St. Paul Public Schools poised to implement inclusive gender policy

The St. Paul Board of Education is considering a policy that would make the districts schools safer for transgender and gender noncomforming students. Board members have made clear they won’t listen to the “fear mongering and misinformation” lodged at LGBT students by Minnesota’s religious right organizations.The policy, which was first discussed at a work session on Tuesday, has four key points:1. Respect all students’ gender identity and gender expression by honoring the right of students to be identified and addressed by their preferred name and pronoun.2. Prohibit, within academic programming, the separation of students based upon gender unless it serves as a compelling pedagogical (instructional) tool.3. Continue Reading

The Column’s 2014 year in review: Winners and losers

2014 was a year marked by significant advances in equity for the LGBT community, but the news wasn’t all positive. Violence against members of the community was a significant news story in 2014, as was the rise of anti-LGBT groups who despite failing to block equity efforts, disseminated false information about LGBT people. The Column has put together the winners and the losers for 2014.

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Special Report: Trans voices still missing from Minnesota news reporting

The Minnesota State High School League’s vote in early December to include transgender students in high school athletics made news throughout the state. For the first time in recent memory, a transgender issue was thoroughly covered through television, newspaper, radio, and the web. For many media outlets, it was one of the few times transgender issues were reported on. In some cases, that inexperience showed.

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Support for transgender students grows around the state ahead of policy vote

Just before the Minnesota State High School League’s proposed vote in early October on a trans-inclusive high school athletics policy, support poured in for transgender students. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, council members Barbara Johnson and Elizabeth Glidden, Sen. Scott Dibble, the president of Minnesota’s pro-soccer club Minnesota United, the Star Tribune Editorial Board, and the state’s teachers union Education Minnesota all wrote statements in support of transgender students.

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OutFront to award LGBT community activists at annual gala

OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, will host its Annual Gala: Fueling A State of Change on Nov. 22 where the organization will honor 5 community activists.Each year, OutFront Minnesota honors community activists who work to advance LGBTQ equity in Minnesota with the Legacy Award, the Innovator Award, and the Visionary Award, and this year, the group has added the Courage Award.Last week, OutFront announced the winners of those awards who were selected by soliciting feedback from the community.The Legacy Award, Innovator Award and Visionary Award recognize the accomplishments of outstanding individuals who are advancing the movement for LGBTQ equity in Minnesota. This year, for the first time, OutFront is also honoring two young leaders with the Courage Award.In addition to community awards, the gala will feature the “Emcees Danger Boat Productions — the clever creators of The Theater of Public Policy. The Star Tribune describes them as ‘…Minnesota’s answer to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert!’” Hip-hop artist The Lioness will perform, Foxy Tann will provide choreography, and DJ Shannon Blowtorch will host a dance party. The evening will also have a silent auction and “heavy appetizers.”The Legacy Award, which honors winners for a long-term commitment to LGBTQ equity, will go to Andrea Jenkins. Continue Reading