A week ago Saturday, Melissa highlighted the story of Jenna Talackova, the aspiring Miss Universe pageant contestant who had been removed from the competition because she is transgendered, and the rules states that contestants must be "naturally born" women. Well, Talackova was born female, but she had the misfortune of being born female inside a male body. Similarly, Lucas Silveira, the frontman of the Cliks (whose video I posted above), was born male inside a female body. But as it has been custom in our culture, when people speak colloquially about sex, they think of every organ but the brain.
Today, Melissa will not only update you on Talackova's situation, but tie that into a larger discussion about what the transgender communities throughout the country and the world are facing. She'll do so with an amazing coterie of guests, including Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality; Kate Bornstein, author of the soon-to-be released "A Queer and Pleasant Danger;" and Mel Wymore, who is running for a City Council seat on New York's Upper West Side -- and if elected, will become the first openly transgendered person on that Council.
Melissa will also examine the Obama administration's recent refusal to sign an executive order banning gender-identity and sexual-orientation discrimination by federal contractors, a decision that came shortly after it banned such discrimination for any entity receiving money from Housing and Urban Development (even faith-based organizations).
Other topics include the recovery of Detroit, home of many an American icon (no, that's not a reference to Mitt Romney). Speaking of the presumptive Republican nominee, we'll make a most logical comparison of some of his statements to those of someone who's quite fascinating. Also, with it being the traditional Tax Day, we'll talk about taxes, too. All that, this morning's breaking news, and more with the rest of our guests:
- Allison Kilkenny, co-host of Citizen Radio, and reporter for In These Times and The Nation.
- Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of theGrio and an MSNBC contributor.
- Randa Fahmy Hudome, energy expert and former associate deputy secretary of energy under George W. Bush.
- Rick Newman, chief business correspondent, U.S. News & World Report.
- Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI), a freshman U.S. Congressman from Detroit who recently proposed the Student Loan Forgiveness Act.
- Kai Wright, editorial director of Colorlines and Nation Institute fellow.