The Week In Trans 2/18/19

| Feb 18, 2019
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Brooke Lynn Hytes

Can you imagine this happening in the USA? The Canadian government used its Twitter account to promote the fact that a Canadian drag performer named Brooke Lynn Hytes would be one of the contestants in the eleventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The tweet said, “Canada is behind you as strut your way towards becoming one fierce superstar!” Learn more about the story from Life Site News. (They seem a bit biased against the government doing this.)

The South Dakota House of Representatives has passed a bill which says, “No instruction in gender dysphoria may be provided to any student in kindergarten through grade seven in any public school in the state.” As Zack Ford of Think Progress points out, the bill is short on specifics, but would almost certainly forbid a teacher explaining why a transgender student just changed gender expression. While former Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bathroom bill, the current Governor, Kristi Noem, said during her campaign that she would sign such legislation. The bill is now in a committee of the state Senate, and likely will get a floor vote in that body.

A bill introduced in the Tennessee House of Representatives would expand the existing law on the “offense of indecent exposure to include incidents occurring in a restroom, locker room, dressing room, or shower, designated for single-sex, multi-person use, if the offender is a member of the opposite sex than the sex designated for use.” This can be read as making indecent exposure into a bathroom bill. It is also possible that the sponsor simply does not realize that there are stalls in the ladies room. WTVF-TV in Nashville has this story.

The Attorney General of Tennessee, in response to a member of the state House of Representatives, has issued an official opinion that crimes against a person based on the victim’s gender identity or expression can be included as hate crimes in that state. This follows a discussion last term in which one legislator wanted to add “gender identity and expression” to the hate crimes bill, while others said that these were already covered in the statute. This story comes from Tennessee Holler.

Roxsana Hernàndez

The U.S. government has confirmed that it is holding 45 transgender women at a privately-run detention facility in Texas. The spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that there are a total of 111 transgender individuals at 20 different facilities in the United States. There are concerns, because the case of Roxsana Hernàndez, whose autopsy showed evidence of being restrained and beaten while in custody. The Washington Blade has this story.

The San Francisco Chronicle ran the story of a transgender woman whom they identify only as Charlotte. She arrived in the U.S. in the caravan from Honduras, along with Roxsana Hernàndez, whom she became close to during the journey.

Last week, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced a bill to allow transgender people to serve in the military, and Representative Jackie Speier introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives. This week, Representative Joseph Kennedy III introduced a resolution opposing the ban on transgender people in the military. A resolution is an expression of the opinion of the House. This resolution has 111 co-sponsors. This story comes from The Hill.

Don Cheadle was the host of Saturday Night Live last Saturday and when he was introducing the musical guest he wore a t-shirt that had “Protect Trans Kids” printed on the front. Cheadle starred in House of Lies and his character was the father of a trans child. Learn more about his SNL appearance from People.

Talisa Garcia

A BBC television show called Baptiste has a character called Kim Vogel who was just revealed to be transgender. Viewers of the show were amazed at the revelation, then stunned to learn that the actress portraying her really is trans. Talisa Garcia transitioned 28 years ago. The character’s gender identity was a plot twist in the mystery series. Ms. Garcia feels that she got the role because there was nothing to make anyone believe she wasn’t a cisgender woman in her presentation. You can learn more about her and the show in The Sun. The Sun almost gets a TWIT Award for their sensational reporting of the story by using her deadname and asking her interview questions about her sex life.

The bill allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military is likely to pass the House of Representatives, but most likely will never get a floor vote in the Senate. Bustle has a rundown of analysis.

Alexandra Marberry

Alexandra Marberry is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. She was allowed to transition to female in 2017. She has since been accused of sexual harassment, and forced to resign. She maintains that she did not harass anyone and that the Navy forced her out due to her gender identity. Her story can be found in Stars And Stripes.

The First National Transgender March, which was planned for March 31-April 1, has been postponed until September. An exact date will be announced soon. The Washington Blade has this story.

A bill which would have made it impossible to change the gender on a birth certificate in Utah has been withdrawn by its sponsor, according to KUTV News.

Although medical schools have increased the amount of time that they spend teaching students about the medical needs of transgender patients, many doctors are still reluctant to treat a transgender patient. A new study from the University of Michigan causes its lead researcher to wonder if medical schools should put more effort into combatting transphobia. Michigan Medical Lab has results of the study, along with some comments by lead researcher Daphna Strousma.

The ACLU has put together a new fact sheet on transgender medicine.

Twitter has been sued by a Canadian who describes herself as a feminist but whose tweets are not in line with Twitter’s policy to protect transgender people. She claims that the company’s policies infringe on her free speech. While the company feels that its policy can be defended in court, the accusation alone strikes at the reputation the company has for defending free speech. CNET has this report.

The Huffington Post has the story of how YouTube star Zhoie Perez, who uses the handle Furry Potato, was shot in the leg by a security guard while making a video in front of a synagogue.


The Grammy Awards brought some news regarding three transgender people. Songwriter Teddy Geiger told Out magazine that it “feels amazing” to know that her visibility as a trans woman has helped some of her fans. Janelle Monàe dedicated her Grammy nominations to her “trans brothers and sisters,” according to Pink News. Grammy nominee SOPHIE was misgendered on the red carpet, as Pink News also reported.

A transgender woman is suing Harvard for discrimination. She claims that it started when she rejected the advances of someone who works in the admissions office of the School of Management. After that, she applied for two graduate programs at Harvard, and was denied admission for either. You can read more in The Crimson.

Erin Parisi has a goal–climbing the highest mountain on each continent. Those mountains are known collectively as the “Seven Summits,” and so far, Erin has climbed four of them. She reached the top of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina recently, and has a date to climb Mount Denali in Alaska in June. Next year, she has a reservation to climb Mount Everest. The Buffalo News ran a profile of her.

The Christian Institute writes that Jamie Shupe has a blog post in which he regrets declaring himself non-binary and regrets the lawsuit in which he received the legal designation as non-binary. Given the reputation of the Christian Institute, it is likely that they have made the story fit their pre-defined narrative, and yet, there maybe some truth to it.

Bebe Zahara Benet

Drag queens are everywhere these days and they’re doing everything from winning roles in films to reading stories to children at your local library. Now TLC is bringing drag queens into planning someone’s wedding. Drag Me Down the Aisle, will feature Drag Race alums BeBe Zahara Benet, Thorgy Thor, Jujubee and Alexis Michelle as they help Emily, an Amish Country bride, gain the self-confidence and flair she needs to say “I do!” Look out! Culture clash ahead! Read about the new show in Out.

The European Congress passes a resolution opposing surgery on intersex babies. There are only two countries in the European Union which do not forbid surgery on intersex infants and children: Portugal and Malta. You can read more at Gay Star News.

9 News in Australia has its third profile of a transgender child. This time, it is Jack, whose mother, Sarah, had to choose between her Catholic parish or supporting Jack’s gender identity. She found a new church, one which welcomed Jack as her son.

A transgender woman was arrested and charged with sexual assault for an incident in the restroom of a Walmart in Oklahoma. The woman, Sean Ojeda, claims that she had been hoping to meet up with someone whom she had previously only known online, whose profile picture was similar to the teen in this incident. She also claims that her advances were not as serious as the charges make them out to be. KXII-TV has this story.


Last year, the British newspaper The Daily Star broke the story that a man who was convicted of murdering two 10-year-old girls a decade and a half ago had started gender transition. Other papers used this story in their transphobic commentary. Recently, though, the Daily Mail ran a correction which read, “Ian Huntley would like to make clear that he does not own a wig, has never asked to be addressed by any name other than his own and that there has never been a plan for him to change his gender identity.” In other words, this whole story was a lie. For sheer fabrication, the Daily Star gets a TWIT award. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

Dashir Moore is a trans man. He asked his insurance company if he was covered for a double mastectomy. He was told that the procedure would be covered, because of his diagnosis. On the day of his operation, he was informed that the insurance would not cover it, because his employer had requested a rider that the insurance would not cover transgender medication or surgery. He is suing, and the ACLU is supporting him in the suit. For demanding such a rider, InnoSource gets a TWIT Award. For providing such a rider (despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover transgender medicine and surgery), UMR gets a TWIT. You can read about this at LGBTQ Nation.

At The Federalist, Margot Cleveland starts with a complaint about how the Health and Human Services Committee of the South Dakota House of Representatives failed to pass a bill which would protect parents who did not allow their child to medically transition genders. She claims that this leaves parents open to judges who would remove their child from their custody if they do not allow the child to transition medically. But, the reason why the committee voted against the bill is that they were informed that state law already gives parents the right to make medical decisions for their child, and that law covers this situation. For failing to properly inform her readers, Margot Cleveland gets a TWIT. (Dishonorable mention goes to a headline writer at American Thinker, whose headline, “State power now being used to force parents to transgender their kids–or else” actually takes the word “transgender” from its proper use as an adjective and turns it into a verb. English teachers must be cringing at the thought.)

Martina Navratilova has stated that she would not compete in a match against a trans woman, saying that they are “cheating” because they have “biologically” male bodies. She said that men could take hormones, qualify for competition in female sports, win a lot of matches and make a pile of money and then “. . .reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires.” For not understanding basic medical facts about trans women we award Ms. Navratilova a TWIT. Find the story in the Independent.

Walt Heyer is back. This time he’s not spreading his belief that transition is wrong for everyone in a right wing newspaper. He has an op-ed in USA Today. In this one he discloses that when he was a child his grandmother dressed him in a dress she had sewed for him and praised him for being such a pretty girl. He claims this and sexual abuse by a teenaged uncle is what brought on his gender confusion and led to his transition to female at the age of 42. Then finding that living as a woman did not help his issues he went back to being a male after 8 years. Being dressed up as a child can start someone on a path to adult crossdressing so maybe that was a factor, but Heyer’s assumption that all people who wish to transition suffered trauma as children is absurd. Heyer collects another TWIT Award for spreading his message that transitioning gender does not work and there’s no such thing as a successful transition.

If you’ve heard about a transgender conference coming in April at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio be warned. It is a Christian university and the only speakers on the schedule are anti-trans speakers. It’s called the Veritas Conference: The Transgender Moment. Learn more at

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional content and editing by Angela Gardner. Care to make a comment on this post? Login here and use the comment area below.

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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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