Transgender Day of Remembrance rally in Lansing

Wednesday was Transgender Day of Remembrance and a few organizations teamed up to hold a rally downtown. Free Mom Hugs and Stand with Trans hosted the event to honor transgender lives that are no longer with us. A few speakers talked before a crowd about their own experiences and offered solutions to problems as well as a few words of encouragement.

Transgender youths defend their rights against bathroom bill

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.

LGBT is A-OK: Acceptance is important for Old Town

Zachary Barnes
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community has been a big part of Old Town’s rich history and the acceptance of it is a big reason why those within the neighborhood and visitors feel a close-knit, family-like bond. Acceptance is in Old Town’s fabric. The tolerance for those that identify as LGBT can be seen as a symbol of the openness Old Town has for people of all colors, backgrounds, gender, sexual orientation, and beliefs. Maintaining the ability to express yourself and feeling welcome at all times is a huge part of the Old Town fabric. General Manager of Spiral Dance Bar, Sam Courtney, says it’s important for Old Town businesses to promote a welcoming and a tolerant message.

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. A lawyer for the challengers, Jay Kaplan of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, said his organization had met several times during almost three years with Johnson’s representatives before filing suit.