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transgender

Segment 1: Just because mental health services exist, doesn't mean that access to them is equitable.

As many as 56% of adults in the U.S. report that they are unable to receive the treatment they need for their mental illness, and there's no quick fix for the obstacles in their way. Organizations in Kansas City sare working to reach everyone who needs help, but they have a long way to go.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

As nonbinary people gain more recognition, with Merriam-Webster adding "they/them" pronouns to its dictionary and celebrities like Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness coming out as nonbinary, members of Kansas City's nonbinary community hope to educate more people about their lives.

Segment 1: Gender-nonconforming people share their experience living as nonbinary.

The pronouns "they" and "them" have been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to describe nonbinary individuals, but the transition to gender-neutral terms can be difficult for some to figure out. "It is hard," admits Shallyn Ward, who is nonbinary, "but it's not impossible." Today, a conversation about understanding the changing language etiquette, and what it's like living as nonbinary.

Segment 1: Medical marijuana in Kansas, and the use of hemp in farming

In the first conversation, reporter Nomin Ujyediin broke down why she thinks the path to legalization of medical marijuana in Kansas is a rocky one. Then, reporter Brian Grimmett discussed the industrialization of hemp in Kansas.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

For many in the transgender community, use of their birth name to refer to them after they have transitioned is a no-no, a sign of disrespect.

But Merrique Jenson, a transgender woman working in the LGBTQ community, knows she is in a unique situation. She started her transition in October, but she is best known, both in Kansas City and nationally, as Randall Jenson.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Kansas has agreed to change its policy and allow transgender people born in the state to update the sex listed on their birth certificates.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Friday entered into a consent decree that ends a lawsuit brought by four native Kansans and the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, Inc. (K-STEP).

The policy change is significant because birth certificates can determine access to education, employment, health care, travel and the ability to obtain other identification documents.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

"Trans rights are human rights." 

That was the rallying cry as Kansas City's first trans pride march kicked off late Saturday afternoon at Hamburger Mary's on Broadway. 

It was a colorful crowd of more than 100 people, many toting the pink, white and blue transgender flag and signs that read "I'm Here, I'm Queer" and "Black Trans Lives Matter."

"I am impressed and blown away by each and every person who showed up today," said march organizer Faith Matthews.

Segment 1: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver discusses the president's budget proposal. 

In the House of Representatives, the Democratic Party is back in the majority, and hopes to work with Republicans on smoothing what Congressman Emanual Cleaver describes as, "a great deal of disruption in the goverment." Today, Cleaver explained why he thinks we need a trillion dollar transportation budget, and why he's still concerned about an attempt to secure funding for a border wall. 

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

A Kansas activist known for her work on transgender issues has died. Stephanie Mott, 61, was a mental health clinician, LGBTQ advocate and prolific public speaker who traveled the country to share her experiences as a transgender Christian woman. 

Mott served as the vice chair of Equality Kansas, chaired the LGBTQ caucus of the Kansas Democrats and founded the Kansas Statewide Transgender Equality Project.

J. Robert Schraeder

Say a woman wants to serve in the United States Army. No problem, right? Women are eligible. But, dial it back 160 years to the Civil War, and consider that women couldn’t just pop into a recruiting station and sign up.

"We know that about 250 (women) were documented as fighting in the U.S. Army, but those are only the ones who were discovered. Historians think it's over 2,000 women," says Boston playwright Wendy Lement.

The Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court on Friday to bypass lower courts and rule quickly on its ban of most transgender military members.

Celisa Calacal / KCUR 89.3

Dozens of Oak Park High School students walked out of class Tuesday in protest of the Trump administration’s plans to roll back Title IX protections for transgender people.

StoryCorps

StoryCorps' MobileBooth came to Kansas City to collect the stories and memories of residents. This is one in a series of stories KCUR has chosen to highlight.

Samantha Ruggles came out as a transgender woman long after her grandparents and parents had passed away.

"If they were still alive, how would that conversation have gone? Your coming out?" her friend Darin Challacombe asked.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

The Trump administration may be making a move toward redefining gender. That's according to a recent New York Times report, which explained that the new definition would limit gender to strictly male or female, a "biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth."

This would roll back the Obama administration's efforts to loosen the definition of gender, recognizing it as an individual's choice, not based on the sex assigned at birth. 

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Expandable

Few things stand as clearly at stake in this year’s governor’s race as the expansion of Medicaid.

If Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach wins, it’s just not gonna happen.

If Democrat Laura Kelly or independent Greg Orman win, it almost certainly will.

Kansas would join 33 other states and include a large swath of people currently without Medicaid coverage or ineligible for the health insurance subsidies created under Obamacare.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Four transgender residents of Kansas sued the state on Monday, challenging its refusal to allow them to change the sex listed on their birth certificates.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, argues that Kansas’ policy violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. It also argues that it violates the plaintiffs’ free speech rights under the First Amendment.

Segment 1: With age comes responsibility, and these 18 year-olds are exercising their right to vote.

We talk with college students who are looking forward to voting for the first time this November. But first, the president of Rock the Vote tells us what it takes to get young people to turn out to the polls.

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons-Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court is expected to decide within months whether state law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But the American Civil Liberties Union alleges in a lawsuit that the Missouri Commission on Human Rights has determined that LGBTQ people are not protected.

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Friday defended the state's decision to weigh in on a case that could limit transgender rights.

Asked by reporters about Kansas’ decision to join 15 other states in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that it’s legal to fire people for being transgender, Schmidt noted that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Kansas, has taken that position.

Kansas Attorney General's Office

Kansas has joined 15 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that it’s legal to fire people for being transgender.

Last week, the 16 states filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the court to overturn a federal appeals court's decision that it was illegal for a Michigan funeral home to terminate an employee who was transitioning from male to female. The appeals court ruled that Aimee Stephens’ firing violated Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex.

Alex Smith / KCUR

Like many people who can’t afford medical care, Larissa Shively-Vitt of Shawnee, Kansas, has been spending a lot of time online lately, trying to tell her story and raise money through crowdfunding.

Medical expenses are the category most often used on GoFundMe, which is the largest crowdfunding platform. And in recent years, campaigns have snowballed for one particular kind of medical care: gender confirmation surgery.

UN/TUCK

The next time you're at the club, dancing to thumping, bass-heavy tracks, know that what you're hearing has roots in black and LGBTQ communities.

Seg. 1: Hir. Seg. 2: Story Of Ed Dwight

Jun 5, 2018

Segment 1: Comedic play at The Unicorn invites serious conversations on gender identity.

The comedy Hir revolves around the story of a transitioning teen and their dysfunctional family. Find out how one performer connects with their role on a personal level.

  • Ahafia Jurkiewicz-Miles, actor

The production of 'Hir' runs at The Unicorn Theater through June 24. For ticketing and information, visit UnicornTheatre.org.

Segment 1: What will an all-girls public education institute look like in Kansas City?

The Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy will open its doors in 2019 as the first single-gender, open-enrollment charter public school in Kansas City. Today, we learn more about the benefits and drawbacks to single-sex education. 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Carmen Xavier, a candidate for the Board of Education in Smithville, Missouri, has been very deliberate about letting voters know she is transgender. But she’s also been very clear that she believes her decades of public service qualify her for the job.

mmrogne / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Accusations and investigations result in new rounds of discipline at both universities.

After allegations of hazing and sexual assault, 24 of the 28 fraternities at the University of Kansas and all 29 at the University of Missouri - Columbia have temporarily suspended a number of activities. Today, we asked what led to these decisions and whether it is indicative of a attitude change in fraternity culture nationwide.

Super/Typical

Everybody pees, but who spends time thinking about it?

Anyone who plans their outings in consideration of public restroom locations thinks about it. Wheelchair users, pregnant women, or parents of small children, for instance. And, of course, trans and gender noncomforming folks who are continually warned by policymakers to unzip it only in the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificates.

KCUR

Kansas Republican Rep. Steve Alford was swiftly criticized by both sides of the aisle for saying black people are more prone to drug abuse because of their "character makeup" and "genetics," and that's part of the reason why legalizing marijuana in Kansas would not be a good idea.  

Though he's the first lawmaker to say something offensive in 2018, he's just the latest in Kansas and Missouri over the past year. Racism, homophobia, threats of violence: nothing seems out of bounds. Here are some of the notable, publicly aired examples: 

HuffPost

A federal judge on Monday partially blocked President Trump's ban on transgender recruits to the military.

In a 76-page opinion Monday, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia said parts of the president's ban are not supported by the evidence.

The judge's opinion reinstates Obama-era policy toward transgender service men and women, which lifted long-standing restrictions. For decades, the military identified gender non-conformity as a mental illness.  

HuffPost

The walls and shelves of Suzanne Wheeler’s home office in Shawnee, Kansas, are filled with awards and memorabilia from her 32 years in the Army. At the height of her career, she was in charge of plans, operations and training for the Kansas National Guard, responsible for 7,400 soldiers and airmen. She did combat tours in Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and retired last year as a colonel.

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