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The Week In Trans 11/21/16

| Nov 21, 2016
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Suzi Boum/Lior Yisraelov

Suzi Boum/Lior Yisraelov

In Israel one of their most in demand drag performers is Suzi Boum. She is the creation of Lior Yisraelov and the transformation from Lior to Suzi is dramatic but not as dramatic as the changes in Yisraelov’s life. He started out growing up in a religious Zionist family, came out as gay, then started to do drag and became an Arabic teacher in a secular school. Read his story in The Times of Israel.

The U.S. Veterans Administration has announced that they will not go forward with plans to cover gender-confirmation surgery for veterans at this time, due to lack of funding. The desire to cover the surgery is still there, according to the official statement, but the funding is not. Given that funding is supposed to come from Congress, the lack of funding is not surprising. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

Sarah McBride was quite visible as the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Commission, and she is increasingly being seen as a spokesperson for that group. She recently hosted the live Facebook launch of the Parents for Transgender Equality Council, whose goal is to “connect, mobilize and amplify the most powerful voices of love, inclusion, and support for transgender equality.” You can find out more at LGBTQ Nation. The Washington Post also did a story on the conference introducing the Parents for Transgender Equity Council.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has become the first prosecutor’s office in Michigan to adopt a Transgender Interaction Policy. This policy deals tells employees of the office how to respectfully deal with transgender people when they are defendants, victims, or witnesses in cases that the prosecutor’s office handles. Pridesource has more on this.

So you have a big event coming up and you need a fantastic gown to impress the crowd. You can always go out and spend from $500 to $1000 to buy a dress that will knock their socks off but what on Earth do you do with it afterward? You can hardly show up in the same frock at another big event. You may never even be invited to another formal occasion. The answer is a service now available in Neiman Marcus stores called Rent The Runway. You can rent designer formal wear, look fabulous for the night and return it the next day. Jamie Roberts sent us a link to the story in The Washington Post.

Story Hour's Lil Miss Hot Mess

Story Hour’s Lil Miss Hot Mess

The Brooklyn Public Library’s Park Slope branch has begun hosting Drag Queen Story Hour for children. The event is hosted by Michelle Tea, a Los Angeles writer who introduced Lil Miss Hot Mess who read from a collection of feminist folk tales. Find out how the story hour went in The New Yorker.

Provo, Utah, is a very conservative town, but they are about to get their first LGBTQ resource center. It will be directly across the street from the Mormon temple. “There’s nowhere currently that these [LGBT] kids can go that offers a no-judgment zone where they can feel the love and support of the community. And so, that’s what we’re trying to provide,” said Stephenie Larsen, the executive director for the center. This story is on NPR.

Sophia Hawes-Tingey

Sophia Hawes-Tingey

Sophia Hawes-Tingey has filed paperwork to run for the position of mayor of Midvale, Utah. If elected by the town of roughly 30,000, she would become the second openly-transgender mayor in the history of the United States. She previously ran for a seat on the city council, but was unsuccessful. Metro Weekly has this story.

Medford, Oregon, resident Amiko-Gabriel Oscar Blue filed paperwork to become the second person in the state to have a gender which is neither “male” nor “female.” Specifically, the requested gender designation was “non-binary.” The request was denied. The judge said, “I don’t think statutes give me that authority.” An appeal is a possibility, but it would be costly in both time and money. This story is in the Mail-Tribune.

Back in 2005, Minnesota lawmakers passed a law banning the state’s Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare from paying for transgender-related services. This week, Judge William Leary III struck down that ban, saying that it violated the state’s constitution. Minnesota Public Radio has this story.

YouTube makeup queen Miss Fame

YouTube makeup queen Miss Fame

YouTube is a fount of how-to knowledge on a myriad of subjects. They probably have a video on how to use “myriad” in a sentence. Of interest to you, gentle readers, is the number of helpful videos on how to do makeup that are posted by the true makeup experts, drag queens. Find out about eleven queens who present makeup tips and techniques on YouTube from Bustle.



In Vietnam, a 27-year-old personal trainer known as Kendy is raising awareness of transgender people as he competes in bodybuilding contests. Still legally identified by the female name Nguyen Thi Trang, he uses “Kendy” whenever he can. Early next year, citizens of Vietnam will be able to get their ID documents to reflect their preferred genders, though details on what is necessary have not yet been passed.  He is profiled in Naratively.

Also making a quick return in Georgie Stone, who is the youngest person to win the Anti-Defamation Commission’s Making A Difference Award. She just won the GLBTI Person Of The Year Award at the GLOBE Awards recently.  Gay News Network has this story.

While conservatives look at the rise of trans children as a “phase” these children are going through, and define the efforts to help children grow up as they true selves as “child abuse” there are children’s hospitals that recognize the truth of trans identities and want to help children and their families with transition. One such was pointed out to us by Linda Jensen. She sent us and article about the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario’s gender diversity clinic. You can read it in The National Post.

India Willoughby

India Willoughby

A while ago, we told you about India Willoughby, who gave up a job as a news presenter to transition to be a female, then got a gig as a news reporter. Well, she got a new temp job — as a co-host of a long-running daytime chat show in Britain, Loose Women. She is said to be the first trans woman in the world to co-host an all-female talk show. The Mirror has this story.

Dana Rivers was once a teacher in the Sacramento area. Nearly two decades ago, she was fired when she transitioned. She gained some fame at that time. Now she has become infamous. She is being held in a triple murder case. This story is in the Sacramento Bee.

David as Judy

David as Judy

Friend of TGF and sometime contributor David de Alba recently let us know that his Judy Garland act was reviewed in his hometown paper. And he wanted to let everyone know his show is booked again at the Cultural Arts Center Theater on March 12, 2017. Read the story about him in The Las Vegas Tribune.

A transgender student in Pickens County, South Carolina, was charged with third-degree assault as well as disturbing schools during an incident in which a deputy came to to the school. The student, 18-year-old Kinsey Lynn Evans, was arrested and given tickets in the case. School officials say that the case did not arise from the student attempting to use the boys’ room. The Greenville News has this story.

A transgender employee of a T.J. Maxx store in Manhattan reports that co-workers would taunt her with insults related to her gender status and would continually use pronouns which did not match her preferred gender. After complaints to managers did not work, she filed a federal lawsuit. This story is in Bloomberg News.

New York City may be about to close the unit at Rikers Island which houses transgender people. It seems that the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act has certain provisions about housing transgender prisoners, and there are concerns that housing transgender people separate from the main prison population might not conform to those regulations. DNA Info has more.

A transgender boy housed in a jail in Maine committed suicide about two weeks ago. Prison authorities are not releasing details of the incident, which occurred between October 29 and November 2, but do admit that the young man was on suicide watch at the time. NBC Out has the story.

The National Trans Health Conference is being held in Atlanta for the fourth year. Topics will include HIV and HCV co-infection, what patients should expect from healthcare providers in addition to the prescription, mental health, cultural competency, and more. Get the story in Georgia Voice.

Elaine Walquist

Elaine Walquist

This item comes from the Better Late Than Never file and was sent to us by the subject of the story, Elaine Walquist. Ms. Walquist was a table tennis player who was kicked off her team with no reason given and not allowed to compete in the 1982 Olympic Sports Festival. She always suspected it was do to her being trans. It took until 2016 but this year she got an apology from the USA Table Tennis organization. Watch a video featuring her on the USA Table Tennis website.

The Texas Legislature has begun accepting bills to be debated and perhaps voted on by the legislature next year. One of those bills, now designated Senate Bill 92, would prohibit cities, counties, or other political subdivisions of the state from passing a nondiscrimination bill which protects any class that is not protected by state law. (Texas does not protect from discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity.) The second is the so-called “Women’s Privacy Act,” which would restrict the use of restrooms to those of the matching “biological sex at birth.” Apparently, Texas feels that it is too big to be held accountable. Metro Weekly has this story.

The trial over HB2 has been delayed until next summer. Given where the trial is right now, a 90-day delay was granted to work on additional pre-trial motions. After granting the delay, the federal magistrate compared schedules and found that the earliest date for the trial is late summer, according to The Edge Boston.

In a related development, the defendants’ lawyer in the HB2 trial is asking for up to 10 years of medical and behavioral records on those bringing the suit. This is in contrast to a request filed October 20 to prevent harassment of the plaintiffs by the defendants. Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake is considering the motion, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Another sad story of the election is that Mike Honda lost his seat in Congress, though he will be replaced by a fellow Democrat who has pledged to defend LGBT rights. Congressman Honda has a transgender grandchild, and has spoken out on transgender rights. The East Bay Area Reporter has this story.

Actor in Vodaphone's German ad.

Actor in Vodaphone’s German ad.

Vodafone has a new commercial which is running in Germany. It features a transgender teen whose family is not accepting at first. Dad finds out that the teen is downloading make-up tutorials and limits the teen’s data. The ad features a happy ending. Logo’s NewNowNext has this story.

A common fantasy among crossdressers is the idea of working the streets as a prostitute. The reality of working the streets in the sex trade is much less exciting than the fantasy and it usually is the last resort for trans women who can’t get a legitimate job because they have no skills suited for the nine to five workforce. Jamie Roberts sent us a story about the reality of sex work for trans women and you can find it in The Washington Post.


A 28-year-old trans woman named Aliea Rose Brown, who was living with a Bozeman, Montana, couple while having an affair with their 15-year-old son, has been charged with rape. That warrants more than a TWIT Award but that’s all we can do. The accused transgender woman is a registered sex offender.  KTVQ-TV in Bozeman has more.

A Minnesota woman, Anmarie Calgaro, has filed a lawsuit to stop her 17-year-old child from transitioning to become her daughter. This is an escalation of a situation in which the transgender teen had sought legal and gender services from St. Louis County to help emancipate her from her domestic situation with her mother. The county already deemed this woman to be an unfit mother and deemed that she provided a hostile environment for her child. Moreover, six months after her child had been removed from the home, Ms. Calgaro sent a letter in which she said that she was fine with the child being out of her care. For being so anxious to show why the county felt she was an unfit mother, for displaying the unhealthy domestic environment that led the county to take her child away from her, and for suddenly showing an interest in her child when lawyers ask her to, Anmarie Calgaro gets a TWIT Award. The Column has this story.

A Denver trans woman found hate messages on her car. There was a swastika on the rear, and the message “Tr***y die” on the side. The hood and driver’s side also had hate messages on them. Police are investigating. Whoever did this gets a TWIT Award. This story is on CBS Denver.

The title “Psychiatry Professor: ‘Transgenderism’ Is Mass Hysteria Similar To 1980s-Era Junk Science” gives the impression that one is about to read a summary of some journal article. But no, this is not a watered-down version of some peer-reviewed article. This article is not the sort of research paper that a peer-reviewed journal would want; it is just a series of disconnected thoughts from someone who disagrees with his colleagues, but cannot really articulate a good argument against their points. What he does instead, much as the title suggests, is to bring up things from the past which turned out not to be so true, such as “satanic ritual abuse” and “recovered memories”. There are two problems with this. For one thing, psychiatrists and psychologists did not put as much belief in those things as they do in transgender people’s sense of themselves. For another thing, he never gives us a solid reason why being transgender is just a fad, other than the fact that he says so. You can read his article in The Federalist.

TWIT is edited by Angela Gardner who also supplied additional material.

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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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