of the textbooks differentiated between the concepts of sex and gender, despite the clear distinction made between them in the scientific literature.

How leading medical and psychological organizations define sex and gender:

The World Health Organization (WHO) - "Understanding sex and gender is critical to understanding human health and disease. Although “sex” is often incorrectly thought to have the same meaning as “gender,” the terms describe different but connected constructs. Sex and gender shape health independently as distinct factors, as well as interactively through the many ways in which they intersect and influence each other."

National Institues od Health (NIH) Sex is a multidimensional biological construct based on anatomy, physiology, genetics, and hormones. (These components are sometimes referred to together as “sex traits.”) All animals (including humans) have a sex. As is common across health research communities, NIH usually categorizes sex as male or female, although variations do occur. These variations in sex characteristics are also known as intersex conditions.

Gender is relevant only for research with humans (not other animals). Gender can be broadly defined as a multidimensional construct that encompasses gender identity and expression, as well as social and cultural expectations about status, characteristics, and behavior as they are associated with certain sex traits. Understandings of gender vary throughout historical and cultural contexts.

"A person’s gender identity (e.g., woman, man, trans man, gender-diverse, nonbinary) is self-identified, may change throughout their life, and may or may not correspond to a society’s cultural expectations based on their biological sex traits. For example, a person with typical female (sex term) sex traits may or may not be a woman (gender identity). Although gender is often portrayed and understood in Western cultures using binary categories (man or woman) and is often assumed at birth based on a person’s sex traits, many cultures throughout history have recognized a diversity of forms of gender identity and gender expression (how a person communicates their gender to others through behavior and appearance)."

American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) “Sex” refers to biological differences between females and males, including chromosomes, sex organs, and endogenous hormonal profiles. “Gender” refers to socially constructed and enacted roles and behaviors which occur in a historical and cultural context and vary across societies and over time. All individuals act in many ways that fulfill the gender expectations of their society. With continuous interaction between sex and gender, health is determined by both biology and the expression of gender. — Definition according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)".

"The terms sex and gender have often been used interchangeably and imprecisely even though they should not be. The terms refer to different things".

APA Policy Statement on Affirming Evidence-Based Inclusive Care for Transgender, Gender Diverse, and Nonbinary Individuals, Addressing Misinformation, and the Role of Psychological Practice and Science

This is why biology books instructing high school students about gender and sex are so important to the LGBTQI community which I am a member. Without high school science-based instruction, misconceptions increase and hostility towards non-binary people exists leading to violence and murders.

4/8/24

High Schools are teaching a twisted and dangerous version Of Sex And Gender Study Finds

High School Biology

US high school biology books are teaching Sex and Gender essentialism creating conditions where discrimination and violence exist as was the case with Nex Benedict

The first scientific study examining this found that publishers are driven by sales and profits and largely ignore science.

People who hold essentialist beliefs tend to believe that sex/gender groups are mutually exclusive—that members of one group are entirely dissimilar from those in another group. By contrast, the reality is that most traits overlap considerably across sex/gender groups.

What is being taught in the classroom? You might think just read the books, but that presents a unique problem.

"Because textbook manufacturers do not publish statistics on how many schools or students use their textbooks in the US and school districts do not report complete and reliable information about adopted textbooks, researchers interested in examining the most frequently used textbooks in US high schools must rely on other methods, Science reports"

"For example, researchers typically sample textbooks with multiple editions under the assumption that these textbooks’ repeated use by schools indicates they are successful in the marketplace. Furthermore, decades of research demonstrate that decisions about which textbooks to adopt in each US state are strongly influenced by which textbooks are adopted in California, Texas, New York, and Florida because these states are the most populous and have the largest textbook markets."

"Due to their importance for publishers’ revenue, textbook developers in the US tend to write textbooks that will be easy to adapt to the standards of these four states. Therefore, we purposively sampled textbooks that had multiple editions from the four most populous states in the US (i.e., California, Texas, Florida, and New York) to construct our own database of texts that had the highest probability of representing the curriculum materials most readily available to biology students in US high schools."

In other words, the study found publishers set the bar to the lowest level regarding instruction about sex and gender hoping that California and Connecticut will find the text acceptable.

Biology books that appear acceptable to those who are simply uninformed appeal to purchasing agents in Texas and Florida.

Methodology

"We initially attempted to make a systematic distinction between terms that pertained to sex (such as “Y chromosome”) and terms that pertained to gender (such as “men”). However, it quickly became clear that this would not be feasible. The information available in the textbooks was not sufficient to make this distinction. This blurring of the linguistic boundary between sex and gender suggests in and of itself that textbooks may conflate the two. Going forward, we use the term “sex/gender” when appropriate to describe our results."

"Despite the imprecision in how sex and gender terminology was used, we were able to code whether sex and gender were explicitly differentiated in a paragraph. Of the 362 paragraphs coded, none differentiated between sex and gender in any way. Thus, textbooks inappropriately conflate between a biological phenomenon (sex) and a sociocultural phenomenon (gender)."

4/7/24

SC Women's Basketball Coach Dawn Staley Takes A Stand For Trans Athletes

A Far-right content creator expected a different answer when he questioned South Carolina Basketball coach Dawn Staley about her views on transgender women playing in sports.

Coach Staley had just talked about the importance of focusing on her next game, the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, today against Iowa, when he asked his most pressing question. (18 miniutes in)

Coach Dawn Staley: I do think it will be a -- I hope it's the most watched game. I've been a part of witnessing from the outside looking, looking into the most watched game. It's going to be fun to hopefully be a part of it, like in the mix of things. I hope that everybody gets exactly what they want out of it, and I just hope the viewers, the people in attendance will take tomorrow's moment and carry it to the rest of the history of our sport.

Coach Dawn Staley: Hopefully we can keep the eyeballs and demand where it needs to be.

Right wing content creator: You just talked about what a massive weekend this is for women's basketball, women's sports in general. One of the major issues facing women's sports is the debate/discussion topic about transgender athletes, biological males in women's sports. I was wondering if you could tell me your position on that issue."

Coach Dawn Staley: Damn, you got deep on me, didn't you? I'm on the opinion of if you're a woman, you should play. If you consider yourself a woman and you want to play sports or vice versa, you should be able to play. That's my opinion. You want me to go deeper?

Right wing content creator: Do you think transgender women should be able to participate?

Coach Dawn Staley: That's the question you want to ask, I'll give you that. Yes, yes. So now the barnstormer people are going to flood my timeline and be a distraction to me on one of the biggest days of our game, and I'm okay with that. I really am.

H/T Erin In The Morning

Kickout content creator DAN ZAKSHESKE reported on this exchange that he considers himself a feminist. But he said that he does not support transgender women competing in sports qualifying that by saying if the Olympics were 'gender neutral' men would win everything.

The Olympics have never been or will ever be "gender neutral" for that reason Dan. You chose to say that as hate click bait and possibly to scare her into silence. You failed.

IOC position is it "will not discriminate against an athlete who has qualified through their IF, on the basis of their gender identity and/or sex characteristics."

NBC also reported on South Carolina Basketball coach Dawn Staley's courageous stand against transphobia and faux feminism.

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder declined to answer the same question later on.

“I understand it’s a topic that people are interested in, but today my focus is on the game tomorrow, my players,” Bluder said. “It’s an important game we have tomorrow and that’s what I want to be here to talk about, but I know it’s an important issue for another time.”

The topic of transgender athletes in sports has become a hot-button wedge issue in recent years, despite the fact that as of 2023, only 34 trans athletes had openly competed in college sports, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. That comprises an infinitesimal amount of the more than 500,000 participants in NCAA athletics.

South Carolina Women's Basketball Coach Dawn Staley refuses to take the bait and Takes A Stand the day before the NCAA Championship supporting transgender Athletes "All women should play."

Related:

3/31/24

Appeals Court Upholds Injunction Banning Texas from investigating Families With Trans Children

The ruling is a lifesaving win for transgender children and families who remain in Texas to celebrate during the Transgender Day Of Visibility. Conversely, it's a sad reminder of their life before being forced to flee for those who have sought refuge.

The Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, today upheld injunctions in two related cases against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and former Commissioner Jaime Masters, barring them from implementing the agency’s rule expanding the definition of child abuse to presumptively treat the provision of gender-affirming care as child abuse, the ACLU of Texas said in a press release Friday.

The legal battle began after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, ordered the state agency in February 2022 to launch investigations into parents who provide their children with the treatment, which has been deemed safe, effective and potentially lifesaving by many major medical groups but was banned in September by state law, CNN reports.

The governor’s order came shortly after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton declared gender-affirming surgical procedures in children and prescribing drugs affecting puberty should be considered child abuse. Abbott ordered the Department of Family and Protective Services commissioner “to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.” Within two weeks of the directive, the state had opened at least nine investigations of families, according to the department.

The court of appeals upheld a trial court decision in the Friday order, ruling in favor of LGBTQ+ advocates and families in two related Texas lawsuits asking a state court to block the agency from investigating parents who provide their children with gender-affirming care.

3/30/24

Transgender Day of Visibility events in Texas: Thinking Globally Acting Locally

The International Transgender Day of Visibility often referred to as the TDOV or Trans Day of Visibility is an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.

The event was created by transgender activist Rachel Crandall of Michigan in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBTQ+ recognition of transgender people, citing the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which mourned the murders of transgender people, but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community. The first International Transgender Day of Visibility was held on March 31, 2009. - Wikipedia

For me, as a transgender person living in Texas, one of the red states that have so ruthlessly persecuted our community, it's a day to be out and about supporting our community. It's about changing the trans narrative from pain to joy.

lgbtqnation: Joe Biden calls trans people “fabric of our nation” in Trans Day of Visibility proclamation.

In Their Words: Four Texans speak on Transgender Day of Visibility

It's also a day to celebrate and build allyship as so succinctly stated in this video.

The TDOV is a day to think globally and act locally. There are TDOV events worldwide but most occur in the US today out of necessity or perhaps out of respect for Christianity's holy day Easter, which happens to fall on the same day this year.

Reuters Fact Check: Transgender Day of Visibility falls annually on March 31, not always at Easter.

Here are some TDOV events happening in Texas today through Tuesday.

"Disclosure" Screening + TDOV Panel: Krista V. King, Moderator | LIVESTREAM ONLY Free on line only donation is asked for but not required. Register here

Houston Trot for Trans Visibility Houston 5K Fun Run is Sold Out!

Amarillo Area Transgender Advocacy Group AATAG Starting at 1pm will have an egg hunt, booths, drag show, live band, dancers and lots of fun!

Austin Celebrate Trans Day of Visibility at Gender Unbound’s second annual Community Picnic and Art Market!

Dallas

Trans Day of Visibility Celebration begins at 4 pm. Sunday events:

Austin March 31 Celebrate Trans Day of Visibility at Gender Unbound’s second annual Community Picnic and Art Market!

Tuesday April 2, 2024.

The Montrose Center in Houston is celebrating TDoV on April 2. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., there’ll be a DJ, food trucks, community speakers and local trans organizations in the center’s parking lot at 401 Branard St. Anyone who needs water or a space to cool off can go inside to Room 106/107.