The Week In Trans 3/12/18

| Mar 12, 2018
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Giang with the two runner-ups.

Nguyen Huong Giang of Vietnam won the title of Miss International Queen in a beauty contest for transgender women from around the world. There were 26 women in the contest, which was held in Thailand and it was covered by the Jakarta Post.

Officials of the Trump administration have declined a request to discuss transgender rights with some members of Congress. The invitation had been sent on February 13, and went to people in eight departments. None of them accepted the invitation, according to the Washington Blade.

22 Republican U.S. senators have introduced legislation to protect those whose “sincerely-held religious belief” causes them to oppose abortion, not recognize same-sex marriage, or transgender rights. However, the bill is written such that it could be used to protect people who discriminate for a wide variety of reasons. This story comes to us from Metro Weekly.

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner got a lot of negative comments when she initially supported Donald Trump in his bid of the presidency. She believed him when he said things like how great he would be for LGBT people. Since his actions have clearly shown his words to be lies Ms. Jenner has changed her opinion of our president. She now feels he is the “worst ever” for trans rights. Read about what she said at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala on the Newsweek website.

A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a funeral parlor was wrong to fire a funeral director for transitioning. While the district court held that the funeral parlor had discretion to fire an employee who “would impose a substantial burden on its ability to conduct business in accordance with its sincerely held religious beliefs,” the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that “discrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender and transitioning status, is illegal under Title VII” of the Civil Rights Act. Crain’s Business Report has a story about the decision, while the Washington Blade has some analysis, including the fact that this means that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not supersede the Civil Rights Act.

Munroe Bergdorf

One week after model Munroe Bergdorf became an advisor to the Labour Party of the United Kingdom, she has stepped down, amid a slew of controversy. She tweeted that she did not want to continue to be a distraction, according to Pink News.

Lawmakers in the state of Idaho never created a mechanism for changing the sex designated on a birth certificate. Two transgender people born in that state have sued to get their birth certificates updated. The State of Idaho chose not to contest the suit, but merely to ask the federal judge to issue an order. The judge issued the order, and also wrote an opinion, thus providing an argument for any other people who wish to get their birth certificates changed. Think Progress has this story.

A second transgender person has signed a contract to join the U.S. military, according to ABC News.

A trans woman in Brazil has become the first trans woman to fight a man in Mixed Martial Arts competition. She also is the first trans woman to win the first fight between a trans woman and a man in MMA. Learn more from MMA Fighting.

Joey became Juhi.

An Israeli television show called Re-gender has inspired an online Indian version. People on the show swap genders and all live in a house together for a month while going out and interacting with the public in their new gender roles. A spokesperson for the show’s producers said “The participants all have certain unresolved issues with a member of the opposite sex in their lives.” Learn more about the show and watch the first episode on Buzzfeed.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a transgender rights bill by a 195-129 vote. Although the bill still has to go through the Senate and be approved by the Governor, it has many people excited, including Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast, because New Hampshire is not as liberal as other states that have passed such protections for transgender people.

The Labour Party of the United Kingdom continues to support pro-transgender policy, including revisions to the Gender Recognition Act. Some very vocal people with anti-transgender views have stated that they will leave the party over the issue. Pink News has this story. The Huffington Post has a copy of a statement drafted by the party. The statement says that transgender women will continue to be eligible for All Women Shortlists, and states, “transphobia and the abuse of members based on their trans identity will not be tolerated in the Labour Party.”

Dr. Heather Peto

A trans woman has been appointed to the role of women’s officer at the Constituency Labour Party in Nottingham South. Dr. Heather Peto will be in charge of encouraging women to become more involved with the Labour Party. Learn more in the Nottingham Post.

March 8 was International Women’s Day. A group of protestors used the occasion as a reason to demonstrate outside the Department of Health offices in London, demanding that the NHS improve its services for transgender people. Two of the protestors, Joni Alizah Cohen and Helen Hester, wrote a piece for Pink News about their reasons for the protest.

An opinion piece last week asked where does the anger and hatred of transgender individuals by conservatives come from and why is it so intense? The author singles out Trump supporters as those most angry and hateful toward trans people and blames Fox News, and other right wing media outlets for fanning the flames with stories biased against trans people. Read the rest of Max Mundan’s thoughts on it on the Inquisitor website.

Laverne as a Barbie?

On March 6 Mattel announced a new line of Barbie Dolls that honored Inspiring Women. The new line includes historical and current day women who can be good role models for girls. A petition at is hoping to convince Mattel to add a Laverne Cox Barbie to the new line of dolls. Learn more from The Grio.

Anna Friel will star in and co-produce a new television miniseries in Britain. Entitled Butterfly, it will tell the story of a pre-teen transgender child with a supportive family. The British charity for transgender children, Mermaids, acted as consultants on the script. Pink News has the story of this miniseries, which will appear on ITV.

There was a huge round of applause in the Dolby Theatre when A Fantastic Woman won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film. The Los Angeles Times reports on the reaction of director Sebastián Lelio and what the film means for transgender people worldwide. The New York Times reports that, in Chile, the film has caused a stalled transgender rights bill to get new momentum. One day before winning the Oscar, A Fantastic Woman won the Spirit Award for Best International Film. There’s more coverage of the film’s stars return to Chile in Vanity Fair.

Sam Brinton

Also on hand at the Dolby Theatre on Oscar Night was Sam Brinton, a transgender-rights activist. In the ladies’ room, the only reaction that Sam got was a request from various people to pose for pictures with them, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The film Growing Up Coy, a documentary about a transgender child of grade school age, will have free screenings in several states that are discussing bathroom bills. A Kickstarter campaign financed this tour of the film. This story comes from Gay Star News.

RuPaul is most famous as a drag queen, but the reality star seems to be quite a drama queen as well. Ru caused a storm, saying that drag performers who take hormones are similar to athletes who take performance-enhancing drugs. Tweets went flying to and fro. The New York Daily News has this story.

Speaking of RuPaul; Last week House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi appeared on Drag Race All Stars as a judge. Her takeaway from the show was that “lawmakers could learn from drag queens.” And she seriously wants our president to sashay away. Get more info and a video clip from ABC News.

Trans dancer Jannat Ali.

In Pakistan greater familial acceptance of trans family members was having an unforeseen consequence. In that country inheritance amounts are determined by gender. Women receive half of what men get and trans family members were required to undergo medical exams to determine what gender their inheritance would be based on. In February a committee of Pakistan’s Senate determined that trans people would receive the amount based on the gender they transitioned into with no exam. Of course that means that going from male to female means you are losing half of your inheritance. Read about the trans situation in Pakistan on the Al Jazeera website.

The only surgeon in New Zealand who performed gender confirmation surgery retired in 2014. At long last, another surgeon in that country has agreed to do the procedure, according to Stuff.

On Thursday, in observance of International Women’s Day, The New York Times ran obituaries for fifteen influential women who, for one reason or another, did not receive obituaries in The Times when they passed away. One of those women in the first installment of “Overlooked” was Marsha P. Johnson, one of the leaders of the Stonewall protest. The Advocate was impressed with the fact that she finally got her due.

Sally Hansen

Did you know that the nail polish company Sally Hansen was started by a real person name Sally Hansen? Well it was. And in the early 1920, ’30s and ’40s she lived in Los Angeles, ran a dance school and then worked for a cosmetic and fragrance company called The House of Hollywood. She also spent evenings out on the town with her “transvestite friends.” Read more about this amazing woman in Forbes.


The Washington Times is a journalistic rag that is owned by the Unification Church whose far-right editorial slant often makes its way into articles. One example of that is the article in this week’s edition which decries the increase in gender confirmation surgery. The first expert whom they talk to is Joseph Backbolm of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, a man with no medical or mental-health background. He is quoted as saying that there is no conclusive evidence that these procedures lead to beneficial outcomes for transgender patients, despite real evidence that patients who have this surgery are significantly less likely to attempt suicide. The other “expert” arguing against gender-confirmation surgery is Ryan T. Anderson, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an author. He, too, has no medical background. The people with medical backgrounds are the folks who wrote the study which these guys are criticizing. For presenting talking heads with empty heads as if they knew more than specialists, The Washington Times gets a TWIT Award.

John Stonestreet begins a review of Ryan T. Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally with a thought experiment about the state taking your teenager from your custody because your religious beliefs forbade you from recognizing your child’s gender identity. He claims that this happened in Ohio. That is not what happened in Ohio. In that case, the parents had already ceded custody of their child to the child’s maternal grandparents, and the parents wanted to change the agreement ex post facto to forbid the grandparents from allowing the child to seek medical attention as a transgender patient. His understanding of transgender issues does not improve much from there. For writing about something without proper understanding, John Stonestreet gets a TWIT Award. You can read his review in BreakPoint.

If you have ever heard of the Illinois Family Institute, it will not surprise you that their leader, Laurie Higgins, wrote an article against rights for transgender people, nor will it surprise you that the article was long on bombastic, overblown rhetoric and short on facts. The article complains about a new law in Delaware which compels public schools to acknowledge the gender identity of transgender students. Ms. Higgins thinks that we are supposed to acknowledge her identity as a Christian, even though she is so lacking in the compassion for others that Jesus showed by his example. For insisting that her right to privacy supersedes all rights of others, and that her safety is threatened unless she violates the safety of others, she gets a TWIT. Her piece is here.

A man in Texas shared a “consensual kiss” with a trans woman but when she “grabbed him by the buttocks” he pushed her into a river. She drowned. Now we learn that his actions do “not constitute criminal conduct.” So he won’t face a trial for manslaughter. TWIT Awards are handed to the pusher and to the judge who issued the ruling. Get the story from the Fox News website.

We’ve always felt that any gay person who supported Republican candidates could use some therapy. Which party is always trying to disenfranchise LGBT people? But there’s a candidate running as a Republican in North Carolina who is gay, and he supports President Trump and the administration’s attempt to ban trans people from the military. He claims trans people are the ones with mental problems. Learn more about this TWIT Award winning doofus from The Daily Beast.

TWIT is assembled 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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