The Week In Trans 1/22/18

| Jan 22, 2018
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Paris Lees

On January 8 we told you about Paris Lees becoming the first openly trans woman to be featured in British Vogue. Her triumph comes at a time when the British people are being exposed to a plethora of lies about the nature of trans people. Lees talked to the press about being picked to be in British Vogue and about how she has had to fight against transphobia. You can read it in The Daily Beast.

The Trump Administration has created a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the Office for Civil Rights division of the Department of Health and Human Services. This division will not create new guidance or regulation, but they will attempt to implement the regulations that the administration put in place last year. In the end, the job of determining when a doctor, nurse, or other health-care professional can refuse service is a matter for courts to decide. The Washington Post has this story, Metro Weekly reports that LGBT groups plan to fight this in court, while Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast provides analysis of how this will especially affect transgender people. Be sure to read our own Sophie Lynne’s take on the new division.

Although the Department of Education last year seemed to say that its Office of Civil Rights would still see Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex as applying to transgender people, a story in The Huffington Post says that in three cases, the Office of Civil Rights has told students that they don’t get involved in issues of restroom use. As Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast notes, when the Office of Civil Rights won’t hear the complaints of transgender students, their next avenue is the courts.

Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, sees the various anti-LGBT acts of the administration as an attempt to not only stop progress on LGBT rights, but to erase LGBT people. She wrote this in Time Magazine.

Stephe Koontz

The 2018 Women’s March was held over the weekend. Some people say “that’s great but will it actually do any good?” Last year one trans woman in Georgia attended the Atlanta Women’s March and was so inspired that she decided to run for office. Her name is Stephe Koontz and she is now a member to the Doraville, Georgia City Council. Read about her move from private citizens to city council on the KTLA 5 website.

The British LGBT charity Stonewall and the research firm YouGov conducted a survey of transgender people in Britain, and found that 1/3 of those surveyed had been the victim of a hate crime in the past twelve months. This could be an underreporting, since many people do not bother to report hate crimes, fearing that the police will not take the crime seriously. The Independent has this story.

A group has arisen among a faction in the Labour Party of Britain, calling itself “Keep All-Women Shortlists Female!” They are opposed to including transgender women among spots set aside for women. This group raised £8,500 in just two days of fundraising. Pink News is quite concerned about this development in the party which has been welcoming to transgender people.

Lily Madigan was not selected to the Jo Cox Leadership Scheme, although many in the Labour Party made sure that it was understood that she was not dismissed because she is transgender. Lily has said that she will apply again next year. Pink News reports on this story.

Eddie Izzard

Comedian Eddie Izzard has been trying to get into politics with the Labour Party. This week, Eddie came in fourth in an election to the party’s National Executive Committee, with the top three vote-getters joining the committee. While this is not necessarily fatal to Eddie’s political hopes, it certainly does not help. Pink News has more about this.

Last August, the NHS and the government of Wales agreed to open a gender identity clinic in Wales. The BBC reports that the efforts are not proceeding as quickly as expected.

The University of Victoria in British Columbia has an exhibition on transgender people in art and activism. The exhibition shows part of the archive of transgender people which is held at the University. It was put together under the supervision of Aaron Devor, the director of the archive. The CBC took notice of the exhibition.

Drag queens have certainly gotten popular. First they took television by storm with RuPaul’s Drag Race, then annual drag shows at colleges across the nation, and Drag Queen Story Time at libraries. What’s next you ask? How about drag queen Shabbat at your local synagogue? That’s what they did at the Lander Grinspoon Academy in Northampton, Massachusetts. Learn more from The Jerusalem Post.

A trans woman in Australia has been found guilty of spreading HIV through sex work. CJ Palmer was convicted of criminal negligence. This story comes from the Australian Broadcasting Company.

India Willoughby

India Willoughby, a transgender woman who presents the news in Britain, was voted out of the house on Celebrity Big Brother. She says that the signs were there early on that she was not being accepted by the other contestants. This story also appears in Pink News.

New Zealand will conduct a census this year. The LGBT community had hoped that the census would include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity, but those questions will not appear on the census form. James Shaw, the Minister for Statistics, cited “silly answers” as the reason for the omission. Gay Star News covered this story.

Getting a change of legal gender in Israel is so complicated that several post-operative transgender people are still listed in their pre-operative genders. The Attorney General’s office is making efforts to make a legal change of gender easier, according to y net.

Someone with access to Pride Toronto’s social media sites posted a link on Facebook and Twitter to an article which says that most transgender children grow out of it. Someone else with access to those sites deleted the link and posted an apology. Reactions continue. Gay Star News has this story.

A sailor in India who was dismissed from the Navy after getting gender reassignment surgery has asked the Delhi High Court to overturn her dismissal. The Court has asked the Navy and the government to respond to the petition. This story appears in the New Indian Express.

Take a tip from Pixie Aventura.

Mostly thanks to RuPaul’s Drag Race this is considered by many to be the Golden Age of Drag. Former competitors from the TV show are in big demand at venues all over the country. For many drag performers, even those who haven’t been on television, drag is becoming a way to make a living and have a career. But it’s not all easy street. You can find an in-depth article about the national drag scene in The New York Times.

The Miss Galaxy UK contest got into trouble this week when it came to light that their rules stated “Entrant must be a naturally born genetic female.” This is against the law in Britain, and they have now asked for input from the public. Pink News has this story, too.

Chelsea Manning has filed paperwork to explore a run for the U.S. Senate from Maryland. Some right-wing talking heads have attacked her with both barrels, but she is also getting resistance from people who should be friendly to her. Dawn Ellis feels that the Senate just isn’t a good fit for her at this time.

For forty years, Mariette Pathy Allen has been photographing transgender people. While photographing them, she has made a point of getting to know them and listening to their stories. Aperture did an interview with her.


Philippa Molloy has a terrible fear of men, including her husband. Her fear, and her actions resulting from that fear, have caused her to be placed in a mental institution. Although she has shown improvement, she suffered a relapse recently, and the cause was said to be a transgender woman who is also a patient at the mental health facility. Mrs. Molloy describes the other patient as “obviously male-bodied.” While the Lancaster Guardian wrote a fairly balanced account of the incident, the Sunday Times of London wrote as if the relapse was all the fault of the transgender patient and of the system which allowed a transgender patient to be there. The irrational fears of this patient seem to not be a factor to the Sunday Times. The newspaper even placed this story prominently on its website for its subscribers to see. Plenty did, some with very transphobic (and quite unenlightened) reactions on social media. The Sunday Times gets a TWIT Award. Pink News covered the story as well as reaction to it.

Frank Wuco is a senior advisor for the Department of Homeland Security. He continues to appear on far-right radio shows. In an appearance with Charles Butler, he said, “Societies and nations for millennia have suffered greatly” when they accepted LGBTQ people, and said that the suffering was caused by a lack of “cultural” and “moral center” among LGBTQ people. He then went on to belittle transgender people, refusing to recognize gender identity, and said that he would like to pretend to be transgender in order to “go into the women’s shower.” Obviously, that is not how any of this works. For spreading misinformation, Frank Wuco gets a TWIT Award. Media Matters for America took notice of his radio appearance.

The Church of England Synod strongly urged the bishops to be welcoming to trans people and demonstrate that with a “baptism-style” service that would be conducted when an existing parishioner changed gender, or when a trans person adopted the faith. In a private meeting the Church’s bishops rejected the whole idea outright. We give the bishops a TWIT Award. Get the details from the Daily Mail.

Chad Felix Greene wrote a piece for the Federalist, complaining about the immorality of a nine-year-old drag queen. LifeSiteNews then has a column by Father Mark Hodges, who agrees with Chad Felix Greene that the very existence of a nine-year-old drag queen is evidence of great moral decay. Both writers confuse a drag queen, who is a performer, with a transgender person. The nine-year-old in question, Nemis Quinn Mélançon-Golden, knows that this is all an act; he refers to his character, Lactatia, in the third person. How do people who cannot make that distinction get to be considered “experts” worthy of being quoted? And why should trans people and drag queens be assumed to be immoral? For not seeing the nonsense of all this, The Federalist and LifeSiteNews get TWITs, as do the two authors.

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with editing and additional content by Angela Gardner.

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Category: Transgender Community News


About the Author ()

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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