Connect with us

Today Is International Transgender Day of Visibility – Let’s Celebrate #TransVisibility and Fight Discrimination



My trans brothers and sisters are first and forever human beings. Period. Today I honor them and recommit to fighting the fight that needs to be fought. #Translivesmatter.

After Thursday’s stunning deceit and political gamesmanship by Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, with what my journalistic colleague Kerry Eleveld correctly labeled as, “Cooper sells out LGBTQ Tar Heels with ‘fake’ repeal of state’s bathroom bill,” today and frankly every day takes on such critical importance to the transgender community. They are human beings, not political talking points or targets for state sponsored discriminatory laws and practices.  

I have been a long time ally and I have very dear friends who are trans who have taught me so much over the years about the true meaning of what it is to be a fully empowered human being. Non-trans persons who bully, or degenerate trans folk, are ignorant and oft times I have found, unwilling to accept – actually accede the fact, that there exists such a rich diversity in the human species.

Trans is first and foremost not about human sexuality. Being trans is the essence of one’s true self. It is in fact the deeply personal introspective view of one’s gender and one’s human spirit. I tire of the incessant rubbish spewed by the American Christian right that belittles the very humanity of the trans community, of my friends who I care deeply for. A physical shell, whether it posses a penis or a vagina is not relative to a person’s state of being. Which brings me to the adversaries who rail and literally preach that there are no such things as transgender human beings. 

Currently on the road in the Northeastern United States is a brightly painted bus that carries an ignorant and frankly hate filled anti-trans message. The bus is sponsored by “CitizenGo” a Spanish group financed by the ultra right-wing “Family Watch International” and the Washington, D.C. based National Organization for Marriage or “NOM.” The bus was literally banned from operating in Spain, as after its initial appearance, operated by the Catholic group “Hazte Oír,” it was impounded by Spanish police authorities after being observed driving around in the streets of Madrid with a message that officers identified as hate speech. 

Image courtesy of Policía Municipal de Madrid.

The slogan emblazoned on the side of the bus (pictured) translates as “Boys have penises, girls have vulvas. Do not be fooled. If you are born, you are a man. If you are a woman you will continue to be.”

I spoke earlier today with an official from the Policía Municipal de Madrid, who conveyed to me that the authorities were extremely concerned that the message conveyed on the bus would incite hate crimes against the vulnerable trans community in Madrid. The Hazte Oír bus was immediately impounded by the authorities. According to the trans publication and advocacy website, Planet Transgender, the group returned with a motor home and a slightly altered message: “Do boys have penises? Do girls have vulvas?” after a Madrid judge said that the bus would not be allowed on the city’s streets as long as it continued to bear the original wording.

Sadly however, the bus then crossed the Atlantic and arrived in New York. The bus was then re-branded to target its American “audience” by NOM, who labeled it a “Free Speech Bus.” However, not long after a picture provided by NOM showed the bus in front of the United Nations Headquarters complex in New York City, the bus was apparently vandalized, according to NOM, a fact that I was able to verify with a source at the New York Police Department.

Possibly although not certainly the message displayed on the side of the bus, “It’s biology. Boys are boys…and always will be. Girls are girls…and always will be. You can’t change sex. Respect all,” most likely played a role in its vandalism.

Of course, the President of NOM, Brian Brown, a long time detractor of the trans and the LGBTQI community, immediately launched a fundraiser to ‘repair the damage’ and support the cause. My only question to Mr. Brown would be, allowing that by law the bus must be insured to operate as a licensed vehicle on American highways and streets, surely the insurance company would have covered the damages? But I digress. My friend and fellow journalist Michael Lavers reported a couple of days ago that the bus is due back in my old stomping grounds of Washington, D.C. today and Saturday.


I hope that folks show up and protest this onerous mechanical billboard of hate. This is not about free speech as Brown alleges. He sent me this statement:

It’s biology, not bigotry. Men and women were created equally, each given a gender that is fixed, immutable and complementary. Rather than perpetuate a lie that gender can be changed based on emotions and feelings, we should encourage people to embrace and love who they were made to be.

We call on all Americans to respect the free speech rights of citizens to debate these issues without fear of being demeaned, harassed, or threatened with retaliation.

Again – nope, Brian you’re wrong. By the way, are you a board certified Doctor of Medicine, a psychiatrist, or an expert on human sexuality? Oh that’s right, no you are not.

I am over people like Brown and organizations like his whose only existence seems to be to justify their salaries while pushing pseudo science/biology based on bronze age thinking and mythology.

As a journalist I am tired of reporting stories about trans-women or trans-men who have been murdered, bullied, and maimed, after they have been deeply wounded emotionally by the rubbish spewed by NOM and other organizations that are ignorant and non-accepting. I am tired of seeing large percentages of trans youth tossed out on the street by their families who are flat out intolerant. I am also very tired of anti-trans sentiments that I have seen within the gay, lesbian, bi, and queer community. In fact, it has been my experience that some of the most deeply held prejudices have been from within the LGBTQI tribe itself. 

My trans brothers and sisters are first and forever human beings. Period. Today I honor them and recommit to fighting the fight that needs to be fought. #Translivesmatter. As a community and as a society we need to move past this incorrect and damaging biological myth that gender is determined at birth and by appearances. #It.Is.Not.

One last thing, this is again not about sexuality and quite frankly as a whole when it comes down to intimate and physical expression of personal affairs of the heart – we need to stay the hell out of other folks bedrooms. If you know trans folks or are like me fortunate enough to have numerous friends who are, come join with me in celebrating them.

Brody Levesque is the Chief Political Correspondent for The New Civil Rights Movement.
You may contact Brody at

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page. 

Image of NOM bus via Facebook 


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


‘Start the Kevin McCarthy Death-Clock’ After Biden Wins Debt Ceiling Battle: Rick Wilson



Appearing late Saturday night on MSNBC after it was announced that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had reached an agreement “in principle’ on a budget deal, former GOP strategist Rick Wilson claimed this could be the beginning of the end for McCathy’s speakership.

Sitting in on a panel with guest host Michael Steele, Wilson suggested that McCarthy’s decision to compromise with the president to avoid a default that would spin the economy into chaos will not go over well with far-right members of his House caucus who could make a motion to “vacate the chair” to express their displeasure.

Asked by host Steel about what comes next, Wilson stated it was a win for the White House which will not make conservatives happy.

RELATED: ‘Crazy cuckoo MAGA people’ could sink debt ceiling deal: Dem strategist

“Great night for Joe Biden, great night for the White House even though I think their messaging has been kind of tentative the past few weeks” the Lincoln Project founder began. “I think though we are now going to start the Kevin McCarthy death-clock. He has certainly got a very angry part of his caucus tonight who probably burning up his phone no matter how good it is for the country not to default.”

“It’s not going to please the chaos caucus in the GOP,” he added.

Watch below or at the link:


Continue Reading


Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats



As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.

According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.

As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.

“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump in danger of heightened espionage charges after bombshell report: legal expert

Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.

In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”

With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”

Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”

Continue Reading


Prosecutors Tell Trump They Have a Recording of Him and a Witness: Report



Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial have notified the ex-president’s attorneys they have a recording of him and a witness. The notification comes in the form of an automatic discovery form, CBS News reports, which “describes the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad overview of the evidence that prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or at trial.”

CBS reports prosecutors have handed the recording over to Trump’s legal team.

It’s not known who the witness is, nor are any details known publicly about what the conversation entails, or even if it is just audio or if it includes video.

READ MORE: ‘Likely to Be Indicted Soon’: Trump Might Face Seven Different Felonies, Government Watchdog Says

According to the article’s author, CBS News’ Graham Kates, via Twitter, prosecutors say they also have recordings between two witnesses, a recording between a witness and a third party, and various recordings saved on a witness’s cell phones.

Trump is facing 34 felony counts in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case related to his allegedly unlawful attempt to hide hush money payoffs to a well-known porn star by falsifying business records to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.

See the discovery form above or at this link.

Image via Shutterstock


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.