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The Week In Trans 11/26/18

| Nov 26, 2018
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Dylan Ligier

Dylan Ligier, is the first trans girl to be elected Homecoming Queen by their high school in New Orleans. This caught the attention of the Huffington Post.

November 20 marked the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast looks at the situation in Jacksonville, Florida, where three transgender women of color were murdered in the past year. None of the three murders have been solved yet.

The Human Rights Campaign marked Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance with the release of a new report which discusses an “epidemic” of violence against transgender people, especially in the United States. Their press release about the report, written by Sarah McBride, can be found here.

The Human Rights Campaign also released their 2018 Report on Gender-Expansive Youth. They find that less than one-in-four feel safe in expressing themselves at school, 72 percent have had negative comments from their families, and that they are twice as likely to be victims of sexual assault and rape as cisgender LGBQ youth.

Violence against transgender people is not limited to the United States. Dutch News tells us a report from a Dutch governmental agency finds that transgender people are more likely than others to be victims of violence and other negativity.

Andrea Long Chu

Many transgender people assume that their gender dysphoria, and other problems, will disappear if they have gender confirmation surgery. One trans writer has a different view. Andrea Long Chu wrote an opinion editorial in The New York Times stating how she feels that having a vagina didn’t automatically make her happy.

NBC ran an editorial for Transgender Day of Remembrance from Gabriel Arkles, senior staff attorney for the ACLU LGBT and HIV Project.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Lambda Legal chose Transgender Day of Remembrance to file suit against the U.S. Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons, over the new regulations regarding the housing of transgender prisoners.

The National Center for Transgender Equality marked the end of Transgender Awareness Week by projecting the sentence, “Transgender People #WontBeErased” onto the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Hill took note of that.

The American Academy of Family Physicians ran an editorial on November 20, emphasizing both the fact that gender and sex are not binary and the need to do more to help transgender patients.

Also on the health care front, The Miami Herald noted that transgender women with HIV have had a great deal of trouble getting health care in South Florida.

Niles Clipson

Niles Clipson is a gender nonconforming high schooler who is on the GLSEN National Student Council. Niles also has severe pain which limits mobility. Niles points out that accommodations for transgender people and accommodations for disabled people can create a problem for someone who is both transgender and disabled. The article appears on GLSEN’s website.

The Department of Justice filed a request for centori at the Supreme Court in the matter of President Trump’s tweets banning transgender people from serving in the military. The four cases against the ban are still at the District Court level, still in pre-trial stages. However, the Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to step into the matter. Doing so at this point in the proceedings is permitted if “the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in” the Supreme Court. The Justice Department has filed several such requests with the Supreme Court, asking that body to step into various matters and rule in the administration’s favor. In all likelihood, the Supreme Court will again not enter until after the lower courts have had their say. Buzzfeed News has more. Jamie Roberts pointed us to the story in The Washington Post.

The Alliance Defending Freedom has asked the Supreme Court to overturn a decision of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which unanimously upheld the District Court’s finding that the Boyerton Area Senior High School of Pennsylvania was within its rights to allow transgender students to use the restroom and locker room of the gender with which they identify. The ADF had filed suit on behalf of some cisgender students, saying that the presence of transgender students caused their clients discomfort. Zack Ford of Think Progress weighed in on this.

Sophie Giannamore

Brandon Kelley created a short film called The Real Thing which depicts a soldier coming home to find that his son has transitioned and become his daughter. The part of the daughter is played by transgender actress Sophie Giannamore. It can be found on Vimeo.

As was noted here, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement has a provision which calls on each country to protect workers from discrimination, and includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This week, a group of Republicans in the House of Representatives signed a letter which said that they were “deeply concerned” by this clause. LGBTQ Nation has that story. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refuses to remove the clause.

Twitter announced that their new terms of service forbid deliberate misgendering and deadnaming. Moreover, the new terms of service allow Twitter to suspend accounts and even to ban users who violate the terms of service. However, as Pink News reports, many people doubt that the social media site will really enforce the new rules.

South Dakota produced the first “bathroom bill,” but Governor Dennis Daugaard refused to sign it, and the legislature did not have enough votes to pass the bill without the governor. This month, a new governor was elected. KOTA-TV found uncertainty as to whether the legislature would revisit the bathroom bill.

People with scientific knowledge continue to write in opposition to the memo from Roger Severino of the Department of Health and Human Services which tried to define “sex” as unchangeable on a “scientific basis.” One such comes from the Genetic Literacy Project. Also, Alexandra Kralick, an anthropologist who studies bones, weighs in on how it is sometimes difficult to determine the sex of an individual from the bones. Her comments can be found in Slate.

Lakota warrior Two Spirit Osh-Tisch.

Gender fluidity has been around as long as humans. In Native American cultures it was called Two Spirits, Nádleehí, or Winkte. Christians arriving in North America were appalled and worked to erase the five gender identities seen among the tribes. An article about the phenomena was pointed out to us by Linda Jensen and can be found in The Daily Plug.

The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking has opened a safe-house for biological males who were part of this horrible practice. The facility has the ability to accommodate transgender teens as well as cisgender males.
CBN has this story.

Matthew d’Ancona of the British edition of GQ writes that the debate about transgender people raging in Britain is very contentious because it involves two vulnerable groups — transgender people and women. While that is true, the problems that women bring up in the debate are not things that are part of the legislation currently under consideration.

A congressional candidate put up a billboard in Joshua Tree, California, in which he complained about the V.A. spending so much money on transgender veterans. Z107.7 FM reports that the billboard has a new message: “Transgender people deserve health care, support, justice, safety, love.”

Meanwhile, the think tank Fairness and Accuracy In Media (FAIR) takes issue with the “both sides” reporting style. They tell us that “Transgender Lives Are Not Up For Debate.”

This week also marked Thanksgiving in the U.S., the start of the holiday season. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a family that accepts them as they are. Nine transgender and gender-nonconforming people talked to Bustle about dealing with problematic family situations at holiday time.

Anna Friel and Callum Booth-Ford in Butterfly.

Deadline reports that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has struck a deal to air the transgender drama Butterfly. It should air in the “late winter,” likely meaning around March of 2019.

These sort of things shouldn’t have to be said this often, but still, Medium has a guide to why certain questions are best avoided when talking to transgender people. (It is adapted from a longer piece from The National Center for Transgender Equality entitled Questionable Questions About Transgender Identity.)

Pink News reports that backlogs for transgender-related service from the NHS have reached the point where the British government has been investigating. You can read their report here.

About a year and a half ago, the Northamptonshire Police replaced their traditional caps (military-style hats for men, bowler-style for women with baseball caps. This was supposed to remove a possible barrier for recruitment of transgender police officers. This week, the new chief of the police force announced that the department would go back to the old hats. This story appeared in The Mirror.

A project in Coimbatore, India, has transgender women painting murals on the walls of certain local buildings. Many of these women have not used art supplies in quite a while. This story comes from the Times of India.

A woman featured in the article.

The Advocate has a slide show about people who are “Keeping the Trans Spirit Strong in the Heart of the Caribbean.” The slide show is about transgender people in the Dominican Republic.

A transgender woman in Britain has put an ad on a website named Sewport, asking for help in designing and manufacturing “the perfect tucking underwear” for trans women. She complains that she has had to use loose clothing which she refers to as “Bridget Jones pants” because she cannot find precisely what she wants in the form of underwear for tucking. The Mirror has this story. [Evidently this woman is unaware of The Breast Form Store’s selection of groin smoothing undergarments.]

Broadly has been talking with some surviving transgender legends, and this week ran a long article in which the transgender legends talk about survival, resilience, and joy.

Arizona State University has begun to offer speech therapy specifically aimed at helping transgender women attain a feminine speaking voice. Yes, there is a lot of serious study behind this. ASU Now reports.

A piece about two brothers in Georgia who supported each other as both transitioned comes from the Daily Mail.

Amit Tuska

Family In Transition is a new documentary about a family in Israel, whose lives were changed when the patriarch of the family changed genders. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency ran a story which focuses on the film’s debut at the Docaviv festival in Tel Aviv, while the New York premiere of the film caught the attention of the Associated Press.

Faith can be an important thing to transgender people. U C Observer profiled three transgender people, who talk about how their faith and their gender identities affect each other.

The Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales issued a tweet on Transgender Day of Remembrance. The tweet attributed to these Catholic clerics offered prayers “for all people who are ill at ease with their gender, seek to change it, suffer for it and are persecuted, and also killed.” The tweet added, “All people are loved by God and valued in their inherent God-given dignity.” The tweet was then criticized by some people for being too accepting of transgender people, and by others for not being accepting enough. The Catholic Herald gives us this story.

During a lecture at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was asked about “God the Father,” and responded by saying, “God is neither male nor female.” He noted that human language about God is somewhat metaphorical and certainly inadequate to contain the entire experience of God. This story comes from Pink News.

Erika Hilton, newly elected in Brazil.

Brazil just elected a new right-wing president, who is outspoken as a social conservative. Some are worried about what this means for the country (with some comparing President-elect Bolsonaro to Donald Trump). However, at the same time that he was elected, two trans women of African descent were elected to the state legislature for Sao Paulo. Buzzfeed ran a story about these two Afro-Brazilian trans women.

Jewish people are on alert since a synagogue in Pittsburgh became the scene of a hate crime. The Forward points out that transgender people, too, are on alert, because of threats against them.

You might remember the restroom signs with Caitlyn Jenner — pre-transition for the men’s room, post-transition for the ladies’ room. They were on D’Acosta’s Pizza Bakery in Worcester, Mass. Note that verb in the past tense — the pictures came down recently. The owner issued an apology on the pizzeria’s Facebook page. Patch has this story.

Landyn Pan is a photographer who has put on TGNC Paint Parties, where transgender and gender nonconforming people get naked and put paint on each others bodies, as well as their own bodies. He then photographs the participants. He talked about it, and shared some photos, with Vice.

Columbus Monthly ran a rather lengthy profile of Dr. Scott Leibowitz, a psychiatrist who works with transgender children.

Dr. Paria Hassouri, a pediatrician, writes in The Huffington Post about how listening to her transgender daughter made her see her own body in a different way.


The Office of Personnel Management, which oversees employment conditions for federal employees, has removed parts of its site that had specific language dealing with transgender employees. Specifically absent is the page on “Gender Identity Guidance.” This report comes from Zack Ford of Think Progress. A TWIT Award goes to the O.P.M.

A professional basketball player for the Wizards had a liaison with a trans woman he met at the filming of MTV’s Wild’N Out. She exchanged a lot of social media messages with him and when word got out that the player had been playing around with a trans woman she went on Twitter to explain their relationship was real and he knew that she was trans. We’re giving a TWIT Award to society at large for getting upset that an athlete might have a romantic encounter with a trans woman. The story is on  

Maricopa County in Arizona is the homeland of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. On October 4, trans activist Brianna Westbrook took part in a protest outside the office of U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, urging the senator to vote against confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Phoenix Police officers arrested Westbrook and three other women as they sat in front of the entrance of Flake’s office. She and other protestors were sent to jail and had to stay their overnight. The jail staff singled her out for a variety of humiliating actions. A TWIT Award goes to the Fourth Avenue Jail staff. Read more on the Phoenix New Times website.

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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