The Week In Trans 1/7/19

| Jan 7, 2019
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Julia Grant

Julia Grant, who appeared in a BBC documentary titled A Change Of Sex back in the 1970s, has died, according to BBC News.

An appeals court in Washington, D.C., has sided with the Trump administration in regards to the ban on transgender troops. It is a limited victory, as the stay on the ban is still in effect. The ruling says that Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly was wrong to dismiss the Mattis Plan as simply a new statement of the same ban. The appeals court says that some transgender people are allowed to serve, so it isn’t a blanket ban. The appeals court also notes that a “panel of experts” were consulted in regards to this plan. So, the matter is back in the lower court, with a clarification on this point. The Hill has this story.

While the case of the ban on transgender people serving in the military goes back to the district courts for further arguments, the Supreme Court will this week discuss the requests from the Department of Justice to intervene in the matter. The Supreme Court could agree to hear the case later this term, or to issue a stay on the injunctions which keep the Department of Defense from implementing the ban. The Supreme Court could also let the matter stay in lower courts, which would be the normal course of things. You can read more at Lawfare.

While the courts discuss the legality of the proposed ban on open service by transgender people, Smithsonian Magazine puts a human face on the issue, by taking a look at some transgender people currently serving in the armed forces.

Tarrence Robertson-Bayless is a trans man soldier who transitioned on the job in 2016 and is currently deployed to the Middle East with Minnesota’s 34th Infantry Division. Even though he is serving overseas, at home he is running for the St. Paul City Council’s Ward 4 seat. His campaign manager is getting his name out there until he returns from active duty and can actively campaign. Learn more about Robertson-Bayless from City Pages.

Zoey Kim-Zeggelaar

After making a few attempts to live openly as a woman went badly Zoey Kim-Zeggelaar had given up and was living miserably as a man and working as a Crown prosecutor. Near the end of 2017 she decided she couldn’t do it any longer and that lead to her transition. Read her story in the Regina Leader-Post.

The members of Congress elected last November have been sworn in and are at work. One of the new members from Virginia, Jennifer Wexton, has a transgender pride flag next to the Virginia state flag outside of her office. The Washingtonian tells us that it is personal with her, as she is an aunt to a transgender child.

The new Congress has to pass its own rules on how to conduct business. One of the rules the new House of Representatives approved for itself is an extended ban on discrimination that includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. This report comes from NPR.

Some new laws came in on January 1. California will now allow driver’s licenses and state ID cards to carry a non-binary designation of “X” for sex. The Guardian has this story.

Also new on January 1, New York City allows birth certificates to feature the non-binary “X” designation for sex. You can read more at Gothamist Magazine.

Two new studies about transgender patients were found in the journal Clinical Chemistry. One found that the incidence of Deep Vein Thrombosis in transgender women taking estrogen was less than in cisgender women taking birth control pills. Another study showed that heart disease factors were not significantly affected by modern HRT medications. You can read a summary of the studies at Transgender Universe.

Sophie Rebecca

One would not expect to find a British transgender ballerina in Montana, but, Sophie Rebecca, a British transgender ballerina is preparing to dance in Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre’s Ballet Beyond Borders event January 9-12 in Missoula, Montana. Learn more about Sophie and the event in the Missoulian.

A study of roundworms found a genetic cause for early puberty, which is in an area of DNA that is remarkably similar to human DNA. Also in this study, they found an area of DNA which is present only in males; if it is not present in a particular male, that male will move like a female roundworm. This could lead to finding a genetic cause for some people being transgender. Medical Xpress has more on this study.

Jair Bolsonaro has been sworn in as president of Brazil. One of his first acts was to sign an executive order which reduced civil rights protections for LGBTI people, as well as indigenous groups and descendants of slaves. The new Human Rights Ministry is not allowed to consider expanding rights for LGBTI people, according to the Associated Press.

Maria Miller, the chairwoman of the Women and Equalities Committee for the British House of Commons, complains that the reforms to the Gender Recognition Act have gotten in the way of improving services for transgender people. She says that reforms to health services are more needed than reforms to laws regarding identification. Sky News has this story.

Jessica Samson

As if to prove Maria Miller’s point, The Daily Mail ran a story about Jessica Samson, who was approved for laser hair removal of her beard in July but is still waiting to begin treatment, and shaving twice a day.

Pakistan’s first ever transgender pride festival was held in Lahore, according to Pink Star News.

For the second time in a month, a transgender woman in the Malaysian town of Klang was killed. The second death was over an allegation that the victim stole a cell phone. The Star has more on both incidents.

BBC News took a look at the NHS program to preserve eggs and sperm from transgender teens before they begin medical treatment for gender dysphoria.

Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast talked to some transgender actors about the idea of a transgender James Bond. The discussion raised the question of whether the script should mention James Bond as transgender or not.

Gia Gunn

Gia Gunn talked with the Race Chaser podcast about her recent appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars. She says that she talked with RuPaul about post-transition trans women being on the show, but that discussion never made it to air. Pink News has this story.

Wisconsin state employees were kept from transgender medical care because of an executive order from Governor Scott Walker. Governor Walker has left office, and the state will again include transgender medical care for state employees in its insurance coverage. The story comes from Wisconsin Public Radio.

Albert Weathers is charged in the murder of Kelly Stough in Detroit. He went before a judge last week. WJBK-TV reports that his lawyer is trying to make it seem that the defendant was afraid for his life, even though witnesses tell a very different story.

Franklin Graham was briefly banned by Facebook this week, for comments he made disparaging transgender people. He received an apology less than 24 hours later. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

Safiey Ilias

In news from Malaysia we learn that transgender cosmetics millionaire Safiey Ilias has been invited to a “tea session” by Federal Territories mufti Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad, a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters. Could this be a step toward eliminating the fatwa calling transgender un-Islamic? Learn more from MalayMail.

Multiple TWIT Award winner Walt Heyer has a new book, Trans Life Survivors, in which he talks about thirty people who have regretted their transition or de-transitioned. The Federalist has a review, the tone of which you can probably guess. (The Federalist has so many TWIT awards, they don’t know what to do with them.)

Researcher Megan Cifarelli has been working at the ancient Hasanlu burial site in northwest Iran. She has found several items buried there. Weapons were often buried with males, while garment pins were often buried with females. Yet, about 20% of the bodies buried there seem to have items associated with both males and females. This seems to indicate that they recognized more than two genders. Haaretz gave us this story.

Billy Porter

Billy Porter, who had the starring role in the Broadway show Kinky Boots and appeared in the television show Pose as Pray Tell, the MC of the house balls, has decided at the age of 50 to openly express his feminine side. To indulge that notion he has been making the rounds of award shows appearing on the red carpet in gorgeous dresses. Read about his new fashion expression in The New York Times.

A mother writes about finding how to support her transgender son. Her story is in The Des Moines Register.

Stories of pregnant men are getting to be more common, and The San Antonio Current has one from that part of Texas.

The end of the year is often a time to look back. Mara Keisling writes about transgender stories of 2018 in Medium. Clara Barnhurst does the same in Transgender Universe. Medpage Today has a review of various medical studies on transgender health care that came out this year. The Advocate looks ahead at court cases affecting LGBT people which might or will be on dockets for 2019.

Gazal Dhaliwal

From India comes the story of a woman who transitioned both career and gender. Gazal Dhaliwal left engineering to become a screenwriter. The Better India has her story.

NBC News has a series of advice articles called “Better.” As a part of this series, they consulted some experts on how to interact with a transgender child and that child’s family.


We mentioned above the article from NBC News which offered advice on how to interact with transgender children and their families. The article was hoping to reach some people who read conservative web pages, but The Blaze had an article which basically mocked the advice from the experts cited in the NBC article. The article says, “The risk of these behaviors [anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, drug and alcohol addiction, and risky sexual behaviors] are reduced if there is social support for a person choosing to be a different gender, supporters say.” No one chooses to be a different gender; at most, we choose to show that different gender to the world. Secondly, it is not necessarily supporters who say that these things are reduced; it is studies. For a very slanted article which ignores the findings of science, The Blaze gets a TWIT Award.

Some end-of-year articles were mentioned above. The Christian Post ran an article by Brandon Showalter entitled, “Top 5 transgender activism moments in 2018.” Mr. Showalter certainly does not put a positive spin on transgender activism. For supporting discrimination, Brandon Showalter gets a TWIT.

The Catholic News Agency has an article which largely retells the contents of an article from The Christian Post. Both articles are critical of the safety of hormone replacement therapy medications (which are referred to as “synthetic hormone injections” in the headline). The first doctor whom they mention is Dr. Paul Hruz, who has co-authored articles with Dr. Paul McHugh and Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, two doctors whose theories in opposition to transgender medicine have fallen into disfavor (to put it mildly). They also quote the current president of the American College of Pediatricians, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, and Dr. Michael Laidlaw, who has been a well-known critic of medical therapy for transgender children. For loading up with a bunch of prejudiced doctors while never presenting the AMA’s side of the argument, The Catholic News Agency and The Christian Post get a TWIT Award.

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


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Every week Cecilia Barzyk diligently scans the internet to assemble as much trans-related information from the weekly news as possible.

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