Columbia Journalism Review Slams Plain Dealer and FOX over Trans Womans Cemia Acoff Articles

The CJR headline "How not to report on a transgender victim" is spot on. The Plain Dealer's articles if let uncontested would have drop kicked journalistic standards on reporting transgender issues back twenty years.

Fox8 certainly jumped on that band wagon quick.

Fox8 in this painful exercise of transphobia revictimized Ce Ce by using male pronouns and her birth name despite being fully aware she was a transgender woman who went by the name Cemia.

However, I will have to come to defense of the Plain Dealer on one count. CJR criticized the Plain Dealer for using a mug shot of Ce Ce. I used the same picture on the planetransgender post "Plain Dealer reports the Murder of a Transgender Woman as A "Brutal Slaying" of a Oddly Dressed Man" because at that moment there were none better of her. I posted her mug shot because I wanted her murderers caught. As bad as that picture was it was all I had. I have since updated that post with a better photo of her.

I'm not implying the Plain Dealer had good intentions posting those mug shots only that they may not have had any options ether. The Plain Dealer has not updated their picture.

The rest of the CJR critique is on target particularly these paragraphs about the last article:

The second story, “Brutal slaying marks the end of Clevelander’s fight for acceptance,” at first seems like it might be better. Except that story, too, starts by identifying her as Carl, which means her fight is far from over. This is ironic, because at the end of the story an italicized note says, “This story has been edited since originally posted to bring it within the style recommended by the Associated Press involving transgender people.” I don’t know what the original said, but I do know what the AP Stylebook says, which is this:

Transgender: Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.

Instead, the story drops all pronouns and refers to Cemia as Carl, which seems like a half-hearted effort to be consistent with the AP’s recommendations.

Thankfully these article will not be accepted as status Que. They were mean spirited, hateful, malicious attacks on transgender people. Thank you Columbia Journalism Review for making this clear.


Coroner Report: Trans Woman Kayla Moore Od'd while being restrained By Berkeley Police

Source Berkeleyside.com "Kayla Moore died because of “acute combined drug intoxication,” according to the Alameda County Coroner’s report released today. The coroner ruled the death accidental. The 41-year old Moore stopped breathing while being taken into police custody for mental evaluation on Feb. 12 at the Gaia Building on Allston Way. She was pronounced dead at 1:34 a.m. on Feb. 13 at Alta Bates Hospital."

"The autopsy of Moore revealed 0.74 mg/L of methamphetamine and 0.34 mg/L of codeine in a blood sample, levels the coroner described as “toxic.” Additionally, the coroner identified cardiomegaly (enlarged heart) and morbid obesity. Moore weighed 347 pounds."

Many believe her death could have been avoided and in reality wasn't accidental at all. Many believe the police were pressuring the Coroners office trying to influence or delay the report. If they were, they succeeded.

A Coroners report usually only takes weeks but in extraordinary cases can take up to 6 months. It depends on the circumstances surrounding the death. It took nearly four months to produce this report precipitating numerous protests, vigils and a militant march culminating with loud protestations at the May 1st Council meeting. Did Kayla's advocates speed up the Police in depth report and the coroners report that were released just two days latter? Or was that just coincidence?

The police could have at least reached out to Kayla's family in the interim. That simple action probably would have squelched the angriest of the voices and eased the family's minds.

Read more at Berkeleyside.com

Jenny's Bridal Boutique Bigot Refuses To Let Transgender Woman Try On Wedding Gowns

Rohit Singh a transgender woman from Saskatoon was out excitedly shopping for that one perfect dress to wear on her special day and happened into Jenny's Bridal Boutique.

When she found one she wanted to try on she and her fiance were mortified when the shop's owner, Jenny Correia refused to serve her saying "....sorry we don't allow men to wear dresses here," Singh recalled to CBC News. "I said I'm not a man, I'm transgender."

When contacted Thursday by CBC News, the bridal shop owner, who declined to provide her surname, said she stands by her decision.

"To me it doesn't matter," the owner said. "He looked like a man. There was quite a few brides in the store. If you see a man trying on dresses, you're going to feel uncomfortable."

"Singh later found a red gown at My Lynh Bridal, on Idylwyld Drive North, where she described the service as excellent. Singh's marriage took place on Monday."

Krysten Hildebrand from Saskatoon posted this insightful comment by Rohit Singh's mother in law in the Jenny's Bridals google reviews: "I'm more than happy to share this, A friend of mine wrote this...."
"You may or may not know that my son was very recently married to a wonderful person, who is transgender. The reason I am sharing this is that she and my son were visiting bridal shops so she could try on dresses. At one of the shops, Jenny's Bridal Boutique (downtown on 2nd Avenue), she was not allowed to try on any of the gowns by the owner (Jenny).

I was so incensed when my son told me this I called the owner. I managed to stay calm but asked why she wouldn't serve my son's fiancee. She replied that she only serves female customers, that it is her business and she can set the rules.

I asked her she should become informed about transgender people, told her I feel this is a human rights issue (though not illegal), that she had made a wonderful young person feel bad, and that furthermore she would lose business from all the bad publicity that will follow because I work in a large organization, that I have two sisters at the U of S, and we will spread the word, so that's what I'm doing.

Even if she had been the least ashamed or apologetic, it might have been better, but she wasn't. So I am asking you to spread the word about this incident and please boycott her business--she deserves it! Oh, and the good news, my son's fiancee bought a stunning red gown at My Lynh's on Idylwyld--My Lynh is a sweetheart, has beautiful reasonably-priced dresses and is a skilled seamstress-- and was very good to her.
click here to watch video in new window 
This isn't the only instance of alleged discrimination. It has also been reported in the reviews Jenny Correia and her her staff told a woman in a wheel chair to leave because she was 'marking up the floor'. Another occasion a staff member sneered at a shopper and directed her without prompting to the discount rack making her feel about a inch high.


Is Blue Cross Trying To Deny SRS to a California Resident? Devil in the details

The following comment were posted on on reddit  by a reader regarding this picture.  I am not a expert on this and offer this comment for discussion..


I believe that letter is intentionally trying to mislead you, by understating your rights under CA DMHC Letter 12-K[1].

I'm beginning the process of asserting my rights to medically necessary transition care. I'm posting my research and strategy, in the hopes that it may inspire others to seek the full range of care their insurers are obligated to provide.

First, let's hit the low-hanging fruit: SRS coverage. Blue Shield implies this will be excluded:

"... coverage for medical services related to gender transition will not be denied if coverage is available for those services when not related to gender transition."

Letter 12-K explicitly states SRS cannot be excluded:

Examples of EOC language that is inconsistent with the Knox-Keene Act (...) are those that seek to exclude coverage of "(1) transsexual surgery" and/or (2) "transgender or gender dysphoria conditions".

transgenderlawcenter.org's FAQ[2] on Letter 12-K agrees with this analysis:

What will be covered? Who decides?

The DMHC Director’s Letter states that medically necessary transition-related surgery and other care must be covered by health care insurance sold in California. However, if a claim is denied, what constitutes medically necessary care for a particular individual will be determined through the independent medical review process.

Now that we've established the right to SRS, let's explore what other transition-related care they can no longer deny us. To do this, let's first look at another section of Letter 12-K:

Required Action by Health Plans

1) Ensure that individuals are not denied access to medically necessary care because of the individual's gender, gender identity, or gender expression;


3) Revise all current health plan documents to remove benefit and coverage exclusions and limitations related to gender transition services;

If you add these two together, you get a very strong case that it's illegal to deny medically necessary transition services. I wish this part had zero ambiguity, but it becomes clear as day as each of us defeats insurance companies that seek to deny us this care.

Next, we consult WPATH's Medical Necessity Statement[3], for a broad list of medically necessary services:

"Medically necessary sex reassignment procedures also include complete hysterectomy, bilateral mastectomy, chest reconstruction or augmentation as appropriate to each patient (including breast prostheses if necessary), genital reconstruction (by various techniques which must be appropriate to each patient, including, for example, skin flap hair removal, penile and testicular prostheses, as necessary), facial hair removal, and certain facial plastic reconstruction as appropriate to the patient.

"Non-genital surgical procedures are routinely performed... notably, subcutaneous mastectomy in female-to-male transsexuals, and facial feminization surgery, and/or breast augmentation in male-to-female transsexuals. These surgical interventions are often of greater practical significance in the patient's daily life than reconstruction of the genitals."

"Furthermore, not every patient will have a medical need for identical procedures; clinically appropriate treatments must be determined on an individualized basis with the patient's physician."

So, the singular expert board lists a ton of services as medically necessary, and gives our physicians room to expand upon what's medically necessary for each individual, with different needs. We've already established Letter 12-K all but says medically necessary transition-related care must not be denied. Therefor, it follows that this class of care must be covered.

So, what if your insurance company pulls a Blue Shield, and still seeks to deny you care? Transgender Law Center has the answer:

What if I am denied coverage for my transition-related care?

If a patient is denied coverage, they should contact the DMHC Department of Managed Health Care’s Help Center at 1-888-466-2219 / www.HealthHelp.ca.gov

If you are covered by a PPO it is likely regulated by the Department of Insurance. Their helpline can be reached at 800-927-HELP / www.insurance.ca.gov/contact-us/

Patients should also contact Transgender Law Center’s helpline for assistance with the IMR process at 415.865.0176 x306 / www.transgenderlawcenter.org

The commenter continued explaining her plan:
I'm using all this as a basis to fight for my right to facial hair removal, which is in WPATH's medically necessary care list. More low hanging fruit. Kaiser Permanente claims this still isn't covered. They lie. I'm going to obtain advice from my Dr on how best to get this service, get it done, and then litigate reimbursement as outlined by the Transgender Law Center. Upon success, I'll post here, detailing how others can attempt to replicate my success, for this and all other medically necessary transition care.

No power in the verse can stop me. All the same, please wish me luck.

[1] Letter 12-K: http://transgenderlawcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/DMHC-Director-Letter-re-Gender-NonDiscrimination-Requirements.pdf

[2] Transgender Law Center's Letter 12-K FAQ: http://transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/4273

[3] WPATH's Medical Necessity Statement: http://www.wpath.org/medical_necessity_statement.cfm


Radio Host Alex Jones Warns Trans People Will Be "Throwing up and Crapping All over the Place"

.;..because whatever they're injecting in there...

During his April 30th show Austin Radio host Alex Jones went on a hate filled transphobic rant recalling with extreme prejudice his alleged experiences with a transgender citizen.

JONES: "They're saying in high schools, in junior highs now, they're going to have - men can decide to be in the women's bathroom if they want. You're like 'well big deal, that's their gender.'

It's all about these fake rights that don't exist versus my basic liberty being taken. It's not that I'm against people that think they're a woman or a man or whatever. I don't even care. Give me a break. It's not even on my radar screen. I could care less. I care about people."

"I dealt at Access TV with a famous Austin transvestite, who died a few years ago, who they're talking about building a statue to, going in the bathroom, men and women, and vomiting all over the walls when they would do whatever they were doing in there. I mean, I'm talking about several transvestites cramming their way into the men's bathroom, the women's bathroom. You'd go in there to comb your hair before you went on air, there they were. And they finally got thrown out of there because of it and said it was because of discrimination because they were transvestites. No. It was because whatever they were injecting in there made them throw up all over - I mean imagine every week throw up all over the walls." ~ Media Matters

So who is this asshat Alex Jones? I live in Texas and never heard of him.

"As of 2010, he was estimated to have an audience of over 2 million listeners, with a demographic heavier in younger viewers than other conservative pundits In 2011, he had a larger on-line audience than Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh combined." ~ Wiki

Council Of Europe Calls For A End to Forced Sterilisation and Castrations of Transgender People

Click here for the Interview avec Liliane Maury Pasquier

Strasbourg, 25.04.2013 - “Never again”, Liliane Maury Pasquier (Switzerland, SOC) declared today when presenting her report on coerced sterilisations and castrations.

Reading the Council report "Putting an end to coerced sterilisations and castrations" it becomes immediately clear, this is human rights tragedy that must stop now.

From the report:

"Five groups of people have been particularly subject to coerced sterilisation and castration in the past: Roma women,10 convicted sex offenders, transgender persons and persons with disabilities (“eugenic” motives), and the marginalised, stigmatised, or considered unable to cope."

"There are very few sterilisations and practically no castrations in Council of Europe member states today and in the most recent past which can clearly be labelled as “forced”: most of these concern persons with disabilities. However, there is a small, but significant number of both sterilisations and castrations which would fall under the various definitions of “coerced”. These are mainly directed against transgender persons, Roma women and convicted sex offenders. Neither forced nor coerced sterilisations or castrations can be legitimated in any way in the 21st century – they must stop."

"In many European countries, either sterilisation or sex-reassignment surgery or both are a requirement for the country to legally recognise a transgender person in his or her new (authentic) gender. According to RSFL, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, 29 out of the 47 Council of Europe member states have a sterilisation requirement. According to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Mr Juan E. Méndez, in 11 states where there is no legislation regulating legal recognition of gender, enforced sterilization is still practised."

"We must put an end to coerced sterilisation and castration. Who can read Ms Gächter’s testimony (Click this link, it's at the bottom of the report) or the history of eugenic sterilisation all over Europe without feeling an overwhelming sentiment of “Never again!”? There is an urgent task for us as parliamentarians to revise our laws and review our state policies in order to build up clear safeguards against future abuses. We need to prevent coerced sterilisation and castration also by working for a change in mentalities: we need to fight stereotypes and prejudice against those who appear “different” and thus sometimes considered by the bigoted to be worth less, be they Roma women, sex offenders, transgender persons, persons with disabilities, or any other marginalised or stigmatised group. We must fight paternalistic attitudes in the medical profession, and raise awareness of coerced sterilisation and castration as a serious human rights violation which brings shame not on the victims, but on the perpetrators."

"We must ensure proper redress to victims of coerced sterilisation and castration, whoever they are, and whenever the abuses occurred. In recent cases, this includes the protection and rehabilitation of victims and the prosecution of offenders. But in all cases, as rare, individual or historic as they may be, official apologies and at least symbolic compensation must also be given. Only then will we have lived up fully to the ideals of the Council of Europe."