Sunday, November 18th / 6:25 PM / CIIS- 1453 Mission St., San Francisco, Room 207 / Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trans P.o.C. Prison Abolitionist organization TGIJP(Transgender, Gender-Variant Intersex, Justice Organization) and Emmi Bevensee
will be holding a panel discussion followed by a community engagement around the intersections of colonialism, capitalism, and globalization with sex, gender, race, and sexuality. To focus on these topics we will be taking a critical lens towards the conditions of Transwomen in the Prison-Industrial Complex (PIC).
TGIJP-“TGI Justice Project is a group of transgender people—inside and outside of prison—creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.
We work in collaboration with others to forge a culture of resistance and resilience to strengthen us for the fight against imprisonment, police violence, racism, poverty, and societal pressures. We seek to create a world rooted in self determination, freedom of expression, and gender justice.”-TGIJP.org
THERE WILL BE FOOD AND DRINK!
From the Transgender Law Center:
Transgender Law Center applauds new regulations that include unprecedented protections for transgender inmates
San Francisco – Transgender Law Center applauds the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today for releasing long-awaited new standards mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003. Today’s federal regulations, which include important guidelines about the housing and treatment of transgender inmates, mark the first time the U.S. Government has created national standards to address the prevalence of sexual assault in prisons, jails, juvenile detention facilities, and community corrections facilities throughout the country. President Obama also released a concurrent memorandum directing “all agencies with Federal confinement facilities that are not already subject to the Department of Justice’s final rule to work with the Attorney General to propose any rules or procedures necessary to satisfy the requirements of PREA.” This will apply to immigration detention facilities run by the Department of Homeland Security, among other agencies.
The Department of Justice estimates that at least 216,600 inmates are sexually abused every year in U.S. prisons, jails, and youth detention facilities. Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, face unacceptably high rates of incarceration, and, while incarcerated, face extraordinarily high rates of violence and sexual assault. A 2007 report funded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), High Rates of Sexual Assault Among Transgender Inmates (Jenness, Maxson, Matsuda and Sumner, 2007) found that transgender inmates are 13 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault than non-transgender inmates.
“It is deeply gratifying to know that transgender people in prisons will now have additional protections and safeguards to protect them from the tragedy of sexual assault. No person anywhere deserves to be the victim of such dehumanizing treatment,” said Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center’s Executive Director. “These new standards will make tremendous strides to prevent sexual abuse of transgender and other vulnerable inmates everywhere in the United States.”
The new standards include several provisions specifically to protect transgender and gender non-conforming people, including:
- Banning segregated units and facilities that are based solely on LGBTI status, unless created in coordination with a court order or consent decree. The prohibition will therefore not apply to the gay and transgender unit at the Los Angeles County Jail. This prohibition also will not bar LGBTI-specific units in short-term “lockup” facilities.
- Mandating that decisions about whether inmates will be housed in male or female facilities be made on an individual basis, with the aim of maximizing the safety of the inmate. This will make it easier for trans women to be housed with other women.
- Requiring staff training about how to communicate with and treat LGBTI inmates.
- Banning searches of transgender inmates just to determine their anatomy.
Transgender Law Center participated in a broad coalition of activists and organizations who submitted comments that helped shape today’s regulations, including National Center for Transgender Equality, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Just Detention International, and National Center for Lesbian Rights.
from Oakland Occupy Patriarchy:
“Brandi, a transwoman, was murdered last night, shot at 12th and Franklin in Downtown Oakland after an altercation with a man who became enraged and shot her when he realized she was trans. An amazing #oo comrade tried to keep her alive with training learned from the People’s Community Medics, but the cops walked away and the ambulance came too late”
Everyone please spread this as widely as possible and please show out tonight to stand up against transphobic violence!
No news stories yet on the situation but will try and keep this updated with info
Update @ 6:33: Mercury News has only this to say:
“The third death occurred at 5:45 a.m., when a person was shot to death at the corner of 13th and Franklin streets, a block from the Burger King where the Saturday incident occurred.
Police responding to reports of shots fired saw the person lying in the roadway, outside another restaurant that apparently had some of its windows shattered by gunfire. The shooting victim, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene.”
I’ll see you in the streets.
Press release from Masen Davis, Executive Director at the Transgender Law Center:
WE DID IT!
Governor Brown just signed two important transgender rights bills into law. The first, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, brings transgender rights out of the closet in California – making “gender identity and expression” its own protected category at work, at school, in housing, at public accommodations and in other settings. The second, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act, makes it easier for transgender people to get a court-ordered gender change and updated birth certificate. It’s a big day for transgender folks in California!
We are holding a special briefing MONDAY October 10th, at 6:00 PM to update everyone on the impact of these bills. Click here to RSVP.
*We will be holding a separate Spanish language briefing later this week. For more information on this call, click here e-mail Maceo Persson.
These laws have been years in the making. Through our statewide survey of almost 650 transgender Californians, the 1,200 calls that our legal team receives annually and our conversations with you at events around the state, we discovered two problems that continued to resurface:
- We found that California’s nondiscrimination laws were often not accessible to those who needed them the most. Employers, health care providers, housing authorities – even transgender and gender non-conforming people – were unaware that it is illegal to discriminate against transgender Californians. Our legal rights were hidden within the definition of “gender”, leaving many people in the dark about their rights, and many institutions out of compliance responsibilities. This had an especially severe impact on low-income and trans communities of color who tend to face employment discrimination at higher frequencies within transgender communities.
- We heard from many transgender people who were unable to change their birth certificates and other identity documents due to financial and medical barriers. Onerous and outdated standards for court-ordered gender changes created unfair and damaging barriers that disproportionately impacted trans people of color, immigrant trans people, low-income trans people and others who could not overcome the many hurdles to securing basic identity documents. These are identity documents we all need to work, travel, and be our authentic selves.
With the help of your input and our partners at Equality California and GSA Network, we came up with two legislative solutions to these problems.
- The Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) takes existing protections based on gender and spells out “gender identity and expression” as their own protected categories in our nondiscrimination laws. By making these protections explicit, people will more clearly understand California’s nondiscrimination laws, which should increase the likelihood that employers, schools, housing authorities, and other institutions will work to prevent discrimination and/or respond more quickly at the first indications of discrimination.
- The Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433) will alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when we have identity documents that do not reflect who we are. The bill will streamline current law and clarify that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit gender change petitions in the State of California. The Vital Statistics Modernization Act conforms California’s standards to the standards set by the United States Department of State for gender changes on passports, and it makes common-sense changes to the law that ensure the process is simple for qualified petitioners to navigate.
Today these bills have become law, and this huge victory belongs to you! This legislative session, hundreds of transgender, gender non-conforming and ally Californians took action — educating lawmakers, reaching out to the governor and sharing their stories with the media.
Our victory is a testament that California is at its best when we work together to realize the ideal that everyone should be treated fairly and equally. The barriers that transgender people face are life threatening and we applaud Governor Brown, Assemblymember Atkins and Assemblymember Lowenthal for their tremendous leadership to remove some of the obstacles that prevent transgender Californians from living as our authentic selves.
Here’s something I’m working on. I thought maybe you lovely people would have some feedback, and be able to remind me if I am forgetting anything. I’m not interested in scaling this back or making it more “realistic,” only in making it more radical and comprehensive. I’m also interested in wording it in ways that emphasize the ways in which this would actually benefit everyone, including cis men and women, heterosexuals, and others who might generally feel alienated from discussion of transgender liberation.
(I also know there are also a few gender bill of rights type documents floating around out there already. I felt moved to make my own.)
THE GENDER BILL OF RIGHTS
These rights are inalienable, mandatory, and to be taken seriously at all times. This is a model of gender that is fully individual, consensual, voluntary, and free from state intervention. This model of gender has been designed not to oppress anyone and in fact has been designed to benefit all who are affected by gender in this society (that is to say, everyone), including men, women, non-binary people, agender people, cis people, trans people, intersex and non-intersex people, hetero, queer, and asexual people. We are a long way from adopting this model, and to do so would take time. But doing so can ultimately only benefit us all.
- You have a right to have your gender treated as valid, equal and real.
- You have a right to be referred with proper forms of address, including pronouns, honorifics, correct names, and appropriate gender descriptors.
- You have a right to change how you feel about, talk about, relate to and wish others to relate to your gender, or indeed to change your gender itself, in any way, at any time.
- You have a right to not have a gender.
- You have a right to privacy about your gender or lack thereof.
- No one’s gender should ever be assumed. No one should ever be assumed to have a gender.
- You have a right to full control over your gender beginning at birth. No surgical alterations should be made on unconsenting infants in order to fit them into a certain paradigm of gender. Gendered names, pronouns, and descriptors should never be used until children can decide for themselves how they wish to be known to the world.
- Education should be unbiased towards any gender or lack of gender. Children of school age have a right to role models of any or no gender.
- You have a right to be attracted to anybody of any gender or lack of gender, and to carry on sexual or romantic relationships with any number of consenting individuals regardless of gender.
- You have a right to engage in any consensual sex act, regardless of your gender.
- You have a right to say no at any time to anyone, regardless of your or their gender.
- You have a right to raise children, regardless of your gender.
- You have a right to access contraception, permanent birth control, and abortion as needed, regardless of your gender.
- You have a right to express any emotion that you feel, regardless of your gender.
- You have a right to dress and present yourself in any way that you desire, regardless of your gender.
- You have a right to total control over your own body and sole authority in making decisions about it.
- The state of your body should not be considered a factor in the validity of your gender. Levels of hormones or number of surgeries that you may or may not have undergone should have no influence on how your gender is viewed by others.
- You have a right to employment and fair wages, regardless of your gender.
- You have a right to housing, regardless of your gender.
- You have a right to education, regardless of your gender.
- You have a right to healthcare, regardless of your gender, including the right to vital psychological and medical services which may relate to your gender, including hormone therapy and transgender surgeries of any kind. Access to these necessary services should be unabridged.
- No one’s gender should ever be pathologized.
- You have a right to relieve yourself in public bathrooms which are safe, private, and desegregated.
- You have a right to expect that the state, if a state there must be, shall not interfere with, demand information about, or mistreat you on the basis of your gender. You should not be identified to the state or to others by information about your gender. There should be no need for gender markers on any form of legal identification.
- No organization, governmental or otherwise, has the right to demand information about your gender. Medical professionals need only know details about their patient’s anatomy, and appropriate polite forms of address to be used with their patients, including correct names, pronouns and honorifics, nothing more.
- To the legal system, if a legal system there must be, your gender should be immaterial. You should not be placed in solitary confinement based on your gender. You should not be placed in segregated facilities of any kind based on your gender. You should have a fair trial, regardless of your gender. You have a right to a jury of your peers, i.e. transgender people have a right to not be judged by cisgender people who may be viciously biased against us.
Here’s some photos I took of Stand Against Sit-Lie’s Monday action, a “sit-in” at Civic Center. The turn out could’ve been better but you couldn’t ask for a sweeter or more earnest group of people. The police presence was small, at least when I was there, and things stayed peaceful. I do hope more people get out for future actions.
First of all, I must register my amusement at the election of Governer Jerry Brown, who always smiles and never frowns, soon he will be PREZ-I-DENT! (Fun fact: I actually have been forced to meditate in school.) I am relieved, of course– Whitman would’ve been terrible, not least because then I would be posting “Material Girl” instead of “California Uber Alles.”
I am, however, extraordinarily disappointed by the passing of Prop L. I need to take this moment to say a massive FUCK YOU to San Francisco, and all the people in it who were narrow-minded and small-hearted enough to vote yes on L. Monday there is a protest at City Hall. I’m thinking about getting arrested. Hope I see you there.
On a lighter note, Victoria Kolakowski of Alameda County has just become the first transgender judge in the history of this nation. There were a lot of trans women in this election, actually. Theresa Sparks ran for supervisor here in San Francisco (and lost). And in Oaklahoma, of all places, Britney Novotny ran for the house of representatives, and also lost– but its incredibly impressive that she even had a fighting chance out there. I want to applaud the courage of all of these women for undergoing the trauma of a public campaign wherein their medical history was guaranteed to be under the crudest possible scrutiny and constantly held against them.
Yesterday at a bus stop I saw an example of that kind of ignorant scrutiny. I was waiting for the 24 in the Castro. A couple of older cis people were at the stop with me. Across the street from us was a poster of candidate Rebecca Prozan, openly queer and quite butch, who the cis folks seemed to have confused with Theresa Sparks. “Isn’t that a transgender?” “Is it a man who became a woman or a woman who became a man?” “Well if it was a man who became a woman why would he become a woman who looked like that?” On and on and on. It was almost funny. People are so entitled.
In conclusion, I have been constantly bewildered over the past week about the perfectly socially acceptable way in which sports fans can scream as if they are getting murdered. I, too, am often tempted to scream when I am having a good time, considering that my idea of a good time involves bondage and heavy beatings– but if I were to do so at home, somebody upstairs would probably call the cops. It’s just not fair. (Here I sulk.)
See you all next week for your upcoming installment of Transgression. I’ll be talking about the “It Gets Better” movement. Stay tuned.