E. Winter Tashlin

Brave Little Girl Edition [What You Need To Know]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | September 26, 2012 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Cher, LGBT history month, Michael McShane, Nashua, NH, NOM Exposed, Paul Ryan, Selena KS, traditional marriage


The Nashua, New Hampshire school district, after facing complaints of discrimination, has agreed to treat a 3rd grade transgender girl as they would any other girl in the school system. To ease the process, she's moving to a new elementary school in the system where the staff will call her by her correct name and pronouns, and she can be someplace where she's only ever been known as a girl. As part of a settlement reached with her family, her transgender identity is rightly classified as "confidential medical information" and cannot be shared with other students or their families without written permission from the girl's parents.

Getting to this point with the school system wasn't the easiest road, it did require a settlement and some publicity after all, but while I'm not trying to diminish the pain the child and family experienced, the situation seems to have resolved surprisingly swiftly, and with fairness and equality carrying the day. I can't imagine things would have gone so smoothly five or ten years ago, at least not without a far more protracted fight. And this is all happening in Nashua NH no less, hardly a place known for being at the vanguard of social issues, equality, or progressive thinking.

I say that having only moved out of the area a year ago. There was a lot about New Hampshire that I loved, but it's a very purple state, with heavy elements of both liberalism and conservatism. I've heard the same person talk with pride about same-sex-marriage being legal there, while also referring to their neighboring state to the south as The People's Republic of Tax-achusetts. It was my partner's incipient medical transition that finally caused us to leave, choosing to come to Maine instead, where he has legal protections as a trans* person that he lacked in New Hampshire.

So we wish this young girl a school year full of learning and acceptance, and in the meantime, here's what you need to know today:

  • Good As You's Jeremy Hooper, writing on for the HRC's 'NOM Exposed' project, presents damning evidence that NOM is letting Michelle Bachman use its email list to solicit campaign contributions.
  • Selena, Kansas is facing backlash after having passed an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. In November a proposal to repeal the ordinance will be voted on and if repeal goes through, the ordinance can't be proposed again for ten years.
  • The University of Tennessee Chancellor, and Agriculture Chancellor, have announced that they are unable to support health benefits for gay partners of University employees because of "... the public policy of our state outlined in constitutional and statutory provisions."
  • President Obama has nominated openly gay judge Michael McShane to the Federal District Court of Oregon. If he clears Senate confirmation, he'll be one of a select few openly gay federal judges.
  • Yesterday I reported that NY state senator Stephan Saland had bested his primary challenger in a contentious campaign heavily linked to his support of same-sex marriage in that state. Today unfortunately, one of his compatriots, GOP Sen. Roy McDonald, who was a vocal supporter of marriage rights for same sex couples, lost his primary challenge.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court postponed their decision of whether or not to hear several LGBT related cases, including the one related to California's Proposition 8.
  • During a town hall-style campaign stop, GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan called "traditional marriage" an "American value," and a "universal human value." The phrase "traditional marriage" is commonly used conservative lingo for opposing LGBT marriage equality.
  • In the Washington Post Op-Ed pages, columnist Richard Cohen has a must-read piece about what he calls "brain drain" in the Republican Party. His contrasts of the GOP field in 1980's election and today is sobering.
  • Cheers for Broward County in Florida, whose school district just became the first in the nation to recognize LGBT History Month. According to Wikipedia, the Broward County School District is the sixth largest in the United States.
  • Over on Huffington Post Gay Voices, Warren J. Blumenfeld reflects on his own experiences as a gay university student in the pre-Stonewall days.
  • Finally I present this gem of a web find, West Side Story highlights done as a one person show through the magic of television by a young, gender-bending, Cher:

(img src: Untitled by Flickr user LoneWolf87)

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