The Week In Trans 11/7/16

| Nov 7, 2016
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C. J. as Bob The Drag Queen.

C. J. as Bob The Drag Queen.

Bob The Drag Queen flew across the country to take the 9-year-old boy who said Bob was his hero Trick or Treating on Halloween. The boy, known as C.J. had announced to his parents that he wanted to dress up as Bob The Drag Queen and his mother wrote about it. Bob saw the article and rearranged his schedule to escort the littlest drag queen. Read the story and watch video on The Huffington Post.

You may recall the story from a couple of weeks ago about the transgender 11-year-old from a military family living in Germany, who had to leave her school and go to another building when she had to go to the restroom. Well, as soon as that story became public, she got permission to use the girls’ restroom at school. Shortly after that, on October 26, the Department of Defense issued a guidance which said that all transgender youth are allowed to use the restroom and other facilities which are consistent with their gender identity in Department of Defense programs and activities, including but not limited to school. This story comes from Military Times.

bud_lightThe Bud Light Party is over. Of course the election is almost over but Budweiser (or its corporate parent, Anheuser-Busch InBev) has decided to call an early end to the commercials, which featured Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan. In one of the commercials, Amy Schumer said, “Gender identity is really a spectrum, and we don’t need labels.” Sales of Bud Light declined, and the ads received partial blame. While the ads were supposed to make fun of politics, some of the banter was interpreted as political. Pink News has this story.

A new app is in the works that will help trans people find trans-friendly hangout spots, doctors, therapists, and other professional services. It’s called Genderis. Learn more about it on the Hello Giggles website.

A group of citizens in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, have started a recall petition against councilman Chris Moreno. One of the big things organizers point to as a negative about Mr. Moreno is a protest he organized against Target’s restroom policy, and how he took personal credit when Target agreed to introduce single-user restrooms. There are other reasons why some voters want to get rid of him, but the Target protest is the first thing that organizers mentioned. This story is in the Lee’s Summit Journal.

Jodie Harsh

Jodie Harsh

The Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia is the home of the Melbourne Cup and they have a day during that week of racing called Oaks Day, or Ladies Day. Women show up in glamorous outfits more suited to a nightclub than an afternoon at the track. (Many drink as if they are at a nightclub.) This year the ladies had competition from a queen when British drag performer and DJ Jodie Harsh was booked to entertain the crowd after the race. Find out what she wore in Perth Now.

More hospitals are now offering gender transition services, including gender-confirmation surgery. The biggest reason for this increase is that fewer insurance plans have clauses that specifically exclude paying for transgender care. NBC News has this story.

The Keystone Conference, scheduled for March 2017, has issued a call for presentations. This year’s event drew a gender spectrum of  600+ attendees — Female-to-Males, Male-to-Females, Spouses, Significant Others, Non-ops, Pre-ops, Post-ops, Educators, Doctors, Counselors, Social Workers, Lawyers and other professionals — whose ages ranged from 8 to 87. If you wish to give a speech or present a workshop on issues of interest to any part of this diverse group click here to submit your proposal. The deadline is January 15.

According to the Williams Institute, transgender-identifying adults are more racially and ethnically diverse than the U.S. general population. This means that whatever causes people to be transgender is not limited to one ethnic or racial group. That could be important for any research into why people are transgender. You can read the Williams Institute’s press release here.

Gusty Winds

Gusty Winds

Gusty Winds is a drag performer in New York City who has been taking public transit to get to her shows in Manhattan for more than two decades and she had never been harassed by anyone. It’s said that New York City is the world’s biggest closet since you can see almost anything in the streets and subways so Gusty has never upset anyone — until Halloween night when she was on her way to Lips for a show and a straight couple started talking loudly about her. Then the woman started taking photos with her phone. Find out what happened next on the NewNowNext website.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is not a nation known for being friendly to trans people. The military regime who were in charge for half a century were harsh to most everybody. Things are changing, but slowly. On October 30, they held the Miss Nay Won Thit Beauty Contest at the Hotel Marvel in Mandalay. Many of the contestants were first-timers, and they had little time to prepare. The contest stressed education, including education about AIDS. You can read more in the Myanmar Times.

You may have read about a Muslim transgender woman who was beaten to death and torn to bits. Raina Aliev, who lives in Dagestan, Russia, was indeed severely beaten, but some sources writing in Russian say that she is still alive. A story about her death appeared in the Daily Star, while the story of her survival seems to be only in Russian or sent via e-mail.

The Boulet Brothers.

The Boulet Brothers.

RuPaul’s Drag Race has been on the air so long it’s almost become bland and mainstream. Fortunately there are always those in the wings who are willing to step up and mess with a genre. In this case it’s the Boulet Brothers, fixtures of Los Angeles nightlife, who have started a web series drag competition called Dragula. You might guess from the name that it’s slightly darker than Drag Race. Read all about it on the Queerty website.

A transgender man in Israel has given birth to a baby boy, and both parents want to be recognized as a father of their son. The Israeli Interior Ministry has not recognized either parent as the father of the boy. An appeal has been filed with the High Court of Justice. The Times of Israel has this story.

In Southern Alberta, a mother has lost custody of her child because the child-born-male has been dressing and living as a girl while with the mother. The child’s father now has custody, thanks to a judge’s ruling. The mother says that the child needs to be examined by an expert in gender identity, but the mother reports that the father refuses to allow such an examination and that the court has not asked anyone with a background in gender identity to examine the child. It is possible that the mother is overstating the case, but there certainly seems to be something going on here. The CBC has this story.

Jin Xing

Jin Xing

Jin Xing is a transgender woman who now is a talk show host in China. A former ballet star, she has been called the Oprah Winfrey of China. She gained fame as a judge on China’s version of So You Think You Can Dance, where she received the nickname “Poison Tongue.” She is profiled in The Hollywood Reporter.

Four years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that transgender people are (or should be) protected under already-existing civil rights law that deals with discrimination on the basis of sex. But, the ruling took some time to come into force. Some say that the delay has been a great disservice to transgender people. The delay really came in getting other parts of the federal government to agree with the EEOC. You can read about this on Buzzfeed.

Chelsea Manning made another suicide attempt October 4. Ms. Manning made the suicide attempt on the first night of her two weeks in solitary confinement. The solitary confinement was imposed on her for her suicide attempt in July. (One week of solitary confinement was to be suspended, but it will now be reinstated.) She further says that during her week in solitary confinement, she was attacked psychologically by people who were impersonating prison guards, and that these people tried to persuade her to escape. Her lawyer from the ACLU, Chase Strangio, has confirmed the suicide attempt. Mr. Strangio told the story to The New York Times.

Abigale Austen

Abigail Austen

Abigail Austen is a retired Army officer from Britain, and she is transgender. She went to visit North Carolina, to talk with some legislators about HB2. These interviews were recorded and edited into a television program entitled, My Trans American Road Trip. During the interviews, some of which were two hours long, many of those whom she talked to said something like, “transgender people are homosexual perverts.” You can read an interview about the show in The Echo.

Metro Bank in Britain has just opened an account for a non-binary teen without registering the customer as “male” or “female.” They will use the honorific “Mx.” rather than “Mr.” or “Ms.” or “Mrs.” or “Miss.” It’s a small step, but it is a step nonetheless. Congratulations to Kaelin Farnish of Scotland for doing this. Buzzfeed has this story.

Grayson Perry as Claire.

Grayson Perry as Claire.

Grayson Perry, the Turner-prize-winning artist, has created a four-part series on gender for British television. Entitled Born Risky: Grayson Perry, the first episode features Grayson getting autobiographical, and the other three episodes feature Grayson interviewing transgender people.  The whole series is available online. Pink News has this story.

Australia requires that minors get the permission of the family court before they can start getting HRT. (They can get hormone blockers without the court’s approval.) Inner City Legal Centre is a law firm which has helped transgender teens and their families make their way through the family court, from filings to representation, often on a pro-bono basis. But, the number of children needing their services has risen sharply, and they just don’t have the ability to give so many people free legal services. They are trying to raise some money from outside sources to help them provide for more people. Buzzfeed has this story.


Star Parker, an activist, has written an opinion piece for OneNewsNow, which begins with Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s observation, “you are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.” She then proceeds to ignore any fact which disagrees with her anti-transgender opinions. She says that being transgender is “a psychological problem,” thereby dismissing any possibility of a physical component. To do so, she has to deny any connection between the mind and the brain. She then goes on to analyze Gavin Grimm in a way that is most unlike the way that the mental health community analyzes transgender people. In doing so, she presents herself as a better expert in mental health than professionals in the field. That is a delusion of grandeur, and that is a mental health issue. For dismissing experts while putting herself forth as an expert in a field she does not understand, Star Parker gets a TWIT Award. You can read her piece on OneNewsNow.

The Federalist is at it again. They’ve featured a new article entitled 5 Damning Inconsistencies In Transgender Dogma. The first is that gender is a spectrum — a statement that means that there is more to gender than just “male” and “female.” Their disproof? “You’re attentive when you’re out and about in the world. How many of these other genders have you ever seen? How many can you name?” Viruses, subatomic particles, and black holes are things that few people have seen, and yet, they are known to exist because of the effects that they have. Intersex people certainly exist, despite the fact that the readers of The Federalist have never noticed them. For dismissing science and using bad logic to do so, the Federalist gets yet another TWIT Award. You can find their silliness here.

Conservative radio show host Laura Harvey has declared that the policy of not allowing bullying in schools is “institutional child abuse.” In a column written for the web, she claims that anti-bullying measures are an attempt to “firmly plant homosexuality and gender confusion as fully accepted behaviors even among grade-school children.” If you ever wondered who is on the side of bullies, there is the answer. Bullying does not reduce the occurrence of LGBT tendencies in children, but it does lead LGBT children to commit suicide, which apparently is an acceptable outcome to these “pro-life” people. For siding with bullies, and for either being too stupid to see that she is siding with bullies or too twisted to care, Laura Harvey gets a TWIT. You can read her column in Barb Wire.

Laura Harvey is not the only person on the side of bullies. Peter LaBarbara has written an editorial in which he claims that the anti-bullying plan discriminates against states which have not enacted “pro-homosexual laws” for their schools. Let’s decode that. He is arguing that the anti-bullying program discriminates against schools which do not have an anti-discrimination policy. Under this policy, those states that have laws that forbid bullying against LGBT students will get money for these programs — in fact, these states will get four dollars from the federal government for each dollar of their own that they spend to fund the program. But, states which do not include LGBT protections in their anti-bullying programs don’t get the money. So, you want the government to not only allow you to discriminate against LGBT people, but to fund it as well. These people claim to be Christian, but they seem to have missed the many parts of the Gospels in which Jesus tells people to worry about their own sins and not about someone else’s sins. For getting so worked up about the need to discriminate in a most un-Christ-like way, Peter LaBarbara and Lifesite get a TWIT Award. You can read the editorial on Lifesite.

In West Virginia, some voters got a robocall with a message claiming to be from a twelve-year-old girl who says a man came into the girls’ dressing room after swim practice — and because of a recent vote by the state legislature, this was perfectly legal. Of course, it was not legal, but she says that it happened and it scared her. A review by West Virginia police shows no such incident was reported. Reporters called the group who paid for the robocall, and asked a spokesperson to comment. The spokesperson said that the incident happened in Washington state. Now, there was such an incident in Washington, when a right-winger believed the things he heard about how anyone could walk into any changing room, and he left when the police told him that he was not allowed to be there. For fabricating a lie based on what happened when someone else believed a lie of theirs, the Family Policy Council gets a TWIT Award. The Charleston Gazette-Mail has this story.

A Walmart employee in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, shot a coworker as part of a dispute over the shooter’s transition from male to female. The 22-year-old shooter is identified as Zachary T. McClimans in the news account, but the account uses male pronouns, so it is likely that the shooter uses a name other than Zachary. The police did use the name “Zachary” when charging the shooter with attempted murder. It is terrible how some people do not respect a transgender person’s transition, but that is no excuse for attempted murder. For escalating the incident by shooting, Ms. McClimans gets a TWIT. You can read about this in the Gloucester Times.

Do you know where Tunisia is? It’s in Africa, on the Mediterranean Sea. Police there apparently stopped four people in a car as they were returning from a Halloween party. One of the four was a 19-year-old transgender woman, who was taken to the police station and tortured until she confessed to being gay, according to the local LGBT activist group known as Shams. There are reports of quite a bit of yelling by the police, including some discriminatory remarks. According to the police, the reasons for the arrest were indecent behavior, drunkenness, and rowdiness. It sounds like the police engaged in some indecent behavior and rowdiness of their own. For singling out transgender people for such an attack, and for not knowing the difference between being gay and being transgender, the police in this story get a TWIT Award. Erasing 76 Crimes has this story.

Pat McCrory tried to prevent a forum on HB2 from taking place. He claimed that the discussion’s “proximity in time to the general election and its focus on an issue repeatedly raised by the Democrat [sic] party and Roy Cooper belies the true purpose and motivation behind the event.” The event took place anyway, but for attempting to thwart the right of the people to peacefully assemble, Governor McCrory gets yet another TWIT. Peacock Panache has this story.

Large portions of this edition of TWIT were researched and written by Cecilia Barzyk.

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Category: Transgender Community News


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

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