• Trans woman adopts 8 orphaned children after being abandoned herself at age five

    Manisha, a trans woman in Pakhanjur, Chhattisgarh, India, has adopted eight children – seven girls, one boy. Despite struggling to make ends meet, Manisha is determined to provide them with the loving home she herself didn't have as a child.

    From Pink News:

    "I can understand the pain of not being loved and cared for. So, whenever I come across an orphan, I take that child home with me," she told Gaon Connection.

    Manish was the target of much discrimination and bullying as a child. Even her parents would lock her indoors as to not "malign" their honor. When Manisha was five years old, her parents abandoned her. She was taken in by another trans woman, and now shares her motherly love with her children.

    "My mother and father abandoned me at a very young age," she said. "I had a tough childhood and I spent many days without food. I vowed to myself that when I grew up, I would take care of other children who did not have a family."

    "I never had my mother's love, or my father's. I don't remember getting any affection from them," she told Brut.

    "There are kids like this abandoned, kicked out of their homes. Some talk about killing their child. The way I have been hurt, if I see an orphan or a child that has been abandoned, I will be a mother for them and raise them."

    Manisha earns a living by singing and dancing at weddings and births, a traditional occupation for trans people in Indian culture. Her ultimate goal is to open an orphanage of her own and offer love, care, and safety to children who would otherwise be abandoned.

  • Dutch couples celebrate 20th anniversary of world's first same-sex marriages

    Shortly after midnight on April 1, 2001, Gert Kasteel and Dolf Pasker were among the first legally-recognized same-sex couple to wed in the Netherlands. Along with 2 other male couples and one female couple, they were married by the mayor of Amsterdam.

    "It's nicer to say to other people 'he's my husband, he's my man,'" said Dolf, sitting next to Gert as they flipped through an album of photos and newspaper clippings of the wedding, which made headlines worldwide. "It has helped me to accept myself."

    via NBC News

    All four couples have withstood the test of time, save one, Frank Witterbrood, who passed away from a heart attack at the age of 55 in 2011.

    "People told me that the Netherlands would be the first and the last country (to pass same-sex marriages), the rest of the world won't follow you," said Henk Krol, a lawmaker who supported the bill when it passed the Dutch parliament in 2000.

    "Almost 30 countries in the world followed the Dutch example," he said.

    Other countries, including most of the EU, Britian, Australia, South Africa, the United States, and Mexico, are among the 29 nations that have legalized same-sex marriage since those first in 2001.

    "I'm very proud that it's possible," said Gert, who before he could complete his sentence had Dolf jump in and finish it: "that we could play a little part of it. We made history."

  • Tucker Carlson forgets straight people can still have children

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed on April 7 that transgender people are "a challenge to the perpetuation of the species" when a guest claimed there was a staggering "20,000 percent increase" in the transgender population.

    "It's hard to think of anything more profound than that," Carlson said on Fox Nation's Tucker Carlson Today.

    via LGBTQ Nation

    While speaking with Kentucky State University pol-sci professor Wilfred Reilly (who has written a book called Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War), Reilly made some eyebrow-furrowing claims.

    "The percentage of people that identified as transgender, traditionally, was about 0.01%, which would be one in 10,000," he said, not citing a source.

    "It's now two percent or a little more, which is one person in fifty," he said. He was referring to a 2019 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of high school students where 1.8 percent of respondents said they were transgender.

    "You've seen it go from this to, again, not too far under five percent of all kids," Reilly said, the number inexplicably increasing again.

    "Is society self-sustaining?" he asked. "If 30 percent of men simply aren't willing or able to sleep with women, if another two or three percent of in particular young women want to modify their bodies so they cannot in many or most cases have children."

    "I mean, that's something that's an issue almost at the structural level. And you might ask, 'Why is that going on?'"

    via LGBTQ Nation

    Reilly's point is eerily similar to one made by Republican Albany County Legislator George E. Langdon IV, who claimed that if everyone were gay, people would stop having children:

    "When you have homosexual relationships, it's not perpetual. Give them an island, they'll be gone after 40 years, OK? Because they can't — God created us to be this way," he said. "There's so much common sense that needs to be applied to our policies, our procedures, the things that we do in our government."

    George Langdon resigned this week.

  • West Virginia approves anti-trans sports bill

    West Virginia's Republican-led senate approved House Bill 3293 on Thursday afternoon with vote a of 18-15. Much like legislation passed in South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee, this bill prohibits transgender women and girls from competing in college and secondary sports teams. The bill now heads to the House where, if passed, it will continue to Republican Governor Jim Justice for consideration.

    "It is (in) the best interest of the state to protect women and girls and protect the opportunity for them to participate in sports. Supporting this is simply doing that," Republican state Sen. Patricia Rucker said just before the chamber approved the measure. She did not address the fact that the bill limits the opportunities for trans girls and women in the state.

    HB 3293 states that secondary and college sports teams in the state must be designated based on "biological sex," and that "athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex where selection for such teams is based upon competitive skill or the activity involved is a contact sport."

    "Biological sex" is a term the lawmakers use to refer to the sex determined at the time of a student's birth.

    via CNN

    The language of this bill has been called "overly simplistic and misleading" by CNN, as "biological sex" is determined by factors including genetics, hormones, and anatomy, and even these factors are naturally variable.

    Opponents of the bill call it discriminatory and harmful, while the Republican House Education Chairman Joe Ellington advocated for its passage using transphobic language, claiming transgender athletes would be more likely to injure their teammates and competitors.

    "An individual that may have different characteristics that makes their abilities stronger or physically stronger or their habitus is different, maybe that might affect injury to other participating students in the same sport," he said.

    via CNN

    According to the American Civil Liberties Union's anti-trans bill tracker, at least 30 other states have introduced similar bans this year.

    LGBTQ groups, along with some of West Virginia's Democratic Senators and Delegates, have opposed the bill, calling it cruel, discriminatory, mean-spirited, and narrow-minded.

    The Human Rights Campaign stated that "West Virginia's legislature is pushing harmful legislation that would discriminate against transgender kids who simply want to play sports with their friends."

    "Bills like this are based in fear, not facts, science, or medicine, and they are targeting and excluding transgender kids at a critical time in their lives, making them more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and dysphoria," Ryan Wilson, HRC's regional campaign director, said in a statement.

    via CNN

  • Kristal Larson becomes first transgender person elected to nonjudicial office in Illinois

    Kristal Larson declared victory in her race for Avon Township clerk. She will be the first transgender person elected to a nonjudicial office, as well as the second openly transgender person elected in the state. Despite the win being historic, Larson commented that her gender identity was a "footnote" compared to the rest of her campaign.

    "We've been working to bring some sanity to Avon Township for a very long time," she said. "This was about the people of Avon, and not about me."

    via Chicago Tribune

    Larson found herself at the center of some expected, but disappointing, controversy due to a political flyer.

    …a flyer went out that "deadnamed" her. Deadnaming is when somebody uses the name by which a transgender person was identified before they transitioned or came out, either accidentally or intentionally disregarding their new name.

    The flyer, which made reference to her previous name, and made a series of statements about Larson and her history, was mailed out to homes in the community by Wilke's Avon Community Engaged political organization.

    via Chicago Tribune

    Larson was furious when the news broke, stating that Wilke was aware of her name.

    "He's been there for the entire journey. There's no way he didn't know what my legal name was," she said. "He should have known better."

    via Chicago Tribune

    Due to the controversy, Terry Wilke resigned from his role in the committee, offering to sponser "Safe Zone training" in a letter to board members.

    "It is important to me that Lake County remains welcoming and inclusive space for all people, especially the LGBTQ+ community," the letter said.

    "I was not aware of (deadnaming) being a thing, or being offensive in any way," he said.

    via Chicago Tribune

  • Germany bans surgery on intersex infants

    Last month, German lawmakers voted to ban unnecessary surgeries on babies born with intersex characteristics. The legislation was officially adopted on March 25. While it makes Germany only the third country to end these unnecessary procedures, intersex rights organizations like the  Organisation Intersex International (OII) GermanyOII Europe, and Intergeschlechtliche Menschen want more.

    From them.:

     …it limits protection to children who are diagnosed with an established "disorder of sex development," a diagnosis which, if changed, could leave children no longer included under the definition of that term unprotected.

    About 1.7% of children are designated intersex at birth, an umbrella category which can include variations in chromosomes, gonads, hormones, and other sex characteristics that do not fit the typical medical establishment's definitions of "male" or "female."

    Between 2005 and 2016, 1,871 children under the age of 10 were given "feminizing" or "masculinizing" surgery in Germany, according to the University of Bochum. These types of surgical interventions are often cosmetic and considered medically unnecessary by doctors. Most of these procedures are performed on infants who are too young to give consent, as intersex activists have pointed out.

    Advocates from the World Health Organization and the  American Academy of Family Physicians have argued against these surgeries in the past, citing the potential for long term negative psychological side effects, including higher rates of suicide, depression, and anxiety among those reassigned at birth.

    Between 2005 and 2016, 1,871 children under the age of 10 were given "feminizing" or "masculinizing" surgery in Germany, according to the University of Bochum. These types of surgical interventions are often cosmetic and considered medically unnecessary by doctors. Most of these procedures are performed on infants who are too young to give consent, as intersex activists have pointed out.

    The new legislation is a massive step in the right direction, but there is still concern that doctors and parents could work around the law by operating on children who don't have a formal intersex diagnosis.

    "We're very happy that there is finally a law about this, but the ban has loopholes and leaves many questions unanswered," Charlotte Wunn, head of Intergeschlechtliche Menschen, told Reuters.

    Similar legislation has been introduced in Spain's parliment, and several US states have proposed a handful as well, including Senator Scott Wiener of California and lawmakers in New York City.

  • Nauseating literary descriptions of women by authors you know and love

    With more than 456,000 memebers, r/menwritingwomen contains some of the most hilarious, rage-inducing, stomach-churning descriptions of women's bodies ever put to paper. From Joss Whedon's rejected Wonder Woman script to Issac Asimov's "From the Stars" to excerpts from "nice guy" Tinder profiles and beyond, r/menwritingwomen has plenty of ways to paint grotesque pictures of generous breasts, quivering uteri, and winking nipples right onto your brain.

    posted by u/jbeldham

    Breasts, of course, are a favorite topic of discussion and disillusionment.

    posted by u/kat_stratford

    Underaged characters can't escape the sweaty, grimy pens of authors and their characters, either.

    posted by u/Suspicious_Pay7686

    And of course, a woman can't help but have her loins stirred by the glance of a handsome man.

    While most of the subreddit is dedicated to some of the most upsetting mistakes in writing by (mostly) male authors, there are also days and tags set aside for female writers, satire, and positivity. Much like its sister subs, r/mendrawingwomen, r/badwomensanatomy, r/NotHowGirlsWork, and r/whitepeoplewritingPOC is a place to simultaneously enjoy, mock, and rage about how people can be so terribly, awfully bad at understanding and describing one another (as well as wondering whose idea it was to allow anyone to be so bad at basic human anatomy).

  • North Carolina Republicans want to deny care to transgender youth

    Republican leaders in North Carolina have introduced Senate Bill 514. If passed, this Bill would ban people under the age of 21 from receiving medical care vital to their transition. While this is shocking enough, it would also require state employees to out LGBTQ children to their parents.

    From Intelligencer:

    If a child displays "symptoms of gender dysphoria, gender nonconformity, or otherwise demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner incongruent with the minor's sex," they must notify the child's parents or guardians, the legislation mandates.

    Similar to bills introduced in other states (Arkansas's House Bill 1570, South Dakota House Bill 1076), North Carolina's bill is devious in that it allows (read: requires) state employees to seek out and assume the potential for transgender or otherwise queer behavior in children. If a child displays any sort of "gender nonconformity", they are to out that child to their parent or legal guardian.

    For legislators like Ralph Hise, the bill's lead co-sponsor, anti-trans hysteria is a way to signal membership in the Republican Party's furthest-right wing. It's also a little ironic, in a way that's almost become trite. The party that complains most about the cancellation of its members is more than happy to visit similar or worse fates upon others. Hypocrisy, however, is too narrow a frame for comprehending the motives of Hise and his two co-sponsors. They consider the law a weapon. It exists for their own use: to defend their power, both in a political and cultural sense, and to attack apparent threats. A trans child might not seem like an obvious threat, not to most of us. To social conservatives, however, a trans child in search of medical care represents a future they do not want. The bill might not become law, but they've pressed the attack, and to them, the attack is all that matters.

  • Virginia bans gay and trans "panic" defense in murder and manslaughter cases

    Virginia has become the first southern state (and the first state in 2021) to ban the gay and trans panic defense in cases involving the assault and/or murder of LGBTQ+ people. In the past, this defense was used to barter for lesser charges and reduced sentences.

    The legal defense has allowed individuals accused of murder or manslaughter to argue that the victim's gender identity or sexual orientation was what provoked them to commit the crime. The legislation was introduced by Virginia House Delegate Danica Roem, who in 2017 became the first transgender lawmaker elected to a state legislature.

    Democracy Now
  • Study finds young people would support transgender friends

    A survey conducted by Just Like Us, a UK-based LGBTQ youth charity, found that most young people would support their close friends if they came out as transgender. The survey included children aged 11 to 18 years old across 375 schools and colleges. They released their findings on the Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31.

    Of the 2,934 students surveyed, 1,140 (nearly 39% of the group) identified as LGBTQ. In total, 84% said they would be supportive of a close friend who came out as transgender. Of the LGBTQ students, 96% said they would be supportive, while only 76% of non-LGBTQ students shared the same sentiment. Along with these statistics, only 76% of students thought that their teachers would be supportive of them or their friends. 57% of respondents also noted that they already know a friend or peer who is trans.

    A few of the students backed up their positions:

    A respondent that identified as lesbian responded, "I've seen previous friends dealing with transphobia and now want to support others so the same thing doesn't happen as much."

    "Being transgender isn't really a choice," one straight respondent stated. "If we are close friends then we are close friends for a reason and them being trans wouldn't change that. It would have no negative impact on my life so there is no reason for me to not be as supportive as possible and make them feel comfortable."

    Another student who doesn't identify as LGBTQ stated, "I don't think it really makes a difference — they're still the same as they were before, just more honest."

    Chief executive of Just Like Us, Dominic Arnall, said:

    "The last few years have shown an increase in tensions and hostility towards trans people – particularly trans young people. This research shows that thankfully, for the most part, the majority of young people are supportive of their trans peers…secondary school age young people are clearly incredibly supportive of trans people and would have no problem with a friend coming out as trans. We hope that this is positive motivation for parents, schools and the media at large to embrace trans and all LGBT+ young people and accept them for who they are."

    via LGBTQ Nation
  • Nebraska Supreme Court grants adoption to same-sex couple

    Reversing a lower-court decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that a lesbian couple can adopt a 3-year-old child who has lived with them since birth.

    From NBC:

    In July 2020, Dixon County Judge Douglas Luebe said that he had no jurisdiction to grant an adoption to the couple — identified by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska as K.H. and M.V., who asked to keep their names anonymous — because they were listed in their petition as "wife and wife," according to the Nebraska Supreme Court. In his order, Luebe referred to a version of Black's Law Dictionary that defined "wife" as "a woman who has a lawful living husband."

    On Friday, the Nebraska high court rejected Luebe's reasoning, maintaining that state adoption laws allow any married couple to adopt, provided both partners were listed on the adoption application.

    The only stipulation in Justice William B. Cassel's decision regarding adoption law is that "…if the person had 'a husband or wife,' the husband or wife had to join in the petition."

    The couple sought the adoption of the child after the biological mother had already relinquished her parental rights, and the biological father had not sought any form of custody.

    The couple's attorney, Matthew Munderloh, stated in his opening arguments that the couple had filled out all consent and relinquishment forms, as well as completed home study and background checks. In other words, they had proved themselves to be fit parents in a fit household. Munderloh also added that "the Constitution and Obergefell v. Hodges and its progeny require an interpretation that would allow the adoption to proceed."

    LGBTQIA+ legal and policy counsel for the ACLU of Nebraska, Sara Rips, also joined K.H. and M.V.'s appeal, and was surprised and pleased that "They heard oral arguments on March 4 and issued an opinion on March 26 — which is unheard of… Normally you expect two to three months."

    Rip also stated that the accumulation of these kinds of decisions would help strengthen nationwide understanding that marriage equality extends beyond the right to be legally married:

    "They build on top of each other — when you win cases like this, you make it more clear LGBTQ rights are not a passing fad," Rips said. "The more time that passes, the more cases that build up an institution, the more support you have that institution is not going away. You build that foundation brick by brick, case by case."

    Dixon County Judge Douglas Luebe did not respond to requests for comment, but a spokesperson for Nebraska Supreme Court told NBC:

    Nebraska judges are prohibited from commenting on specific cases.

  • Arkansas Republicans override governor's veto of anti-trans bill

    The Arkansas House and Senate overrode Governor Asa Hutchinson's veto of House Bill 1570 on Tuesday. The bill, one of 192 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in the US, is the first of its kind to become law. Its main purpose is to deny transgender youth the necessary, gender-affirming services to help them transition, including hormone treatment, puberty blockers, and gender-affirming surgery. It also prohibits doctors from referring them to other, outside providers for their treatment.

    From Los Angeles Blade:

    "Despite opposition from even their own anti-LGBTQ governor, Arkansas legislators have denied transgender children access to medically-necessary and age-appropriate health care," said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David.

    "This is the first law of its kind anywhere in the country, and it is immeasurably cruel to the transgender children who already suffer from higher risks of anxiety, depression, body dysphoria, and suicidal ideation and for whom those risks will only increase without medical care. This broadly unpopular bill is anti-science and dismisses the medical expertise of a wide range of child welfare advocates, " he said.

    "Arkansas legislators, against the will of Governor Hutchinson, are not only inviting irreparable harm to their state's transgender youth, but also economic and reputational consequences to all Arkansans," David added.

    While the law is set to take effect in late July, the ACLU has stated that it plans to challenge the bill before that time.

    "This discriminatory bill, peddled by national anti-equality extremists is a cruel and shameful way for legislators to score political points by targeting transgender youth who are simply trying to navigate their adolescense,"said HRC Arkansas State Manager Eric Reece.

    "Transgender youth deserve to be included and accepted, especially as we see an uptick in fatal violence against transgender people across the country. We need to end this epidemic and ensure that all transgender Arkansans have access to the life-saving, gender affirming medical care they need."

  • Reactionary meme characters are now gay and in love

    Have you spent a worrisome amount of time reading r/PublicFreakout, r/IdiotsInCars or other archives of public misfortune? Perhaps you need a break from schadenfreude. Perhaps you should visit r/GatekeepingYuri.

    Remember Virgin vs. Chad, as emerged from 4Chan back in 2016? They're boyfriends now. 

    That "De-Bimbofication" piece that's made the rounds since 2017? They're all in the same book club now.

    Original art by @nomsikka

    All those "Men in 19xx vs Men Now – What Went Wrong?!" memes you see plastered on your conservative friend's cousin's Facebook page? Those men are trading fashion tips, and they both look amazing (and they're in love). 

    Original art by Klara_kalamara

    Originally created as an antithesis for subs like r/NotLikeOtherGirls (and r/NotLikeOtherCats and r/NotLikeOtherGuys), r/GatekeepingYuri takes purposefully divisive meme formats and turns them into something a little more wholesome and (in most cases) gay. 

    While the sub isn't always great at crediting the artists of some of these pieces, a bit of Googling can find you a Twitter handle or two, and if you have your own commission in mind, there's a slew of Reddit users chomping at the bit to fill your requests.