North Carolina native Jacob Tobia is raising awareness on gender and diversity. Photo Credit: I’m From Driftwood, via LGBTQ Nation.

N.C. native gets national love

Durham, N.C., native Jacob Tobia, a fast-rising activist on transgender and genderqueer issues, is getting some national attention, sharing his story in a video message with I’m From Driftwood.

Tobia, who will headline Equality NC’s statewide conference in March, was active on LGBT and gender issues as a high schooler and while a student at Duke University. Tobia told I’m From Driftwood that choosing between “male” and “female” felt too restrictive.

Tobia told the website: I wish I could show myself at 13 who I am now and be like, ‘You’re going to wear gowns! You’re not just going to wear heels; you’re not just going to paint your nails once; you’re not just going to put your mom’s lipstick on. You are going to wear a gown at a fancy event, and at a dinner, and you’re going to turn heads in it. That’s what’s in store for you, kid. Just embrace this faster. Don’t be afraid of it. Love it.’

Read more and see the video via qnotes news partner LGBTQ Nation at

— Matt Comer

Congressman ‘proud grandpa’ of trans grandchild

mikehondatweetSAN JOSE, Calif. — A Democratic U.S. House member has told the world just how proud he is of his transgender grandchild.

Sharing on Twitter, U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, a Democrat from California, said he was a “proud grandpa.”

“As the proud grandpa of a transgender grandchild, I hope she can feel safe at school without fear of being bullied,” Honda wrote, sharing a photo of him and his granddaughter.

The tweet was posted on Feb. 18 and was welcomed by local LGBT community members in San Jose.

As of Feb. 22, the message had been retweeted more than 9,400 times and favorited nearly 16,000 times.

— Matt Comer

Thailand makes anti-gay moves

Thailand’s parliament has passed legislation passed a law banning foreigners and same-sex couples from seeking surrogacy services.

Under the new law, only married Thai couples or couples with one Thai partner who have been married at least three years can seek surrogacy, and commercial surrogacy is banned, reports the BBC.

The legislation passed by Thailand’s national legislative assembly on Feb. 19 closed loopholes in the country’s public health laws that enabled commercial surrogacy to thrive.

“This law aims to stop Thai women’s wombs from becoming the world’s womb. This law bans foreign couples from coming to Thailand to seek commercial surrogacy services,” National Legislative Assembly member Wanlop Tankananurak told Reuters.

Thailand’s “rent-a-womb” industry, which had made the Asian country a hotspot for the so-called “fertility tourism,” had come under a spotlight last year after a baby born of a Thai surrogate mother was allegedly abandoned by his Australian parents.

LGBTQ Nation (, a qnotes media partner


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Feb. 20 released long-awaited guidance to ensure equal access for transgender people in homeless shelters that receive federal funding.

A nationwide referendum on marriage and adoption in Slovakia failed in early February. More than 90 percent of voters approved the restrictions, but the 21.4 percent turnout fell far short of the 50 percent voter turnout needed to make the vote binding. The measures were pushed by domestic and international anti-LGBT groups, including the Alliance for Family, which received a great deal of support from the Roman Catholic Church.

A Missouri State Senate panel heard testimony on Feb. 18 on legislation that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodation.

3 replies on “U.S./World: N.C. native gets national love”

  1. While I have great respect for transgendered people, I do think it is very important for transgendered women to do all that is necessary to show the gender they really are. Heavy beard growth with makeup and accessories does not give a good impression of transgendered people and I think this photo does them a great injustice.

    1. Hey Carole! So I don’t actually identify as a transgender woman. I’m genderqueer, meaning that I don’t identify as a man or a woman: I like being between genders and that makes me feel happiest!

      1. Hi Jacob! Thanks for enlightening me on this. I am fairly well informed on the LGBT community but I have to admit that I did not know this aspect. Your happiness is the most important thing. Keep on keeping on!

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