The Week In Trans 2/4/19

| Feb 4, 2019
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One of the six women featured.

Pink News has started a new video feature in which transgender people tell their own stories, especially the story of discovering their own gender identities. The first installment features six transgender women.

The mother of one of the three transgender students in Boyerstown, Pennsylvania, whose school was sued for allowing them to use the same restroom and locker room as other boys, wrote an editorial for USA Today about the experience, and about raising a transgender child in general.

Accepting her child as transgender was also a theme that KQED explored in an interview last year with Gracie’s mother.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the ban on transgender people in the military continues to appear in the news this week. Retired 4-star General Stanley McCrystal said on The Axe Files podcast, “I think it’s a mistake to lose that talent.” Representative Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that he would push to include open military service by transgender people in a defense authorization act, but he will not hold up an act if it does not include opposition to the ban. You can read his C-Span comments in Defense News

Jamie Roberts let us know about a story in Smithsonian Magazine that profiles several transgender members of the military.

The New York Times broke the story that the ban on transgender people in the military was discussed when President Trump met with a group of lobbyists, led by Ginny Thomas, whose husband is on the Supreme Court. Other settled matters, including women in the military and same-sex marriage, also came up during the meeting. There are calls for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from these matters, as The New Civil Rights Movement reports, though he is unlikely to do so.

Charlie Baum

Charlie Baum was elected homecoming queen at Forsyth Central High School just north of Atlanta. High school had not always been easy for her as a transgender student, but the election as homecoming queen taught her that she had more friends and supporters than she realized. Pink News has her story.

The state of North Carolina has expanded the medical providers who can sign off on a change of gender on a driver’s license or state ID card. WSOC-TV in Charlotte has this story.

Last week, we reported that the bill to overturn the policy of the South Dakota High School Athletic Association regarding transgender students in sports was unable to get out of a committee in the state Senate. A similar bill has now been introduced in the state House of Representatives. This story comes from The Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

A new bill in Indiana would force transgender high-school students in that state to use restrooms and locker rooms and to compete in athletics according to the the sex listed on their birth certificates. This comes in spite of the fact that Indiana is in the Seventh Circuit, and that court ruled that Ash Whitaker had the right to use a restroom at school which aligned with his gender identity. Pink News covered this story.

The Arkansas State Supreme Court this week ruled that the city of Fayetteville cannot enforce its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity while it challenges a state law prohibiting cities and counties from adding protected classes to civil rights statutes. The ruling does not settle the matter of the constitutionality of the state law, only the question of whether the city can put the law into effect while it continues the court challenge. NBC News has the AP story.

The American Bar Association passed a resolution at its mid-winter meeting supporting the right of LGBTQ people to adopt children. Metro Weekly gives us this story.

Candice Elease Pinky

A transgender woman known as Candice Elease Pinky was shot five times at a gas station in Houston. She was taken to a hospital, where her condition is unknown. Although local media covered the story, Out Smart magazine reports that the Houston Chronicle frequently misgendered the victim.

Recent polling by the Public Religion Research Institute shows that a majority in Texas support nondiscrimination for LGBTQ people, oppose granting businesses the right to refuse service on the basis of “deeply-held religious beliefs,” and support same-sex marriage. As might be expected, support is highest in urban and suburban areas. You can find the results on their website.

Evie McDonald’s mother talked with 9 News in Australia about coming to terms with the fact that she has a transgender daughter.

The number of hate crimes in the District of Columbia rose sharply in 2018, nearly doubling the total attributed to bias in the city just two years earlier, according to city statistics. The most crimes reported where crimes motivated by victims’ sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for pointing out the story in The Washington Post.

In an interview with AOL, actress Kate Hudson said that she was raising her new daughter in a “genderless” way, adding, “We still don’t know what she’s going to identify as.” She later clarified that she meant that she isn’t changing her approach to parenting from the way that she has been raising her two sons.

Jennifer Leitham

Now This News ran a video feature on Jennifer Leitham, who talked about playing jazz bass as well as being transgender.

The movie Berlin, I Love You opens in New York and Los Angeles this Friday. It features Diego Luna in the lead, playing a transgender woman. Out magazine reminds everyone of why casting a cisgender actor in a transgender role sends a bad message.

Transgender actors Zach Barack and Tyler Luke Cunningham have been cast in Spider-Man: Far From Home, which will be out in July. They play two of Peter Parker’s classmates, according to The New York Daily News.

Last Sunday, the Fox network showed a production of the musical Rent. Out magazine ran an article exploring the character of Angel, specifically as regards her gender identity.

Plans for a march of transgender people in Washington, D.C., this spring are progressing. While the original plan called for the march to be held on Monday, April 1, the date has been pushed back one day, to Sunday, March 31, by popular request. The Advocate talked with organizer Marissa Miller about plans.

As Democrats announce that they will run for President, LGBTQ Nation asks if a candidate’s record on LGBTQ issues in the past should be held against the candidate now.

A court in Germany has ruled that an insurance company must cover beard removal for a transgender woman. The company tried to argue that the service was not provided by a medical professional, but the court ruled that the service met a medical need. Deutsche Welle has more.

Sheilla Prado

From Brazil comes reports that Sheilla Prado jumped to her death from a bridge. Trans Lives Matter says that she jumped to escape pursuers, but local media does not mention any threats at the time of her death. She had recently been voted Miss Trans Porto Alegre. Pink News has the report.

Google had a doodle honoring Brenda Lee. Not the country singer, but the Brazilian transgender activist of that same name. Although the Google doodle only showed in Brazil (where it coincided with Brazil’s National Day of Transgender Visibility on January 29), you can see the doodle and read about Brenda Lee here.

In December, the Church of England’s House of Bishops wrote a guidance regarding accepting transgender people into their community. A new open letter, with signatures from over 2,000 members of the clergy, urges the Church to “revise, postpone, or withdraw” the pastoral guidance. They site “wider medical, social and political debate,” ignoring the fact that the medical debate is almost exclusively from those who put their social and political opinions above the science. They say, “there is no scientific or medical consensus that surgical and medicinal interventions (‘gender transition’) effectively address the complex symptoms associated with gender dysphoria over the long term,” while ignoring the fact that nothing else has been shown to be more effective. While the guidance says that a parish may have a welcoming ceremony for a transgender person, it does not require the parish to hold any particular welcome. You can read more at Christian Headlines.

San Francisco has six cultural districts, including The Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. NPR took a look at the area.

The Compton’s Transgender Cultural District is named for Compton’s Cafeteria, which was the site of an uprising by transgender people. This year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Gay Star News asked June Chua to write about the impact of that event, and she starts with the idea that transgender people are change agents.

Jennifer Eller

Jennifer Eller, a teacher who had come out as transgender reported incident after incident of harassment by students, parents and colleagues to officials in the Prince George’s County school system. The incidents started in 2011, when she first came out to her principal and began living more openly as a woman while teaching English at Kenmoor Middle School in Landover, Maryland. Her lawyers filed a lawsuit alleging that the school system violated constitutional protections and federal, state and county laws by discriminating against Eller on the basis of sex and transgender status. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for pointing out the story in The Washington Post.

The Mirror reports that Jake and Hannah Graf would like to have a child, and are looking for a surrogate mother.

Pink News took a look at the many transgender people who have tried crowdfunding for some or all of their transgender medical needs.

Broadly has a new monthly column about dating, sex, and love. It starts with something that the author claims not to do — topping as a trans woman.

Mila Madison writes about The Joy of Being Correctly Gendered in Transgender Universe.

The gynandromorphic cardinal.

Jeffrey and Shirley Caldwell of Erie, Pennsylvania, spotted a very rare bird: a cardinal who has a red belly and brown back. This particular bird had the coloring of a male and the coloring of a female in different parts. National Geographic explains the science behind gynandromorphs.

The Conversation has a summary of the current thought on the matter of the genetic origin of transgender identity.


Some legislators in Texas have introduced four bills which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. These include a proposed ban on conversion therapies and a proposed ban on “religious freedom” exemptions for businesses. Patheos and LifeSiteNews wrote very slanted articles on the proposed legislation. The writer for Patheos even went so far as to call gender dysphoria a “mental illness,” despite the fact that all mental-health associations agree that it is not a mental illness. Both websites get TWITs for this biased reporting.

Ryan T. Anderson recently took notice of TERFs, and more specifically, of how “the left” is “not listening to them.” So, he created a panel at the Heritage Foundation, called “The Inequality of the Equality Act: Concerns from the Left.” The panelists whom he invited were there because they are outspoken critics of rights for transgender people. Anderson is wrong in assuming that the left does not listen to these people — the left listens, but only hears, “give me legal protection, but deny that same protection to some other group.” That is not a message that the left can accept. For misrepresenting the views of their opponents, Ryan T. Anderson and the Heritage Foundation get a TWIT Award. You can read Ryan T. Anderson’s announcement of the panel in The Daily Signal.

Mufti Asri Zainul Abidin of Malaysia wrote, “There are only two recognized genders . . . Religion prohibits this invented gender.” The fact that religion prohibits something does not mean that science cannot find it to exist. For ignoring evidence, the Mufti gets a TWIT. Gay Star News has this story.

The High Court of Hong Kong followed the path of the Japanese Supreme Court in ruling that only those who undergo a “full sex reassignment surgery” can get the sex on their identity card changed. For establishing a high threshold that keeps many from getting the legal status that they seek, the High Court of Hong Kong gets a TWIT Award. You can read about this in The Hong Kong Free Press.

Posie Parker and Julia Long went on a nearly-two-minute Facebook Live  harang directed at Sarah McBride when they saw her in the Capitol. They accused her of “championing the rights of men to access women in women’s prisons and rape and sexually assault them as recently happened in the United Kingdom.” For unnecessary rudeness (among other offenses), Posie Parker and Julia Long get a TWIT Award. You can read more at The Huffington Post.

A group of TERFs known as ReSisters have been putting tee-shirts on statues, including one of Cilla Black. The tee-shirts have the statement “Woman, noun, an adult female,” and are meant to announce opposition to transgender rights. Obviously, transgender women can be adults, and certainly are female, despite what members of ReSisters think, so the whole protest is a bit questionable. For defacing property to make a point that they do not realize they aren’t really making, ReSisters gets a TWIT. Pink News carries this story.

Essex Council included a question on an online form in which they asked the respondent to self-identify as “a man,” “a woman,” or “transgender.” The three options included pictures, with the picture for “transgender” showing someone pulling off a wig. For remarkable rudeness, the Essex Council gets a TWIT Award. This story appears in The Independent. The picture has been removed, and an apology was given, according to The Gazette.

James Greene, Sr., who goes by the nickname “Doc Greene,” was apprehended by Houston Police at the Houston Public Library’s Montrose location, where he had tried to disrupt Drag Queen Storytime. He was armed at the time of the incident. Apparently, this was not the first time that he was banned from that location. For posing a threat to others, James Green, Sr. gets a TWIT Award. Out Smart magazine gave us this story.

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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