The Week In Trans 12/9/19

| Dec 9, 2019
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Stephanie Byers

Stephanie Byers, a retired high school teacher, wants to become the first transgender person in the Kansas legislature. She wants to replace someone who is hoping to move up from the state House to the state Senate. KAKE-TV has this story.

The Appeals Court in Atlanta is reviewing the decision in the case of Drew Adams, who was a transgender high school student in Florida who sued to get access to the boys’ restroom. Two of the three judges seem to be sympathetic to the case for Mr. Adams, while the third is worried about a hypothetical girl who sues for access to the boys’ restroom in order to avoid a line in the girls’ restroom. (If that hypothetical girl is late for class, why are those other girls in that restroom?) The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this story.

The case of Gavin Grimm will have oral arguments in the coming year. The Attorney General of Pennsylvania has signed on to an amicus letter supporting Grimm, a letter which 22 other state Attorneys General have signed. You can read about it in My Chester County.

Education Dive says that transgender students are winning court cases for access to the restroom of the gender with which they identify, so schools should make accommodation.

An appeals court in Arizona has told a judge that he must grant a name change request for a transgender man. This judge has denied three name change requests from transgender people; one was granted by another court, and one has been refiled. The order from the Appeals Court tells this judge that a gender change is a legal reason to request a name change. The Associated Press has this story.

Nicole Garcia

Nicole Garcia is the pastor of Westview Church in Boulder, Colorado. The church is a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and they have accepted this transgender woman as their pastor. Get the story from KMGH-TV.

Kevin Jennings, who was a founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and later worked for the Department of Education in the Obama administration, is taking over as the new head of Lambda Legal. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

A transgender sex worker was abducted and robbed by two men in the Bronx, according to The New York Post.

Alec McKinney, a 16-year-old trans man who was arrested in connection with a mass shooting at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, will be tried as an adult on charges of murder and attempted murder, as well as weapons charges. Reuters has this story.

A California inmate named Miguel Crespo has received a death sentence for killing his transgender cellmate. The hanging occurred eight hours after the two became cellmates. Learn more from NBC News.

In Buenos Aires teenagers are rewriting the rules of the language to eliminate gender. In classrooms and daily conversations, young people are changing the way they speak and write. Spanish is a gendered language and the teens are changing the masculine “0” and feminine “a” to a gender neutral “e”. Gracias to Jamie Roberts for this story in The Washington Post.

A transgender inmate in Texas has filed a lawsuit requesting a name change. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the story.

A group of researchers are currently working on a national Veterans Affairs (VA) study designed to learn about the health and life experiences of diverse groups of Veterans from all backgrounds, including transgender Veterans. The study includes filling out a web-based questionnaire once every 9 months for approximately 2 years (for a total of 4 questionnaires). All research activities are completed online, with no in-person visits required. This study has been approved by the VA Puget Sound Health Care System IRB, project #01672. For more information on the survey and research project visit the study website.

Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins is a black trans woman who was elected to the Minneapolis City Council. She has made a conscious effort to be visible and to allow others to approach her, both as a councilwoman and as a transgender person. She sat for an interview with LGBTQ Nation.

U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamorthi (D-IL) has introduced the STOP Bullying Act. This would give the Department of Education money to create anti-bullying task forces at K-12 public schools. The anti-bullying efforts would protect LGB students, including transgender students. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

U.S. Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT) has filed a bill which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing, and education. However, the bill has some massive exemptions for sincerely-held religious beliefs. It turns out, neither party is happy with this bill, as Pink News reports.

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) says that she hopes that there will be transgender people in Congress soon, but that until that happens, she and others like her will do their best to voice the concerns of those who do not have a voice of their own in Congress. LGBTQ Nation has an interview with her.

Danica Roem

Danica Roem just got re-elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. She has not forgotten that she got elected by paying attention to local issues, things like roads and schools. She talked with LGBTQ Nation about her plans for her second term and beyond.

In the 1980s, artist David Wojnarowicz had the slogan, “If I die of AIDS–forget burial–just drop my body on the steps of the F.D.A.” An updated jacket was spotted this week, saying, “If transphobia kills me forget burial-drop my body on the steps of Congress.” This story appeared in Pink News.

Sophie White has written a guest column in Dallas Voice about the courage it takes to come out as transgender.

Dr. Meg-John Barker has come out with Gender: A Graphic Guide, a sort of text book about gender with drawn illustrations. In an interview with Pink News, the author talks about the connection between climate change and transphobia, among other things.

One of the oldest churches in Chicago is about to start a new life as a center for homeless LGBTQ youth. The congregation moved out, and the seller wanted to find a worthy buyer for the old building. Pink News has this story.


The new Disney+ streaming service features a program called Marvel’s Hero Project, which highlights some people who are making a difference in the world. One of them is Rebekah, a twelve-year-old transgender female from New Jersey. Her last name is not mentioned in her interview with The Advocate, but regular readers of our news coverage are familiar with her.

Transgender Identity has had a remarkable uptick as a search topic on Pinterest, according to a story in Allure.

WUFT-TV asked some transgender people what will guide them as they cast their votes in 2020.

We are now in the last month of the decade, and Vice has an article about the gains made and not made by transgender people during the last ten years.

If you are suffering from gender dysphoria, Stephen Gliske, a research assistant professor in neurology at the University of Michigan said evidence suggests that brain networks linked to how individuals perceive the ownership of their body parts, influence gender-typical behavior, and chronic distress are different in those with gender dysphoria. Newsweek has this story.

It has been known for a while that people who experience discrimination because of their gender identities often engage in activities which can harm their cardiovascular systems, such as excessive drinking and overeating. A new finding indicates that social acceptance by families and friends can reduce the tendencies to engage in these habits which may increase cardiovascular risk. Healio has this story.

Rachel McKinnon

Rachel McKinnon wrote an article for the Times about the blowback that she has received as a transgender athlete, especially after Donald Trump Jr. came after her on Twitter. The Advocate has this story. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for the link.

Obesity is still a reason why some transgender people are turned away from gender confirmation surgery. As many as 25% of patients were obese when requesting GCS, a large percentage of those who were turned down due to their weight were unable to lose the weight. This new study is condensed in Healio. [Editor’s Note: Ironically weight gain is a possible side effect of HRT for some people.]

Antiretroviral therapy is crucial in reducing the morbidity, mortality, and transmission of HIV, so those who have an HIV diagnosis need to adhere to this therapy. A new study shows that transgender people of higher social status are more likely to adhere to the therapy than are those of lower social status. Pharmacy Times has an article with the findings of this study.

Those who are at risk of HIV infection can reduce their chances by taking PrEP. LGBTQ Nation reports that you may soon be able to get PrEP for free.

The Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive is a resource available to students, scholars and the public on an appointment only basis. The Archive is housed in Vallejo, California. Read about some of the scholars who have made use of the Archive since it opened, and if you are moved to help the Archive expand and take on new projects make a donation. Visit the LLTA website for news and the donation page.

Schuyler Bailar, a transgender swimmer for Harvard, was a guest lecturer at Penn State, where he spoke about gender identity and mental health. This story appeared in Onward State, the Penn State’s student blog.

Jamie O’Neill

Jamie O’Neill writes about performing in a long drive golf competition as a transgender athlete in OutSports.

A mother wrote a very nasty message to non-binary model Rain Dove, accusing her of making her child sick with mental illness. It seems that her child asked for a binder for Christmas. The model responded to the mother with kindness and love, and before the conversation was over, the mother was on the way to accepting her child’s gender identity. You can read about the conversation in LGBTQ Nation.

Cyrus Grace Dunham has written a memoir entitled A Year Without A Name. Since the author is non-binary, this book does not have some of the standard jump-over-the-wall-between-the-binary segments we are familiar with, and instead has stories about straddling that wall and how people react. The author sat for an interview with Out magazine.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church went to nearby Kansas City to protest a concert by Kim Petras. She responded with a picture of herself in front of the protestors, with the caption, “Hoes mad.” After the show, she posted another picture of herself with the protestors, with the caption, “Hoes still mad.” The Insider has this story.

Travis Alabanza has a one-person show about being transgender. Among the stories is the time someone threw a hamburger at them and yelled the t-word. That story comes back at the end of the show, when they ask an audience member to throw a burger at them. You can read about the show in Pink News.

Lottie Lion is a conservative activist who was once a contestant on The Apprentice. She recently told The Sun that she cannot be transphobic because she’s rooting for Caitlyn Jenner on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Pink News did an eye roll at this.

At Christmas time, BBC Radio 1 allows some guest presenters to be disk jockeys. This year, Jacob Edward is making history as the first nonbinary presenter. This story comes from Pink News.

Last week, the news was that Billy Dee Williams said he is gender-fluid in an interview for Esquire magazine. This week, the star said that he is not really gender-fluid. He wasn’t sure what gender-fluid meant but he does use feminine pronouns in talking about himself sometimes. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

Dindi Tan

In the Philippines, transgender woman Dindi Tan has been appointed the director of the Department of Agrarian Reform. She was one of the top assistants to the previous director of the department. The Washington Blade has this story.

Ynews has the story of a terrible attack on a transgender Palestinian woman.

A transgender woman who is the father of an eight-year-old is fighting the current law which forbids her transitioning genders in Japan. Japan Today has this story.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has the story of a transgender woman in Russia who is in jail for posting an erotic anime character on social media.

The Republic of Ireland has passed new legislations which allow 16- and 17-year-olds to self-declare their gender, without parental consent. Previously, people that age had to go to court to change their legal gender status. This story appeared in Pink News.

An activist named Elan-Cane has filed a suit against the British government, over the country’s lack of a gender “X” on identity documents. Pink News has this story.

On August 11, Cameron Haswell committed suicide. He was wearing a woman’s jumpsuit, and had a stash of women’s clothes with him when he killed himself. His family says that gender identity and mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of. You can find this story in Pink News, which uses male pronouns in the story.

Some of Britain’s elite single-sex schools now say that they use gender rather than sex when determining admissions. It sounds good, but we’ll see what happens when a transgender child applies. Pink News has this story.

Christmas crooner Peppermint.

Want to get in the Christmas mood but find the old standard Christmas carols so last century? What to do? Turn to drag queens for some Christmas themed music you can use to boost your Christmas cheer. Time to go on a Slay Ride with 11 Drag Queen Holiday Tunes to Jingle Your Bells.

Mother Jones has an article about how conservative lawmakers are trying to pass legislation that would hamper the ability of transgender children to be themselves and to do what doctors now recommend.

A lifelong Republican in Broward County, Florida, still supports the Republican Party despite the fact that she has found out the hard way that the party does not support her. She was fired when she came out as transgender. You can read about her story on Freedom For All Americans. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for helping us find this story.

For those with a lot of time on their hands, LGBTQ Nation has compiled a list of all the times that the Trump administration has attacked LGBTQ rights.

One of the least-requested items this holiday season must be the Trump/Pence Pride Tee Shirt. It bears the slogan “Make America Great Again,” in the colors of the Gay Pride flag. Given that 93% of LGBTQ people polled disapprove of the job that the Trump administration is doing, someone who receives this item in probably getting it as a gag gift. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

Lilah Gibney burst into tears when she was detained by the TSA while attempting to catch a flight. Someone told her that it wasn’t because she is transgender, since cisgender people also get detained by the TSA. She then shared details of what the agents did, showing that it was indeed because of her gender identity. This story comes from LGBTQ Nation. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for sending us a link.


National Review has not one, not two, but three articles by Madeleine Kearns, an opponent of transgender rights who seems not to understand logic. In her first article, she talks about detransitioners, and mentions David Reimer as a great example of a detransitioner. In fact, David Reimer was a cisgender male, who was raised as a female after his penis was severely injured during a botched circumcision in infancy. He did not ever transition himself from male to female. In plain English, zero other transgender people share a story like this. For using a one-of-a-kind experiment to draw a conclusion about other people, Madeleine Kearns gets a TWIT Award. [Editor’s note: The Reimer story proves that gender identity is set at an early age and forcing someone to live in the opposite gender does not work. Reimer was raised as a female but never felt like anything but a male and in his teens he began living as a male but committed suicide in his 30s.]

Transgender Trend, who famously wrote a pamphlet about how schools should teach transgender topics–a pamphlet which no school would follow–has now created a children’s book opposing transgender feelings. They say that they want to send a “body positive” message, but does that mean that, say, a child with a deviated septum shouldn’t get an operation which would improve her breathing? Pink News has this story.

Many time TWIT Award winner Tucker Carlson had Megan Murphy as a guest, and they talked about transgender people. Given that neither of them is transgender, and neither has a transgender person in their nuclear family, this is similar to a bunch of men discussing regulation of women’s health. Carlson even went so far as to claim that transgender rights is “an issue for rich people.” Actually, it is an issue for polite people. That’s another TWIT for Tucker. Media Matters for America has this story. Many thanks to Alyssa Washington for providing us with a link.

Jessica Yaniv filed a law suit against a gynecologist whose office told her, “we don’t serve transgender patients.” Several far-right websites tried to make a big joke of this, about how the transgender woman is shocked to find out that gynecologists only handle “genetic women.” First off, some gynecologists do have transgender women as patients, but not all feel that they know enough about how to care for a neo-vagina. It is true that we know from a previous lawsuit that Ms. Yaniv is preoperative, or at least was when she asked for a Brazilian wax on her genitals. Even so, The Washington Examiner, The Federalist, and others get TWIT Awards for not bothering to actually find out what this is about before making fun of it.

Denise Schick has written an article about transgender people for LifeSiteNews, entitled, “When Adults Pursue Transgender Fantasies, Children Suffer. I Would Know.” In fact, Denise Schick has turned her opposition to her biological father’s gender transition into a fairly lucrative sideline. For having the ego to think that someone else should give up being happy in order to make her happy (assuming that she did not find some other reason to break off relations with that person), Denise Schick gets another TWIT.

American Thinker has an article about transgender athletes in the Olympics. The author presumes that transgender athletes will dominate any women’s sports that they are in. That alone is dubious. It goes in the exact opposite direction the East Germans used; whereas the East Germans put male hormones into female bodies to produce winning female athletes, this method puts female hormones into male bodies, yet is supposed to produce the same result. The author then claims that this will produce a backlash which will end the “politically correct” treatment of transgender people. While this second proposition is likely to be unprovable, since it is supposed to follow the first, and the first is itself unlikely to occur, this second proposition assumes that people will oppose the findings of medical science. For lack of good thought, American Thinker gets a TWIT Award.

In an article in Christian Post, Michael Brown argues when it comes to the pronouns of a transgender person, and obligation to truth is more important than a person’s feelings. The problem is, he uses the word “truth” to describe the sentence, “Chromosomes determine gender.” Biologists disagree, but what do biologists know about DNA? For oversimplifying science and calling the oversimplification “truth,” Michael Brown and Christian Post get a TWIT.

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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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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