Federal court considers bathroom use by transgender student

By : wire report
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ATLANTA (AP) | A student has the right to use the bathroom that corresponds to his gender identity, a lawyer told a federal court Thursday, arguing that the issue is about the right of transgender students to “equal dignity.”

But the Florida school district that’s appealing a lower court order in favor of the transgender boy told three judges on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that they should overturn the ruling and let the school district restrict students to the bathroom matching their at-birth sex to protect the privacy of other students.

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The epidemic of transgender violence in Florida and the missteps that follow

By : Gina Duncan
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ABOVE: Equality Florida Director of Transgender Equality Gina Duncan speaks during the “Rally to End Hate” in 2016. Photo courtesy Equality Florida

As the State Director of Transgender Equality at Equality Florida, I have been advocating for transgender civil rights for a decade. As a white, trans woman, I have never felt personally vulnerable, afraid or concerned for my personal safety until these last two years.

Recently, I have felt the weight of fear and rapid beating of my heart as I experienced being verbally attacked, intentionally misgendered and physically threatened by hate-filled people gaslighted by our current anti-transgender national rhetoric. In 2018, more than two dozen transgender Americans were reported murdered in the United States.

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Jacksonville transgender woman fighting for her life after attack

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Suspect Eric Shaun Bridges was arrested Sept. 29 in Jacksonville. (Photo from JSO)

Police are investigating a possible anti-transgender hate crime in Jacksonville on Sept. 27 involving the victim being beaten, tied to a minivan and dragged for two blocks.

According to News 4 Jax, though the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is identifying the victim as a man, multiple sources say she is a transgender woman. She sustained life-threatening injuries and there is no information available on her current status.

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Victim of 1994 serial killings remembered as execution nears

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Gary Ray Bowles in an undated photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) | Milton Bradley was a 72-year-old World War II Navy veteran living in Savannah, Georgia, in May 1994 when he met Gary Ray Bowles, a serial killer who had already taken the lives of two men and was looking for his next victim.

Bradley had suffered a severe head injury when his ship sank in the Pacific Ocean, and later had a partial lobotomy. He was well known around Savannah as a kind, gentle soul who gave whatever he could to those in need. It was a shock when his bludgeoned body was found behind a golf course shed, leaves and dirt stuffed down his throat.

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Gay teen shunned by parents starts college fund for others

By : wire report
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) | A Florida teen who raised tens of thousands of dollars for college after his parents ostracized him for being gay now wants to pay it forward.

Seth Owen’s story was widely shared after his biology teacher took to the crowdfunding site GoFundMe that raised $140,000. He also got a $25,000 check on Ellen DeGeneres’ TV talk show.

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Jacksonville sailor recreates iconic World War II photo with husband

By : Abigail Brashear
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By far, one of the most iconic photos from World War II is undoubtedly “V-J Day in Times Square.” The picture, in which a sailor non-consensually grabbed the nearest nurse and kissed her, has been recreated in movies, social media posts and more recently, by a Jacksonville couple who just couldn’t wait to see one another.

Bryan Woodington had been stationed in the Persian Gulf and eastern Europe since May, working aboard the USS The Sullivans. The guided missile-destroyer navigated over 40,000 miles and supported maritime security operations over the course of the seven-month deployment.

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The SMART Ride raises largest one-year total in 15 years for HIV/AIDS research

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The SMART Ride, the only HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country of its size to donate 100 percent of funds raised to HIV/AIDS research, revealed Nov. 17 that it had raised a record $1,171,849 in its 15th year – the largest one-year total in the not for profit’s history.

Hundreds of riders from Jacksonville, Key West, Orlando, Palm Beach, Tampa Bay and across the nation completed the two-day, 165-mile bike ride from Miami to Key West Nov. 16-17. Each rider was tasked with raising at least $1,250.

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The Tender activist: Whatever gets you through the day

By : Scottie Campbell
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Perhaps it’s just in my circle of friends and acquaintances, but I have been struck lately by the casualness and accompanying entitlement of theophobia.

Theophobia is not a well-reasoned discussion about religion, it’s not someone stating their belief with supporting evidence, instead it’s someone stating things in such a way that implies the stupidity of anyone believing in religion or perhaps certain religions.

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Laverne Cox speaks on the ‘violence’ of misgendering trans murder victims

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Laverne Cox got candid about her past suicidal thoughts and emotional response to news of the three unsolved murders of black transgender women in Jacksonville, Florida.

The “Orange is the New Black” star posted a link to an article from ProPublica’s investigation into the murders along with a deeply personal note about her past.

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Gay teen kicked out of home will pay $0 to attend Georgetown

By : wire report
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) | After raising nearly $130,000 to cover tuition, the gay Florida valedictorian who says his parents kicked him out will pay nothing to go to college this fall.

News outlets report Georgetown University adjusted 18-year-old Seth Owen’s financial aid package, reducing his expected out-of-pocket contribution from $20,000 to $0.

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Jacksonville faces a fourth LGBTQ murder victim, fear of serial killer heightens

By : Colton Adkins
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. | The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to a call around 3 p.m. about an unresponsive body at Waters Edge Apartments in Jacksonville July 19. Deputies discovered the body of 30-year-old Jessie Sumlar.

Sumlar was a hairstylist at Salon 180 and a local drag performer, according to The Florida Times-Union.

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With 2018’s third transgender murder in Jacksonville, advocates seek justice and solidarity

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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At least 28 known transgender men and women were murdered nationwide in 2017, the highest number on record. On June 24, just over 2018’s midpoint, the murders of two transgender women brought this year’s total to half that—prompting community advocates to demand justice for the 14 transgender lives lost.

One of those murders was that of Cathalina Christina James, a transgender woman of color who lived her life as more than a disturbing statistic stemming from Jacksonville, Fla. James’ death sparked outrage and stoked fear for the transgender community in Florida’s fourth most populous city, with local leaders fearing a serial killer stalked Jacksonville’s streets.

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