More than half of trans and non-binary people are misgendered in death by officials, new research suggests.
Research, published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, found that between 2011 and 2021, more than half of transgender and non-binary people who died during this time period were misgendered on their death certificates.
Kimberly Repp, chief epidemiologist for Washington County and one of the study’s authors, noted that this could impact the allocation of resources like social services and public health programs, which can change depending on a region’s vital statistics.
She said: “What we learned will likely alarm anyone who identifies as transgender or non-binary – or anyone who cares about the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people.”
The research was conducted by public health officials from Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas, and focussed on the Portland, Oregon, metro area, and looked at the recorded deaths of 51 trans and non-binary people.
It revealed systemic gaps in coroners’ ability to accommodate trans and non-binary people.
The majority of medical examiner case management software does not include a field for gender identity, and there is no national requirement for death investigators to be trained about how to verify a deceased person’s gender identity.
Next-of-kin also have unilateral power to declare a deceased person’s gender and have it changed on a death certificate, which can lead to what the study calls “nonconsensual detransitioning” – when the next-of-kin rejects the deceased’s trans identity.
Kimberly DiLeo, chief investigator with the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office, said that while it has been “proactive in training our staff to record gender identity… without adequate tools to collect this data and changes at a national level, we are limited in what we can do”.
in 2019 the American Medical Association made attempts to tackle increasing violence among transgender people by establishing a more consistent way to collect data on trans identity.
Despite this, the report noted that no agency regularly collects information about gender identity at death.
“I didn’t know if there was a place and a space for me to do this sort of work that I’ve really come to love and enjoy, while also getting to be myself while I do it,” she said on the same day that she officially filed for a name change with the Iowa courts.
She is not the first reporter to make that announcement. ESPN journalist M.A. Voepel announced in a tweet in August that he is transitioning and would use male pronouns.
In an interview with a friend who is a former reporter for the station, Reichardt said she had thoughts about being transgender in high school. But she noted that her Minnesota hometown is rural and she “didn’t even have the language to describe what I was feeling.”
She said that at work she felt like “I was someone I didn’t really feel like” when she dressed in slacks and button-up shirts.
“A while after I started being on air, I kind of just reached a personal breaking point where I thought, ‘Why don’t I like the person that I am seeing every time I am going out in the field? Why don’t I connect with that person? Why don’t I want to be that person?’”
Reichardt said she gradually came into her identity as a transgender woman over the course of several years and began a medical transition process in September 2021.
“To gradually come into a role where I am feeling more and more at home in my body than I really ever did before has been amazing to get to experience and share with people,” she said.
A conservative judge in Texas has issued a ruling against a federal guidance ensuring workplace non-discrimination protections for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming employees.
In an October 1 ruling, Matthew Kacsmaryk, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, declared that, in June 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidance that incorrectly interpreted the June 2020 Supreme Court ruling Bostock v. Clayton County.
The 2020 Supreme Court decision found that discrimination against gay and transgender employees is a form of sex discrimination forbidden by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
One year later, the EEOC issued a guidance stating that the ruling required workplaces with more than 15 employees to allow all transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming workers to use the pronouns, dress codes, facilities, and healthcare practices matching their gender identities.
In response, the state of Texas sued the EEOC, and Judge Kacsmaryk just ruled in the state’s favor. He ruled that although the 2020 Supreme Court decision declared that employers can’t discriminate against workers for their sexuality or gender identity, it doesn’t protect an employee’s “correlated conduct.”
As such, Kacsmaryk declared the EEOC’s guidance unlawful and said that Texas doesn’t have to follow it. However, the matter is far from settled.
That’s because 20 Republican-led states have also sued the EEOC over the guidance, alleging that the federal agency violated the Administrative Procedure Act by not following the required process for making new rules and also the Constitution’s 10th Amendment by trampling on states’ authority over privacy expectations in workplaces.
Kacsmaryk’s ruling isn’t entirely surprising considering that he once served as the deputy general counsel for the First Liberty Institute (FLI), a legal organization that generally represents conservative Christians, attacks the separation of church and state, and opposes LGBTQ rights.
“Five justices of the Supreme Court found an unwritten ‘fundamental right’ to same-sex marriage hiding in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment — a secret knowledge so cleverly concealed in the nineteenth-century amendment that it took almost 150 years to find,” he wrote.
Thirty-one-year-old Clayton Hubbird has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide and use of a dangerous weapon for killing Regina “Mya” Allen.
August 29 video footage from a BP gas station showed that Allen and Hubbird briefly talked inside the station before she stepped into the passenger’s seat of his black Chevy Tahoe SUV, police told FOX6. When the two arrived at Allen’s apartment complex, a witness told police that he saw them arguing in the vehicle before hearing a gunshot.
Allen reportedly stumbled out of the vehicle and exclaimed, “I’m shot!” before dialing 911 for emergency services. When police arrived, she told an officer that she had met the man who shot her at a gas station. She later died from her injuries, barely a month before her 36th birthday.
On August 30, police found the SUV parked in Wauwatosa, a city about seven miles east of Milwaukee. Investigators found ammunition and firearm magazines in Hubbird’s bedroom.
Police issued a warrant for Hubbird’s arrest on September 6.
Hubbird appeared in court on October 2, and cash bond was set at $250,000, according to FOX6.
Friends remembered Allen as full of laughter.
“I remember seeing her, and I was jut like, amazed by her, her beauty and the way that she carried herself,” said Ananna Sellers, a member of a Wisconsin Black trans leaders coalition called The Black Rose Initiative. “I really did have a soft spot in my heart for Mya.”
Sellers added, “Whenever something happens to a girl like us, it’s always got something to do with [being trans] to some capacity.”
Thirty-one trans people have been murdered so far this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). A majority of the individuals murdered have been Black trans women. The number is likely an undercount seeing as some trans people are misgendered by their families, police, or media after death while others are never identified at all.
Yesterday Erika Hilton (she/her) in São Paulo and Duda Salabert (she/her) in Minas Gerais won their elections to the Brazilian Congress, making them the first trans people ever elected to Congress in the country’s history. Despite ongoing anti-LGBTQ hate perpetuated by the Bolsonaro administration, a record number of out LGBTQ people ran for Congress this year in Brazil – over 300 – including a record number of trans people. With yesterday’s results, LGBTQ representation in Brazil will double from 9 to 18 elected officials, 16 of whom are women.
Alhelí Partida, Director of Global Programs at LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statement about the election:
“Brazil’s LGBTQ community – and trans community in particular – has never had equitable representation in government. But with a record number of LGBTQ candidates running this year, it is clear that LGBTQ leaders are stepping up to make change from within the halls of power. Erika and Duda showed true courage in their campaigns for Congress, running during a time of increased homophobia and transphobia at the hands of President Bolsonaro and his followers. Their success is not just a sharp rebuke to these bigots, but a beacon of hope to Brazil’s vibrant LGBTQ community.
“While we hope their success is a sign of better days, Brazil remains an incredibly tough place to engage as an out leader – where homophobia, transphobia, death threats and worse are common. In 2018, we lost one of our own, Rio de Janeiro Councilwoman Marielle Franco, assassinated by anti-LGBTQ and anti-women attackers. While her loss continues to be devastating, she has become an icon and the fuel needed to inspire more courageous LGBTQ Brazilians to raise their voices.”
In preparation for the 2022 election cycle in Brazil, LGBTQ Victory Institute and #VoteLGBT held two trainings to support LGBTQ candidates. In total, there were 63 participants, 28 of whom ran for office this year – including three trans women who ran for Congress. #VoteLGBT, Victory Institute, Equal Rights in Action Fund and Google also released “The State of Brazilian LGBT+ Politics: Between Power and Obliteration” this year, the first analysis of LGBTQ politics and political power in Brazil.
LGBTQ Victory Institute
LGBTQ Victory Institute’s Global Programs work to increase the political participation of LGBTQ people to advance equality across the globe. This work includes training LGBTQ leaders and aspiring candidates, implementing voter education and civic engagement initiatives, and conducting research on the climate of LGBTQ political participation.
When transgender activist Erin Reed first started transitioning, she found it difficult to locate gender-affirming health centers that provide informed consent around hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and its effects. So, as an adult, she conducted extensive research in trans-inclusive web forums and created a Google Map listing 786 trans-supportive clinics, LGBTQ community centers, and other services across the nation.
A transphobic website called “The Gender Mapping Project” (or “The Gender Mapper”) seemingly reposted Reed’s map — typos and all — in order to help anti-trans activists “name and shame doctors” that support trans clients. The website’s stated goal is to abolish the “gender industry.”
“We are dedicated to delivering the truth about what is happening to children and youth by documenting the hard numbers on how many gender clinics, how many surgical clinics, and recording evidence where necessary. We wish to hold those who are harming to account and we demand justice for the victims,” the website states.
The website — which repeats right-wing falsehoods about “experimental surgeries,” chemical castration, and using gender-affirming care to “abuse” children — was founded by Alix Aharon, a member of the Women’s Liberation Front, a group that opposes trans legal and civil rights.
When Reed became aware of the website allegedly using her map, she tweeted, “I am enraged. I made my informed consent HRT map specifically for people dealing with poverty or lack of access to be able to obtain hormones after a move, or obtain without going for a year of therapy they can’t afford. And this d**k is using it for hate.”
Reed filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act claim and asked Google to remove the map. But the Gender Mapping Project continues to use it, Reed told The Daily Dot.
Aharon’s website map may have already helped anti-trans groups target gender-affirming care providers. Reed and other trans activists worry that others will use the map to intimidate, harass, or commit violence against care providers and their clients. This possibility seems entirely possible considering that death and bombing threats have targeted at least two gender-affirming hospitals so far.
Aharon’s website, Republican politicians, Fox News, as well as other activists and media figures have claimed that gender-affirming care is a form of “child abuse” even though every major U.S. medical association says such care improves the lives of trans people.
“Given the threats made against clinics and attacks on LGBTQ community centers, this poses an immediate risk to every place listed in this map,” trans advocate Alejandra Caraballo wrote on Twitter. “Anti-abortion activists use similar lists to coordinate bombings of clinics and murders of providers.”
In response to such criticism, Aharon disingenuously told Salon, “My map is subject to interpretation. I don’t express an opinion on the actual map, if someone thinks that child gender clinics are a wonderful thing then my map is simply a resource for treatment.”
She told The Daily Dot that she doesn’t “really have other political views” and doesn’t see how her map can be transphobic seeing as pro-trans advocates have posted similar maps.
While her website rails against gender-affirming care for children, its map contains listings for places offering “’adult advocacy, support & ancillary services’ including support groups, chest binders, and STD testing,” The Daily Dot noted.
The Gender Mapping Project’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have both been suspended. However, the site maintains a monetized YouTube account, meaning that Google and Aharon can both profit from it. Google told the aforementioned publication that it is investigating the YouTube channel and Google Map.
Google also said that anyone can create maps and also report ones that may violate the company’s policies. Meanwhile, Twitter users are sharing the map online, tagging high-profile anti-trans activists who could help direct violence toward gender-affirming caregivers, the aforementioned publication reported.
One Twitter user criticized Google’s inaction against Aharon, writing, “Seriously @google @googlemaps you are putting people in danger by not taking this down. Do something about it. #NoHate.”
When Jennifer Eller first began transitioning in 2011, she was an English teacher in Kenmoor Middle School in Maryland. That year, the students began calling her a pedophile. A human resources worker said that her therapist’s note about her transition was “garbage” before insisting that Eller present as male at the school. Another administrator told her not to wear skirts because it’d make others feel uncomfortable.
Eller transferred to Friendly High School, thinking things would get better. They got worse.
Students and parents repeatedly called her a tr***y and a pedophile and misgendered her. Students regularly called Eller “mister,” a “he/she,” an “it,” and “a guy in a dress.” They asked about her genitals. One threatened to rape her and make her “their girlfriend.” She reported the rape threat, but the school principal said he couldn’t do anything about it.
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One parent who accused Eller of “lying to everyone” about her gender came to school to yell at her. The parent had to be removed by school security.
Eller said she filed formal harassment and discrimination complaints with school officials. In response, school officials retaliated against her, she said. The school removed Eller from teaching an advanced English course, accusing her of being too friendly with students. Later, administrators and staff baselessly accused her of shouting at students and making them fear for their safety, Eller said.
She eventually resigned from teaching in 2017, citing a need to protect her own mental and physical health. She later filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOCC). The EEOC determined that Eller’s claims had merit. She then filed a lawsuit against the Prince George’s County Public School district in 2018, stating that officials had done nothing to stop or address the transphobic abuse.
The school district recently settled with Eller for an undisclosed amount. The district also put into place policies and administrative procedures for handling future transphobia. These changes were part of the settlement agreement, The Washington Post reported.
The changes also include school staff resources that explain trans identity and related terms, pronoun use, policies about bathroom and locker room facilities, dress codes, athletic participation, and other related issues.
“If these policies had been in place when I started my process,” Eller told the Post, “I would have known what my protections were and what I can expect from folks. And that’s not to say everybody’s perfect or that everyone would follow it. But I think that it would have been different. I think it would have been a healthier environment for me.”
Eller currently works as part of the U.S. Navy’s Child & Youth Programs where she is treated with respect, her lawyers said. However, working there, she only earns a fraction of what she made as a teacher.
At the start of the new school year in New York, a trans, Jewish teacher at Brooklyn’s Magen David Yeshivah was outed by parents and forced by the school from her job.
Talia Avrahami, who holds a master’s degree in Jewish education from Yeshiva University, was hired shortly before the school year began.
Following parents’ night at the yeshiva, which serves a mostly Syrian Orthodox community, video of Avrahami introducing herself went viral on YouTube and WhatsApp, with accusations that Avrahami was masquerading as a woman. People dug up pictures from before she transitioned and shared them on social media platforms.
Two Orthodox outlets, in posts since removed, disparaged Avrahami’s hire as shocking and “insane.” She was doxed, with her home address published online. The family was forced from their Washington Heights apartment for fear of reprisal. Video of Avrahami leaving her building with her husband and child with bags packed on Friday was posted to an Orthodox YouTube channel.
That video was shot the same day Avrahami was forced to resign her position as a social studies teacher.
According to a spokesperson for Avrahami, the yeshiva told her she wasn’t a good fit for the school. Avrahami agreed to take her salary through January in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement, barring her from disparaging the school publicly.
Over the weekend, the yeshiva sent an email to parents addressing the vacancy: “Please be advised that beginning Monday, September 19th, your child will have a replacement teacher for Social Studies.”
“It’s sad to see that some people want to derail our lives,” Avrahami told The Times of Israel. “We’re questioning whether or not our entire lives are ruined or not. It’s tough.”
“They’re posting pictures of our family, they’re posting where we live, we’re getting death threats. They’ve somehow taken videos outside our home,” she said.
Despite the fact Avrahami signed a non-disclosure agreement with the school, she retains the right to make claims under civil rights employment law. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that the protections of Title VII against discrimination applies to people who are LGBTQ.
Last week, Avrahami posted to Facebook seeking a “lawyer with expertise in defamation, contract law and human rights issues.”
In just a few short years in politics, Evelyn Rios Stafford has managed to make an impression at the highest levels of government, and at the most local, too.
The first transgender person to hold elected office in Arkansas, Rios Stafford serves as Justice of the Peace for her small district in Fayetteville. In her role, she’s officiated dozens of weddings for constituents. “That’s one of the highlights of this gig as Justice of the Peace. It always gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling to do that for people,” she told LGBTQ Nation.
Now, Rios Stafford is running for reelection to the post without serious opposition, a vote of confidence even before the election that constituents view her time in office as effective.
Rios Stafford’s first political involvement was getting a local civil rights ordinance passed in the late 2010’s. In 2020, she ran for an open seat on the local Quorum Court, the equivalent of a board of supervisors, and won. She represents about 16,000 people in her district.
At 49, with a broad smile and the easy, thoughtful cadence of a Texas native, Rios Stafford says being trans wasn’t a focus of her first campaign. “You know, I made one post…about it on National Coming Out Day during the campaign. But that was about it.” It wasn’t until after she was elected that “some folks got wind of the fact that I was a first of something.”
But her victory would become pivotal in the fight over trans rights in the state.
In 2021, the Arkansas legislature passed HB1570, also known as the Save Adolescents from Experimentation or SAFE Act. Like similar legislation introduced in other red states, the bill would ban all gender-affirming care for minors, prohibit insurance from covering gender transition procedures, and criminalize those assisting minors in the process.
The bill was awaiting Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson’s signature when Rios Stafford was enlisted by an Arkansas legislator to help halt the bill’s march into law. From the “phone call to me to meeting the governor was probably, I’d say 24 hours.”
While Rios Stafford was trans, she hadn’t transitioned as a youth. “I knew that I needed to also make space for folks who had this experience and were directly impacted, because their voices are really the ones that have been left out of this whole thing,” she said. Rios Stafford brought 18 year-old Willow Breshears, who began transitioning at 16 with her family’s active support, to the ornate conference room table for her meeting with the governor.
“This was probably the first time that he had ever had a sit down, face-to-face discussion with a trans person before, or in this case two trans people. And, you know, he was kind of starting at zero in terms of knowledge.” A 15-minute appointment turned into half an hour and then 45 minutes. “He was just wanting to know more, basically.”
“I was on pins and needles walking out of that room, like, you know, almost on the verge of having a panic attack. I was replaying all of my answers in my head, like, did I say the right thing, did I screw this up completely?”
Not only did Hutchinson veto the bill, he wrote a Washington Post op-ed explaining why and also went on Tucker Carlson’s show to defend his decision. No matter, the Arkansas legislature overrode his veto, though the law remains tied up in court challenges.
Still, Rios Stafford was satisfied to hear “echoes of some of the things we talked about” in Hutchinson’s defense of the veto.
“‘Traditionally, Republicans have held themselves up as champions of limited government,’” Rios Stafford told the governor. “‘In what way, shape or form is this limited government? Because this is big government. This is government getting in between the families and their doctors.’”
Rios Stafford’s own gender awakening was pivotal to her work in her adopted home state. She majored in English at Rice University in Houston and was pursuing a career in journalism when she got a call from the ABC-TV affiliate in San Francisco asking her to come in for an interview. She got the job. She was young and bright and on the loose in Baghdad by the Bay.
“It was a great time to come there,” she recalled. “During the dot-com boom, the city was kind of going crazy, and it was a really fun time to be there in my 20s. And obviously San Francisco is a place where you can really explore your identity, as well.”
Born and raised in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, she grew up attending Catholic school, where she encountered the first signs of her conflicted gender identity.
“In Catholic school, I had a boyfriend when I was 15. A couple of our friends knew about it, but it definitely wasn’t something that we were out about. I knew that I wasn’t straight, exactly,” she remembers thinking, “but I didn’t really have the language or knowledge to have an understanding of exactly in what way.”
In college, she figured it out. It was “literally, when I was, like, doing research in the college library, that I came across the idea of transgender. And it was this lightbulb moment of like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s what’s been going on with me.’”
In San Francisco, she embraced her new reality. “Gradually, I became more and more out,” Rios Stafford recalled. “It was not a surprise for some people. It was a surprise for others.” While she was “bracing for the worst,” she was “really pleasantly surprised and so grateful for having such a positive experience.”
“Back then, this was sort of like, this was new territory,” she said. “I think I was the first employee at an ABC owned-and-operated station to transition on the job.” The following year, Rios Stafford picked up two Emmys for her producing. “I feel like it was all tied together.”
The total package arrived shortly after she transitioned, when Rios Stafford met her future husband, Bob Stafford, an artist and graphic designer, online. She was “smitten from the beginning.” The two shared mutual friends in the arts scene South of Market in San Francisco, and Southern roots, as well. Soon after, the couple moved east to Stafford’s hometown of Fayetteville. They were married in 2016.
According to Rios Stafford, performing weddings in her job as Justice of the Peace is optional. “Not all the JPs do it. I have a feeling that one or two of them might not be on there because if they were on the list, they might have to do a same-sex wedding, and it’s against their personal beliefs or something? But I was like, ‘Sign me up! I’ll do anybody.’”
With Republicans threatening to reverse LGBTQ civil rights and generally undermine democratic elections, there’s a lot riding on the November midterms. But Voter ID laws across the nation could seriously impair transgender people from voting.
New research from The Williams Institute found that out of 878,300 eligible transgender voters in the U.S., as many as 203,700 could be blocked from voting because their government-issued IDs don’t reflect their gender identity — that’s nearly one-fourth of all eligible trans voters.
If a trans person arrives at a polling place with a government-issued ID containing an incorrect gender or name, they may be turned away by poll workers who think they’re trying to “impersonate” another individual.
203,700 disenfranchised trans voters is roughly the entire population of Salt Lake City, Utah; Little Rock, Arkansas; Amarillo, Texas; or Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to U.S. Census data.
Changing an ID isn’t always easy, and “transgender people of color, young adults, people with low incomes, and people with disabilities are more likely to not have accurate IDs for voting,” the Williams Institute wrote.
Trans people face numerous barriers to changing their ID gender markers. The process can take lots of time and money and require access to medical care that many trans people don’t have.
According to the Movement Advancement Project, 10 states require documentation from a medical provider in order to change a trans person’s gender marker; 8 states require proof of surgery, court order, or an amended birth certificate; and 10 states have “burdensome” or “unclear” policies on changing such gender markers.
Changing a birth certificate to get a new ID can also present problems: 12 states require trans people to undergo a gender-affirming surgery before officials will revise a birth certificate; 4 states don’t allow any changing of birth certificate gender markers whatsoever.
Name changes aren’t always easy either. Nine states require people to publicly post their name change requests online, something that can make them a target for harassment or violence.
An estimated 414,000 eligible trans voters live in the 31 states that predominantly have in-person voting and require voter ID. Nearly half of trans voters in those states don’t have an ID that accurately reflects their gender or name. Additionally, 64,800 eligible trans voters live in states that have very strict voter ID laws.
The exclusion of trans voters is particularly concerning as Republicans introduce anti-trans legislation across the country.
Republicans have ostensibly introduced voter ID laws as a way to stop the nearly nonexistent problem of voter fraud. But both the American Civil Liberties Union and The Brennan Center for Justice have called voter ID laws a form of “voter suppression” that mostly disenfranchises Democratic voters.