The Week In Trans 12/12/16

| Dec 12, 2016
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Kelly Mantle

With the emergence of trans a gender fluid actors the stage was set for what just happened . A gender fluid actor is “being considered” for nomination for the Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories. If the Academy goes for it Kelly Mantle will be in both categories for her work in the film Confessions of a Womanizer. Learn more from Pink News.

Medicaid in New York will start covering gender-transition care for youth under a new regulation that went into effect last week. That means that trans youth covered by Medicaid will be eligible to get their puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery paid for. The New York Department of Health says the change in regulation had nothing to do with a lawsuit filed against the state. Get the story from The Wall Street Journal.

Australia’s states have been trying to update their laws regarding transgender people, with mixed results. South Australia amended its laws to cover gender identity, while Victoria found its bill to change gender marker without surgery blocked in the state senate. A bill which would have narrowed religious exemptions to non-discrimination laws also failed in the Senate of Victoria. This story is in the Star Observer.

Christmas Queens

Speaking about Australia; They’re trying something different in Melbourne for Christmas. Instead of having Santa Claus is the shipping district they’ve decided to have lip syncing drag queens. How moderne! If Santa wants his job back he’s going to have to shave his beard and learn to tuck. Check out the story and a video of one of the queens in action on the Pink News website.

Malta has banned conversion therapy and has depathologized transgender identity, declaring that it should no longer be viewed as a part of a mental illness or psychological abnormality. This is part of a larger effort to update the laws of the Mediterranean island nation regarding transgender people. TG Europe has this announcement.

Samoa, an independent country in the Pacific, (next to American Samoa, a U.S. territory) last week held Fa’afafine Week, a time to celebrate the lives of those who follow a native Samoan form of being transgender. The Samoan Fa’afafine Association led the celebration, with the theme, “To persevere in life and serve with love.” The group highlighted its efforts to address gender equality and human rights, as well as HIV/AIDS awareness and other issues affecting the social, economic, and health matters of the community. The community celebrated “in its own unique flamboyant and faafafabulous way.” This story is in the Samoa Observer.

Miss Waria contestants.

The transgender community in the very Muslim country of Indonesia have had their schools and worship spaces taken from them by religious authorities. This week, they held a beauty pageant in Jakarta. Qiebnabh Tappii won the competition for the title Miss Waria Indonesia 2016. She will compete in the international competition in Thailand next year. The Jakarta Post has this story.

Fourteen Republicans in the state of Washington’s House of Representatives have pre-filed a bill to repeal anti-discrimination protections or transgender people in the state. House Bill 1011, as it is called, specifically deals with “gender-segregated facilities” such as restrooms and locker rooms. It seems that they would leave nondiscrimination in housing and employment in place. Seattle Weekly has more.

Last year, Tennessee passed a law which allows counselors and therapists to refuse to take on patients when the therapist or counselor disagrees with the patient or client’s “goals, outcomes or behaviors” due to “sincerely held beliefs.” One would think that a patient or client would pick up on such a disagreement, and would seek a different professional, but perhaps one is wrong about that. The American Counseling Association, a professional group for counselors and therapists, said that refusing to help a patient or client because the person is LGBT is a violation of the group’s ethics, so the new law aims to protect therapists and counselors from losing their licenses because they violated the ACA’s code of ethics. The sponsor of the bill has admitted that no counselor or therapist asked for the state licensing board to make its own code of ethics. Metro Weekly has more.

Natasha Richards

A legend on the Tampa Bay drag scene passed away on December 2. No cause death was listed for 44-year-old drag performer Natasha Richards. She was based in Clearwater, Florida and performed both locally and around the country. Richards was a trans woman who came out shortly after she started performing. Learn more about her and her life in the Tampa Bay Times.

The State of Texas is moving ahead with its version of a bathroom bill. It is unclear whether this would only cover schools or would apply to businesses as well. (The scope will no doubt be a matter of debate when the bill is actually brought up next year.) A study conducted at St. Edward’s University in Austin concluded that the cost of such a bill would be between $964 million and $8.5 billion annually in lost tourism and travel, including the loss of conventions and sporting events. The study estimates that the legislation would lead to as many as 185,000 jobs lost. This study can be found here. The Texas Association for Business is against the bill. The president of TAB, Chris Wallace, said, “Discriminatory legislation is bad for business.” Still, Republicans tend to want this legislation, as the Texas Tribune found.

Those Republicans who are boycotting Target over its restroom policy will not like this. Walmart’s healthcare plan now covers transgender-related medical care. This appears to be the same plan that their part-time employees can buy into if they choose to do so. This report is in Bloomberg Business.

Claire Birkenshaw

A trans woman who was working at a a school in Britain as a “headteacher” (stop that snickering!) was considering leaving her job to transition and disappearing into the crowd. But she thought about it and decided to instead remain at the school and work for acceptance from the student and faculty. She got support from both the school and the Education Secretary. Meet Claire Birkenshaw in The Sun.

The United States Navy’s Surgeon General has said that a plan is now underway to train all of the medical personnel in the Navy and Marines in transgender medical care. To that end, there has been some training of the medical personnel, and two teams of experts whom deck-plate medical providers can contact with questions and concerns regarding both medical issues and counseling. Navy Times has more.

The Selinsgrove (Pennsylvania) Area School District has fired its legal council, the Beard Legal Group of Altoona, amid backlash over a transgender nondiscrimination policy which the lawyers recommended after looking at case law on the subject. Parents objected to the idea that transgender students could use the restroom which matches their preferred gender, and the board shifted the blame onto the lawyers. Penn Live has this story.

Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable and Empowering created a GoFundMe page in October, with the aim of opening a transgender resource center in Birmingham, Alabama. Despite the fact that they have raised almost $1000 of a goal of $15,000, they are announcing their plans for the center quite publicly. They hope to create “a safe space where transgender women can find the resources they need.” Alabama.com has this story.

Chelsea Manning

Ellen Galloway, a military prison psychologist, declined to recommend that the Army change Chelsea Manning’s gender to “female.” This hinders her desire to wear a feminine hairstyle, according to her lawyers. According to court documents, the U.S. Justice Department is assembling a team to assess the prisoner’s current treatment plan and to recommend any changes. This story is in the New York Daily News.

Meredith Talusan has taken a look at 111 murders of transgender women, and has compiled statistics as well as stories. Her data show that 46 of the 111 cases (41%) are still unsolved. 72% of the victims were black transgender women. Even when the cases were solved, in 20% of the cases where the victim was a black trans woman, the conviction was for manslaughter or assault, rather than murder. Only one of the 25 cases with a black trans woman as the victim resulted in a conviction for first-degree murder. You can read her work in Mic.

Kay Pearce

In Colchester, Vermont, a patient with terminal cancer has changed genders. Though the 56-year-old with weeks to live is too fragile for either surgery or HRT, Kay Pearce is living as the woman she always felt that she was. She wears feminine clothes, jewelry, make-up, and a wig. “There has been that joy, that happiness and that feeling of fulfillment,” she said. You can read her story in Seven Days, a Vermont alternative weekly.

The 2015 Transgender Survey has been compiled. All 27,715 responses have been entered, and the data is now available. The survey shows a lot of discrimination against and harassment of transgender people. It shows high rates of poverty and unemployment. You can read the full report here, or find summaries from The Washington Post, Reuters, and the Washington Blade.

A crossplay male gets a lipstick touch up.

Singapore is a rather conservative spot on the planet but like much of Asia is has its share of people who are into Cosplay. And there are a number of males who engage in “crossplay” where they dress up as female anime characters. Most of them claim they are straight and admire the female characters so much they want to emulate them. Learn more about the Singapore crossplay scene from Channel News Asia.

TWITs

Texas State Senator Donna Campbell says, “I’d like to see Texas values not hijacked for the sake of football, basketball.” According to her, the proposed law which would force transgender people to use the restroom according to the gender on their birth certificates would amount to hijacking “Texas values.” She claims that such a “bathroom bill” will keep Texas “a beacon of hope” for others, despite the fact that the “others” she refers to are businesses, and the Texas Association of Business opposes the proposed legislation not only on economic grounds but on the grounds that it is discriminatory as well. For trying to keep her state “a beacon of hope” for bigots, Texas State Senator Donna Campbell gets a TWIT Award. You can read an interview with her in the Texas Observer.

The state of Connecticut recently sent a letter to the American Family Association, questioning their eligibility for inclusion in a program whereby the state will automatically deduct something from the paychecks of employees (the amount to be decided by the employee) and send the money to a designated charity (chosen from a list). The state questioned whether the American Family Association actually did any charitable work with the money it gets. They also questioned whether the American Family Association actually follows the nondiscrimination policies which charities in this program are required to adhere to. Rather than answering the requests for information, the AFA simply asked its members to call the Connecticut Comptroller’s Office. They jammed the phone lines so that no business calls could get in or out of the office. For such a juvenile reaction to the request for information, the American Family Association gets a TWIT Award. This story is in Connecticut Post.

The Federalist seems to have a rule that they need an anti-transgender piece once a week. This week, they have a piece from “visiting professor of literature and writing,” who assumes a pseudonym for this piece. She tells us that transgender rights were a reason why Donald Trump won, despite the fact that he was all over the board on the subject of transgender rights. She tells us, “Women and parents do not want boys and men in the girls’ room.” That quote alone shows that she has a distinct attitude on the topic. And, in discussing her life at the end of the article, she mentions that she is “on the board of a network of adult children raised in LGBT households.” So, apparently she has some issues from her childhood, which make it all right for her to be prejudiced against transgender people as a group and against all members of the group. For giving this writer not only a forum for her prejudice but also anonymity, The Federalist gets a TWIT Award. You can find the article here.

The Hill gives us a guest editorial by Peter Sprigg. He claims that a military in which transgender people are allowed to serve “weaker.” Based on an old statement about HRT he claims that “transsexuals would require medical maintenance” and that complications of HRT would prevent them from effectively serving. First off, HRT has evolved since then, and even when the statement was made, HRT was already different from what the statement made it out to be. As for HRT making it hard for a soldier to serve “anywhere in the globe,” this is no truer for transgender people than it is for, say, someone with hypertension or hyperglycemia. He then goes on to site the review by Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh, without any mention of the fact that their work was neither peer-reviewed nor in a scientific journal, much less of the many academic complaints. For relying on old and faulty data, Peter Sprigg gets a TWIT. And, despite their statement that the editorial does not necessarily reflect their views, The Hill gets a TWIT for giving him space. You can find this work here.

The Witherspoon Institute, a right-wing think-tank, has a piece by Scott Beauchamp. They describe the author as “a veteran and a writer.” They conveniently neglect the fact that his writing was stories he made up which he says happened to him while he was with the U.S. military in Iraq. Anyway, the author claims that the military is no longer in step with the civilian world, because the military has been overrun with “political correctness,” and that this is most evident in the inclusion of transgender people within the military ranks. He tries to sound academic, but actually, he is quite shallow. He complains how being trans is not like being a member of a race. Well, true, but someone is taking a comparison far too literally. He then claims that there are different rules for transgender service members, despite the fact that they still have to meet all the requirements for someone of their preferred gender. For fabrication, Scott Beauchamps gets a TWIT. His writing can be found here.

When people are built up as heroic and then turn out to have feet of clay it is very upsetting and makes them TWIT Award worthy. Such is the case with a trans woman police officer in Washington, D.C. who has been profiled in various articles as an out trans woman doing good on the force. She was put in charge of the D.C. police LGBT Liaison unit. Now she stands accused of taking underage interns to a well-known LGBT bar and showing them video of her having sex with 4 men. While some news outlets reported right off the bat that she is a pervert (we’re talking to you Daily Caller) we withhold the TWIT Award we will give to Sgt. Jessica Hawkins if the allegations prove to be true. Read a reliable account of the charges against her and the ongoing investigation on the FOX 5 website.

TWIT is edited by Angela Gardner, who also supplied some of its content.


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Category: Transgender Community News

ceciliab

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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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  1. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    >a trans woman police officer in Washington, D.C…Hawkins

    I won’t wait, they are already reporting she admitted to it all. We have a trans cop getting drunk on the job and corrupting interns with sexual harassment. What a loser.

    From : http://www.fox5dc.com/news/222671472-story
    “Just seven weeks ago, MPD’s internal affairs bureau found the majority of the allegations were sustained”

    “Both allegations Hawkins’ admitted were true in an interview conducted with internal affairs where the tenor was anything but serious. Hawkins told investigators she pulled out her cellphone and told her interns quote “if you want to watch it, it’s right here,” and admitted to showing others an inappropriate picture. Hawkins in that very interview admitted to buying alcohol while on duty and drinking the store bought vodka inside an MPD facility amongst others while they were on duty.”