Media Trail - 8/23/19

Media Trail - 8/23/19

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More than 7,000 U.S. residents now have gender designation “X” on their IDs


More than 7,000 U.S. residents now use “X” as their gender marker on state-issued identification cards, according to records.

Currently the states of Arkansas, Oregon, Minnesota, Maine, Utah, Colorado, California, Indiana, Nevada, Vermont, as well as Washington D.C., and New York City, have the option of an “X” gender designation on IDs.

New Hampshire, Maryland and Hawaii have passed gender-marker changes that will soon go into effect, and Washington state and Pennsylvania have announced plans to do the same.

According to state records for nine states that offer the option, excluding Indiana, which did not respond to record requests, 7,251 IDs have been issued so far with the designation of “X.”

Dana Zzyym, an intersex Navy veteran, who sued the state department of Colorado to have a nonbinary passport, said, “I’m really happy for all those people, but I’m not surprised there’s quite a few. I think the nonbinary population will surprise a lot of people in this country.”

Teacher's rejection of gender identity prompts training


First Coast News in Jacksonville reported teachers and staff in a Florida school district will be given additional diversity training after a high school math instructor refused to call a transgender student by her chosen gender identity.

Teacher Thomas Caggiano wrote in an email to the student ``I will NOT refer to you with female pronouns.... If this is not acceptable for you, change classes.''

Caggiano wouldn't comment to the television station.

Sandalwood High School Principal Dr. Saryn Hatcher promised to “handle” it and wrote to the student that her wishes would be honored.

Duval County Public Schools spokeswoman Laureen Ricks says the teacher’s behavior is inconsistent with the district’s policy and expectations. She calls it a teachable moment and says staff will undergo additional diversity training.


Gay politician, Latina senator vie to stay in SLC mayor race


The San Francisco Chronicle reported an outspoken gay Utah politician and a Latina state senator remain in a tight race to see who might face off against a pollution-fighting councilwoman for the Salt Lake City mayor's seat.

City councilwoman Erin Mendenhall came out on top in the crowded primary race on Tuesday, but the second-place spot remained too close to call with about 100 votes separating former Utah Sen. Jim Dabakis and Sen. Luz Escamilla.

The top two vote getters in the Democratic field will compete in November. 

Mendenhall rose to prominence advocating for clean air in Salt Lake City, which occasionally has some of the dirtiest air in the country.

Dabakis is known for his bombastic progressive style in conservative Utah, while Escamilla would be the first Latina mayor if elected.

Baptist college kicks out transgender student after surgery


The Tennessean reports a 21-year-old transgender man says his private Tennessee college kicked him out after he got breast reduction surgery.

Yanna Awtrey tells the Tennessean that his Baptist missionary parents wanted him to attend Welch College, previously known as the Free Will Baptist Bible College.

He says he was outed to school officials, who ordered him to conceal his gender identity and attend Christian therapy.

He started transitioning this spring, and says he thought everything would be OK if he kept the surgery secret.

But student services Vice President Jon Forlines emailed Awtrey the day of the surgery saying Awtrey couldn't return to student housing. The school paid for a week in a hotel, then brought Awtrey before a disciplinary committee that cited a “sexual perversion” rule for the suspension. 


Reporting via Associated Press

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