Transgender Democrats hedge on agenda
Mike Lavers, PlanetOut Network
As final preparations are made for next week's Democratic National Convention in Boston, many of the seven transgender delegates and committee members planning to attend remain somewhat critical of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for not adopting a transgender-inclusive platform.
According to Vanessa Edwards Foster, a delegate from Houston and chairperson of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC), the Democratic Party has worked a great deal "behind the scenes" to give transgender people more access to the convention -- this year's number (7) is the highest in convention history. But the platform, as it stands, does not "specifically address" the needs of transgender people, she said.
"The platform hasn't gotten there yet," Foster said.
Other transgender delegates, including Monica Helms of Atlanta, who is also part of the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA), agreed with Foster and said the party still has some work to do toward including transgender people in its platform.
'I'VE ALWAYS FELT LIKE A WOMAN'
Transgender claims club has discriminated against her
By CLAUDIA S. MEL·NDEZ
The Salinas Californian
Vicky Silva wants to use the women's restroom, but a Salinas night club owner won't let her. His reason? She's a transgender: anatomically male, she lives life as a woman.
The youngest of 11 children, Vicky Silva grew up wishing she could put on makeup and wear the same coquettish dresses as her sisters.
But she wasn't like her sisters. Silva was born a boy.
"I've always felt like a woman trapped in a man's body," the 31-year-old transgender said in Spanish, fixing her makeup in her Salinas apartment.
While Silva remains anatomically male, she's living life as a woman, and she said she wants to be treated like one -- including having access to the ladies room at public facilities.