Nepal News | Transgender

Nepal issues its first trans-friendly passport
  • Monica Shahi, a trans LGBT activist, was awarded the passport, which includes a third category for gender minorities.
  • The issuance follows the amendment of Nepal’s passport regulations earlier in the year.
  • Nepal joins Australia and New Zealand in designating a third gender option on passports.

“Today is an important day in my life and I hope the younger generation is encouraged by the move.”

Read the full story at Firstpost.

U.S. News | Transgender

California grants first gender reassignment surgery to trans inmate
  • Following extensive medical review and testimony, the state agreed to pay for the surgery for trans woman Shiloh Quine, who will be transferred after surgery to a women’s prison.
  • However, the decision did not resolve the question of whether such surgeries are constitutionally guaranteed for prisoners, including the 400 in California alone who are receiving hormonal treatments.
  • In April, another prisoner, Michelle Norsworthy, won a court order to undergo reassignment surgery but was paroled before the procedure was carried out.

“Sex reassignment surgery is medically necessary to prevent Ms. Quine from suffering significant illness or disability, and to alleviate severe pain caused by her gender dysphoria.”

Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times.

Myanmar Feature | Rohingya Women

A Forked Path for Rohingya Women, with Both Roads Leading to Hell

Trapped in a desperate situation compounded by their gender, Rohingya women–already facing persecution as a Muslim ethnic group in Myanmar–find themselves forced into either marriage or prostitution by human traffickers in Southeast Asia. The New York Times profiles one of their stories and the efforts of one advocate to bring light to the issue.

View the New York Times feature on YouTube.

U.K. Feature | Autism

The Autistix

Led by three members with disabilities along the autism spectrum, The Autistix are a U.K. indie band putting a spotlight on some of the great musical talent in the autism community. The Guardian profiles the group, their supportive families, and their sound.

View the video from the Guardian on YouTube.

France Feature | Refugees

Daily Life in the Calais Jungle

Image Credit: The Guardian
Image Credit: The Guardian

The Guardian trains its cameras on daily life the Calais Jungle refugee camp, where all-consuming existential worries and attempts to cross the border into the U.K. live alongside basic activities like food preparation, grabbing a shower, playing soccer, and attending religious services. Among these everyday activities, the Guardian traces some of the personal stories that brought individuals to Calais.

View the photo essay at the Guardian.

India News | Muslim Women

“Instant divorce” in Muslim personal law leaves Indian Muslim women highly vulnerable
  • Triple talaq (saying the word “talaq” three times in a row) grants men instant, unquestioned divorce from their wives, allowing them to throw women out of their home and take their children.
  • A government committee has submitted a recommendation for a ban on the practice to India’s ministry of women and child development, but it faces stiff opposition from religious groups.
  • Because of India’s religious plurality, the government has left matters of personal law (including marriage and divorce) to be governed by individual religious communities, allowing talaq (permitted under sharia law) to have legal standing.

“For the women I see in my office – hardworking women, good wives and good mothers – this is just plain and simple cruelty.”

Read the full story at the Guardian.

(Image Credit: Amrit Dhillon, via The Guardian)

U.S. News & Feature | Nonbelievers of Color

Arian Foster: Freethinking in the NFL

Image Credit: Josh Goleman/ESPN
Image Credit: Josh Goleman/ESPN

NFL running back Arian Foster, currently playing for the Houston Texans, has come out as a freethinker and nonbeliever, one of very few professional players to have ever professed nonbelief. With little to no separation between church and field in the NFL, Foster sits down with ESPN to share his experiences being out to teammates, the evolution of his belief, and the ubiquity of Christianity in football.

Read the full profile at ESPN.