Queer Notes: January-February 2017

From the January-February 2017 issue of News & Letters

by Elise

In January, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe enacted Executive Order 61, which bans state services and contractors from discriminating on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. But then far-right Delegate Robert Marshall introduced a bill similar to HR2, North Carolina’s infamous anti-Transgender bathroom restriction bill. If the Virginia bill passes, Transgender people will have to use public and school bathrooms according to the gender on their birth certificates instead of, correctly, according to their gender identity. School officials must also report children asking to be treated as gender-nonconforming to their parents or guardians, even if they are closeted to them.

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A Transgender boy was kicked out of Cub Scout Pack 87 in New Jersey because some parents complained, although none of the Cub Scouts had objected. Boy Scout officials said that his ouster did not technically violate their belated, reluctantly adopted policy of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation. But this might spark a debate on inclusion.

Ghost Ship warehouse burning. Photo: Wikipedia

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Friends and family of the victims of a fire at an Oakland, Calif., warehouse (see”The Ghost Ship fire,” p. 11) held a candlelight vigil on Dec. 5. They were remembering those who died, including Transgender people, and were protesting that the police had been disrespectfully using gender pronouns and names of the Trans victims according to their legal documents rather than referring to the dead by the correct gender pronouns and names they had chosen in life.

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