The Week In Trans 10/22/18

| Oct 22, 2018
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Danielle Skidmore

It is a strange time on the USA. While some forces are at work trying to deny the existence of people with transgender identities there are transgender people running for public office. Two trans women in Texas were motivated by that state’s attempt’s to pass a “bathroom bill” and decided run for Austin City Council. Meet Danielle Skidmore and Jessica Cohen in the Statesman.

Now for the bad news. A memo, which has been circulating among agencies of the U.S. government since this spring, claims that gender is set at birth by genitals. The New York Times reports that the Department of Health and Human Services could push this definition on other agencies before the end of the year, making transgender people no longer a recognized group under the laws of the United States. If this were to happen, court fights like those against the ban on transgender people in the military would certainly follow. The New York Times is the source of this story. (See Angela Gardner’s editorial on this move by the administration.)

In contrast, several members of the British government, as well as advocates for the transgender community, have signed their names to a letter condemning elements of the British media for giving “significant coverage to small groups who wish to. . .roll back trans people’s existing rights.” The letter can be found at Pink News.

Jake Graf

Transgender actor Jake Graf says that the transgender community is “under attack.” His comments, and those of some others, can be found on Shortlist.

Lambda Legal has filed suit against the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, over its refusal to change the gender on a birth certificate. The department’s deputy secretary for public affairs said, “The Kansas Department of Health and Environment does not have the authority to change an individual’s birth certificate, with the exception of minor corrections or by court order. Gender identity would not be considered a minor correction.” Earlier this year, a federal court in Idaho declared that that state must issue new birth certificates to transgender people who meet certain requirements. The Kansas City Star has this story.

The Question Time woman.

Pink News also reports on a transgender woman in the audience of the BBC show Question Time. She spoke about some of the myths surrounding transgender people, and of her own experiences as a transgender woman. She said, “The problem with a Gender Recognition Certificate [existing law] is that I’m still asking someone else permission to be myself.”

The period of consultation on the reform of the Gender Recognition Act was extended until Monday, October 22, because the government’s site had trouble keeping up with the number of people trying to put their opinions into the consultation. The announcement of the extension can be found on the website with instructions for submitting your form.

The new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics about how to care for transgender children prompted an article in The New York Times about medical care for transgender children.

The ballot in Massachusetts will have a referendum on that state’s law allowing public accommodations for transgender people. WBUR radio ran a segment on Question 3, while The Boston Globe ran a story about transgender people campaigning door-to-door on the issue, and Wicked Needham talked with Tracy McKay, a local mother who fears the impact this could have on her two transgender daughters.

Laverne Cox in Self.

Laverne Cox is the subject of a profile in Self magazine.

Last Friday marked the end of the British government’s period of consultation on the matter of reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004. Samantha”>Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast takes a look at the many misrepresentations of the proposed reform that have appeared in the British media.

As Samantha Allen points out, the British government complains that many people have been arguing about things that are not part of their reform of the Gender Recognition Act, such as whether the government will acknowledge that transgender people exist and who can use which restroom.

As if to prove that point, The Guardian posted an article which notes that nearly 200 academics (some retired) complain about how they are not allowed to debate the reform of the GRA in the same way that they debate other topics. (The original letter can be found here.) And yet, the only specific topics mentioned in the article are ones that the government have said are not topics that will be covered in the reform of the GRA.

Thanks to TGF reader Jamie Roberts for pointing us to an article on gender dysphoria in Health Journal. The article has a lot of information about trans identity but it also includes the voices of those who criticize the accepted science on transgender identity. Give it a read and see what you think. 

Gigi Gorgeous

Gigi Gorgeous has written an autobiography, entitled He Said, She Said. It will be released next April, but can be preordered now, according to Tubefilter.

Andrew Schriver, a lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio, is now offering to fill out name change documents for free for transgender people. The transgender applicant will still need to pay the fee for filing the paperwork with the court. Cleveland Scene has more on his pro bono work.

Being transgender can be expensive, even if one decides not to go through a medical transition. CNN Business ran a feature on companies deciding to cover transgender medical care.

Dr. Rachel McKinnon won a world cycling title at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles. She won a sprint for women ages 35 to 44. In so doing, she became the first transgender woman to win a women’s cycling event. This story comes from Cycling News.

The BBC ran a profile of racing driver Charlie Martin, who decided to stay with the sport while undergoing a gender transition.

Michelle Barrett

Last week was Hate Crimes Awareness Week, and Michelle Barrett spoke to Hull Live about her experiences as a transgender woman and the abuse she has received from strangers.

Connor Freel is a trans man who works for the police in Wales. He tells BBC News about the abuse he received early in his transition.

Last Thursday was Spirit Day. WVTF radio ran a story about Side By Side, a group in Virginia that helps train teachers and school administrators in how to deal with transgender students. The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia brought Side By Side in to help train their school employees.

Also for Spirit Day, actress Emma Watson shared a picture of herself via Instagram in which she wore a tee shirt with the statement, “Trans Rights Are Human Rights.”

Christine Halquist

The Burlington Free Press notes that, while Christine Halquist has tried to keep her gender identity out of her campaign for Governor of Vermont, she is proud when told that she has become a good role model for LGBTQ people and especially for the transgender community.

Women who perform drag exist — they just don’t get as famous as their male counterparts. Several have found themselves working for tips while a male drag queen gets paid to perform. Physical encounters with male performers happen as well, as some performers told Into More.

Menstruation is a subject that people rarely want to talk about publicly. It can be quite inconvenient for trans men, psychologically and in practical terms. Some trans women feel that they are missing out on a part of being a woman by not menstruating. The South China Morning Post has the story.

Researchers in Britain studied identical twins in which one of the pair was heterosexual and the other was not. They found that in female identical twins, the lesbian was more likely to have index finger and ring finger of different size, while the heterosexual was less likely to have index and ring fingers of different size. They found no such similar characteristic in the males. If you are in academia and need to do some research, you could try this same experiment with twins in which one is transgender and the other isn’t. This report came from BBC Health.

Érica Malunguinho

Érica Malunguinho, a transgender Brazilian of African ancestry, was elected to the Sao Paulo City Council. Of the more than fifty transgender people who ran in that country’s recent election, she was the only candidate to win. Into More has this story.

Transgender people have the option to come out to someone or not, as they see fit. Often, there is a big, generalized announcement to a lot of people, and the trans person has to determine who needs to know and who does not. Some people who aren’t specifically told will catch on anyway, while others just don’t seem to notice. One tale of someone who didn’t notice, and how hard it can be to bring up the subject, is found in this article in The Huffington Post.

Jazz Jennings appeared on Nightline last Monday. You can find the preview for the episode on ABC News’s website.

Jackie all grown up.

Another young transitioner, Jackie Green, was the subject of a profile in the Daily Mail. Her story was one of several which were used in the fictional television drama Butterfly, which began airing on ITV in Britain this week.

Netflix is creating a new Tales Of The City series. It will feature several LGBTQ characters and a lot of LGBTQ talent behind the cameras. Two transgender characters will be featured. You can read more about it on GLAAD’s website.

A picture of Jupiter taken last February by the Hubble Space Telescope was the picture of the day on NASA’s web site on Tuesday. The picture shows Jupiter in ultraviolet, showing shades of light blue, pink, and white. This led people to observe that Jupiter was in the colors of the transgender flag. Pink News had this story.

New Zealand is planning to reform its health care system’s policy on gender surgery, removing a maximum number of gender confirmation surgeries that the plan would pay for in any calendar year. The previous funding level was three female-to-male surgeries and one male-to-female surgery in a two-year period. This had led to an outrageous waiting list for the surgeries. This story comes from Newsroom.

Drag tipster Buff Faye .

Our founder JoAnn Roberts used to say that Halloween was a day of “holy obligation” for crossdressers. That may be due to her Catholic upbringing but it is an important day for many in the trans community. It’s the one night of the year a man can dress up as a glamorous lady and get compliments on his feminine look. Since the day is coming soon if you haven’t thought of a female icon to impersonate you can always be a drag queen. Find seven tips on how to put the look together on the Qnotes website.

Fox 5 Atlanta brings us the story of identical twins Jack and Jace Grafe, who transitioned together.

Lorhna Finlayson, Katharine Jenkins, and Rosie Worsdale have put together a feminist case against the feminist case against trans inclusivity. In other words, it’s a feminist case against TERF thought.


We mentioned above that Dr. Rachel McKinnon won a cycling race last week. The folks at the Christian Broadcasting Network wrote about it in a story entitled, “Transgender Man Who Says He’s A Woman Wins Women’s World Championship.” For leading with their bias, the Christian Broadcasting Network gets a TWIT. You can find the story here.

Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, issued a decree outlawing gender studies in that country’s universities. He claims that gender studies are not rooted in science, but ideology. In fact, this move is part of an ideologically-driven attempt to stop Central European University. For accusing others of his own motive, Victor Orban gets a TWIT. You can read more in Newsweek.

The Beatles sang there were “Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire”and after reading the news today we must assume those holes are of a lower anatomical nature. The headline reads “Transgender hate crime is rising in Lancashire.” What’s the problem? Are the area’s lads all afraid they’ll be converted? Or that they’ll get romantically interested in a trans woman? A TWIT Award goes to Lancashire’s haters for attacking people who are not a threat to them. The story is in the Lancashire Post.

Does anyone remember the use of “petticoat punishment” for boys who did something wrong? It was used, or older crossdressers have claimed it was used, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. If young Jimmy did something bad his dad would make him wear girl’s clothes for a day or more. As often as this worked to teach a lesson it probably created lots of Jimmys who grew up to enjoy the feel of feminine attire. Today though we have a story that is just plain odd. A boy in Texas was disrespectful of his mother and his father decided to punish him. Did he make the boy wear a dress? No. Dad put on a “pretty black dress” and walked his son to the school bus. He made sure all the kids saw him and knew he was his son’s dad. His kid was probably embarrassed but is this really a good way to discipline a child? Or was dad Joseph Blakeney just looking for an excuse to wear that dress? We’re giving Blakeney a TWIT Award for all of it but also because he has a full beard that just didn’t go with that little black dress. See the whole story on Yahoo Lifestyle.

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 ()

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

Comments (1)

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  1. j2emily j2emily says:

    everyone should read “When Harry Becomes Sally” an anti-trans book written by a staffer at the Heritage Foundation.A classic example of how facts can be twisted to make a point . Know thine enemy.

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