Category: LGBTQIA

‘They Were Abusing Us the Whole Way’: A Tough Path for Gay and Trans Migrants

Jade Quintanilla, a transgender woman from El Salvador, says she was robbed, exploited and abused on the trip to seek asylum in the United States.CreditKayla Reefer for The New York Times

TIJUANA, Mexico — Jade Quintanilla had come to the northernmost edge of Mexico from El Salvador looking for help and safety, but five months had passed since she had arrived in this border town, and she was still too scared to cross into the United States and make her request for asylum.

Violence and persecution in Central America had brought many transgender women such as Ms. Quintanilla to this crossroads, along with countless other L.G.B.T. migrants. They are desperate to escape an unstable region where they are distinct targets.

Friends in San Salvador, Ms. Quintanilla said, were killed outright or humiliated in myriad ways: They were forced to cut their long hair and live as men; they were beaten; they were coerced into sex work; they were threatened into servitude as drug mules and gun traffickers.

Still, just a few miles from the border, Ms. Quintanilla, 22, hesitated. “I’ve gone up to the border many times and turned back,” she said in a bare concrete room at the group home where she was living, holding her thin arms at the elbows. “What if they ask, ‘Why would we accept a person like you in our country?’ I think about that a lot. It would be like putting a bullet to my head, if I arrive and they say no.”

While the Trump administration has tightened regulations on asylum qualifications related to gang violence and domestic abuse, migrants still can request asylum on the basis of persecution for their L.G.B.T. identity. But their chances of success are far from certain, and the journey to even reach the American border is especially risky for L.G.B.T. migrants.

Trans women in particular encounter persistent abuse and harassment in Mexico at the hands of drug traffickers, rogue immigration agents and other migrants, according to lawyers and activists. Once they reach the United States, they regularly face hardship, as well.

There are no numbers available disclosing how many L.G.B.T. migrants seek asylum at the border each year or their success rate, but lawyers and activists say that the number of gay, lesbian and trans people seeking asylum each year is at least in the hundreds.

In weighing whether to risk the journey north, many L.G.B.T. migrants from Central America gamble that the road ahead cannot be worse than what they are leaving behind.

Victor Clark-Alfaro, an immigration expert at San Diego State University who is based in Tijuana, said that he has noticed more openly L.G.B.T. people in recent years making the journey to the border with hopes of seeking asylum. He said they are often the victims of powerful criminal gangs in Central America and Mexico — but also of bigoted neighbors, police officers and strangers.

“The ones who can’t hide their sexuality and gender, there’s a huge aggression toward them. And of them, trans women are the ones who are most heavily targeted,” Mr. Clark-Alfaro said. In Central America and Mexico, “almost everyone is Catholic, and so the machismo and religious sensibilities provoke attacks against people who break gender norms.”

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an arm of the Organization of American States, has spoken out against the high rates of violence against L.G.B.T. people in Central American countries and Mexicoand has noted that the crimes against them are often committed with impunity.

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A Frida Kahlo mural inside Jardin de las Mariposas, an L.G.B.T.-focused drug rehabilitation home in Tijuana, Mexico, that has hosted dozens of Central American migrants in recent months.

 

CreditKayla Reefer for The New York Times

Shortly after Ms. Quintanilla and two friends began their journey north to Tijuana from Tapachula, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, in January, they were robbed. With no more money, they walked along the highway for long stretches of time in between rides, about 13 days altogether, Ms. Quintanilla said.

In Veracruz, the group boarded the so-called Beast, a train in Mexico often used by migrants to travel north; there, she said, she was sexually exploited.

“They say you can ride on top of the train,” Ms. Quintanilla said. “But the reality is different. We had to give our services so that they’d let us on. They were abusing us the whole way through. And if we refused, they’d threaten to push us off.”

She reached Tijuana in February and was taken in by Jardin de las Mariposas, an L.G.B.T.-focused drug rehabilitation home that has hosted dozens of Central American migrants in recent months. The director of the Mariposas, Yolanda Rocha, with whom Ms. Quintanilla has spoken about the journey, vouched for the account Ms. Quintanilla shared with The New York Times. She said that Ms. Quintanilla had appeared traumatized and exhausted when she arrived at Mariposas.

Warnings about trans migrants being neglected and abused in United States custody have amplified fears for Ms. Quintanilla and other trans migrants. A 2016 report by Human Rights Watch detailed pervasive sexual harassment and assault at detention facilities, based on interviews with dozens of transgender women.

In May, a transgender woman named Roxana Hernandez died in New Mexico, while held in custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, after experiencing cardiac arrest and H.I.V.-related complications.

In interviews with The Times, several trans women described humiliation by guards and said they had been sexually assaulted by other detainees.

Seventy-two migrants who identify as transgender were being held in custody by ICE as of June 30, according to data provided by the agency. The vast majority are from Central America and Mexico. It is difficult to pinpoint how many L.G.B.T. people might be in detention because they often choose not to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity, for fear of discrimination, even though it could help their asylum case.

“A lot of the queer men experience threats and physical assault and sometimes sexual assault. The trans women who are put into men’s facilities experience sexual assault at remarkably high numbers,” said Aaron Morris, a lawyer and the executive director of Immigration Equality, which provides legal assistance related to immigration and asylum to L.G.B.T. people.

ICE operates a housing unit specifically for transgender detainees at the Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico. Activists say that the center is far better than others, where trans women are held alongside men. But many trans women are reluctant to relocate to the Cibola center, Mr. Morris said, if it is far away from their lawyers or networks of family members.

Reports of abuse at detention centers range from guards making fun of natural facial hair that grows in between grooming to other inmates threatening violence. Of 237 allegations of sexual abuse or assault filed by ICE detainees in 2017, the agency’s records show that 11 were filed by transgender people.

In some cases, migrants say they are not taken seriously when they report attacks.

One trans woman from Honduras said she had been harassed and sexually assaulted several times by men while in custody at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, which is operated by CoreCivic. The woman requested anonymity because her asylum request is currently under review.

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A Pride Flag covered the main entrance of the shelter in Tijuana.CreditKayla Reefer for The New York Times

Speaking in an interview with her lawyer present in Los Angeles, she described several safety issues that stem from the center grouping trans women with men and having them share bathrooms. At one point, she said, she awoke to a man forcing himself onto her and shoving his tongue into her mouth; she said she was told to ignore it by the guards, even though she was afraid that she would get in trouble because of rules against physical contact.

In other instances, she said, men would pull back the curtains in the shower to masturbate in front of her and other trans women.

“They say we have support and protection in there, but the reality is different,” the woman said. “I’m not the only one. Ask any trans woman, they will each have a bad story about something that happened to them in detention.”

In a statement, ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett said that the agency has “zero tolerance for all forms of sexual abuse or assault” and that it investigates every allegation reported.

Activists have demanded that the government avoid holding trans women and other L.G.B.T. migrants in detention altogether. Just over half of trans people are held at the specialized unit at the Cibola center, the ICE spokeswoman said, whereas the dozens spread across other facilities are “housed in units at the facility based on their physical gender.”

The Honduran woman said she was disappointed to find the guards at the center where she was held to be so dismissive. In her hometown, she said, she had been viciously attacked by a man who struck her with a machete. She never reported the crime, though he had targeted her several times before, she said. “In Honduras, it’s better not to go to the police, because that just makes it worse. If they don’t kill me, they’ll kill one of my family members.”

Raiza Daniela Aparicio Hernandez, 33, a transgender human-rights activist from El Salvador, said she was physically assaulted in 2016 by four police officers in her home in San Salvador, which she shared with her boyfriend. The officers had harassed and threatened her before, arriving at their home without a warrant and demanding to be let in, before barging in and assaulting them. “They beat me. They beat me a long time,” she said.

Ms. Aparicio Hernandez and her partner tried to file a formal complaint about the abuse in El Salvador she said, but they ran into obstacles along the way. She left El Salvador in June 2017 and arrived at the San Ysidro point of entry, on the border between Tijuana and San Diego, to request asylum.

Before speaking to The Times, Ms. Aparacio Hernandez shared her account with her lawyer. She won asylum through the courts on the merits of her case.

“Leaving my country was such a hard decision,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of friends die in this fight, at the hands of the government, and people being beat and tortured. And this is happening at the hands of police officers. It’s sad, and it’s difficult, but you have to fight.”

Marcos Williamson, the detention relief coordinator for Transcend Arizona, a Phoenix-based nonprofit group that helps L.G.B.T. migrants, said asylum seekers who are released from detention on bond often struggle to make ends meet because they are given neither benefits nor work permits. L.G.B.T. people, who often do not have the support of family members, are particularly alone.

For now, Ms. Quintanilla feels safe at Mariposas, though she has been accosted on the streets of Tijuana and harassed, she said. She is grateful to the center for taking her in. And she is not yet ready for what comes next in her long journey.

“I decided to leave because I didn’t want to die. It would just be too much for them to reject me,” she said. “What good would it have been to flee my country?”

G.O.P. Tries To Ban LGTBQ Parents From The Right To Adopt

Wednesday The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment allowing taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny LGBTQ families the ability to adopt a child based on religious objection.

The amendment appears on a funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. If it remains in the final bill, the amendment would cut 15% of federal adoption funding to states and localities that penalize adoption agencies that refuse to place children in families that conflict with the agency’s “sincerely held religious beliefs or convictions.”

The amendment also bars the federal government from refusing to work with adoption agencies that discriminate.

The vote in the committee was 29-23, along party lines, with Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) the lone Republican to vote against the amendment.

“House Republicans are pandering to their far-right base at the expense of LGBTQ people and children in need of a home,” said Democratic National Committee (DNC) LGBTQ Media Director Lucas Acosta.

“Rather than focusing on empowering families or uniting children with their parents, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee voted to give child welfare agencies a license to discriminate against qualified potential parents.”

In addition to LGBTQ people and same-sex couples, the amendment would also impact interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other qualified parents to whom an agency could have an objection.

“Any Member of Congress who supports this amendment is clearly stating that it is more important to them to discriminate than it is to find loving homes for children in need,” said David Stacy, director of government affairs at the Human Rights Campaign.

“Congress should be focusing on ways to help children in the child welfare system find homes rather than creating needless obstacles for prospective parents, effectively shrinking the pool of qualified folks who want to provide children with a loving home. HRC urges Congress to reject this discriminatory amendment in the final appropriations bill.”

HRC recently released a report, and their statistics suggest that an estimated two million LGBTQ adults in the U.S. are interested in adoption, but the LGBTQ community often remains an untapped resource when it comes to finding families for children and youth in foster care.

“Taxpayer dollars should never be used to promote discrimination against any American, LGBTQ or otherwise,” said Kasey Suffredini, president of strategy at Freedom for All Americans.

“It’s shocking to see some lawmakers willing to hurt not only LGBTQ Americans, but vulnerable children waiting for forever homes. This is just the latest example that discrimination against LGBTQ Americans is real, urgent and a detriment to all Americans – and should be cured by federal, comprehensive protections as soon as possible.”

Nine states already have laws on the books that allow child welfare agencies receiving taxpayer funding to discriminate against LGBTQ youth and families – Alabama, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. Five of those bills have passed in the last two years. According to data from the Family Equality Council’s Every Child Deserves a Family campaign, more than 21,000 youth were awaiting adoption in these states.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 12, in Dumont v. Lyon, a challenge to Michigan’s law that allows state-funded adoption agencies to cite religion as a reason for turning away foster parents or adoptive parents based on their sexual orientation.

Research consistently shows that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster care system, as many have been rejected by their families of origin because of their LGBTQ status, and are especially vulnerable to discrimination and mistreatment while in foster care. This type of amendment will only exacerbate these challenges faced by LGBTQ young people.

Reversing Climate Change Is A Plastic Straw Away.

They have figured it out, gang.
Fukeshima, Garbage Patches, Sea Level Rise, Climate Change And Weather Extremes…

KISS IT ALL GOODBYE!!!!!

By drinking from a disposable mouthpiece instead of a disposable cup, and thowing that disposable mouthpiece in garbage instead, you can play your part in like less garbage n’ stuff.

Let’s Do It!!!!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/winecellarmedia/2018/07/09/reversing-climate-change-is-a-plastic-straw-away

Is it wrong or right to suspend a vote for partisan reasons.?
http://media.crooksandliars.com/2018/07/39515.mp4_high.mp4

 

 

Ohio teens given suspended sentence for dropping sandbag off overpass that killed man

The four Ohio teens who pleaded guilty to dropping a sandbag off a freeway overpass that killed a 22-year-old man were given a suspended sentence and ordered to a treatment center on Friday.

Marquis Byrd was the passenger in a vehicle that was hit by the sandbag dropped onto Interstate 75 in Toledo last December. Byrd was left in critical condition and died three days later in the hospital.

 

 

 

Rapists Make Great Ferttilizer White T-Shirt Front

And The Wine Is Getting Active On TEE SPRING
Click Image for shopping page.

We don’t know why 2 T’s are showing up in the image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sex Workers Meet in Los Angeles To Draft Statement of Principles

In late June, members and supporters of Desiree Alliance, a sex work advocacy organization, gathered in the Los Angeles office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to begin organizing for the legalization of sex work. The event featured nearly a dozen sex workers, including adult actress and Los Angeles-based sex work activist, Siouxsie Q.

Attendees at the meeting drafted a manifesto called the National Sex Worker Anti-Criminalization Principles, which author and escort Maggie McNeill described as a document designed to “provide a working template for a national platform” for sex-worker rights.

 

Pride in London sorry after anti-trans protest

 

Pride march rainbow flagPride in London organisers have apologised after anti-trans protesters “forced their way to the front of the parade”.

Members of lesbian and feminist group Get The L Out demanded to march behind the rainbow flag, which marks the start of the event, organisers said.

The group argues the trans movement is attacking lesbian rights and said it protested to protect those rights.

Pride said their behaviour on Saturday was “shocking and disgusting”.

It said they could not forcibly remove the small group because their protest was not a criminal offence, adding “we are sorry” but the “actions of eight people did not stop the joy and love”.

 

An Alabama corrections officer has been indicted on charges of rape in metro Atlanta.

Matthew Moore, 49, is accused of raping women in three states, including women in Cobb and Fulton counties.

His indictment only pertains to his alleged crimes in Fulton County, the district attorney’s office there announced Thursday.

He was arrested in April at the prison where he’d worked nearly two decades, which is about 120 miles from Sandy Springs.

Nikki Yovino Gets Pressured Into Changing Her Statement Via Sentencing Coercion. 

Nikki YovinoOn June 5, Nikki Yovino went to jail. She had maintained for the previous 20 months that she was raped by two Sacred Heart University students in the bathroom at a house party. The men she accused said it was consensual, and that’s what prosecutors and police in Bridgeport, Connecticut, believed too.

The state charged Yovino with filing a false report to law enforcement and evidence tampering, based on their allegation that she’d had a rape kit performed while lying about having been raped. Yovino, 19, faced up to six years in prison. She had pleaded not guilty, but on the morning jury selection was to begin, Yovino took a plea deal to spend a year behind bars. She was taken away in handcuffs while her mom dabbed tears from her eyes in the courtroom.

 

Morning Wine Cellar 6/21/18 Trans Rights & *Michelle Obama Is Chitterlings*?

Man who murdered Argentina transgender activist Diana Sacayán jailed for life on hate crime charge

Michelle Obama Is Chitterlings? 

Activists Fighting Transphobia In New York

FROM THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

CLICK IMAGE FOR LINK

Activists demand justice after two victims attacked in anti-gay, anti-transgender Queens assaults
Chanel Lopez, transgender community liaison, spoke at protest rally for transgender immigrants in Queens on Tuesday. (Andrew Savulich / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

 

Gay and transgender rights activists are demanding justice after two alleged hate crimes in Queens — the stabbing of a transgender woman and the beating of a gay man — after the borough’s Pride Parade.

The beating happened at about 9:55 p.m. as victim Brandon Soriano, 25, was walking through Jackson Heights after the June 3 parade, police sources said.

“You’re a f—–g f—-t!” two men yelled, just before descending on Soriano and pummeling him on 83rd St. at 37th Ave., sources said. The men then ran north. Cops have made no arrests.

Soriano’s mom, Mary Kilafofski, 48, said one of the men knocked him unconscious, and the other started kicking.

Trans woman murdered in South Carolina

A transgender woman was found shot dead inside a car on a rural South Carolina road Easter morning, and authorities do not know if gender identification was the reason for the brutal killing.

The victim, identified as Sasha Wall was found slumped over the steering wheel of the car in rural Chesterfield County on Sunday morning, according to the Associated Press. Wall, who owned the car, had been shot multiple times in the neck and shoulder.

“Whoever it was, was angry,” Sheriff Jay Brooks said of the killer, according to FOX 46. “You could tell by the number of shots.”

Brooks told media outlets that investigators are still working the case and believe Wall knew the killer.

“ShQe was dressed (in women’s clothing) and had makeup on and that kind of stuff,” Brooks told WCNC. “But whether that has anything to do with this case or not, we have no idea.”

Investigators have no evidence Wall’s killing was a hate crime and believe it was more likely domestic violence-related, WSOC reports.

The Anson County Sheriff’s Office and State Law Enforcement Division are assisting in the investigation, according to WBTV.

The Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization that advocates for LGBTQ people, documented the deaths of at least 28 transgender people who were fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the U.S. in 2017, up from 23 in 2016.

Investigators say Wall, 29, lived in a mobile home outside Pageland and was known to family and friends as “Sasha Wall,” according to WSOC-TV.

Pakistani trans activists under attack: kidnapped, raped, shot

Sonia, a trans rights activist, was shot on Jan. 17 in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Photo courtesy of Front Line Defenders)Sonia, a trans rights activist, was shot on Jan. 17 in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Photo courtesy of Front Line Defenders)Two members of Pakistani human rights organisation TransAction were brutally attacked in Peshawar.

On 22 January 2018, trans rights activist Shama was gang raped by nine men and on 17 January 2018, trans rights activist Sonia was shot and injured in Peshawar. They were both brutally attacked for their human rights work.Sonia and Shama are members of TransAction Pakistan, an organisation that represents thousands of transgender and intersex community members from twenty-five districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA).

The organisation strives to support transgender and intersex individuals through providing safe spaces for them. Sonia is an active transgender rights activist who regularly participates in seminars, demonstrations and walks for the rights of transgender persons.

Shama is also involved in advocacy for transgender rights.On 22 January 2018, Shama, 18, was kidnapped then gang raped in the Gulbahar neighborhood of Peshawar by nine men in retaliation against her advocacy for the human rights of the transgender community. The assailants threatened to shoot her if she disclosed the incident to anyone or if she participated in any more demonstrations.

Shama filed a complaint with the police but so far a First Incident Report (FIR) has not been lodged, no arrests have been made and no medical examination has been conducted for Shama.On 17 January 2018, Sonia was shot in the Pahandu area of Peshawar by her partner, who is also a member of the gang that attacked Arzu Khan and Taimur Kamal, and kidnapped Sunny.

She was under pressure from her partner to stop her transgender rights activism but she refused. Her partner strongly disapproved of her activities and on the day of the incident they had an argument over her human rights work. Having failed to convince Sonia to cease her activities, the defender’s partner shot her in anger. Sonia was taken to Khyber Teaching Hospital with gunshot wounds to the face and a bullet lodged in her throat. Sonia is still in hospital. A First Instance Report (FIR) has been registered against the man who shot Sonia.Taimur Kamal, coordinator of the Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network (Photo courtesy of Front Line Defenders)

Phoenix And William Riff About Boycotting And Migos On Queers

 

This is a fun episode.
We give the news a quick nod and jump straight into conversation mode.

Use the hashtag #WineCellarPodcast and tag @UppittyNegress on twitter to interact with us on the topics.

You’re Not In A “Panic” When You Are Murdering A Trans Woman

Miss Trans America found murdered at Massachusetts home

Her 47-year-old husband is to be arraigned this morning on a murder charge.

The two wed last year after moving to North Adams. Prior to the move, they lived in Adams for three years.

Christa Leigh was known for founding and running Miss Trans New England and Miss Trans America pageants.

She is believed to be the first transgender woman killed in the US this year.

A Mason teacher told this 13-year-old he might be lynched. The child didn’t tell his mom for a week.

The incident happened in front of the child’s class in December, according to his mother, Tanisha Agee-Bell. Mason Schools spokeswoman Tracey Carson confirmed the incident occurred in teacher Renee Thole’s classroom.

Trump Administration Will Let States Require People To Work For Medicaid

The Trump administration is encouraging states to require “able-bodied” Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer in order to keep their health insurance coverage.

On Thursday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, issued new guidelines for states that want some adults to work in exchange for the health insurance coverage.

Drunk mom crashes with 2-year-old in car, cops say. But that wasn’t the worst of it

The Florida Highway Patrol arrested Brianna Dee Knox, 28, of Beverly Hills, on charges including driving under the influence, child neglect, leaving the scene of a crash and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Knox drove recklessly and crashed into four cars on I-4 at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, the FHP said. Knox’s red 2001 Honda broke down under an overpass, then she got out of the car and started acting “erratically and disturbed,” the FHP said.

Gathering Helps To Bring Recognition To Those Impacted By Transgender Violence

Oskaloosa, Iowa – With a quiet march to the square in Oskaloosa, from St. Paul Congregational United Church, over a dozen people took time to remember those individuals impacted by transgender violence.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual event held on November 20th each year. “The best way to remember lives lost is to educate people about what it is to be trans,” said Robin White, who was leading the vigils at the Oskaloosa Band Stand. “It’s more and more people understanding who we are, what we’re about, and that we have a right to exist on this planet just like everybody else.”

The candlelight vigils to remember those lost to transgender violence started in 1999 to honor Rita Hester, who was a transgender African-American woman who was murdered in Allston, Massachusetts in 1998.

Following Hester’s murder, the idea for a yearly vigil became a reality soon after. The purpose of the vigils was to help spread information about the lives and deaths of transgender individuals.

Robin White once again lead the service in Oskaloosa. Names were read from a list, and a quote about transgender lives was read that each person had submitted.

One of those who submitted a comment was Kiki Collier of Inglewood, Chicago, who stated, “The Trump administration’s various antitransgender moves, most dramatically, the President’s tweets foreshadowing a ban on transgender people serving in the military, have collectively made it more dangerous for our community.”

Chad Farner helps to lead the PLAG group in Oskaloosa and was an organizer of the walk on Monday.

Farner said the event is really about remembering those transgender, mostly women, who have been killed in the last year. “23 so far this year.”

“The hope for an evening like tonight is to shine a light on those tragic deaths,” added Farner, who parroted the comments of White that transgender people need to be treated with respect and not subjected to the violence that they are.

Farner said that individuals in the LGBTQ members that are part of PLAG have very positive things to say about living in Oskaloosa and the way they are treated by the community. “I think there is a lot of misunderstanding and there is a lot we need to learn about. But I think the community treats people with respect.”

PFLAG meets regularly at the Oskaloosa Public Library, a change of venue, on the third Tuesday of every month.