From the May-June 2019 issue of News & Letters
March 31 saw the tenth observance worldwide of Transgender Day of Visibility/TDOV, in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s ban on Transgender people serving in the military. TDOV included art shows, stage performances, speeches calling for Trans inclusion and Trans people posting photos of themselves on social media with stories about their journeys, and expressing their pride. The day was founded to celebrate and advocate for the acceptance of Trans people and provide them with the ability to live without fear and with full human rights.
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Ricardo Rossello, Governor of Puerto Rico, signed an executive order banning so-called gay reparative conversion therapy from being administered to minors. He said he works for “Puerto Rico to be a society in which everyone, no matter who they love, can be accepted and live without fear of persecution. This includes the most vulnerable in our society, our children who must be supported and loved.” Even though Puerto Rico includes sexual orientation and gender identity in its human rights and hate crimes law, legislation banning conversion therapy for minors was blocked by Rossello’s New Progressive Party and Puerto Rico’s First Circuit Court tried—and failed—to ban same-sex marriage after it was ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Transgender man was one hour away from having his second gender-affirming surgery at Catholic-run St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Calif., when his doctor told him the surgery would not take place because bishops didn’t approve it. Fifteen minutes later, he was escorted out of the hospital, still in hospital booties. Knight has filed a lawsuit against the hospital.
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Photographer Chuck Kramer’s exhibit “FACES Out & Proud,” on tour in Chicago, Ill., is at the Uptown Cafe and Gallery through June 1. The photographs depict Chicago LGBTQ people as they live their lives. In Kramer’s words, “Each of these pictures tells the subject’s story. Sometimes it’s a love story; at other moments it’s a tale of friendship; but occasionally it’s a statement of defiance. This is Chicago’s LGBTQ community today and the photos are full of pride, excitement, and hope for the future.”