The Week In Trans 12/3/18

| Dec 3, 2018
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Paris Lees

Paris Lees has agreed to write a biweekly column for the British edition of Vogue Magazine. She is the first openly transgender person to write for the magazine, according to the BBC.

An autopsy released this week shows that Roxsana Hernàndez Rodrìguez, a transgender woman who died while in the custody of ICE, was beaten before she died. This is the second autopsy on her body; the first autopsy did not mention signs of beating. The Daily Beast reports on the second autopsy, while Into tells us that ICE is late in filing a mandatory report on her death.

As the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in January, the atmosphere exists for a battle over the Defense Department’s budget. One thing which is likely to cause some debate is the ban on transgender troops, with Senate Armed Services Committee chairman James Inohofe (R-Oklahoma) being opposed to transgender people in the military. This is part of a report in Military Times.

As we reported last week, the Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to intercede in the matter of transgender troops in the military well before they usually do. Newsweek reports that this administration has frequently asked the Supreme Court to act quickly. The court prefers to act at the usual pace.

Rain Dove

Restrooms are back in the news. LGBTQ Nation reports that Rain Dove, a non-binary model, was attacked with pepper spray in a ladies’ room back in April. The attacker has since been in touch via social media, and Rain Dove answered with kindness.

Spectrum TV News 13 in Orlando reports that “As the Transgender Community Comes OUT, Violence Reports Go Up.”

A transgender high school student in Minnesota released a video of how she is harassed when she uses the restroom. This story comes from The Daily Dot.

USA Today featured a letter on their opinion page from one of the students at Boyertown Senior High School who sued the school district over their policy that allows transgender students to use the restroom that matches their gender identity.

The school district for Pasco County, Florida, is receiving quite a few complaints about Jackie Jackson-Dean, a part-time counselor with the school system, who has been known to help transgender students find proper medical care. The Tampa Bay Times reports on this.

Aldermen in Chicago passed a resolution calling on President Trump to “cease and desist” his “blatant discrimination” against transgender people. This resolution came after the mother of a transgender fifth-grader made an emotional appeal to the board. The Chicago Sun Times reported this story.


Nes, a twelve-year-old boy in Thailand, does drag. He has been so successful at drag that he recently bought a house for his family. His story can be found in LGBTQ Nation.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario passed a resolution at their recent convention which called Gender Identity Theory a “highly controversial, unscientific ‘liberal’ ideology.” Ontario Premier Doug Ford later clarified that there would be no legislation coming from that resolution of his party, but even so, CBC Radio hosted Sari van Anders, a behavioral neurologist, to talk about the current scientific understanding of gender identity.

This week, Dr. Samuel Veissiére wrote two articles for Psychology Today. The first was entitled, “Why Is Transgender Identity on the Rise Among Teens?. The article was far too short to be thorough, and it received a lot of criticism, which prompted a response to his own article. In the response, he defends the use of Dr. Lisa Littman’s study in his original article.

Ms. Bob Davis let us know about a positive development for trans health in the San Francisco Bay Area. A new transgender-specific health clinic has opened inside the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. The center is operating with limited services this month but will be full service starting in January. For more information check out the story in the Bay Area Reporter.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is hosting an art exhibition in which all the art is by transgender artists. You can read about it on the WUWM website.

Drag performer wit Down Syndrome.

Evan Brechtel wrote a piece about some drag artists with Down Syndrome. It appeared in Wussy Magazine.

An article in Preen talks about how cisgender people often treat transgender folks as a fetish, and it is time to stop that behavior.

There is a lot of reaction to Andrea Long Chu’s editorial in The New York Times last week. Katelyn Burns writes in Rewire that the piece shows yet another “sad transgender” person, and that we should not have to show that emotion in order to get published. Amanda Kerri writes in The Advocate that therapists and doctors play a vital role in assessing transgender people. Kai Chen Thom writes in Slate that, contrary to what Andrea Long Chu wrote, there are good outcomes in transition. Mischa Haider writes inThe Advocate that different transgender people have different experiences of and reactions to being transgender.

Scotland has done its own consultation with the public on the matter of reforming the Gender Recognition Act. They find that the majority of Scots perfer the idea of self-declaration of gender, without the nee for medical authorities to weigh in. You can read more in Pink News.

Bea Sullivan-Knoff

Oddly, objectification of a transgender person is precisely how Bea Sullivan-Knoff begins her act; she starts the show nude, inviting the audience to objectify her. However, she was not allowed to do that opening in Chicago, nor could she appear topless, as the city has a law which forbids naked “female breasts” in an establishment with a liquor license. She did a different open to her act, but she also sued the city in federal court. Her suit does argue that outlawing “female breasts” but not male breasts treats women as sex objects, and she also asks if a law based so much on a gender binary can be applied to transgender and nonbinary people. The Washington Post reports that a federal judge recently denied the city’s motion to dismiss the case.

T Cooper is a trans man who has made a documentary about the only bodybuilding competition specifically for trans men. The New Yorker took notice of the documentary, which is still looking for a distribution deal.

The Marriage Alliance is group in Australia which lobbied for “traditional marriage.” This year, Australia held a mail-in referendum on the matter of same-sex marriage, and Marriage Alliance’s position lost. Now, their leader, Kirralie Smith, has formed a new lobbying group, Binary Australia. The new group claims to be “concerned with the role that gender plays in our society. We affirm the fact that gender is binary. Male and female.” The Star Observer has more about the new group.


Francine Hèbert is the mother of a transgender child, Noah. She decided to make a documentary about a transgender person, in the hope of making transgender people seem normal to cisgender people. The film is the subject of a story by CBC News.

Sebastian Pinera, the President of Chile, has signed the new law which allows transgender people to register their new gender and to get a name change. Chile is dominated by Catholics and has been slow to legalize things which the Catholic Church does not allow, but after five years of negotiations, the legislature did approve this law. Reuters wrote about this.

A transgender political candidate in Hyderabad has disappeared, just as she should have been campaigning. This report comes from NDTV.

The Print tells us that six transgender candidates are running for election to state legislatures in India.

Ali Laila, a transgender activist in Islamabad, Pakistan, has received a driver’s license with the gender X. Ali has been driving for fifteen years, but did not get a license until now, according to Geo.

Transgender teen Justin Newall took his own life this year. His memory lives on in a buddy bench which his father has created, where a group of people have agreed that no one will sit alone. CBC News has the report.

Miss Tish Ewe

A drag queen in England is also the head teacher at a private school. Andrew Livingstone teaches by day and at night he performs as Miss Tish Ewe. When video of her performance was seen on social media the school issued a statement of support for their teach saying they do “not believe that the two jobs are incompatible…” Read about it in Pink News

Recently, The Article had a pair of pieces on the subject of transitioning, and specifically on the subject of how counselors and doctors are to deal with people as they transition. Dr. Kathleen Stock argued that in certain cases, therapists and doctors could be guilty of “conversion therapy” according to the definition of the charity Stonewall whatever they do. Her example starts with a lesbian who transitions to male. In order to support the patient’s transition to male, the caregiver must support the patient no longer being lesbian. However, if the caregiver continues to support the patient as a lesbian, then the caregiver is not supporting the patient during gender transition. The response from Florence Ashley takes a while to get to its best point, but eventually does say that this is all a matter of labels, and the point is to support the patient in a declaration of sexual attraction and gender identity, regardless of what label those may get.

It takes quite a bit of learning to be a good ally. Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons has done a lot of learning, especially since his transgender sister was murdered. The Detroit Free Press ran a story about how much he has learned.

Brian Belovich has transitioned and de-transitioned, trying to find an identity that fit just right. He has now written a book, entitled Trans Figured: My Journey from Boy to Girl to Woman to Man. He is profiled in The Windy City Times.

Richard Simmons

TMZ reports that Richard Simmons has settled his lawsuit against the publisher of The National Inquirer. The Inquirer published a story which claimed that Richard Simmons was changing gender. A judge failed to see the story as slander because, while it was not true, the judge felt that undergoing a change of gender was not an insult. The terms of the agreement are confidential. However, Richard Simmons is still suing a private investigator who attempted to track him in connection with this story.

Josh Parsons left a note for his parents one night, telling them that when he woke up in the morning, he was going to live as male. And he did. The Daily Mail reports that his parents have been accepting of his gender. His mother says that she knew he was different even when she was pregnant with him.

WJBK-TV in Detroit ran another story on Corey Maison and her dad Eric, both of whom are transgender. They have been the subjects of several stories, because their situation is interesting.


Stephanie Davies-Aria, the founder of Transgender Trend, was on the shortlist for the John Maddox Prize, an award for “the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.” But, Transgender Trend faces hostility because the so-called science that they use is not sound at all–it is grade-school level in its oversimplification of reality. For treating a quack as though she were doing respectable science, the John Maddox Prize gets a TWIT Award. Transgender Trend did not win the award; the primary winner was Professor Terry Hughes, who talks about the damage done to coral reefs by rising water temperatures. The Christian Institute wrote about the nomination.

The Telegraph reports that a record number of “male prisoners” identify as female. Their choice of words is suspicious, to say the least. A few paragraphs in, they say that 22 of the 139 prisoners in question are at women’s prisons. That means that 16% prisoners who claims to be a transgender female is in a women’s prison, while 84% are in prisons for men. The article reminds people of an unfortunate incident involving a transgender prisoner which made headlines this summer, but they fail to mention that the Ministry of Justice has admitted to being in the wrong there and has taken steps to change their policy. They also fail to consider the very real possibility that transgender women held in a prison for males could be sexually assaulted by other prisoners. For sensationalism, The Telegraph gets a TWIT Award.

We mentioned above that there were a number of responses to Andrea Long Chu’s editorial in The New York Times. Here is another response. Nicole Russell writes in The Washington Examiner that the fact that one patient says in advance that her surgery will not bring her happiness “accidentally makes the case that surgery isn’t the answer.” For generalizing from one person’s experience, and for rushing to push her own agenda, Nicole Russell gets a TWIT Award.

We reported last week that Celine Dion has come up with a line of non-gendered children’s clothes. The Christian Post reports that Monsignor John Esseff has come out with a statement condemning the clothing line as “demonic.” His claim of expertise is that he has served as an exorcist for over 40 years, but this comment makes one wonder if he has been drumming up business for himself as an exorcist. For exaggeration to the point of hyperbole, Monsignor John Esseff gets a TWIT. (For a much more informed opinion on transgender people, see the response of officials at Regis University when the Archbishop of Denver claimed, “Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the promotion of gender fluidity as a type of ideological colonization.”)

Ben Shapiro of National Review talks of “The Real-World Consequences Of Submitting To The Transgender Zeitgeist.” In the subtitle, he says, “Sympathy for transgender people cannot trump objective reality.” So, apparently, scientists and doctors do not know objective reality. Oh, and here is a bit of objective reality — failing to support transgender people leads to a lot of dead transgender people, both through suicide and through murders. For ignoring the real-life consequences of his own theory, Ben Shapiro gets a TWIT Award.

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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