The Week In Trans 1/15/18

| Jan 15, 2018
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Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning has decided to enter the race for Senate in Maryland. Last year Ms. Manning was serving a 35-year prison sentence for releasing more than 700,000 classified files when her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama. Ms. Manning will be vying with incumbent Democratic Senator Benjamin L. Cardin in the Democratic primary. Learn more from The New York Times.

The Kenosha, Wisconsin, Unified School District has voted to approve a cash settlement with recent graduate Ash Whitaker. The settlement resolves a case in which the school district was sued for not allowing transgender students to use the restrooms of their preferred gender. Mr. Whitaker had won the decision from the appeals court, and the school board decided to settle rather than take the case to the Supreme Court. This story is found in the Kenosha News.

The Supreme Court refused to hear a case against a new law in Mississippi which allows various professionals to site their religious beliefs as a reason to deny service to LGBT people. The court of appeals had said that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue prior to the implementation of the law, and the Supreme Court refused to step in to overturn the appeals court’s decision. The Associated Press has this story, while Art Leonard has a law professor’s observations on both of these cases.

The Virginia House of Delegates has sworn in its members for the new session. One of those new members is Danica Roem.

Christa married the man who would kill her.

Crista Leigh Steele-Knudslien, the founder of the Miss Trans New England and Miss Trans America beauty pageants, was murdered. Police in North Adams, Massachusetts, have arrested her husband and charged him with the crime; reports say that he confessed while in police custody. The Danbury NewsTimes has this story from the AP.

Viccky Gutierrez was also found murdered, her body burnt. Los Angeles police are not yet confirming that the remains found were hers, but indications are that it is her, and that she was murdered before her body was burnt. More can be found in Pink News. Update: The LAPD-FBI Fugitive Task Force made an arrest in the case, according to the Los Angeles Blade.

Rebekah Shelton was also reported to have died. She appeared on Twitter later, asking people to stop spreading this untrue story. It seems that she was a victim of a hack. For those who don’t know her, in 2009, she appeared on Big Brother in Britain, under the name Rodrigo. The Daily Record has the original story, while Gay Star News confirms that she is alive.

A fairly new organization outside of Sydney, Australia began as a Facebook group and then became an actual group to support trans youth. It’s called the NSW Trans Youth Alliance and they will have their own float in Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade. Learn more from BuzzFeed News.

Lori Benyon

Lori Beynon has reported bullying and trolling after she became the first transgender person to be named a prom queen in Great Britain. The 16-year-old was overcome by curiosity and kept reading the comments on the news story about her, despite warnings not to read those comments. Her story is on Wales Online.

In a reorganization of the British cabinet, Justine Greening has lost her positions as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities. She had been overseeing efforts to update the Gender Recognition Act, as well as bringing age-appropriate LGBT information into schools. She was offered another post in the cabinet, but resigned instead. The Ministry for Women and Equalities was moved from Education and is now part of the Home Department again, where Amber Rudd continues as minister. While the Home Secretary has been a supporter of LGBT rights, it remains to be seen what this will mean to specific pending legislative efforts.

The British television network ITV created a documentary which followed several transgender patients for a year. The filmmakers found the transgender people as patients at a private medical clinic on London’s Wimpole Street. Lincolnshire Live and the Daily Mirror did profiles of patients seen in the documentary. Author Juno Dawson wrote of her involvement with the show. Paris Lees starts her review by pointing out how the reality-style documentary format creates a lot of cliches, but that the documentary’s heart is in the right place. Transformation Street can be found on the ITV hub.

The transgender actor Annie Wallace appeared on the celebrity version of the game show Mastermind, with her winnings going to the charity for trans youth, Mermaids. Pink News has the details.

Jinkx Monsoon

There has been criticism of Jinkx Monsoon, winner of season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, being cast as the voice of one of the villainous gems, Ruby, in the Cartoon Network show Steven Universe. Some have criticized the show for not hiring a cisgender female for the part. This story was covered by Pink News.

Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, a very expensive school for pre-teens and teens in Cheshire, has warned its teachers against referring to the students as “girls.” The official explanation is that this is to make any transgender or non-binary students not feel offended, and that is good, but it also can be that calling a teenager a “boy” or a “girl” can seem condescending. Pink News has this story as well.

The Swallow, which calls itself “the oldest gay bar in Plymouth,” England, has a once-a-month event called Lipstick and Heels, aimed at “transgender, transsexual, and transvestite” patrons. Attendance at the event has grown to the point where the Plymouth Herald took notice.

Adore Delano

Former Drag Race contestant Adore Delano has learned the hard way that while you are climbing the ladder of show biz success you need to have a trustworthy account watching your cash. Last year Delano sued her management company for $3.5 million, accusing them of ripping her off. The case ended with the judge issuing a “default” judgement which meant that nothing was awarded to either side. Now her former management company is suing Delano claiming that she owes them $180,000 since she miscalculated her earnings. Learn more about her legal woes on the Hornet website.

Denis Finley was fired as editor of the Burlington Free Press because of comments he made on his personal Twitter account about transgender people and the proposal for legal recognition of a third sex on Vermont’s identification documents. While Ganette, the owner of the paper, merely says that he “left the company” on their website, there is no doubt that there was pressure on him to the point that he had a choice of quitting or being fired. The AP story can be found on WRAL-TV’s website.

As the result of a recent plebiscite, same-sex marriage is now legal in Australia. Buzzfeed News reports that some activists are not pushing to end the practice of forcing transgender people to divorce before their new gender is legally recognized.

Giuliana Farfalla

Giuliana Farfalla has been named as the first transgender woman to appear on the cover of the German edition of Playboy. Edge Media has this story.

The government of Costa Rica asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights if, under the American Convention on Human Rights, they are required to recognize same-sex marriages and the rights of transgender people. This week, a seven-judge panel ruled that those rights are indeed covered under the treaty. This ruling was covered by the Washington Blade.

Ciudad del Este is in Paraguay, near the borders with Brazil and Argentina. It has long been suspected to be a site of smuggling and drug activity. A store there has been closed down for selling what city officials describe as a “transgender doll.” The toy looks like a typical doll, but has what are described as male genitalia. The town has also cited the shop for failure to pay taxes and for selling material not permitted by their license; the dolls are not covered by the shop’s license to sell electronics goods, according to the city. The CBC and Telesur both have stories on this.

If you love wearing makeup then you have probably experimented with the multitude of ways to apply it. But, if you are a dedicated follower of makeup trends you are always on the lookout for tips and tricks that make your makeup more wonderful. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a one-stop source for all kinds of tips to create a more beautiful you? There is! You can find a comprehensive makeup guide compiled by Jen Miller on her website, Jen Reviews.

Jessica Platt

Jessica Platt plays for the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. She has been playing for the league for two years, and has finally come out as transgender. The league and her fellow players have been supportive, as Outsports reports.

While any transgender people who signed up for the military this year await the processing of their requests to enlist, psycologist Ira Rosofsky has written an article looking at transgender people, and diversity in general, in the military through history.

American car commercials use a lot of footage of autos sweeping down empty highways exuding power and speed. Or you’ll see many vehicles racing down a multilane highway, or doing donuts on a salt flat. In the U.K. Toyota has decided to take a new approach to their television ads. They are marketing a model called Aygo as the ultimate car of self expression. Who could have more self expression than drag queens? See how they were used in the company’s “Go Your Own Way” ad campaign on The Drum website.


Gareth Bennett, a member of the Welsh Assembly, was barred from speaking in that legislative body for hateful comments that he made about transgender people. The UKIP member described transgender people as “nutty” and a “deviation from the norm,” said that transgender rights would lead to a “total implosion” of society, and called for “limits” to minority groups’ rights. After being told that he could not speak in the legislature again until he apologized, he offered the minimum apology, saying, “I wish to make it clear that I respect your authority as Chair . . . I do, however, stand by the views I expressed about the proposed changes to the gender recognition bill.” For issuing an apology that does not apologize for the hateful comments he was supposed to apologize for, Gareth Bennett gets a TWIT Award. Pink News has this story.

Lactatia in the sequin outfit.

Canadian fashion company House of Mann began as a creator costumes for drag queens. In an effort to honor their history the owner of the company thought it would be a great idea to have 9-year-old Queen Lactatia model an outfit. Lactatia chose a sequined onesie with a hood. After photos appeared on Instagram right wing haters went on the attack. A TWIT Award goes to those trolls who seek to oppress a young person who is exploring how she wishes to express herself. Learn more from The Huffington Post.

Ryan T. Anderson is the president of a group known as the National Organization for Marriage. No, they do not try to promote the institution of marriage, per se; they try to promote the idea that marriage should not include either same-sex couples or transgender people. He has come out with a new book on the subject of transgender people, entitled When Harry Became Sally. He claims to be promoting “a balanced approach to policy issues, a nuanced vision of human embodiment, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.” His idea of a balanced approach is to simply deny people jobs, housing, and access to public restrooms because he disagrees with their “lifestyle choices,” and his “honest survey of the human costs” ignores the fact that far more transgender people attempt suicide before transitioning than after. His experts include people who did science badly, and who used statistics that were gathered in a flawed manner. For using bad science and bad logic in order to promote “solutions” that don’t work, Ryan T. Anderson gets a TWIT Award. His book’s promotional material is reviewed by the Slowly Boiling Frog.

Past TWIT Award winners One Million Moms was back in the news this past week for targeting the publisher of children’s books Scholastic, Inc. The “moral pressure” group is opposed to the publisher putting out books that admit transgender people exist. Another TWIT Award goes to the One Million Moms organization. You can learn more about their crusade to protect kids from reality on the Bleeding Cool website.

Newspaper columnist Leo McKinstry wrote about the decision of Althrincham Grammar School to advise faculty to not refer to their students as “girls” as some new height of “transgender madness,” ties it into advice at other schools and from the National Association of Head Teachers, and tries to show that it is all the work of some shadowy group. For over-the-top rhetoric, insensitivity, and the promotion of conspiracy theories, Leo McKinstry gets a TWIT. His column runs in the Daily Express.

Fallon Fox

Fallon Fox

TGF has told you about the trans woman mixed martial arts fighter Fallon Fox and some of the controversy she generated when she came out to the MMA community. Her name is back in the news since the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight fighter Paulo Henrique Costa has announced that he would love to fight Fox and he would “fight him for free, just so I can beat him up.” Costa claims to be upset that Fox wins her bouts with women because of her supposed superior strength. For macho misgendering and a large amount of stupidity we hand the champ a TWIT Award. Read more about it from the LGBTQ Nation website.

Walt Heyer has surfaced yet again. Stella Morabito in The Federalist says that “The Trans Lobby Hates This Man For Proving Sex-Change Regret Is Real.” Where to start? First, the fact that transgender people disagree with Walt Heyer does not mean that we hate him. In this case, it merely means that we see through his arguments and find no science behind them. He speaks for himself and a few others who found their path of least resistance (or, more likely, no resistance) to get the surgery that he and a few others thought would make him happy. When they later found that they were mistaken, rather than blame themselves, they blame others for not warning them, even though they ignored every attempt to warn them. Further, finding a few other people who regret their surgery does not prove that the surgery is wrong for people who do not regret it. He ignores the vast majority of those who received the surgery, who report that they are happier afterwards. So, because a very few report negative results, we should refuse it for everybody. For promoting an unscientific crackpot, Stella Morabito gets a TWIT Award. You can read her writing in The Federalist.

After only a month as the president of the the Quebec province of Canada’s main feminist organization, the Fédération des femmes du Québec, Gabrielle Bouchard is being criticized by feminists who insist that her life experience as a transgender woman does not qualify her to lead the organization. The critics view Bouchard as a man who made a lifestyle choice. Their ignorance of transgender identities wins them a TWIT Award. Learn more from the National Post.

TWIT is compiled by Cecilia Barzyk with editing and additional material 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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