The Week In Trans 12/5/16

| Dec 5, 2016
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Candi Guerrero

Candi Guerrero

A elder trans woman, Candi Guerrero, has shared her story with a San Francisco newspaper. Ms. Guerrero was a female impersonator at the famous San Francisco nightclub, Finocchio’s, from 1965 through 1973. Now 73-years-old Ms. Guerrero was interviewed in the San Francisco Health Care and Rehabilitation facility while recuperating from a fall. She shared her story with The Bay Area Reporter.

There is talk in the media that part of the reason the Democratic Party lost the presidential election, and many state races, is that they practiced “identity politics” and advocated too much for things like trans rights. This is said to have alienated many in the Democratic base who were ignorant about trans people. Jennifer Finney Boylan shared her thoughts on that in an op-ed in The New York Times.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced that the City of Los Angeles has set aside $290,000 to help address the high unemployment rate among transgender people. These funds will be used to conduct a needs assessment to guide future programs in training, employment, and career development. San Diego LGBT Weekly has more.

Nicole Maines on The Trans List.

Nicole Maines on The Trans List.

A documentary filmmaker who specializes in producing films using the word “list” in the title has produced one called The Trans List. It is a collection of of trans activists presented in photos and video. Included are Buck Angel, Laverne Cox, Caitlyn Jenner and others both well and lesser know people. The Trans List premiers tonight on HBO at 8 p.m. EST. See some photos and learn a bit more in the New York Magazine website.

New York City has announced that a clinic specializing in transgender patients will open in East Harlem. The clinic will offer access to hormone therapy and will have a surgeon to perform breast augmentation, chest masculinization, and gender-confirmation surgery. DNA Info has this story.

A federal court in Kentucky has refused to dismiss a case of wrongful termination brought by a transgender man who was fired by General Electric. Mykel Mickens claims that his transgender status was a major factor in the company’s decision to dismiss him, and he based his case on that. GE’s lawyers filed to dismiss the case, saying that the complaint is based on a wrong interpretation of Title VII. The motion to dismiss the case was denied. Bloomberg News has more.

Looking ahead to the Trump administration trans people are worrying that they will have more difficulty changing their gender on official documents like driver’s licenses and passports. Also name changes and gender changes on birth certificates. A trans software engineer realized that people would need more help than ever to cope so he started a Twitter campaign to connect lawyers across the country who were willing to offer help pro bono. That campaign turned into a website. Learn more about it on the Bloomberg Big Law website.

As Donald Trump’s cabinet takes shape, pick after pick has a history of being opposed to LGBT rights. Many LGBT federal employees are scared of what will happen to their careers under the new administration. Seven of the eight federal employees who were willing to talk to the Washington Blade for this story only did so if their names would not be used.

In light of the election results, some Republicans in the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the defense appropriations bill which would have allowed the military to enter into contracts with companies which discriminate against LGBT employees. A spokesman for President Obama said that the President would veto the bill if that particular rider were not stricken. The Senate did not approve that amendment, and the conference committee agreed to remove it. This story is in the Washington Blade.

Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins

University of Minnesota’s Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies has created a three year project to collect the oral history of transgender people from around Minnesota. The project is helmed by Andrea Jenkins, a trans woman who has long been involved with the local trans community. Learn more about the project on the Minnpost website.

House Democrats have introduced a bill to improve the TSA’s screening of trans people at airport checkpoints. The bill stems from an incident in which a trans woman was subjected to mistreatment by screeners after their scanner detected an anomaly in her groin area. Democrats sent a letter to the TSA calling for better treatment of trans passengers and this legislation is an expansion on that letter. Read the story in The Washington Examiner.

It’s good now and then to look back on key figures in trans history. If we don’t remember them and their contributions to the fight for trans rights we will be the lesser for it. Here is a list of eleven trans people who popped onto the scene long before the fight for trans rights could be called a movement. You can find it on the Pink News website.

India Willoughby

India Willoughby

A while ago we told you about India Willoughby, a trans woman who became the first trans panelist on an all-female talk show in Britain. She’s back in the news this week for statement about female grooming that she made on the show. It seems Ms. Willoughby advocated that women should shave their legs. Some of her fellow panelists took umbrage at that and an argument ensued. At one point Ms. Willoughby suggested that perhaps one of the panelists was being hostile toward her because of her trans status, not because she thought women should shave their legs. Sort it all out after you’ve read the article in the Mirror.

The University of Cincinnati has a LGBTG Center that serves a large number of trans and gender fluid students. Recently it has started a service called The Closet. It’s not the kind of closet you hide in. The Closet is a clothing bank that provides low cost attire to help people fit into their identity. The Closet needs donations of female and male clothing items so if you are planning on purging your closet consider donating to this worthwhile cause. Get the details from UC Magazine.

Kami Sid

Kami Sid

Pakistan is known for being transphobic. In 2015 over 45 trans people were killed in just one province. But like all nations things are complex and while transphobia lives, Pakistan also has people who are supportive of trans identities. Recently a trans model collaborated with a photographer, stylist, and makeup artist to produce a photo shoot dedicated to fighting Pakistani transphobia. You can see the the results of Kami Sid’s shoot on the Mic website. Read an interview with her and view a video on the Geo website.

Some other nations are going in a different direction from Trump and Pence regarding LGBT issues. The Scottish National Party has called for 2017 to be a “year of progress” for transgender equality. They are joining with members of other parties in Parliament to amend the 2010 Equality Act with the goal of seeing that transgender and non-binary people are “fully able to access their human rights to legal gender recognition across the UK.” While some are vocally opposed to the move, the consensus in Parliament seems to be that the idea is a good one, and what ever problems there exist are in the details. STV has this story.

Brooke Guinan

Brooke Guinan

Firefighting is still a man’s domain, although more and more women are joining the ranks. It is tough for women, as many fire stations do not have a women’s restroom. In New York City, Brooke Guinan is a third-generation firefighter and a trans woman. Her story is in Salon.

Quinnipiac University has been known for its political polling. Now, they have a transgender man on their women’s rugby team. He has changed his name to Mason Johnson, but he is delaying his medical transition. Outsports has this story.

An appeals court in Missouri has overturned a decision from a circuit court which required a transgender teenager to get a mental evaluation. This requirement came as the result of the transgender teenager petitioning the court for a legal name change. A three-judge panel in the appeals court threw out that ruling on the grounds that the judge failed to show that the teenager’s mental condition was less than ideal. This story is in The Pitch.


Fiona Russell complains about how many transgender people exist. She seems to believe that someone is pushing young people to declare themselves to be transgender. She looks back on her own childhood, when she was a “tomboy,” and speculates that someone would push her to declare herself a “transgender male” if she were like that today. First off, there are still tomboys today; there are girls who like to wear t-shirts from the boys department, play games with the boys, etc. They are distinct from transgender males. Secondly, while someone might push a tomboy to visit a gender counsellor, a competent gender counsellor will be able to figure out if the tomboy is really transgender. For writing so much on a subject she did not study, Fiona Russell gets a TWIT Award. This appears in the Daily Record.

Sarah Dittum says that the “transgender debate” needs to think about male violence. No, she does not think that, because some males are violent, it follows that all males are violent, even if they are taking drugs to reduce their testosterone levels. Actually, she feels that some violent men will declare themselves to be transgender women, and will use that as an excuse to “breach women’s privacy.” And, not too subtle in all of this is the implied risk of sexual violence. Of course, there are laws forbidding violence, and those laws are still enforceable even if the perpetrator is a transgender person, or someone pretending to be trans. For raising the specter of boogymen under the bed and pretending that they pose a serious threat, she gets a TWIT Award. Her writing is in the New Statesman.

Saudi Arabia has allegedly banned transgender people from visiting the country. Since some of the holiest sites in Islam are in Saudi Arabia, it is hard for people to do a religious pilgrimage if the person is banned from entering the country. There are reports that this is untrue, but if it is true, then Saudi Arabia gets a TWIT Award. This story is on Planet Transgender.

Allowing transgender people to serve in the military does not sit well with Laura Ingraham. She calls this “social experimentation,” and insists that the military is using taxpayer dollars for soldiers to “cut their private parts to death.” For thinking that she is on a par with professionals who have studied the subject for years, Laura Ingraham gets a TWIT. (Then again, this is a woman who made a gesture to the audience at the end of her speech at the Republican National Convention which was easily screen-captured and said to be a “Nazi salute.” And she has done that gesture in the past, too, so it’s not like it’s a first-time thing.) A transcript of her rant is on Media Matters.

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie writes of a mother who is suing to stop her “teen son” from “amputating his genitals.” This goes back to a story last week about a mother in Minnesota, who lost custody of her child and did not seem to care until some social conservative legal group convinced her to file suit to stop her child from transitioning genders. Of course, to Ms. Christie, the transgender girl is a “teen son,” and undergoing transition is “amputating his genitals,” even though at this point, she would only be getting hormone therapy, not surgery. Given that Dr. Christie is a radiologist, she should have access to better medical information at the least. But, given her proclivity for dog-whistle politics, it’s likely that those who know better about the medical issues involved just won’t talk to her. Beyond that, the mother is not suing to “stop her son from amputating his genitals,” or even from transitioning socially. The mother has said that she is not opposed to her child transitioning so much as she opposes not being consulted in the matter. That’s quite different from the way that Dr. Christie tells the story, but then, she must think that she knows what’s going on better than the people in the story. For obvious slanting, she gets a TWIT Award. Her writing appears in The Federalist (where facts are few and far between).

A widow recently posted the suicide note left behind by her transgender spouse. The social media message drew a number of cheering comments from some people hiding behind obviously fake accounts. Those who cheer seem to be emboldened by the election of Donald Trump. One in particular started a hashtag “trans lives don’t matter.” Since “trans” is short for “transgender people,” and transgender people are a subgroup of people, then some people’s lives don’t matter. Since some lives don’t matter, “all lives matter” is false. Thank you for showing that your counter to “Black lives matter” is a lie. These lowlives who cheer a suicide note get a TWIT Award. You can read about them at The Daily Beast.

The Federalist is home to two crackpot pieces this week. They also have a piece by Denise Shick entitled, “We Should Have Seen The Transgender Craze Coming.” Ms. Shick’s expertise comes from the fact that her father is transgender. So, she takes her issues with his transition to the public. And again, she starts with the idea that being transgender is a form of mental illness akin to seeing people who aren’t there. So, she starts from a biased understanding of what is going on, and just goes on out from there. For making no attempt to understand the subject, she gets a TWIT Award. You can read her nonsense here.

Here’s a story about how trying to hide your taste for wearing women’s clothes can get you into trouble. A fire chief in Massachusetts was buying women’s workout clothing and wearing it himself. His girlfriend said that he did give her a pair of capris but he was wearing a compression camisole and tube top along with a women’s jacket. Nothing wrong with any of that, but he was turning in the receipts to be reimbursed by the city. Buying your lady clothes with city money gets Chief Antone Roderick a TWIT Award. Insisting on putting the clothes on to prove they fit him when he was questioned about it just gets him a solid “Huh?” It seems he tried to explain his way out of it by saying the lady’s workout gear fit him since he lost weight and he needed them to relieve back pain. Get the whole story from STATter911.

TWIT is edited by Angela Gardner, who also supplied several stories to this edition.

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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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