The Week In Trans 1/14/19

| Jan 14, 2019
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Kristen Prata Browde

Kristen Prata Browde is the new president of LeGaL, the association of LGBT lawyers in the state of New York. She is the first transgender person to head that group, according to The New York Law Journal.

Amber Harrell and Jessica Fowler were charged with sexual assault for making unwanted sexual advances towards a transgender woman. The incident began in the ladies’ room (which they locked, so that the transgender woman could not get out — this led to a charge of second-degree kidnapping). The ladies continued their pursuit of the transgender woman at the bar, according to testimony by the bartender. You can read more at The Daily Beast. Ms. Bob Davis found more coverage of the story on NBC News.

New Jersey is about to become the fourth state to issue gender-neutral birth certificates. The law will go into effect on February 1. News 12 New Jersey has more.

University of North Carolina Public Radio did a feature on what it is like to be transgender in the Southern United States, specifically what it’s like when attempting to access health care.

Arqueze Girdy

A rodeo organization in Texas says that a transgender woman was unable to participate in a barrel racing competition because she didn’t bring her birth certificate to register. Arqueze Girdy is a fifth generation rodeo competitor and she has won many competitions. Learn more from the ABC 13 website.

Dana Martin, 31, of Hope Hull, Alabama, is the first identified transgender murder victim of 2019 in the United States. Her body was found in her car with bullet wounds. The Advocate has more.

On the international front, Hurriyel Daily News reports that an off-duty police officer shot and killed Hande Seker, a transgender woman, in Turkey. Gay Star News reports that transgender woman Nicolly Banks was shot eleven times while on her way to the gym in an incident in Brazil. And in Pakistan, a gunman shot at a transgender woman as she was dancing at a wedding. The transgender woman in Pakistan survived the incident, according to The Mirror.

The exact number of transgender people who are murdered is unknown, since many law enforcement agencies only record the legal gender of a victim. The Mississippi Clarion Ledger has a case in point: Samuel Little has confessed to several murders, some dating as far back as the 1970s. As he tells the stories, it seems that two of his victims were transgender, but never so identified officially at the time.

North Carolina is still losing business because of HB142 and its replacement, HB2. Netflix is doing a series about coming of age in the Outer Banks, and wants to shoot in North Carolina, but the lingering effects of anti-transgender legislation has led to the production team looking at filming sites in South Carolina. The Advocate has more.

DeAnna Letray

A transgender woman named DeAnna LeTray was in a dispute with her daughter’s boyfriend and was arrested by police and taken to police headquarters where they strip searched her, pulled off her wig, hog-tied her and sexually abused her by probing and fondling her genitals. She complained to the New York State Division of Human Rights and was told that it was out of their jurisdiction. She and the ACLU are suing to get the agency to investigate. Learn more from the Fox28 website.

One of the issues that affect transgender people in the United States is access to transgender medical care, including the matter of getting health insurance to cover transgender medical care. Crosscut used the story of one family’s battle with insurance to talk about the issue on a larger scale.

Although national health insurance covers transgender care in Britain, the wait times are tremendous, and many people are choosing to go through private insurance. Gay Star News reports on a new group called Beyond, who are creating fundraisers in Bristol, with profits going to help pay for transgender people to get private healthcare.

The state of Idaho was recently ordered by a federal court to pay for the gender reassignment surgery of a prisoner. Governor Brad Little has said that the Department of Corrections has filed an appeal of that decision. The Idaho Statesman has this story.

Gwendolyn Smith of LGBTQ Nation points out that both Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Kamala Harris have in the past disagreed with the idea of a state providing gender reassignment surgery for a transgender prisoner, yet both have come to see the issue differently now.

A top aide to a Republican state lawmaker in Maryland was charged last Thursday with violating election law in connection with a deceptive robo-call that accused a GOP rival of supporting transgender rights. Read the story in The Washington Post. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for letting us know about the story.


Marvel Comics has introduced a drag queen mutant to their X-Men comic Iceman. Her name is Shade and her power is teleportation, which she activates by snapping open a handheld fan. Learn more about this new drag super hero from Metro U.K.

The Keystone Conference returns to Harrisburg, Pa. in March. The event is set for March 20 – 24 and organizers are looking at a packed event. The conference schedule is now posted online. Those who are interested in doing a workshop or seminar have until tomorrow (Jan. 15) to submit their proposal.

A study out of Australia shows a marked increase in the number of people getting care for transgender-related medical issues for the first time. It also notes that these people are more likely than the average Australian to have experienced depression or anxiety, been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum, or been diagnosed as having ADHD. Because of this, there is a recommendation for a multidisciplinary approach to treatment of transgender patients. This study was summarized in Healio.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department conducted an investigation into some of its members who had spread a picture of a transgender person online and made some unfortunate remarks about the person in the photo. Seven people were given suspensions or demotions, and all seven were ordered to undergo sensitivity training. WTVF-TV News has this story.

The Los Angeles Times ran a list of the worst dressed people at the Golden Globes ceremony. One of the people on that list was Our Lady J, a transgender writer and performer. She responded that she is 6-foot-2-and-a-half, and there were only eight gowns in all of Los Angeles that would fit her. The Advocate has more.

Amber Heard brought a special date to The Golden Globe Awards, trans woman Corey Rae. You can find this story, and pictures, in People magazine.

The Texas legislature reconvened this week. Representative Garnet Coleman will introduce a bill to amend the state’s hate crime law to include crimes based on gender identity or gender expression, as he has done for the last six sessions. He spoke about the effort with KUT public radio.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the Texas state flag which flew over the capitol building to honor the transgender citizens of Texas on the first day of the state’s legislative session this year will go to Amber Briggle, who bought it at auction to honor her transgender son, Max.

Assistant Principal Lee Livingood made headlines recently for his harassment of a transgender student in a boy’s room. The school board has suspended the assistant principal through February 1. Moreover, his return is conditioned upon several requirements. Also, sensitivity training will be implemented across the school district, according to USA Today.

Wordcrunch has the story of a family in Colombia which was having trouble getting a school to accept their transgender daughter. The story shows how similar things are the world around.

Bobbi Swan

A former contributor to TGForum with her column on “Maidhood, ” Bobbi Swan, has passed away at the age of 88. She wrote that column during the 1990s and after she retired from her male job, which is a story in itself, she had gender confirmation surgery in the early 2000s. Thanks to Jan Brown for letting us know about the full obituary in the San Diego Union Tribune.

The Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad begins on January 15 and continues to March 4 this year. It is one of the holiest events in Hinduism. Processions with holy men and women atop floats go through the streets. This year’s procession included transgender gurus. There is an article and photos at BBC News.

Also in India, the Congress Party has named transgender woman Apsara Reddy as a secretary general of the party’s women’s wing. She is the first transgender person appointed to an office within the party. NDTV has more.

Safiey Ilias, a transgender woman who owns a a cosmetics company in Malaysia, declined the invitation to tea with Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamed, the mufti of the Federal Territories of Malaysia. She said that she has had enough interaction with religious leaders to know that this would not turn out well, according to Malay Online.

Elliot Draznin

The University of Cincinnati’s Jewish sorority, a chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi, has elected Elliot Draznin as its new president. It is the first time that the sorority has a president who does not identify as female. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency profiled them.

The Daily Mail profiled Britain’s first pregnant man, Hayden Cross, who has given birth.

The Independent ran the story of Desmond Napoles, a 10-year-old from Brooklyn who created a drag club specifically for children.

Being transgender is different for today’s youth than it was for people just 15 to 20 years ago. Much of the guilt and shame that held back people’s transitions is not there for modern youth. Being transgender is just another aspect of someone, not a sin viewed with horror by the whole cisgender world. Except for the conservatives on the right who refuse to accept our existence and make up things like Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria to undermine the truth of transgender existence. Jennifer Finney Boylan has a few things to say about R.O.G.D. in her New York Times op-ed and how she was surprised at what she felt when her own child came out as a trans girl.

In the video game New Super Mario Bros. U Deuxe, Nintendo included a “Super Crown” which allows Toadette to temporarily become Peachette. In their announcement of the feature, Nintendo said, “Sorry, Luigi, only Toadette can use this item.” This led some people to speculate that Luigi wanted to become Peachette, at least temporarily — or, in other words, that Luigi is transgender. You can read some of the tweets about this at The Daily Dot.

Jennifer N. Pritzker

Jennifer Pritzker is a transgender woman, a Republican, and a retired lieutenant colonel. She writes that the Republican party — the party with which she aligns herself politically — is altogether wrong when it comes to transgender issues. Her op-ed for The Washington Post also appears in The Chicago Tribune. Jamie Roberts pointed us to the Post article.


Victor Joecks wrote an editorial for the Las Vegas Review-Journal in which he points and laughs at people who celebrate the fact that Nevada has a legislature which has more females than males and a female majority on the state Supreme Court, but still suggest that “a man can become a woman simply by declaring himself so.” He claims the statement, “Every cell has a sex,” means that every cell has either an “XX” or “XY” chromosome pair. There are quite a few people who have neither an “XX” nor an “XY” pair, there are some who have mosaic chromosomes (meaning that some cells have a different chromosomal pattern than others), and besides, DNA is far more complicated than just those few chromosomes he looks at. For taking a very complex science and simplifying it until it is no longer true, Victor Joecks gets a TWIT Award.

The Upper Cumberland Pride Organization decided to hold a Drag Queen Story Time at the Putnam County Library in Tennessee. They reserved the room, picked out a book, advertised their event, and drew a crowd which had a great time. Then, when they did it a second time, two fundamentalist Christian churches attended. The room was more crowded than the fire marshal would allow, even before the children arrived. The children were in the hallway, crying that they did not get the promised event. For causing such unhappiness, these alleged Christians get a TWIT Award. You can read more at Scary Mommy.

Mat Staver of the Liberty Council is asking Congress to vote against the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, or at least amend it. His complaint is simple: it includes LGBT people. That’s right, it bothers him that, if the act passes, he and his fellow believers will be forbidden from lynching. In fairness, his complaint is somewhat more complex; once LGBT people get included in this act, LGBT people will be included in other civil rights legislation as well. This is known in logic as a “slippery slope,” implying that one step from the high ground will result in sliding until you get to the bottom. The slippery slope is a logical fallacy. For using a logical fallacy, Mat Staver gets a TWIT. You can read more at One News Now.

The Daily Wire ran a story, which was later rewritten by The Blaze and The New American about a website called Trans Kids. One of the items for sale there was (and yes, the past tense is correct here — after the uproar, several items were removed from their online catalogue) a packer for younger transgender boys. They seem not to be completely aware that a packer is not a sex toy. For shaming something without understanding what it is, The Daily Wire, The Blaze, and The New American all get a TWIT Award.

Alliance Defending Freedom has sued the city of Anchorage, Alaska to stop it from applying a gender identity law to the Hope Center homeless shelter, which denied entry to a transgender woman last year. The shelter is a faith based shelter and it contends that the presence of “biological males” sleeping next to the shelter’s cisgender users would traumatize them. We hope the Hope Center will not be traumatized by its brand new TWIT Award. Get the AP story from

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional content and editing by Angela Gardner. Care to make a comment on this post? Login here and use the comment area below.

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Category: Transgender Community News


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.

Comments (2)

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  1. christiewo christiewo says:


    A link appears to be missing for the Jennifer Finney Boylan piece in the 1/14/19 This week in Trans. It looks like it should be:
    Opinion | Coming Out as Trans Isn’t a Teenage Fad – The New York …

    Love Ya,

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