New Jersey-Based Spencer’s Sold “Travel Size Tranny Doll”

It is yet another case of a deeply offensive item for sale. We started this week hearing about the Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume, and now this: A “Travel Size Tranny Inflatable Doll” was available from the Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey based Spencer’s, and, as of right now online, it is literally sold out.

SPENCERS 2

The packaging for the “doll” is littered with phrases such as “Guaranteed to make ‘em laugh” and “More than a woman.” The only description that the website provides for the product is “26” height when inflated.”

Spencer’s has always been politically incorrect, usually with no shame, but this appears to have gone too far. One might argue that the biggest problem with the product is the use of the word “tranny,” which is highly offensive. However, as I suggested in my commentary on the Caitltn Jenner Halloween costume earlier this week, these sort of “gag” products are in no way funny when an alarming number of trans women are being killed.

[UPDATE 8/27/15, 4:40 PM: We received a Tweet from Spencer’s who claim that they removed the product from their catalog.]

Queer at FringeArts Fest: The Captive

The Captive

Each day this week, G Philly will be highlighting a different LGBTQ-themed show that is featured at this year’s FringeArts Festival. Get to know the artists who are bringing their works to the festival, and learn about what makes their productions unique.

It’s a play that was considered such a scandal during a 1926 premiere that the entire cast was arrested for indecency. Now, the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective is bringing The Captive to this year’s FringeArts Festival via the Physick House at 321 South 4th Street. Read more »

PA State Legislature Proposes Bill to End Gay Panic and Trans Panic Defense

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

A new piece of Pennsylvania legislation, HB1509, introduced on Tuesday, would prevent those accused of manslaughter to claim “trans panic” or “gay panic” in their defense.

“Trans panic” is a phrase that is becoming all too familiar when examining cases where alleged criminals are tried for the manslaughter of a trans individual: This defense is often times used when a sexual encounter is involved where the attacker “learns” that their partner is transgender. A recent example is the case of a U.S. Marine who is claiming “trans panic” in the brutal death of a trans Filipina woman who he openly admits that he killed.

In a July 22, 2015 memorandum from Representative Michael Schlossberg, he explains the rationale behind proposing the bill:

“Some criminal defendants have been known to invoke the ‘gay panic argument,’ often referred to as the Homosexual Advance Defense, the Homosexual Panic Defense, and the Homosexual Rage Defense, when facing homicide charges. A criminal defendant employing this defense claims that killing the victim is a fear-based reaction to sexual or romantic advances or declarations by a transgender or gay person, and relies on sympathy from the jury to mitigate a murder charge to manslaughter, or to avoid conviction altogether. Though there is no defined version of the defense in any statute, the use of the gay panic defense often looks like a form of insanity, diminished capacity, provocation, or self-defense.”

PA HB1509 would prevent this type of claim in a voluntary manslaughter defense by adding a clause to the definition of “serious provocation.” This clause reads:

“The term does not include the discovery of, knowledge about or potential disclosure of the homicide victim’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression or affectional or sexual orientation.”

The passage of this bill would be a major victory for LGBT advocates for a variety of reasons: The added language would prevent the victim of a crime, especially one where a sex act was involved, from being even further stigmatized in the court of public opinion. This type of stigma can, unfortunately, aid in a defense’s ability to claim “trans panic” or “gay panic.”

State Lawmakers Reintroduce PA LGBT Nondiscrimination Bill

pa equality watch rainbow flag

Brian Sims and other key lawmakers in the State welcomed the reintroduction of bipartisan Pennsylvania LGBT non-discrimination bills in the state House of Representatives.

Sims, who is co-sponsoring the bills, stated, “While Pennsylvanians have enjoyed the right to marriage equality for over a year now, we are long past due for equality in our discrimination laws. This is no longer a progressive issue, but an issue of basic fairness. As we see in the bipartisan support for this bill, this is not a matter of left and right, but a matter of right and wrong.” Read more »

Mx Justin Vivian Bond: RentBoy.com Raid Shows “Hypocrisy of Mainstream Patriarchal Culture”

From Justin Vivian Bond's official website.

From Justin Vivian Bond’s official website.

Performance artist and all-around queer guru Mx Justin Vivian Bond, who has played Philly a number of times, just took to Facebook to share some thoughts on yesterday’s RentBoy.com raid, and as we’ve come to expect from the artist, there’s some interesting concepts to ponder. Read more »

Queer at FringeArts Fest: Growing Into My Beard

Bay Bryan

Bay Bryan

Each day this week, G Philly will be highlighting a different LGBTQ-themed show that is featured at this year’s FringeArts Festival. Get to know the artists who are bringing their works to the festival, and learn about what makes their productions unique.

Bay Bryan is a rather cute Scottish-trained singer-songwriter who is bringing his queer take on coming out as “ginger” to Philly during the upcoming FringeArts Festival. And if that’s not intriguing enough, the performer is giving his show, titled Growing Into My Beard, a mini-tour of sorts around the city, playing at some very familiar gay venues. Read more »

Gay Sparks Will Fly: The View Welcomes Back Joy Behar and Makes Candace Cameron Bure Regular Co-Host

Via Behar's official Facebook page.

Via Behar’s official Facebook page.

If you thought the feuds between Rosie and Elisabeth Hasselbeck were binge-worthy, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Today, ABC announced the, yet again, new panel on the upcoming season of The View, and the LGBT community gets one super ally…and one not so supportive co-host. Read more »

Report: Feds Raid RentBoy.Com

rent boy

Federal agents, along with members of the Department of Homeland Security and the NYPD, have raided the headquarters of RentBoy.com, the rather notorious website that’s self-described as “the world’s destination to meet the perfect male escort or masseur.” Read more »

Queer at FringeArts Fest: You Are the Hero

You Are the Hero Crop

Each day this week, G Philly will be highlighting a different LGBTQ-themed show that is featured at this year’s FringeArts Festival. Get to know the artists who are bringing their works to the festival, and learn about what makes their productions unique.

It involves Zelda and coffee.

If that doesn’t make a lot of sense, don’t worry: That’s why you should check out the almost too strange to describe You Are the Hero at this year’s FringeArts Festival that will play, of all places, Elixir Coffee. This performance art event features out artist Daniel Park, who started working on the project back in 2013 and has toured the show to Toronto, Boston, and Chicago. Read more »

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