Archive for the ‘LGBTQ’ Category

New York has set a precedent in recognizing the needs of transgender youth in juvenile detention centers by passing a policy that finally addresses the problems that LGBT youth face within these detention centers.  On the day that Governor Paterson was sworn into office, March 17th, a policy was passed that allows transgender youth in the NY juvenile jails to choose their type of uniform, the name they wish to be called, and ask for special housing according to gender identity. The type of uniform and housing preferences will be referred to a special committee who will determine the legitimacy.


Furthermore, this new policy prohibits staff from asking residents their sexual orientation or gender identity and staff are encouraged to talk about what it means to be LGBT. This new policy also calls on the staff to be educated on what and how to use the words lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender appropriately when talking with the youth. When documenting information about the transgender youth the staff is to use the preferred name and pronoun that is chosen by the youth themselves.


This policy is a step in the right direction into understanding the importance of providing comprehensive policy that will cater to the needs of transgender youth. As cited in the NY Times article, in a 2001 report the Urban Justice Center found that “gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth routinely experienced discrimination, harassment and violence in New York’s juvenile justice system.” With this being a reality with many incarcerated transgender youth, this policy aims to make a difference in the treatment and understanding of transgender youth. Moreover, this is an important step in bringing awareness to the needs of transgender folks in general as they are often placed in the back burner of LGBT movements and advocacy groups. This also illustrates the diverse needs of the LGBT community, demonstrating that the obstacles LGBT communities face extend beyond gay marriage and more importantly creates a discourse of not just tolerance, but understanding and education.


Contributed by Stephanie Alvarado, Policy & Research Intern

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The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York City is offering a free English-as-a-Second-Language class for LGBT immigrants!  In a country in which homophobia, transphobia, and anti-immigrant sentiment are unfortunately common, The Center is providing an important service free of cost and in a space where queer immigrants can feel safe and learn an important skill.  The next round of courses start on April 28; to learn more about this and The Center’s other services and events, call 212-620-7310 or visit The Center’s website.

(Via VivirLatino)

–Veronica Bayetti Flores

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Victoria’s Family Speaks Out On Their Loss and Demands Answers

Los Angeles, CA –Victoria’s family will hold a candlelight vigil in memory of Victoria Arellano, a Latina transgender woman who was living with HIV and died after being denied basic medical attention at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in San Pedro, California. Medical attention to Victoria came too late and only after her cellmates organized a protest to demand medical attention.

“Sadly, Victoria Arellano’s death is not the only one.  In the past three weeks, other immigrants have died in either federal or local immigration custody, including a pregnant woman in El Paso and a Rhode Island man whose sister’s request to deliver him prescribed medication was rejected,” said MALDEF President and General Counsel John Trasviña. “The federal government must enforce basic standards for detention and Congress must use its oversight authority to make sure the Department of Homeland Security does so.” 

We request that the House Judiciary Committee, Immigration Subcommittee conduct an oversight hearing into the circumstances of Victoria’s death, as well as the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) detention standards and procedures regarding the policies for the treatment of LGBT detainees and for the medical care for all detainees.

“Victoria’s death is a human rights violation. Today people living with HIV/AIDS can live a long and healthy life as long as they are taking their medication in a consistent manner. This beautiful young woman, of only 23 years of age, was allowed to die in such an unjust manner simply because the authorities in charge failed to provide her with basic medical attention.” said Oscar De La O, President of BIENESTAR.
WHO: The Arellano Family
WHAT:  Candlelight Vigil
WHENMonday, August 27, 2007 6pm – 9pm
WHERE:  Federal Building – Downtown Los Angeles, 300 N. Los Angeles Street

Victoria’s family will make a statement to the press and community present. The candlelight vigil will be held in both English and Spanish. A community altar in memory of Victoria will commemorate her life as daughter, sister, friend and community activist.

BIENESTAR is the largest Latino community-based organization in the United States committed to meeting the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. BIENESTAR enhances the health and well-being of Latinos through community education, prevention, mobilization, advocacy, and the provision of direct social services. For more information visit http://www.bienestar.org <http://www.bienestar.org>
Founded in 1968, MALDEF, the nation’s leading Latino legal organization, promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through litigation, advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, and higher education scholarships. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: http://www.maldef.org.

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In an important step forward for LGBTQ New Yorker’s the State Assembly today approved Governor Spitzer’s bill to expand marriage access to same-sex couples.

The next step for marriage to pass would be the State Senate, which isn’t looking too good, since Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno has said that it won’t pass while he is in office.

Via The Agenda.

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Check out NLIRH staff Miriam Perez’s blog at RH Reality Check about why members of the LGBTQ community need to support abortion rights.

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