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The Week In Trans 10/31/16

| Oct 31, 2016
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Pete Burns, the androgynous lead singer of the ‘80s group Dead or Alive, adopted a fully feminine look sometime in the ‘90s. He passed away last week at the age of 57 (or 58 depending on where you read the story.) Burns was odd in that he never adopted a femme name or used feminine pronouns. He once observed, “Everyone’s in drag of some sorts . . . I’m not trying to be a girl by putting on a dress — gender is separated by fabric.” Read the story on the CNN website. His obituary is in The Guardian.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Gavin Grimm’s case. He still is not allowed to use the boys’ room at his high school because of the stay, but the stay will soon be replaced by the Supreme Court decision. Buzzfeed has this story. Mr. Grimm wrote about his experiences in an article for The Washington Post. You can read it here.

Buzzfeed reports that, on August 1, there was a 90-minute conference call between certain LGBT leaders. During the phone call, they discussed whether to compromise on transgender rights. The compromise would have meant that the groups would accept protections of transgender people against discrimination in employment and housing, but without protections in “public accommodations” (i.e., restrooms, locker rooms, etc.). Some thought that groups should take what they could get, while others said that they should hold out for full protections. You can read about the debate in Buzzfeed.

The National Center for Transgender Equality has responded. Mara Keisling has said that she and her organization have not and will not stop fighting for comprehensive rights, including public accommodations. However, when it is impossible to get public accommodations for trans people but some other rights can be had, it may be necessary to get what is available rather than trying to get everything at once. Their response is on their website.

Kataluna Enriquez

Kataluna Enriquez

23-year-old Kataluna Enriquez is the winner of the 2016 Trans Nation Pageant which was held in Los Angeles on October 21. She triumphed over 34 other contestants in the 15th year of the pageant. You can learn more about her and the pageant on the Yahoo newsfeed.

The company that makes Secret deodorant is with us. Their latest commercial in the Secret#StressTest ad campaign features a trans woman in a ladies’ room stall gathering her courage to walk out in front of other women. Admittedly a scenario that can make you sweat. Their catchphrase for this campaign is, “there’s no wrong way to be a woman.” LGBTQ Nation has a story about the ad. Read more in The Huffington Post.

Valentina Sampaio

Valentina Sampaio

Valentina Sampaio is a 19-year-old transgender model, and this month, she graces the cover of Elle Brazil. Ms. Sampaio is an ambassador for L’Oreal Paris, and she publicly announced that she is transgender just recently on L’Oreal’s site. This story is in Yahoo Style.

Spiegel Cover

Spiegel Cover

In another “cover story”: The Spiegel Catalog is not what it once was, but it still exists. Moreover, transgender model Arisce Wanzer is on the cover of its current issue. Ms. Wanzer is represented by Slay Model Management, which specifically represents transgender models and is featured in the TV show Strut. NBC News Out has this story.

Washington, DC’s annual High Heel Race took on a political tone last week as hundreds of queens participated. There were still the standard race costuming with folks dressed up as buckets of fried chicken and Star Trek characters but there were more than the usual number of Donald Trumps and Hillary Clintons running the course. Trump in heels? See some photos and read about the race on the NBC News website.

More than 200 small businesses in Texas came out against Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s recent push for a “Women’s Privacy Act” in the state. They say that such a bill would cost them heavily in the form of lost business. They also believe that such a bill would give the state a reputation as being bad on civil rights. They point to North Carolina’s reputation as a result of HB2. The San Angelo Standard-Times has the Dallas Morning News story on this.

The U.S. military recently made new regulations to allow transgender people to continue their military careers. This week, it was revealed that ten soldiers have asked for recognition in their preferred genders. There are more to come, but these are the first. Edge Boston has more on this. There’s more coverage of this story in The Military Times.

The Pentagon has released new guidelines which will allow transgender veterans to get identification cards with their current genders. These cards can then be used to receive military benefits. This story is in The Hill.

Kim Chi

Kim Chi

A cis female fashion model named Soo Joo Park who has worked for Vogue and walked the runway for some major designers was at a loss about what to wear for Halloween. Drag queen Kim Chi of Drag Race fame to the rescue! Kim Chi did a complete drag makeover on the young model and we’re sure she will get some treats tonight. See a video and photos on the Teen Vogue website.

Last week the students at Morehead University were treated to a drag show and drag talent contest. The show proceeds benefited local AIDs and LGBT charities. 12 students entered the competition and only three emerged as winners. Find out who won and see photos from the event in The Trail Blazer.

Students at Florida Atlantic University were treated to a professional drag show for homecoming. This was the sixth annual drag show on csmpus. Read more in the South Florida Gay News.

Geraldine Roman

Geraldine Roman

Time Magazine came out with lists of the most inspiring people in the world. Geraldine Roman, a member of the legislature of the Philippines and a trans woman, made the list of the 13 most inspiring women. The Cebu Daily News has this story.

Time Magazine also released a list of the most influential teenagers in the world, and one of them was Gavin Grimm. Mr. Grimm, a high school student in Virginia who sued for his right to use the boys’ restroom at school, was one of 30 teenagers on the list. The Daily Press has this story.

GLAAD has updated its Media Reference Guide, and they now recommend the term “LGBTQ” rather than just “LGBT.” GLAAD now encourages journalists to use the five-letter acronym. They say that the “Q” stands for “queer,” as in “gender queer.” GLADD also included definitions for the terms “asexual” and “intersex” in the terminology section. You can read more on the NBC News site.

October 26 was the International Day of Intersex Awareness according to the United Nations. On that day, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights opened a new campaign designed to raise awareness of intersex individuals. You can read more in Gay News Network of Australia.

bianca_del_rioBianca Del Rio, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race in season six, has produced a two part comedy special that will air on Logo. The specials follow Del Rio around as she takes on Hollywood. The show is titled Not Today Bianca and will debut in December. Read more in the LGBT Weekly.

Three years ago, Jesse Thompson sued Hockey Canada, complaining that he was denied access to the boys’ locker room. A settlement was reached in 2014, but it only comes into effect this year. The new policy allows players who identify as transgender to use the dressing room that corresponds to the player’s gender identity. You can read more about it in the Ottawa Citizen.

Ed Wood relaxing in his angora sweater.

Ed Wood relaxing in his angora sweater.

Are you ready for Ed Wood the musical? The 1994 film is being turned into a musical theater show and will take influences from the music of the ‘50s and ‘60s to be the soundtrack for Ed Wood’s life. The show will feature all the things you loved about Ed; the angora sweaters, the giant rubber octopus, an immense brain, and spectacular electrical discharges. Learn more about the show on the Yahoo News feed.

At a conference hosted by the Progress Educational Trust, Professor Allan Pacey of Sheffield University said that transgender patients should be allowed to store eggs or sperm before they transition, just in case they decide to start a family later. He recommended that the National Health Service pay for this. The NHS already provides this service to those who are about to undergo treatment for cancer. This story is in The Scotsman.

A Scottish couple renewed their wedding vows after more than 20 years of marriage. They also got an updated marriage certificate, which lists the couple as Julie and Justine, rather than Julie and Justin. When they renewed their vows, both partners wore dresses. This story is in The Herald.

The World Bank has established a position titled Advisor on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity issues. The newly created position has been filled by Clifton Cortez. Cortez has had 20 years of professional experience in developing countries on various issues including sexual orientation and gender identity. Learn more about Cortez and his role at The World Bank on The World Bank website.



While assembling TWIT we ran across a headline that asked the question “Is it every okay for a man to dress as Caitlyn Jenner for Halloween? Since today is Halloween we went ahead and added the article. The writer say that no, it’s not ever okay for a man to dress as Ms. Jenner saying that gender identity is not a costume. It’s true that if you dress up as Ms. Jenner in the cheap, tawdry costume seen in the photo to the right you should be thrown out of any Halloween party you try to attend. It is mocking and not respectful. But, we must ask, if someone with male parts wishes to do a respectful job of dressing like Ms. Jenner is that okay? Check out the article on the Mic website.

On October 16 there was a memorial celebration for Alexis Arquette held at the California Science Center which was attended by the Arquette family. The memorial was the second that have been held for Arquette. The first was just days after she passed away and was held at a Hollywood restaurant. This story is respectful of Alexis Arquette’s memory as a trans person but the publication flirts with a TWIT Award for illustrating it with a pre-transition photo of Ms. Arquette. See the story in Xposé.


The Alliance Defending Freedom sounds like it would be a patriotic organization that, well, defends people’s freedom to be who they are. It isn’t. It is an organization that files lawsuits claiming that girls’ right to privacy is taken away when there is a trans girl in the girls’ room or locker room. They insist that trans girls are really boys and they have no problem taking away trans girls’ rights. That gets them a TWIT Award. Fortunately voices of reason are speaking up about this idiocy. Read an opinion piece in The New York Times that explains their upside down view of privacy rights.

The North Carolina Values Coalition (another organization with a pleasant sounding name) has recycled an ad that was used to defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The ad, showing a man following a little girl into the ladies’ room, is being used to defend Governor Pat McCrory in his re-election campaign. For spreading the lie that any male can walk into any ladies’ room, presumably for the purpose of voyeurism or sexual assault, the North Carolina Values Coalition gets a TWIT Award. WRAL-TV has more on this.

The University of Delaware’s Young Republicans recently invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak. Mr. Yiannnopoulis is an editor at Breitbart, which has a trophy case full of TWIT awards. [Editor’s note: More like a warehouse.] Posters for the talk appeared on campus, with the phrases “Tr****es are Gay” [the slur was not obliterated on the posters] and “Trans = Mentally Ill.” As for the first, that presumes that being gay is somehow wrong. Being gay is not wrong; being prejudiced against gay people is something to be ashamed of. Beyond that, calling transgender people “gay” shows a lack of knowledge about the diversity of transgender people, as well as an inability to recognize that gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same thing. As has been pointed out here before, disagreeing with psychiatric and psychological professional associations while not being a mental health professional yourself is a form of “delusions of grandeur,” which is a mental illness. Furthermore, the posters featured pictures of Caitlyn Jenner and Michelle Obama. There is a silly bit of nonsense going around that Mrs. Obama is transgender — a total fabrication, although Breitbart is known to promote such untruths. The College Republicans of the University of Delaware get a TWIT Award for inviting an idiot like this to speak, and whoever made up these posters gets a TWIT just for being an idiot. You can read more about it in the University of Delaware’s student newspaper.

Will they block this male, Cro Mo, from the con? Who will they know he's not a she?

Will they block this male, Cro Mo, from the con? Who will they know he’s not a she?

Tokyo Comic Con has issued a new decree — men who cosplay as women will not be admitted. They will allow women to cosplay as male characters. They also will not allow firearms, and all weapons must be checked before entering the auditorium to be sure that they are not functional. For making different rules for men than for women, Tokyo Comic Con gets a TWIT Award. Gay Star News has this story.

A transgender woman in Houston reports that an Uber driver ordered her to leave the car because she is trans. The order came after the driver had asked questions such as, “Are you a stripper?” Such behavior is strictly against Uber’s policy. The driver gets a TWIT Award and no tip. KPRC-TV in Houston has more on this.

Large portions of this edition of TWIT were researched and written by Cecilia Barzyk.

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Category: Transgender Community News


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Assoc., Inc., former editor of its newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She was the Diva of Dish for TGF in the late 1990s and Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows.

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