Advocates Speak Out Against Arrest Of Trans Protester

Jun 30, 2020

Local LGBTQ+ advocates have issued a statement condemning the Carbondale Police Department for how they handled the arrest of a protester on June 28th.

Witnesses said the protester was slammed against a car and others who tried to intervene were pepper-sprayed. A police press release referred to the individual with male pronouns and gave a name they do not currently use. According to friends, she goes by Cat.

Video Shows Carbondale Police Using Pepper Spray on Demonstrators

Jun 29, 2020
Carbondale Police

Editor's note: This story has been clarified to address the identity of the person arrested.

The Carbondale Police Department has issued a statement regarding Sunday's incident near Italian Village where officers appeared to struggle with a person they were trying to arrest.

Video from a witness shows fellow protesters asking why the person was in custody, and questioned tactics the police used. Officers in a witness video then appeared to push them back and pepper-sprayed them.

Transgender Healthcare Is A Challenge In Rural Areas

Jun 25, 2020
DarkoStojanovic / Pixabay

June marks Pride Month each year. Previously, we published a conversation between a local doctor and his patient on transgender healthcare. One of the topics they discussed was the learning curve doctors face when treating patients in the trans community.

Other doctors echo this point, saying they’ve had to do their own research and training to be able to treat the patients who’ve come to them for care.

A Conversation On Healthcare And The Trans Community

Jun 24, 2020

June marks Pride Month each year. Last March, Storycorps came to Carbondale to speak with southern Illinoisans about their lives. Neither Chip Loghry or Matin Nekzard are originally from southern Illinois, though both call it home now. Loghry moved here as a child, and Nekzad and his wife came to the U.S. after fleeing Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of the 1980s. Nekzad, who works for Shawnee Healthcare, is Loghry’s doctor, and one of the few in the area to treat transgender patients.

Illinois could become the third state in the nation to require that single restrooms in offices, restaurants and other public places be gender-neutral.

Similar laws are in place in California and Vermont.

New Medicaid Coverage for Transgender Illinoisans

Apr 15, 2019
Ted Eytan / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will soon allow gender confirmation surgery to be covered by Medicaid.

That procedure, most often done to augment genitals and breasts, is used by transgender people who want their physical body match their gender identity. Not all trans people opt for surgeries, but many feel it’s necessary for their well-being.

“Covering gender affirming surgery fosters healthcare equity and inclusion,” said John Hoffman, the department’s spokesperson.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will begin covering gender reassignment surgeries under Medicaid.

Most states  provide health care related to gender-transition.  Illinois was one of last 10 holdouts. 

The transition from youth to adolescence can be anxiety-inducing, navigating the physical changes and social pressures to fit in.

Illinois legislators are considering making it easier for transgender people to change the gender designation on their birth certificates.

Months after the Obama administration advised school districts that transgender students should be given access to bathrooms based on their gender identity, a federal judge in Texas has blocked the guidance from going into effect — for now.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states.

Just who can use what bathroom has garnered headlines across the country. Illinois senators are calling for a ban on unnecessary government travel to two states with bathroom laws targeting transgender individuals.

Illinois lawmakers are moving to make it easier for transgender individuals to change the gender marker on a fundamental document: their birth certificates. Democrats on a House committee approved the legislation Tuesday on a partisan vote of 8 to 6.

Alexandria Dinardo, who was born and raised in Springfield, was born male; that's what Dinardo's birth certificate still says.