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Posted on Aug 19, 2014

Comprehensive transgender healthcare approved in Oregon

Transgender Oregonians have something to celebrate: the Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) approved of trans healthcare as a part of the Oregon Health Plan! Trans people will be able to receive transition-related healthcare starting in 2015. This decision was made after HERC started a review process in April to assess the need for trans-inclusive healthcare. 

HERC estimates approximately 175 people will benefit from the change in any 12 month period and the total cost will amount to less than $150,000 per year out of their bi-annual $9.7 billion budget.

For more information about eligibility, specifics, protocol, or other details, click here.

August 20, 2014
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Posted on Aug 13, 2014

Delhi University including third gender option on application forms

Early last year, India's government began issuing new citizenship certificates recognizing transgender Indians (traditionally called hijras) as "third gender" citizens, and in April, India's Supreme Court also recognized transgender Indians as the "third gender." The influence of this recognition of the third gender community has trickled down through the University Grants Commission (UGC), and subsequently, Delhi University, which has recently added "transgender" as a gender marker option in its student and faculty application forms.

One transgender activist, Lakshminarayan Tripathi, said:

Most Indian universities say they never turn down admission requests from transgender candidates, but their forms did not have an option under the gender choices. We don't like making that choice…It is important for educational institutions to create space for them and make a start by mentioning 'others' or 'transgender' in their application forms. This is a great start.

The Telegraph of India reported that the "ministry of social justice and empowerment has been working to formulate a comprehensive scheme for [transgender people] covering all parameters laid down in the Supreme Court order and including the recommendations of an expert committee," which suggested that people belonging to the third gender "should be given access to health care and education at all levels without stigma or discrimination."

August 13, 2014
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Posted on Aug 12, 2014

Transgender immigration detainee, Marichuy Leal Gamino, moved to solitary confinement after reporting rape

Advocates are deeply concerned about transgender immigration detainee, Marichuy Leal Gamino, who, according to The Advocate, not only was incarcerated in a men's facility at Arizona's Eloy Detention Center even though she identifies as a woman, but was also sent to solitary confinement after reporting that her male roommate raped her.

The Arcoiris Liberation Team, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and Transgender Law Center released a joint statement saying that Gamino was punished after coming forward about her sexual assault. When she was forced to live in the same facility where she was assaulted, she informed the Center's staff that she felt suicidal. Security then put her in solitary confinement for two days.

Unfortunately, it has become a frequent practice for detention centers and prisons to put transgender inmates in solitary confinement under the guise that it's for the detainee's safety. But a 2010 report from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asserts that the "use of confinement to protect a threatened population amounts to a punitive measure." During solitary confinement, detainees may be confined separately for 23 hours a day with little access to proper clothing, medication, and/or communication with the outside world. This mistreatment can drag on for months and often results in inflicting "lasting psychological damage and increased likelihoods of future suicide attempts, depression, insomnia, and hallucinations."

The Advocate also reported that one trans former Eloy detainee, Karolina Lopez, experienced similar maltreatment:

"What's happening to Marichuy is not so different from what I went through, or what I saw other trans women in Eloy experience…I was harassed by two men, then placed in solitary confinement. Officials said it was for my own security, but they treated me like I had done something wrong. I almost went crazy, I still have fear of small spaces, and of officials. If ICE (Immigration Control and Enforcement) actually cares about Marichuy's security, they should let her go."

According to the Transgender Law Center:

Since Marichuy was first detained in Eloy over a year ago, ICE has failed to provide even a minimum level of safety and dignity. Now, in response to the pressure of public attention, ICE has threatened to send Marichuy to yet another detention facility, further from her family and community in Arizona, instead of using its discretion to release her from detention.

Join over 60 LGBT and human rights organizations and the 3,500 other signatories on this petition demanding ICE Director, Andrew Lorenzon-Strait, for her immediate release.

August 12, 2014
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NC State Branding Bar