Video: 100 Ballons Loosed amid Happy Birthday songs for missing Trans Youth Dashad "Sage" Smith

Dashad "Sage" Smith is still unaccounted for but that didn't stop her friends and family celebrating her 20th birthday...

Dave Norris, Executive Director of The Charlottesville Institute posted this picture on the Find Dashad "Sage" Smith facebook page.

"Here's Dashad "Sage" Smith (on the left) at the Cville Pride drag show that I MC'd in September. Today is Dashad's 20th birthday. One small thing you can do today in his honor is to "like" the "Find Dashad 'Sage' Smith" page on Facebook to stay up-to-date on news about his case. And please encourage others to do the same."

One person commented: "I love this pic.... I am the queen with the longer curly hair with the mirrored bra.. I have known Sage for a while and she is in my thoughts... I cherish that moment and this pic!!!! Here's to Sage, and the hopes of a safe return!!!"

She is so full of life. This is so sad. Her grandmother's heart is breaking. If you have information on Dashad Laquinn Smith or Erik McFadden or any knowledge of this case please contact Sgt. Marc Brake at 434-970-3970 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.

NYC Transwoman Arrested For Presenting Court Name and Gender Marker Change To HRA

Jolie Estrella, a transgender woman  is still depending on friends for food because the city's Human Resource Administration (HRA) has refused to accept her court order correcting her name and gender marker.

When Ms Estrella tried to present her name and gender marker court paperwork on November 2011 she told the Queens Chronicle

" They were bewildered,” Estrella said of her visit. “One of the girls was confused and didn’t know what to do. She went to a supervisor, or a coworker, someone who she respected. He accused me of having fraudulent documents.”

She left that day and returned dressed in a sweatsuit, I presume in a atempt to appear androgynous, prepared to be abused for food the Queens Legal Service reports:

"The Center’s Case Manager refused to process her request to change her name, refused to correct her gender marker from male to female, and refused to use the correct pronouns and her legal name despite repeated requests. Furthermore, the Case Manager made stunningly inappropriate, discriminatory and demeaning remarks about Ms. Estrella’s sex, gender, orientation and physical disability (including telling her that she had low self-esteem and could not “make it as a man”)

When she asked to speak to a supervisor, the individual allegedly refused to use her legal name and instead sent her to another location where she was met by HRA security guards who ordered her to leave the building.
When she refused, a guard allegedly dragged her into an office where she was issued a summons and citation, again in her former name.
HRA failed to process Ms. Estrella’s application for benefits in her correct name. Because of this treatment, Ms. Estrella was denied equal access to benefits. In April 2012, an Administrative Law Judge ordered HRA to process Ms. Estrella’s Public Assistance application in her legal name and to provide her with retroactive benefits. Stunningly, HRA continues to address Ms. Estrella by her former name in all correspondence.

These actions by HRA staff constitute violations of the New York City and State Human Rights Laws, which prohibit such discrimination in public accommodations. The actions further violate HRA’s own Procedure No. P-09-22, “Serving Transgender, Transsexual, and Gender Nonconforming Individuals,” which was issued in December 2009 after years of advocacy by the Audre Lorde Project, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and Housing Works. The Procedure instructs HRA staff to ask clients what their preferred name, title, and gender pronoun are and informs staff that refusing to abide by their answer is a form of harassment.

“Ms. Estrella has a right to be treated with respect and to have her documents reflect who she is, as does any applicant for benefits,” said Richard Saenz, Staff Attorney at Queens Legal Services. “Transgender individuals are constantly forced to accept harassment or give up their benefits. That’s not a choice that anyone should be forced to make, particularly at agencies that serve as a last defense against poverty, homelessness, and poor health. As a City agency, HRA must abide by the laws and regulations of both the State and New York City.”

The new suit follows a similar suit filed against HRA in June by Manhattan Legal Services and South Brooklyn Legal Services on behalf of another transgender woman whose request to change her name and gender marker were denied, despite the fact that she had in her possession both a name change order and a letter from her physician. LSNYC’s clients seek damages, an order that the defendants and their employees will refrain from such discrimination against the clients or any other person, trainings for HRA staff on the rights of transgender people, and a clear procedure for changing gender markers on identity documents.

For more information contact Richard Saenz at 347-592-2207 or Jennifer Ching at 347-592-2242

European Parliament Takes Russian LGBT Discrimination To Task

The European Parliament adopted it's 2010 2011 review of human rights in member states. In doing so it made it clear to the Russian and Ukrainian governments, among other violators, you want to be known as civilized society? Then act like you do and stop persecuting LGBT people. Member states who cooperated with CIA rendition were also taken to task.

39. Calls on the Member States to properly fulfil their obligations under international law, which they have so far failed to do, to investigate serious human rights violations carried out in the context of cooperation with the CIA counter-terrorism programme, to step up the fight against trafficking in human beings and organised crime and to afford full redress to victims;

Transgender Europe Reports:

93. Calls on Member States to ensure the protection of participants in LGBT public events, including pride marches, and to ensure that these events can take place lawfully.

This addresses the illegal  Russian "Gay Propaganda" laws which effectively isolates and outlaws LGBT gathering and media.

94. Deplores that transgender people are still considered mentally ill in a number of Member States; calls on Member States to introduce or review legal gender recognition procedures, on the model of Argentina, and review conditions (including forced sterilisation) set for legal gender recognition; calls on the Commission and the World Health Organisation to withdraw gender identity disorders from the list of mental and behavioural disorders and to ensure a non-pathologising reclassification in the negotiations on the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

Source: Gay Star News"Michael Cashman MEP, co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, reacted: ‘Both Russia and Ukraine signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenent on Civil and Political Rights. No-one forced them to, and they must now respect their international obligations.

‘The European Union will remain strong in its demands, and will continue supporting the activists who bravely defy these unfair laws.’

Son of Anna Politkovskaya criticises murder trial deal for policeman

Ilya Politkovsky says deal for officer accused in killing of Russian journalist won't help find person who ordered the murder
Politkovskaya, a sharp critic of the Kremlin...and its policies in Chechnya, was shot dead in the lift of her Moscow block of flats on 7 October 2006. Investigators have failed to determine who ordered the hit.