Trans Activist Diana Sacayán Found Dead In Her Buenos Aires Home

Diana Sacayán

+ Argentinean trans activist Diana Sacayán was found dead in her Buenos Aires apartment Tuesday. Her body was found with multiple stab wounds and the entrance to her apartment seemed to be broken from the inside suggesting she let her attackers inside. Police are investigating her death as a murder. Sacayán was a well-known activist who worked with LGBT rights groups Movimento Antidiscriminatorio de Liberación and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

+ A former New Jersey Walmart sales associate is suing a manager and the company for harassment she endured on the job and ultimately fired from her job because she’s a trans woman. Several months after Samantha Azzarano began working at Walmart in September 2012, she informed her manager she was transgender and later in the year began expressing her gender identity and changed her name badge. At the time, there weren’t any problems with her coworkers or her performance. It wasn’t until another manager, Sheena Wyckoff, joined Azzarano’s team in January 2014 that things started to shift. Wyckoff called Azzarano trans slurs, often yelled at Azzarano and wrote her up, which Wyckoff didn’t do to cis team members. This culminated in Wyckoff firing Azzarano in June 2014. The lawsuit hopes to stop any ongoing abuse of Walmart transgender employees and the reinstatement of Azzarano’s job and backpay.

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+ By now there’s been a lot of talk on who won the Democratic debate. Big liberal media names (The New York Times, the New Yorker, CNN, Politico, Slate, New York Magazine, and Vox) overwhelmingly thought Hillary Clinton won Tuesday night’s debate while the majority of informal polls and focus groups thought Bernie Sanders won.

+ Palatine’s District 211 refuses to allow transgender students to use the correct locker rooms despite The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights calling the current school district’s policy “inadequate and discriminatory.” The decision comes after a student filed a complaint with the help of ACLU of Illinois in 2014 because she was forced to change in separate room away from the gym. Superintendent Dan Cates said in a press conference: “This is about matters of student privacy… What they are asking us to do is have opposite sex students in the same open area of the locker room and that we do not do. This is a matter we take very seriously and this policy would undo that.” The schools in the district currently allow trans students to participate in sports in accordance to their gender and are given private changing stations. Students can also change in the restrooms for their gender, “as there are private stalls available.” If the school district doesn’t meet federal officials’ requirements, the district could lose federal funding.

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+ Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain, will be providing full health benefits to trans employees, including coverage of gender-affirming surgeries. The new health plan will roll out in January 2016 to non-union employees.

+ The New York Attorney General launched an investigation into Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company that raised the price of an AIDS drug by 5500% last month. Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old founder and chief executive of the company bought the rights to the 62-year-old drug Daraprim, which costs less than $1 per tablet to make and is used to treat conditions such as AIDS-related toxoplasmosis. Shkreli increased the tablet price from $13.50 to $750 last month. After much public outrage, he said he would lower the price to be more affordable, which he hasn’t done. The New York Times reports: “The attorney general’s office is looking not so much at the price increase itself but at whether Turing may have violated antitrust rules by restricting distribution of the drug, Daraprim, as a way to thwart generic competition, according to a letter sent by the attorney general’s office to Turing on Monday.”

+ Ted Cruz told Iowa voters he isn’t sure if gay, lesbian and transgender people should serve in the military. 

+ A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study finds that Latinos are diagnosed with HIV at a rate three times that of white people. Colorlines reports: “…although HIV infection rates went down for adult and adolescent Latinos overall (from 28.3 cases per 100,000 people in 2008 to 24.3 in 2013) they increased three percent among Latino males who have sex with men. The rate of diagnosis—18.7 per 100,000—was nearly three times that of whites (6.6 per 100,000).”

+ Earlier this week the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that is reconsidering the sentences of juvenile offenders who have been sentenced to life in prison for murder. The decision could determine the fate of 2,000 juvenile murderers.

Yvonne S. Marquez is a lesbian journalist and former Autostraddle senior editor living in Dallas, TX. She writes about social justice, politics, activism and other things dear to her queer Latina heart. Yvonne was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter. Read more of her work at yvonnesmarquez.com.

Yvonne has written 205 articles for us.

18 Comments

  1. Ughhh District 211. In my hometown, the policy is to let students use the locker room and bathroom of their true gender, and if other students object, separate accommodations are made for the *objecting* student. I love it–simple, elegant, and really makes people think about what it’s like to be isolated. I wish more districts would do that.

  2. “Cuando yo me vaya…

    Cuando yo me vaya no quiero gente de luto. Quiero muchos colores, bebidas y abundante comida; esa que de niñ* me hacía falta.

    Cuando yo me vaya no aceptaré críticas; más razonable y serio sería que me las hagan en vida. Cuando yo me vaya desearía una montaña de flores… Esa que l*s mil amores por los que he sufrido nunca supieron regalármelas.

    Cuando yo me vaya no quiero farsantes en mi despedida; quiero a mis travas queridas, a mi barrio lumpen a mis herman*s de la calle, de la vida y de la lucha…

    Cuando yo me vaya sé que en algunas cuantas conciencias habré dejado la humilde enseñanza de la resistencia trava, sudaca, originaria.”

    Amancay Diana Sacayán, May 11, 2014.

  3. Toxoplasmosis isn’t only a concern for aids patients; there seems to be some some developing evidence that the parasite which causes it, which Daraprim treats, may also cause multiple sclerosis type symptoms even in people without aids if they are not treated,so there may be a growing market for this medicine even without quintupling the already obscene 1000% profit.

    Daraprim has also been an important anti-malarial for years.

    Turing stockholders should be aware that there are existing alternatives out there for these conditions and that a good case is being made by actions like this for regulating the pharmaceuticals marketplace.

  4. While I fully sympathize with trans people struggles, I’m rather concern about letting people choose to play on a team of their preferred gender. The truth is, XY chromosome would give you an unfair advantage due to much higher testosterone production regardless of how you identify gender wise. This would put cis girls at a disadvantage when it comes to sports participation. Perhaps we need am alternate way to form teams rather than based on gender. Weight, height, muscle mass etc…

    • If a trans girl has transitioned by the time she’s in high school, and is on hormone blockers, you certainly don’t have to worry about a so-called “unfair advantage.” Anyway, the argument that trans women’s participation in women’s sports is unfair to cis women has been made over and over again for 40 years (since the days of Renee Richards, when people were predicting that if she were allowed to play on the women’s tour an army of young male tennis players would transition in order to make more money), and given how few people are trans in the first place (never mind the effects of long-term estrogen and anti-androgen therapy), I can’t think of a single case where cis women actually have been disadvantaged because of it. It’s no more “unfair” than the participation in women’s sports of cis women who have naturally higher testosterone levels than usual.

      And what about trans guys? Is it unfair to cis guys to have them participate in, say, boys’ gymnastics?

      • Also, lets not forget that amab trans people who have had bottom surgery are no longer producing T and must take supplements, which means they have lower T than a cis woman. It doesn’t really apply for HS students, as I don’t think one can get bottom surgery(be it trans male, trans female, or trans other) until they are 18(?).

        • So do trans women (of whatever age) who have been on anti-androgens for a while. No bottom surgery necessary; the result is the same.

          FYI, if when you say “must” take supplements you mean testosterone supplements, that’s not true at all. I haven’t produced testosterone since 2003 (except the small amount that I believe everyone produces through the adrenal glands, IIRC), and I’ve never taken any testosterone supplements. In fact, I’ve only heard of a few trans women who’ve done so. I know it can be helpful to take it for certain reasons, but I don’t think I could. Too fraught.

    • Hi Taylor! I don’t mean to sound hostile, but I would definitely question your “full sympathy” here. First of all, it is not a “preferred” gender. The gender they express as being theirs IS their gender. And also:

      Cis people have varying levels of hormones, too. Some cis women naturally produce more testosterone than others, and still may compete against other women. (Not to mention that both cis and trans people end up with advantages due to a billion other things including varying levels of talent, flexibility, etc. etc. etc.)

      Also, if the child has been under the care of a doctor, they probably went on hormone blockers until they were ready to start taking hormones that were in line with their true gender (and undergo puberty).

      There are policies that allow students to play in alignment with their true gender across the country (http://deadspin.com/here-are-the-best-states-to-be-a-transgender-high-schoo-508251438) and it appears there have been absolutely no problems with that (http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/12/10/school-athletic-officials-debunk-horror-stories/201829).

      • Thank you queer girl.

        I get really tired of the people who pretend to be worried about protecting cisgender girls from the unfair advantages transgender girls… do they seriously want to test all girls for hormone levels and make some kind of weight classes for hormone levels? Because seriously, there are cisgender girls who have more testosterone than transgender girls.

        And when dealing with adults, I can see requiring a couple years of hormone therapy… but among teens who are still growing such a restriction is ridiculous. No two teens are at a similar point in development.

      • The reason people say it to trans people — as I’m sure you know! — is to imply that it’s just a whim or a “lifestyle choice,” and that non-trans teenage boys are suddenly going to announce “my preferred gender is female!!” just so they can get into girls’ locker rooms. Like the loathsome Mike Huckabee said he would have done as a teenager if he’d been permitted to.

    • The XY chromosome has nothing to do with it. There are cis women with XY chromosomes. The Olympics is also fine with trans people as long as they’ve had sexual reassignment surgery and have been on hormones for two years.

      Anyway, within 8 months of being on estrogen I lost around 20 pounds of muscle. I get my hormone levels tested every 6 months, and presurgery my testosterone level is on the low side of what’s considered normal for cis women.

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