by Donna Brazile (CNN) — Even from the moment they were set down in the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson’s immortal words “all men are created equal” have always been awkward and challenging. They’re not awkward and challenging because they’re incorrect. On the contrary, they’re some of the truest words ever put to paper. Instead, they’re awkward and challenging because — for a nation built by slaves, where only a fraction of the population owned land and even fewer could vote, where an entire gender was held at bay for centuries — these words were the sand in our collective eye that urged us, always, to be better, fairer and more decent to one another.
Tag: Gender identity
In this Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a hearing in his court martial. (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File) by David Dishneau and Pauline Jelinek FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — Bradley Manning wants to live as a woman named Chelsea and begin hormone treatment as soon as possible, the soldier said a day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for giving government secrets to WikiLeaks. Manning announced the decision Thursday in a statement provided to NBC’s “Today” show.
Kamora Herrington, mentoring program director of True Colors talks to kids during a breaking the silence gathering at True Colors in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) by Kelli Kennedy MIAMI (AP) — Sixto Cancel says his ultra-religious foster family frequently talked about their disdain for his homosexuality at the dinner table, trashed his room and called him homophobic slurs. While he was still a teenager, he says, they kicked him out of their Connecticut home after he had lived there for nearly a decade. “I’ve had foster homes who completely said you can’t live here if you’re gay,” said Cancel, a 21-year-old student at Virginia Commonwealth University who bounced between half a dozen foster homes while in care. “For a long time I had that self-hatred and uncomfortableness with who I am.” Discrimination against gay and lesbian youths in foster care is prevalent enough around the country that federal health officials sent a letter in 2011 encouraging states to develop training for caseworkers and foster parents on the issue. Advocates in a handful of states including Florida, California, Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts have increased efforts to train caseworkers, recruit foster parents and assign mentors. Officials don’t want to force youths to disclose their sexuality, but must try to create environments where they feel safe to come out when ready. Without such support, the federal government memo says, gay and lesbian youths who leave the foster care system can wind up homeless.