Thursday, December 18, 2014

Eric Holder Announces Trans Americans Are In Fact Protected From Discrimination Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Don't you Just love it when the Justice Department stands for Justice?!
Today, Thursday, Dec. 18th, Attorney General Eric Holder released a memo addressed to US attorneys and heads of department components.  In this statement he affirmed that transsexual, transgender and gender non-conforming Americans are rightfully protected from sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Holder's statement:

“I have determined that the best reading of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status. This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status. This will help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it reaffirms the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

Facebook Suspends Two Transsexual Advocates for HRC Critical Comments Regarding Misrepresentation, Classism and Disempowerment

With a heavy heart I’m involuntarily saying goodbye to my Facebook friends and family. FB suspended me for 24 hours yesterday for standing up for New York’s transsexual and transgender communities by making a non-offensive and journalistically accurate comment about Human Rights Campaign’s close associate Michael Silverman, who is a non-trans white gay male who unbelievably is the director of NY’s largest trans-specific organization, TLDEF, although many qualified trans New Yorkers have expressed interest in the role. I simply expressed how the majority of the local trans* community is upset by this abuse of power of the LGB community feeling entitled to dictate to the trans community what our agenda should be. Alarmingly, another high profile transsexual advocate named Nikki Araguz (widow of fallen Texan firefighter, who then challenged state’s trans laws when they tried to deny her benefits) was also suspended last week for simply questioning HRC’s only trans board member, Meghan Stabler, for selling out the trans community for self-gain, access and financial perks.

I know reporting what happened will give my detractors another invalid reason to falsely “report” me, so I could either be suspended again, or as Facebook threatened me, I could be banned “permanently”. Therefore I wanted to say goodbye to all of you just in case the ol’ boys club of Gay, Inc. succeed in getting rid of what they see as the uncontrollable “angry, uppity, tra**y” who frequently forgets her place and refuses to be a token trans tom.

The powers that be club may take away my Facebook account just for speaking truth, however, unlike what the ill-willed Ursula did to Ariel the Little Mermaid, they will never succeed at taking away my voice, nor will I voluntarily give it away just to spend time in the dark castle.

Please save my email address so we can stay in touch:  

 Along with my email, please know you can contact me through my blog Trans Forming Media:

 And I am still helping with Black Trans* Women’s Lives Matter:  

 I am disgusted that sinister forces would abuse the reporting process or misuse their insider relationships with Facebook staff to censor freedom of speech and disappointed that trans women’s advocacy could be forcibly assaulted and unjustly imprisoned. Most importantly, I’m saddened that all the friends and co-advocates that I stay in touch with here or have even met through Facebook could be severed from me in this platform. It's deeply personal. As a teenager my family disowned me for being a girl, which is why many of my activist friends are like my chosen family, they are the only family I have, and I love them. If Facebook bans me it will be a more lonely and hopeless world for me, and I will become more isolated from my community and friends. Facebook may have now morphed into an advertising circus for its corporate interests, but for many of us it’s about finding fellowship and kinfolk to come together. It’s about family. As I write this I am becoming very emotional because it’s very triggering to think that I could be excommunicated from my family – again.

 I truly appreciate having you all in my life and am thankful for your friendship and support all these many years, and hope we can stay in touch even if my enemies triumph in robbing me of the main platform that I organize with my community on. The transsexual and intersex communities, LGB allies and feminists have changed my life for the better. You all give me hope.

 Please say a prayer for the Facebook staff to find it in their hearts to stop suspending, banning and censoring transsexual and transgender people simply for speaking the truth. The thing is that the trans* community is relatively small in number and many of us have moments of feeling isolated and alone, which is why the Internet and social media is a vital part of both our personal lives and advocacy campaigns, as we find numbers, solidarity and strength online. And also pray that they reconsider the problematic “reporting process”, as non-trans people are constantly misusing it to silence trans people with dissenting views. Freedom of speech is a gift that is alarmingly becoming compromised in this country.

 Keep up the good work, and know that I am always available, even if ol’ boys club succeed at banishing me.

 Blessing, Besos and Big Hugs, Ashley

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Beloved Washington DC Trans Advocate Ruby Corado Marries Longtime Boyfriend; DC Mayor Vincent Gray Gives Her Away

Ruby Corado and her new husband David Walker pose with DC Mayor Vincent Gray
On Saturday, October 18th true love united as noted DC trans advocate Ruby Corado married her longtime boyfriend David Walker in a beautiful ceremony at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in DC. She was walked down the aisle by DC Mayor Vincent Gray, who has been a longtime supporter of the transsexual and transgender communities.

On Sunday she left a message on her Facebook wall:

 Dreams Do Come True!

 My whole life, I have been told that I was not supposed to love or be loved.

 I was not supposed to love myself because I was different( Trans, indigenous, dark haired, immigrant, HIV Positive, fat, short, you name it). I was made to believe that no one could love me back because I was different.

 Yesterday, life proved everyone wrong.

 I love myself more than ever because I am SOMEBODY. My husband showed the world that it is ok to love me even though I am different.

 My city's mayor Vince Gray walked me down the aisle and showed the world once again that he stands for love. My friends and Family showed me, that I am SOMEBODY, and they stand with me in sickness and in health until death do us part.

Today as I lay next to my husband, I want to tell my friends, clients, supporters, followers and the entire world that It is ok to be different and that no matter what anyone says, YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE AS MUCH AS I AM

Never stop dreaming; never stop believing because dreams do come true.

A Million Thanks To Everyone Who Shared This Special Moment in person or from a distance, I felt your love

Love For All, Ruby Corado-Walker


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Out Actress Emily Rios On Why LGBT Actors Should Play LGBT Characters: "It's important. We should advocate for that because...we’re always going to respect those characters because we lived the life personally"

with out actress Emily Rios

Last night I was particularly excited to attend the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts Annual Gala because one of my favorite actresses, California native Emily Rios, was being honored. This summer she came out publically as lesbian

With the current controversy of Amazon’s new online TV show Transparent capitalizing off ‘transface’, where men humiliatingly play the roles of trans* woman characters, which further misgenders, others and dehumanizes our community, I thought I would interview Emily about the importance of LGBT actors having the opportunity to play LGBT characters, especially since her trailblazing character on FX’s ‘The Bridge’ is also a lesbian Latina.

Trans Forming Media:

“Why do you think it’s important for LGBT actors to play LGBT roles?”

Emily Rios:

“I think it’s important that we need to do it [openly LGBT actors playing LGBT characters on TV and in film] and the reason why we should advocate for that is because we come from a level of respect and we’re always going to respect those characters because we lived the life personally.

I would love that we won’t get typecast in that sense and only have to play those characters forever, but as far as us I feel like we shouldn’t stay closeted, you know, I feel we should come out and feel comfortable playing those roles because I feel those are the roles that are really going to set our careers forth because this is who we are and this is what we live in a daily basis.

 And really, when you come from a place with any character when you can relate on a personal level it showcases on TV and I feel the audience is always going to respect us more when we show respect to the character”

Rios’ acceptance speech:

Monday, September 22, 2014

#HappyBlackWoman: The New York Times Says, “Shonda Rimes and Ashley Love are ‘Angry’ Black Women Because They Pursue Social Change”

Last week The New York Times called media mogul Shonda Rimes an “angry black woman” and just three weeks ago The NY Times also called me “angry” and “aggressive”, simply because I, as a journalist and advocate, asked a question during a Q&A following Outfest's screening of Transparent (re: ‘trans face’ - where a male actor once again plays a trans* woman character).

 When Black women own their power, are assertive and question the patriarchy they are often called "angry black women", de-feminized (“aggressive”), demeaned and stigmatized (stigmatizing is a new clever form of censorship, as well as vilifying dissent).

Of course, both journalists that mischaracterized both Shonda and I are white women, and of a particular class. A couple of privileged white female journalists that apparently have no clue what Black women in the United States go through (and even more challenging, what Black and Latina trans* women go through) can attempt to vilify us simply for sharing real life experiences, asking tough questions and working to help other women of color, yet we will continue to advocate for change - because our work is not about crafting sensational articles so the NY Times can garner more hits and ad revenue, or writing disingenuous, one-sided PR fluff pieces for an Amazon online TV show, our work is to try to make the world a better place.

I'm happy, I'm free spirited, and I’m inspired, but if calling me an "angry black woman" makes you feel less uncomfortable with the truth I speak, then chances are you may be a "shallow, blind, fearful and classist non-Black woman".   - Jus’ sayin’…

 #UnapologeticBlackQueen #HappyBlackWoman

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today NeNe Leakes Exposes Self-proclaimed "Anti-Bullying Ambassador" Wendy Williams for Actually Being an Anti-BlackFemaleSolidarity Advocate: “You…constantly speak negative…and lie. You…spew...hate! When it comes to gossip you are the lowest of the low!”

#SomeoneHadToSayIt - Today NeNe Leakes called out Queen Mean Girl Wendy Williams for using her platform to ridicule and bully other African American women, among other communities.

However, because Williams raises money for GLAAD (former anti-defamation group gone disingenuous PR company), they now call her an "anti-bullying ambassador" (more accurately an anti-BlackFemaleSolidarity advocate), despite Wendy bullying other women, people of color, LGBT folks, etc, as well as previously outing gay entertainers when she was in radio, and her many transphobic comments which include misgendering women of transsexual history and mislabeling their heterosexual boyfriends as "gay men".

Nene had enough of Wendy hating on other Black women and called out Wendy's hypocrisy, jealousy and bullying on her blog: 

 "Wendy I am sure people think that I’ve done something to you, maybe we had a beef or I slept with your man but none of that is true! … But what you have chosen to do is constantly speak negative of me and lie on me!...What you need to do is stop spewing hate! When it comes to gossip you are the lowest of the low! I know you hate...I have a clothing line on HSN coming out in a few days... it must be hard for a black woman to support another black woman but you should try it sometime." (full quote in following link)

 I hope GLAAD doesn't allow Williams and her publicist to bribe them to be their "anti-bullying ambassador" again this year:

Nene Leakes full quote:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Michelle Demishevich Becomes Turkey’s First Transsexual TV Reporter! Next Stop: She’s Running For Public Office In 2015

Michelle Demishevich
Congrats to Michelle Demishevich for becoming Turkey's first transsexual female TV reporter!

 But times have not always been easy for Michelle. In 2012 she was a victim of male violence and transphobia, when during her walk home she was brutally attacked and assaulted.

Since her attack 50 trans women have been murdered in Turkey.

Last month justice prevailed for Michelle’s case when her assailant was jailed, marking a milestone victory for all transsexual people.

Although legislation doesn’t officially discriminate against transsexual people, the community asserts that violence, forced sexual exploitation, employment discrimination, burial discrimination and hate crime murders still plague their community.  

Yet times are evolving.
This summer the world witnessed Turkey make a gigantic splash when their LGBT Pride celebration was the largest to date in the Muslim world, inspiring much hope and a promise for change.

And Michelle is only getting started...

 While her TV reporting work and public advocacy continue to make positive strides towards helping her community, she recently announced that next year she will being running in the legislative elections!

Three cheers for Michelle Demishevich! We are behind you 100%!  

Monday, June 9, 2014

City of Angels Say Words DO Matter: L.A. Center Renames to "LGBT", CSW Pride's First Ever "TLGB" Pride, Angelinos Strike Back Against Anti-Trans Slurs

 Had a good time at TLGB Pride in L.A. yesterday. Nice to hear many talented artists perform, get some sun, eat delicious food, enjoy summer cocktails, visit information booths and most importantly see old friends. An interesting summer in Los Angeles: The "GL" Center renames to Los Angeles LGBT Center, Pride organizers put T in front of "TLGB" Pride and many Angelinos are speaking out against transphobia in gay male spaces, which happens frequently in L.A. (where the controversial RuPaul's Drag Race show is filmed and many noted transphobes reside).
It's good to see L.A. trying, and although names and words are very important, so are the ideas and messages we send out into the world, and the undeniable consequences of certain actions. So when you are at The Abbey in West Hollywood and the waiter accidentally spills a drink on you don't yell out to the distressed waiter, - "You freakin' tra**y, look what you did, selfish jerk". - Instead you should 1) realize it was an accident and 2) maybe just not hurl around anti-transsexual slurs at all for they are poisoning our society with anti-trans sentiment, marginalization and all forms of violence.
In the spirit of Pride it does feel great to have CSW L.A. Pride and the L.A. Center make these positive gestures, especially at a time when the rift between the LGB and the T* communities is wide.
Hopefully we understand that attacking someone else's pride by promoting the misgendering and dehumanization of women with birth challenges is not "cool", "hip", "edgy" or a gosh dang freakin' "term of endearment". Authentic "endearment" is sincerely listening to our feelings and actually looking at the facts, not blindly or consciously encouraging transphobia via defamation and misinformation campaigns.
What L.A. non-profits did this summer was take a stand and say words DO matter, and they showed us that by editing their names. This is a real Pride month in L.A. Let's all be inspired from Los Angeles and make changes that affirm and reflect all transsexual and transgender Americans. Hope you have a great rest of your Pride month!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

MTV / Logo's Stand Against RuPaul's Transphobic Rhetoric Triggers Even More Verbal Abuse from the Embattled Impersonator

Thank you to MTV / LogoTV and Viacom for publically distancing themselves from disgruntled employee RuPaul after his recent emotional melt-down where he lashed out in response to Logo rightfully siding with the trans community by banning trans hate speech on their platform.

Logo affirmed that trans people's safety, equality and basic human dignity are more of a priority to their network than appeasing certain gay male entertainer's unhealthy insistence on using (and capitalizing off of) misogynistic and transphobic slurs in front of millions of impressionable viewers. Logo's pro-trans-humanity resolution is cause for celebration and even healing between the often conflicted LGB and T* camps, yet somehow this step forward triggered RuPaul for he immediately lashed out in spite.

In a May 19th podcast interview he literally referred to all trans women who find his transphobic jokes and double standards unacceptable as "b*tches" and continuously used anti-trans slurs.

Not an olive branch and not a 'meet in the middle' - just this immature 'sore losers' tantrum. Very disappointing. The mother and healer in me is feeling his pain, but, unfortunately, he appears to be consciously unaware of how misguided his "victim artist" role is (especially when he recently criticized actress Amanda Bynes on Twitter for using the slur f*ggot, even though she pulled a RuPaul and said, "But I didn't mean it in a bad way". He still didn't buy her defense of her slur usage - and guess what big man, we don't buy your identical defense either.).

How can he not see that just like he and many other gay men don't like non-gay men saying the word f*ggot or other homophobic slurs, trans women and men also do not appreciate gay men appropriating anti-trans slurs as a means to appear edgy, funny and shocking, no matter the cost to the actual community who the slur is hurled at.

Logo quickly made it known that they disapproved with RuPaul’s podcats rant. Then on Twitter the 'reality star gone hate-slur advocate' desperately continued his push back against Logo for holding him accountable for his defamation against transsexual women - who he laughingly described as male clowns in dresses last year during an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race and publically mocked their medically necessary healthcare.

Strangely enough, RuPaul has unknowingly joined the ranks of far right and ultra-phobic group Focus on the Family who also misgender and refer to transsexual women as "tr*nnys, she-males and cross dressers" in political campaigns and literature aimed at dehumanizing and disempowering trans* Americans.

Wake up Ru, MTV / Logo / Viacom does not need you for "light bills" as your delusional tweet says, much like ESPN or the NBA does not need racist Clippers owner Donald Sterling to pay their "light bills".

Reality Check: It's 2014, not 1985, and numerous companies and media outlets finally deem transphobia just as offensive as racism, sexism and homophobia.

So when you judge Duck Dynasty and others for their homophobic comments honestly ask yourself why you feel entitled to then make equally offensive comments about others.

Your well documented hypocrisy has made clear that this so-called debate is not really a debate at all for your very own campaign against anti-gay slurs is no different than our fight against you using anti-trans slurs.

Your illogical spin vanishes under the light.

And yes, Logo actually has "distanced itself" from your transphobic jokes and abusive rants by making multiple public statements expressing that enough is enough! Their network will not abandon doing the right thing by transsexual and transgender Americans just because a handful of gay male entertainers feel their celebrity status and fan base gives them special allowances to foster an unhealthy workplace environment or create media content where the women in my community are made targets of propaganda that misgenders and dehumanizes us.

The choice could be yours to maturely move forward as a man who has consciously unconditioned himself of feeling entitled to dictate to women what is or isn't acceptable for us to be offended by and to instead evolve as an authentic ally who sincerely listens. We all make mistakes but the good news is we all have the chance to grow.
Grow up and gain some compassion.

Blind "Anti-bullying" Advocates Apologizing For Anti-Transsexual Slurs Is Such A Drag…A Brutal…Ongoing…Drag

Sick of blind "anti-bullying" advocates apologizing for Drag Race being such a drag... a brutal... ongoing drag!

History Repeats: The same way a disappointedly large percentage of the gay male community is responding to the women in my community expressing how hurling out anti-trans slurs and systematic misgendering effects them spiritually, emotionally and sometimes physically is amazingly similar to how men in America treated women suffragettes who lobbied to vote. Little boys need to stop these toddler tantrums, calm down, be gentle and listen to people's feelings. You're better than this so affirm your community's rainbow logo and genuinely celebrate and respect ALL the colors of the rainbow, not only a classist and sexist few.

The LGB media has committed non-journalism by not enforcing a balanced presentation of all sides, such as primarily only allowing gay male and drag queen opinions and writers to influence this story. Our voices become censored because LGBT media is really G media, once you take off the wig the truth remains.

Many token trans toms (selected by LGB media heads) who do find themselves all of a sudden joining the transsexual community's cause subtly or even blatantly apologize for their gay male benefactors slighting us and/or misrepresent the origins of this plight by censoring the feminist element out of the coverage almost entirely. Having our LGB handlers at GLAAD transparently select and produce trans* reality TV contestants into their mouth pieces may seem to serve us with one hand yet cleverly (mis)speaks for us with the other. They jump on the bandwagon, soften our grievance's urgent concerns and recite some GLAAD written sound bite that benefits the same establishment that encourages our 2nd class status in this LG"t" coalition. And it is a coalition at best, not one community, but independent and diverse communities, catch it

Monday, June 2, 2014

#RuPaulNewRaymond - Is RuPaul the New Janice Raymond?: The Numerous Similarities between the King of Pro-Slur Promoters and the Exterminator of Medicare Supported Healthcare for Women Born With Transsexualism Are Too Alarming To Ignore


(Originally written and posted on my Facebook page on May 30, 2014)

Is RuPaul the New Janice Raymond?


Today's Medicare victory affirms the women and men born with transsexualism who seek needed healthcare and alignment in their lives, and overrules the pro-misgendering and discriminatory campaign launched by openly lesbian Janice Raymond.

Raymond obsessively led the propaganda fueled misinformation war on girls and women born with transsexualism aimed at misgendering us, exterminating our medically necessary treatment and ultimately engineering sociocide against our already established community.

Now RuPaul and his primarily gay male followers have similarly pushed away compassion and support of my sisters to instead ride the sexist tidal wave of dispensing extremely anti-transsexual slurs and saying transphobic comments on platforms which influence millions of people to condone the 'othering' and stigmatizing of an already oppressed minority.

Raymond and RuPaul have little in common in terms of personality, background or fashion style, but they do have one dangerous thing in common: Both are openly gay individuals who tricked others into thinking they were credible authority figures to comment on issues that specifically effect females with transsexual history and then misused their position to wage harm on our lives.

Both publically have been documented in wide reaching media outlets as referring to our women as "men in dresses".

Both publically ridiculed and invalidated the need for the transsexual community's transition-related healthcare.

Both loved anti-trans slurs.

Both have been promoted on non-trans media outlets as "experts” instead of the uncompassionate and phobia-mongering brutes that they truly are.

Obviously Raymond's crimes cost lives, but it could also be measured that inciting phobia and dehumanizing an already oppressed minority group has grave consequences if done on a massive scale, such as media defamation.

So while we celebrate today's victory against the closure of Raymond's concentration camp, let's learn from the past and strategize on how to counteract the forces who want to normalize dehumanizing and misgendering defamation in the media.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ironically, the Lyrics and Heroine in 'Let It Go' (Oscar for 'Best Song') Speaks Directly To What So Many Transsexual Women & Girls Go Through. Many LGB and Cis-Gender Straight People May Fail To Understand The Backlash Against Hollywood 'Trans Face' and Jared Leto's Transphobic Comments, But Frozen's 'Princess Elsa' Very Much Does Understand.

Princess Elsa from Disney's 'Frozen'

Ironically, the character Princess Elsa in the song 'Let It Go’,  (which won the Oscar for Best Song) could have easily been a trans* woman. In Disney's film ‘Frozen’ the plot starts out when Elsa is a child and her parents advise her to hide her differences because they fear others will misunderstand and shun her. She is pretty much over sheltered and treated like a handicapped person. Her parents die unexpectedly and it is just her and her baby sister. She continues to live in the shadows thinking it would be better for everyone. When she comes of age she can no longer mask her birth challenge and when society finds out they become fearful and vilify her. She runs away from her family and kingdom and retreats to a new home which is marginalized on the outskirts of society. Though she misses her family at least she is allowed to live openly as who she is. Everyone seems to have an opinion on who she is but only those who love her really know. After sometime as a recluse she decides that she is strong enough to own her truth publicly and ventures back to pursue justice. She won’t let the close-minded society alienate and banish her any longer. Her love for her sister is more powerful then what other people think about her. In the end the people of the kingdom realize that although she is different (who doesn't have something different about them?) that she is not someone to be frightened of and in fact that she has a beautiful and big heart and has a lot to offer the community.

It is a heartwarming story. I confess I have listened to this song on repeat many times because it really inspires me. While many people fail to understand why so many transsexual and transgender woman are feeling slighted by the Hollywood ‘trans face’ epidemic, the ramifications of institutionalized misgendering, transphobia (in both LGB and straight circles), the mockery that is Jared Leto’s ‘Rayon’ character and why he shouldn't have won the Oscar - it’s comforting to know that the heroine Princess Elsa very much does understand and has actually lived what many of my sisters and I have and continue to go through.

My advice to the many gay, lesbian and cis-gender straight people going on and on about why transsexual and transgender women should relax, shut up and just accept the many problems raised by the Jared Leto/’Rayon’/Misgendering/Hollywood ‘trans face’ controversy is to maybe take step back and consider our feelings, our life experiences, our loss, our pain and our desire to be loved and appreciated for who we are in a world that continuously mocks, dehumanizes and vilifies us. It’s not easy being the punch line of every joke or the punching bag of every bigot. Please exercise some compassion and actually listen. Being a true ally means listening, not arrogantly and cluelessly TELLING us our feelings are invalid. Be gentle with us. The authentic heart of the protest against Jared Leto’s transphobic public comments and the constant Hollywood ‘trans face’ is thousands of girls and women simply wanting people to acknowledge our humanity and affirm who we are.

Here are the lyrics of the ‘Let It Go’ song which I and many of my trans* friends very much identify with:

A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I’m the Queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be

Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry

Here I stand
And here I'll stay
Let the storm rage on

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, The past is in the past

Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone

Here I stand In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway