The Week In Trans 2/19/18

| Feb 19, 2018
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Tambor in character.

Months ago, when several allegations came out against Jeffrey Tambor, he said that it would be best for him to leave Transparent. This week, Amazon Studios announced that the actor will indeed not appear in the upcoming season of the show.  The Hollywood Reporter says that Tambor is disappointed in the lack of support from the producers.

Later this week, the Pentagon will issue its new plan for dealing with transgender people in the military. This week, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Robert L. Wilkie issued a memo stating that those who were unable to be deployed for more than twelve months would be given an “administrative separation” from the armed forces. While transgender people were not specifically mentioned in the memo, at a press conference it was sad that the new rules would apply to transgender people.  The Washington Post has more on this.

According to a report in ABC News, the Secretary of the Army is not getting questions from the rank-and-file about the transgender policy. The vast majority of soldiers have more immediate concerns, such as their pay and the quality of food. Army Secretary Mark Esper has met with about half a dozen transgender people who are in the army, and has listened to their concerns.

Daniela Vega

The star of the Oscar nominated film A Fantastic Woman is garnering media attention. The film is only her second appearance in a movie and her work is getting critical acclaim. It might be a sign of two things: trans actors are starting to get roles other than the prostitute parts, and that acceptance as talented actors may open more roles for them in which being trans is just one aspect of the character. Learn more about A Fantastic Woman’s star Daniela Vega in The Guardian.

When you see or hear the words “bath salts” in a news story you tend to think about how people buy illicit drugs marketed as bath salts. Imagine our surprise when we saw a story about bath salts being used to finance campaigns for trans rights. A British company called Lush which produces all-natural “eccentric” bath products has pledged to donate 100% of sales of a product called “Inner Truth Bath Melt” to trans advocacy groups in the U.S. and Canada. Learn more on the Independent website.

News stories continue to find more information to report from the study by Ipsos. Metro Weekly reports that about one-third of Americans feel that being transgender is a sin. About the same number feel that society has gone too far to protect transgender people, while 51% feel that the U.S. has not done enough to protect transgender people. Meanwhile, Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast points to the murder rate for transgender people (and especially transgender women of color) as a sign of how far U.S. society is from accepting transgender people. In that spirit, the Washington Blade reports that several members of Congress, led by Representative Joseph Kennedy III, have sent a letter to the heads of the Office of Civil Rights in eight federal departments, asking to meet with him to discuss the erosion of civil rights for transgender people.

One of the departments which have weakened the civil rights of transgender people is the Department of Education. This week, Buzzfeed News reported that the Department of Education will now ignore complaints that a transgender student is not allowed the use the restroom at school.  Think Progress also covered this story. TGF reader Jamie Roberts found more in The Washington Post.

Victoria Smith

A male  jockey in England won 250 races but had a hidden desire to live as a woman. After 50 years of burying her true nature Victoria Smith came out as a trans woman and at the start of 2017 she began her transition. She was surprised by the support she got from the racing world. Read her story in the Daily Mail

A transgender woman has been able to breastfeed the child her partner gave birth to. A combination of drugs and breast pumping accomplished the trick, according to a report by the BBC.

We have told you of a transgender teenager in Cincinnati who has asked that his grandparents be awarded custody of him, so that he can begin medical therapy for gender dysphoria, rather than his parents, who want Christian counseling.  CNN has more, including the parents’ lawyer claiming that the transgender teen is not mentally fit to make medical decisions.  The parents seem to be willing to cede day-to-day custody, but want to reserve the right to make medical decisions.

UPDATE: In Hamilton County, Ohio, Juvenile Court Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon gave the grandparents custody of their transgender grandson, and allowed the boy to begin medical treatment. The parents have visitation rights, and the judge hopes that they will reconcile with their son. WCPO-TV has more on this.

Kiera gets her hair done.

The BBC had another documentary special about a transgender child named KieraHere is information on it, including how to watch the documentary on the BBC1 player.

A committee of the South Dakota Senate has defeated a bill which would have put signs on the doors of public restrooms with multiple stalls, warning that there could be a person of the opposite sex inside. A member of the committee said that the proposed warning was “poorly worded.” The AP’s story can be found here.

An attempt to rewrite the Iowa Civil Rights Act in order to weaken protection for LGBT people has died in committee, according to the Des Moines Register.

The crossdressing hobbyist.

A Japanese boy whose hobby is dressing up as a girl and posting photos online ran into what you might expect would happen. One of his friends saw the photos, recognized the room as he pal’s and messaged the boy to confirm it was him. Then things took a twist when he told the crossdressing photo poster that if “she” would agree to go out with him he would not tell the boy’s parents and the other kids at school. Is this a crossdresser fantasy or what? Read the story on the Next Shark website.

We told you recently about the police in Indonesia shaving the heads of a dozen transgender women and forcing them to “become men.”  This week, Pink News has more on that story from the perspective of those transgender women.

Courtney Act on the show finale.

Since winning the British version of Celebrity Big Brother Courtney Act has become a sought after interview in the U.K. And she is using the extra celebrity to talk about the importance of being who you are and not hiding from yourself. She said in a recent interview “When I realized my femininity was important and could be celebrated, it laid to rest a lifelong struggle with my gender.” Read more on the Pink News website.

In response to this, the province of Aceh in Indonesia has banned transgender women from working as hair stylists. Aceh is the only province which uses Sharia law, and it is where the transgender women had their heads shaved.  Gay Star News has this story.

Hannah Mouncey

Transgender footballer Hannah Mouncey has been cleared to play in any of the state women’s leagues in Australia.  She was denied a spot in the Australian Women’s Football League last year, but now she can play in any of the local leagues associated with the national league. This story comes from The Age.

The Chilean House of Representatives has passed a bill that “recognizes and gives protection to gender identity.” The bill was passed on January 23 and now moves on to the Senate. For a bit more on the legislation read the story on the Catholic News Agency website.

Pakistan is a majority-Muslim nation going in a different direction.  The Senate approved legislation which will allow transgender people to change their legal gender without medical approval, and will add to the civil rights of transgender people.  This story comes from Gay Star News.

For the first time, a court in China has ordered a company to pay a transgender man extra compensation because of a discriminatory firing. Gay Star News has this story as well.

Geraldine Roman

Geraldine Roman became the first transgender person elected to the Congress of the Philippines. Now, she is also the first transgender officer in that nation’s military. She joined the Army Reserve, where she was given the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Rappler reports that she will be allowed to wear the uniform of a female officer.

Japanese beauty magazine Kai Beauty Press has started a contest meant to show the power of makeup. It published the faces of twelve people, all wearing makeup and feminine hairstyles and challenges readers to pick the one ringer in the bunch. He’s a male model and actor. Learn more about the challenge from Rocket News 24. You could win a beauty kit if you spot him.


A court in Russia has declared Yulia Savinovskikh to be a man. She was assigned female at birth and calls herself a woman, but because she has short hair and dresses in an androgynous way, the court declared her to be a man. This was the reason for rejecting her request to have her two foster children returned to her. For jumping to the conclusion that she is transgender, this court gets a TWIT Award.  Radio Free Europe has this story.

A British group called “Transgender Trend” has published a very misleading pamphlet, and has put the contents of that pamphlet on the Worldwide Web. They repeat the claim that most transgender children grow out of being transgender. (That result comes from a study which included several children who never identified as transgender in the first place, so it’s no surprise that such children did not become transgender adults.) They claim that being transgeder is the result of internalized homophobia, which is not what the medical community believes. They also claim that some children identify as transgender because it’s “trendy.” For spreading misinformation, Transgender Trend gets a TWIT.  This story comes to us from Pink News.

Politics is a dirty game. In the run up to the 2015 election in Israeli the Likud Party produced television ads depicting the opposition leader as a crossdresser. Or at least as a man made up like a woman with a tacky wig. The ads were never run and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the election. The “joke” of the ad was supposed to be that the candidate was calling for dramatic change. Trying to denigrate an opponent by saying they are a crossdresser is no joke. We hand a TWIT Award to the Likud Party. Read about it on the Newsweek website.

A few weeks ago, The Federalist ran a piece entitled “How ThinkProgress’s Review Of Ryan Anderson’s Book On Transgenderism Accidentally Proves His Points.” The first point Zack Ford made was that Anderson claims to have a compassion for transgender people, but he keeps deliberately misgendering them. In their article, The Federalist says that the misgendering is “the truth,” even though The Federalist uses grade-school biology, and they never bothered to do DNA tests to see if they were right. The bad science continues, both in the reply to Zack Ford and in another piece, in which the writer cites a study from Infant And Child Development Journal. The study found that most children showed a preference for toys that are stereo-typically associated with their biological sex;  boys like trucks, and girls like dolls. From this, the writer concludes that the stereotypes are biological in basis and that transgender children are therefore going against biology. Now, the original study did not say that there was a 100% correlation;  they said that it was observed as a generality. For perpetuating bad science, The Federalist gets a TWIT Award.

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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