Entries in Transgender (7)


California State Senate Approves Bill Regarding Transgender Students

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Lawmakers in California have approved a bill that would let transgender students choose which restroom they use.
If signed by Governor Jerry Brown it would mark the first time a state has mandated that K-12 schools let transgender students choose, on their own, which restrooms they use -- and which sports teams - male or female they join. The bill allows the choice to be made based on gender identity instead of chromosomes.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the proposal aims to diminish bullying of transgender students.

Opponents of the bill say that California is going too far with the proposed legislation. State Sen. Jim Nielsen said that he believes that the regulation would make some students who don't want to share a restroom with members of the opposite sex uncomfortable.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Transgender Teacher Sues Catholic School over Firing

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A transgender teacher is suing the New York City Catholic school where he worked for more than 30 years, claiming he was wrongfully terminated for growing out his hair, painting his fingernails and being "worse than gay."

In a lawsuit, Mark Krolikowski, 59, alleges that after 32 years of teaching at St. Francis Prep in Queens, N.Y., and receiving numerous accolades for his work, including leading students in a musical performance for Pope Benedict XVI, he was fired last year after the parents of a ninth-grader complained about his appearance.

Krolikowski remains anatomically male and routinely wore suits and neckties to school where he taught music, social studies and a class on human sexuality. He also wore earrings and manicured his nails in "a feminine style," according to court documents.

In 2011, Krolikowski was summoned to the office of the principal, Brother Leonard Conway, where he revealed that he was transgender and that he intended to start coming to work dressed as a woman. According to Krowlikowski's lawsuit, Conway told the teacher that being transgender was "worse than gay" and that he could no longer appear at public events if he planned to begin appearing as a woman.

"He is extremely upset given the dedication and devotion he showed to the school for 30 years," Krolikowski's lawyer, Andrew Kimler, told

Kimler said that although his client worked for a private, religious school, Krolikowski was still protected under city and state discrimination laws.

Kimler would not reveal the damages his client hopes to claim through the lawsuit.

A lawyer for the school said the school had cause to fire the teacher and he was not relieved due to his gender identity.

"His employment was terminated for appropriate non-discriminatory reasons," said the school's attorney, Phil Sempervivo.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio 


Transgender Woman Files Lawsuit After Getting Tased by Ranger

KGTV/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A Ramona, Calif., transgender woman has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that a Bureau of Land Management ranger used a Taser on her because she used to be a man.

"I consider myself to be a victim of a crime," Brooke Fantelli told ABC News.

Fantelli had driven out to the desert in Imperial County, Calif., for a photo shoot with two models and a photographer in her Datsun racing pickup truck on Oct. 22, 2011.

During the shoot, Fantelli said a Bureau of Land Management ranger pulled up and asked what was going on.  He asked everyone for their identification and for Fantelli's registration.  The group complied.

Fantelli said the ranger, referred to in the complaint as "Ranger Peter," was polite at first, calling her "ma'am" and "miss."  But when he returned her license to her, his demeanor changed.

While she had been female for two years prior to the incident, Fantelli said that she had yet not changed the gender marker on her license.

"When he handed me back my ID, he said, 'You used to be a boy.'  I said yeah," Fantelli said.

From then on, Fantelli said the ranger started referring to her as "mister, sir, and then dude."

While the ranger searched her vehicle, Fantelli said she heard him say, "Please step away while I check its truck."

The photo shoot was allowed to continue, but the ranger stayed, Fantelli said.  After nearly an hour and a half, the models asked Fantelli to go over to his car and ask him if he would mind leaving.

Fantelli said the ranger then told her he was arresting her for being drunk in public.  During the shoot, she had been drinking a beer, she said, but was not drunk.  According to the complaint, the ranger did not conduct sobriety tests before arresting Fantelli.

The situation escalated when other law enforcement officials started arriving on the scene, she said.  She put her hands up in the air to show she was not resisting, she said.

Officers ordered Fantelli to lie face down in the dirt and put her hands behind her back.  When she refused, she was tased.

"He shot me point blank," she said.

The photographer on the shoot captured the incident on her cellphone.  The video shows Fantelli standing with her arms up in the air before being knocked over by the voltage from a Taser dart.  While she was on the ground, the ranger used the Taser again, this time shooting her in the genitals.

"He Tasered my crotch, and then ripped [the Taser probe] out," she said.

Fantelli said she was taken to the hospital and given a blood test, where her blood alcohol content was 0.0, according to the complaint.

Then, she was taken to jail, and charged with public intoxication, violently resisting arrest, and making a terrorist threat -- which is a felony offense.

"In the hospital, the ranger looked at me, and I said, 'You and I are not through yet,'" she said.  "That's what he wrote up the threat as."

While the district attorney has declined to pursue the criminal charges, Fantelli is suing the United States and the ranger himself.

When the incident occurred, the Bureau of Land Management issued a statement condoning "Tasers as a law enforcement tool when threatening behavior is exhibited that poses a risk to public safety, as well as the safety of BLM staff."

"When deploying Tasers, rangers target the subject's lower center mass, legs or back if possible.  It appears the ranger targeted appropriately in this case," the statement said.

BLM spokeswoman Erin Curtis said she could not comment on the pending lawsuit.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Transgender Student in Women’s Locker Room Raises Uproar

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The decision to allow a transgender 45-year-old college student who identifies as a woman but has male genitalia to use the women’s locker room has raised a fracas among  parents and faith-based organizations, who say children as young as 6 years old use the locker room.

The locker room at Evergreen College in Olympia, Wash., is shared with the Capital High School swim club and a children’s swim academy, along with the students at Evergreen.

“The college has to follow state law,” Evergreen spokesman Jason Wettstein told ABC News affiliate KOMO. “The college cannot discriminate based on the basis of gender identity. Gender identity is one of the protected things in discrimination law in this state.”

But according to parents, the fact that the student has exposed her male genitalia, in one instance in the sauna, is cause for concern.

“[A mother] reported her daughter was upset because she observed a person at the women’s locker room naked and displaying male genitalia,” said a police report filed in September by a mother on behalf of her 17-year-old daughter.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based religious liberties group, sent a letter to Evergreen College on Friday, warning it that the decision to allow the transgender student to continue using the locker room could put the school in jeopardy.

“The fact that this individual was sitting in plain view of young girls changing into their swimsuits puts you and Evergreen on notice of possible future harm,” David Hacker, senior legal counsel, wrote.

The college has installed privacy curtains, and said it would not change its policy for now.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


McDonald's Beating Caught on Tape: Was It a Hate Crime?

Comstock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- Prosecutors may file hate-crime charges against a woman and a juvenile over the beating of a transgender woman at a Baltimore-area McDonald's.

Since the April 18 incident, a video of the attack has gone viral on the Internet. It shows the pair attacking a transgender woman apparently because she went to use the ladies room.

At one point, the two attackers grabbed the victim, Chrissy Lee Polis, by the hair and dragged her across the restaurant. The video was shot by a McDonald's employee who can be heard laughing. Eventually, the video shows a customer who steps in and then an employee to stop the attack.

Polis, who is epileptic, appears to be having a seizure at one point. Workers point as she struggles on the floor, while another warns her attackers to run away. "Y'all need to get out of here, the police are coming!" an employee is heard on the video saying.

Police arrested both alleged attackers. Teonna Monae Brown, 18, is behind bars and charged with felony assault. Her alleged accomplice, who is not being identified because she is 14 years old, also faces assault charges. Both could be charged with a hate crime.

While the employee may have laughed as he shot these images, McDonald's didn't find it funny. They fired him and issued a statement saying, "there's no room for violence under the golden arches, and we strongly condemn this brutal assault. First and foremost, our thoughts are with Chrissy as she recovers. The crew member who videotaped the assault is no longer employed. Our franchisee is also closely examining the behavior of the other employees."

Polis says she is afraid to leave her house, but is grateful to the customer who came to her rescue.

"I do want to thank her in person face to face," Polis said. "I do want to thank her because I feel like that's the right thing she did, they would have kept on continuing hurting me even more."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Woman Allegedly Drives 600 Miles to Kill Transgender Sibling's Partner

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- A North Carolina community college instructor is being held on first-degree murder charges after she allegedly drove more than 600 miles from Charlotte to gun down her brother's fiancé in Michigan, police said.

Julie Ann Hopwood, 56, is charged in last week's shooting death of 35-year-old Amy Chebro, whom authorities confirm was engaged to Hopwood's transgender brother, PJ Redbird Tworavens.

"Hopwood was waiting for the victim to show up at work," said Lt. Thomas Goralski of the Livonia, Michigan, Police Department.

Goralski said that Chebro was shot five times just after 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 16 in the parking lot of a business in town. She was apprehended a short time later by police.

Goralski declined to comment on any possible motive for the shooting, but said reports that Hopwood was unhappy about Tworavens' decision to become a man were "untrue."

Hopwood had been a teacher since 2003 at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to ABC News' affiliate WSOC. Hopwood taught respiratory therapy and psychology.

It was not immediately clear if Hopwood has retained a lawyer.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Facebook Users Wear Purple, Stand Up Against Anti-LGBT 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Purple was the color of choice on Facebook Wednesday, as millions of users showed support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens.

Answering the call from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to "wear purple on Oct. 20 for Spirit Day," Facebook fans around the world changed their status messages, created purple versions of their profile pictures, joined Facebook groups and more.

Oct. 20 was designated Spirit Day by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan to honor the teenagers who recently committed suicide after anti-LGBT bullying online, according to GLAAD.

Rallying around the cause, several Facebook groups encouraging people to wear purple have popped on the site. One of the biggest, "R.I.P. ;; In memory of the recent suicides due to gay abuse, wear purple," has attracted more than 1.6 million attendees.

In news feeds across the site, Facebook fans from California to Canada and Vienna to Venezuela posted messages of support.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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