WW2 Vet Transgender widow Robina Asti, 92, is fighting for her SS survivor benefits

Lambda Legal is representing Robina Asti, a 92-year-old transgender woman who was denied survivor benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA) after her husband’s death. The agency denied her benefits after it determined that she was “legally male” at the time of their marriage despite all the legal documents to the contrary.

"I hope Lambda succeeds not for the money but for the act of humanity that is absolute necessary here." ~ Ms.Robina

Dru Levasseur, Transgender Rights Project Director, said:

Robina’s husband passed away over a year-and-a-half ago, and at 92 years old, she should not have to wait another day for the benefits to which she is entitled. The government has recognized Robina as a woman for over thirty years, including on her passport, FAA pilot’s license and her driver’s license. For the federal government to deny her survivor benefits now is inexplicable. This remarkable woman should not have had the grief of losing the love of her life compounded by the insult of having her gender and marriage disrespected.

In a 2004 ceremony in an airplane hangar in Orange County, NY, Robina, a World War II veteran and pilot, married her longtime sweetheart, Norwood Patton. In June 2012, Norwood passed away at 97 years old. On July 27, 2012, Robina applied in person for survivor benefits through the SSA. Though Robina already receives Social Security benefits, being able to claim survivor benefits would increase her monthly check by about $500. On April 24, 2013, the SSA notified Robina that her survivor benefits under Norwood’s Social Security record were denied because “her marriage does not meet the requirements under Federal law for payment of Social Security widow’s benefits,” stating that her marriage was not valid because she was “legally male” at the time of their wedding.

In June 2013, Lambda Legal filed a request for reconsideration on Robina’s behalf. After more than six months, there is still no word from the Social Security Administration.

Said Robina:

I am so insulted that the Social Security Administration refused to recognize me as a woman and treated my marriage to Norwood in such a disrespectful way. I have lived a very private life, but the SSA is forcing me to speak out. I don’t want other people to have to experience this.

Also at sdgln.com

Zimbabwe trans woman arrested, stripped by police for using the ladies room

Source The Huffington postsRicky Nathanson,(pictured left) has been detained by Zimbabwe's police, forced to strip naked and charged with "criminal nuisance" for using a female toilet at a city hotel.

48 year-old modeling agency director, Nathanson, from Bulawayo, was seized at the Palace Hotel on Thursday last week, by ZANU PF party youth leader Farai Mteliso who later handed her over to the police.

The reports which only emerged late last week, indicate she was then humiliated at the police station, forced to strip naked, without a court order, so that police officers "could confirm" her gender.

She was then sent to a hospital for "further physical examinations" which determined she was transgender and spent two nights in a police cell before appearing in court Saturday, when a magistrate remanded out of custody and reprimanded the police for their mistreatment.

Farai Mteliso did not attend the court session and a warrant of arrest was issued against the youth with the magistrate warning him in absentia not to interfere with Nathanson.

The Zimbabwe Heald headline "Gay shemale causes stir in court" is just a preview of the transphobic content:

In court, Nathanson’s lawyer Tanaka Muganyi told magistrate Abednico Ndebele that the charges laid against his client were non-existent according to law.

“There’s no crime here. If nothing is done by the State on the next remand date, we will apply for refusal of remand,” said Muganyi.

“The State had indicated that it would further investigate or decline to prosecute because the charge is non-existent but nothing has been done.”

Muganyi claimed that Nathanson had also left his place of residence in Barham Green to an unnamed house because “he was threatened with unspecified action by the complainant within the court premises.”

A warrant of arrest was issued against Farai Mteliso, who effected a citizen’s arrest, for defaulting and Ndebele also warned his friends not to interfere with the trial.

Nathanson, will return to court on February 4 and is out of custody.