News You Should Know July 25, 2014

BTL Staff

AUSTRALIA ( - International model, Andrej[a] Pejic, announced via Entertainment Tonight and People magazine that she underwent sex reassignment surgery earlier this year. Now a trans woman, Pejic will go by the name Andreja. After keeping transition secret for the past few months, Pejic wanted to come out publicly and be honest with the public. Pejic rose to fame thanks to her androgynous appeal and ability to model female fashion almost seamlessly. She earned international acclaim in 2011 after walking in both men and women's fashion shows for Jean Paul-Gaultier during Paris Fashion Week. Pejic followed the runway walks with stunning covers on Dossier Journal, Out magazine and even landed on FHM's annual 100 Sexiest Women in the World. But despite all of the success as a male model, Pejic knew deep down that she was a woman. "I always dreamt of being a girl. One of my earliest memories is spinning around in my mom's skirt trying to look like a ballerina." In the same conversation with People, the model admits she has known her true gender since the age of 13. Pejic also reached out to the youth community who might be questioning their identity with a message of hope: "I would also like to reach out to all young gender non-conforming youth out there: I know it's hard, I've been there, but remember it's your right to be accepted as what you identify with - you deserve the same respect as any other human being on this planet."

LANSING (AP) - Michigan's elections board will consider whether supporters of a minimum wage increase and wolf hunting collected enough voter signatures for proposals to advance to legislators and possibly a statewide vote. The Board of State Canvassers meets Thursday. State staffers say the groups each gathered the minimum signatures required. But a restaurant-backed organization is challenging signatures submitted for the wage proposal. It says it's moot because lawmakers repealed the law that would be amended and passed a smaller minimum wage hike with bipartisan support. Supporters, however, still want their wage proposal on the November ballot.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Wisconsin's attorney general compared gay marriage to abortion on Wednesday in arguing that there was no fundamental right to it and state laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman were reasonable. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen made his arguments in a brief filed with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Van Hollen is appealing a federal judge's June decision declaring Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The case has been combined with a similar one from Indiana. Van Hollen compared gay marriage to abortion. "Although the constitutional right of privacy protects a woman's right to obtain an abortion and precludes government from prohibiting or punishing her exercise of that right, there is no corresponding obligation on government to affirmatively endorse or support her exercise of the abortion right," he wrote. Van Hollen also said sexual orientation has not been declared a "suspect class" subject to heightened protection like gender or race, and therefore doesn't deserve the same kind of deference in equal protection claims.

NEW YORK ( - There's a gaping, gaping hole in tomboy fashion where a plethora of sporty lingerie offerings should be. That, and a lesbian (broad stroking here) bathing suit that might as well be a unicorn at this point that could be an alternative to a one piece bathing suit (or board short and sports bra) that the average tomboy would feel comfortable in. (The first person who comes up that kind of bathing suit with that will be a billionaire, so if you have any ideas, toss them my way!). This is why I'm proud to Introduce BEX NYC, a lesbian owned lifestyle brand incorporating bras, panties, nightwear, and naughty accessories that take men inspired details and put them on sexy silhouettes. While the pieces aren't gonna work for the extremely masculine of center women, those androgynous leaning might find a fun home in some of these pieces. Not to mention, this is a fantastic start to alternative offerings.

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