Republican governor Kevin Stitt has signed an anti-trans bill into law that bans trans students from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Stitt signed the law on Wednesday (25 May), which applies to pre-kindergarten through to 12th grade public and public charter schools in Oklahoma. In the event that a transgender student refuses to use the restroom matches the sex shown on their birth certificate, the school would need to provide “a single-occupancy restroom or changing room”.
According to CNN, there have been more than 100 anti-trans bills signed in America in 2022 alone, with a focus on trans youth. Stitt is no stranger to signing these bills, with two restrictive trans rights bills under his belt already this year.
The state has been under particular scrutiny this year for its sheer emphasis on restricting trans rights – and bathroom bills like this one are no new phenomena to the marginalised group.
Oklahoma ACLU executive director Tamya Cox-Touré lambasted the governor for his disregard for trans youth, saying: “By signalling out transgender students for discrimination and excluding them from restrooms that match their gender identity, SB 615 discriminates based on transgender status and sex in violation of the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act.”
Republicans like Stitt have consistently attempted to make it more difficult for transgender Americans to receive gender-affirming health care, an effort of which this legislation is part of.
“Governor Stitt and the anti-equality legislators in the Oklahoma State House have been relentless in their attack on LGBTQ+ rights, and particularly for transgender people,” Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement last month.
Actor Kevin Spacey has been charged with four counts of sexual assault against three men, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.
In addition, the Oscar-winning American actor faces one charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
On Thursday (26 May), Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, which “deals with the most complex and sensitive cases in England and Wales”, said: “The CPS has authorised criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 62, for four counts of sexual assault against three men.
“He has also been charged with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. The charges follow a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation.
“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Spacey are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.”
According to the CPS, Spacey is due to appear in court, although a date has not been made public.
The first two sexual assault charges are alleged to have both been against the same male complainant, and to have taken place in London in March 2005.
The third sexual assault charge and the charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent were allegedly against a second male complainant in London in August 2008.
The final sexual assault charge relates to an alleged offence against a third man in Gloucestershire in 2013.
The actor worked at the Old Vic theatre in London between 2004 and 2015, the time period when the alleged offences occurred.
Spacey is known for his roles in films like The Usual Suspects, LA Confidentialand Seven, and more recently he has starred as politician Frank Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards, as well as working as an executive producer on the show.
Countless trans people are speaking out about their childhoods by writing letters in an effort to humanise the often cruel “debates” about them.
Under the hashtag “Letters 4 Trans Kids“, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming Twitter users told their own stories.
As adults, they are thriving – and they want to help young people do the same. In a news cycle so often dominated by stories that dwell on bullying, murder and whether to remove their rights, trans people brought the conversation back to joy.
Among them was Arthur Webber, a 24-year-old writer based in London, England, who recalled nights “praying” that he would “wake up a boy” and now considers being trans a “gift”.
In many nations, from the US to Britain, trans folk are facing fire seemingly from all sides. From a belligerent press and politicians that see them as a “culture war”, to the spectre of rising violence and dwindling healthcare options.
But before then, Webber was a young person wishing he could throw on boy’s school uniform and use the men’s bathroom.
“My nights were spent praying that in the morning I would be a boy. I would wake up disappointed,” he tweeted. “However, I already was a boy – no divine intervention required.”
Webber recounted a Christmas Eve when he was seven spent cutting his hair off and rushing to tell his family about it. “I had been watching The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, so perhaps took the time of children coming out of a closet a bit too literally,” he joked.
“However, I already was a boy – no (terrible) haircut needed.”
Holidays provided a young Webber with a chance to be himself, a feeling so often stripped from trans kids. “I’d avoid giving them my name and say I was born without one,” he said, “which everybody is, really.
“The devastation I felt when my family would fetch me using my deadname and reveal that the outside world believes I was a girl still lingers with me.”
“Until I had sex ed in year five, I was convinced that I was just a really late starter at being a boy and one day my d**k would just grow,” he said. “I’d be like all the other boys so sometimes I would look at men out in public and wonder at what age theirs showed up.”
Visiting a train exhibition at a Doncaster museum with his father and grandfather, the pair let him use the washroom with them “because they weren’t about to leave a five-year-old alone”.
“I was so happy to be there,” Webber recalled, “even though it smells.”
“As a child, I thought that eyelashes were a female thing so I would pull them out,” he added.
“So now they’re very thin because when you pull them out for years they sort of stop growing back.”
The Letters 4 Trans Kids hashtag was first started by Ina Fried, chief technology correspondent for Axios. She sought to “find a way to support” trans and non-binary youth amid an anti-trans legislative onslaught in America.
Fried called on social media users to pen a letter to share their experiences growing up trans or show their emphatic support for the community’s rights.
“I can only imagine what it is like to be a trans kid right now, trying to find your own way while having to have your humanity and basic human rights up for discussion every day,” Fried wrote on Facebook on 10 April.
“And then there is the message that debate sends to their community, to their friends and even to them – that they are not seen or valued for who they are.”
“What if everyone who supports trans kids wrote a letter, or made a short video or posted on social media,” Fried added. “Well, why not? Let’s do it.”
And hundreds of people did just that. Trans actors, filmmakers, drag artists and leading LGBT+ advocates grabbed their pens and wrote about figuring their identities out just like any other kid.
The letters are a testament to just how possible it could be for trans youth to flourish when supported, affirmed and loved.
A question so many of the letters raised was how the adults in trans children’s lives – from parents and caregivers to educators and politicians – can choose to care for them, not abandon them, so they grow up into the people they know they can be.
A gay Bollywood’s director has blasted the Indian government’s decision to ban his film about a gay army officer.
Onir, born Anirban Dhar, is best known for Mr Brother…Nikhil, one of the first mainstream Hindi films to explore HIV and same-sex relationships.
Inspired by the real-life story of gay retired army officer Major J Suresh, who quit the forces over his sexuality, the filmmaker has proposed the film We Are.
But India’s Ministry of Defence has allegedly blocked his efforts over its “illegal” depiction of queer soldiers, given that LGBT+ personnel cannot serve openly in India’s armed forces, NDTV reported.
For Onir, the government has exploited a requirement introduced two years ago that demands filmmakers to be granted clearance from the defence ministry to produce films concerning the armed forces.
Indian filmmaker just wanted to tell story of a ‘gay soldier who falls in love’
He told The Independentthat the government did not award his script a No Objection Certificate, having applied in December.
“Which itself is problematic,” Onir told the British newspaper, “because India has a film-certification board that should be doing this work.”
Onir received a terse email from the government agency after sending the script for approval, he claimed.
“I wanted to do something which celebrated it while also highlighting the way forward in terms of securing civil rights and changing societal perceptions [of the queer community],” the 52-year-old said.
We Are, the forthcoming sequel to Onir’s 2010 movie, I Am, is to be an anthology film of our queer romances that commemorates the Supreme Court’s milestone 2018 verdict that, at long last, decriminalised homosexuality.
Among the four stories was Suresh, who first wrote on his weblog, Personal Blog of an Out & Proud Indian Major, in 2020, about the struggles he faced when “reconciling the military/ex-military part and the gay part” of his life.
He had long felt that the two “can’t/don’t fit together”.
“But I have slowly realized that this was an absolutely unwarranted struggle that I had subjected myself to – probably driven by lower social acceptance levels in India,” he added.
Suresh’s story, Onir said, was “interesting” and inspired the “fictional” retelling.
“I wrote about a gay army man who falls in love,” Onir explained, “realises he can’t express his love openly while serving in the army, quits and finally reaches out to his lover.
“I don’t even get into any discourse of whether it’s right or wrong.”
PinkNews reached out to the Ministry of Defence for comment.
Heather Peto had been feeling run down for a while before she realised there might be something wrong.
At first, she blamed her recent experience with COVID for her feelings of exhaustion – but gradually, she started to notice other, more troubling symptoms creeping in. Eventually, she realised that she was exhibiting some of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer.
Getting to that realisation wasn’t easy. As a trans woman, Heather often has to fight to access the healthcare she needs. Some doctors and specialists are unaware of the specific symptoms trans women might experience when they have prostate cancer, while others don’t even know trans women can get prostate cancer.
Right now, Heather is undergoing tests to determine what’s causing her prostate issues. In the mean time, she wants to speak out about the symptoms she is experiencing so others will know what they need to watch out for.
Aside from the exhaustion, the first thing Heather noticed was that she started to experience urinary incontinence during sex.
“It was only a small amount, but that had never happened before,” Heather tells PinkNews. “It then started to happen regularly… One of the key things to get across is that if you’re noticed a change in your urinary habits, whether that’s incontinence or other things, then it’s important to get it checked out.”
Increasingly worried about her symptoms, Heather went to her GP for blood tests.
“The blood test measures something called prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and if you’ve got higher levels of that it tends to mean there’s something wrong with the prostate – it could be cancer, could be prostatitis,” Heather explains. Prostatitis refers to the inflammation of the prostate gland.
“Mine was quite high for my age,” Heather says. The tests were evidence enough that something was wrong, but that’s where Heather’s issues with the healthcare system begin. As a trans woman who has had hormone treatment, she should in general have lower PSA levels than a cis man would have.
The result is that some trans women and non-binary people with prostates can show lower levels of PSA in blood tests, but they could still have prostate cancer. According to Prostate Cancer UK, some experts believe a PSA level above 1 ng/ml in a trans woman should warrant further investigation.
Trans women can experience different symptoms of prostate cancer
Another barrier to treatment and diagnosis for trans women is that the symptoms can be different. One of the symptoms most commonly associated with prostate cancer is the need to get up and urinate frequently during the night – but that’s largely based on the experiences of cis men. Heather noticed some different symptoms.
“One of those symptoms is that there’s a form of incontinence by which you go to the toilet for a wee but you don’t expel all your wee… so you have that little residual amount that you can’t seem to expel. You know it’s there but it’s not completely gone. When it discharges, which it does, it ends up leaking all at once.”
Something else Heather experienced is that she would orgasm spontaneously during urination. “It’s very awkward,” she says. Unfortunately, Heather experienced some “disinterest” from medical professionals when she raised concerns about the symptoms she was experiencing – although she stresses that the care she has received has generally been good.
I’m left in this never-never of not knowing if it’s cancer that’s getting worse or if there’s another, more benign explanation such as prostatitis.
After noticing those symptoms, Heather went to her GP and was referred to a specialist. She was supposed to have a urine test in November 2021, but it was subsequently pushed back several times.
“I’m left in this never-never of not knowing if it’s cancer that’s getting worse or if there’s another, more benign explanation such as prostatitis, or if it could be another form of cancer that’s affecting the area. My health is getting worse, I’m OK but not OK in terms of living a normal live. So that’s my experience.”
Heather is speaking out about her experience because she wants both the medical field and the wider public to have greater awareness about the fact that trans and non-binary people with prostates are susceptible to developing prostate cancer too.
“There is this list on the NHS website of symptoms that you might experience with prostate cancer, but it does seem to me to neglect certain things trans and non-binary people with prostates might experience, and it possibly neglects people who have sex with men.
“There needs to be more research and more guidance around trans people with prostate cancer,” Heather says. “I don’t want to be too alarmist, but I think we need to communicate this – there are people who are needlessly being treated further along in their prostate cancer than is necessary.”
Heather says there’s a level of ignorance in the medical field about the reality of prostate cancer for trans people. That’s not necessarily anybody’s fault, she points out – but she would like to see better education and training for GPs and other medical professionals. Right now, trans and non-binary people with prostates often have to educate healthcare professionals themselves.
“People need to talk more broadly about the problems trans people have,” she says. “We need to make sure GPs know about it, but also patients know about it so they can go to their GP in the first place… Your life is in their hands.”
Heather still doesn’t know what her symptoms mean, but she’s trying to remain optimistic while she waits on a firm answer.
“There’s always that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it’s something worse that’s not being tackled, that I’ll end up dying from it, or that I’ll end up being more seriously ill than I need to be.”
What’s worse is that Heather knows she will likely experience transphobic abuse online because she’s daring to speak out about her experience. She has received brutal, cruel messages on social media over the years – all because she’s a trans woman. Some of those have wished cancer on her.
This culture of abuse only further silences trans people and makes them less likely to seek the support they need.
There needs to be greater awareness in the medical field about trans women’s medical needs
Heather’s experience is echoed by Suzanna Hopwood, also a trans woman. She developed prostatitis a number of years ago – she went to her GP and was referred to a consultant. The care she received was excellent.
“They don’t want to do any surgery on me, they’re just treating it with drugs. They didn’t think there was anything sinister lurking in my prostate and it wasn’t hugely big. That’s the process that I went through and I came out the other side reasonably satisfied,” Suzanna says.
“On the other side, you can fall into a bit of a hole really and not get properly diagnosed.”
That’s why Suzanna worked with Prostate Cancer UK to help help bring its information on prostate cancer in trans and non-binary people up to date. She reached out to the charity when she started having issues with prostatitis and learned that the charity was already working on updating its information to make it more inclusive.
Today, Prostate Cancer UK provides in-depth information about the realities facing trans women and non-binary people with prostates. Worryingly, the charity points out that many people don’t even know that trans women and some non-binary people have prostates, meaning they’re less likely to seek and access the right supports.
For Heather and Suzanna, the path forward is education – both for medical professionals and for trans and non-binary people. Without that, lives could continue to be needlessly lost.
If you’re trans or non-binary and are worried about prostate cancer or prostatitis, you can visit the Prostate Cancer UK website to find out more.
Half of LGBT+ sexual violence survivors believe they were assaulted because of their identity, a survey has found.
In the largest report of its kind, British anti-abuse charity Galop asked nearly 1,000 LGBT+ people about their experiences of sexual violence.
Those surveyed described instances of rape, penetrative sexual assault, ‘revenge porn’ and groping. Such experiences haunted them for months, with 85 per cent saying the trauma impacted their mental health and 77 per cent their relationships.
Galop CEO Leni Morris told PinkNews that some LGBT+ people had experienced so-called “corrective” rape. Others said their assailants “fetishised” their sexuality or gender identity – 53 per cent believed they were attacked because of their identity.
Galop also found that “corrective” sexual assault was more common among trans and non-binary people, who are being excluded from the government’s conversion therapy ban altogether.
“I feel like being raped robbed me of years,” said one participant, “it meant I didn’t transition until now and I cannot put into words how angry that makes me.”
Morris said: “These findings provide further evidence for the need for a full and complete ban on so-called conversion therapy in all its forms.
“This is abuse, and LGBT+ people in this country are being put through it simply because of who they are. We need this ban. We need it for the whole community.”
One in five respondents said they had never told anyone about their ordeal, according to the report released Wednesday afternoon (20 April).
Of the 82 per cent who did open up about the violence they experienced, just one third had done so within six months of the incident taking place.
Two-thirds of respondents reported an increase in suicidal thoughts after the violence, while six in 10 engaged in self-harm.
The NHS offers support for people who have experienced sexual violence through specialised sexual assault referral centres, or SARCs. But LGBT+ respondents said they were hesitant to seek out support, which includes being connected to police offers to report the incident. Many were wary of being “outed” or fearful of the discrimination and disbelief they would be met with for being LGBT+.
“This is an important reflection of the way LGBT+ people in this country are still othered, and how anti-LGBT+ prejudice is still an active part of the life experience of many LGBT+ people in the UK,” said Morris.
“Services set up to support sexual violence survivors often don’t feel inclusive of our community, and there is a real lack of services, like ours, which are run by and for LGBT+ people to provide that safe space in the wake of sexual violence.”
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information ontheir website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999.Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contactRAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
A Californian man is facing charges for threatening to “bomb” and kill Merriam-Webster employees over the publisher’s pro-trans definitions.
Jeremy David Hanson, of Rossmoor, threatened to “hunt down and shoot” workers of the oldest dictionary publishers in the US, procecutors claimed.
he 34-year-old sent online threats to the company based in Springfield, Massachusetts, over entries such as “girl” and “woman“, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement Friday (22 April).
He faces up to five years in jail or a thumping fine of $250,000 after he was charged with one count of interstate communication of threats to commit violence. Hanson will appear before the US District Court in Massachusets next Friday.
Using the handle “@anonYmous”, Hanson left a rabble of “despicable” messages and comments on the company’s website. Between warnings he would “bomb” the company offices, he blasted Merriam-Webster for changing certain word definitions.
“It is absolutely sickening that Merriam-Webster now tells blatant lies and promotes anti-science propaganda,” he wrote in one alleged comment. “There is no such thing as ‘gender identity’.
“The imbecile who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot.”
Bosses at Merriam-Webster were forced to close their Springfield offices for five days, wary of the threats to their staff’s lives.
Man threatened to ‘bomb’ Merriam-Webster over its ‘anti-science t****y agenda’
Many anti-trans campaigners have sought to defend their bigotry by cutting and pasting one common dictionary defintion of a woman, as in an “adult human female“.
But under another definition of “female” in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is “having a gender identity that is opposite of male”.
Many of the entries Hanson took aim of are inclusive of trans identities in this way, such as a “girl” being a “person whose gender identity is female”.
He also railed against “boy” and “trans woman“, according to an affidavit filed by a Federal Bureau of Investigations agent this month.
From 2 October to 8 October 2021, Hanson spewed various anonymous comments and messages to Merriam-Webster. He also allegedly sent the company various barbs through the “Contact Us” section on its website.
Writing on 2 October in Merriam-Webster’s webform, Hanson seethed: “You [sic] headquarters should be shot up and bombed.
“It is sickening that you have caved to the cultural Marxist, anti-science t****y agenda and altered the definition of ‘female’ as part of the Left’s efforts to corrupt and degrade the English language and deny reality.
“You evil Marxists should all be killed. It would be poetic justice to have someone storm your offices and shoot up the place, leaving none of you commies alive.”
He threatened in another alleged “Contact Us” form to “bomb your offices for lying and creating fake”, prosecutors said.
In October, Merriam-Webster reported the threats to the FBI, the affidavit added. Agents tracked Hanson down through his IP address.
“Hate-filled threats and intimidations have no place in our society,” the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Rachael Rollins said in the statement.
She added that Hanson is accused of sending “threatening and despicable messages related to the LGBTQ community that were intended to evoke fear and division”.
But Merriam-Webster was not Hanson’s sole alleged target. Prosecutors have tied him to a laundry bag of other messages sent to top human rights groups, companies and academics. Many of which he accused of being “Marxist”.
Other related threats included: the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, food co-op Land O’Lakes, toymaker Hasbro, video game news outlet IGN Entertainment and a New York City rabbi.
A study has confirmed what we all already knew – that the majority of female athletes have absolutely no problem with trans women competing in women’s sports.
The study, conducted by one of Australia’s leading universities Monash University, found that less than a quarter (24 per cent) of women believed “trans athletes have an unfair advantage when they play on a female sport team”.
Despite this, almost half (46 per cent) of men surveyed felt that trans women have an “unfair advantage” when they play on women’s teams.
According to ABC Australia, Morrison did not say when asked in a press conference on Monday (11 April) if he would move to ban trans women from female sports. However, he said he “shares” Chandler and Deves’ views on the issue.
“I share their views. We will have more to say about that at another time,” Morrison told reporters.
“I welcome Katherine’s selection, pleased to play a role in that, I think she’s raised very important issues.
“I think Claire Chandler has also been outspoken and brave on these issues.”
Morrison previously called the bill, which would amend the Sex Discrimination Act to “clarify” that limiting sports on the basis of “biological sex” is legal and not discriminatory, “terrific”.
“I support it, as Claire knows,” the The Sydney Morning Heraldreported him as saying. “I think it’s a terrific bill and I’ve given her great encouragement.”
Morrison’s views echo several cases of bigoted legislation across states in America to ban trans women from participating in sports, with particular debate around a trans college swimmer named Lia Thomas, who scooped several wins in university races.
Multiple states have enacted such legislation so far in 2022, with bans in Iowa, Utah, Oklahoma and Arizona being passed into law in March alone.
“I don’t think biological males should be competing in female sporting events,” he told Sky News during a visit to a hospital on 6 April.
“Maybe that’s a controversial thing to say, but it just seems to me to be sensible.”
Richard Hearne, the founder of inclusive cycling group Pride Out, told PinkNews that Boris Johnson‘s “divisive” and “off-the-cuff” stance is unhelpful, considering that he is no expert on the area. “On what basis and knowledge has he made them?” he said.
He added: “Despite thorough scientific evidence concerning trans participation in sport by experts over many years, it appears that some people simply don’t want to entertain the idea of trans people being able to participate in sport.
“I think it’s a very sad situation, especially when trans people are already badly underrepresented in sport.”
he vexing debate over trans people kicking a ball or running for a few seconds has increasingly engulfed the minds of lawmakers and pundits.
Yet while research is still scant on the area, advocacy groups and many sports governing bodies generally agree that trans people playing sports is a non-issue.
After all, sport is unfair. Some athletes have naturally advantages, such as height, while others have access to better coaching and resources.
Anti-trans bans invite ‘gender policing’, say activists
For the most part, trans women need to undergo hormone therapy for at least one year to complete. Even then, testosterone, long associated with strength, isn’t even the reason for some performance differences in the first place, studies have suggested.
Last year, for example, the International Olympic Committee released new guidelines that said there is no need for trans women to lower their testosterone to compete against cisgender women.
The framework also applies to women with differences in sex development, such as Caster Semenya, the 800-metre runner told by World Athletics she can only compete if she alters her natural hormones.
No wonder Semenya’s career took a hit, the American Civil Liberties Union says, as “excluding women who are trans hurts all women”.
“It invites gender policing that could subject any woman to invasive tests or accusations of being ‘too masculine’ or ‘too good’ at their sport to be a ‘real’ woman,” the advocacy group said in a statement.
The effects of this can already be seen. According to the US Trans Survey, 22 per cent of trans women who were perceived as trans in school were abused so badly they had to leave school because of it.
The ACLU said that most efforts, whether it be by some sporting regulators or lawmakers, to ban trans women from sports are overwhelmingly based on “harmful” myths.
While research suggests that some trans women have residual physiological advantages, the few trans athletes who compete in top sports tell a different story.
An analysis by The Independent found that Lia Thomas, whose very existence has become a culture war as a college swimmer, doesn’t have an unfair advantage over cis women.
She hasn’t broken as many records as pundits may want you to think, the analysis found, and her times are often on par with cis women – and way below those of cis men.
In American women’s college sports, there are around 200,000 athletes competing. Of them, one researcher estimated, there are about 50 trans people.
Caster Semenya: Sports bodies that exclude trans women are ‘on the wrong side of history’
Doctors, academics, and sports psychologists, meanwhile, told ALCU that such bans balloon an apparent problem that doesn’t exist and, in doing so, foster division within sports.
They stress that sex can greatly vary women person to person – there is no one way a women’s body can be.
Many who rally to ban trans athletes shout that gender is defined by biological sex. But scientists have long said that biological sex isn’t so straightforward and there is no single biological factor that defines a person’s sex.
“A person’s genetic make-up and internal and external reproductive anatomy are not useful indicators of athletic performance,” said Dr Joshua Safer.
“There is no inherent reason why her physiological characteristics related to athletic performance should be treated differently from the physiological characteristics of a non-transgender woman.”
Even when the so-called advantages trans athletes hold are trumpeted by critics, when it comes to elite sports, it’s almost inevitable that a top athlete holds an edge over their peers.
Michael Phelps is a textbook example of this, researchers say. The towering swimmer has a 6’7″ wingspan, flipper-grade size 14 feet and produces half the lactic acid of his competitors, giving him almost superhuman stamina.
Many governing bodies require trans athletes to undergo some form of hormone suppression for a certain number of years. But this is a demand that the United Nations see as “unnecessary, humiliating and harmful”.
The council warned sporting officials “to refrain from developing and enforcing policies and practices that force, coerce or otherwise pressure women and girl athletes into undergoing unnecessary, humiliating and harmful medical procedures in order to participate in women’s events in competitive sports”.
Stonewall recommended to PinkNews that sports embrace a “case-by-case” approach to regulating trans people taking part in sports.
The International Federation of Sports Medicine, which represents 125,000 physicians in 117 countries, agrees.
Given that there is little data on the apparent advantages trans women have, the commission suggested last year that each sport regulate itself rather than blanket banning trans women from the competitive sport altogether.
“Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history,” Semenya said in 2020 as she took her exclusion to the European Court of Human Rights.
“I will continue to fight for the human rights of female athletes, both on the track and off the track, until we can all run free the way we were born.
“I know what is right and will do all I can to protect basic human rights, for young girls everywhere.”
A Michigan lawmaker has slammed a Republican colleague’s ‘groomer’ accusations because of her diehard support for the LGBT+ community.
State senator Mallory McMorrow delivered a passionate speech on the Capitol floor, defending herself from baseless claims by Republican Lana Theis. McMorrow told her fellow legislators that Theis “accused me by name of grooming and sexualising children” in a fundraising email because the Democrat stood up against Theis’ attempts to marginalise the LGBT+ community.
McMorrow, who shared a clip of her fiery speech on Twitter, told those gathered at the state Capitol building that she “didn’t expect to wake up” to the message and “sat on it” for a while as she wondered why Theis would lob such accusations against her. But then she realised that she is the “biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme”.
“You can’t claim that you are targeting marginalised kids in the name of ‘parental rights’ if another parent is standing up to say ‘no’,” McMorrow said. “So then what – you dehumanise and marginalise me.”
“These are the people we are up against,” Theis’ fundraising email read. “Progressive social media trolls like senator Mallory McMorrow (D-Snowflake) who are outraged they can’t teach can’t groom [sic] and sexualise kindergarteners or that eight-year olds are responsible for slavery.”
PinkNews has contacted Theis’ office for comment.
McMorrow argued that Theis’ email tried to other her by saying “she’s a groomer”, “she supports pedophilia”, “she wants children to believe they were responsible for slavery and to feel bad about themselves because they’re white”.
McMorrow explained in her speech that Theis’ accusations are rooted in a broader conservative campaign to use concepts like critical race theory to attack the LGBT+ community, civil rights activists and allies.
“I am a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom who knows that the very notion that learning about slavery or redlining or systemic racism somehow means that children are being taught to feel bad or hate themselves because they are white is absolute nonsense,” McMorrow said.
She continued: “No child alive today is responsible for slavery. No one in this room is responsible for slavery.
“But each and every single one of us bears responsibility for writing the next chapter of history… we are not responsible for the past.
“We also cannot change the past. We can’t pretend that it didn’t happen, or deny people their very right to exist.”
She added that people who are “different” are not the reason why “roads are in bad shape”, “healthcare costs are too high” or “teachers are leaving the profession”.
“We cannot let hateful people tell you otherwise to scapegoat and deflect from the fact that they’re not doing anything to fix the real issues that impact peoples’ lives,” McMorrow said. “I know that hate will only win if people like me stand by and let it happen.”
She continued: “And I want to be very clear right now: Call me whatever you want. I know who I am.
“I know what faith and service mean, and what it calls for in this moment. We will not let hate win.”
Senator McMorrow was among a group of Democrats who walked out while Theis was speaking during a legislative session last week. During the speech, Theis claimed that “children are under attack” because of “forces that desire things for them other than what their parents would have them see and hear and know”, Detroit Free Pressreported.
Right-wing figures and conservative Republicans have increasingly labelled the LGBT+ community and advocates as “groomers” following the advancement of anti-LGBT+ bills including Florida’s reviled and hateful ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.
Casey Pick, senior fellow for advocacy and government affairs at the Trevor Project, told NBC Newsthat the organisation has seen an “uptick in the use of these slurs” and “gross terms like ‘grooming’”, especially in “dark corners of the internet”.
“It’s important to note that we’ve been fighting against these stereotypes for decades, if not longer,” Pick said.
Pick referenced Anita Bryant’s fierce anti-gay crusade in the 1970s and broader fearmongering during the campaign for marriage equality as precedent for the modern rise in ‘groomer’ allegations against the LGBT+ community and allies.
“We’re starting to see politicians and political staff using this term, not in the way that is beneficial to discuss things like the real concerns about sexual abuse, but as a way to demean and silence debate about LGBTQ people and their needs,” Pick added.