The Lonely Road: Why School is Hell for Transgender Pupils

When ‘Lauren’ decided she wanted to be recognised as a girl, life at school became a nightmare. Should teachers be doing more for transgender pupils?

via the UK Independent by Rachel Pugh

The day that Lauren Quick, 11, started at the mixed comprehensive in her Yorkshire home town, an older lad stormed into her classroom at break, shouting, “Oi, there’s a tranny in here – show me where it is!”

Suddenly, Lauren, who had been insisting from the age of three that she had “a girl brain in a boy’s body”, was surrounded. She was distraught and, weeks later, made her first attempt to kill herself. Two further attempts followed in the next five months – the last in the school lavatories.

Her life, says mother Jan, had become a living nightmare. Every day, she faced shouts of “man beast” and “tranny” from pupils, as well as calls to “get your dick out” – even, on one occasion, when she was being escorted by a teacher. Lauren’s response was to self-harm on a regular basis.

The town’s police hate crimes unit became involved three times after several incidents, including one pupil spitting in her face and a mother who was picking up offspring shouting, “You fucking tranny”, through the car window as Lauren walked home from school. Lauren was more often absent than in school.

Although the school supported Lauren’s desire to be accepted as a girl, and made determined efforts to stamp out the bullying – taking the perpetrator of each incident aside to explain Lauren’s circumstances – one day, everything came to a head. Lauren was ambushed on the way home by older boys, who tried to remove her skirt in an attempt to see her genitals.

Lauren refused point-blank to return to school. Jan obtained a transfer for her to a nearby high school, which had already successfully dealt with a transgender pupil. Lauren lasted only a few weeks. Now 14, she is being educated three days a week in a unit for long-term ill and severely bullied pupils. She would like to go back to school, but she and her mother doubt that it will ever be possible.

“There are no easy answers, but the school was just handling it on the hoof,” says Jan. “There was no attempt to plan anything. The school was totally unprepared for dealing with a kid like Lauren.”

Click to read the rest of the article at the UK Independent

Shattering Voices From The Military Rape Lawsuit, Verbatim

via by Irin Carmon

Last week, a group of women and men sued Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, for creating a culture that enabled and protected their rapists. The words in this video are taken directly from their complaint.

The full legal complaint is searing — and depressingly repetitive. This video seeks to distill their accounts of a culture that, these women and men say, not only allowed their assaults but bullied them when they tried to report and, in many cases, left their assailants free and even thriving. As demoralizing as it can be to contemplate such concentrated violence and misogyny, we’re hearing these stories because these survivors refused to go away quietly, and are bravely fighting back.

Video by Matt Toder, Jessica Coen, and Irin Carmon. Song: “O Mary Don’t You Weep, by Paul Reece.!5766231/the-military-rape-lawsuit-verbatim

(c) Copyright 2011 – Republished with permission

A Short History of Cross-Dressing in Media

via Flavorwire by Emily Temple

All the hubbub about Brian Bedford’s spectacular performance as Lady Bracknell in the recent Broadway revival of The Importance of Being Earnest has gotten us thinking. So much media in our culture revolves around, or at least includes, elements of cross-dressing or gender confusion, whether to comic or dramatic effect. Is this an evolution towards greater acceptance and understanding of all, or just, in some way, a deeply ingrained human impulse? Of course, cross-dressing is no new trend. The phenomenon is evident in everything from Norse and Hindu mythology to figures that shaped actual historical events (usually in the form of women dressing up as men to fight wars or be pirates, for some reason) to literature, theater, film and every kind of media in between. There are hundreds of examples, so there’s no way to document them all here, but the trajectory of our favorites still has some bearing on the largeness of the phenomenon. Click through for out brief history of cross-dressing in media.

Click on this link to read the rest of the article…

Want a Sex Change? Work for Coca-Cola

via the Daily Mail

How America’s biggest corporations are paying for transgender surgeries

They’re among the biggest corporations in the world, largely because they do what it takes to stay competitive.

So when some of Wall Street’s biggest names were faced with losing valuable employees, or paying thousands to reassign their genders, it was an easy decision.

Now corporate giants such as Coca Cola, Yahoo!, American Express and AT&T are expanding their insurance coverage to meet the needs of transgender employees.
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