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News stories tagged with "gender"

"I like when I look in the mirror. I like who's looking back," says Kelly Metzgar. Photo: Zach Hirsch
"I like when I look in the mirror. I like who's looking back," says Kelly Metzgar. Photo: Zach Hirsch

For Kelly Metzgar, being a woman is a work in progress

As the New York legislative session came to an end, the LGBT community waited to see how lawmakers would handle the Gender Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, which would make it illegal to discriminate against transgendered people.

There are laws in New York State protecting people on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity, but not gender expression. For the seventh time, Republican leaders blocked GENDA from coming to the Senate floor for a vote.

"We're not asking for more rights. We're not asking for special rights. As I say in all my columns, we are only asking for equal rights, and equal protections as every other person enjoys," says Kelly Metzgar, an activist from Saranac Lake and a transgendered woman herself.

Kelly says she's been doing advocacy for a couple of years on the state, national, and even international levels - but she says the toughest battles have always been right at home: two divorces, depression, and hiding her true identity from her employer.

We first met Kelly last fall, not long after she first came out to her sister. Here's an update on her search for acceptance.  Go to full article
New York State Capitol. Photo: Jason Paris, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
New York State Capitol. Photo: Jason Paris, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY Assembly passes conversion therapy ban for kids

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's Assembly has passed a ban against health professionals trying to change a child's sexual orientation through therapy.

On Monday the Democratic-led Assembly passed the ban 86 to 28. It would prohibit licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, mental health practitioners and physicians from using conversion therapy on anyone under 18. Clergy would not be included.  Go to full article
Photo: Julia Metzger-Traber
Photo: Julia Metzger-Traber

St. Lawrence Co. comes out for its "first" Gay Pride Parade

This Saturday was a cloudy one across the north country, but the village of Potsdam was covered in rainbows for what organizers called St. Lawrence County's first ever Gay Pride Parade.  Go to full article
Kelly at her home in Saranac Lake. Photo: Kelly Metzgar.
Kelly at her home in Saranac Lake. Photo: Kelly Metzgar.

On self-discovery: Kelly Metzgar, trans woman

As 2013 comes to a close, we're looking back at some of our favorite stories from the year. Some are newsy, some are just for fun. This piece is about a personal journey.

Kelly Metzgar was born a boy. Now, in her mid-fifties, she's starting to live publicly as a woman.

Zach Hirsch brings us the story of how one person has finally stopped living in hiding.  Go to full article
Kelly at her home in Saranac Lake. Photo: Kelly Metzgar.
Kelly at her home in Saranac Lake. Photo: Kelly Metzgar.

On self-discovery: Kelly Metzgar, trans woman

Gender is increasingly understood as something that's decidedly not a black and white issue. Kelly Metzgar was born a boy. Now, in her mid-fifties, she's starting to live as a woman.

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a nationwide event. Zach Hirsch brings us the story of how one person has finally stopped living in hiding.  Go to full article
Actress Cynthia Nixon speaking at a rally in support of the Women's Equality Act in Albany in June 2013. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Actress Cynthia Nixon speaking at a rally in support of the Women's Equality Act in Albany in June 2013. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Women's Equality Act campaign restarts for 2014

A coalition of women's groups is relaunching the Women's Equality Act, which failed in the legislature earlier this year, with a new strategy that they say could help them win passage in 2014.  Go to full article
Madeleine Kunin in her Burlington home
Madeleine Kunin in her Burlington home

Women and the Workplace: An interview with Madeleine Kunin

Discussion of women in the workplace was reinvigorated several weeks ago when Democrat Hilary Rosen chastised presidential candidate Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney, for--quote--"not working a day in her life." That set off another round of "mommy wars": sharp discussion of whether women are better off working to provide for their families or staying home with their children. And it raises an important question - why, 40 years after the women's movement, it's still so difficult for women to balance their families and their jobs.

Madeleine Kunin was Vermont's first female governor in 1985. She's now 78 years old and has published a new book - "The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the next revolution for women, work, and family." The book issues a clarion call for women, men, businesses, and government to make sure that workplace and family rights for women top their agendas.

Sarah Harris spoke with Kunin about her book.

Correction: Madeleine's age was initially reported as 79. She is in fact 78 years old.  Go to full article
Martha Maine as Corporal Harrison (photo: Susan Mende)
Martha Maine as Corporal Harrison (photo: Susan Mende)

Secret warriors: women in the Civil War

Civil War buffs are commemorating the war's 150th anniversary this year. As part of an occasional series of conversations about the Civil War and its North Country connections, Todd Moe talks with a local re-enactor about women soldiers. Some women served as nurses, spies or camp cooks during the war, but others marched into battle. Forbidden from the military during the Civil War, hundreds of women disguised their gender by wearing uniforms and using masculine names. Canton Civil War re-enactor Martha Maine takes on the persona of her great grandfather, Harrison Carter Maine. She says patriotic, eager for adventure, or to accompany their husbands, hundreds of women assumed male identities to win the right to fight.

Maine speaks on "Women Soldiers in the Civil War" at a Brown Bag Lunch program at noon this Thursday at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association in Canton.  Go to full article
Bear Clan Mother, Tewakierahkwa, or "Mama Bear"
Bear Clan Mother, Tewakierahkwa, or "Mama Bear"

Recovering the ancient role of women in Akwesasne

Women are the traditional leaders in Iroquois culture. Their models of government and leadership were seeds for the U.S. Constitution and the women's suffrage movement. But the reservation system, Indian boarding schools, and racism helped weaken the matrilineal connection among the Iroquois people. This weekend, a hundred Iroquois women will convene at a heritage center in Akwesasne. They'll use conversation and sweat lodges, and also Power Point and Facebook, to try to reassert women's traditional roles amidst the fast pace of modern life. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Vermont legalizes same-gender marriage

Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize gay marriage. Lawmakers in the state Senate and House mustered two-thirds majorities to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto yesterday. There was a chorus of cheers and whistles at the final vote, which capped a battle with echoes of the debate that led to Vermont's first-in-the-nation civil unions law nine years ago.

Beth Robinson, chairwoman of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, says the vote shows that fairness, justice and love are more powerful than one man's veto pen. Supporters of same gender marriage outnumbered opponents yesterday, with a sea of yellow buttons visible in the gallery. A sign planted outside the Statehouse said "Let Love Win." Opponent Craig Bensen says his side was outspent. The President of the state Senate, Peter Shumlin, tells Jonathan Brown that Vermonters should be proud of the debate over this controversial issue.  Go to full article

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