Leading by example: New youth directors to lead Trans Youth Support Network

Local trans youth can now officially turn to their peers for help in navigating a system they say doesn’t accommodate their needs.On July 1, Trans Youth Support Network transitioned into a completely youth-led organization. Jahleel Princeton Arcani, TayvonCaples, La’Niya Dixon and Jakob Rumble took over the organization, replacing TYSN’s previous adult leaders Katie Burgess and Roxanne Anderson. Officials say the transition will allow TYSN to better support trans youth in the Twin Cities.“We don’t just want to be serving youth,”Jakob Rumble said. “We want to be leading by example.”Rumble took over as financial director, and said it’s important for young trans people to support other young trans people when it comes to navigating societal and governmental systems.Trans youth face higher rates of poverty, higher drop-out rates, and more homelessness, he said, and they’re often forced into it.Some of TYSN’s support services include learning how to acquire jobs properly, and offering advice on how to pass as cis-gender in order to apply for a name change.Jahleel Princeton Arcani took over as the development and sustainability director, and said the group is excited about the change. The organization has always been youth-led since their board members must be under 30, he said, but this transition is the final push to a fully youth-led nonprofit.“It’s been a dream of the people who started TYSN for it to be youth led,”Arcani said, noting the two top leaders weren’t youth. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Transgender Woman Cites Self-Defense in Altercation

In the early morning of June 5th,  a young trans woman of color named Chrishaun McDonald and  her friends walked by the Schooner Tavern at the busy intersection of 27th and Lake in Minneapolis.  A white, older bar patron named Dean Schmitz stood at the door of the Schooner.  According to McDonald’s roommate, Schmitz started harassing McDonald, shouting, ” Did you think you were going to rape somebody in those girl clothes?” and adding racial slurs. What happened next is unclear.  Minutes later, Schmitz was dead and McDonald was in custody.   The Star Tribune writes that according to McDonald, Schmitz attacked her and ran into a pair of scissors that she held in self-defense.Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Now, in prison, Chrishaun is being held in solitary on a charge of second degree murder.  The trans rights advocate who has been trying to meet with her has been turned away repeatedly.  She is being charged as the wrong gender and media coverage describes her as a “man”.  News from the jail suggests harassment and abuse.  And let’s not kid ourselves – we’re looking at a court system where the deck is stacked against trans people, working class people and people of color. Continue Reading