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The Week In Trans 11/28/16

| Nov 28, 2016
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izzard_fairyLast April Eddie Izzard, the British comic and out transvestite, was harassed and threatened outside his home while he was unloading things from his car. The man who threatened him was a nearby resident of Izzard’s and the threat was that he and his mates would “do” Izzard’s house while he was away on tour. Another incident with the same man less than a month later prompted Izzard to call the police. Last week his harasser was found guilty. Get the story from The Guardian.

Gov. Pat McCrory (R) of North Carolina, who signed the infamous HB2 bill into law, was defeated in the recent election by a Democratic candidate. The winning margin is growing but is likely to fall below 10,000 votes so an automatic recount will be triggered. Gov. McCrory feels that his loss, which he has not yet conceded, is due to massive voter fraud. We speculate that it may be due more to his stance on the restroom bill and the resulting loss of revenue from businesses that pulled out of his state. Read the story on the UPI website.

A federal lawsuit has been filed in New Jersey by a trans woman who wants to be able to change her birth certificate gender marker without having gender confirmation surgery. The suit contends that trans people are entitled to accurate birth certificates regardless of their surgical status. Get the story from the Philadelphia Gay News.



Kristen Beck the trans woman who was a Navy SEAL for 20 years and a member of SEAL Team 6, had criticized presidential candidate Donald J. Trump for saying the military has to stop being so “PC” in admitting LGBT people to their ranks. Now that Mr. Trump is the president elect Beck has applied for a job in the Pentagon. She is hoping to be hired and is even willing to carry coffee in order to provide a visible trans presence. Get the story from

In these times, which seem to be be heading toward harder times for LGBT people, it’s good to find some evidence that not everyone hates trans people. A trans man in Ontario went to a local mall with a sign that told everyone his gender status. By the end of the day, after telling his story to everyone he met, he only had two negative incidents. Everyone else gave him hugs and encouragement. Read the story in City News.

Sweden is often thought of as a great place for transgender people, but the government there still classifies being transgender as a mental illness. A group of activists known as Transförsvaret (The Trans Defense) protested this Monday at the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) in Stockholm. The Director of Communications for the National Board of Health and Welfare, Ola Billger, said, “We had a great dialogue with the activists and we hope they got the attention they wanted. But after office hours, we had to contact the police since we couldn’t let the activists stay overnight.” You can read more on Vice.



On November 9 the University of Victoria honored computer scientist and engineer Lynn Conway with an Honorary Doctor in Engineering. Conway is the first out trans person to receive an honorary doctorate in Canada and one of the few so honored world wide. Get more information and view some videos on the university website.

Transgender people in China have trouble accessing the medical resources that they need. Many doctors there either don’t know the medical needs of transgender patients or simply refuse to take transgender patients, or both. Transgender people there are turning to services like Trans-Life to get information, but since Trans-Life does not have a doctor on staff, there are questions about how good that information is. Moreover, even with correct information, the medications that the patient gets may be bogus. Global Times looks at this problem.

The state of South Australia is in the process of changing various laws which were seen as bad for LGBT people. The new laws will make it easier for people to change the gender on a birth certificate, as well as for same-sex couples to adopt children jointly. However, Premier Jay Weatherill went one step further, and announced an apology for the discriminatory laws which the government is replacing. The formal apology will be coming on December 1, but even the announcement has a tone of apology to it. The Star Observer has this story.

Aunt Barbara

Aunt Barbara

In the past we’ve reported on drag queens who sell Tupperware and do very well at it. It seems the people who are looking to buy Tupperware are entertained by the queen’s dishy presentations, and are comfortable buying their plastic food containers from a campy queen. One such purveyor of storage containers was Aunt Barbara from Long Island. She was the top seller in the U.S. — until she came out as a trans woman. Read about how that affected her sales numbers on the Yahoo news feed.

Another example of the popularity of drag queens can be found in the large appeal of a show that has been running in the Canary Islands for more than 20 years. It’s called The Music Hall Tavern and it’s billed as The Funniest Night Out of the Year. So many visitors from the U.K. attended the show and talked it up to their neighbors and friends that a tour of the British Isles was started in 2013. Learn more about the show in the Dorset Echo.

Petitions have been filed to put the matter of school restroom use by transgender students before voters in South Dakota. The petitions have to examined, but if there are enough valid signatures, the measure will go on the ballot in 2018. This story is in the Pierre Capital Journal.

A transgender woman is suing the New Jersey Health Department for refusing her request to amend her birth certificate. The plaintiff, who is identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, does not want to undergo sexual reassignment surgery, which the state requires before changing gender on the birth certificate. The plaintiff claims that requiring surgery is a violation of her due process and equal protection rights “to define her bodily integrity” and her “personal autonomy.” Governor Chris Christie has twice vetoed bills that would have allowed transgender people to amend their birth certificates without surgery. The New Jersey Star Ledger has this story.

Shi-Queeta Lee

Shi-Queeta Lee

A never-before event happened last week, and will probably not ever happen again after the new administration moves into the White House. The White House Office of Public Engagement’s Transgender Community Briefing featured a performance by Washington, D.C. drag queen Shi-Queeta Lee. Ms. Lee did a version of Tina Turner’s interpretation of Proud Mary. Read more and watch a video of her in Tina Turner drag on the Unicorn Booty website.

With the concern that the upcoming administration will actively work against trans rights there is a need to support organizations that have been working to achieve equal rights for trans people. One such organization is the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. They have been actively working for federal religious freedom restoration acts, federal healthcare nondiscrimination rules protecting trans people, loss of federal workplace protections, loss of federal protection for trans students, a return to military exclusion, and new barriers to securing passports and other federal IDs. They need the community’s support to continue to stand up for us. Get more information on their website.



Dana Zzyym is a veteran of the U.S. Navy who was born intersex. Zzyym had asked for a passport which listed their sex as “I” for intersex, but the request was denied. Now, U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson has issued a ruling that the State Department should have issued a passport listing Zzyym as intersex. (Zzyym’s birth certificate lists the sex as “unknown.”) In the decision, Judge Jackson said that he found “no evidence that the [State] Department followed a rational decision-making process in deciding to implement its binary-only gender passport policy.” Metro Weekly has this story.

Morgane Oger is a trans woman who has been around. She moved from France to Morocco to the United States to Canada, all before she turned 17. Now 48, she wants to go somewhere else — to British Columbia’s provincial parliament. She is running as an NDP candidate in the Vancouver-False Creek area. If she wins a seat next May, the IT worker will be the first openly transgender MLA in the history of British Columbia. You can read more in the Vancouver Courier.

The Australian service organization for transgender youth, Jelly Beans, has received needed funding and will continue their mission. They were in danger of closing their doors and may yet have to do so, but for now, a $5000 (Australian dollars) donation will keep them going. You can read more in the Brisbane Times.

The Melville Millionaires, a team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, asks local families to host players (“billeting” is the term they use). They rejected one host family because they have a transgender granddaughter, and one of the players said that he would be uncomfortable sharing a home with a transgender person. The team has since apologized to the family and to the general public for this incident. This story is in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.


Transgender woman Nicola Florida was convicted and jailed for sexual encounters with underage boys and girls. She served her time and was released, but now, she might be going back to jail after asking to have an intimate photo of one of her underage partners enlarged. This story from Somerset, U.K., is in The Mirror. Florida gets a TWIT Award.

San Diego held their Transgender Day of Awareness event on November 17, but the only transgender officer in the San Diego Police Department, Officer Christine Garcia, was asked not to attend because her police uniform might upset others at the event. Officer Garcia had worked with the committee to organize the event, but when she got there, she was asked to stay out. While there are explanations, and while it is nice that there was so much concern for those in attendance, it’s a shame that there wasn’t more concern for Officer Garcia. A TWIT Award to those who felt she should be excluded. This story is in The Los Angeles Times.

Texas State Senator Konni Burton has pre-filed a bill which would require school teachers and staff to inform parents of their child’s LGBT status. In defending her legislation, she keeps talking of a “parent’s right to know” about their child. What about a child’s right to not be abused by a parent who is just closed-minded? If a child has come out at school but has not informed the parents, that is a bad reflection on the parents, or at least on the child’s view of those parents. For putting children into a dangerous situation, and for then defending it without listening to opposition, Texas State Senator Konni Burton gets a TWIT Award. This story is in Dallas Voice.

The Federalist keeps up its usual misinformation. The latest example is entitled, “The Transgender Lobby’s Demands Are Not Civil Rights.” As usual for The Federalist, the title states a bold proposition which doubles as a talking point. It would be nice if you proved your point in argument before you turn it into a talking point. In the first paragraph, author Nicole Russell says, “Transgender issues are barreling forward with determined ferocity on several fronts, particularly medical, legislative, and educational.” That last one should be a warning signal, since many people in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s complained that schools had taken to “indoctrinating” the concept of civil rights. Education is typically a trailing factor, but those who are losing never see it as a trailing factor. The leading factor here is the medical, and if you want to argue against the acceptance of transgender people, that is what you have to argue against. It is hard to argue against it when you never even acknowledge what the medical establishment is saying. Instead, she argues that acceptance of transgender people is “a full-frontal assault on family values.” So, the doctors are wrong because they disagree with your concept of “family values.” The closest that she comes to arguing against medicine is the same falsehood — that the Affordable Care Act requires “that doctors must perform gender transition procedures on children even when those procedures may be physically and emotionally harmful to the child.” What really harms people are your falsehoods. For repeating lies and for not even trying to acknowledge the medical science in the field, Nicole Russell and The Federalist get a TWIT Award. You can read their nonsense here.

Remember the story of the University of Toronto professor who refused to use gender-neutral pronouns and made a huge deal of it? Well, he’s back, in a story in the Catholic Register. He tells Catholics and Canadians to be afraid of “society’s politically correct agenda.” He calls transgender activists “postmodern Marxists.” For name-calling, among other things, Jordan Peterson gets a TWIT. You can read the story in the Catholic Register.

Religious discrimination against trans people is not limited to the Christian religions. You can find it within Islam as well. Saudi Arabia, which is predominately Sunni Muslim, won’t let trans women visit their country as part of the government ban on homosexuals. Muslim trans women from Pakistan who wish to travel to Mecca to participate in a non-mandatory visit called Umrah are petitioning the government of Saudi Arabia for the right to visit. Get the story from the Daily Pakistan website.

As Canada moves towards a transgender rights bill, Conservative Party leadership candidate Brad Trost claims that the bill will allow “sexual predators” to invade women’s bathrooms and changing rooms. (Well, there is a story of a man in a wig coming into a women’s changing room for lewd purposes, but it was hard to throw him out, since he owned the beauty pageant that the women were competing in.) Seriously, it’s surprising that this prediction keeps going around when it never happens, and even if it did, other laws would take hold in the situation, and the perpetrator would be severely punished. For using falsehoods to fear-monger, Brad Trost gets a TWIT Award. iPolitics has this story.

It seems bad form, in the same week we commended the state of South Australia for apologizing to LGBT people who were affected by their laws, to turn around and slap them with a TWIT Award, but here goes. It seems that the Motor Accident Commission of South Australia has a new set of ads featuring a hirsute gentleman in a tutu. He is known as the “hairy fairy,” and he says that there is nothing normal about speeding. Christians have complained, since fairies are not mentioned in the Bible. Hairy men have also felt the ad demeans them, but transgender people are certain that the joke is about them. So, for managing to offend a variety of people, the Motor Accident Commission of South Australia gets a TWIT Award, as does the ad agency which came up with the ad. You can read about it on Yahoo 7 News.

TWIT is edited by Angela Gardner, who also has supplied several items to today’s edition.

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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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