Way More Transgender People in the US than people thought

Williams Institute Estimate of Transgender Adults in U.S. Doubles from 700,000 to 1.4 million — 0.6% of Adult population

D.C., Hawai’i, New Mexico, Georgia, Texas, and Florida are states with the highest percentages of adults who identify as transgender.

0.7% of 18 to 24-year-old  people that identify as transgender, as do 0.5% of those 65 and older

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Lift of Transgender Military Ban

Today, the official proclamation came from Defense Secretary Ash Carter that transgender troops will now be able to openly serve their country in all branches of the armed forces.

According to CNN, Secretary Carter has announced the ending of this ban will take effect immediately, and transgender people will no longer be discharged on the basis of their gender identity.

Secretary Carter said, “Although relatively few in number, we’re talking about talented and trained Americans who are serving their country with honor and distinction. We want to take the opportunity to retain people whose talent we’ve invested in and who’ve proven themselves.”

The process of introducing and implementing reformed procedures to address admission,health care, housing, uniforms, and non-discrimination is expected to take another year.

SPARTA, the largest organization of actively-serving transgender military members today celebrated the Pentagon’s announcement confirming that transgender Americans will be able to serve their country on equal footing with other service members.

“Secretary Carter today fulfills his promise that every American who is qualified to serve will be allowed to serve,” said former Army Captain Sue Fulton, President of SPARTA. “The thousands of transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen – and their commanders – have one less burden on their shoulders today. We are grateful to the military and civilian leaders in the Department of Defense who worked so hard to get this right.”

In 2011, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — a policy that protected closeted lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) personnel from discrimination but disallowed them from serving openly in the military — was repealed, giving LGB military service members the right to serve their country regardless of their sexual orientation. However, the lift of this ban did not apply to gender identity and transgender people were still unable to serve openly.

According to the Palm Center’s Report of the Transgender Service Commission, it is estimated that there are 15,500 active transgender troops and more than 134,000 transgender veterans who served in the United States armed forces. Transgender people also enlist in the military at a proportionately higher rate than the general population with transgender adults being more than twice as likely than cisgender adults to serve.

Most transgender troops, however, have been forced to conceal their gender identity to avoid a risk of being discharged at a commander’s discretion or losing their benefits simply for being who they are.

New York City adopts ​gender-neutral bathrooms

Single-occupant restrooms at restaurants, bars and other public places in New York City will all be gender-neutral under a new law signed Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The bill, which requires that “men” and “women” signs on single-stall restrooms be replaced with ones indicating they are Gender Neutral is “yet another step toward becoming a place where all can live with dignity, free from fear and free from judgment,” the mayor said.

The legislation was designed with transgender/ gender non-conforming people in mind, though it could also benefit the women who get stuck in long lines while the men’s room is empty and parents tending to children of the opposite sex.

Similar legislation has been adopted in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., West Hollywood, and Austin, Texas .

The New York bill passed the City Council on a 47-2 vote last week and has met with little opposition.

“Most New Yorkers take their unfettered access to bathrooms for granted, yet every single day, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals must grapple with the fact that their choices may lead to harassment or worse,” City Councilman Danny Dromm

“Other places in the country are trying to divide Americans with small-minded things, such as who can use a restroom. We’re dedicated to accommodating all people in New York City,” speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said.

Kevin Dugan, regional director of the New York State Restaurant Association, which has lobbied against previous bills like the one requiring chain eateries to post calorie counts, said he didn’t expect the bathroom law to hurt business.

This piece of legislation was personal for me because for almost a year this has been my project. I saw it thru the legislative process and advocated for it. Read The Text of 871-A

Primary Day for Congress in Manhattan, Brooklyn & Western Queens

If you live in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Western Queens there’s a very high probability you live in a district where there is a contested congressional primary. It’s totally crazy that we need to vote four times this year. On the other hand, with turnout likely to be as low as 4% today in many places, your vote really does matter and there are some strong candidates who really deserve it. So take a few minutes out of your day and be part of the solution, not the problem, by making your voice heard at the ballot box.

 

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Obama Designates Stonewall as First National Monument for LGBT Rights

With this weekend marking the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on legalizing Marriage Equality.

President Obama will designate the Stonewall Inn in New York City as a new National Monument, the first official National Park Service monument dedicated to the plight of LGBT Americans.

The protected area will include Christopher Park across from the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, which has long served as a landmark for the LGBT community. The inn, a popular gay bar, continues to serve as a gathering place for demonstrations. The Stonewall riots in 1969 marked a major turning point in the fight for gay rights. The monument commemorates the protests and riots on June 28, 1969 when the New York Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn seeking to crack down on a law prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to homosexuals. The riots were seen as an inflection point in the LGBT community as protests spread to cities across the country.

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“Today’s designation follows years of strong support from local officials, organizations, members of Congress and citizens in New York City and across the country,” the White House said in a press release.

The announcement from the White House also includes a reference to the Pulse gay nightclub massacre in Orlando on June 12.

“Although the LGBT civil rights movement has made significant progress in the pursuit of equal rights and protections under the law, there is still more work to do,” according to the release. “As seen two weeks ago in Orlando, FL, LGBT Americans continue to face acts of violence, discrimination, and hate. LGBT people of color are especially at risk. The Administration is committed to continuing the fight for dignity, acceptance and equal rights for all Americans — no matter who they are or who they love.”

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The announcement is being framed as a culmination of the eight years of the Obama administration’s policy promoting LGBT rights. After the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage one year ago, the White House celebrated by lighting up the entrance that faces Pennsylvania Avenue in rainbow colors

Reps. Maloney, Velázquez, Nadler, Jeffries, New York City elected, LGBT leaders, and Gun Safety Advocates Join Together to Call on Congress to Pass Gun Safety Reforms

NewYork~ Today, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and Congressman Hakeem Jeffris, gathered with city leaders, members of the LGBT community and gun safety advocates to demand Congressional action on gun safety reforms and remember the 49 people who were murdered and 53 wounded in the attack in Orlando. The attack, by a gunman using a semi-automatic assault weapon to murder members of the LGBT community, was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

 

The members of Congress were joined by Public Advocate Letitia James, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, Manhattan District Attorney and co-founder of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence Cyrus Vance, Brooklyn District Attorney  Ken Thompson, Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, Members of the New York City Council Dan Garodnick, Stephen Levin, Margaret Chin, Costa Costantinides, Ben Kallos, members of the LGBT community Michael Mallon and Bryan Ellicott, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Leah Gunn Barrett, Regional Organizing Manager for Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Kim Russell, Donna Dees from the Million Moms March, and Monica Atiya from Organizing for Action-New York.

The group called on Congress to enact common sense gun safety reforms including: renewing the Assault Weapons Ban (H.R. 4269), prohibiting people on the terrorist watch list and those convicted of hate crimes from buying guns (H.R. 1076 & H.R. 4603), lifting the prohibition on federal public research on gun violence (H.R. 2612), and requiring universal background checks for all gun sales (H.R. 1217)

“Gun violence is an epidemic in our country,” Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “We just had the deadlist mass shooting in American history in Orlando when a man full of hate murdered 49 people because of their sexual orientation. That was on top of another 6,000 people who had been murdered by guns this year. This country needs to wake up and pass meaningful gun safety reform like renewing the assault weapons ban and keeping guns out of Congress have blocked us even having a vote on these bills is a degrace. These reforms won’t imfringe upon the Second Amendment- hunters don’t need assault rifles- but they will save lives”

“All of us mourn the loss of life in Orlando, but thoughts, prayers, and moments of silence are no longer sufficient,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “Enough is enough. There is a range of policy options Congress could adopt that would make a difference. Restoring an assault rifle ban and preventing those on the FBI Terror Watchlist from purchasing guns are common sense first steps. If House Republicans fail to act on ideas like these, they are abdicating their fundamental responsibility to keep the American people safe.”

“Since the Pulse Night Club Shooting in Orlando that killed 49 LGBT & Latino people and injured many others, we have witnessed the work that still needs to be done not only for the LGBTQ community,.”  said Secretary Stonewall Democrats of New York City Bryan Ellicott. “We also need to figure out how to deal with the continuing problem of gun violence in this country. We need 100% full equality under the law for all members of the LGBTQ community. Especially those who are transgender and gender non-conforming. We need gun control laws that will keep guns out of the hands of those who wish to do harm to ALL communities especially because of who you are or who you love. We need to join together as a community of human beings and stop pointing figures and come up with the solution so this stops happening”

 

Last Night #WeAreOrlando in New York City at The Stonewall Inn

“Simply put, thank you. Thank you to the thousands of New Yorkers who came out to pay respects to the 49 LGBTQ people we lost to a horrific hate crime in Orlando. Thank you to our community for coming up to speak out against this crime: Jennifer Louise Lopez from Everything Transgender in NYC, Mirna Haidar from Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Shelby Chestnut from the New York City Anti-Violence Project, New York City Council Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and Tituss Burgess. Thank you to our allies: New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and Nick Jonas for speaking up. Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo for stepping up and taking such swift action in 24 hours to put everything we needed together to have such an incredible vigil.

Thank you to the 30+ LGBTQ New Yorkers who had the courage to come up, one by one, and ‪#‎SayTheirNames‬ amongst the thousands of us who didn’t stop holding up our lights in honor and respect for those who have fallen at the hands of such terrible violence.

This isn’t the beginning or the end but the continuation of what was started on that very street in 1969. And as we said last night, we can’t wait to work with all of you to make sure we are 100% fully equally in the eyes of the law in our country in every. single. state.”  Eunic Ortiz, President, Stonewall Democrats

 

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34.
Stanley Almodovar III, 23.
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20.
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22.
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36.
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22.
Luis S. Vielma, 22.
Kimberly Morris, 37.
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30.
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29.
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32.
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21.
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25.
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35.
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50.
Amanda Alvear, 25.
Martin Benitez Torres, 33.
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37.
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26.
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35.
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25.
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31.
Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26.
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25.
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30.
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40.
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32.
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19.
Cory James Connell, 21.
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37.
Luis Daniel Conde, 39.
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33.
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25.
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31.
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25.
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25.
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24.
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27.
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33.
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49.
Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24.
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32.
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28.
Frank Hernandez, 27.
Paul Terrell Henry, 41.
Antonio Davon Brown, 29.
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24.
You will not be forgotten.

“Tonight I read the name of a person who like me is 26…who had their whole life headed of them. However that moment of my voice and their name echoing down Christopher St. I may hear that the rest of my life.I’d like to know who Mercedez Marisol Flores was before the night at Pulse” Bryan Ellicott

Mercedez Marisol Flores