Category: LGBTQIA

Danica Roem? Transgender Virginia Candidate Running For Office

A different kind of glass ceiling could be broken this Election Day by a Democrat aiming to become Virginia’s first transgender office-holder — and the first openly transgender person elected to any state legislature.

Danica Roem, 32, is running for a delegate seat in the Virginia state legislature to represent a district that favored Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election by 5 percent. She holds a coveted endorsement from former Vice President Joe Biden in an effort by national Democratic leaders to end the 16-year GOP reign in the Virginia state chamber.

Roem told Cosmopolitan that she’s not running to directly oppose President Donald Trump — after all, the state Democratic Party asked her to run for office before Trump even won the White House — but she understands the importance of her voice in Trump’s America.

As Trump pushed anti-LGBT policies like a ban on transgender people serving in the military, Roem used her voice — and fundraised based on the discriminatory rhetoric from the White House. “For our president, who opted out of serving in the military, to attack transgender people for being unfit to serve… is the height of hypocrisy,” Roem told The Washington Post. “Transgender military members… have done more to serve and protect their country than Donald Trump ever will.”

Roem has campaigned on infrastructure fixes, economic development, marginally raising the state’s minimum wage, sweeping school funding reform and civil rights issues. She called the civil rights issues a way to “improve [the] quality of life” of people in Virginia.

She hopes to unseat Robert Marshall, a Republican who sponsored Virginia’s transgender bathroom bill and a ban on gay people serving in the Virginia National Guard. His campaign website highlights his authorship of an anti-gay marriage amendment, which was struck down by a federal judge. He also opposed protection for LGBT people in the state, saying there is no evidence that it’s needed in Virginia.

“Success of the GLBT agenda in recent years has largely depended on identifying the homosexual movement as a modern version of the Civil Right struggle,” Marshall said on his campaign website. “This is, of course, nonsense.”

The polls in Virginia close 7 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday.

Trans sex worker murdered in the Netherlands 

A transgender woman killed in a home in Arnhem on Friday worked as a prostitute and was almost certainly killed by the first customer she had in Arnhem, De Gelderlander reports based on its own research. According to the newspaper, the victim was stabbed to death.
The transgender woman from Venezuela, who worked under the name Bianca, worked as a prostitute in Rotterdam. She came to Arnhem because she heard there was enough work in the city, according to the newspaper. She sublet a space in a home on Van Oldenbarnevedtstraat, arriving late on Thursday night. Her first customer made an appointment at the home for 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning. 

What happened then is not completely clear. What is clear is that the woman was killed in the home between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. on Friday morning. The woman who found the body told the newspaper that there were blood smears on the walls. Five plastic bags and a suitcase were found in an alley behind the home – these too were covered in blood. They contained jewelry, a cellphone, an iPad and blood covered clothing and cloths. It is believed that the perpetrator left them behind during his flight. He also left bloody footprints for dozens of meters in the neighborhood, according to the newspaper. 

According to the Gelderlander, Bianca advertised her services on several websites. “I’m brunette and naturally have long hair, attractive lips and smooth skin”, she described herself on the sites. She also wrote that she is always alone. On the websites she said she was 22-years-old. Though colleagues told the newspaper she is actually 27, and the police put her age at 32. 

U.S. votes against U.N. resolution that condemns death penalty for LGTBQI community 

The U.S. voted against a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution that condemns the death penalty for those found guilty of committing consensual same-sex sexual acts.
The resolution introduced by Belgium, Benin, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia and Switzerland passed by a 27-13 vote margin.

Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined the U.S. in opposing the measure. 


The resolution specifically condemns “the imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations” and expresses “serious concern that the application of the death penalty for adultery is disproportionately imposed on women.” It also notes “poor and economically vulnerable persons and foreign nationals are disproportionately subjected to the death penalty, that laws carrying the death penalty are used against persons exercising their rights to freedom of expression, thought, conscience, religion, and peaceful assembly and association, and that persons belonging to religious or ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented among those sentenced to the death penalty.”
“It is unconscionable to think that there are hundreds of millions of people living in States where somebody may be executed simply because of whom they love” Renato Sabbadini, executive director of The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), said in a statement. “This is a monumental moment where the international community has publicly highlighted that these horrific laws simply must end.”

ILGA, a federation of more than 1,200 member organizations from 132 countries committed to equal human rights for LGBTQI people that enjoys consultative status at the United Nations, called the resolution a “historic first.” The group produced a recent report and map that detail sexual orientation laws around the world.

The resolution asked countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure that it is not “applied arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner.”

Currently, there are six countries (eight if parts of Syria and Iraq occupied by Isis are included) where the death penalty is implemented for same-sex relations. (Penalty applies country-wide in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen, and in certain provinces in Nigeria and Somalia.)

An ILGA in a press release noted Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia sought to amend the resolution and “dilute its impact.” These amendments failed, even though the U.S. supported two of them from Russia that stated the death penalty “does not per se mean a (human rights) violation, but may lead to . . . (human rights) violations” and “in some cases the (death penalty) leads to torture, rather than that many states hold that the (death penalty) is a form of torture.”
The U.S. also backed a proposed amendment from Egypt that stated “a moratorium (on the death penalty) should be a decision after domestic debate.” The U.S. abstained from voting on a proposed amendment from Saudi Arabia that said countries have the right to “develop their own laws and penalties (in accordance with international law.)”

A Transgender Teen Was Murdered and Burned. It’s Not Considered a Hate Crime

(HOUSTON, Mo.) — Some of Ally Lee Steinfeld’s burned remains were found in a bag in a rural southern Missouri chicken coop. Authorities say both of the transgender teen’s eyes had been gouged out and she had been stabbed in the genitals.

As questions swirl about why the quiet 17-year-old was killed in such a ghastly manner, authorities aren’t saying what led to the killing. But they dismiss the possibility the death was a hate crime.

Authorities identified the remains as those of Joseph Matthew Steinfeld Jr. — Ally Lee Steinfeld’s birth name. They were found last week in the town of Cabool, near the mobile home of one of the alleged killers, 24-year-old Briana Calderas, with whom Steinfeld was living.

Calderas and two 18-year-olds, Andrew Vrba and Isis Schauer, are charged with first-degree murder and other counts. A fourth suspect is charged with abandonment of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Both Sheriff James Sigman and prosecutor Parke Stevens Jr. insist the crime was not motivated by Steinfeld’s gender identity.

“I would say murder in the first-degree is all that matters,” Stevens said. “That is a hate crime in itself.”

Yet the killing has drawn the attention of transgender advocates and others across the U.S. who believe Steinfeld was targeted for her gender identity, despite what the Texas County sheriff and prosecutor say.

“This violence, often motivated by hatred, must come to an end,” said Chris Sgro, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, who said Steinfeld was the 21st transgender person killed this year in the U.S. “We will continue to mourn Ally and fight back against transphobia and anti-trans violence.”

Steinfeld had been missing for weeks, and initial news reports referred to her as a male, in part because missing-person posters distributed by the family used Steinfeld’s birth name, as did police documents.

Steinfeld’s mother, Amber Steinfeld, still refers to her child as Joey, but said the teen identified as female to family and to friends on social media. She said her child was “loving and kind-hearted.”

Steinfeld was engaged to a woman until they broke up in August, Amber Steinfeld said, and soon after began dating Calderas. She said Steinfeld and the two 18-year-old suspects were all living at Calderas’ mobile home. She said Steinfeld was upbeat before she disappeared, telling relatives that she loved them and was happy.

Steinfeld grew up mostly in House Springs, Missouri, near St. Louis, Amber Steinfeld said. The family moved briefly to Florida, then to Texas County, an area of rugged hills in southern Missouri.

Steinfeld dropped out of high school upon turning 17, Amber Steinfeld said. At about the same time, the rest of the family moved back to House Springs, but Steinfeld stayed in Houston, Missouri, living with different friends.

In May, Steinfeld posted on Instagram that she was coming out and was “mtf,” or male-to-female. In a posting on June 13, Steinfeld referred to herself as “Trans male to female and I am mostly lesbian but pansexual.” In another that same day she wrote, “I am proud to be me I am proud to be trans I am beautiful I don’t care what people think.”

Vrba told investigators he initially tried to poison Steinfeld, then described how he stabbed Steinfeld in the living room of Calderas’ mobile home, Deputy Rowdy Douglas wrote in a probable cause statement. The female suspects said Vrba bragged to them about how he gouged Steinfeld’s eyes and stabbed Steinfeld in the genitals, Douglas wrote. The probable cause statement does not offer any motive.

Authorities say the three suspects burned Steinfeld’s body, placed some of the bones into a garbage bag and put the bag in the chicken coop. Calderas admitted helping burn the body and led authorities to the knife used in the killing, Douglas wrote.

An attorney for the three suspects, Michael Jacobs, said Tuesday that it was too early to comment.

Linda Camara, 61, a friend of Steinfeld’s family, was struck by the gruesome nature of the killing.

“People kill each other, which is bad, but to do it that way, that’s something you see in movies,” Camara said. “And the three people who did this, they were kids, too.”

Trans teen murdered in Missouri

Three people have been charged in the murder of a Missouri teen whose body was found burned and sexually mutilated.

Police charged a man and two women Thursday in the killing of 17-year-old trans girl, ALLY LEE**  Steinfeld, the Houston Herald reported. The suspects were identified as Andrew Vrba, 18; Isis Schauer, 18; and Briana Calderas, 24.

All three were charged with first-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse. Vrba and his girlfriend, Isis Schauer, were also slapped with armed criminal action charges. Steinfeld’s burned remains were found at Calderas’ mobile home near Cabool after her family reported her missing on September 14th.

The break in the case came when police discovered the female suspects had messaged each other on Facebook about the murder. Court documents allege Facebook messages were found on Schauer’s phone from an account linked to Vrba, telling her to “stick to the story” and “quit talking.” Vrba later told investigators he killed Steinfeld, though he didn’t provide a motive, according to case documents.

The female suspects told police that Vrba had bragged about sexually mutilating the teen and gouging her eyes out, according to the Houston Herald. Vrba confessed to officers that he stabbed the teen to death and burned her body with the help of the women, but did not offer a motive.

The three suspects are being held without bond. Vrba’s attorney declined comment to The Associated Press on Friday, while no attorneys were listed in online court records for Schauer or Calderas.

“It is a grisly terrible series of heinous acts by the accused,” Texas County Prosecutor Parke Stevens Jr. told the Houston Herald.

All three suspects are being held without bail.

 

**All news reports at this time are dead naming/misgendering the murder victim. All additional story details are being reported under the name Joseph Steinfeld.

7 arrested after raising LTGBQ flag at Egyptian concert

Egyptian police in Cairo arrested seven people on Monday after they were seen raising a rainbow flag at a concert, security sources said, in a rare public show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the conservative Muslim country.

Security sources said the seven were arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy,” a euphemism in Egypt for homosexuality, after they were seen on camera raising the rainbow flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert, a popular Lebanese alternative rock band whose lead singer is openly gay.

Egyptian Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered the State Security Prosecution to immediately investigate the incident, state news agency MENA reported.

The public prosecutor has not yet announced a decision on whether formal charges will be filed and a case brought to court.

Although homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, it is a conservative society and discrimination is rife. Gay men are frequently arrested and typically charged with debauchery, immorality or blasphemy.

The largest crackdown on homosexuals in Egypt took place in 2001, when police raided a floating disco called the Queen Boat. Fifty-two men were tried in the case, which drew widespread criticism from human rights groups and Western governments.

Lesbian couple attacked on the way to LGTBQ event

A group of women were attacked on their way to Dallas Pride on Sunday by an assailant who punched and stabbed them as he screamed they were going to Hell.

Love Seiber, Krystle Seats, and their friend Vanessa Stepney were heading to the parade downtown when they were approached by a homeless man later identified as 22-year-old Brandon Holbert.

“I thought maybe, ’Oh, he’s going to ask us for money,” Seiber told Fox 4 News. But he came closer and began yelling and then hitting Seats. Holbert then pulled out a pocketknife and chased Sieber and Seats into a nearby building, cornering them in an elevator before stabbing them repeatedly.

Seiber and Seats, who are both gay, say Holbert was shouting, “I see what you are doing. You are the child of Satan and God sees what you are doing. You guys are going to go to Hell.”

Seiber was stabbed multiple times in the neck, face, arm, forehead and chest before a bystander helped detain Holbert until authorities arrived. Holbert has since been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, although no hate-crime charges have been filed.

Police records do not reflect his homophobic rant, according to Fox 4, instead they “emphasize [his] erratic behavior.”

Recovering back home in Oklahoma, Seiber says her assailant deserves to be charged with a bias crime. “My family definitely thinks he got off a little too easy.”

Woman suspected of being trans, told to expose her genitals to prove gender

In Cleveland, Ohio a woman who wishes to remain unnamed says she was threatened by an armed couple.  The pair asked the woman if she was transgender and then demanded she expose her genitals to prove she wasn’t. When she refused, they shattered her windshield.

After having drinks at a bar Sunday night the unnamed woman said she began engaging in a friendly conversation with a stranger. The conversation quickly turned personal when the woman was asked if she was really a woman because there were rumors about the her gender. The stranger then asked for proof and demanded to see the unnamed woman’s genitals.

The young lady who demanded proof of gender was eventually escorted out the bar. But when the unnamed woman tried to leave 45 minutes later, she was blocked in by two cars.

Once again, she was confronted by the lady from the bar and an armed man she brought with her. And once again, the lady demanded she expose herself.

The unnamed woman was able to get images of the black Chevy Cobalt and a green Honda involved, hoping it may lead to an arrest.

The Greater Cleveland LGBT center has also spoken out on this woman’s behalf.

“Just because this person isn’t trans doesn’t negate the fact that this person still demanded to see someone else’s body,” said Community Relations manager Ryan Clopton-Zymler.

Clopton-Zymler says in recent years, hate crimes targeting transgender people have been on the rise. Here in Cleveland, four transgender women were murdered in just the last five years. Clopton-Zymler says particularly transgender women of color are being targeted.

“This comes down to sexual assault. This was someone being publicly discriminated against, publicly attacked based on the assumption of their gender identity” said Clopton Zymler.

Police have filed this case as a kidnapping and criminal damaging offense.
The woman hopes Cleveland’s fourth district will pursue her case until an arrest is made.

Church refuses to let Jewish lesbian volunteer at Hurricane Harvey relief effort

A Texas woman who volunteered at a church to help families in need after Hurricane Harvey has been ‘fired’ after the church found she’s Jewish and a lesbian.

Carmen Hix told OutSmart magazine that The Calvary Church in Friendswood, Texas needed volunteers to help at the food bank after Hurricane Harvey devastated the community. Hix decided to take off a week from work and donate $500 worth of food to the church. On Friday, September 8, she was taken by surprise when she was called in by a volunteer and the church’s pastor, Ron Hindt, who told her she was no longer welcome at the church after he found out about her religion and sexuality.

Carmen Hix told the news station she was hurt by their request, adding that she had nothing but good intentions. She said that she couldn’t sit idly by after Hurricane Harvey hit her native Texas. “I took a leave of absence – I work part time – and decided just to do 10 days straight of volunteering,” Hix told Channel 2.

Hix said she started getting questions from the man supervising the church’s food bank when he noticed she’d been saying “shalom” at the end of prayer each day. Typically, the group all came together to pray before they started working each morning but she simply bowed her head in respect and said the salutation which means “peace be with you” in Hebrew.

“The gentleman asked me, looked me in the eye, and says, ‘Are you a Christian?’ and I said, ‘No, I identify as being Jewish,’ and he said then you can no longer volunteer for Calvary,” Hix said.

Once she got home, Hix told the magazine she called the church to complain about the pastor and was invited back in. But when she arrived, she was confronted by the pastor  about “rumors” of her sexual orientation. According to Hix, the pastor said that he ‘can’t let you represent our church, as being a Lesbian is a sin’.

Hix said that Hindt suggested that Hix and her partner, Christina Fiddmont-Norfleet, who have been together for 20 years attend a service so that they would learn about homosexuality and God’s will.

“He said when God strikes your heart and brings to light the sinfulness of your ways you’ll be able to walk away from that relationship and you’ll be good with God.”

The church’s pastor responded to the controversy in a Facebook post, claiming that they “would never” do such a thing. “Unfortunately, we’re saddened by an incident involving some miscommunication that took place off campus in an exchange between various community volunteers at the church’s food pantry. At no time did I ever say you couldn’t serve here. I told her I have Jewish friends. I go to Israel all the time…” Hindt wrote in a now deleted Facebookpost.

OutSmart magazine reached out to the Calvary Church for a comment, but did not get a response.

 

Cis Men slit trans woman’s throat in India, then she was denied treatment at three hospitals

A trans woman was attacked by four men who slit her throat in Hyderabad, India.

The 21-year-old was attacked outside her home in Banjara Hills, an urban centre in the large southern city.

And when her friends took her to at least three hospitals, she was allegedly denied treatment.

It was the day of Ganesh Visarjan, a Hindu festival, when Sravya was approached by four men last Thursday outside her house.

The group wanted her to come with them to one of the men’s houses, who she knew.

Chandramukhi Vuvvala, a trans woman in Hyderabad, told TNM Sravya was found in a pool of blood.

‘At around 3pm, a man she knew came along with three others and asked her to come to his place. She refused to go with him, and tried to enter the house. That’s when one of them slit her throat and slashed her hands with a knife, and they fled,’ Vuvvala said.

When her friend Nakshtra was found lying on the floor and bleeding, she tried to get medical help.

That was when many hospitals allegedly denied her treatment, according to friends.

Trans woman survives after her throat is slit by attackers

She was finally admitted at the National Institute of Medical Sciences, a medical university.

Stravya’s life was saved. She has several stitches on her throat.

A police spokesperson said: ‘We have registered a case under IPC sections 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) read with 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.).

‘As per the available information we have identified one of the accused. Soon we will catch them.’

Could India’s homophobic law be about to end?

The Supreme Court recently made a judgement that experts say will lead to the end of the gay sex ban.

Currently affecting a billion Indians, the anti-homosexuality law currently bans any form of sex that is not a man and a woman in a missionary position.

But now, the highest court has ruled privacy is a fundamental right for every Indian. Further rulings will be needed to completely remove the homophobic law.