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transgender

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is leaving an Obama-era policy on transgender military service members largely intact, saying he needs input from an expert panel to determine the best way to implement President Trump's ban that would keep transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

Trump barred transgender would-be recruits from signing up, but he gave Mattis discretion to decide the status of transgender people who are already serving.

Kara McDermott for KUOW

Bill Radke talks to Staff Sergeant Patricia King about how President Trump's restriction on transgender individuals from serving in the military affects their lives and jobs. King was the first infantryman to reveal she is transgender. She has been serving in the Army for 18 years and is a recipient of a Bronze Star. 

Transgender members of the U.S. military would be subject to removal at Defense Secretary James Mattis' discretion — and the service would bar transgender people from enlisting, under new White House guidelines for the Pentagon. President Trump announced the ban via a tweet last month.

Rough details of the guidelines were confirmed by NPR's Tom Bowman after the White House plan for the Pentagon was reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Five openly transgender members of the U.S. military are suing President Trump and other leaders of the U.S. government over Trump's declaration, over Twitter, that trans people will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. The suit alleges that Trump's directive is "arbitrary and capricious," unconstitutionally depriving the service members of due process.

Mama, I Was Supposed To Be Born A Girl

Aug 6, 2017
Marlo Mack and her daughter. Marlo's daughter is part of a University of Washington study on the lives of trans children.
Courtesy of Marlo Mack

My son was barely 3 years old when he informed me that … I didn’t have a son.

He looked me square in the eyes and said, “Mama, I think something went wrong when I was in your tummy, because I was supposed to be born a girl, but I was born a boy instead.” 

Jannie Anderson, the author of this essay.
Courtesy of Jannie Anderson

This might come across as whining, but I don't really care.

I deactivated my Facebook account Wednesday after I read that President Trump was kicking all transgender people out of the military. I wanted to step aside and become invisible, but I have something to say, so I came back to write this:

Bill Radke speaks with Hailey, the head of 3rd Gender Washington, a group pushing for driver's licenses and other documents to feature a third gender option: an X, meaning no gender is specified. Hailey says that she is non-binary, living in a small Washington town, and is not completely out to her family and neighbors. She wants all people to have a chance to not be boxed in by gender. She also hopes this will open up a dialogue about what it means to be non-binary.

President Donald Trump
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9hKraP

Bill Radke talks to reporter Patricia Murphy about what President Trump's tweets on banning transgender people from the military means for people serving in Western Washington.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced that the government will not allow transgender people to serve in the U.S. military, a year after the Pentagon lifted its ban on transgender service members.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, he wrote:

Over and over again, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos deflected a barrage of pointed questions with one answer:

"Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law."

women's bathroom
Flickr Photo/Wally Gobetz (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/74gjsK

Bill Radke talks with Shannon Keating, LGBT editor for Buzzfeed, about how the relationship between gender and bathrooms goes far beyond the modern controversies over transgender rights. Keating explains how through the years the women's room has represented misogyny and racism. She also details how some of Hollywood's most iconic horror scenes are filmed in the bathroom. 

Fred Anex-Schnauss and Leyla Gheisar
KUOW Photo/Shane Mehling

KUOW’s Bill Radke talks with Leyla Gheisar and Fred Anex-Schnauss, two non-binary trans teens in Seattle who, despite state protections, still struggle with bathrooms. They also point out racism within the trans community here.

I was involved in school athletics, which meant every day I was changing at school …

Fred: The nurse's office bathroom was the one that I was told that I was allowed to use. And that meant walking through the nurse's office often when they were with a patient, going in there to use the bathroom.

Chris López always knew there was something a little different about her youngest child, Gabe. Although assigned female at birth, Gabe, 9, always knew he was a boy.

Things really changed for Gabe when when he spent a weekend at a camp for transgender kids when he was 8 years-old.

KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

Hundreds of transgender people, their families and allies gathered at the University of Washington Tacoma Saturday Feb. 25.

The occasion was a rally against Washington State Initiative 1552. The measure would “override state and local prohibitions against gender-identity discrimination in certain public-accommodation facilities, require that public schools restrict access to some facilities based on sex at birth, and allow related lawsuits against schools.”

Transgender people in Oregon would have an easier way to change their identity on government documents under a bill being considered by Oregon lawmakers.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration made big news regarding the rights of transgender students. But what exactly changed?

Danni Askini, the executive director of the Gender Justice League.
Courtesy of Danielle Askini

Washington state won't be directly affected by President Donald Trump's new policy about transgender students.

The administration said Wednesday that states should decide whether trans students should be allowed to use school bathrooms that match their gender identity, reversing guidelines issued by then President Obama.

Debi and Avery Jackson at the book launch party in Seattle for Avery's book, 'It's Okay to Sparkle.'
Debi Jackson

Marlo Mack is raising her nine-year-old transgender daughter in Seattle. Over the years Mack has felt supported and welcomed in her hometown. But this isn't always the case for transgender people living in more conservative parts of the country.

What happens when a person decides their gender at birth is not that one they were meant to be? If that person is a child, the question has ramifications for everyone in the family. Marcie Sillman speaks with Laurie Frankel about her new book, "This Is How It Always Is." The novel tells the story of a young transgender girlFrankel talks about the parallels between her own life and the family in the novel.

Marlo Mack

We all need someone to look up to.  That's what motivated Marlo Mack to seek out a role model for her nine-year-old transgender daughter. In this excerpt of her podcast, How to Be a Girl, Mack tells the story of finding a "big sister" for her child.

How to Be a Girl is produced in partnership with Marlo Mack and KUOW.

Subscribe to the podcast to hear the full episode: RSS | iTunes

In a surprise announcement, the Boy Scouts of America said that it will begin accepting transgender boys who want to join its scouting programs.

The Scouts' policy change came in a written and video statement released by Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. He said that for more than a hundred years the Scouts used the information on an individual's birth certificate to determine a boy's eligibility to join its single gender programs.

Marlo Mack's daughter with her baby doll.
Marlo Mack

Before I enrolled my daughter in public school two years, I raced to get her official documents changed. It’s one of the rites of passage for parents of trans kids. 

Suzanne Adams during her visit to KUOW.
KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

Bill Radke speaks with Suzanne Adams about how her experiences as a former police chief and a transgender woman have helped her train Seattle Police Department officers on how to properly interact with the trans community.  

Marlo Mack

1) Gender matters, but I have no idea what it is

If a girl can wear anything she likes, and play sports and climb trees, and be a doctor or an astronaut or a senator … and if she can even have a “boy’s body,” what the heck is a girl? I honestly don’t know. But I do know this: It matters to me that I’m a girl. It matters to my daughter. And I bet your gender matters to you too.

2) Fear is inevitable, and fear is irrelevant

How to be a (teen) girl

Dec 22, 2016

Life as a teenager can be challenging. All the pressures of school, figuring out who you are and your place in the world. It can be even more difficult if you’re a transgender teen. Marlo Mack has been thinking about this a lot lately. She’s a single mom of an eight-year-old trans daughter. Puberty is just a few years away. In this excerpt from her podcast “How to Be a Girl,” Mack explores what life will be like for her daughter as a teenager.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

The North Carolina Legislature began a special session on Wednesday morning to vote on the repeal of a controversial state law that limits civil rights protections for LGBT people, but the effort failed by day's end as the Legislature adjourned without passing any bill.

North Carolina's Legislature is poised to repeal the controversial "bathroom bill," after the Charlotte City Council unanimously voted to repeal its local anti-discrimination measure.

The state law, called House Bill 2 or HB2, was passed in March as a direct response to that Charlotte measure — over the course of 12 hours, in the state's first special legislative session in 35 years.

Now the law might be rolled back in another special session, again following a decision by the Charlotte City Council.

Hope for trans women who want to be moms

Nov 30, 2016
Marlo Mack's daughter with her baby doll.
Marlo Mack

Marlo Mack always wanted to be a mother, and maybe even a grandmother. Mack is a single mom of an 8-year-old transgender daughter. She produces a podcast called “How to Be a Girl." In this excerpt, Mack looks at fertility and the future challenges her daughter will face.

Transgender veterans hoping the veterans administration would cover their sex reassignment surgery were dealt a setback after the administration dropped the plan.

Army Pfc. Chelsea Manning is asking President Obama to grant her clemency saying she is requesting "a first chance at life."

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after perpetrating one of the largest leaks of classified information in U.S. history.

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