Month: November 2014

Our Voices blog

Will Ferguson Change Us?

The news that we’d been dreading for weeks finally came last night, and it was as devastating as I had expected. White Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not face criminal charges for his killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. For days the rumors had been swirling that the Ferguson Grand Jury would not issue an indictment of Wilson, but some small part of me remained hopeful. I was so wishing the script would be different this time around. But, no. Once again a black...


A Sunday Well Spent

Earlier this month, I had the chance to take the pulpit at Cathedral of Hope, a Dallas institution. I had not visited the Cathedral in more than 10 years, but when I received an invitation from my long-time friend and community hero, Reverend Jim Mitulski, who has been serving as the interim Senior Pastor, I jumped at the chance to return. While I’m no longer a part of any religious community, I see every day the difference that faith communities like COH make in the lives of people, including...


Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today, International Transgender Day of Remembrance is being observed worldwide. It is day to honor the memory of transgender people we have lost to senseless acts of hatred and violence and to reflect on the transgender community’s incredible strength and resilience. Both globally and in the United States, transgender people—and transgender women of color in particular—are assaulted and often murdered with impunity, simply because of who they are.  In most cases, these crimes are not...


Working to Ensure the Safety of Transgender Individuals

Interacting with law enforcement can be stressful for anyone. This is especially true of transgender individuals who all too often face discrimination, inappropriate comments, and hostility.  While most law enforcement personnel want to do what is right, we hear from many transgender people about the demeaning and degrading experiences they have had while under police custody. That’s why the National Center for Lesbian Rights, along with several other national and local LGBTQ groups, worked...


Our Goal—End Conversion Therapy in Five Years

No child should ever be hurt because of who they are. That’s why we started the #BornPerfect campaign to end conversion therapy across the country over the next five years. We need your financial support to make it happen. All attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through conversion therapy damage LGBTQ youth, causing depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. Conversion therapy has been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the...


The Human Element: Making Conversion Therapy in the U.S. an International Human Rights Issue

There we were. Around the illustrious circular United Nations briefing tables at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, among the 70 human rights advocates from across the United States, the largest delegation in the history of the U.N.’s Committee Against Torture (CAT). Together, as a leader of the National Center for Lesbian Right’s (NCLR) #BornPerfect campaign, I had spent a sleepless few days working around the clock to make Committee members aware of the dangers of convention therapy,...


NCLR Urges U.N. Committee Against Torture to End Conversion Therapy

This Tuesday, I will walk into the historic Palais de Nations in Geneva, Switzerland to meet with representatives of the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State as part of the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ #BornPerfect campaign to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy, the dangerous and discredited practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity through everything from talk therapy to exorcism to “orgasmic reconditioning.” Under the...


Time to End the Military’s Ban on Transgender Service Members

Now that the midterms are over, President Obama has an opportunity to further his legacy as a strong supporter of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and as a leader who understands that making U.S. armed forces more equal makes them stronger. President Obama should ask Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to review the rules governing military service by transgender people with the ultimate goal of removing the current provisions that require their discharge. ...


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