Sunday, 12 February 2017

Transphobic Sign Owner Resigns From City Council Presidency

Jay Linn, the owner of Northridge Auto Parts and Repair, has resigned from his position as president of Olmstead Falls city council following complaints about a sign outside of his business.

The sign was erected in early February, and contained the message 'If you don't know who you identify as, pull down your pants and look'.  The business, and Linn himself, quickly attracted complaints on social media, with people labelling the message as being transphobic in nature.

At the time Linn replied by saying, 'There's no malice in the sign.  It's just making the point why does everybody want to be someone else and draw attention to them, be who you are and be happy with who you are.

'I'm a believer that when god put you here, he put you here as what you are.'

Over the following weekend a number of people stood outside of Linn's business in protest, holding their own signs that condemned the message.

Linn announced on Thursday 9th February that he would be resigning from his position on the local city council due to the reaction he had received over the sign.  

'I resigned because the major and I don't share the same views.'  He told local news stations.  Linn has claimed that since placing the sign he has been attacked by LGBT+ groups, received death threats towards himself and his family, and been told that his business will be blown up.  Linn has not, however, filed any police reports regarding any of these claims.

'I haven't filed police reports.  The police are going to do absolutely nothing,'  He complained.  'I shut my Facebook page down.  I'm not going to respond to any more comments.  I serves for 30 years on three different boards and commissions.  I won't bend to any special group.

'My sign meant, why can't these people be satisfied with what god put them on earth as?  Why do they have to re-identify?  Why can't they be satisfied with what they are truly brought into the world as?

'You're looking at non-political correctness right here, I am non-political correctness because I don't give a rats rear end about political correctness.'

When speaking about the matter to a number of news sources Linn was questioned about the sign by trans woman Rissa Trent, who said; 'I questioned him on his position on the City Council.  I said, you're supposed to represent everyone in your city, how can you be impartial when you hate a portion of your community?  He started screaming on the air with, how dare I bring it up.'

Linn has now resigned from his council position, saying that he and the mayor do not share the same views and that he does not agree with the agendas that she is currently pushing forward.

'I've turned in my resignation letter due to you evil sick people.'  He posted on his Facebook page.  'I'm done serving the community that includes you after 30 years.  The mayor has my resignation letter, why don't you email her and ask her for a copy of it.  Once again, you are a sick bunch to try and desecrate a person that serves the community for 30 years that includes you.'

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Manga Creator Jiro Taniguchi Dies Aged 69

One of the best known and most popular manga artists, Jiro Taniguchi, has passed away aged 69, his publisher has announced.

Mr Taniguchi was born in Tattori City in 1947 and moved to Tokyo to become a manga creator, with his first work, 'Kareta Heya', being published in 1970.  Taniguchi was well known and loved for his signature fine line drawing style and shading without ink.

He published many works aimed at an adult audience, with stories depicting the everyday lives of ordinary people.

Taniguchi's work was popular outside of Japan, possibly due to his western influenced art style, and he received a number of awards for his work, including several Eisner Awards and an Ignatz Award.  His work proved to be very popular in France, where he was even knighted as a chevalier in France's Ordre des Arts et des letters in 2011.

His publisher described him as an 'extraordinarily kind and gentle' man.  'The humanism that imbued all his work is familiar with readers, but the man himself is less well-known, naturally reserved in character and more inclined to let his work speak on his behalf.'

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Saturday, 11 February 2017

School Cancels Visit From Trans Author Calling It 'Inappropriate'

The multi-award winning author Juno Dawson has had her visit to a Catholic school cancelled because she's transgender.

Dawson has been visiting schools across the UK to promote her latest book, 'Margot and Me', and was due to visit Brownedge St. Mary's Catholic High School in Preston, Lancashire.  However, just 48 hours before her visit Dawson received news that the event had been cancelled.

Speaking to BuzzFeed news, the author has said that a member of the school staff informed the company that had organised the visit that the event had been deemed 'inappropriate', stating that the 'subject matter' meant that 'they didn't think it was suitable'.

'It's a perfectly appropriate book for that audience,' Dawson said.  'All week I've been speaking to year seven and eights with no problems - in a mixture of grammar schools, private schools, faith schools, all sorts of different schools.'

Dawsons latest book, 'Margot and Me', is aimed at teenage readers and follows a teenage girl named Fliss, who is staying with her grandmother in Wales whilst her mother recuperates from chemotherapy, and the diary she finds made by her grandmother in the 1940's.

The visit would have consisted with a discussion about the book and its historical context, including the role of women in the 20th century.  After the visit was cancelled one of the event organisers contacted the school to try to make other arrangements for the visit, including speaking to an older year group.  However, a member of the school staff informed them that the senior staff had 'forbidden' Dawson's visit.

Dawson has said that she was deeply upset by the school's position.  'I went through stages - the first was I felt personally attacked and quite mortified.  But then I became angry as I very quickly realised that you can't do that - you can't discriminate against people because of their gender.'

'There will be young people at Brownedge who will be LGBT.  Those kids knew I was coming and now I'm not.  It beggars belief.  One does wonder what kind of support those kids are getting.'

Since the publication of the original BuzzFeed article the school has removed their tweet to Juno Dawson to say that they were looking forward to her coming visit.

The headteacher of Brownedge, Martin Reynolds, has denied that the event has been cancelled, claiming that they had instead requested that it be rescheduled until later in the year, denying any allegations of discrimination.

Dawson and the event organisers have said that the school's response in untrue, as they have not requested the event to be held at a different time, and that they have turned away all attempts to reorganise the visit.  Reynolds' response has been labelled as 'back-peddling'.

'I won't be the only person this is happening to, and historically trans people have really struggled with employment, because we feel we can't survive in the workplace.'  Dawson has said.  'I consider myself very privileged in that I'm freelance and work within the arts, but this was a brutal reminder that for trans people employment is really hard and that's why I couldn't let it go.'

Dawson is planning to write to the head of the school and is considering taking legal advice.

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Republican Lawmaker Mocks Trans Violence

During a recent panel discussion hosted by the Texas Tribune on 7th February Texas Republican state representative Briscoe Cain made comments that reduced violence against transgender people as 'dudes walking around in dresses getting beat up'.

Cain made the comments when asked by moderator Evan Smith to defend Senate Bill 6, one of a number of new anti-transgender bills that target bathroom use currently proposed in state legislator.  The bill, if passed, would require people to use the restrooms that match the gender assigned to them on their birth certificate rather than the gender they live as, similar to the North Carolina HB2 bill.

'We shouldn't be penalising [people who discriminate],' Cain responded, 'it wasn't a problem when I was a child.  Was it a problem when you were a kid?  I don't remember dudes walking around in dresses getting beat up.  It wasn't a thing, and now I think we're encouraging it.'

Cain went on to cite the bill as being about private businesses being 'forced to make accommodations for people who want to use bathrooms that have nothing to do with them'.  He went on to add; 'Men need to use men's restrooms'.

He explained that he and other Republicans were 'emboldened' to pursue Senate Bill 6 after the defeat of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which would have provided protection for LGBT+ people from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

'That's when we really began to be emboldened.  We realised that it wasn't just a political thing.  That parents, grandparents, everybody's concerned about men and women's bathrooms, shower rooms and locker rooms.'

The entire discussion can be viewed in the video below, with the comments regarding Senate Bill 6 beginning around 27 minute mark.

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Friday, 10 February 2017

Teacher Suspended For Showing LGBT+ Anti-Bullying Video

Kimberly Fernetti, a school teacher from North Carolina's North Lincoln High School, was suspended from her position after showing her class a video that highlights the harm of LGBT+ bullying.

Ms Fernetti showed her class the popular video 'Love is All You Need', which follows a young girl in a world where homosexuaity is seen as the norm who falls in love with someone of the opposite gender.  The film shows the girl bullied and harassed for liking a boy to the point where she takes her own life at the end.

The film has attracted huge amounts of praise for its portrayal of homophobic bullying and the effect that it can have on people.  The short has also been praised for doing so by using the simple method of flipping the scenario to have hetrosexual people abused for their sexuality to show the ridiculousness of homophobic bullying.

Unfortunately, a number of the parents of Ms Fernetti's students complained about the video being shown in her class, resulting in the school suspending her whilst they launched an investigation into the incident.

A number of the parents cited the depiction of the girl taking her own life as the reason for the complaints, though several people involved in the matter have speculated that the complaints may have originated with the fact that the film sends the message that homosexuality is okay, and that it should be treated the same as heterosexuality.

Whilst parents have complained about the film, students from Ms Fernetti's class have praised it.  One student told news station WSOC-TV, 'I think it's a great message to get out in the school.  I personally have dealt with bullying, so I think it's good to get the point across that 'Hey, it's not okay to pick on somebody'.'

Ms Fernetti's suspension has since ended, however, no official comment has yet been made regarding the incident.

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