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The Week In Trans 12/23/19

| Dec 23, 2019
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Alexandra Grey

Happy holidays from all of us at and our sponsor The Breast Form Store! Now here’s the news.

Alexandra Grey is a new cast member in this, the last season of the series Empire. She plays the part of a transgender singer who was hired by Empire Records, but who faces tremendous discrimination after she comes out as transgender. The actress sat for an interview with Out magazine.

Police in Clark County, Washington state, made an arrest in the death of Nikki Kunhausen. She had been missing since June, and the body was found on December 7. David Bogdanov has been arrested and is charged with second-degree murder. She died of asphyxiation, apparently strangled by her hair extensions. KATU-TV has this story. Many thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has stated that, if she is elected president, once a year she will read the names of transgender women of color who were killed. She plans to hold this ceremony in the Rose Garden. The Hill mentioned this comment, which came in a debate of Democratic presidential candidates.

An unidentified 33-year-old, identified as female, was shot to death in Brooklyn. Someone with a broken leg was found outside the building, and was detained for questioning. Police have not identified the woman, pending notification of next of kin. Some neighbors say that the victim was transgender, although the police will neither confirm nor deny that at this point. You can read about this in Gay City News. We thank Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

The case against the ban on transgender people in the military continues to move towards trials in four district courts. Judge Marsha Pechman ordered the Pentagon to turn over thousands of documents which have not been made public, but which the pentagon say were used to justify the version of the ban which the Supreme Court upheld. Stars And Stripes has this story.

Naomi Ramirez Rosales

Earlier this year, Naomi Ramirez Rosales was arrested for being on the platform for a light rail in Phoenix without paying the fee. She was then passed along to immigration authorities. She might be released temporarily, while pending trial on immigration charges, according to Phoenix New Times.

We told you last week of a woman in Seattle who used pepper spray on some teenagers who were verbally attacking her. After a review of video of the incident, the King County Sheriff’s Office says that she may be charged as an aggressor in the incident. The Seattle Times has this story.

The Conversation reminds us that transgender people do not have many legal protections when at homeless shelters.

Kira Zylstra has resigned a position with the agency in charge of homeless shelters in King County, Washington, (which includes the city of Seattle). This follows an incident in which a transgender woman did a strip dance at a conference on homelessness. It seems that the activist had told officials that she would be doing the dance, but no one took steps to prevent it. This story comes from The Seattle Times.

The New York Times has a long piece in the Opinion section, asking how far the Democrats should go in protecting transgender people. The piece starts with the presumption that the public is not entirely behind civil rights for transgender people, but that point is never supported with specifics.

Jennifer Finney Boylin points out in an op-ed in The New York Times that the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has as its central conflict the way people who are different are constantly shunned and humiliated. In other words the story is about how members of the trans community are often treated. Even if our noses are not red.

Bea Sullivan-Knoff

Some time ago, we mentioned that Bea Sullivan-Knoff had challenged Chicago’s laws about strip clubs that serve alcohol. (She claimed that appearing topless without pasties was part of her performance art.) It seems that her lawsuit has been settled, and that the law is being changed as a result. This story from the Chicago Tribune was carried in The Hartford Courant.

The state of New Jersey recently issued new guidelines for police interactions with transgender people, but did not address the stereotypes which lead to transgender women being assumed to engage in sex work, according to an opinion piece in The Star-Ledger.

Elizabeth Warren said that she will look into the FOSTA/SESTA Act, which tries to put new regulations on sex workers, including closing websites that assist sex workers in safely finding clients. Some commentators mentioned how this is especially important to transgender women, who may turn to sex work if they cannot find other employment. Pink News has this story.

A study of data involving traffic stops in San Diego shows that police are more likely handcuff LGBTQ people than non-LGBTQ people. You can see this story in Voices of San Diego.

In a speech at a meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “The market has decided that women and people who give birth deserve less time with their children than a dog.” Pink News praised her for noticing that not all people who give birth are women.

Anita Noelle Green

Anita Noelle Green is suing the Ms United States of America pageant, because the pageant has a requirement that a contestant “is a natural born female.” This story can be found in Oregon Live.

A member of the Georgia House of Representatives has pre-filed a bill which would require transgender student athletes to compete in their “gender identified at birth.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this story.

In a quick decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to remove Judge Bradley Starr from a case involving a transgender woman, despite the fact that the judge has written several articles which show he has negative opinions of transgender people and our rights. This story can be found at

Nine prison guards in Illinois have been disciplined for mocking transgender inmates in a closed group on Facebook. This as uncovered by Injustice Watch.

A man from Portland, Oregon, apologized for punching a transgender woman in the face while saying nasty things about her gender identity and her race. That apology came in court, as he pleaded “no contest” to assault charges. The Advocate has this story.

Montaq reports that the question of whether the law protects transgender employees is still being settled.

Jazz Lyles

Jazz Lyles was a computer engineer at Nike, but she left because the company failed to deal with gender discrimination that she received. She had trouble getting other employees to use the gender-neutral pronoun “they,” she claims in a lawsuit. Willamette Week has this story.

Brynn Tannehill writes that people who categorically reject dating transgender people are transphobic. Her article appears in The Advocate.

You may remember Hannah Mouncey, who has tried and so far failed to join a women’s football team in Australia. This week, she was dropped from the national women’s handball team, because some teammates did not want her around when they are changing and showering. As you can imagine, this upset her quite a bit. The Daily Mail Australia has this story

We reported last week that Jake and Hannah Graf are expecting an addition to their family in April. Pink News tells us that several newspapers covered the story, and many reported that they would be the first transgender parents in Britain, despite the fact that there have been other transgender parents in Britain.

Pride Source has an interview with Charlize Theron, prior to her appearance in the new film Bombshell. She opened up about raising a transgender child.

Rain Dove got in trouble this week, when they confessed to several lies, some of which went viral. This makes it hard to determine whether to believe some other stories about the transgender model, such as the conversation they reported with a mother who accused them of making her daughter sick. You can find Rain Dove’s confession in a Youtube video, or read about it at LGBTQ Nation.

The Vivienne

2019 has been quite a year for the drag queen The Vivienne. She won RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K., and she got married. Where does a drag queen get married? At a gay club, it turns out. You can read about it in

GIPHY, a web site for animated GIFs, rated a GIF of the drag queen Jasmine Masters accidentally hitting herself between the legs as the go-to reaction for people who defeat themselves in an argument. They say it was the most viewed GIF of the year. Buzzfeed has this story.

RuPaul was inducted into the California Hall of Fame this week, as he was proclaimed the Most Commercially Successful Drag Queen Ever. This story comes from LGBTQ Nation.

RuPaul’s DragCon will be in London January 18 and 19, and has some tweets regarding the line-up of drag all-stars who will appear there.

A tax expert in Britain named Maya Forstater found her contract was not renewed, after her employer, the Centre for Global Development, took objection to a series of tweets she made, stating that “men cannot change into women.” She and her legal representatives tried to frame this as a free speech case, but the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that her statements were “absolutist,” as well as “offensive and exclusionary,” and “incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others,” and therefore constituted grounds for her employer not to renew her contract. The Independent has this story, which has spawned a good bit of controversy, as can be seen in our TWIT section.

Jessica Yaniv, who sued an aesthetician who would not give her a Brazilian wax, was charged with two weapons violations in British Columbia. She was seen with a taser in a video on Youtube, as Global News reports.


Jewels of Long Beach was presented with the key to the city this past Tuesday night by Mayor Robert Garcia who lauded her for her philanthropic work for both the LGBTQ community and the city as a whole. Learn more in The Longbeach Post.

In São Paulo, Brazil, a man has confessed to killing a 23-year-old transgender woman, saying that she was a sex worker. He has been arrested and jailed. Pink News has this story.

In Bordeaux, France, four men attacked a transgender woman and threw her over a parapet at least nine feet high. At least, that is what she told the police, and there is footage of the men interacting with her, according to Pink News.

In Naples, Italy, a transgender woman was found under a manhole cover. She had been robbed and beaten, and was bruised and battered when she was found. She was taken to a hospital. You can read about this in Pink News.

In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, a worker at a home for children is accused of raping a 14-year-old transgender male. Pink News has this story.

Germany’s cabinet has drafted a bill, which if passed by the legislature will ban conversion therapy. This story comes from Deutsche Weldt.

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has called for a nationwide ban on conversion therapy, and LGBTQ Nation reports that some Christians see this as the beginning of the end for their religion.

Recent polling shows that Cornwall is a particularly transphobic part of Britain. However, local residents say it’s not that bad. You can read this in Pink News.

Grayson Perry

British artist and crossdresser Grayson Perry is currently on tour in Australia. Perry is not performing stand up comedy but what he calls being a “comedy thought leader.” He will be on stage in several venues in Australia in January. Learn more from an interview in The Music.

With so many stories of bad things happening to transgender people, we need some good things going on. Li Benedetti, a non-binary person originally from Brazil, created the Trans Winter Wonderland in London. It is a place where transgender, non-binary, and gender-creative people can gather to eat, have fun, and be with others like them. Pink News has this story.

Scotland’s Parliament has introduced a draft bill to reform the Gender Recognition Act, and has begun a new public consultation period around that bill. Pink News reports that the bill does not cover non-binary identities.

Here’s a good story. A 19-year-old in Liverpool, who was raised by dad on “boxing and bikes” came out as transgender, and was surprised that dad, a bodybuilder, was actually quite understanding about it. The Liverpool Echo has this story, and a follow-up about the positive reactions to the story.

The gender binary extends all the way to alcohol. Sweet or fruity cocktails are seen to be feminine, while stronger spirit-based drinks are for men. A restaurant chain in London, Burger & Lobster, has taken to renaming some of its drinks, to give them a more “gender-neutral” reputation, as Pink News reports.

Zion with mom Gabrielle Union.

NBA star Dwayne Wade posted a photo of his family on Instagram and got immediate comments from people who noticed that his son, Zion, had long colorful false fingernails amd was wearing a crop top. Wade now confirms that his son is becoming his daughter and he and his wife fully support her. Learn more from Daily Wire.

From South Africa comes the story of a University of Cape Town graduate named Velile Vilane, who has gone from “Miss” to “Mister” and now to “Doctor”. News24 has this story.

Just in time for the holidays, American Airlines became the latest carrier to allow passengers to use “U” or “X” as their gender. It will take a short while to get all the software up to date, but it will be coming soon, a spokesperson told USA Today.


J.K. Rowling really stepped in something foul this week. In response to the legal decision on Maya Fostater, the researcher who was “fired” (actually, her contract was not renewed) because of her anti-transgender views. Although Judge James Tayler said that Ms. Forstater’s view was “incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others,” Ms. Rowling seemed to feel that it was Ms. Forstater’s fundamental right of free speech that was infringed. The tweet started well: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security.” Then suddenly, it took a sharp turn. “But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill” While many were quick to condemn her, we waited a few days to see if maybe the reaction might get her to at least issue a clarification. (Perhaps the shock of finding herself defended by folks like The Daily Signal and The Washington Examiner–the kinds of people who associated Harry Potter with satanism–could have brought her to her senses.) But, since she has not issued so much as a clarification, we have to assume that she really does believe the canard that gender=sex=chromosomes, ergo chromosomes are destiny. So, for bad science, J.K. Rowling gets a TWIT Award. Pink News has a round-up of early celebrity criticism (including Mark Hammill, who at first liked her tweet, until he found out more), then the next day, Pink News added another areticle, with more celebrity feedback. Pink News also has an article about fan feedback, which is not kind to Ms. Rowling. Many thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

J.K. Rowling has one celebrity defender–Ricky Gervais. He seems like a bad drunk as he fights most everybody who tries to tell him that science is more complex that what they teach in grade school. The Advocate has his TWIT-worthy tweets. Maybe he should have read this article in Pink News about real scientists, who work with genetics all the time, responding to Madeleine Kearns of the National Review, telling her that she needs to learn some better science.)

Also squarely behind Ms. Rowling is former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, who has shown herself to be a TERF before this. She used her defense of Ms. Rowling as an introduction to the following: “Am I the only person fed up of drag shows? A parody of what a real woman is, like black face.” Part of the act is that drag is not realistic. It is supposed to be over-the-top, if just to remind the audience that it’s all a performance. For completely missing the point, Sharron Davies gets a TWIT Award. You can read this one in Pink News.

A woman has taken objection to the Oxfordshire Trans Inclusion Kit, saying that allowing transgender students into restrooms on the basis of their gender identity is “dangerous.” Experience with such laws does not show a danger, but that does not stop Victoria Edwards from insisting that there is a great danger in it. For ignoring reality, she gets a TWIT Award. Moreover, though, The Daily Mail gets a TWIT for misrepresenting the new guidelines, saying that the new toolkit “tells children to use whichever toilet they like at school.” It actually tells them to use the restroom for the gender with which they identify.

The Daily Mail has a story with the headline, “A quarter of youngsters being treated at transgender clinics may just be autistic, new research claims.” Most medical authorities realize that patients can be both autistic and transgender. Unfortunately, some Australians, looking only at statistics, noted in a medical journal that the prevalence of autistic patients in gender clinics is higher than in the general population. That is fine as far as it goes, but the Daily Mail assumes that this overrepresentation is evidence that there is over-diagnosis. There is also the possibility that the two things are somehow interrelated, such that we could expect a higher percentage in the transgender population than in the general population. The Daily Mail ignores the possibility of interrelatedness, and simply pretends that they found proof that gender dysphoria is less prevalent than the clinics suggest. For biased reporting the Daily Mail gets another TWIT Award.

In Flagler County, Florida, Rev. Charlene Cothran, a pastor who claims to be an “ex-lesbian,” called a transgender student, who is transferring out of a local school because of the lack of support there, “confused.” She continually attacked the student verbally, and also attacked the student’s parents. When her time to speak was up, she said that she would submit the rest of her testimony in writing, and she did–with a lot of links to sites that do not accept science. For bad science, bad logic, and bad manners, Rev. Charlene Cothran gets a TWIT Award. You can read about this in Flagler Live.

Giles Coren of The Times wrote a poor attempt at humor, which was far more biased than funny. He rewrote Christmas carols in what he called a “non-binary” way, and claimed that if the Conservative Party had not won the election, this is what Britons would have to sing. It says something about his soul that he thinks that being kind to others is a bother to him. For continuing to employ such an unintelligent person, The Times gets a TWIT Award. Pink News has this story.

The College Fix has a story about “liberal young women who help their peers ‘detransition’ from transgender identity.” There are absolutely no statistics which show that any sizable number of people are even attempting to detransition; to suggest that detransitioning is common anywhere would need much more evidence than this article contains. Somebody is lying here, and if it isn’t the author, then the author is willingly believing a lie. A TWIT Award is issued to The College Fix.

Someone wrote a pro-transgender message on a bridge, saying, “Protect Black Trans Women.” Someone else crossed out the part about women, and made it say in essence, “Protect guns.” It’s bad enough that some people feel that guns are more deserving of protection than are people. It is worse that The College Fix applaud this change. For valuing guns more than people, The College Fix gets another TWIT.

The Washington Examiner denounced Yamiche Alcindor of PBS, who while moderating a debate of Democratic presidential candidates referred to hate crimes against transgender people. According to Eddie Scarry of the Examiner, there is no such thing as a hate crime against transgender people. He runs down several murdered transgender people, and claims that they had it coming. For horrible ethics, Eddie Scarry of the Washington Examiner gets a TWIT Award.

Chad Felix Greene of The Federalist repeatedly refers to “transgender bullies.” Which earns him a TWIT. Again, it just bothers him to be kind to others, in this case by giving them rights that he takes for granted, as if it is a birthright of his. The specific right he is talking about here is employment, and more specifically, continuing to be employed after saying something which is scientifically inaccurate. Then again, he works for The Federalist, where he might be fired if he wrote something that was scientifically accurate.

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional content and editing by Angela Gardner. Care to make a comment on this post? Login here and use the comment area below.

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Category: Transgender Community News


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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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