Transgender youths defend their rights against bathroom bill

Ash and M.K. Kelly in a Lansing bookstore during the interview

Ash and M.K. Kelly in a Lansing bookstore during the interview

By CHAO YAN
Capital News Service

LANSING — Twins MK and Ash Kelly, both wearing wire-rimmed glasses and hoodies in navy blue, are wandering on Michigan Avenue in Lansing, jamming their hands into jeans pockets. Someone in a coffee shop recognizes them and waves enthusiastically through the window as they pass by.

MK and Ash, 20, are of some renown in Lansing, and not only because they do music and drawing. Lots of people are getting to know them from a video on Popsugar about their GoFundMe campaign to help pay for their gender reassignment surgeries, which are not covered by their health insurance. MK works in a tattoo shop and Ash is unemployed.

Sexually assigned as girls at birth, Ash came out as “non-binary” in 2014 and MK in 2015. Non-binary describes any gender identity which doesn’t fit strictly into categories of male or female. Continue reading

Judge allows transgender suit against state to proceed

By ERIC FREEDMAN

Capital News Service

LANSING — Transgendered Michigan residents can pursue a constitutional lawsuit challenging the Secretary of State’s requirements to change the gender on their drivers’ licenses and state ID cards, a federal judge has ruled.

The decision rejects a bid by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to get the case thrown out without trial but doesn’t determine whether the challengers ultimately will win the case.

At issue is whether Johnson’s office can legally require transgendered residents to undergo sex-reassignment — “gender confirmation” — surgery so they can provide an amended birth certificate to change the listed gender. The agency adopted that policy in 2011.
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