Baltimore police say a transgender woman was murdered on Labor Day.

Officers found Bailey Reeves, 17, with multiple gunshots to her torso on the 4300 block of Parkwood Avenue at around 8:05 p.m. Reeves was transported to a local hospital where she later died.

WJZ reported Reeves was one of two people who were shot to death in Baltimore on Labor Day. Police have not identified a potential suspect or motive.

Anyone with information is asked to contact homicide detectives at 410-396-2100 or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup.

This September, HRC observes National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, reaffirming our commitment to supporting the well-being of LGBTQ youth who often feel alone or hopeless simply because of who they are. 

Factors such as bullying and harassment, family rejection and neglect have contributed to the deaths of countless, including LGBTQ youth like Tyler ClementiJamel MylesLeelah AlcornSergio Urrego. These risks are compounded for LGBTQ youth of color at the intersections of racism, transphobia, biphobia and homophobia. 

The World Health Organization reports that the second-leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 29 is suicide. The Trevor Project estimates that attempted suicide rates among LGB youth is five times higher than that of their straight peers. Additionally, a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found alarming levels of attempted suicide among trans youth

HRC and the University of Connecticut’s LGBTQ Youth Report found alarming trends among more than 12,000 respondents, ranging in age from 13 to 17:

  • More than 70% reported feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in the past week;
  • Only 26% of youth said they always feel safe in their school classrooms -- and just 5% said that all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people;
  • Just 31% of trans youth surveyed said that they can express themselves in a way that completely reflects their gender identity in school;
  • Only 11% of youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S.;
  • 68% of bisexual youth report being teased or treated poorly at school because of their sexual orientation.

Addressing these startling statistics starts with schools and communities alike working to foster safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ young people.

Parents and families can start by learning the facts and educating themselves about issues that impact LGBTQ youth. Whether or not families have openly LGBTQ children, it is vital to make home a safe and affirming space for all identities

We all can play a role in our communities to ensure that LGBTQ youth feel safe and supported.

If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you’re a young LGBTQ person and need to talk to someone, call The Trevor Project’s 24-hour crisis hotline for youth at 1-866-488-7386. If you are a transgender person of any age, call the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.

To learn more about supporting LGBTQ youth in their homes, schools and communities, visit www.hrc.org/youth. For more information about how HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools Program can help schools work to become more inclusive and welcoming of LGBTQ young people, check out welcomingschools.org.

Young people clash with older adults when it comes to bathroom policies related to gender identity, a University of Michigan study suggests.As "bathroom bills" are debated around the country, eight in 10 young people aged 14-24 years polled (79%), say that bathroom use by  should not be restricted, according to the findings in the Journal of Homosexuality.

The findings are in sharp contrast to a recent Gallup poll that surveyed 1,017 Americans ages 18 and over which found that about half (51%) of surveyed adults think  individuals should use the bathroom that correlates with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Michigan researchers analyzed data from 683 respondents of a weekly text messaging survey, "MyVoice," which includes youth from across the U.S., but predominately from Southeast Michigan.

"Contrary to current policy in many schools, the young people we polled do not support restrictions on bathroom use by transgender people," says lead author Halley Crissman, M.D., M.P.H., an obstetrician gynecologist at the U-M Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital.

"The majority of respondents believe bathroom use is a personal and private decision and a matter of equality, freedom and human rights. This suggests that young people's views on bathroom use by transgender individuals differ from the narratives often represented in ."

Young people in support of the right of transgender people to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable with also said that transgender people are not sexual predators, and that forcing them to use particular bathrooms may put transgender people at risk.

Crissman says researchers decided to explore the issue based on previous data suggesting that as a whole, young people may be becoming more accepting of people who are transgender.

"The adult dialogue we hear in the media often includes a lot of fear and guesswork about how this issue may impact children in schools," she says.

"We wanted to tap into the beliefs, experiences and voices of youth surrounding current policies. Youth are the ones most impacted by school policies and they are also upcoming voters."

An estimated 150,000 13-24 year olds in the U.S. identify as transgender, previous data suggests. Nearly 60 percent of transgender youth say they have been required to use the restroom corresponding with the gender they were assigned at birth, and 70 percent report avoiding public bathrooms because of feeling unsafe and uncomfortable.

Crissman says that research shows that transgender youth who grow up in  where they feel supported in their gender identity have improved mental health outcomes—including rates of depression similar to those of non-transgender youth.

Given that  impacts the mental health outcomes of transgender youth, experts say peer support is likely an important factor.

"If there is indeed peer support among youth for allowing transgender individuals to use bathrooms that match their —as our study suggests—there may be profound positive implications for upcoming generations of transgender youth," Crissman says.

"Children spend a lot of time in school every day with peers—  really matters and has the potential to significantly impact the well-being of transgender youth."

Even the tone of discussions around current policies in the news could influence psychological stress experienced by people who are transgender.

Says Crissman: "While transgender  continue to face harassment at levels far beyond peers, the school environment may gradually be becoming a less hostile space for these students."

 

Transgender and gender nonconforming people say they have been pressured to expose their genitals during TSA searches at airports. The encounters stem from shortcomings in the agency’s technology and insufficient training of its staff.

On Sept. 15, 2017, Olivia stepped into a full-body scanner at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

When she stepped out, a female Transportation Security Administration officer approached. On the scanner’s screen was an outline of a human body with the groin highlighted. The officer told Olivia that because of something the scanner had detected, a pat-down would be necessary.

As a transgender woman, Olivia, 36, had faced additional TSA scrutiny before. On those occasions, a manual search at the checkpoint had been enough to assure TSA officers that there wasn’t a weapon or explosive hidden in her undergarments.

This encounter with the TSA went very differently.

After patting down Olivia and testing her hands for explosive residue, the officer said that she still couldn’t clear Olivia to board her flight and that a further search would be required.

Olivia was led to a private room where, she said, the officer patted her down again, running her hands down Olivia’s legs and over her groin.

“I told her: ‘If the issue is what you are feeling, let me tell you what this is. It is my penis,’” said Olivia, who agreed to be interviewed only if she were identified by her middle name because she fears people will treat her differently if they know she is transgender.

Soon after, three other TSA officers, all of them women and at least one of them a supervisor, entered the room, Olivia said.

TSA rules require that passengers be searched by officers of the same gender as they present. But, according to Olivia, the TSA supervisor told her that she would have to be patted down by a male officer.

After Olivia refused to be searched by a man, the officers told her that because she was not consenting to a search, she could not board her flight and would be escorted out of the terminal.

Olivia said she started crying and pleaded with the officers. “Can I just show you?” she recalled asking them.

TSA officers aren’t supposed to allow passengers to remove undergarments. But Olivia said the officers in the room with her did not object when Olivia pulled her ruffled, black and white skirt and underwear down to her ankles.

Olivia was then cleared to continue to her gate.

A Flawed System

What happened that day traumatized Olivia, who is now fearful of airports, and what she experienced reflects the worst fears of many transgender travelers, who say the TSA is failing them.

Shortcomings in the technology used by the TSA and insufficient training of the agency’s staff have made transgender and gender nonconforming travelers particularly vulnerable to invasive searches at airport checkpoints, interviews and a review of documents and data shows.

The TSA says that it is committed to treating all travelers equally and respectfully. But while the agency has known about the problems for several years, it still struggles to ensure the fair treatment of transgender and gender nonconforming people.

To understand the extent of the problem, ProPublica reviewed publicly available complaint data from the TSA’s website and asked transgender travelers to provide accounts of their experiences at airport checkpoints.

The review, which covered civil rights complaints filed from January 2016 through April 2019, found that 5%, or 298 complaints, were related to screening of transgender people, even though they are estimated to make up slightly less than 1% of the population.

This may understate the proportion of complaints from transgender travelers. When Olivia contacted the TSA, her complaint was filed in a different category — a catchall classification called “sex/gender/gender identity - not transgender.” That category accounts for 15% of the civil rights complaints in the period examined by ProPublica, but the TSA said it did not have a more specific breakdown of these complaints and could not say how many were, like Olivia’s, related in some way to gender identity and screening. ProPublica filed a Freedom of Information Act request in April seeking information about each complaint in those categories, but the agency has not yet provided any response.

When ProPublica asked transgender and gender nonconforming people to tell us about their experiences, we received 174 responses, many of them recounting humiliating treatment after being flagged by full-body scanners for additional scrutiny. Of those people, only 14 said they filed a complaint with the TSA. Many of those who did not file complaints said they didn’t know how, were afraid of outing themselves or didn’t want to relive the experience.

Some of the travelers who responded to ProPublica said they were asked by TSA officers to lift clothing to show private parts of their bodies or were pressured to expose their genitals so that TSA officers would allow them to pass through the security checkpoint.

THE forceful removal of a group of transgender women and a gay man from a Los Angeles bar is being investigated as a possible hate crime, police said Monday.

Cell phone video showing security guards shoving and dragging two transgender women and a gay man out of the downtown bar was widely shared on social media over the weekend. Top police officials and Mayor Eric Garcetti promised a thorough investigation.

A complaint about an incident at Las Perlas bar Friday was filed with police and detectives are investigating, said department spokesman Officer Jay Chaves.

"Los Angeles is a place where hate against any person, regardless of gender identity, is not tolerated. My office is in communication with @LAPDHQ about the incident at Las Perlas, and will ensure a proper investigation is completed," Garcetti said in a tweet.

Khloe Rios, who recorded the video, said she and a group of colleagues from Bienestar Human Services, a nonprofit that focuses on health issues in Latino and LGBTQ communities, were having dinner when a straight couple approached them and started yelling slurs.

"They said, 'You guys are all men. You are not women. You don't belong here,'" Rios said.

Rios, a program manager at the nonprofit, said she and her friends ignored the comments but then the woman became more aggressive and spat at them, pushed her and slapped a colleague.

The group stood up and huddled together to protect each other and that's when security guards intervened and asked everyone to leave. They escorted the couple out but became aggressive with them, pushing and shoving them and even dragging one of her colleagues by the neck, she said.

"We thought the security team was going to protect us but instead they threw us out like trash," Rios said.

Outside, the couple continued to yell slurs at them and threatened to kill them, she said. The couple ran away when they saw police patrol cars approaching, she added.

"Every single day I see trans women being harassed, being bullied and being discriminated. This was a horrible experience," Rios said. "I knew I needed to record this to show how they treat us."

Cedd Moses, chief executive of Pouring With Heart, which owns the bar, said in a statement posted to the Las Perlas' Facebook page on Saturday the incident was "an escalated verbal altercation" that led the manager to remove those patrons who didn't comply with a request to leave.

After a protest outside the bar that prompted the bar to close Saturday night, Moses apologized to the transgender community and said the security company working at the bar would be replaced.

"We are committed to working with the community and we are researching the right partner to help us move forward in the most positive way possible including staff and vendor training," he wrote in a statement Sunday.

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