The Week In Trans 11/19/18

| Nov 19, 2018
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Brianna Titone

Brianna Titone was giving an interview about her election fight to get a seat in the Colorado legislature when she got a phone call from her opponent — conceding the race. She becomes one of four transgender state legislators. This story is in Colorado Politics.

Now that the dust is settling on the midterm election, the newly-elected Congress is deciding what issues to tackle early. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, who will presumably become its chairman in January, has said that getting rid of the ban on transgender people in the military will be a top priority for that committee. The Washington Examiner has this story.

Despite the results of the midterm election, there are many challenges facing transgender people in the courts and in the government. The Open Society Foundations has more on this.

After a bit of a battle in courts, the state of Colorado is adding the option for a gender marker of “X” to its state ID cards and driver’s licenses. However, anyone requesting the change will either need to get a form signed by a medical or mental health professional, or else go through the process of changing the gender marker on their birth certificate to non-binary. The Denver Channel has more.

The Washington, D.C. school system has begun offering students the opportunity to have a non-binary gender marker. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for pointing out the story in The Washington Post.

More and more people now have identification documents with a non-binary “X” for their gender marker. The airlines have not kept up, still listing only “male” and “female”  in their reservations systems, according to this story from Into.

The Advocate combined Transgender Awareness Week and Veterans Day to come up with the idea for a gallery of nine transgender veterans with their thoughts on the military and on being transgender.

It’s a shame that transgender people are having trouble booking flights, because Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast reports that traveling as your real self is very helpful in the growth of a transgender person. (Dina Amberle comments on the Samantha Allen story in her Dina’s Diner column.)

Strawberry Hampton

Although guidelines from the Department of Justice say that genitals should be the driving determinant in housing a transgender prisoner, a federal judge has told the state of Illinois to review the case of Strawberry Hampton, a prisoner who states she is a victim of a variety of sexual abuse while in prison. The judge also said that the prisoner should be allowed to attend a transgender support group while incarcerated. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

In observance of Transgender Awareness Week, Market Watch’s feature “Moneyish” ran an article about twelve ways to make a workplace more transgender-inclusive.

One workplace which is not transgender-inclusive is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. As reported last week, Vogue ran an interview with Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret. In the interview, he said, “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.” It took a little while before Hazel Cills of Jezebel noticed and reacted to that particular quote. Others noticed both the old-fashioned word “transsexual” in the quote (a word more commonly found in porn titles than clinical talk these days) and the generally dismissive tone. Although Mr. Razek ran an apology on the Victoria’s Secret twitter feed, Mic reports on a lot of continuing negative feedback both on the dis at transgender models and at the equal disrespect for plus-size models. People Magazine also noted a negative reaction from Rihanna, who also took exception to a comment Mr. Razek made about her copying their pregnant models in her own fashion show.

Oslo Grace

Refinery 29 ran an interview with Oslo Grace, a non-binary model who works fashion shows as a male or female model. Oslo credits modeling with getting them in touch with their feminine side.

Speaking of fashion, Celine Dion has created a new line of gender-neutral children’s clothing. Into has this story.

Also in time for Transgender Awareness Week, Jake Graf released a new short film titled Listen. You can find it at The Huffington Post.

Erin Swenson, a transgender woman who is a Presbyterian minister as well as a licensed counselor, held a two-day workshop in Charlottesville, Virginia, titled “Beyond Pink and Blue: Transitions and Transgender Care.” It was aimed especially at faith leaders. An article about the event was featured in Presbyterian Outlook.

Joy Ladin, a transgender Jewish poet and scholar, has written a new book, The Soul Of The Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective. She spoke about the book to Tablet Magazine.

Although the Hawaii Department of Education has specified that, in that state, Title IX protections against “discrimination on the basis of sex” includes prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, Honolulu Civil Beat has found that such discrimination still happens in some cases.

The American Association of University Professors’ Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure and its Committee on Women in the Academic Profession on Thursday released a statement on the Trump administration’s reported plan to narrow the definition of gender under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender-based discrimination. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the tip.

A new study of primary care doctors in the United States found that most were willing to provide typical health care to transgender patients, although they found that older doctors were less likely to provide care. Medscape has a review of this study. The full study can be found in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Geena Rocero

For Transgender Awareness Week, Refinery 29 ran a profile of model Geena Rocero, along with a gallery of pictures.

Scienceline notes that the proposed change to the legal definition of “sex” could lead to an increase in mental health problems for transgender people.

The Guardian is asking transgender people in Britain to tell them about their experiences with health care in that country.

St. Charles Healthcare System in Bend, Oregon, has taken the step of removing gender markers from those identification bracelets that they put on the wrists of patients. The Bend Bulletin is our source for this story.

For Transgender Awareness Week, Scary Mommy ran a list of things that the parent of a transgender child hears a lot, and the responses, while The Guardian ran a letter from a mother to her transgender daughter (which largely tells the history of her daughter’s transition).

One of the things that often comes up in discussions of transgender people is the use of public restrooms. A professor of architecture, Joel Sanders of Yale, discussed restroom design on NPR.

Christopher Cantwell, an avowed white supremacist who was involved in the Charlottesville rally, has created a new video game in which the player tries to kill as many people as possible in an LGBT nightclub. He crammed extra neo-Nazi propaganda into both the game and the promotion for it, to the point that YouTube removed the advertising video for “violations of community standards.” You can read about it in LGBTQ Nation.

Robyn Alice McCutcheon

Robyn Alice McCutcheon talks of being a diplomat and working for NASA, then finding out that her government does not want to recognize her gender, in an article for The Huffington Post.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda wants to remove all references to LGBT people from the school curriculum. This goes against the standards of the European Union, but is a direction which several former communist countries have chosen. Into has this story.

Police in Sumatra used a fire hose to break up a group of transgender women who were spending time on a beach. The dousing with water was in the style of a cleansing ritual practiced in Islam. This report comes from Gay Star News.

Tinder of India has increased the number of genders available on their site, according to the Hindustan Times.

Eastern Michigan University’s Women’s Resource Center will no longer host productions of The Vagina Monologues, noting that the play’s version of feminism excludes transgender women. Thanks to Kristina Mayhem for pointing out the story on the MLive Arbor News.

A segment of the “Fearless” feature of The Ellen DeGeneres Show recently featured Ricky, a trans man from Kansas City who had never met another transgender person. Well, he has now met Laverne Cox, and the encounter was captured on camera.

The Conversation featured a profile of Magnus Hirschfeld, who tried to get the medical community to recognize LGBT people in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Spectrum ran a profile on the late Ben Barres, a transgender scientist who studied the way that the brain works.

Jehri Jones

Thanksgiving and the holiday season bring thoughts of family, but many transgender people have complicated and sometimes problematic relationships with their family members. A new documentary film called The Joneses looks at the complicated relationship of Jheri Jones and her family. When she came out as transgender, her children were not in an accepting mood, but that changed over time, as the film shows. Meaww has an interview with Ms. Jones.

A trio of drag artists have formed a family of sorts in Atlanta. They talk about it in an interview with Them.

The Advocate ran an interview with Càel M. Keegan, a professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He talked of Lana and Lily Wachowski and their films.


David Hookstead of The Daily Caller has a different view of the comments that Ed Razek made about transgender models. He notes, “There has been unnecessary outrage” over the remarks, and later said that, “For some unknown reason, he then had to release an apology.” Apparently, courtesy is a foreign concept to Hookstead. For putting his transphonia on full display, David Hookstead gets a TWIT Award.

Both Georgi Boorman of The Federalist and Michael L. Brown of LifeSiteNews take the fact that Emil Ratelband of the Netherlands made a quick mention of changing gender in a lawsuit asking to lower his age as a sign of the absurdity of being transgender. The suit itself is more of a social commentary than anything else, and certainly has no basis in established law. The man who filed the suit knows that full well, and treats it as such. Sadly, that attitude is nowhere to be found in either of these articles. For getting so wrapped up in themselves that they have to use this as an excuse to show their anti-science bias, these two get TWITs.

Speaking of anti-science, Apolo Villalobos of The American Thinker goes on a rant against “transgender mania.” He displays no connection to reality, and certainly no familiarity with how the world actually treats transgender people. His knowledge of science stopped in grade school, and yet, he thinks that he can lecture professional scientists on the subject. For living in an unreal world of his own making, Apolo Villalobos gets 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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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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