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Texas Anti-Trans Sports Ban bill receives initial State Senate approval

Transgender girls are girls; transgender boys are boys

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Texas State Capitol Building (Official State Photo)

AUSTIN, TX. – The Texas Senate in a 18-13 party-line vote Wednesday signed off to advance an anti-trans youth Senate Bill 29. The legislation is aimed at banning transgender youth from participating in sports.

The measure needs one more vote after a legislative procedure known as a second reading before it’s sent to the Texas House.

Senate Bill 29, sponsored by Sen. Charles Perry, (R-Lubbock), would ban a student from participating in a sport “opposite to the student’s biological sex as determined at the student’s birth.”

Perry told the Houston Chronicle Tuesday that his bill is about safety and fairness for female athletes, and he worries about them facing a competitive disadvantage.

“There has been a steady increase in the number of biologically born males competing in female sports,” he said.

There are so far more than 240 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, more than 115 directly target transgender people and about half of those (more than 60 bills) would, like TEXAS SB 29, ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.

This week alone, the Texas Legislature moved forward a total of five anti-LGBTQ bills including SB 29.  SB29 has been a priority legislatively for Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who oversees the Senate. Patrick has a long track record of Anti-LGBTQ animus.

In 2017, he was a driving force behind the so-called bathroom bill, which would have barred school districts from allowing transgender girls to use bathrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.

That bill faced opposition from dozens of Texas companies, some of which threatened to boycott Texas. While the bill passed the Senate, the Texas House declined to advance it, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The measure largely would codify the policies of the University Interscholastic League of Texas, which governs high school athletics and extracurricular activities, which currently relies on students’ birth certificates to determine whether they participate in men’s or women’s athletics, the Texas Tribune reported Wednesday. Notably, the UIL recognizes changes made to birth certificates to alter a student’s gender marker, though that would no longer be allowed under the proposal.

Last month after the measure passed the Senate State Affairs Committee, Landon Richie, an 18 year-old High School student and Texas Trans youth activist, in a statement to the Blade, said:

“After hours of testimony, most of which was in defense of transgender kids, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted to advance SB29 – a bill that aims to prevent transgender youth – and especially trans girls – from participating in interscholastic sports in accordance with their gender identity.

Under the guise of “protecting girls’ sports,” bills like SB29 would subject any student athlete to invasive physical exams or hormone tests in order to “prove” their gender and would cause harm not only to transgender girls, but cisgender girls who are taller, stronger, faster, or more masculine-presenting than their peers, as well.

 
The benefits – physiological, social, and emotional – of participating in school sports are numerous, and range from facilitating overall physical health and wellness to teaching youth the value of team-work, perseverance, and so much more. This is what sports are about and all kids should have the opportunity to benefit from them.

“Transgender girls are girls; transgender boys are boys; and just like other kids, we just want to play.”

Picture courtesy of Landon Richie

 
These bills do not protect women and girls, nor do they promote fairness in sports. All they do is perpetuate the harmful and false notion that trans girls and women are dangerous and transition only to take advantage of cisgender girls and women.

Like SB6, the ‘Bathroom Bill,’ SB29 is an attempt to exclude transgender people (especially youth) from public, daily life. It sends the message to transgender Texans that we are not welcomed here, that we are not valued, and that who we are precludes us from the same opportunities as our peers.


As a result of bills like SB29 and the messages conveyed by them, the health, safety, and well-being of transgender youth are at stake. In fact, they underlie the tragic reality that 40% of trans people report having attempted suicide. Transgender girls are girls; transgender boys are boys; and just like other kids, we just want to play.”

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Jazz Jennings publicly opens up about her binge-eating disorder

“I have gained a substantial amount of weight. I suffer from binge-eating disorder, a disease in which I’m addicted to food”

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Sander and Jazz Jennings (Photo via Facebook)

CORAL SPRINGS, Fl. – In an Instagram post Friday, prominent Trans youth activist, YouTuber and social media influencer Jazz Jennings revealed that she is battling an eating disorder. In a side by side photographic comparison Jennings showed her followers that she has in fact suffered a massive weight gain.

“I’m posting this photo because it’s time for me to address my weight gain and hold myself accountable,” she said, while sharing a picture of herself by the pool, wearing a sports bra and shorts.

Jennings wrote; “As many of you have noticed, over the past few years, I have gained a substantial amount of weight. I suffer from binge-eating disorder, a disease in which I’m not only addicted to food, but I eat it in large quantities.

My binging, along with an increased appetite I experience from some of the meds I’m on, has caused me to gain almost 100 pounds in a little less than 2 years.

I’m ready to change my ways; I’ve been saying I’m ready to turn over a new leaf, but I’m running out of trees now. I’m ready to take the initiative and create positive changes when it comes to my health.”

One of her twin older siblings, brother Sander, showed his unwavering support of his sister by commenting, “You are so resilient and can do anything you put your mind too. [sic] I believe in you and will be by your side every step of the way.” She wrote back, “You’re my teammate.”

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Heat Alert; High Temperatures forecast for parts of LA County & SoCal

It is important that we check on others, in particular those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of high temperatures

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Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service

OXNARD – The National Weather Service has issued a heat watch and warning for interior segments of Sothern California including the Mojave Desert areas, Kern County, parts of Ventura and Los Angeles County, Palm Springs and the Inland Empire to the border, as well San Gabriel, San Bernardino, Riverside and the Coachella Valley.

The average daytime temperatures are expected to exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the following areas:

  • East San Gabriel Valley – through Friday, June 18
  • Santa Clarita Valley – through Saturday, June 19
  • Antelope Valley – through Sunday, June 20

Public Health reminds everyone to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness, especially older adults, young children, outdoor workers, athletes, and people with a chronic medical condition who are especially sensitive to negative health impacts from extreme heat. Public Health offers the following recommendations during high temperature days:

  • Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated throughout the day.
  • If you must go out, plan your day to avoid going out during the hottest hours, and wear sunscreen. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes, and wear a hat or use an umbrella.
  • Cars get very hot. Never leave children or pets in cars and call 911 if you see a child or pet in a car alone.
  • Beware of heat-related illness, like heat stroke and call 911 if you see these symptoms: high body temperature, vomiting, and pale and clammy skin.
  • Check on those at risk, like those who are sick, older adults, pregnant women, and children, and those who live alone.
  • If you are wearing a mask, avoid strenuous workouts wearing face coverings or masks not intended for athletic purposes.
  • Visit your power company’s website or contact them by phone to determine if you are scheduled for a rolling power outage.

“While it is very important that everyone take special care of themselves, it is equally important that we reach out and check on others, in particular those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of high temperatures, including children, the elderly, and their pets,” said Muntu Davis, MD, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “High temperatures are not just an inconvenience, they can be dangerous and even deadly. But we can protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated. It is critically important to never leave children, elderly people, or pets unattended in homes with no air conditioning and particularly in vehicles, even if the windows are ‘cracked’ or open, as temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels. If you have an elderly or infirm neighbor who is without air conditioning, check on them throughout the day.”

County and City partners have planned ways to safely operate cooling centers during times of high heat. Residents who do not have access to air conditioning are encouraged to take advantage of these free cooling centers.

To find a location near you, visit https://ready.lacounty.gov/heat/ or call 211.

The health and safety of staff and visitors at cooling centers is priority. Public Health notes the following for cooling centers:

  • Staff and visitors are instructed to stay home if they do not feel well. Any person reporting or exhibiting signs of illness is advised to seek appropriate medical care.
  • Staff and visitors are required to wear a face covering at all times, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
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Celebrity News

Stage and screen actress Lisa Banes has died after hit and run

The 65 year-old actress was admitted to the ICU at Mount Sinai Morningside hospital in New York with a traumatic brain injury.

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Screen and stage actress Lisa Banes (Screenshot via YouTube E! News)

NEW YORK – Los Angeles resident and critically acclaimed actress Lis Banes died Monday at Mount Sinai Morningside hospital as a result of injuries she suffered stemming from a hit and run accident on June 4, after being struck by an electric scooter, a spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed.

The 65 year-old actress was admitted to the intensive care unit at Mount Sinai Morningside in New York with a traumatic brain injury. According to the NYPD, the actress was crossing Amsterdam Avenue at 64th Street, in a crosswalk near the Juilliard School, at Lincoln Center. The driver left the scene and no arrests have been made.

Banes’s wife, Kathryn Kranhold, a contributing reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, had made a plea “to pray for Lisa” after the accident — and called for anyone with information about the accident to contact police.

“We are heartsick over Lisa’s tragic and senseless passing. She was a woman of great spirit, kindness and generosity and dedicated to her work, whether on stage or in front of a camera and even more so to her wife, family and friends. We were blessed to have had her in our lives,” her manager David Williams said in a statement released Tuesday.

Banes has appeared in numerous television shows and movies, including supporting roles in “Gone Girl” starring Ben Affleck in 2014 and “Cocktail” with Tom Cruise in 1988. On television, she’s had roles on “Nashville,” “Madam Secretary,” “Masters of Sex” and “NCIS.” NBC News Entertainment reported.

Anyone with information about Banes’s death is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via the website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.

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