The Week In Trans 1/29/18

| Jan 29, 2018
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Kunis with Hasty Pudding queens.

The Hasty Pudding theater group at Harvard has been producing shows with all male casts for over 200 years. A few years ago they agreed to let women join the troupe but only in back stage capacities. Now they have finally decided to open the doors and let women appear in their productions. The change was announced as the troupe presented their Woman of the Year award to actress Mila Kunis. Kunis took some flak for accepting the award since she is known as an opponent of sexism but she has said that she would not have accepted it if the group hadn’t decided to change their policy. Learn more from The Associated Press.

Harris Polling did a poll for GLAAD, as they have each year since 2014, to measure the acceptance of LGBT people by the general public. This year saw the first increase in people saying that they would be “somewhat uncomfortable” or “extremely uncomfortable” with such things as an LGBT family member, an LGBT teacher in their child’s school, or an LGBT doctor. The percentage who say that they are comfortable with these things held steady, but, in the current political climate, some people who are uncomfortable with these things seem to feel more able to mention it to pollsters, according to analysis in the Washington Post.

The increased boldness among anti-LGBT people could be related to the increased activity of some people who are attempting to increase the power of religious freedom inside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Politico reports on the increase in religious activism in the government.

Plaintiffs in the case Karnoski v. Trump (the case in the Western District of Washington) have made a motion for a permanent injunction against the administration enforcing its ban on transgender people in the military. The motion calls for a summary judgment, which would avoid a trial. More on this motion can be found in The Hill.

Trans student Nova Maday.

A court in Cook County, Illinois, has ruled that the Palatine High School only has to give transgender students access to a locker room; it can make requirements, such as that the transgender student must use a privacy stall. The judge noted that in 2010, state legislators changed the wording of the state’s Human Rights Act from granting “full and equal access” to simply granting “access.” The Chicago Tribune has this story.

Closing arguments were heard in a case in Cincinnati in which a transgender teenager has asked to be put in the custody of his grandparents, who will allow him to transition gender, rather than his parents, who oppose the transition. A decision is expected next month, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs said that hate-related homicides of LGBT people in the U.S. rose 86% in 2017. In Brazil, 2017 was the deadliest year on record for trans people. The U.S. story can be found in the Advocate, while Brazil’s story is in Pink News.

Yance Ford is a trans man whose film Strong Island has been nominated for an Oscar in the Documentary category. Ford directed and produced the film which tells the story of his own family dealing with the murder of their oldest son and the failure of the legal system to provide justice. Learn more in the Advocate.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for their annual awards. Although Daniela Vega did not break into the Best Actress category (which was a long-shot), her movie, A Fantastic Woman, did get nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Vox has a list of the nominees.

From the film.

At the Sundance Film Festival, Canadian director Luis de Fillippis (who happens to be transgender) is showing off a short film, called For Nonna Anna, whose main character is a transgender woman who is neither a victim, a criminal, nor beginning her transition. The movie received attention from The Hollywood Reporter when it won a jury prize.

We were excited to see that Laverne Cox has become the first transgender woman to appear on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. The trick is that she only appears on the cover in South Africa, where the magazine has an LGBTQ-themed “Say Yes To Love” issue. LGBTQ Nation reports this story. There’s more coverage in The Daily Beast.

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition in the case of John Lotter, who was convicted of murder in the killing of Brandon Teena. Lotter is on death row in Nebraska, while his lawyers continue to file appeals in state courts. This story comes from The Fremont Tribune.

Last year, the General Synod of the Church of England made a recommendation that the Church create a special ceremony for welcoming transgender people who want to come to worship in their authentic selves. The House of Bishops failed to take up the recommendation, saying that pastors could simply adopt the ceremony which welcomes those who were baptized into another Christian denomination. The Reverend Dr. Christina Beardsley writes in Church Times that this is not an acceptable alternative.

While the Church of England has decided not to go forward with a standard for a ceremony for the renaming of a transgender person at this time, the fact that they welcome transgender people rather than automatically excommunicating them has upset some evangelicals, according to Pink News.

RuPaul Andre Charles

RuPaul’s Drag Race has been on television for nine years. RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars has only just started its third season last week and it is now on VH1. Since the show has returned RuPaul has been doing the media rounds and promoting, promoting, promoting. There is an in-depth look at RuPaul’s life in The New York Times and another article on the NPR website in which RuPaul discusses many issues including identity politics.

Abercrombie & Fitch has introduced a clothing line which they claim is gender-neutral. Critics say that the line is really boy’s clothes without mention of the gender on the label. Aside from pink on a few items, there is nothing stereotypically feminine in the line. Pink News has this story.

Rep. Joesph Kennedy (D-Mass.) is escorting a trans woman soldier to President Trump’s first State of the Union speech to protest the administration’s attempt to ban trans people from military service. The soldier is Staff Sgt. Patricia King who is the first service member to have her GRS provided by the military. Learn more from The Hill.

Although Australia recently legalized same-sex marriage, transgender people in some Australian states are still required to be single in order to get a legal change of gender. Western Australia is looking into the matter, but does not seem to be in a rush to make a change, according to Out In Perth.

Georgie Stone

As Georgie Stone gets ready for the Young Australian Of The Year Awards, and for her senior year in high school, she is getting some media attention. Buzzfeed has a profile of her for international use, while The Herald gives her some Australian coverage. (The Herald requires a subscription to read the story.)

Russia’s Ministry of Health signed an order this week which allows transgender people in the country to get a medical certificate granting them a legal change of gender. The new law no longer requires proof of gender reassignment surgery. More can be found in Gay Star News.

A new study showed that children are flexible in their thoughts about gender. The study used a new series by Amazon called Annedroids as its basis. In the series, a robot looks at boys and girls as it tries to pick a gender for itself, but in the end, the robot decides not to pick a gender. The responses of the children in the sample showed that they had flexibility in thinking of gender, according to results summarized in Gay Star News.

The Washington Post did a story about doctors at gender clinics for young patients, especially the one at the University of California at San Francisco. Meanwhile, Rewire had a long piece about what happens to patients when the only doctor in the area who treats transgender patients leaves town.

The announcement that Chelsea Manning has filed paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate has caused quite a stir. Amanda Kerri of The Advocate thought about it, and decided that transgender people can defend her from anti-trans attacks while still not supporting her run for office.

Also at the Advocate, Brynn Tannehill writes how the hyperbole of some commentators would make you think that every transperson has the powers of a super-villain.

Miss BumBum trans contestant Paula Oliveira.

Brazil is a very open about sexuality kind of country. It’s where they invented the idea of waxing off pubic hair. Bikini’s are the standard for beach attire, the less coverage the better. It’s also the country that has the Miss Bumbum contest. That’s right, a beauty contest for posteriors. This year one of the 26 women vying for the coveted title will be trans model Paula Oliveira. Learn more and do your own judging of her derrière on the Daily Mail website.

Film star Divine has inspired a collection of eye makeup by Kat Von D and it’s called The Kat Von D x Divine Collection. The eight-pan palette has bold blues, neon green, jet black, and neutrals. Everything you need to create an epic, extravagant eye look worthy of Divine. Learn more about the collection on the Bustle website.

Fashion advice.

Are you lucky enough to have a date for Valentine’s Day? If so you are probably undecided on just what to wear for the big night. The Stylecaster fashion and beauty site comes to your rescue with five rules for trans woman to follow when dressing to impress. You can find the article here.

In 2011 trans people in Pakistan were granted legal status. That doesn’t mean that they are more accepted by the general population but it was a step in the right direction. Trans women in Pakistan are still faced with abuse and harassment and are unable to find jobs, healthcare and education. Learn more from Dunya News.


María Elósegui is a professor who was recently appointed to be a judge on the European Court for Human Rights. As El Diario points out, she has said that homosexuality produces diseases and that transgender people need mental health counseling to correct themselves. She has said, “Transsexuality is an infirmity, a pathology, a suffering. It is a disgrace.” It is frightening that she is appointed to a position where she will have influence on human rights issues. A TWIT Award goes to those who appointed her.

In Britain, Venice Allan has been suspended from the Labour Party. Her anti-transgender statements, urging that short-lists for women be restricted to cisgender women, are not only out of keeping with the policy of the party, but also seem to violate gender equality laws in the country. Despite that, she seems to wear the suspension as a badge of honor. She can also wear a TWIT Award for good measure. Pink News has more on this.

Dr. James Cantor is the director of the Toronto Sexuality Centre. He also writes the blog Sexology Today. You might think that such a person would be fairly enlightened about transgender people, but that is not the case. He continues to push the combination of studies which allegedly show that the majority of transgender children grow out of their transgender feelings. It is known that all of those studies included people who were not really transgender, who did not declare themselves to be transgender but were merely seen as not abiding by society’s gender norms. He compounds his error by labeling those who advocate for transgender children as “extremists.” For claiming to get good information from bad data, Dr. James Cantor gets a TWIT Award. He is quoted in the Toronto Sun.

The Sunday Times of London printed a story (which requires registration to read) which seems to say that a doctor from the Tavistock and Portman gender clinic in London feels that schools are a bit quick to rush to label children as “transgender,” and that they whisper the word. The quote was taken out of context. The quote then made its way into the Daily Mail, which is notorious for an anti-transgender stance. The clinic felt the need to post a clarification of the quote on their website. As Gay Star News reports, parents whose children are patients at the Tavistock and Portman Trust are hurt by this. Yet, neither newspaper printed any clarification. For bending the truth to fit their political views and not caring to correct themselves, the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail get TWITs.

During a broadcast of the Overwatch League, a professional online multiplayer game, the cable channel Twitch showed an ad which had not been properly previewed. The ad was a political opinion piece against transgender children who seek medical treatment. The ad called such treatment “a disaster,” and went on to decry Safe Schools, a program which guards the safety of LGBT students. For producing the ad, Parents HQ gets a TWIT Award. More on this can be found at Pink News.

Tony Perkins said that he gave Donald Trump “a mulligan” on the president’s personal behavior so long as he gives th religious right what they want in policy. Mr. Perkins also said that there was less need for laws at the state level as they were getting what they wanted at the national level. For ignoring the willing violation of multiple commandments (spending the sabbath at the golf course instead of church; adultery; lying; bearing false witness; and coveting) so long as they get what they want on issues that are not clearly mentioned in the Bible (abortion and LGBT rights), Tony Perkins et al. get a TWIT Award.

Chad Felix Greene writes for The Federalist, complaining that “LGBT Left Attempts To Stamp Out Medical Professionals Who Don’t Do What They Want.” His complaint is that many people are upset at the Department of Health and Human Services for their decision to allow health-care professionals to deny service to LGBT people on the basis of “deeply-held religious beliefs.” Of course, if a doctor refused to treat him, it would be entirely different. For failing to apply the Golden Rule, Chad Felix Greene gets a TWIT.

Los Angeles City Council member Gil Cedillo was asked to say something about a recent murder victim, Viccky Gutierrez, during the motion to adjourn the council’s meeting. He obviously did not read up on the case, identifying the wrong person as the victim and suggesting that the motive was hostility to immigrants rather than the fact that the victim was transgender. For getting so much wrong, Council Member Cedillo gets a TWIT. City Watch has more on this.

Ryan T. Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, is aimed at providing social conservatives with arguments against providing transgender people with rights or medical therapy, and especially argues that allowing children to transition is wrong. Granted, he does not call transitioning children “monsters” as such, but still, he opposes them in a reasonably civil way. So, it is surprising that the book is listed as the number one LGBT bestseller on Amazon. This is not an LGBT book; it is a political book. Amazon gets a TWIT for not recognizing the difference. Think Progress has more on what this book gets wrong.

At the Second Annual Women’s March in Vancouver, someone held a sign that said, “Trans Women* Are Men Truth Is Not Hate”(sic). There was also a report of booing while a trans woman was speaking. We will give the woman with that sign a TWIT Award. Gay Star News has a good review of social media reactions to this.

TWIT is compiled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional content 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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