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Content about Identity

March 19, 2015

'I would stand under the water in the shower crying'

At only 13, articulate Tom Sosnik has all the makings of a future TED speaker.

After reading the suicide note of Leelah Alcorn in December, the Californian teen decided to 'embrace his truth.'

And Sosnik came out as transgender in a powerful speech at his school.

'I am no longer Mia. I never really was,' he said.

'And now I finally stand before you in my true and authentic gender identity as Tom. I stand before you as a 13-year-old boy.'

Sosnik recalled how he struggled with his gender identity throughout sixth grade.

March 17, 2015

A 14-year-old helps debunk myths around being transgender: 'Gender is who you are, like your soul.'

It's the question every out teen dreads: 'Are you sure you're actually transgender?'

At best, it solicits an eye-roll and a well-rehearsed answer; at worst, further months of self-doubt and stress.

March 11, 2015

Republican Rep Gilbert Pena, in office less than two months, wants schools fined $2,000 for any violations

Gilbert Pena began his first term in the Texas House of Representatives less than two months ago and is quickly targeting transgender students with a new bill.

Pena on Tuesday (10 March) introduced  HB 2801 which seeks to ban trans students from using school restrooms that reflect their gender identity.

March 11, 2015

Planet Fitness says she violated its 'no-judgement policy'

A Planet Fitness in Michigan has canceled the membership of a woman who complained to gym-goers about a transgender woman she saw in the locker room.

Yvette Cormier, 48, said she was 'stunned and shocked' and complained to the front desk and corporate offices on Saturday 28 February.

'They told me the same thing, that he was allowed in there because that's the sex he wants to be,' she told WNEM.

March 5, 2015

Buddhist monks are not allowed any physical contact with the opposite sex

A photo of a monk touching a topless woman's breasts has sparked outrage in Thailand after the image went viral in the Buddhist-majority country.

Monks take a vow of celibacy and are not allowed any physical contact with the opposite sex.

But the story took an unexpected twist Sunday (1 March) when the woman in the photo, only identified as Thanradaporn, told the Morning News TV show that she was a pre-op transgender woman.

February 27, 2015

The film is the true tale of one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery – and what happened to her

The first picture of Eddie Redmayne playing transgender pioneer Lili Elbe has been unveiled. 

Redmayne, who just won an Oscar for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, will play Elbe in forthcoming drama, The Danish Girl. 

The film, set in the 1920s, tells the story of a painter named Wegener, who was persuaded by her wife, also a painter, to pose in women's clothing for her. 

This opened up a whole new world for Wegener, who later began her male-to-female transition and changed her name to Lili Elbe. 

February 20, 2015

See the full image inside

Transgender model Aydian Dowling has recreated Adam Levine's iconic nude photo for FTM magazine.

The magazine’s publisher, Jason Robert Ballard, said he saw similarities between Dowling's and Levine's physiques and set out to recreate the image.

'Some areas of my body used to remind me of everything I’m not. Now they represent everything I am,' Dowling said.

He is the owner of Point 5cc Clothing, an artist, motivational speaker and advocate for trans rights, and the cover model for the April edition of FTM Magazine.

February 19, 2015

London playwright Dan Murphy draws on his hometown of Romford to tackle some big themes with his bold debut production.

The satellite town of Romford is where Dan Murphy grew up, and it is also the setting for his debut play A Local Boy.

For his debut work, Murphy has presented a play about identity, relationships, and the anger that smoulders when we feel like we don't belong.

February 19, 2015

Head of the Catholic Church claims those who transition are opposing 'God's order of creation'

Pope Francis has appeared to compare trans and genderqueer people to nuclear weapons, saying both do not 'recognize the order of creation'.

The head of the Catholic Church has claimed people who 'manipulate' their bodies are similar to 'Herods' that 'destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation.'

The comments were made in a new book published in Italy, Pope Francis: This Economy Kills, calling on Christians to safeguard God's order of creation.

February 16, 2015

Ohio father claimed his child had joined a 'cult', believed to be a reference to the trans or Pagan community

A 22-year-old, believed to be a trans woman, is alleged to have been stabbed to death by her father on Friday night (13 February).

Bri Golec, an artist and drummer from Akron, Ohio, is the seventh known trans person to murdered this year.

The Golec family say Bri was actually Brian, a man, and was not trans. (Note, our policy is not to use previous names for trans people but in respect for the grieving family's wishes and the fact the identity can not be confirmed beyond all doubt, we are including this reference.)

February 10, 2015

Heidi Klum hosted show has never had a trans woman compete before

Germany's Next Top Model's next cycle will feature a transgender model.

Pari, a 25-year-old from Berlin is the first trans contestant on German reality TV television and will take to the runway under the watchful eyes of model Heidi Klum and the judging panel.

Born to Iranian parents, Pari grew up in the Netherlands but is now living in Germany.

Her boyfriend has always been supportive and reacted more than positively to Pari coming out as transgender.

February 6, 2015

'This community should be treated as any other human being'

Nepal's minister for information and communication has said the government is ready to amend discriminatory legal provisions against sexual minorities.

Speaking on Wednesday (4 Febuary) at the first day of a three-day South Asian transgender and hijra consultation in Kathmandu, Minendra Rijal said the government had started the process by issuing passports with a third gender.

February 4, 2015

Categories of 'male' and 'female' are no longer that important to people under 34

Young people are more likely to believe gender exists on a spectrum, according to a new study.

1,000 of Americans aged 18 to 34 were surveyed on gender, with half believing the binary categories of male and female are too limiting.

They were asked: ‘Some countries, including India, recognize a gender that is neither male nor female. Which more closely aligns with your view?’

January 30, 2015

Lawmakers side with religious freedom supporters

Idaho Republicans have effectively killed a bill that seeks to add 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' to the state's anti-discrimination law, after more than 20 hours of emotional testimony from LGBTI residents.

The Republican-led House State Affairs Committee voted 13 to 4 to hold the 'Add the Words' bill in committee. Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

Republican lawmakers said they feared the measure would lead to lawsuits against those who refused services to LGBTI people because of their religious beliefs. 

January 30, 2015

But will this Material Girl hang up the pink leotard?

'My name is Adam, and I am addicted to being Madonna.'

Meet Adam Guerra, a Californian drag queen who is obsessed with expressing himself as the Material Girl and subject of the latest TLC documentary 'My Strange Addiction'.

If you think you know him, you might know him as Venus D'Lite from season 3 of RuPaul's Drag Race. Eliminated first, he didn't even get to do Madonna in Snatch Game.

'I really challenge myself to look like her. I have had over 18 surgeries, I've spent $75,000 to look like Madonna,' he says, saying half of his face is fake.

January 28, 2015

US radio host says he feels bad but at least he got some press

British crooner Sam Smith has taken to social media to respond to Howard Stern's comment that he was 'fat,' 'ugly' and 'effeminate.'

The US radio host Saturday (24 January) called the openly gay singer 'an ugly motherfucker.'

'He’s fat. And I love it. You know what, he looks gay to me. Not that anybody looks gay but he does seem effeminate,' he said.

January 22, 2015

Researchers behind one of 2015's biggest new podcasts Invisibilia will edit future broadcasts of the episode

A trans woman has pushed NPR to edit an 'offensive' podcast about her.

Paige Abendroth, who lives in California, is a subject of one of the 2015's biggest podcasts so far Invisibilia.

Her story, an exploration of how the gender line is far more blurrier than we might first think, was previewed on Radiolab.

January 20, 2015

Supreme Court rules in favor of two non-operative transgender women

Transgender Israelis are no longer required to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to change the gender designation on their ID cards.

The change comes after the Supreme Court ordered the ministry of interior to legally change the gender of two transgender citizens from male to female, Haaretz newspaper reported.

A petition was filed at the court by a lawyer and an ex-soldier who started transitioning during her compulsory military service.

January 17, 2015

Celebrities and campaigners criticize the US magazine, which photoshopped Jenner to appear as a woman, as ‘shockingly insensitive’ 

For a magazine named InTouch, its latest cover seems extremely out of touch.

The current issue of US celebrity gossip magazine InTouch has a photoshopped version of Bruce Jenner on the cover.

Jenner, former gold Olympic medallist but best known as the stepfather of US socialite Kim Kardashian, appears on the cover with lipstick and in women’s clothing. The headline reads: ‘Bruce’s Story: My life as a woman.’

January 8, 2015

Activists say recognition on travel documents will help tackle discrimination

Nepal yesterday (7 January) announced plans to add a third gender category to passports, following a 2007 Supreme Court ruling recognizing third gender.

'We have changed the passport regulations and will add a third category of gender for those people who do not want to be identified as male or female,' Lok Bahadur Thapa, chief of the government’s passport department, told Reuters.

January 7, 2015

Raiden Quinn: 'I wish that even though her parents weren't accepting, I wish they hadn't cut her off from getting help'

Raiden Quinn was one of the few people who knew something about the pain and isolation Leelah Alcorn was experiencing before the transgender Ohio teen committed suicide last week.

January 2, 2015

Transgender teen posted two heartbreaking notes on account before commiting suicide

The erasure of every trace of Leelah Alcorn's short life online continued today with the apparent removal, from Tumblr, of her 'satan's wifey' account.

It was from here, earlier this week, that the Ohio teen posted two notes shortly before her death, claiming that her parents' refusal to accept that she was transgender made it impossible for her to continue to live. 

January 2, 2015

Carla Alcorn has given an interview in which she discusses her daughter’s suicide: ‘People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy’

The mother of Leelah Alcorn has given an interview to CNN in which she talks about Leelah’s death, her online suicide note, and some of the condemnation that she and her husband, Doug, have received.

December 18, 2014

The first lady of Irish drag Panti Bliss, also known as Rory O'Neil, on her life in travel – from camping with cowboys at the Grand Canyon to interrogation by a 'giant man-child' on the Mongolian border...

Do you typically take lots of luggage when you go away for all of your fabulous outfits?
Being a travelling drag queen means you are packing for two people and one of those people likes big hair, big dresses, big jewellery, shoes the size of boats, and enough makeup to warrant it's own pack mule. Thankfully a teenage addiction to Tetris has equipped me with excellent packing skills.

Have you ever experienced homophobia abroad?
Thankfully nothing very serious, but I've been called a faggot in a few different languages!