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Model comes out as transgender

Andreja Pejic

Andreja Pejic

In a new interview with People magazine, model Andrej Peji? revealed that she is transgender. In the piece, Peji? says she began the transition process earlier this year and that she’ll now go by the name Andreja.

She tells People:

“I want to share my story with the world because I think I have a social responsibility,” Pejic, 22, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I hope that by being open about this, it becomes less of an issue…I always dreamt of being a girl,” explains the Serbian-born model. “One of my earliest memories is spinning around in my mom’s skirt trying to look like a ballerina.”

Peji? continues:

…”about a year and a half ago, I reevaluated things,” says Pejic. “I was proud of my gender nonconforming career. But my biggest dream was to be comfortable in my own body. I have to be true to myself and the career is just going to have to fit around that.”

In another interview with Style.com, she talks about her childhood.

…I went on sort of a boyhood campaign from age 9 to about 13. I tried to be a “normal” boy because I felt like my options were either to be a gay boy or a straight boy. I didn’t feel that I was gay, so I didn’t know that there were any other options until the age of 13, when I went online and discovered that there’s a whole community of trans people out there. There are doctors, there’s medical care, there’s research, and that was an eye-opener for me. From that day on, I knew what I had to do.

Peji? also posted a message (and the selfie to the right) to her fans on Facebook.

I think we all evolve as we get older and that’s normal but I like to think that my recent transition hasn’t made me into a different individual. Same person, no difference at all just a different sex  I hope you can all understand that. I would also like to to reach out to all young gender non-conforming youth out there: I know it’s hard, I’ve been there, but remember it’s your right to be accepted as what you identify with—you deserve the same respect as any other human being on this planet. As a transgender woman I hope to show that after transition (a life-saving process) one can be happy and successful in their new chapter without having to alienate their past. Most importantly differences should not equal divisions, let’s all stand together in union.

She tells GLAAD:

To all trans youth out there, I would like to say respect yourself and be proud of who you are. All human beings deserve equal treatment no matter their gender identity or sexuality. To be perceived as what you say you are is a basic human right.

Peji? has already received words of support from many members of the LGBT community including Laverne Cox.
Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/#ixzz38UC46HPM

 

Kenyan trans group wins in court, can register as NGO

Kenya_Supreme_CourtBy Andrew Potts on gaystarnews.com

Photo by K.Gituma

Kenyan transgender rights group Transgender Education and Advocacy (TEA) have won a major court battle, with the country’s high court ruling that the government’s Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) coordination board must allow them to register.

Justice George Odunga criticized the board for declining to recognize the group, saying that it had failed to carry out its own statutory function.

Judge Odunga said the way that TEA had been treated was, ‘was unfair, unreasonable, unjustified and in breach of rules of natural justice,’ according to Daily Nation.

He also ordered the board to pay the legal costs TEA members Audrey Mbugua, Maureen Muia and Annet Jennifer had incurred during their three year legal fight.

The board had argued that it could not register TEA as an NGO working in Kenya because the names of the people in their paper work did not match their birth gender.

However all three had legally changed their names via deed poll and Judge Odunga found it unconstitutional to deny registration of a group because of their gender.

‘A public authority cannot be allowed to get away with discriminatory actions that deny persons their rights of assembly which is a clear abuse of the power bestowed on such an authority,’ he found.

Audrey Mbugua has a separate pending case against Kenya’s National Examinations Council seeking to change her gender on her educational certificates as they currently list her by her old name and as male, which has made it impossible for her to find work.

- See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/kenya-court-victory-transgender-rights-group-allowed-officially-register240714#sthash.qNf8Ug9A.dpuf

 

U.S.’s oldest gay bookstore Giovanni’s Room re-opens

6a00d8341c730253ef01a73df39a12970d-320wiThe U.S.’s oldest gay bookstore, Giovanni’s Room, is officially reopening for business under new management after months of speculation that the Philadelphia store would be closing for good Publisher’s Weekly reports.

Last fall current owner Ed Hermance announced that after 40 years of operation, he was looking to sell.

“I’ve been looking for a successor for 25 years,” Hermance told Publisher’s Weekly in 2013. “It just can’t go on like this.”

Hermance, who did not collect a paycheck as proprietor of Giovanni’s Room, ran the business at a loss and ultimately opted for retirement. Hermance alluded to being involved in talks to sell the bookstore late last year, but details and a timeline as to the store’s future were few and far between.

The name of the LGBT organization responsible for the purchase of Giovanni’s Room has yet to be released, pending the signing of agreements transferring ownership of the organization, but the store is scheduled to reopen this fall.

In 1973 Tom Weinberg, Dan Sherbo and Bern Boylethe founded Giovanni’s Room in the heart of Philadelphia. In the years since its opening the bookstore has become a cultural mainstay both for Philadelphia’s gay community, but also for those visiting the city and looking for a jumping off point. The 3,000 sq. ft. store is staffed entirely by community volunteers, and Hermance has expressed his desire to remain similarly involved after the lease is signed over August 1.

The bookstore is named for a famous early gay-themed novel by James Baldwin.

 

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