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The 2015 Week In Transgenderism Wrap Up

| Dec 28, 2015
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Since tradition dictates that the media must do a “year end wrap up” of their reporting throughout the year we present our The Week In Transgenderism of 2015. (Some of the links to the original stories may not work if the publication has taken the page down.) Now, let’s look back and remember what we reported on in 2015. As always, links in TWIT will open in this window. To return to this page use the Back button on your browser.


January

Leelah

Leelah

TGF reader Jamie Roberts brought a story about the suicide of trans teen Leelah Alcorn to our attention. The story was everywhere this past week with many people weighing in with their opinions on social media. Ms. Alcorn threw herself in front of a speeding tractor trailer rig to end the pain cause by her Christian parent’s rejection of her trans nature. While her parents could not accept Leelah’s identity it is good to know that there is a movement within the Christian church that does accept LGBT people. A writer for Religious News Service says parents should affirm their LGBT child, not reject them.

A former contestant on America Idol who appeared on the show sporting an androgynous look has come out to the world as a trans woman. Season 12 contestant Josh ‘JDA’ Davila is now Jaidah Christina and she’s singing in a Chicago nightclub. Learn more on the American Idol website.

Meanwhile the mayor of Silverton, Oregon, the first trans mayor in the United States, is stepping down from that job. Stu Rasmussen left the office after completing six years of service. Rasmussen severed as a city council member for four years before making the mayoral run in 2008. The key to Rasmussen’s success in the job was that he (a pronoun he doesn’t seem to mind) was a fiscal conservative who worked to maintain Silverton’s small town nature, while being an icon for progressive social values. Read more on the KGW website.

From the Whatever Happened To file: Your TWIT compiler has long been a fan of science fiction and often in my early years as a reader of that genre I would thrill when a story blurred the lines of gender, or through some futuristic technology transformed a male character into a female. One of the earliest stories I read with that sort of plot line was also a time travel story. Robert Heinlein wrote All You Zombies in the 1950s. Now they’ve made a movie based on the story. Read a review in The New York Times.

Thailand, famous for it’s ladyboys, is getting around to finally recognizing their “third gender” citizens in the country’s constitution. There was reason to worry when Thailand was taken over by a military junta but it seems that the military is allowing a Constitution Draft Committee to create a new governing document and the right to not be male or female but something else is being included. Read about it on keyt.com.

Dr. Rachel Levine

Dr. Rachel Levine

The incoming governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, has appointed a trans woman to his cabinet. Dr. Rachel Levine will take the position of physician general. She is a a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and is also the chief of that institutions Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders. Learn more about Dr. Levine in Philadelphia Magazine.

It was while deployed in Afghanistan that Captain Hannah Winterbourne made the decision to transition from male to female. She started the process in 2013 and today she is in charge of over 100 soldiers in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. She is also the only trans soldier in the British Army. Read her story in the Mirror.

A new study has found that the wiring in our brains differs depending on whether we think of ourselves as male or female. It seems that transsexual brains process signals somewhere in between of male and female brains. Read all the scientific details on the World Science website.

The actor nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything is known to be very devoted to getting everything right in his portrayals. He went through all sort so pains, literally, to play Hawking. Now he is slated to appear in The Danish Girl, the film film that has been “in pre-production” for years, as Lili Elbe, the first person to undergo reassignment surgery. He is putting just as much effort into learning all he can about femininity as he did to become Hawking. The report we found is a bit snarky, almost TWIT worthy, when they make a big deal out of him “learning to walk in high heels.” Read the story at u.tv.

Perry

Perry

Grayson Perry, the crossdressing artist, potter and television personality in England was in the news agains last week. He was in a “battle of the little black dresses” with none other than the Duchess of Cambridge herself. Kate, who is six months pregnant with her second child, wore a fashionable LBD but Perry’s frock got more attention. Find out what they were up to on the ParentDish website.

Whether you are a fan of President Obama or not you have to know that he made history during his State of the Union speech last week. He became the first president, ever, to use the word “transgender” in a high profile speech like the State of the Union. Get the exact quote and reaction from trans activists in Time magazine.

Pope Francis has been a very untypical Pope. He’s said several things that have made conservative heads explode. What’s he been up to recently? He invited a Spanish trans man to the Vatican for a private audience. Muy bueno! Read about how it all went down in the Washington Blade.

After 14 seasons of the singing competition American Idol the show has finally gotten an out  drag queen among the contestants. Dakota Suarez, whose drag name is Bianca Jade was picked to move on in the competition. Read more on the Bustle website.

EdnaDame Edna Everage is currently traveling the world on her Dame Edna’s Glorius Goodbye: The Farewell Tour. Last week she stopped in Los Angeles and her traveling companion Barry Humphries granted an interview to a local paper. He told the interviewer a few interesting things about his life with Dame Edna and why it is time for her to hang up her fuchsia gown and put away her pumps. Read the interview in the Los Angeles Times, possums.

We mentioned before that there is now proof that the brains of people with different gender identities are not the same. The connections between parts of the brain differ according to, or perhaps causing, the person’s gender identity. The story is in The Huffington Post.

January TWIT Awards

There are places you would expect violence against trans people but you don’t think of San Francisco as one of those places. Apparently haters can be found there, too. Last week a young trans woman was on a date with her partner on a Saturday afternoon when a man on the bus they were riding started directing hate speech at them. Then he followed them off the bus and stabbed the young woman with a steak knife. We hand a TWIT Award to the knife wielding hater and direct you to the full story, including what happened after the stabbing, in SF Gate.

If you don’t like the way your nose job or boob job turns out there are legal remedies you can pursue. Or maybe you can just bad mouth the surgeon to all your friends. What you don’t want to do is go to his home and set of an “incendiary device.” Tyqwon Welsch takes home, or actually, takes to her cell, a TWIT Award for attempting (unsuccessfully) to set fire to the home of noted plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas K. Ousterhout. To add a touch of weirdness to the story the house was used as the scene of the action in the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire. Read more at the KRON website.

The ruling by the South Dakota High School Activities Association that allows trans students to participate in sports on teams of the gender they identity with is in danger. A legislator has decided to offer legislation that would make the Association’s ruling null and void. No doubt to protect student athletes from seeing trans people in the locker room. A TWIT Award is given to Rep. Jim Bolin, R-Canton, for being a reactionary oppressor of trans people. Get the story in the Argus Leader.

A trans woman is running for the leadership of the North Carolina Democratic Party. There are four candidates in competition for the leadership spot. During a candidate forum last week the best known candidate, Patsy Keever, called the trans candidate a “man.” That get’s Ms. Keever a TWIT Award. Find out just how the word was used in the News Observer.

Some people seem to think that trans people can be joked about with impunity. When the joker is a policy officer it can be hard to protest. A Lakewood, Ohio officer thought it would be loads of fun to play Dude Looks Like a Lady by Aerosmith while a trans woman was being questioned in a shoplifting case. A TWIT Award goes to Det. Thomas McLaughlin for cranking up the music. He got some other things from the police department, too. Read about it on the cleveland.com site.

February

A Navy vet who transitioned from male to female in 1995 has been granted a name change on her DD-214 form. That’s the form a vet must show to prove they have served when they apply for jobs or a variety of veteran benedfits. Read more about if this is a big deal and if so, just how big a deal, in The Daily Kos.

One problem with male to female transition, one that many feel is the main problem, is how the voice sounds. Estrogen has no effect on the vocal cords so you have to learn how to sound like a woman. If you can afford it there is a vocal coach in New York City who teaches trans women how to speak in a feminine manner. And no, it’s not all about the pitch. Read about vocal coach Norma Garbo and her clients in The Atlantic.

China is not often identified as the most open, liberal minded state on the planet. If fact they can be downright oppressive about things like human rights. Oddly enough it seems that one area where they may be letting people express themselves a bit more is in drag peformance. Read about and see photos of the growing drag scene in the Daily Mail.

Anna Grodzka

Anna Grodzka

A trans woman is making a presidential run. Not in the U.S.A. in 2016. We’re talking about the presidential race in Poland. Anna Grodzka won a seat in the Polish Parliament in 2001 and she’s going to make a run for president with the Green Party in the next election. Read about her chances of winning in Pink News.

The “Jenner is Transitioning” stories may already have more people thinking about trans issues. We found one columnist who used it as the starting point for a discussion of what you should and should not say to a trans person. Being inside the community, as we are, it’s good to learn what it was like for a cisgender male to learn about trans issues and become an ally. Steven Petrow’s column is in the Washington Post. Jenner was involved in a traffic accident over the weekend in which one person died. Jenner was not hurt. Details can be found in USA Today.

Business paying attention to trans people is another example of the increasing awareness and acceptance we are getting. Just a few years back there was no mention of transgender in business news. Today you can find advice on how to handle a colleague coming out as trans. The article is in the Harvard Business Review.

Rebecca Root

Rebecca Root

The BBC has started production on their trans themed sitcom Boy Meets Girl. The show follows the developing relationship between a younger man and an older trans woman. Unlike some other television shows we could mention (looking at you Transparent) the trans woman is played by an actual trans woman, comedian and actor Rebecca Root. Read all about it in The Guardian.

The trans woman who, pre-transition, piloted the helicopter that followed O.J. Simpson on his infamous slow car chase back in 1994 has become America’s “first transgender television reporter.” (On a national show that is. We have heard and reported on some local trans TV hosts.) Zoey Tur has been hired as a part-time special correspondent by Inside Edition. Her beat is reportedly not just LGBT stories. Learn more at the TVGuide website.

Creating Change, the 27th National Conference on LGBT Equality took place in Denver last week. The focus on this year’s conference was the disproportionate violence against trans women of color. Four trans women have been murdered in less than a month. While some of the violence was domestic in nature too much violence falls under the heading of a hate crime. Learn more about the conference and the spate of trans women dying by violence in the International Business Times.

TG actress Michelle Hendley

TG actress Michelle Hendley

We have mentioned a film called Boy Meets Girl (not the BBC television show mentioned above) that cast a young trans woman in the role of a young trans woman. In the old days actresses were discovered in Hollywood soda fountains. Michelle Hendley was discovered on YouTube. The film has been finished and this past weekend it opened in New York and other select areas. Columnist Michael Musto interviewed Hendley in his column in Out.

Kristen Beck is going into politics. The author of Warrior Princess is in the process of launching a primary challenge against Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) campaigning on the premise that Hoyer has been in office too long and is soft on Wall Street. Beck recently moved back to Maryland’s 5th Congressional District. If she were to win Hoyer’s seat Beck would be the first trans member of Congress. Get more information in The Huffington Post.

Bryn Mawr College in suburban Philadelphia has become the fourth U.S. women’s university to welcome all trans students. The college will now accept applications from trans women, trans men and “nonbinary” people. Learn more in The Advocate.

Mitchell as Hedwig

Mitchell as Hedwig

John Cameron Mitchell, the creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, has stepped back into that role in the Broadway show. Then he made a misstep and hurt his knee, which meant he had to step back out while Michael C. Hall filled in. But this week he should be back in Hedwig’s boots and ready to rock. Read what he had to say about his relationship with Hedwig and what he might have planned for her in the future in The New York Times.

The Mata Hari of the WikiLeaks incident, Chelsea Manning, has been granted approval to undergo hormone treatment and counseling while she serves the sentence handed out in her espionage conviction in 2013. This is a shift in Army policy since they not only do not allow trans soldiers to serve but had previously not provided transition assistance to soldiers. Get the details in The Christian Science Monitor.

A high-ranking leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints has indicated in a recent interview that perhaps the Church may be reconsidering its stance on LGBT issues. Does this mean that trans people will gain greater acceptance in the Church? Possibly. Read more on Slate.

Ireland’s Gender Recognition Bill was enacted in 2014 and it is considered by some to be too restrictive in that it does not recognize trans people under the age of 16, it calls for medical verification of gender and married people are required to divorce before having their gender legally recognized. In 2008 Germany found those sorts of restrictions to be unconstitutional in its  law regarding transsexuals. A writer urges Ireland to not ignore the German ruling in an article in The Irish Times.

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning

We mentioned last week that the Army seemed to be lightening up on trans service members when they decided to let Chelsea Manning have hormone therapy. Now comes word that they have issued a directive that any trans soldiers discharges would have to issued by one high ranking officer instead of by the soldier’s lower ranking officers. Get the story from USA Today.

You’ve heard about the legislator in Florida who has introduced a bill that activists have labelled the “anti-transgender bathroom bill.” The bill would restrict restroom use to “persons of the sex for which the facility was designed.” We wonder who would be in charge of enforcing that law? How to students at Florida Atlantic University feel about the proposed legislation? Find out in their student newspaper University Press.

It’s a pretty big deal when a trans girl of 8 can have the acceptance of her parents. Many kids don’t have that. Then, when her grandpa says he is proud to have her as a grandchild that can be a really big deal. Malisa Honda-Phillips can top all the other 8-year-old trans girl’s stories though. Her grandpa is not just some retired guy. He’s U.S. Rep. Mike Honda and he is “the proud grandpa of a transgender grandchild.” Read the story and view video din the San Jose Mercury News.

Is the honeymoon over with Pope Francis? He has said things and done some things that made people feel that the Church might be moving into the 21st century. All the stuff that made him a Pope that was more in line with modern attitudes may have been cancelled out by the statements that came out last week. That’s when people noticed that in an interview he equated trans people with “Herods,” and worse. The story is in Metro.

Tur

Tur

We recently reported that Zoey Tur, the former news helicopter pilot had become the first trans reporter when she was hired as a special correspondent for Inside Edition. We forgot, and so did the media, that there is a trans reporter who has been covering stories on Colorado Public Television since 2008. Meet Eden Lane in People.

February TWIT Awards

Senator Ted Cruz’s father is a grade A wack-a-doodle. That doesn’t stop him from speaking out about things he knows little about. Last week he claimed that non-discrimination ordinances would mean that “football teams could shower with girls” and men could “walk into women’s bathrooms.” I did a lot of clubbing in the ‘80s and I’ve seen men in  the women’s restroom but how would they get into a woman’s house to walk into her bathroom? (Uninvited.) A TWIT Award to the senior Cruz for speading his B.S. Read about it on the Raw Story website.

As much as the media, and we here at TGF, report on the dangers of injecting industrial grade silicone into the human body “pumping parties” still keep going on and women keep dying for beauty. The latest case happen in Santa Ana, California. A 40-year-old trans woman who wanted a better looking butt died after being injected. The silicone traveled into her lungs and permanently decreased  her beauty —  by removing her from this world. A TWIT Award to anyone who pumps and to anyone who believes that their beauty is more important than the ability to keep breathing. Read the details and catch a video on the KTLA website.

The silicone “pumper” known as Black Madam went on trial last week in Philadelphia, Pa. for the death of a 20-year-old exotic dancer from England who came to her for figure enhancement. The industrial grade silicone traveled in the young woman’s body and caused a pulmonary embolism. We’ve given Black Madam a TWIT Award before but today we hand her one for her behavior in court. Bragging about her “work” and flirting with the assistant prosecuting attorney are probably not good ideas. Read the story in the Daily Mail.

The TERFs are acting up again. That’s “trans exclusionary radical feminists.” We have other names for them but they’re not polite or printable. These women believe that trans women are not “real women” and they fight to keep us out of women’s restrooms and to convince the world that trans women are delusional males. One of the biggest TERFs is 1970s feminist author Germaine Greer. She’s someone we used to think was cool but now she and her TERF pals are getting a TWIT Award. Read more about the TERFs and why they hate you in the International Business Times.

Here’s the story, of a man named Brady… At least his name was Brady when he starred as the dad on The Brady Bunch. These days Barry Williams is starring in a musical review in Branson, Missouri and in a recent appearance on HuffPost Live he dissed Bruce Jenner in a way that wins him a TWIT Award. He’ll have to pay the postage for shipping it to Missouri. Find out how he put his foot in his mouth on The Huffington Post.

A TWIT Award to the Arkansas Senate for passing a law on Feb. 9 that will ban local governments in the state from passing anti-discrimination laws protecting the rights of LGBT people. They say it’s to keep consistency to such laws by having them enacted at the state level but they passed the law in a knee jerk response to the introduction of a city ordinance in Fayetteville that would have giving equal rights protection to trans people. The ordinance was defeated anyway by voters who were concerned about men dressed as women lurking in lady’s rooms. So another TWIT Award goes to the voters of Fayetteville and yet another is given to the Christian Examiner for saying in their story that transsexuals are “individuals with a confused gender identity.”

March

Andreja

Andreja

Of course Andreja Pejic has been appearing in shows modeling women’s fashions for several years but the runway she walked last Monday was special. It was the first show she has appeared in since her reassignment surgery. Pejic modeled designs by Giles Deacon during Fashion Week in London. Also walking the same runway was Bruce Jenner’s daughter Kendall Jenner. Read the story in The New York Post.

Is “transface” the equivalent of blackface? Some in the trans community find it demeaning to trans people when cisgender actors portray trans characters on the screen. (Eddie Redmayne may soon find himself the target of some trans anger.) For more on the controversy that swirls around cis actors in trans roles check out an in-depth look at it in the Advocate. Thanks to Jan Brown for the story tip

The trans woman who sued Cabela’s sporting goods store’s parent company for discrimination has used the Americans With Disabilities Act in her suit — while also challenging the constitutionality of the Act, since it doesn’t say a word about gender identity disorder. If her allegations against the store are true did she need to get into “trans is a disorder” territory? She could have just sued over the discrimination. Read the story and decide. You can find it in the Philadelphia Gay News.

"Helena"

“Helena”

Serbia is a fairly modern country in many respects but it, like the U.S.A., is not keen on the idea of having trans people in the army. A Serbian trans woman rose though the ranks to become a major in the Quartermaster Corps before she announced her true gender and was then forced to take early retirement. She has sued the Serbian Army and the Ministry of Defense  with the support of a transsexual activist group. Read “Helena’s” story in Newsweek.

A recent review of existing research into the use of hormone therapy on adult trans people has found it to be generally safe and there is little danger of the hormones causing cancer in trans women. However there are a couple of side effects that those contemplating hormone therapy should be aware of. Learn what they are in U.S. News & World Report.

Science now recognizes that gender is not as simple as male and female. There are an array of genders that are not black and white but spread across a gray scale. TGF has long promoted the idea of a “gender spectrum” and we’re happy to find that our theory is born out by an article in the journal Nature.

The man who beat Islan Nettles so viciously that she died five days later has finally been arrested. The beating happened a year and a half ago on West 148th St. in New York City. Why did it take so long for an arrest? There were seven young men hanging out on the street when Nettles and two friends walked by. One of them “catcalled” Nettles and then got angry when he realized she was trans. For all the info on why it took so long for an arrest check out the story on the DNAinfo site.

The citizens of Charlotte, North Carolina can all relax when they go to the restroom. Those nasty trans people won’t be allowed in the public restrooms that match their gender identity. What a relief, huh? The nondiscrimination ordinance that was defeated in a 6-5 vote was debated passionately by both sides with over 120 people speaking at the council meeting before the vote took place. Most of those opposed to the ordinance quoted the Bible and most of the people supporting the ordinance brought up the trials and tribulations of being trans. Read more about it in The Charlotte Observer.

A bill introduced in South Dakota that would have required student athletes to play on the sports team that matched the sex on their birth certificate was voted down in a South Dakota Senate committee. Unfortunately there is another bill of the same ilk to be considered. Learn more about the legislation in The Daily Republic.

Students enrolling in Scripps College only have 10 choices when it comes to gender pronouns. They get to pick from a list that contains things like “Em,” “Per,” “Ze,” and “Just My Name Please.” Professors will have to stick to the student’s choice. Get the rest of the pronouns at the Campus Reform website.

Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings

Trans teen author and TG activist Jazz Jennings has a new job. She will be the face of Clean & Clear’s new ad campaign. Clean & Clear markets skin care products and promotes progressive causes like acceptance of trans people by society in general. Read about Jazz and Clean & Clear in the style section on Yahoo. As if that wasn’t fab enough we’ve also learned that Jazz will be starring in her own reality show on TLC. It’s called All That Jazz and it will run this summer. Get more details from The Hollywood Reporter.

Since crossdressing is banned for Jews as well as Christians by the words of Deuteronomy 22:5 how does an orthodox Jewish man express his inner drag queen? The same way a follower of Christianity does. He gets dolled up and takes to the stage. And his drag persona will make you some kugel. Meet several orthodox Jewish drag queens in The Guardian.

The world is a much different place than it was when Rene Richards came out. Recently she gave an interview about that time in the ‘70s when “transgender” wasn’t a word and she became the first transsexual to compete on the women’s professional tennis circuit. She also had thoughts on Bruce Jenner’s situation. Read what she said in The New York Times.

People in the TG community are coming to the conclusion that Zoey Tur is not the best person to be representing trans people on television. Just because you are trans doesn’t mean you’re an expert. Tur keeps coming up with reports that are factually incorrect. Though not a medical doctor Tur has made statements about the effect of hormones. She has also appeared to side with the woman who complained about a TG in the locker room at Planet Fitness. Is it time for Tur to go? Read the story on the Think Progress website.

Redmayne as Lili.

Redmayne as Lili.

The Danish Girl is now in production and we’ve seen another photo of Eddie Redmayne in character as Lili Elbe. It’s hats off for Eddie. In actuality, he has taken off the 1920s lady’s headgear in the one new photo you’ll find  on the US website. There are many more photos, all in the same wardrobe, at Just Jared.

Shhh. Be very quiet. The University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus now allows trans students and staff to use the restroom of their choice. If you can believe the television station that reported on it after they got “an anonymous tip” the whole thing was done on the Q.T., the down low, in the dead of night. Read about it and view a video report on the WFMY website.

March TWIT Awards

Last week a bill in the Canadian Senate meant to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include “gender identity” was passed by that august body. Except, before it was passed one transphobic senator amended the bill that was meant to amend the Act. He added language that would prevent trans people from using “sex-specific” public restrooms. A TWIT Award to Sen. Donald Plett. Read about it in The Star.

Meanwhile, down in Texas, a state legislator has introduced a bill that would make it a crime, punishable by jail time, for a trans person to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. That would be jail time up to a year and a maximum fine of $4000. In the words of anyone with a working brain — WTF? The fear that motivates these people to defend their public restrooms is amazing. We’re giving a TWIT Award to major Texas twit Rep. Debbie Riddle. Read the story and read the actual bill at the Towleroad website.

Dr. Keith Ablow is at it again. With the story of the female Planet Fitness member who was kicked out for complaining about a trans woman in the locker room circulating in the media Fox & Friends felt they needed to do a segment about it. Ablow was on the guest list along with a legal analyst. The legal opinion was that Planet Fitness had every right to exclude the woman from their gym. Ablow, on the other hand, kept going on about how crazy it is for men to maintain that they’re women and it’s nothing but “political correctness” that lets TGs keep up this fiction. We give Ablow yet another TWIT Award and ask him what sort of political correctness allows him to get away with claiming he’s a psychiatrist? The story and the video are available at mediate.com.

April

Lady Ellen client.

Lady Ellen client.

For those males who don’t take naturally to feminine expression there are “finishing schools” that can turn them into ladies. One such institution is Le Femme located in Piscataway, NJ. Run out of her home by Lady Ellen the school offers transformation sessions and lessons in all aspects of presenting yourself as a woman. Get the full story in the New York Post.

April Fools’ Day was last week and it’s always important to remember that when it rolls around some of the stories you find on the Web are not true. Or on any day for that matter. What we’re saying is — you have to know that some of the stories will be April Fools jokes on the first of April. One such prank was pulled by the National Center for Transgender Equality when they announced they were funding research to create trans people who didn’t have to pee. Read all about it at Vox.com.

Zoey Tur, the TG correspondent on Inside Edition made the news last week in a personality piece in The Los Angeles Times. The article talks about her being a symbol of acceptance by the mainstream but also talks about the statements she has made that have gotten her in trouble with the transgender community. Thanks to TGF reader Robyn Bird for pointing the story out to us. What do you think of Tur’s statements? Read The L.A. Times article and let us know in the comment area below.

Transgender Mormons are coming out in Utah. They have formed a support group and the Mormon Church has begun to engage with its trans members to learn about transgenderism. The Church still has rules against sex-reassignment surgery and their official theology says that gender is eternal so there shouldn’t be any of this “I was born in the wrong body” stuff going on. Learn more about the Mormon trans people in The Washington Post. Thanks to TGF user Jamie Roberts for passing along the link.

Did you remember to be visible last Tuesday? (3/31/14) It was the International Transgender Day of Visibility. I think I forgot to be visible. I was visible on Wednesday instead. It’s hard to remember things like this since they haven’t started automatically applying them to electronic calendars yet. Many people did remember the day, which is “a worldwide holiday highlighting the live of transgender individuals across the globe.” Mainly it meant everyone who wanted to participate posted a selfie on Twitter, Facebook or another site. Get the perspective of one young trans person concerning the Day in a column for The Daily Targum.

Lusardi

Lusardi

It’s taken four years of legal battles but Tamara Lusardi has won her fight with the U.S. Army. Ms. Lusardi was a civilian software worker in the Army’s aviation and missile research division when she came out to her employer as a trans woman. When she attempted to transition on the job she was subjected to discrimination and eventual dismissal. The EEOC has ruled that the Army violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. What does that mean for Ms. Lusardi? Read the whole story in The Guardian.

Bruce Jenner has been plastered all over the tabloids and TMZ with the rumors of his transgender nature. Now it seems that his “farewell to Bruce” will happen, as has much of his life in recent years — on television. Jenner has done a two hour interview with Diane Sawyer and it will air on April 24. Reportedly that’s when Jenner will reveal her new femme name. Maybe we should have a contest to see who can guess it. Read more in the publication you’d expect to get the latest on Bruce Jenner from, Food World News.

You just might be transsexual if you’ve got the longer version of the androgen receptor gene in your DNA. A study done by Australian researchers found a significant link between transsexuality and the structure of this gene which produces less efficient testosterone signaling. For the whole explanation read the story on the BBC News website.

If you do have that long androgen receptor and are transsexual you shouldn’t have to put up with your parents trying to “cure” you. President Obama agrees and has come out calling for an end to the so-called “reparative” therapies. Rather than repairing anything these “therapies” often leave people broken, confused and depressed. Will President Obama’s statement lead to the banning of these activities? Learn more in The New York Times.

Beck

Beck

If you’re in Hollywood on April 26 and you’d like to attend the Stonewall Democratic Club’s 40th Anniversary Award and Garden Party (and who doesn’t love a garden party?) you can get your tickets online. One of the award winners is former U.S. Navy SEAL Kristin Beck. Tickets start at $100.00 but if you want shell out $5000.00 you can be a Platinum Sponsor. Get all the info and buy your tickets on the Stonewall Dems’ website.

The murder of a Filipina trans woman after her U.S. military “date” became aware of her gender status has brought the issue of what the members of our military get up to when they’re off duty in foreign ports to the fore. Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton was doing what our men do, having a few drinks in a night club and looking for a woman who would have sex with him when he met Jennifer Laude. A few hours later he strangled her at a “seedy hotel” across the street from the club. What exactly happened that night, and what the military attitude is about its men using the services of prostitutes, some of those trans, is laid out in depth in an article in Stars and Stripes.

Are you a fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Did you spend years of your life wearing a corset and fishnets, throwing rice and toast at a movie screen? If you are that sort of devoted fan you should be concerned. Why? Fox television has announced that they’re doing a remake of the movie to celebrate its 40th Anniversary. Egads! This might be horrible. Read about this possible travesty of transsexual Transylvania in Vanity Fair.

Has the current administration been the best ever in supporting trans people’s rights? It sure seems that way. Thanks to TGF reader Jamie Roberts for pointing us to an op-ed that gathers all the positive things the administration has done for trans citizens. They’ve even added a gender-neutral restroom in The White House. Read about it in The Washington Post.

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox accomplished another transgender first and it also involves a magazine. Cox has become the first trans woman to appear in Allure magazine’s annual nude issue. Beat that Sports Illustrated. Cox agreed to appear in a tasteful nude photo to inspire other trans women to embrace their bodies and feel empowered. Read about it in USA Today.

The rise of television shows like Orange is the New Black and Transparent have given trans actors a boost. Transparent employs several trans actresses in supporting roles and those women are starting to get cast in other trans roles. One such actress is Trace Lysette who spent several years in the business keeping her gender a secret, worried that someone would find out she was trans. Read about trans actresses and Trace in The Advocate.

A school in Maine neglected to inform parents that their children would be exposed to a reading of Jazz Jennings’ book I Am Jazz. A few parents complained that they were blindsided by the lesson while many were supportive. One parent took her outrage to the media by sending an email to Sean Hannity. Sensing blood in the water Hannity put the upset mother’s message on his website. Get the whole story from Seacoast.

Need proof the world is changing all the time? A 27-year-old trans man could be the first man of his kind to be on the cover of Men’s Health magazine. Learn more in The Washington Post.

What is the second sex-change capitol of the world? We all know that Thailand hold the top spot but if you are about to say the second place is held by the United States you would be wrong. The second place is held by Iran. That’s right. Those crazy Iranians who were part of G.W. Bush’s “ Axis of Evil” are totally cool with providing state sponsored gender reassignment surgery. Why? Because it’s not mentioned in the Quran. But, there’s a downside to becoming a woman in Iran. Find out what it’s like to be transsexual in Iran on OZY.com.

Sissy Goodwin

Sissy Goodwin

Sissy Goodwin, a full-time crossdresser who has lived in Caspar, Wyoming for his whole life has finally decided to take his ultra frilly self to Portland, Oregon when he retires in May. Goodwin was profiled in The Los Angeles Times in 2013 because he persisted, even in the face of physical violence, to wear frilly dresses and other femme attire in public without attempting to pass as a female. He has been teaching classes at Casper College and doing it in his dresses with no hassles from his students. In fact he’s been nominated for the outstanding teacher’s award. Read more about Sissy on PostStar.com.

Has the Fashion Industry Reached a Transgender Turning Point? That’s the question Vogue magazine asks as the headline for their profile of Andreja Pejic. In the interview Pejic says that she spent her youth trying to pass as a boy when femininity came naturally to her. But the profile is about more than Andreja. It goes on to talk about how the fashion industry and the entertainment industry have begun to embrace trans people. Read the whole article in Vogue’s May issue.

Chase Culpepper

Chase Culpepper

The South Carolina teenage trans girl, Chase Culpepper, who was told to remove her makeup before her DMV photo could be taken has won her federal lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. She will now be able to have her driver’s license photo taken in makeup and feminine clothing. This is also great for all other trans people in the state as the DMV must change its photo policy and train its employees on how to treat non-conforming individuals. Get the story from The Los Angeles Times.

Friday night was the night. Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer aired on ABC. Of major concern to the trans community was that Jenner would bring the patina of reality television to the coming out story but that didn’t happen. Jenner acquitted himself (he asked to be referred to with male pronouns in this “last interview” as Bruce) well and  stated that while he will be the subject of an 8-episode documentary about his transition it will not be done as a reality show with unlimited access to his personal life and medical procedures. Did he reveal his new femme name? Find out in The New York Times.

The Nevada “bathroom bill” that would have restricted trans people’s access to public restrooms and locker rooms has been rejected by the Nevada Assembly. The legislators stood up for our right to pee where we want with a vote of 22-20. Five Republicans joined all the Democrats to vote against the bill. Learn more in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Meanwhile, in the land of the four year drought, California, the bathroom bill that got passed was one that protected the right of trans students to use the facilities they were comfortable using. (Just don’t flush more than once. Water shortage, ya know.) That made the conservatives in the state go crazy with talk of men dressed as women raping their way through the public toilet facilities. Thwarted at the legislative level these crusaders against improper potty use are working to get a ballot measure in the next election to pass their Personal Privacy Protection Act that would allow anyone who ran into someone of the “wrong” sex in a public restroom to sue that person for $4000. I don’t know about you but when I go to the restroom in public I go into a stall that offers all the privacy in the world. These people are just plain sick. Read more about their paranoia in The Los Angeles Times.

GRS surgeon Marci Bowers

GRS surgeon Marci Bowers

Cast your memory back to the late 20th century when the Sex Change Capital of the World was Trinidad, Colorado. The man who got it that name was Dr. Stanley Biber. He retired in 2003 and his practice was taken over by the first trans surgeon to be trans, Dr. Marci Bowers. In 2010 Bowers moved her surgical practice out of Colorado to take up residence in California. The doctor who was dubbed a “rock star” of reassignment surgery is still performing operations. Read about her on the ABC7 website.

April TWIT Awards

This TWIT Award goes to crusading “anti-trans in the restroom” twit Dave Wilson in Houston, Texas. Good old Dave feels that “men who perceive or express themselves as women” need to be kept out of public restrooms and he wants an amendment to the City Charter to ensure that. This misguided man is a trustee of Houston Community College and runs an organization called Houstonians For Family Values. Wilson, a white man, is the twit who got his seat as a trustee by sending out campaign literature that implied he was black. The district where he needed votes was predominately black. There was an endorsement in his literature from a man with the same name as a prominent Texas legislator who is African-American. The man who wrote the endorsement was not that man but Wilson’s white cousin. Hopefully Wilson’s efforts will backfire on him as he tries to get his charter amendment on the ballot. If the people who were fooled the last time realize the same TWIT is trying to get this through maybe it will get voted down. Read the story in the Houston Press.

TGF reader Robyn Byrd pointed us to a story about a conservative activist from New Jersey who spent $200,000 of his money on a campaign to block California’s transgender student rights law. The law allows trans students to use their preferred restroom. The activist, Sean Fieler, wins the TWIT Award for backing the campaign to squash the law. Read the story in The Los Angeles Times.

One of the judges of the television talent show Romania’s Got Talent (yes, it’s everywhere now). Soon we’ll see Antartica’s Got Talent) has spoken out about the attacks she sees on good old “family values” posed by the LBGTI people of the world. And she even went after Conchita Wurst saying she’s “a woman who was a man but can’t let go of the beard.” Okay, the beard is kind of odd — but it’s Wurst’s face so leave her alone. A TWIT Award goes to Mihaela Radulescu. Read about it in the GayStarNews.

Last week Fox News had a couple of guests on to discuss the “Trouble With Schools.” A major part of the discussion was the exposure of the kids at the Mitchell Primary School in Kittery, Maine to the book by Jazz Jennings, I Am Jazz. The school has admitted that it should have informed the parents that they were going to read the book to everyone as part of their commitment to honoring the Maine Supreme Court’s decision that trans students had to be recognized in schools. One of the guests on Fox, Dr. Susan Pipkins, told Fox viewers that young children should never be exposed to teaching about sexuality and gender, and another guest, Tammy Bruce said that at one point in her youth she thought she was “a cocker spaniel.” A TWIT Award goes to Fox News and both guests for trying to keep anything related to trans issues in the dark and away from impressionable children who could easily believe they were a dog, or the wrong gender. The story can be found with supporting video at Think Progress.

A member of the Fairfax County Virginia school board proposed an amendment to the system’s non-discrimination policy that would include sexual orientation and gender identity as things that were protected from discrimination. That proposal was put forth last fall and the Fairfax board voted to adopt the sexual orientation part at that time. The transgender coverage is due to be voted on next month. Last week two Republican state delegates — who are not from the Fairfax area — spoke at a board meeting to condemn the protection for trans people, demagoguing that it would put “she-males” in the classrooms and the children need to be protected from that. A TWIT Award goes to Del. Robert G. Marshall (R) and Del. David A. LaRock (R) along with Fairfax resident Andrea Lafferty, the president of the Traditional Values Coalition who was there to support the effort against the protections. What traditional values is she supporting? The fear of anyone who is different? Read the story in The Washington Post.

May

Schofield

Schofield

Lately we’ve heard about trans characters on soaps but they’ve been trans women and one of them is portrayed by a cisgender woman. Get ready for trans history. The Bold and the Beautiful is adding a trans man character to the cast on May 8 and the character will be played by trans actor, FtM Scott Turner Schofield. Get the whole story from People.

President Obama is the first U.S. president to use the word “transgender” in a State of the Union address. Now he has issued a proclamation that says gender identity should not be a fact in anyone’s ability to become a foster parent or keep them from adopting a child. The statement was included in a proclamation issue by the White House last Thursday. Learn more on the Fusion website.

A transition success story comes to us courtesy of Linda Jensen. It’s an article about a trans woman in Canada who went from being the odd boy no one would play with to being accepted as a woman and winning a humanitarian award on International Human Rights Day. Get the story from Global News.

Jaime Clayton

Jaime Clayton

The Wachowskis, the film makers responsible for The Matrix and the less than critically acclaimed Jupiter Ascending have a television show in the works that will premier on Netflix thisJune. It’s called Sense8 and one of the stars is Jamie Clayton. Clayton is a trans woman who will be portraying a trans character in a show written by a trans woman. That should mean they’ll get this right. Read about Clayton and the show on the People website.

There’s a new Hedwig in town. On April 29 Darren Criss stepped into Hedwigs heels for the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It’s a far cry from his previous Broadway role in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Read about it at Broadway.com.

Way back in 1993 a trans woman named Vicky Lee started a club night for the crossdressing and transgender denizens of London and she called it The WayOut Club. That little enterprise is still in operation celebrating its twenty second birthday last week. Read about it at Vice.com.

A New York Times editorial on May 5 was supportive of the new transgender policy at Smith College. Trans women may apply for admission to the all-female school starting this fall and any trans men who had enrolled as women will be welcome to come out and remain as male students. Learn more in The New York Times.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is pushing U.S. companies to formulate workplace policies that take the health and safety concerns of trans workers into consideration. One of those health concerns is ready access to the restroom facilities. Learn more about the move by OSHA in the International Business Times.

Hillary Clinton has come out against putting undocumented trans women into men’s immigration detention centers as that puts them at risk for assault. Trans women make up one third of all sexual assaults in immigration detention facilities. See what members of the trans immigrant community think of what Clinton said on the campaign trail on the Fusion website.

The Southern Comfort Conference’s sudden departure from Atlanta left a gap in the Atlanta area that was quickly filled by a local group that is not only sponsoring a conference but is doing more to serve the needs of all members of the trans community. It’s called the Transgender Health and Education Alliance. Thanks to Jan Brown for pointing out the story. Learn more about THEA and their new October conference on the Georgia Voice website.

It's Miley!

It’s Miley!

It’s Miley! The pop singer and former Hannah Montana has been very supportive of LGBT youth. She has launched a new non-profit called Happy Hippie Foundation to “fight injustice faced by homeless youth, LGBT youth, and vulnerable populations.” She paid tribute to decease trans teen Leelah Alcorn during the announcement about the Foundation. Learn more in The Independent.

Trans people desiring transition in Hawaii have been forced to obtain reassignment surgery before they could change their official documents. Now, thanks to a bill passed last week by the Hawaii Legislature the surgical requirement has been removed. Learn more in The Huffington Post.

Facebook is reaping the disdain they sowed last year when they banned many drag performers Facebook pages for not using “real” names. The battle went on for months as the company deactivated hundreds of accounts for using pseudonyms. One queen called Lil Miss Hot Mess (why wouldn’t that be a real name?) led a protest agains Facebook and is now calling for them to be banned from participation in the upcoming pride parades. Even though Facebook says they’ve fixed the policy. Have they? Learn more on the ABC 7 website.

Before Indonesia became a Muslim country there were trans priests who were know as bissu. The bissu were mostly feminine males but there were a few masculine females in the priesthood. They were seen as intermediaries between the people and the gods. In 1949 Indonesia was given its independence and the bissu were persecuted and killed. Now there is a movement to remember the old ways and bring back the trans priests. Read their story on the Aljazeera America website.

Rocero

Rocero

HRC and Geena Rocero’s organization, Gender Proud, have collaborated on a trans advocacy educational campaign to inform the pubic about trans issues in the Phillipines. Rocero, who came out as a trans woman in 2014, has been working to tell the stories of the trans community in her homeland. Learn more about the new initiative on the HRC website.

The country of Turkey, while having a large trans community, is not the most accepting of LGBT people. That makes one trans woman’s campaign for parliament a courageous undertaking. Deva Ozenen is running for a seat in the June 7 elections. Her hope is to give a voice to the country’s LGBT people in the halls of power. Read about her in the Independent.

The frenzy in Virginia against letting trans kids use the restroom of the gender they identify with prompted one columnist to take the crazed “stop the trans people from peeing” crowd to task. Thanks to TGF reader and contributor Claire Crowley for pointing out Petula Dvorak’s column in last week’s Washington Post.

Wurst at The Golden Globes

Wurst at The Golden Globes

Conchita Wurst is happy being a man in a dress. The world famous singer has released an autobiography that explains that she started wearing skirts in kindergarten and identifies as a gay man. But she doesn’t appear to be concerned that in spite of her beard she is referred to with female pronouns in every article about her. She also reveals that when she first created the character of Conchita Wurst she adopted a loud, bitchy persona but it just wasn’t her so she’s fine with being a more sedate and demure kind of drag queen. Read more on the Jezebel website.

May TWIT Awards

The first person from Trinidad and Tobago to have gender reassignment is running for a public office in that island nation. The islands are not know for their tolerance of LBGT people and Jowelle de Souza is getting opposition from both Christian and Hindu leaders. The church leaders say she is a fine person, even acknowledging that she won an award for community service last year but as far as they are concerned anyone leading a gay or transsexual “lifestyle” is just not suited to public office. A TWIT Award to the leaders of the Christian and Hindu faiths in Trinidad and Tobago. Read more about it in Newsday.

Every year since 1998 Democratic legislators in Missouri have proposed a bill known as the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act. Every year the bill fails to come to a vote in both houses. The Act would add protections for LGBT people to that state’s Human Rights Act. Why does this occur? Most of the conservative Republican legislators are actually doing what their constituents want, which is blocking any legislation favorable to LGBT people. Missouri is the “Show-Me-State” and we’re showing them a TWIT Award for lagging behind much of the country in treating LGBT people as people. Read the whole story in the Missourian.

Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson said on the air that the passage of the addition of “gender identity” to the Fairfax County, Virginia non-discrimination policy was causing “outrage” because it would allow “a student who is male but identifies as female” to pee in the girl’s room. He claimed that letting this happen would undermine the lessons that kids learn in science class and biology. Sorry Tucker but science and biology both affirm the existence of trans people. You wishing them away just won’t work. If you want to see Tucker winning his TWIT Award the story and a video are on the RawStory website.

The insurance industry is supposed to abide by the rules put in place by the Affordable Care Act. But there are several companies that can’t get used to having to follow the rules and they are still not living up to their obligations under the ACA. One of those rules is that there can be no discrimination in coverage based on gender identity. We hand a TWIT Award to those insurance companies. Learn more about how you can push the Health and Human Services Administration to make them toe the line with this survey/petition by the National Women’s Law Center. Thanks to TGF reader Claire for the tip.

Anyone who understands trans issues knows that there is nothing political about being trans. It manifests in both Republicans and Democrats, as well as independents, socialists, and whatever other political parties you want to mention. I’m talking to you Green Party. But Fox News feels that transgender is something that has to be relegated to the far left of the political spectrum. Elisabeth Hasselbeck and her guests last week on Fox said the Girl Scouts are a far left organization because they are open to admitting trans girls. A TWIT Award for colossal misunderstanding and egregious spreading of lies to Fox News and Hasselbeck. Read about it on the NewsHounds website.

An organization called the Liberty Council has issued a press release authored by its chairman and founder, former 7th Day Adventist preacher Mat Staver. The release postulates that “the push for transgender rights is all a part of the homosexual agenda to create sexual anarchy” and that if trans rights are introduced everywhere it’s the end of “objective reality and natural law.” Those are pretty strong consequences from making sure everyone gets the same legal rights. A TWIT Award for trying to make bigotry seem like philosophy to Mat Staver. Read a real philosopher’s rebuttal on the Politics USA website.

June

Banerjee

Banerjee

A trans woman in India has been named the principal of the Krishnanagar Women’s College in West Bengal. This is a big step for a trans woman and Manabi Banerjee had to work harder than a cisgender woman in order to win the position. Read her story on the First Post website

Did you know there is a trans flag? It was designed in 1999 by trans Navy vet Monica Helms. It consists of pastel pink and blue stripes with a white stripe in the middle. The City of Philadelphia is planning to raise that flag over City Hall, right next to the Stars and Stripes. Read more about it at Fusion.net.

Canada has only one gender reassignment clinic. Strange but true. Dr. Pierre Brassard’s GRS Clinic in Montreal is the only place in the country where Canadians can get their surgery. The clinic has provided surgery for non-Canadians and one wonders if the foreign patients are getting in first and contributing to the up-to 2 year wait for male to female surgery. Read about it and view video at CTV News.

The Affordable Care Act has stopped insurance companies from denying care based on pre-existing conditions — like being the wrong sex. But that doesn’t mean that companies won’t take advantage of loopholes to wiggle out of providing trans related care. Fortunately there are many health insurance companies who do provide coverage. You can find a list of of the ones who do and what is covered on the CheatSheet website.

jenner_vf-cvrWord is that Bruce Jenner will be the cover model of the June issue of Vanity Fair. The photographer who will shoot the cover is reputed to be Annie Leibovitz. Meanwhile, Jenner’s eight-part docu-series is set to premier on E! July 26, at 9:00 p.m. Read more in People.

Last week we couldn’t find any press coverage of RuPaul’s Drag Con. Ms. Charles put it all together at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 16 and 17 but after the event all was quiet on what happened. Did no one show up? Was Drag Con a drag? Well, the press must have been so stunned by the event that it took them a few days to write anything. It seems that 13,718 people showed up for the drag shows, screenings, vendors and panels. I guess this means you should expect another one next year. Learn more on the PQ Portland website.

Jim Bailey

Jim Bailey

Famed female impersonator and, as he put it, “charactor actor,” Jim Bailey has passed away. His website and a memorial Facebook page indicate that he died on May 30 due to complications from pneumonia. Read about Bailey and his impressive career in women’s clothing in The Hollywood Reporter.

Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair photos have everyone talking about how wonderful she looks. And while she does look great it’s important to remember that like any cover girl Caitlyn didn’t just sit down and have a snapshot or two taken. She had hair, makeup, lighting, and Annie Leibowitz behind the camera to make her look that good. Read about how they picked her wardrobe and styled her for the shoot at ET Online.

OSHA has now issued an official guide to providing sanitary and available toilet facilities in the workplace. The Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers takes the time to explain the concepts of transgender and gender identity before going into the specifics of what employers are required to provide for their trans workers. Read the whole Guide in pdf format on the Department of Labor website.

Dr. Rachel Levine is one step closer to confirmation as the first trans person to serve as Pennsylvania’s physician general. She was approved by a state legislative committee last week and a vote on her nomination may happen as soon as this week. Levine is the former adolescent medicine specialist at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and was picked by Governor Tom Wolf for the advisory position. Learn more from Rueters.

Hawes-Tingey

Hawes-Tingey

Last Monday a trans woman in Utah became the first ever trans candidate for city council in a suburb of Salt Lake City. Her name is Sophia Hawes-Tingey and she’s running on local issues like public safety, empowering minority communities and environmental issues. Learn more on The Huffington Post.

The all women’s school Barnard College will start admitting trans women in the fall. Jamie Roberts pointed out the story in Inside Higher Ed.

Jamie also let us know about a move by the U.S. Air Force that places decisions about whether personnel will be dismissed from the service if they are gender dysphoric in the hands of one official. This may be a good step toward inclusion of trans Air Force personnel. Read more in The Washington Post.

Before the world changed in the 21st century and trans women models became stars getting jobs as the face of cosmetics companies and walking the runways of the world in designer fashions trans women who wanted a modeling career had to make no mention of their sex at birth. One model who was riding high with cover girl status on fashion magazines and a bit of background work in a Bond film was a British model named Tula. In 1982 she was outed by a tabloid as the James Bond girl who “was a boy.” Now living quietly in Atlanta, Tula has granted an interview, her first in 20 years, to Playboy, the magazine that gave her a photo spread in 1991. Read the interview and see some of the historic photos on the Playboy website.

Trans soldiers are still officially banned from serving in the military. The ban is responsible for the armed forces losing the skills of many trans people who wish to serve their country and pose no risk to security. In fact making them keep their gender status a secret is what makes them susceptible to the kind of blackmail that would be a threat to security. One congresswoman is introducing a bill to repeal the ban on trans service members. Read about it on the HNGN website.

Airman Ireland and his date.

Airman Ireland and his date.

President Obama supports the idea that trans members of the military should be serving openly. He sent a strong signal to that effect when he invited an Air Force trans man airman and his trans woman girlfriend to attend an LGBT pride reception at the White House. And Senior Airman Logan Ireland was given orders by his superiors to attend in uniform, a male airman’s uniform. For more on this story visit the BuzzFeed website.

So much for the positive. On the negative side, at the same reception during the President’s speech a trans woman began to heckle him with demands that the administration release LGBTQ undocumented immigrants from detention centers. That may be a way to get some press attention but it’s not a good way to have a dialogue with the president. It’s hard to determine who acted worse is this case so we’re not issuing any TWIT Awards. Read about the whole embarrassing incident and see video in The Guardian.

Former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck is running for congress. She hopes to unseat the incumbent Steny H. Hoyer to represent her Maryland district. Hoyer is the second most powerful Democrat in the house of Representatives so it’s fair to say Beck has little chance of beating him, but she’s giving her all in the campaign. Learn more in The Washington Post.

Trans attorney Shannon Minter has been appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. The Commission interviews people who seek appointments as White House Fellows, who spend a year as paid assistants to senior White House staff. Minter is a well known attorney who, among other things, was the lead attorney on the Proposition 8 case. Learn more about his appointment in The Huffington Post.

Dr. Rachel Levine has been confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate as that state’s new physician-general. Levine will advise Governor Tom Wolf on medical and public health issues. It is interesting to note that the Senate approved her appointment in a 49-0 vote. There are many conservatives in the Pa. Senate and it’s an encouraging sign that they would all approve of a trans woman in this position. Read more in Yahoo News.

The University of Louisville School of Medicine is starting a program to train physicians in standard protocol for treating trans patients. Recognizing that the medical community and the nursing community have not been prepared to cope with trans patient’s needs the UoFL School of Medicine will teach first and second year med students how to provide the best possible care to trans patients. Learn more on the WAVE3 website.

The American Medical Association has released a statement saying that there is no valid medical reason to bar trans people from serving in the U.S. military. Their membership of over 220,000 doctors voted in favor of the resolution, which also states that trans soldiers should be afforded the same standard of medical care as non-trans personnel. Learn more about it in The Military Times.

New Zealand is supposed to be providing government funded gender reassignment surgery for its transsexual population. It’s written into their law that they must provide three MtF and one FtM operation every two years. They haven’t provided any surgery for three years. Why? There aren’t any surgeons in New Zealand who can do the procedure. Read more on the Radio New Zealand website.

The trans teen in South Carolina who was made to remove her makeup when she went for a driver’s license photo finally got her picture taken with her makeup on. Now 17 Chase Culpepper said she finally feels like her license picture accurately depicts who she is. Read more and watch a video of Chase going to the DMV to get her new photo on the WYFF 4 website.

Last week the governor of Connecticut signed a bill that allows trans people to change the sex listed on their birth certificates without undergoing gender reassignment surgery. The law goes into effect on October 1. After that all that will be necessary for the document change is a notarized statement saying the individual has had appropriate treatment for transgender issues. Learn more on the WNPR website.

June TWIT Awards

Facebook still hasn’t sorted out their “real name” problem. Their rule requires everyone who signs up for an account to use their real name — legal name that is — as found on your birth certificate. Some trolls (or possible one troll) who wanted to cause trouble for drag performers turned in many drag queens for using their drag names on their Facebook page. With no warning people’s pages were gone. A TWIT Award to Facebook for letting months go by and still not sorting out a way that people can use the names they use in public all the time for their Facebook page. Certainly you don’t want people representing themselves as something phony on Facebook for nefarious purposes but there are several legitimate reasons to use a name other than your legal one. Get it sorted out FB! Read about a protest that’s set for today at Facebook headquarters in San Francisco. You can find the story in USA Today.

If you expected a fair and balance report on Caitlyn Jenner from Fox News, you were disappointed. The “news” network went out of its way to mock Jenner and repeatedly used male pronouns when referring to her. It’s all joke, joke, joke till someone gets hurt. A TWIT Award comes your way Fox News. Read about it and see video of the abuse on the Think Progress website.

While Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, former presidential candidate, former Fox News talking head and current presidential candidate seems like a nice guy when he appears on shows like The Daily Show he’s really a dirty minded ignoramus. He is getting a TWIT Award for saying at a religious broadcasters convention that he would have claimed to be transgender if it could have make it okay for him to “shower with the girls.” Read more about his stupid remarks in the Business Insider.

No matter how many TWIT Awards we hand out ignorance continues to rear its ugly head. The Girl Scouts of America have been in the news recently for supporting trans girls who wish to join the Scouts. Bravo and kudos to the national organization. But let’s talk about Louisiana. Since 2011 the Girl Scouts Louisiana East has had a policy that states membership is for “girls only.” For transphobia above and beyond we present a TWIT Award to the Louisiana Scouts. Read more on the Think Progress website.

Actress Susan Sarandon in a recent appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s television network said that she is excited by the “fluidity of genders” in today’s society and she hope gender stereotypes will become a thing of the past. The story is on several websites. Get the basic facts at the Contact Music website then take a look at essentially the same story wrapped in conservative right wing wrapper on the NewsBusters website which is dedicated to “Exposing & Combatting Liberal Media Bias.” TWIT Award to NewsBusters. Re-writing a story with some snarky comments is not journalism.

July

A donor to the Girl Scouts of Western Washington gave the organization $100,000 on the condition that none of the money be used to support trans girls. The donation would have covered the cost of sending 500 girls to camp. I say “would have” since the Scouts leadership sent the check back. Learn more on The Daily Kos.

Prancing Elites

Prancing Elites

There is a dance team called The Prancing Elites and the members are all black, gay or gender fluid. They came together in Mobile, Alabama in 2013 and they practice a dance style called J-Setting. After gaining some fame on the Web and making many news appearances they got their own show on the Oxygen network. Learn more about these prancing dancers in The New York Times.

There have been cases of trans people passing away and being buried in the wrong gender. California has taken steps to stop that practice. On July 1 The Respect After Death Act took effect in that state. The law was passed in September of last year and it requires coroners and medical examiners to base the gender of the deceased on their official paperwork rather than an examination of their genitals. Learn more on the Aljazeera America website.

The trans rights movement got its start in San Francisco at the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in 1966 and The Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969. In both cases trans women were pushed too far by the authorities and decided to fight back. Stonewall was also significant for the gay rights movement. Before Stonewall gay advocates kept out of the limelight and tried to work behind the scenes. The very first public demonstration by gay rights activists was at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1965. A small group of gay men and lesbians carried protest signs and marched in front of the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence. They wore business attire and were very sedate and non-threatening. Last week on the anniversary of that protest a National LGBT 50th anniversary ceremony was held at the same spot. It was more boisterous. Read about it in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Another trans woman faced harassment when she went to the DMV in West Virginia to update her driver’s license photo. When Kristen Skinner went to the DMV in Charleston last year she was called “it” by the manager of the facility and told to remove her makeup before they would take her photo. She, and several others, threatened to sue and West Virginia has backed down and changed their policy. Get the whole story in The Los Angeles Times.

The Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Gender and Sex Development Program in Chicago has teamed up with Northwestern University’s Center for Audiology, Speech, Language and Learning to provide voice therapy sessions for trans teens. Seven young people between the ages of 13 and 18 met every week for two months to learn skills that would allow them to sound more like the gender they prefer. Learn more about it in the Chicago Tribune.

Caitlyn Jenner has gotten some negative reactions from members of the trans community who do not enjoy the resources she can command as a reality show star and Olympic athlete. It seems Jenner is aware of the difference between her journey and the rest of the trans community’s journeys. In the first entry on her blog for WhoSay at People magazine she admits that she has been totally isolated from the community and has a “lot of catching up to do.” She also vows to discuss serious issues to help other trans people. Read her blog on the People magazine website.

Grayson Perry as Claire

Grayson Perry as Claire

Who better to make a documentary about masculinity than a Turner Prize-winning transvestite artist? Grayson Perry, a.k.a. Claire, went to the Durham Miner’s Gala to film the former miners for the event, which is a big deal to the British labor movement. No word on what Claire will wear but we do hope it’s appropriate for mining. Read more about it in the Durham Times.

Aetna, American Airlines, Apple, JP Morgan Chase and Nike were among the first companies to include gender identity in their employee non-discrimination policies. While there’s still a way to go for trans inclusion in the business community 72 major companies are the best for promoting workplace equality and having trans employees. See the other companies in the Business Insider.

Many companies are adopting rules for employees shifting genders on the job. One such company is AT&T. Thanks to their policy an employee who had been living as a woman everywhere but at work was able to transition to female and be herself all the time. She learned of the policy by mistake while looking for another file. Meet Ginger Chien and learn about the other companies with trans policies in Fortune.

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has made a big move toward ending the ban on trans people in the military. Last Monday Mr. Carter announced that he has authorized a six month study on what type of guidelines and regulations would be needed to make the services trans inclusive. Learn more from The New York Times.

Meanwhile, what of trans veterans? They have a hard time since many of them either hid their gender status (see Dana Bevan’s post today) or were found out and kicked out of the service. Now they have a hard time getting benefits and being treated as their preferred gender by they Veterans Administration. See video of one woman’s story on the NBC 4 website.

Vera in the middle.

Vera in the middle.

Veronica Vera made the news last week. Her Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls opened back in 1992 and over the years she has trained hundreds of crossdressers and trans women in the feminine arts. Read her latest press in the New York Daily News.

How fast can you end up in jail and stay there for a long time if you’re a black trans woman? Pretty fast. Two young black trans women visiting the city checked into the Drury Inn in Des Moines, Iowa. They were not there long before the hotel staff called the police to let them know “two males dressed as females” had checked in. The staff was concerned that there might be “possible prostitution activity.” But wait. It gets worse. Meaghan Taylor had her hormone pills in an unmarked container in her purse. When the cops showed up — to protect Des Moines from trans hookers — they found the pills. Pills plus a “fake” (read femme) name and they took her to jail. There was no evidence of prostitution. Her bail would be 10% of $2000. She doesn’t have that $200 and is locked up in solitary confinement. TWIT Awards are given to the hotel staff and the cops for harassing and incarcerating a young woman for nothing more than being black and trans. Read her story and see how you can help on the Raw Story website. The original story is in The Des Moines Register.

While many Americans assume that LGBTQ people are protected under the law this is not the case in every area of the country. Some states and cities have protections in place by there are 37 states with no legal protections for LGBTQ people in school and 31 states that have no legal protections for those people in the workplace. Congressional Democrats have introduced the most expansive LGBTQ civil right bill ever in an attempt to provide protections nationwide. Read about it on Vox.com.

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to guarantee health coverage for everyone with no company being able to deny coverage based on gender or health history. For trans people that hasn’t completely worked out. Like all major programs, often fine tuning is needed to get the bugs out. The bug that is keeping trans people from getting healthcare is the practice of insurance companies applying specific codes to services and procedures based on the sex of the plan subscriber. When you are between sexes you are forced to choose a sex and you only get services provided to that sex. Learn more on how it affect trans healthcare on the PBS website.

Last fall a modeling agency in Thailand became the first modeling agency to have a trans model division. This summer they are opening an all-trans office in Los Angeles. The L.A. operation is called Apple Modeling Agency, L.A. It’s already got six models signed, and it’s not even open yet. Read more on the Elle magazine website.

Barney's Models

Barney’s Models

Speaking of models. More and more trans models are entering the fashion biz and they’re getting more press. All of them are beautiful, poised, and professional, but all models, if they want to get anywhere in the business need to be those things. What makes trans models more in demand? Read about 8 trans models who are doing major things and see if you can determine what makes them the “it” girls of the moment. The story is in Allure.

The Polish Member of Parliament Anna Grodzka introduced a bill in 2012 that would expand the legal recognition that trans people in that country have enjoyed since the 1960s by providing the expanded right to get new official documentation such as birth certificates and other papers without undergoing surgery. The bill passed the lower house of parliament last week and after confirmation by the senate it will become law next year. Get more information from The News.

July TWIT Awards

A TWIT Award is hereby presented to the angry parents in attendance at the Fairfax County School Board meeting when the board voted to approve the Family Life Eduction Curriculum. Said curriculum calls for teaching 7th grade students about heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and gender identity. As students attain higher grade levels they will be taught more about each subject. Parents, led by the president of the Traditional Values Coalition, were incensed and made a scene. The traditional values they uphold are the ones that include keeping your children in the dark about some of the most important parts of being human. A special TWIT Award to the TVC president. Read about it in the TWIT Award winning publication Bizpac Review.

Our final TWIT Award for today goes to a previous award recipient, the country of Malaysia. They are so uptight about LGBT people in their country that their film board will only allow a gay character to appear in a film if the character either repents their homosexuality or dies. Crossdressing is illegal under Muslim sharia law and when trans people are attacked and murdered the police do nothing since they do not recognize the existence of trans people. While the country’s constitution is more accepting of LGBT people the large influence of the hard line religious agencies works to keep trans and gay people oppressed. Read more and see video on the ABC News website.

The Internet has been abuzz with chatter about a rapper named Tyga who has been accused of having an affair with a trans woman. The woman is Mia Isabella who is either an actress, model or porn star. While Isabella has not confirmed that she and Tyga did the wild thing, she has expressed anger and concern that people who are attacking Tyga are doing so by making rude remarks about his sexuality and her gender identity. They’re not upset about Tyga cheating on women he was in a relationship with (most recently Kylie Jenner) but totally concerned with who he chose to cheat wit. A TWIT Award goes to Internet haters who missed the real infraction while calling Tyga gay. Read the story from takepart.com.

In the state of Oregon trans-related health coverage went into effect in January for people on Medicaid. The coverage for psychotherapy and medical and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria were authorized last year. That’s a good thing so why is this story in TWIT? Because the age that you can make you own medical decisions in Oregon is 15. So Fox News ran a story with the headline “Oregon allowing 15-year-olds to get state-subsidized sex-change operations.” Which is of course not the case. Read the original article on the Fox News website. (Which quotes anti-GRS crusader Dr. Paul McHugh.) Read a reasonable response from one of the people who helped get the coverage added on the KOIN 6 website. The TWIT Award goes to Fox News, again, for stirring the pot of ignorance with mis-information.

It’s bad enough living in Ukraine since there’s that war with Russia thing going on, but it’s even harder for trans people to live in that country. When it comes to recognition of transgenderism Ukraine is a lot like Russia. In other words they prefer not to recognize it but if they must then the steps to get treatment are pretty restricted. One trans person there says that you have to basically lie to the commission that decides if you can transition. Also you have to put up with Russian style abuse from your fellow citizens. A TWIT Award for Ukraine’s policies on trans people and a TWIT to the anti-LGBT thugs. Learn more in the Kyiv Post.

Glasgow, Scotland’s Free Pride event issued a ban on drag performers. No drag queens in the Pride Parade? WTF? It seems some people, who took it too far, felt that the drag performers were turning gender identity into a joke and their presence would make “…those who were transgender or questioning their gender uncomfortable.” After a world wide outcry which reminded organizers that the drag queens were among those who threw the first brick at Stonewall drag queens were invited back to the parade. A TWIT Award to those who took it too far. Respect is wonderful but it goes both ways. Give the queens the respect they deserve for being who they are. Get the whole story in The Daily Beast.

August

The working group tasked by the Pentagon with examining the effect openly trans soldiers would have on the services hold their first meeting today. This is the first step of what many hope will be a easy transition from serving in the shadows to being out on duty. Learn more about it in The Advocate.

Tamara Adrian

Tamara Adrian

Venezuela has had its first trans candidate register to run for Congress. Her name is Tamara Adrian and she transitioned with surgery in 2002. But since Venezuelan law does not allow someone born male to change their name to a female one she had to register under her old name. Maybe if she gets elected she can do something about getting that law changed. Meet her and learn more about the politics in her country in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Some would say that if you are a male to female trans person the worst thing you could do would be getting into body building. But there are plenty of female body builders so who’s to say it’s wrong? The former Matt Kroczaleski would not say it was was wrong. She came out last week as a trans woman and her new name is Janae Marie Kroc. She describes herself as a “transgender/genderfluid alpha male/girly girl lesbian in a male body.” And it’s quite a muscular body since Kroc is a world champion weightlifter. Learn more about her in the Daily News.

Trans porn is a big seller. Over the past 15 years the viewing of pornographic videos starring beautiful trans women has shot up and it turns out that the biggest consumers of trans porn are straight men. Go figure. Learn all about the trans porn industry in International Business Times.

I Am Cait has hit the air and it looks as if Caitlyn Jenner will be not only be showing herself to the world but learning about things she hasn’t considered before and sharing them as well. Last week she was in a discussion with a diverse group of trans women and Ms. Jenner’s conservative values popped up when the group was talking about how to help poor trans women. See where Caitlyn stands in a clip you can watch on the US Weekly website.

The bathroom wars are heating up. Conservative legislators and city council members around the country are certain that the whole reason trans people want to use the lady’s room is that they’re going to assault women while they’re in there. So they have introduced bills and ordinances aimed at keeping trans people in the public restroom that matches their birth certificate defined sex. The National Center for Transgender Equality is stepping up the fight against these bathroom bills. Learn more on the Al Jazeera America website.

Grayson Perry, the Turner Award winning artist/potter was back in the news last week. We reported a few TWITs ago that Perry went to a mining district of England to film footage for a documentary. The documentary is about Perry’s search for what masculinity means. Last week he was hanging out with  the Lancashire Police, going on patrol with them and finding out what the average policeman’s work day is like. Read more about it in The Citizen.

Where there’s a need someone will come along and fill it. There has been no peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal focused on scientific and clinical studies to advance understanding of the health issues faced by trans people — until now. Transgender Health is coming in the fall and will fill that need. Read all about it on the Medscape website.

Cisgender actress plays TG

Cisgender actress plays TG

The trans woman character on The Bold and the Beautiful will look beautiful this week when she starts to walk down the aisle in a wedding gown. The character will be the first trans character to exchange marriage vows on television. Maya, the character, is portrayed by a cis woman named Karla Mosley. The nuptials commence today, but as with all soap opera things, will be stretched out over a few shows. Learn more on the Entertainment Weekly website.

Target is phasing out gender-based signs in its toy, kid’s bedding and entertainment departments. The idea was inspired by customers who said that the signs introduced a gender bias. We ask, how is a young trans girl supposed to find the pink sheets with bunnies on them if she can’t find the Girl’s Bedding sign? But seriously, the changes will be phased in over the next few months as Target tries to get more gender neutral. Read about it in The Hill.

A study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis has found that trans people are at a significantly higher risk of suffering an eating disorder. It seems logical to assume that trans women might develop such conditions trying to achieve the perfect slim, feminine look but it may not be just that. There could be “minority stress” at work. Learn more on the Think Progress website.

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan

There’s a new employee working on the White House staff and that employee is a trans woman named Raffi Freedman-Gurspan. She was a policy advisor to the National Center for Transgender Equality before she stepped into the role of outreach and recruitment director for the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Learn more about her and her new job on Yahoo News.

Have you had trouble finding medical care because you’re trans? Never fear, MyTransHealth will soon be here! That is it will be available to help trans people in New York City, Miami and Sand Francisco. Those cities were chosen for the startup since they have large trans communities. Find out more about MyTransHealth on the Tech Crunch website.

As great as it is to be recognized and have the general public educated about trans issues it means that trans people are more likely to be noticed. Not all of the attention we attract is going to be good. That’s the reason a Muslim drag performer in Britain is concerned that after she and others appeared on television in a documentary titled Muslim Drag Queens there may be a backlash of violence against them. Read about it in the Daily Mail.

Brains! No, that’s not the rantings of a hungry zombie. Our brains are where the need to be another gender occurs. A study done by the Medical University of Vienna found there is a difference between the brains of cisgender folks and transsexual folks. But the rate of suicide and depression in the transsexual population is much higher than it should be if matching the brain and body was all that is necessary. Learn more in an op-ed in The New York Times.

Madison Montag -- TS porn star.

Madison Montag — TS porn star.

This story is either an historic break thru for human rights equality or a darned shame, depending on how you feel about sex work. The Bunny Ranch, the Nevada brothel featured in the HBO series Cathouse, has hired the first licensed trans prostitute. Her name is Madison Montag and she is a XXX transsexual porn star who will see clients at the Bunny Ranch on an appointment only basis. The 5’1” 22-year-old says that it’s her “dream job.” Learn more, if you’re so inclined, from the PR Newswire.

If you like to keep up with the latest in research on sexual orientation and gender identity have we got an article for you. UCLA has a Center for Gender-Based Biology and it’s director explains the spectrum that exists between male and female. Get your scuba gear. This stuff gets pretty deep. You can find the article in Medical Press.

Vietnam is working on an amendment to its Civil Code that is supposed to affirm sex-reassignment as a civil right in that country. But the amendment is worded in such a way that it contradicts itself. Learn more about this attempt to fix a problem with a contradictory amendment on the Tuoitrenews website.

August TWIT Awards

We’ve given Bill O’Reilly TWIT Awards before and we probably will again. But today he’s getting one for not understanding that when a trans person says they want to be referred to as one gender or the other, or none for that matter, it’s important to accept their gender identity. In a segment of his show he called Caitlyn Jenner a “he” from the waist down. Read about it and watch a video of the segment on The Wrap via Yahoo.

Dr. Michael L. Brown is a religious conservative radio show host who contends that there is no such thing as a trans identity. He bases this opinion on the fact that there is no standard test that can determine if someone is trans. Because he believes this and spreads his opinion without listening to the thousands of people worldwide who self identify as a gender that is different than the one they were assigned at birth we give Dr. Brown a large TWIT Award. Read more of his twittery on the Think Progress website.

The Pope may have had a meeting with a trans man that went fairly well but the Church is far from accepting of trans people. This is highlighted by the way they treated a Catholic trans man who wished to be a godfather to his nephew. The local diocese ruled that he could not take on that role, one that was important to him as a person of faith, strictly because in the eyes of the Church he is a woman living a life that is not “congruent with faith.” A TWIT Award is hereby given to the close minded bishop of the diocese of Cadiz and Ceuta in Spain for not recognizing that this man’s faith is what made him wish to be a godfather. Read about it on the Bustle website.

Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate and hard core conservative, has decried what he terms the “social experiment” of trans soldiers. He doesn’t think it’s the job of the military. He thinks the military is just there to “kill people and break things.” We think Huckabee deserves another TWIT Award. President Huckabee? Seriously? Read the story and watch a video of him saying this twittery stuff on The Hill website.

A California trans woman is serving a sentence for shooting a man in a bar in 1985. While in prison she began her transition. She is incarcerated in a male facility but is not in the general population. She has been trying to get the state to pay for her GRS and in April a federal judge ordered the state to schedule the surgery. Those clever state officials have suddenly decided that the prisoner is no longer a threat to anyone and are planning to release her on parole. That’s a TWIT Award worthy move, California. Read the story and view video on the Fox News website.

Over two years ago Quebec, Canada passed a law that removed the requirement that trans people had to have surgery before they can change their gender on their provincial identification. While it was hailed as a great stride for trans people in Quebec at the time, time has passed and the province has not put the changes into effect. It’s heel dragging like that that gets a Canadian province a TWIT Award, eh? Learn more about it on the CBC website.

September

One problem with discriminatory laws aimed at trans people is exactly how would they be enforced? The “restroom wars” in which many places have enacted or tried to enact laws against trans people using the public restroom of their choice raise the question, what are the lawmakers going to do to enforce their new laws? Station “restroom police” at the door of every facility to do a genital check? The stupidly of this type of discrimination is pointed out by the story of Camyrn Colen and his wife Lexie. Camyrn is a trans man and the county clerk in Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples readily issued a license to this couple. Read all about it in the Daily Mail.

Last Thursday the Obama administration proposed a ban on discrimination against trans people throughout the health care system. The changes in regulations would expand insurance coverage for gender transition and prohibit health care facilities from denying trans people access to the restroom matching their gender identity. Learn more about the proposed changes from Associated Press on the ABC News website.

Ashley Diamond in the early 2000s.

Ashley Diamond in the early 2000s.

Here’s a “good news, bad news” story. We’ve told you in past TWIT columns about a trans woman imprisoned in Georgia who was being kept with the male prisoners and denied hormone treatment and feminine garments. Ashley Diamond was serving a 12-year sentence for burglary and waging a legal battle with the state when she was suddenly released on parole. That’s the good news. The bad news is she believes it may have been motivated by the state’s desire to not have to deal with her anymore. Learn more in The New York Times.

Early reviews of The Danish Girl are praising Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Lili Elbe, the transsexual who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1930. Redmayne is known for sinking completely into a role, making him transparent as an actor but revealing the character completely. Read a review of his performance from Rueters in The New York Times.

Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals troupe may be changing how it does show biz. The all-male troupe began back in 1884 when Harvard was a male-only university. That made it a necessity for men to play any female roles. Starting in the 1950s women were allowed to join as writers or stage crew but none were allowed to trod the boards in any productions. Now it seem that women at Harvard are intending to audition and demand inclusion. Some people think that including women is a no-no. A writer for Slate thinks it’s time to just shut it down.

A trans woman has launched a campaign for the New York State Senate. Shauna O’Toole will be running as an independent candidate for New York’s 55th District seat. The main item of her campaign platform is passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. Learn more about it at CNYCentral.com.

Alexandra Glover

Alexandra Glover

The latest state to tell a trans woman she can’t have her driver’s license photo taken cause she doesn’t look man enough is Louisiana. The Office of Motor Vehicles invoked the Louisiana law against applicants “misrepresenting” their gender when they denied Alexandra Glover a new license photo. Ms. Glover wasn’t even trying to have her gender marker changed, she just wanted to get a picture on her license that actually looked like her. So she wouldn’t be “misrepresenting.” Learn more about it in The Advocate.

Trans women at Missouri State University will be able to pledge the Xi Omicron Iota sorority under a new member policy. They changed the bylaws making them the first sorority at MSU to welcome anyone who identifies as a woman. No one has applied for membership yet but it’s nice to know the door is open. If you’re into that sort of thing. Learn more and view a video on the KY3 TV website.

I Am Cait had its season finale last week and reviews of the show are starting to appear. The concern always was that the  show would be a typical “reality” show and not give a serious representation of trans people and their issues. On Sept. 14 a review by trans writer Casey Plett seems to say that I Am Cait did not even make a good reality TV show, but it has done some good. Read the review in The New York Times.

Tambor in character.

Tambor in character.

In the Emmy Awards last night (9/20/15) Jeffrey Tambor took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of Maura Pfefferman in Transparent. Tambor dedicated his win to the trans community saying, ““Thank you for your patience” he said. “Thank you for your courage, thank you for your stories, thank you for letting us be part of the change.” Read all about it on the Deadline website.

Another front is open in the Restroom Wars. A student in Gloucester County, Virginia is suing for the right to use the restroom of their choice. This time it’s a female to male student named Gavin Grimm. Things became grim for Gavin when after using the boy’s room at his high school last year he was barred from the facility when some parents complained that his presence there made their sons uncomfortable. Sissies. Learn more on the ABC News website.

Northern Kentucky University is the school attended by a trans man named Daniel Ginn. It was after he arrived at NKU as a female student that he began his transition. NKU also is the home of a chapter of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, a trans inclusive frat. This year they elected Daniel Ginn as chapter president. Learn all about him and the frat on the Cincinnati website.

Argentina has made many legal reforms to support their LGBT population. The latest trans positive law to be enacted was passed in the Buenos Aires province, the region surrounding Buenos Aires, which mandates that 1 percent of the local government employees be trans people. Learn more on the Vice News website.

President Obama did another positive thing for trans people when he promoted the first openly trans woman in his administration, Amanda Simpson, from her old position as the Executive Director of the U.S Army Office of Energy Initiatives (which she was appointed to by Obama in 2010) to be Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy. The new appointment came on the same day the administration announced the appointment of an openly gay man as the Secretary of Defense’s Chief of Staff. Get the news from LGBTQ Nation.

O'Brien

O’Brien

Richard O’Brien the creator of The Rocky Horror Show, who portrayed Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, returned to the stage in London’s West End doing the role of the show’s Narrator for a special gala charity performance last week. He gave an interview before the show and reiterated that he considers himself transgender but a mixture of masculine and feminine. Find out what percentage of each gender he feels he has in his interview with The Telegraph.

September TWIT Awards

We have a whole high school full of TWIT Awards to hand out to the students of Hillsboro High School in Missouri. Last week a trans teen named Lila Perry was told she could use the girl’s locker room and restrooms by the school administration. In allowing this the school was following the rules established by the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. When Perry attempted to enter the school she was met by around 150 students protesting her right to use the girl’s room. No wonder trans teens commit suicide so often, with ignorance like this to put up with. Read her story in the Boston Globe.

Pope Francis has made some statements that support the idea of the Church becoming more forgiving and a bit more progressive in its views of many issues including homosexuality, abortion, income inequality and treatment of poor people. But the Church is getting a TWIT Award for issuing a ruling that says it’s “impossible to allow” a trans person to be a godparent. It seems they came to this ruling by confusing sexual identity with gender identity and finding it immoral. Learn more on the Newsweek website.

Next up with a story that gets them another TWIT Award is Breitbart.com. The website ran a story with the headline “PREVIOUSLY DEPORTED CRIMINAL ALIEN ALLOWED TO STAY BECAUSE HE IS TRANSGENDER.” That is so loaded with negative connotations it could easily develop into a black hole. The “criminal” was driving drunk and injured some people in an accident. Not really a good thing to do — yes it’s illegal, and getting a DWI was totally appropriate. The way Breitbart spins it the accidental injury is equivalent to armed robbery, breaking and entering or rape. Throughout their article, in which the trans woman is called “he” or “he/she,” the tone is “This criminal man is being allowed to stay in our country by a liberal, activist judge and this trans thing is a scam so this crook can stay.” Nice work, Breitbart. You have released more negative propaganda to your readers looking for people to hate. If you want to you can read the story at Breitbart.com.

The National Review ran an article last week by one of their writers and staff attorney, David French. It’s titled “Transgender Entitlement: The New Orthodoxy on Campus.” Just the title is telling you this is not going to present trans people in a positive light. But it gets worse. The author contends that trans students are being “catered to” when in fact trans students are being recognized as trans and given protections against anti-trans discrimination. French decides early on in this piece that being trans is nothing more than “the troubled fantasies of a tiny, disturbed population.” A TWIT Award goes to Mr. French who is a close minded conservative, and one goes to The National Review for publishing this misinformation about a population that needs protection. The lies and distortions are in The National Review.

In the early hours of 2014 Shagasyia Diamond and her husband were having a loud argument. NYPD officers came to their door and cuffed her and took her to the local precinct. Despite a 2012 amendment to the New York Police Department patrol guide which instructed all officers to treat trans people with respect, Ms. Diamond was strip searched by  a male office and placed in a cell full of men. It seems her story is not unique. The NYPD officers have been flouting the new rules for the past three year. A TWIT Award goes to the NYPD for not honoring the promise of the amended rules. Read about it in The New York Times.

A TWIT Award goes to the idiots in Tennessee who got all riled up believing that The University of Tennessee at Knoxville had banned the use of traditional pronouns on their campus. What they actually did was publish a guide to the many new pronouns that trans and gender fluid students might prefer. “He” and “she” could still be used on campus without fear of arrest by the “PC police.” To the enraged legislators and their uncomprehending constituents the pronoun guide seemed like “political correct” tyranny. Their outcries caused the University to take the guide off of their website. Thanks to TGF reader Jamie Roberts for pointing us to the story in Inside Higher Ed.

The imbeciles at Breitbart, the right wing Internet lie machine, win another TWIT Award. They ran a story on September 17 titled “Transgender Community Rips I Am Cait Jenner Reality Show.” While it is true that some members of the community have expressed concerns that Jenner is not representative of the community and using a reality show format would cheapen the message others have found the show to be useful for introducing the topic to a larger audience. But Breitbart chose to highlight the negative reviews and only printed a quote from one person that was positive. Breitbart gets an additional TWIT for calling the show’s star “Bruce ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner.” If you want to read it the article is on the Breitbart website.

October

Gutiérrez

Gutiérrez

The undocumented Latina woman, Jennicet Gutiérrez, who interrupted President Obama’s remarks at a LGBT reception at The White House in June of this year feels she has made her point. Which was that the President should stop all detention and deportation of LGBTQ immigrants. While we don’t condone interrupting the President for any reason we do admit sometimes it takes bold action to get a conversation started. Learn more about the LGBTQ immigrant’s concerns on the NBC News website.

Caitlyn Jenner is relieved. This past February she crashed into two cars on a California highway and one of them was pushed into oncoming traffic. It was hit by a Hummer and the driver died. After a through investigation prosecutors have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support a case against Jenner. She is still facing lawsuits from the driver of the other car involved in the accident and the children of the deceased driver. Learn more on the Philly.com website.

Southern Comfort was last week and in the time leading up to the event the local papers were featuring stories about how the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau reached out to the T of LGBT after they had already attracted all the other letters to come there to vacation. Getting Southern Comfort is presented as quite a feather in their cap. Read the story on the WLRN website. See our contributor Christine Zee’s report on the event in today’s New Content.

Twitter has become a big part of political campaigning and since the first part of the word is “twit” we approve, Last week presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted “In many states, it is legal to deny someone housing for being transgender. That is wrong and must end.” Sounds like Bernie is down with our cause. Check out a few of the Twitter responses he got from his followers on the Sun Times website.

And the winner is…. The winner of the Miss Transgender U.K. title that is. The contest happened last week and the winner was 22-year-old Jai Darra Latto. She is from the Scottish Borders region of the U.K. and hopes to use her win to spread awareness of trans issues. See her photo and what she tweeted after the contest on the ITV website.

Irish drag queen Panti Bliss

Irish drag queen Panti Bliss

Drag performer and marriage equality advocate Panti Bliss, a.k.a. Rory O’Neil is the subject of a documentary film titled The Queen of Ireland. It will open in Irish theaters on October 21. View the official trailer for the film on the Out magazine website.

A legislator in Wisconsin is working on a bill that will add transgender to the state’s current anti-discrimination law. Being that the state is more Republican than Democratic Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit is starting out his attempt with an education campaign to make sure both parties understand what he’s talking about when he brings his bill to the legislature. Learn more on the Channel 3000 website.

Supposedly every girl’s dream is to be “discovered” and become a Hollywood star. Or at least that was the ambition in the old days that women were expected to aspire to. These days being discovered happens in different ways. When director Sean Baker wanted to make a movie using unknown actors and shoot it using iPhone cameras he “discovered” two trans actresses to star in his film Tangerine. Now the distribution company handling the film is pushing for Oscar nominations for the two new stars in the best actress and best supporting actress categories. Learn more in The Guardian.

The new homecoming queen.

The new homecoming queen.

We reported that Oak Park High School in Kansas City, MI elected a trans girl as their homecoming queen. Landon Patterson is her name and the whole school supported her. But there are always those who want to rain on someone’s parade. The Westboro Baptist Hate Society (I refuse to call them a church) showed up at the school to protest the new queen. A massive counter protest made up of almost all the students chanting “Long live the queen” chased Westboro away from the school. you can watch a video and read about it on The Huffington Post.

Hopefully change will be coming soon to the armed forces policies. Vice President Joe Biden has expressed his support for allowing trans people to serve openly. At the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner on Oct. 3 Biden said “No longer is there any question transgender people are able to serve in the United States military.” Get his other comments in the Military Times.

Canada’s public health system is backlogged when it comes to providing gender reassignment surgery. One woman who couldn’t wait for years to get her’s went to the USA to have it done. Then she sent the bill to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Of course they refused to cover the $20,000 cost. In the meantime she has paid the surgeon’s bill but is hoping that by publicizing the sorry state of trans health services in Ontario she will get some changes made. Read the story in the National Post.

Meggan Sommerville

Meggan Sommerville

Past contributor to TGForum, Meggan Sommerville, has won a small victory in her struggle with the Hobby Lobby company. Sommerville is an employee at one of their stores and because of her trans status they would not allow her to use the women’s restroom. Now we have learned that back in May a judge ruled that Hobby Lobby violated the Illinois Human Rights Act when they denied her use of the lady’s room. The case is still not totally resolved as it must be affirmed by the state’s Human Rights Commission. Read the details in the Daily Kos.

If you’re trans and you work at Kroger supermarkets you may have cause to rejoice. The chain has decided to extend transgender health benefits to employees who are covered under the company health plan. But, if you have your health benefits under your union’s health plan instead of the company plan you won’t be eligible for trans health benefits. The union plan is not provided by the same insurer as Kroger’s company plan. Get the details on the Cincinnati.com website.

Nikki Araguz Loyd

Nikki Araguz Loyd

Nikki Araguz lost her fire fighter husband almost six years ago and due to Texas law viewing their marriage as a same-sex union she was denied death benefits and was also shunned by people who had formerly been her friends. The only group that welcomed her was the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. But in 2011 her departed husband was honored in a ceremony at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation memorial in Maryland and she was not allowed to attend due to the legal battle she was fighting to obtain benefits. That changed on October 1 when President Obama gave her a flag that had flown over the Capitol. Read her story in The Huffington Post.

Over 30 Democrats in the House of Representatives were appalled by the TSA’s treatment of a trans woman in the Orlando airport last month. The woman, Shadi Petoski, was detained for forty minutes and missed her flight to Chicago because the body scanner detected an “anomaly” in her genital region. The problem is the machines only have “male” and “female” settings so a trans person who has not had gender reassignment surgery makes the machine sound an alarm when it sees something “extra.” The representatives have sent a letter to the TSA urging better treatment of trans passengers. Read what they said in The Hill.

Not that many years ago there weren’t that many books about transgender issues. Nowadays we have plenty of books about the trans experience. Many introduce us to specific people and how they managed their transgender journeys, and some are about the evolving science of transgender. One newspaper woman has assembled mini reviews of several books about trans issues. You can find her piece in the Boston Globe.

It’s hard enough for many trans people to come out of the closet and tell their family, friends and associates about their true nature. Just imagine if you were a police officer. Members of the police force are not noted for being understanding and compassionate. That was the case when an officer on the San Jose force came out to her colleagues. She was a 20 year veteran but her fellow officers started treating her as if she was a rookie again. Get her story and more on trans police officers on the Take Part website.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a pair of new rules that requires the recording of patients’ sexual orientation and gender identity in electronic health records. The rules were issued to provide demographic information that would allow a better assessment of those parts of the population and enable better care for gay and trans patients. The article can be found on the American Progress website.

On Oct. 7 Governor Jerry Brown of California signed Senate Bill 703 into law. The new law gives protections to trans employees of businesses that provide services to state agencies. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2016 and it means that trans people working for employers who do business with the state will have to provide equal health coverage. Learn more at the JDSupra Business Advisor website.

maines-bookNicole Maines the trans girl who won a case against her former school district which affirmed the rights of trans students in Maine has had a book written about her life. One of the most interesting aspects of her life is that she has a brother who is an identical twin, but while Nicole always felt like a girl her brother never had those feelings. With the release of the book the Maines family is giving interviews. You can find one in their hometown paper the Portland Press Herald.

All the students in the schools in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico wear school uniforms. Last week the Puerto Rico Department of Education issued new rules about school uniforms. To comply with Federal regulations that are inclusive of LGBT students boys in Puerto Rican schools are now allowed to wear girl’s uniforms and vice versa. Thanks to Graham Holmes for the tip. One wonders if the boys will get into trouble if they  try to shorten their uniform skirts? Read the story on the Pink News website.

Isis King

Isis King

It’s nice to hear a trans success story and a perfect one is that of Isis King. Isis graduated from the Art School of Philadelphia only to land in New York City with nowhere to live. She spent a year living in a homeless shelter before she made a name for herself on America’s Next Top Model. Now she is not only a model but a fashion designer and actor as well. She is the perfect role model for young trans women and it seems that Teen Vogue thought so too. They featured her story last week.

We all know that variations in sexual orientation and gender identity among children are normal and the kids don’t have a condition that needs “curing.” Save curing for lunch meats. The Obama administration has released a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that takes aim at so-called conversion therapy. Basically they call it quackery that is harmful to those being treated. Read more in the International Business Times.

China does not have a problem with transsexual women participating in beauty contests. Last month Liu Ting, a 28-year-old trans woman competed in the Miss United Nations International 2015 Pageant China. She did not win the top prize but being recognized as a female was prize enough for Liu Ting. Read about it in The Standard.

Many trans people feel that they must give up on their marriage if they make the decision to transition. Oftentimes it is accepted as a given that their spouse will never want them as a marriage partner in their true gender. It doesn’t have to turn out that way. As evidence we offer the story of Erica and Ellen Maurizio, a couple in New Zealand who married in the 1970s. Erica told Ellen that she was a woman and had to live as one in 2006. Read their story on the Stuff website.

October TWIT Awards

Surprisingly Brietbart had a story last week on The White House initiative to gather data on what members of the trans community want and need. They have launched a #transneeds Twitter account and want trans people to tweet their ideas on what is needed. So far so good, Brietbart. But, the website is getting a TWIT Award for snarking up the sub headline which said trans people were “following their lifestyle choices.” Shouting now — it’s not a lifestyle, it’s who we are! Get the useful facts about the initiative from Breitbart, or if you prefer a more friendly site you can learn more in The Advocate.

Meanwhile, bloated sack of excrement and radio talk show blowhard Rush Limbaugh is picking up another TWIT Award for the outrageous statements he made on his show saying that people were pushing their kids to be trans so they could become famous like Caitlyn Jenner. Did Rushbo’s parents push him to be an ass so he could be famous? And Brietbart also chimed in with a tale of a mother who has been “trying to transgender” her son for years. Is it any wonder that the trans community has to fight for acceptance when idiots like Limbaugh and his fellow travelers spread lies? Watch a video of Rush’s rant on the Media Matters website.

Malaysia is one of those countries where Sharia Law is applied to the Muslim population. One of the laws is a prohibition on “cross-dressing.” Several years ago three trans women in Negeri Sembilan were being repeatedly arrested under a state law that was based on the Sharia law against men dressing as women. They filed a constitutional challenge to the law. On October 8 Malaysia’s highest court ruled against the women on purely procedural grounds. Because a mistake had been made in the process used to initiate the challenge the court said the law against crossdressing is constitutional and the women have to start all over again. A TWIT Award to the highest court in Malaysia is hereby granted. Court adjourned. The case can be perused on the Human Rights Watch website.

A trans woman got a job a Walmart in New Jersey before she started to transition. A few months after she got the job she informed her manager that she was going to transition and then started working as a female employee. There were no problems till a new manager came on board. That manager, a female, used the “t” word slur in relation to the trans employee and singled her out for treatment that was not given to other employees. A TWIT Award goes to Sheena Wyckoff, the manager who ended up firing the trans employee. Read about it on the Think Progress website.

Here’s one of those stories that has different levels of twittery. It’s hard to decide who gets the TWIT Award. Last week a trans girl was elected homecoming queen in her New Jersey high school. That’s great but there are allegations that the teacher in charge of the election process wanted to “make history” and stuffed the ballot box so the trans girl would win. There are also allegations that the teacher had failed to keep the ballot box free from tampering by students who wanted to see her elected as a “practical joke.” Then there’s the reaction of some of the parents to the girl’s election. Read it all and decide who gets the TWIT. The story is in The Trentonian.

There is a website that is devoted to “exposing and combating liberal media bias” that is called News Busters. Last week they “busted” an article in The Washinton Post by columnist Petula Dvorak. It was titled “Transgender at 8” and was an update of a story she did previously on a trans boy who was five years old at the time. At 8 he is still happy being a boy and the quotes from her article seem to support that. The News Busters site goes out of its way to mis-gender the child and uses the name he was given at birth. Their “busting” seems to just be snark and rejection of the possibility that a child might know their gender at an early age. A TWIT Award goes to News Busters and you can read their snarky comments on their website. TGF reader Jamie Roberts sent us the link to the original story in The Washington Post.

November

Rivera in 2010.

Rivera in 2010.

Trans rights activist, the late Sylvia Rivera, has become the first trans person to be included in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian. Rivera participated in the Stonewall riots in 1969 and worked with several organizations to promote trans rights after gay organizations refused to include trans people. Learn more on the Advocate website.

Former boxing promoter Kellie Maloney has been advocating in the U.K. that trans issues be included in school sex and relationship education programs. At a time when England is seeing an uptick in the number of trans youth Maloney feels that educating all youth about the nature of trans people is important. Read more of her thoughts on the Pink News website.

Karnataka State in India has given their highest civilian honor to a trans woman. The Rajyotsava Award has been conferred annually to people in many different fields. Akkai Padmashali has gotten one of this years awards for her work spreading awareness about sexual diversity. Get the story from the StoryPick website.

Group Capt. McGregor

Group Capt. McGregor

A trans woman military officer has won the Queensland Australian of the Year award for 2016. RAAF Group Captain Catherine McGregor transitioned in 2012 and has become one of the leading faces in the Australian trans community. Learn more about her in the Brisbane Times.

You hear from time to time various places around the world being touted as “the gender-change capital.” Lately Thailand has been getting a lot of mentions as the current en vogue place to have your surgery done. Why has Thailand become one of the leading destinations for gender reassignment surgery? Read about it on the Bloomberg website.

A Topeka, Kansas trans activist could make history by becoming the first trans member of the Kansas legislature. Stephanie Mott is hoping to be picked by the Topeka Democrats to fill the soon to be vacant seat of Rep. Harold Lane, D-Topeka who announced his retirement in October. She is facing competition though. Learn more about it in The Wichita Eagle.

The news that Laverne Cox would star in a remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show produced a lot of reactions and given the nature of the character you knew it wouldn’t be long before someone in the trans community took a long hard look at the 1975 film and said, “This is crap.” Well that’s not an exact quote but perhaps in order to be a fan of the original film you had to be there. Get one trans woman’s opinion on the original film and the idea of a remake on The Mary Sue website.

Last Monday federal education authorities made it clear that an Illinois school district violated anti-discrimination laws when it refused to let a trans girl student use the girls’ locker room to change and shower. The girl has been using the girls’ locker room but changing behind a curtain. She has said that she would most probably continue to follow that practice but she wants to be able to make that choice. The Education Department has given the district 30 days to allow her to make that choice or it will impose sanctions. Read the whole story in The New York Times. The Times also featured an Opinion Page debate on the issue.

The Union for Reform Judaism has voted to call on all Reform synagogues to provide gender neutral restrooms, train staffers on LGBT issues and show support for the trans community. They even include eliminating gender-specific pronouns on name tags, and sort Hebrew-school classes by birthdays rather than gender. Learn more in The Atlantic.

Trixie Maristela

Trixie Maristela

Last Friday the Miss International Queen 2015 pageant crowned a winner in Thailand. The new Queen is Filipina Trixie Maristela. The raven haired beauty beat 26 other women to take the crown. Read the story on the Reuters website.

Thank goodness that late night comics are there to bring some commonsense to the “restroom wars.” Seth Meyers, host of Late Night on NBC, took a satiric poke at the voters of Houston, Texas who voted down and anti-discrimination ordinance that they feared would put perverted men claiming to be trans women into the city’s public restrooms. Meyers points out that it’s been illegal in Houston to do anything in the restroom but relieve yourself since 1972. Read more and view a video on  The Week website.

A trans woman who was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 2010 has a message to those who hate trans people. She posted a selfie on her Facebook page that featured her wearing a T-shirt that had these words printed on it: “Transgender Veteran: I fought for your right to hate me”. Learn more about Carla Lewis on the Mic website.

Meagan Taylor

Meagan Taylor

The African-American trans woman who was arrested as a prostitute when she and a friend attempted to check into a West Des Moines, Iowa hotel back in July is suing the hotel with the help of the ACLU. Meagan Taylor was on her way to a funeral and when she tried to check in to the Drury Inn the staff called the police believing that she was a prostitute since she and her friend were “men dressed like women.” What else could they be? Tired travelers possibly? Get the details of what she went through on the KCCI website. (A TWIT Award was already issued back in July.)

The Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center will be opening the first VA clinic specifically dedicated to transgender veterans. Learn more on the WKYC website.

Last Monday the Glamour Women Of The Years Awards were handed out at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Caitlyn Jenner took advantage of the occasion to accept her award in a glamorous floor length gown that featured a mermaid style bottom. See what she wore and read more about the event in The Daily Mail.

TransTech founder Angelica Ross

TransTech founder Angelica Ross

We have featured Angelica Ross before in the TWIT column. She’s that trans woman who has created a company to promote trans workers by getting them work as designers and training them in the skills they need to succeed. Thanks to TGF read Claire Crowley for pointing us to an article that covers the progress Ross’s Trans Tech Social Enterprises has made. You can find it on the Policy Link website.

There are two bills coming up for a vote in the Massachusetts House and Senate that would protect trans people from discrimination in public spaces. HB 1577 and SB 735 would be the first protections from discrimination base on gender identity in Massachusetts. Find out what major sports team is supporting the bills passage on the HRC Blog.

In Olympia, Washington the manager of the city jail and a trans woman teamed up to work on overhauling the jail’s policy concerning trans people. The trans woman is a former police officer and has a master’s degree in psychology. The new policy, which will be implemented in January, seeks to make positive changes to the treatment of trans prisoners. Learn more in The Olympian.

On Tuesday The congressional LGBT Equality Caucus will announce the creation of a Transgender Equality Task Force which will be chaired by California Rep. Mike Honda. (Rep. Honda has a trans granddaughter.) The task force will work on policies to address the mis-treatment of trans people in many areas. Learn more about the task force in TIME.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma schools are voluntarily adopting new guidelines issued by the Federal government regarding the civil rights of trans students. Coming from the position that “everyone should have equal access to education” the school district will have single-stall restrooms available that are gender neutral and can be used by any students. Learn more and view a video report on the NewsOnSix website.

Jenner

Jenner

Apparently actress Rose McGowan can’t appreciate a joke. At least not when it’s made Caitlyn Jenner in her Woman of the Year acceptance speech. Caitlyn quipped that “the hardest thing about being a woman is having to decide what to wear each day.” McGown attacked her on Facebook for being insensitive to the real problems faced by women everyday. But come on, it was a joke. Learn more and see what you think. The story is in the Yahoo News.

Police in Mississippi underwent training sessions on how to interact with trans people. Officers from across the state learned about transgenderism and were made aware that trans people are often the victims of hate crimes. Get more info on the WLOX website.

Vancouver Magazine has a yearly list of the most powerful people in that western Canadian city. Usually it’s all business people, chefs, politicians and other men and women in suits. This year the list includes a 12-year-old trans girl. Tru Wilson made number 12 for filing a complaint against her Catholic school after the school refused to treat her as a girl. Her suit resulted in all the Catholic schools changing their policies to accommodate trans students. Read the story and view a video interview with Wilson in The Province.

The Kansas woman who hoped to get the nomination to fill the house seat of a retiring state representative did not get the nomination. But she is not expressing any negativity over not getting it. Read her thoughts on The Huffington Post.

Brady

Brady

Squeaky clean Wayne Brady, host of TV games shows, is stepping into high heels and the role of Lola in the musical Kinky Boots. He took over from Billy Porter last weekend and will be wearing those boots for a four month run. He’s already learned that he was mean to his female companions when he kept urging them to hurry up while they walked with him. Now he knows that stilettos are not as easy to walk in as men’s shoes. Get the whole story on Brady as Lola in The New York Times.

If you have been considering gender reassignment surgery here’s another reason it might be a good idea. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have found that undergoing GRS have a lower risk of metabolic disease than women who are undergoing hormone therapy but have not had surgery. Get the story from Inquisitr.

Cumberbatch in Zoolander 2.

Cumberbatch in Zoolander 2.

The Zoolander sequel has released a trailer for Zoolander 2 and it’s causing some people to complain about the depiction of an androgynous supermodel by Benedict Cumberbatch. The character is named All. People are upset that All was not portrayed by a real androgynous model. There is a tasteless joke made at All’s expense but this is a Zoolander movie. No doubt you can find plenty of things to be upset about. Read about it and view the trailer on the New York Daily News website.

The ACLU has won a battle with Sound Health & Wellness Trust, a health insurer in Washington state. The company has agreed to drop an exclusion that prevented trans people from getting medically necessary health care. Thanks to TGF reader Cecilia for letting us know about the article on the ACLU website.

There is more news about the possibility that trans women might be able to become pregnant and give birth. The Cleveland Clinic is doing a uterus transplant for women with damaged or diseased wombs. Other medical practitioners around the world are also doing the surgery. One predicts that within 10 years trans women will be able to bear children. But if transition costs a lot, the cost for this surgery could be much higher. Get the story from Gay Star News.

f you’re trans and you live in Maryland here’s good news. Health care treatments that are “medically necessary” will be covered by Maryland’s Medicaid program and largest health insurer. The change didn’t come from a feeling of good will on behalf of the insurers but as the result of a lawsuit. Learn more in Metro Weekly.

Trans Bolivians will soon be able to have their names and gender changed on their legal documentation. It is not a completely carefree process since those seeking the gender change must submit to a psychological examination conducted by the Ministry of Justice. Learn more in the Pink News.

DuBarry

DuBarry

There’s a new holder of the title World’s Oldest Performing Drag Queen. That’s according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Who is she? It’s 84-year-old Michelle DuBarry of Toronto, Canada. Read an interview with her in which she discusses how she started doing drag in a time when you had to keep it underground. The interview is in The Star.

Irish drag star and LGBT rights activist Panti Bliss is getting a honorary degree from Trinity College in Dublin for her services to LGBT activism. She gained fame early this year when she labelled a Catholic lobbying group “homophobes” while appearing on an Irish talk show. Read more about Panti and the degree in Pink News.

It’s good to know that not all of the religious community is against trans people. How do we know? There was a letter published last week that called upon the state if Indiana to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the state’s civil rights law. It was signed by six prominent religious leaders from the state of Indiana. See what they said on the Current in Carmel website.

November TWIT Awards

Our lead story about Carmen Carrera wanting to be the first trans Victoria’s Secret angel was reported slightly differently by a conservative website. The TWIT Award goes to the Brietbart website for running the story, with all the facts in place, but mis-gendering Carrera as “he” and “him” all through the piece. That’s just rude, Brietbart. Read the story here.

They just can’t help themselves. As far as Brietbart is concerned trans people are a waste of taxpayer’s money. They get a second TWIT Award this week for the way they reported the rise in funding for trans health services in Britain. The National Health Service increased the budget line for trans related care to £22.72 million a year, up from £17.13 million last year. They illustrated the story with a photo of a flamboyant drag queen and added quotes around the word “treating” when it was used in reference to what the money would be used for. Breitbart presents a mix of facts, lies, and prejudices leaving the overall impression that it’s a waste of money to provide GRS to trans people since they just commit suicide anyway. Shame on you Brietbart. You can read their biased story if you like.

The HERO legislation in Houston, Texas that passed the city council and was challenged by angry and fearful conservatives who were worried about trans people using the restroom of their expressed gender has gone down to defeat in a referendum election. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was fought by conservative religious organizations who told people that sexual predators would be allowed in the lady’s room if the ordinance went into effect. A large TWIT Award (Texas size) goes to everyone in that city who have just made it harder for trans people to find a restroom and get some respect. Get the story from Associated Press.

Here’s one to mull over. Ben Carson, the presidential candidate, said that trans people should have their own public restrooms. He said that trans people make “everyone else uncomfortable.” If we are provided with accommodation for relieving ourselves is that such a bad thing? Some crossdressers are not comfortable using the lady’s room while out in public. Would they welcome a single stall facility they could use? Carson is getting a TWIT Award for saying trans people make everyone uncomfortable but is the third restroom a good idea? Read his comments in The Hill and comment on his idea in the comment area below.

There is a strange syndrome, probably brought on by watching too many zombie movies, that causes people to believe that they are zombies. It’s called Cotard Syndrome. It is a mental disorder and those who are afflicted with it do themselves harm by believing that since they are dead they no longer need to eat or do other things living people do. We’re giving the TWIT Award here to writer Jonathan Keller. He’s not a zombie but he used the example of Cotard Syndrome victims as the equivalent of transsexuality in a recent op-ed. In other words he believes that men who think they are women are as messed up as people who think they are zombies. He claims it is a similar body dysmorphia. Hogwash Mr. Keller. This op-ed was published by the American Thinker website. Not much actual thinking going on in this piece.

We often find ourselves giving out TWIT Awards to big right wing media that publishes articles and opinion pieces that scorn and denigrate trans people as some kind of fad, perversion, or otherwise immoral scam. Today we found a column in a small media outlet that shows these conservative, right wing views of trans people are not just the provence of the loudmouths at Breitbart, The Daily Caller, or Fox News. A columnist named Christine Flowers shows her ignorance and lack of empathy in a column she calls Undressing the bounds of gender awareness. She bemoans that “normal” is not normal anymore and that trans kids, under orders from President Obama, will be allowed to enter girl’s locker rooms and restrooms. She pulls out the right wing argument that liberals and trans people are all selfish and want to impose their “normal” on everyone else. No Ms. Flowers, what we’d like to do is educate everyone that the strange and scary trans people have been around for centuries and they are not some “big plate of crazy.” Her words. You can find TWIT Award winner Christine Flowers’ ignorant column in The Delaware County Times. She has her email address displayed at the bottom. Go ahead and educate her.

Representative Brad Hulsey, R-Kingsport, TN has announced to the media that he is introducing a bill to prevent boys from using the girl’s restroom, and vice versa. This defender of the sanctity of the stalls wants to require that all student use the restrooms and locker rooms that match the gender recorded on their birth certificates. Despite the fact that there hasn’t been any problem with trans students using the restrooms in his district Hulsey plans to introduce the bill in January. A TWIT Award to Rep. Hulsey. Read the story in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

We’ve mentioned that Caitlyn Jenner is on the road giving talks about trans issues and her transition. Last Thursday she spoke at a Chicago House fundraiser luncheon to raise money for HIV/AIDS services. After speaking to an attentive audience and answering questions she was confronted outside by protestors, angry possibly that they were not a lucky in life as Jenner, who said she was “an insult to trans people” and she had “no right to represent” them. While Jenner is not your typical trans woman, being a wealthy former Olympian and reality show star, her transition and her trans-ness are no less real than that of any other trans person. A TWIT Award to the protestors whose outrage just seems to be based on jealousy. See a video of the encounter and read more about it on the People website.

Tennessee State Representative Bud Hulsey has introduced a bill to make trans kids use the restroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificates. The representative was inspired to introduce his bill by a right wing radio talkers named George West. With Hulsey’s help West’s quest for higher ratings will result in more oppression for trans students in Tennessee. A TWIT Award to both of them. Gay rights activists in the state have started a petition against the legislation but the Republican dominated legislature is unlikely to pay attention. Get the story on the Nashville Scene website.

There was a protest demonstration in Washington, D.C. last week that caused officers of the Metropolitan Police Department to shove one of the organizers of the protest, drag her away and handcuff her. The protest was going on to call attentions to mistreatment of trans people by law enforcement. Jes Grobman was the woman who was arrested. A TWIT Award goes to the overly enthusiastic officer who pushed her. Read about the incident and view a video in the Metro Weekly.

2015 has so far featured the murder of 22 trans women, the majority being black or Latina. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was last week and these victims as well as the previous victims were honored in demonstrations around the country. Not all of the 22 2015 murders were “hate crimes.” Some were domestic violence or just plain armed robbery that went wrong. But murder on any kind for any reason is not to be tolerated. While it is a weak response we issue a TWIT Award to anyone contemplating violence against any woman and ask for everyone to be careful, stay safe, don’t get involved with a rough crowd, and avoid risky behavior. Read about the 22 victims on the Penn Live website.

Trans people cause problems for the “straight” world since they don’t fit easily into the slots and bureaucracy is all about putting people in a niche that can be dealt with the same way every time. The FAA is no different. That’s the Federal Aviation Administration. They require pilots to go to an annual medial checkup to maintain their pilot’s license. When trans pilots report that they’re going through transition the FAA suddenly finds it necessary to subject them to additional scrutiny, including psychological evaluations that weren’t done before. A TWIT Award to the FAA for treating trans pilots as needing extra checking. Read more about it from the Aero News Network.

Lunacy. The word means insanity at worst and at best “sheer folly or eccentricity.” That’s the word Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz used to describe the administration’s trans policy for public schools. Cruz said it on a radio talk show, elaborating that the federal government is forcing school districts to let boys shower with “little girls.” A TWIT Award to the senator for his stupid and ignorant remarks. Read more and watch a video on the Buzzfeed website.

Mount Horab Primary Center (an elementary school) in Wisconsin was going to read the book I Am Jazz to a group of students, but that was cancelled because of a lawsuit by the Liberty Council. The Liberty Council which is headquartered in Florida bullied the school board of a Wisconsin school into doing what it wanted. They begging for another TWIT award. So here is one more TWIT Award for them. Sadly, they seem to wear these awards as a badge of honor. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies The Liberty Council as a hate group. Read about their latest act of hate on the WORT website.

A person described as a would be political candidate, activist and crossdresser has been arrested in Hong Kong for scamming 2.17 million Hong Kong dollars from an electronics company in China. If you follow Princess Hitsujiko online and haven’t heard from her from awhile it’s because she is in jail. A TWIT Award goes to this lovely young woman with a bent for crime, and we also present one to the publication carrying the story for not making her gender status clear. The article is in The Standard.

December

Holly Woodlawn

Holly Woodlawn

Trans actress and Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn has passed away at the age of 69. Ms. Woodlawn had been living with cancer but that didn’t stop her from working on Transparent. She appear is two episodes of the show as a character named Vivian. Get more about Holly Woodlawn in Variety.

The Wisconsin school district that took I Am Jazz off their reading list after threats of a lawsuit from a right wing anti-LGBT hate group got a TWIT Award from us already. The good news is that the local library was happy to host a reading of the book. And the even better news was that over 600 people showed up for the reading. The co-author of the book flew in from California to to read to the crowd. Get the details of the whole kerfuffle and positive outcome in the Lacrosse Tribune.

The U.S. Marine who killed a Filipina trans woman after he discovered she was trans has been convicted of homicide. A Philippine court found Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton guilty in the murder of Jennifer Laude. Under Philippine law he is guilty of homicide but not murder. Murder requires “treachery, superior force and cruelty.” Read the story and see if you think he should have been convicted of murder. You can find it in The Washington Post.

The accident that Caitlyn Jenner was involved in back in February is still causing her problems. She has been sued twice already by others who were caught in the crash. Now she is being sued again by the people who were in the Hummer that her Escalade hit head on. Get the details on the Yahoo news feed.

The Michigan Secretary of State tried to legally block a lawsuit against her that was brought by several trans people over the difficulties in the way of getting a name changed on driver’s licenses in the state. A U.S. District Court judge ruled against attempts to block the suit. Get the details from The Oakland Press.

Mya Taylor

Mya Taylor

A star of the film Tangerine, Mya Taylor, could possibly be getting an Oscar nomination for her work in that film. She came out of the life that the film portrays. Just two years ago she was doing sex work on the streets of Los Angeles. Read her story and learn the proper street terminology for sex workers in her interview with The Washington Post. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the tip.

While the right has been attacking President Obama for not being strong, decisive, and for providing health insurance to millions of people, they have been distracted by all that and not noticed that he has gotten a lot done on behalf of the trans community. It’s sort of a quiet transgender revolution. And that’s the title of the article about it in The Washington Post. Thanks to Jamie Roberts and Josy C for the tip.

Part of the “quiet revolution” was the hiring of trans people to work in the Obama administration. One such person is Sarah McBride, a trans woman who started working in the White House as an intern and has since been employed there. View a video about her story in The Washington Post.

With all the drama over trans students using the appropriate locker room and restroom facilities it’s refreshing to hear that some schools don’t have a problem with it. The schools that bother to accommodate trans students have found few problems among the students. The parents are more likely to be the source of problems. And, since the parents elect the school boards, the board members have an incentive to lean their way, leading to the banishment of trans kids from the girl’s room. Read about the schools in southern California that are not having any trouble in the Ventura County Star.

We have in the past reported on studies of the brain that determined there is a difference between the brains of trans women and those of cisgender men. Now to confuse the issue and give the science denying crowd more fuel, a new study has found that our brains “have no gender.” To quote one researcher, “Our brains seem to be a mosaic of male and female qualities.” Read more about this latest research finding on the AAAS website.

One of the black trans women, Meagan Taylor, who was arrested after checking in to a hotel in Des Moines is taking legal action against the hotel with the assistance of the ACLU. After filing a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission the ACLU was able to get a recording of the 911 call the hotel staff placed when the women checked in. You can read about it and listen to the recording on The Huffington Post.

Like the It Gets Better campaign says things do get better sometimes. One of the the things that has improved in the U.S. is proper medical care for trans people. Just ten years ago finding a doctor who didn’t think you were a freak if you told him you needed to change your sex was not easy. Read about how things have gotten better and how much more needs to be done to provide medical care to trans people in an article in The New York Times.

Ms. Nimmons

Ms. Nimmons

Medicaid in New York state now covers gender reassignment surgery. Medicaid is the state-run health plan for low income people and with the changes moving GRS into the category of necessary procedures availability of the surgery has increased. Read the long journey of one low income woman who endured many trials and tribulations as her identity unfolded; from part-time dressing to drag queen, to living en femme and realizing she needed to be complete as a woman. Her name is Kricket Jerná Nimmon and her story is covered in an in-depth article in The New York Times.

Irish drag performer Panti Bliss has had a big year. Her impromptu speech on stge about homophobia and social conservatism in Ireland thrust her into the role of LGBT rights activist. Now she has been named as one of Europe’s most influential people for 2105 by Politico Europe. Read about it on the Queerty website.

The Arcus Foundation has just donated $15,000,000 towards trans causes. The money will be donated over the next five years. A coalition of other groups will raise an additional $5,000,000 for this same campaign. Goals include quelling a rising tide of violence against transgender people, increasing job opportunities, and boosting long-term inclusion of transgender people in society. Get the story from the BuzzFeed website.

Tamara Adrian, a transgender woman, has been elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly. Ms. Adrian, a lawyer and professor, was elected as her party, the Popular Will Party, defeated the United Socialist Party, the party of the late Hugo Chavez. Ms. Adrian is the first trans person to be elected to office in Venezuela. Read more on the Sun Times Network website.

We’re happy to report that the school that canceled a reading of I Am Jazz after threats of a lawsuit from a right wing hate group has decided to add the words “transgender status” to their non-discrimination policy. Read about it on Madison.com.

Cincinnati has become the first city in the U.S. to ban “conversion therapy” for minors.  Chris Seelbach, a member of the Cincinnati City Council, tweeted, “We just made the death of Leelah Alcorn ‘Mean Something’!” Learn more on the WLWT-5 website.

Tracey Norman for ClairolWe live in an era when it’s becoming common to hear about trans women working in the fashion industry. Models like Lea T and Andreja Pejic have broken down barriers that kept trans women who had the look from entering the modeling world openly. One such model was Tracey Norman. A black trans woman from Newark, New Jersey, she got into the business by stealth and appeared in Italian Vogue, Essence, and was even featured on Clairol’s Born Beautiful hair color boxes. Learn more about her and her modeling career that started in the 1970s in New York magazine.

Barbara Walters has pronounced Caitlyn Jenner to be the most fascinating person of 2015. From greatest athlete in the world to most fascinating person in only 37 years. Not bad. Find out why Walters chose Jenner in an article on the ABC News website.

The number of killings of trans women rose dramatically in 2015. The majority of the victims were black, and while a large portion were engaged in the risky business of sex work, some were just going about their business when their lives were taken. The murderers of these women have one thing in common — they were all men. One gender theorist believes she knows why these women were killed. You can find her theory in an interview on the Broadly website.

Kael McKenzie is Manitoba’s first trans judge. He may be the first trans judge in all of Canada. He was appointed to the provincial court last week by Manitoba’s attorney general. McKenzie got his law degree for the University of Manitoba in 2006 and has been a Crown attorney in Manitoba for five years. Learn more about his appointment on the CTV News website.

We’ve heard of research findings that indicate there is a difference between the brains of cis males and trans women. Then we heard there is no difference. Now we are hearing that trans identities may indeed be caused by differences in brain structure. The new research makes it clear that trans women’s brains are different than male or female brains. Dig into the nuts and bolts of the research in the Scientific American.

Cisgender Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” That would make them part of the protected classes under the law. Learn more in The Wichita Eagle.

Dithi

Dithi

In Bangladesh, a hijra named Dithi has become a candidate in a municipal election. The position she is running for is reserved for a female candidate. She is profiled in the Dhaka Tribune.

U.S. Representative Mike Honda has introduced a bill titled Expressing Support For Transgender Acceptance. The bill has 19 co-sponsors. It has a rough path to get to the floor of the House of Representatives, given the current membership of that body.Rep. Honda chairs the Transgender Equality Task Force, a congressional task force for transgender rights created in November. Learn more about his bill in On Top magazine.

Cincinnati, home of chili on spaghetti, may move to ban reparative therapy. The city council has a proposed ordinance coming up for a vote soon that affirms that GLBT people are not suffering from a disease or disorder and that any mental health professional who attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity would be subject to a fine. While the fine is about what psychologists get paid for an hour’s consultation it’s the though that counts. Learn more on the WVXU website.

Internet searches can tell you a lot about who is into what. A site called Estately put together a state-by-state analysis of the most-searched terms on Google. (Don’t ask how Google knows which state the request is coming from. Despite their motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” they know where you live.) In Alabama, the fourth most-searched term is “Laverne Cox.” The phrase, “What is transgender?” was searched in Michigan more than in any other state, while Utah led the nation in searching for the term “transgender.”  See more results on the Estately website.

December TWIT Awards

After the shooting at the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Ted Cruz, senator and Republican candidate for president, shot off his mouth that the murderer who carried out the attack might have been a trans woman. Yes, the murderer’s voter registration form indicated that he was female. Checking with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Colorado revealed that the “female” designation was due to a clerical error. A TWIT Award goes to Ted Cruz for trying to involve trans people in a heinous crime. Get the details of how the killer’s gender was mixed up on the Think Progress website.

A writer for the right wing website The Federalist published a piece titled Public Schools Force Kids Into Transgender Wars. The sub head said that trans activists “in concert” with the federal government are pushing schools across the country to let “boys expose themselves to girls in showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms.” In the body of the article the writer mis-genders a trans teen named Lila Perry, insisting that she is a boy who “wants to expose his male genitalia to girls.” The writer goes on in that vein and pulls out a lot of other false and misleading information about gender reassignment and sexology. We are handing a large TWIT Award to the writer, Walt Heyer, and another one to The Federalist for printing his garbage.

The World Health Organization has found that trans women around the world contract HIV at a rate 49 times higher than the general population. Many of them are prostitutes. The Breitbart right wing agenda website is getting a TWIT Award for presenting the story with a headline that used the word “trannies” and featured a photo of teen author and television personality Jazz Jennings. The article also said that it’s “dangerous” to “become transgender.” Thereby showing total ignorance about trans issues. Read more of their ill informed and possible slanderous screed in a report on Media Matters.

There are those “conservative” pundits, writers and commentators who see trans issues as nothing but fraud, mental illness, sin, or, in the case of trans children, child abuse. One such is Internet writer Victoria Voss. In a recent story about about Jazz Jennings she wins a TWIT Award for taking the view that Jazz’s whole life is a lie perpetrated by her parents who gave her female hormones to “turn him into a girl” so they could “parade her” on national television. Voss then doubles down on the crazy by claiming the purpose is to “normalize the abnormal” and “brainwash people.” Then she links it to a conspiracy by “Zionist elites.” You can read the rest of her drivel (certified as drivel by us since we have had experience with actual trans people for decades and their feelings are real, not a Zionist conspiracy) on the right wing website Red Ice Creations.

Here’s a good news/bad news story out of New Jersey. The good part is that the legislature has a bill with bipartisan support that would allow trans people to change their birth certificate after having “gender transition treatment.” That means it would not be necessary to have GRS before changing your birth certificate gender marker. The bad news is that even with a Democratic majority and support from Republicans current presidential candidate and New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill, again. The legislature is just one vote short of over riding his veto. More good news; The bill was withdrawn so it can be introduced again before the legislative session expires in January. Governor Christie is taking home a TWIT Award for his opposition to the bill which he claims is based on concerns over “fraud, deception, and abuse.” We suggest that New Jersey residents take some time to contact their representatives and ask them to vote for this bill. Get the story from NJ.com.

Restroom Wars just keep getting more ridiculous. Some political activists in California are seeking to place an initiative on the ballot which would make it illegal for trans* people to use public rest rooms which correspond to their gender identity.  They site “privacy concerns” as their reason. The law they hope to pass would offer a $4000 reward to anyone who “turned in” a trans person they caught in the restroom. Opponents of the initiative say that offering that kind of reward would cause people to become restroom vigilantes and violate the privacy of anyone suspected of being trans, and probably make the vigilante a lawbreaker. A TWIT Award to all the idiots who keep going on and on about this non-issue. Read about it in US News & World Report.

Once upon a time, Johns Hopkins University was a leader in both psychiatry and surgery relating to transsexuals. Some in the university did not like this, and both the dean of the med school and the chief of psychiatry were chosen to change that reputation. The anti-trans psychiatrist, Dr. Paul McHugh was psychiatrist-in-chief at that institution and he put an end to the gender reassignment program. Has long been opposed to treating trans people and outs forth the idea that trans people are mentally ill. Several conservative commentators, impressed by this eminent psychiatrist with degrees and a fancy academic position have been promoting the things he says. Never mind that he is an outlier in academic circles. A TWIT Award to Dr. McHugh for his crusade against trans people and TWIT Awards to any media types who believe his wrongheaded opinions. Read about him in the Advocate.


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Category: Transgender Community News, Transgender History

angela_g

About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

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