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Dana Beyer
Dana is a retired eye surgeon who was a candidate for the Maryland state Senate in 2014. She is currently Executive Director of Gender Rights Maryland, the state’s trans political organization which worked the gender identity bill to passage in 2014. She served a term as a senior adviser for Councilmember Trachtenberg on the Montgomery County Council. She is chair of the national advisory board of Freedom to Work, and writes a weekly column for The Huffington Post. She recently served on the Rules Committee of the national Democratic Party, and has twice run for state Delegate in Maryland District 18. She was inducted into the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2014.

Dana has been an advocate on public health issues, including research on the effects of DES and endocrine disruptors on human sexuality and reproduction, and was lead staffer passing the first county-wide ban of artificial trans fats in the U.S. – a ban that will be extended nationwide next year. Dana has been VP of Equality Maryland and Maryland NOW, a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Governor, and a board member of Mobile Med and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). She is currently on the board of Keshet, the national Jewish LGBT organization, and the steering committee of Progressive Neighbors, Montgomery County’s leading progressive advocacy organization. In 2009 she helped organize and co-authored The Dallas Principles. She led the coalitions that passed the Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery County gender identity anti-discrimination laws, and defended the Montgomery County law against national right-wing forces in 2008. She was on the workgroup at the Washington Psychiatric Society that wrote the Gender Dysphoria text for the DSM 5, declassifying being transgender as a mental disorder. She was the first out trans graduate of the Senior Executive Program in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Entries by Dana Beyer

Real Trans Leadership Marches Forward With the EEOC

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 12:01 PM

Over the past month I've written about Title VII and the Macy Decision, and the growing acceptance of its reality within the LGBT community and the community's willingness to say so publicly. This week I want to move the story forward and detail a case, which is among...

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'Cruel and Unusual Punishment' of the Entire Trans Community

(2) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 6:47 PM

Court cases generally deal with individuals, though on occasion class actions encompass many more. A recent First Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding one trans woman, Michelle Kosilek, serving a life sentence for murder in a Massachusetts men's prison, was decided 3-2 on appeal on a claim brought...

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The Department of Labor Secures the LGBT Federal Contractor Executive Order

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 7:00 PM

Here is the notice [bold mine] that will be part of American economic life beginning in April:


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--Administered by:...

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The Science of Human Sexuality Goes to Court

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Today I'd like to discuss one of the first two post-Macy cases being brought by the EEOC, under the able and courageous leadership of P. David Lopez, the commission's chief counsel, who was just confirmed by the U.S. Senate for another term.

This case, in the...

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Trans Legal Trailblazers Macy and Glenn Speak Out for Sweeping Educational Efforts

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 4:06 PM

Last week I described the bandwagon effect as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) joined Freedom to Work, Gender Rights Maryland, the Transgender Law Center, TrueChild and the LGBT legal organizations in recognition of the sweeping national impact of the U.S....

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Major LGBT Advocates Who Had Previously Buried the Lede Come Out of the Closet -- Except One

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 4:29 PM

As I enter my third year of blogging on The Huffington Post, I would like to return to the post that generated the most debate and heat in the first two years. That post, from last September, "Burying the Lede: The LGBT Community's Deafening Silence on Federal Transgender...

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The Political Red Tide Washes Ashore in Maryland

(2) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 11:46 AM

The national political red tide swept up the Chesapeake Bay, over the jetties of Spa Creek and up Annapolis' Main Street to the statehouse this week. After eight years of the O'Malley-Brown Democratic administration, characterized by substantial progress on social issues, the Lieutenant Governor hex landed squarely on Anthony Brown....

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Those Who Can, Do

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 1:26 PM

This is my 100th HuffPost blog post and my second anniversary of blogging on The Huffington Post. It's particularly timely, as I've just received a lifetime achievement award by being inducted into my county's Human Rights Hall of Fame. It's been a pleasure to contribute to the civil-rights debate, and...

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Sarah Silverman and the Art of Advocacy

(2) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 5:14 PM

Social progress, with a concomitant increase in visibility, brings the need for that community to adapt in order to make further progress. A recent case in point is the politically correct backlash from some in the trans community directed toward Sarah Silverman and the equal-pay video from the...

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Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy: A Modern Transgender Hero

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 5:04 PM

There is one Jewish short story (later made into a play and a film) to which I can very intimately relate. It's Isaac Bashevis Singer's Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy. I had the pleasure of attending an updated, klezmer/pop version of the play, directed by Shirley Serotsky, with music by Jill...

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Keeping Your Eye on the Prize: Maryland Today Legally Embraces Its Transgender Residents

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 12:25 PM

Today, October 1, the Maryland transgender anti-discrimination law goes into effect, making this state the 18th in the country, along with Puerto Rico and D.C., to offer similar protections. And in two weeks, I will be honored with induction in the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall...

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Advances in the Treatment of Transgender Children and the Hurdles Yet to be Overcome

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 9:48 AM

This past week has seen the publication of two important research papers dealing with transgender children. The first, from Amsterdam's world famous Center of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria at VU Medical Centre, was published in the leading American pediatrics journal, Pediatrics. This study is

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HRC Reboots Its Mission Toward Greater Trans Inclusion

(7) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 9:07 PM

When I first came out after transitioning, I joined the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), because they had a women's holiday party coming up and it seemed a good place to start. I had been dating men, but they were universally skittish once I discussed my gender history with them. So...

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Progressives Losing Their Way, at Home and Abroad

(1) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 10:51 PM

This is the most recent statement by an American president about progressive values:

I'm here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we're greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their...
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Gay Rights Progress Towards the ENDA the Line

(65) Comments | Posted August 30, 2014 | 4:40 PM

This year's meeting of the National LGBT Bar Association, known as Lavender Law, provided an update on the state of gay and trans rights in America (and beyond). Not surprisingly, thanks to the recent Hobby Lobby decision of the Supreme Court, the plenary that brought out the heaviest...

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The Best Way to Change Minds: Come Out, Stay Out and Speak Out

(11) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 1:05 PM

Last week my friend, Professor Jenny Boylan of Barnard College, penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times entitled "Trans Community Can Change Minds by Changing Discourse." I think it's very important that our scholars are finally being provided with a platform to reach a far wider audience,...

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TERF Wars: Trans Women and Feminist Extremism in Context

(8) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 8:21 PM

Last week I wrote about the ongoing war raging between a subset of radical lesbian feminists called trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs, and the transgender community. I'd like to take the opportunity to put that in deeper context than I had room to manage last week.

There have...

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'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner': Lesbian Trans Exclusion Gets Noticed

(157) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 10:39 PM

The LGBT version of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is not yet playing at a theater near you this summer, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone were writing such a script.

Every summer sees the return of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (MWMF or MichFest), along with...

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LGBT Civil Rights and Religious Liberty: The Challenge

(12) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 3:31 PM

Over the past two months there has been a flurry of concern and action regarding religion-based attacks on LGBT equality. These attacks are nothing new, of course, but as marriage equality is accelerating toward a national reality, the conservative opposition has been doubling down on its use of "religious liberty"...

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Another Bend of the Arc Towards Justice

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 1:59 PM

On Monday the president, "by the authority vested in [him] by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America," signed two Executive Orders. The first made explicit, as said by the president, anti-discrimination protections in the federal workforce based on gender identity. The second, and more...

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