LBT Bites for the Week of Mar. 8, 2017

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Lego's likeness of Sally Ride.

Check out the latest in lesbian, bisexual and transgender news!


LEGO’s Women of NASA includes Sally Ride

(SFGN) LEGO’s new “Women of NASA” playset, includes Sally Ride, the first lesbian in space, Pink News reports.  Astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman, and youngest American ever in space, came out posthumously, in her obituary, in 2012.

“Dr. Ride is survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy,” read a line in the New York Times.

Ride and O’Shaughnessy, a childhood friend from California, coauthored a series of children’s books to get kids interested in science. O’Shaughnessy is Executive Director of Sally Ride Science, a company that develops science teaching materials for K-12 children in the U.S.

The Women of Nasa set was designed by Maia Weinstock, a science writer, who won LEGO’s Ideas competition. “What [Ride] did to support women and girls in the STEM fields is remarkable,” Weinstock told the Post.

“I knew I wanted to include her because she’s already fairly famous, so that would help the set gain some traction, but also because of all of the work she’s done post-NASA, to encourage young people to go into science and [engineering],” she said.


Brandi Burgess Launches Video with Human Rights Campaign

(SFGN) Brandi Burgess launched a new video through the Human Rights Campaign, Alabama. Burgess is bisexual and the daughter of conservative radio host Rick Burgess of “the Rick and Bubba Show.”

In the video, Brandi talks about her experience coming out to her father, which she did in an op-ed on in January.

Rick Burgess responded on his radio show the next day saying, "I told (Brandi) before and I'll say it again you're my daughter and I will always love you. But I love you enough to tell you the truth. I'm not going to come up with some version of love that really isn't love at all, that pats you on the back to justify you all the way to hell."

Brandi says her father’s conservative Christian values and public persona led her to feel as though she were living two lives.

"I kept most of my life really private for a long time and I think it's really dangerous when we live in boxes and in shadows and for me it took me a long to see how that damage was manifesting," she said. "I think as an LGBTQ person sharing your story has enormous impact and I think telling your story to step into your own identity and claim it is empowering on so many levels." 

The video is available below.


Transgender: Supreme Court Remands Gavin Grimm Case to Appeals

(SFGN) The Supreme Court announced Monday that it would no longer hear the case of Gavin Grimm vs. the Gloucester County School Board, scheduled for March 28. The case was expected to set precedent for federal oversight on matters of antidiscrimination protections for public school students based on gender identity.

The order remands the case to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision comes after the Trump administration rolled back the Obama-era protections, arguing that federal involvement was an over reach, and the issue was best left up to each state.

Joshua Block, an ACLU attorney representing Gavin said in a statement:

Nothing about today’s action changes the meaning of the law. Title IX and the Constitution protect Gavin and other transgender students from discrimination. While we’re disappointed that the Supreme Court will not be hearing Gavin’s case this term, the overwhelming level of support shown for Gavin and trans students by people across the country throughout this process shows that the American people have already moved in the right direction and that the rights of trans people cannot be ignored. This is a detour, not the end of the road, and we’ll continue to fight for Gavin and other transgender people to ensure that they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

The Fourth Circuit could, in turn, send the case back to Virginia trial court.

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