The Week In Trans 1/1/18

| Jan 1, 2018
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Photo from Pose.

The FX channel and American Horror Story producer Ryan Murphy are making television history with his new show called Pose. FX has ordered eight episodes of the show and it has the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, and it is the largest LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted series. Called a “dance musical drama” the show will begin production in February and premier in the summer of 2018. Learn more about the show from the E!News website.

After four courts issued preliminary injunctions against the ban on transgender people in the military and two appeals courts agreed with the lower courts, the Department of Justice has announced that they will not continue the appeal process at this time. The official announcement says that the Department of Defense will release the results of their study in February, and those results will be used in court. They should get their opportunity fairly soon; the D.C. Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments for January 27, almost a month before the date when the Department of Defense is due to release its study according to the guidance from the White House. Art Leonard wrote some commentary on the various decisions so far.

Both Politico and the Daily Beast wrote profiles of trans men who want to join the military as soon as the ban on transgender recruits is lifted.

Jolene Dawson

Can a single-minded quest to be a perfect beauty lead to a bad place? In the case of one 21-year-old trans woman from Australia her many plastic surgery procedures led to an addiction to opioids that put her into rehab for Christmas. Jolene Dawson spent almost $72,000 (US) on full body hair removal and plastic surgeries. Her goal was to be a living Bratz doll. She turned out to be prettier than a Bratz doll but was addicted to pain killers. Read her story in the Daily Mail.

Between the ban on transgender people in the military, the change of Department of Education policy on transgender students, and the word “transgender” being on the list of words not to be used in C.D.C. policy proposals, it has been a bad year for transgender people. The Bangor Daily News has more on this.

Meanwhile, the good news about 2017 is that all across the country trans candidates ran for public office. Many of them were elected. See who they all are in a compilation article you can find on the NBC News website.

Joe Straus

The editorial board of the Dallas Morning News has chosen their Texas Man Of The Year, and it is Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus. Even their headline proclaims that he “took a principled stand to protect Texas,” referring to his refusal to even hold hearings on a proposed “bathroom bill.”

The British government said that it would update the Gender Recognition Act, and said that they would have consultations in Parliament in the fall. Fall has turned into winter, and now, those consultations are delayed until spring, with no definite date. The new statement is that the consultation will occur after the Government Equalities Office has had a chance to process the responses to the national LGBT survey from earlier this year. Perhaps the government wants to let passions cool down, after the British newspapers have been running outlandish stories. The Daily News has this story.

Although the British government has generally been kind to transgender people recently, a new ruling from the Universities Minister says that universities can be fined for not allowing people with anti-transgender views to speak. It is a free speech matter, after all. Pink News has this story.

Sam Smith in Priscilla drag.

Singer Sam Smith recently admitted that he likes wearing high heels. In a new revelation to The Sunday Times he says that when he was in school he wore full makeup everyday along with fur coats, and other femme clothing for two and a half years. He has also shared current photos of him in drag on Instagram. We can only hope that he decides to express his drag side while in concert at some point. Check out the story on the NewNowNext website.

Veronika Fimbres is a transgender woman, a Navy veteran, a hospice nurse, and a candidate to be the Green Party’s nominee for governor of California. She is gathering signatures on petitions, hoping to get on the primary ballot. She is profiled in the East Bay Area Reporter.

Kim Coco Wamoto

Kim Coco Iwamoto has her eyes set on becoming Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii. She wants to turn the office of Lieutenant Governor into a place where people can come to be heard. The Garden Island has a profile of her.

“Passing” is always thought of as a big deal in the world of crossdressers. Most want to be accepted as women while they are out and about, for a variety of reasons. But what about men who just want to wear women’s fashions? Those who just feel comfortable in leggings and women’s tops, or dresses, and don’t care if people see them as a man in a dress? They do exist and one writer encourages men who want to wear women’s fashion to just go for it. Thanks to Graham Holmes for the tip to the article on the Quora website.

Fast-food chain Bojangles’ Restaurants subjected a trans woman employee to offensive comments, insisted that she act like and look like a man while on duty, and eventually fired her when she reported them.  All that violated federal law. They are paying the price now. The chain will pay $15,000 to their former employee. Get the details from the HRDrive website.

Julisa Abad

Many transgender women are no longer welcome at family gatherings at holiday times, so for the last three years, Julisa Abad has been hosting a holiday party for transgender women of Detroit. The Detroit Free Press had a human-interest story about the party.

Trans woman, Charlene Bost, has filed a federal lawsuit against Sam’s Club. She alleges that she was discriminated against after she came out as a trans woman. He supervisor reportedly called her “it” in front of other employees and made off-color jokes about her. He also initiated unwanted physical contact with her. (Does someone have some deep issues?)
She maintains that after she complained about the treatment Sam’s Club fired her. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is working on her behalf. Learn more from the Jezebel website.

Lorena Borjas, a transgender woman and an advocate for transgender people as well as victims of human trafficking, has received a pardon from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. This pardon reduces or eliminates the possibility that she will be deported by immigration officials. More on her story can be found in the Jackson Heights Patch.

June Vickers

We have heard of identical twins in which one is transgender and the other is not. The most famous of these is Nicole Maines and her brother Jonas. (There are some cases of identical twins in which both are transgender.) June and James Vickers of New Brunswick are now 20-years-old, and at last, it’s fairly easy to tell which is which. CBC News did a story on them.

“Men in the women’s pool” panic has hit Hampstead Heath in England. A women-only “Ladies Pond” in London has been ordered to allow trans women to use the pond and changing rooms. This has led to a row with women who use the pond regularly and the trans women who wish to swim there. The regular users claim, as is always done, that men will take advantage of the rule and push their way into a women-only space. Get the story from the Evening Standard.

Siu-Fung Law

Siu-fung Law is a trans man and a bodybuilder in Hong Kong. He helped Hong Kong to land the 2022 Gay Games, the first time that the games will be held in Asia. The Hong Kong Free Press did a profile of him.

Outsports has named their male athletes of the year, and both are trans men. Harrison Browne is a hockey player who was going to retire in order to transition, but decided to stay in the sport as a role model and inspiration to others. Mack Beggs is a wrestler from Texas who had to battle prejudice in the court and on the mat. Congratulations to both of them.

Ben Barres has passed away, far too young at age 63. He was a trans man neuroscientist who studied glia, a type of cell which makes up 90% of the non-nerve cells in the brain. He showed that they were not as useless as they were thought to be. He was a professor and a department chair at Stanford, as well as an advocate for political rights. He is eulogized in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Advocate.

Brita Filter

You know that drag performance is big business when a financial magazine that one would expect to find interviewing conservative bankers and Wall Street traders interviews a drag performer on how much she makes, how she manages her cash, and how much she spends on wardrobe, makeup and hair. For insight into the answers to those questions check out the interview with New York queen Brita Filter in Money.

The end of the year sometimes brings awards. The Excellence in Diversity Awards in Manchester, England, gave their Diversity Champion Award to Susie Green, the CEO of Mermaids. Ms. Green, the mother of a transgender daughter, has turned what was a small support group for parents of transgender children into a well-recognized nationwide charity with some full-time staff. The group answers calls and emails from transgender youth and their families. The Wharfedale Observer has this story.

As 2017 ends, Rolling Stone and Tammye Nash of the Dallas Voice did reviews of the year in transgender news.


The state of Terengganu in Malaysia is about to begin a conversion therapy course for transgender women. While many jurisdictions are forbidding this sort of thing, the state of Terengganu is not only permitting it but actually running the course. For running a course of therapy that does not work, a therapy which is based more on religion than on psychology, and which teaches people to hate themselves, the state of Terengganu gets a TWIT Award. Straits Times has this story.

Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton posted a video over Christmas in which he seems to be shaming his 4-year-old nephew for wearing a princess dress that the child got as a present. The video was posted on Snapchat and Hamilton says he is sad that his nephew is dressed like a princess. Then he yells at the boy that he shouldn’t be wearing princess dresses. Backlash was swift in defense of the boy and Hamilton claims he was “play-yelling” but we’re still giving him a TWIT Award for sending a bad message to kids who want to be princesses now and then. Thanks to Graham Holmes for the tip. You can see the video and read more in Hollywood Gossip.

Here’s a story that we’re sure deserves the awarding of a TWIT but the problem is to figure out just who gets the TWIT. We suspect it should go to the paper reporting the story but you decide. A woman in England requested a female nurse to do her Pap smear. The hospital assigned a trans woman nurse to do the procedure. The nurse had detectable stubble on her face and a generally masculine appearance. Does the patient get the TWIT Award for complaining? Does the nurse get the TWIT for displaying stubble? Should the hospital get it? Or should we just give the Daily Mail another TWIT Award for making a mountain out of a mole hill? That’s were you’ll find this story.

Those of us in the trans community look at the world and we see progress being make for the acceptance of trans people. We still see a lot of discrimination against trans identities and that is troubling. One segment of our culture that goes out of its way to disparage trans people is the blatantly religious. We’re giving a TWIT to the WND website for giving Bible thumpers an outlet for their anti-trans screed. This Sunday WND gave the Benham Brothers space to publish an article titled ‘Great harlot’ in Revelation is perverting world. They write that being trans is the same as being addicted to porn, that it is immoral and all the doing of the “great harlot” who is mentioned in Revelation 17:1-2. These guys are the ones who lost their TV show on HGTV after they made anti-gay remarks. They get a TWIT Award along with the WND website. (All their supportive commenters get a TWIT as well.)

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with editing and additional content by Angela Gardner.

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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.

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