The Week In Trans 11/4/19

| Nov 4, 2019
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Mj Rodriguez at Outfest.

Mj Rodriguez used the occasion of an Outfest Award acceptance speech to give a shoutout to her mother, who she says was an “inspiration” for her character on Pose. The Advocate gave us this story.

In stark contrast to that is Dominique Jackson, whose mother told her that her gender identity went against God’s word. Ms. Jackson hung up on her mother. She told this at a recent talk, which was the source for an article in Webster Journal.

The month of November is Transgender Awareness Month (including Transgender Day of Remembrance). This inspired a piece in Out magazine.

The story of the custody battle between Dr. Anne Georgulas and Jeffrey Younger, concerning making medical decisions for their transgender child, continues to be in the news. (If you missed that story last week, you can find a good summary in Rolling Stone.) This week, The Houston Chronicle wrote an editorial, criticizing politicians for using this as a topic, especially when they don’t the medical aspects of what is going on. (They also bring in the case of Kimberley Shappley, the mother of a transgender child who had to move her family because of political pressure in Texas.)

The Human Rights Campaign got over 2,000 people to digitally sign on to a letter criticizing Ted Cruz for his comments on the case of Dr. Anne Georgulas v. Jeffrey Younger. He spread falsehoods about the case, and he accused Dr. Georgulas of “child abuse” for doing something which she did not ask the court for permission to do. You can read about that in The Dallas Morning News.

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox

A trans woman who has made a name for herself both as an activist and an actress is Laverne Cox. How does she go through an average day? Alyssa Washington pointed us to an article in The Cut that gives you the details.

Sadly, politicians in Kentucky and Georgia introduced legislation to outlaw medical procedures which confirm the gender of minors. The Advocate has this story.

State Representative Matt Krause of Texas has said that he would also introduce legislation which “prohibits the use of puberty blockers in these situation for children under the age of 18.” (After the age of 18, it would be too late to get decent results from the use of puberty blockers.) Such laws interfere with the idea of families being allowed to make decisions, and certainly are inconsistent with the idea of a small, unimposing government. The Texas state legislature will not meet again until 2021, unless the governor calls for a special session. You can read about it at NBC News.

As the mother of a transgender child, Jo Ivester has seen politicians in her home state propose laws to make life harder for transgender children and their parents. She writes about that experience in NBC News Think.

Center Parcs, which operates “holiday villages” (“vacation destinations” to Americans) in the U.K. and Ireland, has a policy which requires transgender and non-binary patrons to use the changing room of their “legally defined sex” or use a single-person changing space. This policy might not conform to the U.K. equalities law, according to Pink News. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for this story.


In Argentina Center-Left Alberto Fernandez has been elected as Argentina’s new president with over 45 percent of the vote needed to win. He did this with all the voters knowing he has a successful drag queen son. The son’s drag name is Dyhzy and like many of today’s young queens she got into the art after seeing Drag Race in 2014. Learn more about Dyhzy and her relationship with her presidential dad from the Mitú website.

The state of Idaho was one of three or four which refused to acknowledge a change of gender on birth certificates. Last year, the state offered no defense of this in a federal lawsuit, indicating that it would follow what the court told it to do. This week, officials of the state made it harder for minors to update the sex listed on their birth certificates. The rule requiring minors to get medical or mental health authority to sign off on the change is caught in a fight between the governor (who likes the rule) and the legislature, according to Metro Weekly.

The mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania signed a bill into law Thursday morning that protects the rights of trans and non-binary Philadelphians. The law also ensures public buildings have accessible gender-neutral restrooms, including each floor of City Hall. Learn more at the CBS 3 News website.

An opinion piece in The Salt Lake Tribune suggests “It’s time to outlaw conversion efforts for transgender Americans.”

A 17th Street High Heel Race participant.

A herd of drag queens assembled in Washington, D.C., but it was not a political event. (Everything in Washington, D.C., has political overtones, but this particular event was not primarily political.) This was the annual High Heel Race, in which drag queens and their friends (many of whom wore costumes) ran through the streets. You can read about it in LGBTQ Nation.

Last week was Halloween. The Washington Post used the example of one transgender 10-year-old  who attended the Rainbow Families Halloween party to explain why Halloween is important to transgender children. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for also pointing out the article.

The Human Rights Campaign wrote in praise of the resilience of transgender people.

U.S. Senators Kamala Harris and Richard Blumenthal have sent a letter to the Justice Department, asking it to appoint a special counsel to investigate the death of Roxsana Hernàndez, an immigrant who died while being held by ICE. Buzzfeed News has this story.

The New Yorker tells the case of Alejandra Barrera, who spent two years at the Cibola County Correctional Center, in the custody of ICE.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson’s made comments about “big, hairy men” asking to be housed in shelters for women. This week, the House of Representatives held hearings on transgender people’s experiences regarding not only homeless shelters, but also in renting or getting a mortgage. The Advocate has this story.

An opinion piece in The Rotunda denounces the hyperbole of right-wing websites and news outlets, and pronounces, “Transgender folks aren’t scary.”

Davin Sokup

Davin Sokup, a 32-year-old carpenter, is running for the Minnesota state legislature. If elected, he would be the first openly transgender person in that state legislature, according to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Thanks to Ms. Bob Davis for passing along a story from the drag history of San Francisco. One day in 2007 a man walking along a street there saw a box on the sidewalk and paused to look inside. What he found were silkscreens for a poster for a Doris Fish and Sluts A-Go-Go show Blonde Sin which was first performed in 1980. Get the whole historic dish from The Bay Area Reporter.

The Toronto Public Library hosted a talk by well-known TERF Meghan Murphy at its Palmerston branch. Many people came out to protest the talk, but a spokesperson for the library said that they allow people with a wide range of views to speak, including neo-Nazis. This story comes from Vice. (BTW, Ms. Murphy’s anti-transgender views are not her only points of controversy. She also wrote that she “will not listen to the children” in regard to climate change. That article now requires a subscription.)

In Brazil the authoritarian rule of the their president is being countered by a resistance movement. That movement is finding support and a home in the Brazilian fashion industry. One expression of resistance there is the use of transgender models in fashion shows. Learn more from The Washington Post. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the story lead.

The Rio Times tells us of Casa Nem, a beach not far from Copacabana, which is a haven for Brazil’s transgender people. (Unfortunately, this story requires a login.)

Hollins College is a women’s college in Roanoke, Virginia. This week, they changed their policy, and will now allow transgender men to graduate. Previously, students who transitioned genders were required to transfer out of Hollins College. The Charlotte Observer has this story.

A new non-profit in Cincinnati called Transform has opened a clothing exchange for transgender people. This caught the attention of The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Delaney King

Delaney King was a digital artist in the video game field, with twenty years of experience and several awards, but firms which had wanted to hire her suddenly were looking for someone else after her gender transition. She is part of a trend among tech companies, who would rather hire people who appear to be cisgender males. You can read about it in TechRepublic. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for bringing this story to our attention.

A customer billing representative for Charter Communications was fired after announcing a gender change, despite positive performance reviews. The employee has filed a complaint with the state Division of Human Rights. The New York Daily News has this story, but be warned that the story uses the former employee’s birth name, which is still her legal name at the moment.

A nurse in Cincinnati was suspended from her job because of anti-transgender posts she made to social media. The Cincinnati Enquirer has this story.

Maddie Rose is an intersex person who was told that she needed to have surgery in order to have sex. That was only true if she wanted to have a vagina that could accommodate penetrative sex. She wishes she had been told more information about what the surgery entailed, and about what her life would be like without that surgery. She writes for Teen Vogue.

The Wall Street Journal has a story about why Starbucks decided to offer transgender health care to its employees, but the story is for subscribers only.

Two employment cases are in the news this week. KOB-TV reports that Diane Roberts is suing her former employer, ABF Freight, because of treatment she received after changing genders. In a subscribers-only article at Bloomberg Law, we hear that a federal judge in Alaska is allowing an employment discrimination case to proceed, despite the fact that the Supreme Court just heard oral arguments in a case whose outcome would affect the case.

Gender neutral emoji.

Apple and the Unicode Consortium just released a new set of emojis. The good news is that there are now gender-neutral emojis. The bad news is that there is still no transgender flag emoji, although that is under consideration for next year’s additions. Pink News has this story.

We reported last week on the problems that facial recognition software has with transgender and nonbinary people. Forbes has an article with more specifics about what was found.

Transgender athletes are winning at least some competitions against cisgender females, and that is the basis of an article in Wired magazine.

USA Powerlift has long had a ban on transgender women competing against cisgender women. However, they are now meeting with LGBTQ people, to at least listen to what they have to say about this. Muscle And Fitness has this story.

Print from the Ladies and Gentlemen series.

On March 12, 2020, the Tate Modern Gallery in London will open an exhibit of Andy Warhol’s work. While there will be a variety of his paintings (and showings of his film Sleep), a central part of the exhibit will be 25 paintings from his series of portraits of transgender people and drag queens. CNN International has a preview of the exhibit.

A joke about Caitlyn Jenner in Saturday Night Live’s newscast segment didn’t seem funny to the studio audience. The joke deadnamed and misgendered her, on top of just not being funny. The audience didn’t laugh, but some did groan. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

A new blog post for Pokemon Go refers to team leader Blanche with the nonbinary pronoun “they.” Previously, the blog had not used any pronoun for Blanche. This is seen by many as a confirmation that the character is nonbinary, as Pink News reports.

Jameela Jamil tweeted her disagreement with the LGB Alliance, saying that she sees similarities between the discrimination against transgender people and tactics used against other minority groups. Pink News has this story.

The 22nd Annual Transgender Film Festival will take place November 7-10 at the Roxie Theatre in San Francisco. You can read about it at 48 Hills.

The FDA has released a draft guidance for a boxed warning (their strongest form of warning) for breast implants. The implants have been associated with a certain form of lymphoma, according to CNN Health. Many, many thanks to Alyssa Washington for calling this article to our attention.


Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Friday proposed a new rule that would effectively eliminate discrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals in all its grant programs. Get all the details on this latest attack on LGBTQ people. Alex Azar is hereby given a TWIT Award. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for pointing out the story in The Washington Post.

Ten states’ strict voter ID laws may create substantial barriers to voting and possible disenfranchisement for more than 24,000 transgender voters this November. The ID laws were passed to stop the non-existent threat of in-person voter fraud. States that have such laws are given a TWIT Award to share. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for pointing out the story on LGBTQ Nation.

Last month a group called The Child Protection League sent a person to a local library to take photos of a drag queen reading to children. While the event was a big success with the kids and their parents the photographer managed to get a photo of the queen leaning to pick up a book which made her spread her legs and show the surface of the five pairs of pantyhose she was wearing. Shortly after the event the League posted that picture on their Facebook page calling it “debauchery” and claiming the reader looked “naked.” No one saw anything untoward. The kids all had a good time. The Child Protection League gets a TWIT Award for trying to make something out of nothing. You can read a rebuttal to the League in City Pages.

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 ()

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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