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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Physician Johanna Olson joins Board of TransYouth Family Allies

Phoenix, Ariz., Tuesday, February 22, 2011 – TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA) announced today that Dr. Johanna Olson, USC Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, has joined TYFA's Board of Directors.

TYFA Executive Director Kim Pearson said, "Dr. Olson is a leading figure in the movement to provide gender variant children and adolescents with safe and ethical medical care. We are proud to have her join TYFA in our quest for a society in which all children are respected and celebrated."

Dr. Olson practices at Children's Hospital Los Angeles in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. Board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Olson specializes in the care of transgender youth, gender variant children, youth with HIV, and chronic pain. She has appeared on ABC's 20/20, Dr. Phil and most recently on the OWN network's Our America with Lisa Ling to educate audiences about the needs of transgender youth. "Gender transition is a very difficult and complex process that requires knowledge, flexibility and compassion. The fantastic work of TYFA has helped hundreds of transgender children, adolescents and their families negotiate a very stressful and complicated situation. I am looking forward to working with TYFA to increase nationwide recognition and affirmation of transgender youth and families."

Recently Dr. Olson was awarded an intramural grant from the Saban Research Institute/CHLA to conduct desperately necessary research in the field of transgender youth and children. Since 1991, Children's Hospital Los Angeles and its Division of Adolescent Medicine have cared for over 400 transgender youth. The program provides comprehensive pediatric care that is gender sensitive and responsive to the needs of each child, and includes hormone therapy for adolescents and young adults who desire gender transition. The Division's Transgender Youth Program is likely the largest, oldest and most comprehensive of its kind. Today, it is a nationally funded and recognized initiative and is becoming a model for transgender services nationwide.

TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA) is a national nonprofit that empowers children and families by partnering with educators, service providers and communities to develop supportive environments in which gender may be expressed and respected. To learn more, please visit the TYFA website at or call 1-888-IMA-TYFA.

Monday, February 21, 2011

dot429 Launches workOPEN

This week dot429 launches workOPEN, a new web campaign created in conjunction with Saks Fifth Avenue. workOpen is designed to celebrate members of the LGBT social network who are open and proud about their sexuality in the workplace. Ultimately, this project’s goal is to reach LGBT professionals with a simple message: progress in business and our professional lives is even more achievable when we are open about our sexual orientation.

The workOPEN campaign features videos by LGBT professionals sharing their inspirational stories about being open about their sexuality in the workplace. Similar to the “It Gets Better” campaign, dot429 hopes that the workOPEN campaign will ignite a viral effect with LGBT professionals and our allies around the world shooting their own videos and sharing their own stories (Email your video to

To kickoff the video campaign, retired Naval officer Zoe Dunning, who was the first person to challenge the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and win, and other influential out professionals and our allies who encourage working open share their stories of being open in the workplace.


We live in an amazing time, when everyone from the President of the United States to major celebrities are stepping up to the plate in defense of our LGBTQ youth. The tide is certainly changing, and each of us can still do our part to make being open in the workplace more accepted.

Filming will be held on the 5th floor at The Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store in San Francisco on February 26, 2011 from 3pm – 6pm where you can share your story.  You can view workOPEN video submissions here.  If you cannot make it on the 26th, we encourage you to share your story with us. Email your video to

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Filing Your Tax Return? IRS Recognition of Same-Sex Couples Means Major Change for 2010 Returns

Save the Date:  Lambda Legal Teleconference on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific

The IRS has announced a major shift in how it treats certain same-sex couples who are married or are registered domestic partners in three states. For the first time, as California, Nevada and Washington registered domestic partners and California same-sex spouses fill out their federal tax returns for 2010, the IRS will recognize jointly owned community property income, the same way it does for different-sex married couples who file separate federal income tax returns.

Lambda Legal will host a telephone news conference on February 22, 2011 to explain how affected couples must complete their tax returns.  Lambda Legal has also released a short guide aimed at same-sex couples and tax professionals outlining the new rules.

WHAT:           Telephone conference for members of the news media

WHO:                Peter Renn, Lambda Legal Staff Attorney

WHEN:        Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific

CALL-IN:         Conference number: (888) 390-3983

WHY:                The IRS will now recognize the jointly owned community property income earned by California, Nevada and Washington RDPs and California same-sex spouses, the same way it long has done for different-sex married couples who file separate federal income tax returns.  Recognition of "community income" means couples each will report half of their combined income on their separate returns -- called "income-splitting" -- which can mean big savings for couples with wide disparities in income.

SUBMIT:         If you'd like to submit your questions ahead of time please send them to Jason Howe, Senior Public Information Officer at

To download Lambda Legal's FAQ explaining the new IRS position about registered domestic partners' community property rights, please go to:

Career Resource Highlights Young LGBTQ Professionals

OUT for Work is proud to announce a new career resource for LGBTQ college students transitioning from academia to the workplace: 30 under 30. Sponsored by pharmaceutical leader, Merck, this resource will inspire the next generation of LGBTQ employees by highlighting and sharing the stories of those younger professionals already in the workplace. 30 under 30 will be distributed in 2011 to colleges across the United States and available for download in OUT for Work’s Virtual Career Center.  There is no cost to participate. Deadline to complete survey: March 1, 2011. 
To be considered for the publication, individuals complete a brief survey.  Results from the survey will highlight the perspective of younger LGBTQ professionals on the importance of LGBTQ inclusive workplace policies, experiences coming out and being out and open in the workplace, and advice to those preparing to enter the workforce. 
 About OUT for Work: OUT for Work (OFW) is the only national nonprofit that functions as a complimentary component in the total educational experience of LGBT students, primarily in the development, evaluation, initiation and implementation of career plans and opportunities. OFW’s programs, resources and services provide assistance to students in the cultivation and enhancement of skills to explore career options, master search techniques and strategies and research employment opportunities.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lambda Legal Calls On California Supreme Court to Confirm Prop 8 Proponents Cannot Press Appeal

"They are not law enforcers and have the same limited rights as everyone else to litigate only when their own rights are at stake, not merely to assert their opinions about others' rights."

(San Francisco, February 16, 2011) — Today the California Supreme Court agreed to answer a question by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on whether or not supporters of a California ballot measure can continue litigation about that measure's constitutionality when state officials decide against doing so.  A three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals certified the question in the Prop 8 case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, on January 4. In response to today's announcement, Marriage Project Director Jennifer C. Pizer of Lambda Legal issued the following statement

"Because the federal appeals judges said they need clarification, we look forward to a decision by the California Supreme Court confirming that initiative proponents lack legal standing to continue the Perry case.  They are not law enforcers, and have the same limited rights as everyone else to litigate only when their own rights are at stake, not merely to assert their opinions about others' rights."  

Initiative proponents also cannot step into the shoes of the attorney general, the governor or other state officials.  The reason for this is basic:  the governor and attorney general are elected by the people to represent all the people, not just one point of view on one issue, out of countless, competing concerns. Most importantly, state officials swear an oath to uphold the federal and state constitutions, including their abiding promises of equal protection and due process for everyone.  Initiative proponents take no such oath, and have no such duties.  

Empowering initiative proponents with a special, new exception to these rules would be mistaken in any circumstances but the error is especially stark in this case.  Prop 8's proponents claim to represent "the people," but in fact they only represent some seven million voters in a state of 38 million residents.  Moreover, according to the U.S. Census, the tiny group of same-sex-couple residents targeted by Prop 8 is only around 200,000 people, or less than 2% of the population.  

The state high court's previous decision to allow the initiative power to be used in the unprecedented way Prop 8 did – to strip a terribly vulnerable minority of a fundamental constitutional right – also stripped the equality guarantees out of the California Constitution.  Yet another departure now from bedrock California law to allow proponents an exception from the "legal standing" rules would invite further, deeply problematic consequences.  It would mean proponents could enter every case about an initiative to argue against the state's position.  They could refuse ever to compromise about anything concerning the litigation process.  And they could object to every settlement plan based on ideology about what the law should be, rather than what it is.  

If the California Supreme Court rules that initiative proponents do indeed lack standing, as we believe is proper, we hope it brings a prompt end to the barrier facing lesbian and gay couples, who only wish to love and care for each other with their government's equal blessing in civil marriage."

TEDDY AWARD, the world's most renowned queer film award celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2011

The TEDDY is an award of political and social commitment. It supports filmmakers and films that are engaged in queer issues on a broad social scale, thereby contributing to further tolerance, acceptance, solidarity and equality in society. The TEDDY AWARD is culturally significant, but it also bears political meaning and responsibility.

More than 30 years after the Stonewall Riots, we mustn't forget that homosexuality is still
considered as a crime and is indeed punished by death in some parts of the world. Even in cities like Berlin, queers encounter homophobia on a daily basis.

The TEDDY AWARD is part of the Berlin International Film Festival, awarded in the categories of best feature film, best documentary/essay film and best short film. Every year a unique person is selected to be honoured with the Special-TEDDY AWARD for outstanding artistic lifetime achievements. Films from all sections of the Berlin International Film Festival - most of them are world or international premieres - compete for the TEDDY AWARD every year. The list of former TEDDY AWARD winners includes internationally acclaimed directors such as Pedro Almódovar, Gus van Sant, Derek Jarman and Werner Schroeter and international film stars like Helmut Berger, Joe Dallesandro, John Hurt and Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Insider Talk: Being Gay at Target

Daniel Duty, out employee at Target and co-sponsor of the company's GLBT business council, shares his perspective on being gay at Target and how the company overcame recent public and media backlash. 
dot429 Exclusive
Daniel Duty is the Director of Enterprise Strategy at Target.  In 1992, Duty was appointed by Target's CEO as a co-sponsor of the company's LGBT business council.  Duty provides an insider's perspective on being gay at Target and how the company overcame public and media backlash for supporting a candidate that opposed gay rights.

What is it like to be gay at Target?  What is the general attitude towards LGBT people?

Duty: It's funny that you ask that question.  I couldn't imagine working anywhere else as a gay person.  I've had a fantastic career here for the last 10 years.  I started many, many pay grades below where I am today.  Target has been nothing but supportive of me and my career.  As an out gay man who has been advocating very intentionally both inside and outside the company for inclusiveness, the only things that I've gotten back from Target are praise, reward, and support.  And you could hear that story from people across this company, because I talk to them all the time.

Read on on dot429

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 Launches!

LGBT older adults have a new forum to help envision and create an aging society informed by the best lessons and thinking of the LGBT community:, launching today, is a new national blog and platform curated by long-time LGBT aging advocate, Loree Cook-Daniels.  Cook-Daniels founded the Transgender Aging Network, is a contributing editor to Victimization of the Elderly and Disabled, and has been working on LGBT policy issues since the mid-1970s.  GPP is sponsored by FORGE (   FORGE's Transgender Aging Network is one of 11 partners in the U.S. Administration on Aging-funded National Resource Center on LGBT Aging (, and administers grants from the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime and the Office on Violence Against Women.

For more information, contact FORGE at 414-559-2123 or is designed to:
  • Help readers know about and weigh in on policies that affect LGBT elders;
  • Disseminate ideas, programs, and resources that can improve the lives of LGBT older adults;
  • Provide a forum for envisioning and creating an aging future informed by the best lessons and thinking of the LGBT community; and
  • Showcase LGBT older adults. is also the home of "Have You Thanked?", a viral campaign that sponsors daily questions designed to help people recognize our interconnections and interdependence, and begin to envision old age as a time of intellectual and creative productivity and connection.

People can contribute to by submitting blog posts for consideration, using the comments section, or donating photographs.  For those wanting to regularly follow posts, offers an RSS feed that will send you emails when updates are made, or you can follow Loree Cook-Daniels on Twitter (@LoreeCD) or Facebook.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lambda Legal Defends Transgender Woman Fired by Georgia General Assembly at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

"Transgender employees are still vulnerable to sex discrimination from their employers who don’t understand it."

(Atlanta, GA, February 1, 2011) — Late yesterday, Lambda Legal filed papers in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit defending a lower court ruling that the Georgia General Assembly discriminated against Lambda Legal client Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired from her job as Legislative Editor after she told her supervisor that she planned to transition from male to female.

"We’re looking forward to making our case at the Eleventh Circuit. It is clear Vandy Beth Glenn was fired because her boss didn’t like her as she is. That is unfair and illegal", said Greg Nevins, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office in Atlanta. "The law is on our side here, but transgender employees are still vulnerable to sex discrimination from their employers who don’t understand it. A clear statement from Congress – made by passing the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) would protect LGBT employees and provide helpful, clear guidance to employers. Because nobody wants the right to sue as much as they want to be free of work-place discrimination in the first place."

Glenn worked for two years in the General Assembly's Office of Legislative Counsel as an editor and proofreader of bill language. She loved her job, but living as a male was increasingly painful and distressing for Glenn who has a longstanding female gender identity. Glenn's health care providers diagnosed her with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and agreed that gender transition was necessary for her health and well-being. In 2007, Glenn informed her immediate supervisor, Beth Yinger, that she planned to proceed with her transition from male to female, and showed Yinger photographs of herself in professional female attire. Yinger passed the information on to her boss, the General Assembly's Legislative Counsel, Sewell Brumby. After confirming that Glenn intended to transition, Brumby fired Vandy Beth because he thought her transition "...was inappropriate, that it would be disruptive, that some people would view it as a moral issue, and that it would make Glenn's coworkers uncomfortable."

Lambda Legal's lawsuit, filed in July 2008, claimed that Glenn's termination violated the Constitution's Equal Protection guarantee because it treated her differently due to her nonconformity with sex stereotypes and her medical condition. In July 2010, the District Court ruled that Georgia General Assembly officials violated the Constitution and discriminated against Glenn by terminating her for failing to conform to sex stereotypes. Using a lower standard of review, the Court rejected the second Equal Protection claim that Glenn was discriminated against on the basis of her medical condition. The state appealed the case to the Eleventh Circuit.  In the brief filed yesterday, Lambda Legal argues that the Eleventh Circuit Court should affirm the District Court’s ruling that Brumby discriminated against Glenn based on her sex because Brumby testified that he fired Glenn specifically because he viewed her intended feminine presentation as unacceptable.

"I am resolved to see this case to the end. No one should be fired for no good reason like I was," said Lambda Legal client Vandy Beth Glenn.