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The Week In Trans 12/4/17

| Dec 4, 2017
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Members of the Indian trans community.

In India the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 is set to be reintroduced to their legislature after failing to be voted on in 2014 and 2015 versions. The 2016 bill will be considered in the winter session of Parliament. However, while it seeks to take away the stigma of being trans the trans community, nearly 4.8 million Indians, is up in arms about a provision of the bill. Learn more from The Hindu.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly was asked for a clarification of her order striking down the ban on transgender people in the U.S. military. Specifically, she was asked whether her stay on the ban excluded new enlistments. Lawyers for the government argued that the hold on enlistment could not be lifted by Judge Kollar-Kotelly because the lawsuit before her included no one who was looking to join the military, so no one had standing to challenge the hold on enlistments. Judge Kollar-Kotelly responded that her stay reverts things to how they were before the ban, and that includes the right of openly transgender people to enlist in the military as of January 1, 2018. NBC News Out has more on this story.

Although Judge Kollar-Kotelly has said that the military must allow openly transgender people to enlist starting January 1, Mother Jones found three ways that the Trump administration could get around that ruling.

The other big court news comes from Australia, where a new ruling from the judges of the family court en banc says that the court’s permission is no longer necessary for a transgender minor to begin hormone replacement therapy. The court had previously determined that a doctor could prescribe puberty-blocker hormones for a minor without the court’s permission; now, the court has gone further and removed itself from the regulation of HRT in minors altogether. SBS has more on this case, while The Age looked at a patient just about to begin HRT and also ran a story on Georgie Stone and how things have changed since she began as a patient.

Hunter Schafer

Hunter Schafer is an 18-year-old trans woman UNC School of the Arts graduate who sued lawmakers in North Carolina over House Bill 2 and its replacement. She has been nominated as one of Teen Vogue’s 21 “Girls and Femmes Changing the World” younger than 21. Hunter postponed college to go to New York and become a model with the Elite Model Management agency. She sat down with Teen Vogue’s guest editor Hillary Clinton, and the issue will hit the streets on December 5. Learn more from The Charlotte Observer.

The government of Japan is about to include gender reconstruction surgery among the things covered by its health insurance, according to the Asahi Times. This is helpful, as Japan requires sterilization before a citizen can legally change genders. The government is getting a push from the U.N. and W.H.O. to update its law, as The Independent reports.

The United Nations drafted guidelines for sexual orientation and gender identity are called the Yogyakarta Principles, after the city in Indonesia where they were first created in 2006. Those principles of human rights have been updated to include gender expression and sex characteristics as well as sexual orientation and gender identity. They also cover some areas that were not identified in the document. The Williams Institute has more on this. WPATH has also issued updated guidelines for governments.

The U.S. Commission of Civil Rights released a report entitled “Working for Inclusion: Time for Congress to Enact Federal Legislation to Address Workplace Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Americans.” As the title suggests, it encourages Congress to pass laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in housing, employment, and education. You can read more at LGBTQ Nation.

Ambrosia Starling

Though Alabama has a super religious conservative image there are diverse people who live there. One of those is a drag performer named Ambrosia Starling and she has made it her mission to denounce Roy Moore, the candidate for the Alabama Senate seat left vacant when Jeff Sessions departed to become the Attorney General. She calls Moore a “heterosexist” and urges Alabamans to vote for the Democratic candidate Doug Jones. Read about the protests against Moore on the Brietbart website.

A family in Maryland who were suing their local school district because the district’s policies support the rights of transgender students have withdrawn their suit. They say that pressure from other students and their families led to their decision, according to a story in the Washington Post.

The lawsuit against the Maryland school district was just one of the many projects of the Alliance Defending Freedom. Media Matters for America created a summary of their various anti-LGBT projects.

Open Enrollment for Health Insurance continues through December 15. Valerie Jarret, a senior advisor to President Obama, and Mara Keisling, of the National Center for Transgender Equality, write in The Advocate that it is very important for transgender people to get health insurance this year, to send a message that we appreciate the Affordable Care Act’s provisions for our health.

The Washington Post had an article about how hard it can be for transgender people to find good health care. The author is a transgender physician, someone who has been on both sides of the issue. She relates one story of an emergency room doctor whose attitude towards her changed so dramatically when he found out she was transgender.

Edanry Rivera, featured in the WBUR story.

WBUR in Boston did a couple of stories about transgender people. The first looks at how Transgender people want to change laws as well as change minds, while the second examines the current state of Facial Feminization Surgery.

The Londo Anarchist Bookfair has been cancelled. People behind the event say that they have neither “the appetite [n]or the energy” to hold the event after fights between feminists and transgender people have occurred lately. So, of course, some in the media want to put the blame on the transgender people. The Guardian is our source for this.

Salon asks the question, Can a transgender actor ever be just an actor? Their case in point in Hari Nef, who is asking people to not stress her status as transgender so much when they write about her. Ultimately, the article does not find an answer, beyond the fact that they can find no current example where it is the case.

Honey Dijon

As if to underscore Salon’s point, an article in the Spirits Business mentions that Smirnoff’s new spokespeople include Honey Dijon, Kiddy Smile, and Lucy Fizz, who are identified as “non-binary.”

Pop singer Rhianna agrees with Hari Nef. In a recent Twitter conversation a fan urged her to use a trans model to promote her new Fenty Beauty make-up line. She responded by saying that she doesn’t want to use trans models as just a gimmick to promote her product. Reaction to her Twitter statements have been mixed but many feel that she is right. Learn more from BBC News.

Toronto police have identified a body found last week as that of a transgender woman who has been missing since August 5, Alloura Wells, according to the CBC.

Dr. Maurice Garcia was a urologist at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. He wanted to add gender confirmation surgery to his practice, but he found no academic hospitals in the U.S. which taught the skill. He took a year off and went to Britain, where he took a fellowship at University College London. Having acquired the skills he sought there, he has returned to the States, and established a new practice at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. That is a teaching hospital, and there he hopes to be able to pass along his skills, including his newfound knowledge of gender confirmation surgery, to other doctors. The San Francisco Chronicle has this story.

A 2014 Williams Institute study on transgender suicidality showed that 60 percent of transgender patients who are unable to find physicians have attempted suicide. The lack of training for doctors on how to treat trans patients is slowly improving but their is a long way to go. Jamie Roberts pointed us to this story on why good medical care is essential. You can find it in The Washington Post.

Maude Boate models her wares.

An Australian drag queen is planning a second career based on the yes vote on gay marriage in that country. Maude Boate, aka Michael Gates is taking a course that will make her a certified marriage celebrant in 2018. She will be doing wedding planning and can handle it all from bridal gowns, reception, decoration to make up, live bands and other special one-off requests. Learn more about Ms. Boate’s plans in The Northern Star.


Girl Guides, the British equivalent of the Girl Scouts, have decided to accept for membership anyone who identifies as female and meets their age requirements. Opinion writers for the Telegraph and the Daily Express have expressed something beyond concern about this; their writings border on hysteria. They grab onto unlikely situations — one even mentions showering in the title of the article. Do scouts really shower together often? For creating problems where they do not exist, the authors of these articles get a TWIT Award (as well as an expression of shame for foregoing British understatement for American-style hyperbole).

The Times of London continues to take the side of anyone who is opposed to transgender people. They did what amounts to an article about transgender teenager Lily Madigan applying for the Jo Cox Women in Leadership program, and in the article, they quote quite a few (unnamed) critics of her selection, with scant notice that she has some supporters as well. Since she was selected, obviously someone high up approved of her. For accentuating the negative, the Times gets a TWIT Award. You can find the piece here, for subscribers, or you can read about it in Pink News.

Roy Moore continues to deny that he is a pedophile and says that he never had sex with his accusers. That is the response that is expected, whether it is true or not. He claims that the accusations against him are the work of LGBT forces, trying to distract from the “real issues.” One of the “real issues” is that transgender people are mentally ill and have no rights. The Constitution does not remove rights from anyone due to a diagnosis of mental illness. As a lawyer, he should know this. For obvious and outright lying, Roy Moore gets a TWIT. The Advocate has more on Roy Moore.

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist, and a founder of Feminist Current. She writes an editorial in which she complains about transgender women not respecting “women’s spaces.” She cites a speech by a feminist, Helen Brunskell-Evans, which was cancelled, allegedly because of her views about transgender people. (A part of the reason for the cancellation was that there were concerns for security in light of people protesting her views on transgender issues, but Ms. Murphy never addresses that.) A few other cases are cited, and the conclusion is drawn. She makes a differentiation between women and transgender women, but never exactly says why. Would she think that a trans man is still a woman? Of course not, yet she even goes so far as to use male pronouns when referring to a trans woman who wrote a piece that she is attempting to argue with. For overreacting to the title of “transphobe” while simultaneously displaying an attitude which confirms the validity of the title, Megan Murphy gets a TWIT Award.

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional material and editing 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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