The Week In Trans 3/22/20

| Mar 23, 2020
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Jill Rose Quinn

Jill Rose Quinn just won a primary in Illinois, as a nominee for a vacant judge’s seat in Cook County. Since she won the Democratic party nomination for the seat, she is very likely to win in November. If she wins, she will be the first transgender person to become a judge in Illinois. The Chicago Tribune has a lengthy interview with her. The Chicago Law Bulletin reports that she does not have a Republican opponent.

Idaho’s legislature has passed a bill which would specifically forbid the state from changing the sex designated on a birth certificate. The bill is obviously aimed at transgender people. The state’s Attorney General says that it would be costly to defend this in a court, and since this directly contradicts a federal court ruling from two years ago, it would have to be defended in court. The bill now goes to Governor Brad Little for his signature or veto. This story can be found on CNN.

Idaho also became the first state in which both chambers of the state’s legislature passed a bill banning transgender females from competing in school sports as females. Several other states have taken up such bills. has this story. Thanks to contributor Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

The Idaho Statesman wonders if Governor Little will sign either of the bills. They point out that five former state Attorneys General signed a letter urging the Governor to veto the legislation. Meanwhile, The Idaho Press points out that a professor whose writings are mentioned three times in the bill says that the bill misuses her research and asks the Governor to veto the bill.

Ginny Millas

Ginny Milas is a magistrate in Ohio who has come out as transgender, to a positive reception. She is now running for a seat as a family court judge. LGBTQ Nation has this story. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

Devon Robinson has been convicted of killing three people, two gay men and one transgender woman, last May. According to the prosecutor, he had sex with the transgender woman, left the party, and later returned to kill those who were still there. Pink News has this story from Detroit.

Monica Diamond, a 34-year-old transgender woman, was shot to death in the parking lot of a motel in Charlotte, North Carolina. WBTV-TV has this story. Thanks to reader Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

A judge has increased the bail for a man accused of murdering Nikki Kuhnhausen to two million dollars, according to a report in  The Columbian.

Tavoy Malcolm, a transgender woman who was convicted of fraud, has been serving time in a men’s prison, despite having had breast augmentation. She has been raped while in prison, according to documents provided to a court. Although she has since been transferred to a women’s prison, she is suing the Bureau of Prisons for having housed her with men in the first place. The New York Daily News has this story.

In Iowa, LGBTQ groups are suing because they say that a state policeman prevented transgender students from using the restrooms in accordance with their gender identities. This violates state law, which says that gender identity is a protected class for public accommodations. You can read about it at WHO-TV.

Sherrie Scaffidi

Sherrie Scaffidi has announced that she is running for Nevada’s Assembly in the Carson City area. She is profiled in Carson Now.

While four federal lawsuits opposing the ban on transgender people in the military continue to wind their way through the courts, a fifth has been added. This one is specific to one person, a former officer who wishes to rejoin after having completed gender transition. has the A.P. story. ABC News has an A.P. story about one of the plaintiffs in one of the other lawsuits opposing the ban.

The city of San Francisco is changing the name of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District to simply the Transgender Cultural District. You can read about the reasoning for this change at The Bay Area Reporter online.

Also in Illinois, LGBTQ ally Marie Newman beat Dan Lipinski, one of the most anti-LGBTQ Democrats in the House of Representatives, in a Democratic primary. You can read about this at The Advocate.

New Jersey Law Journal has an article telling employers what to do to make transgender employees feel welcome.

National Labor Relations Board workers have a union. The union has been attempting to negotiate a contract with the government, and appointees from the current administration have told the union that they will not respect the protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity which were part of the previous contract. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

The Trump administration is also being sued over a rule which gives organizations such as Meals On Wheels and homeless shelters a religious exemption, allowing them to discriminate against LGBTQ people. You can read about this in LGBTQ Nation.

Cami Richardson

Cami Richardson is a transgender woman who has worked as a greeter at a ski resort in Park City, Utah, for the last three years. She tells The Salt Lake Tribune that she hopes her work helps make others less afraid of interacting with transgender people.

A high school student who is currently crushing on a transgender classmate wrote to Dear Abby because the transgender classmate is not ready for a relationship. You can find Abby’s answer in

The state of Alaska tried to exclude transgender-related health care from its insurance for state employees, but Jennifer Fletcher took them to court. This week, she won. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

Hospitals are cancelling non-emergency medical procedures. This includes gender-confirmation surgery and also secondary surgeries, such as breast augmentation or mastectomy, as well as many procedures not related to gender identity. While such is understandable during a time of epidemic, this sort of thing seems to happen a lot to transgender patients, as Vice reports.

A new study found that the majority of transgender people knew that their gender was different by the age of seven. The study, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open Network, is summarized in Pink News.

A new study in The Lancet finds that transgender people who have ID documents in the gender that matches their identity are less likely to have mental health issues or suicidal thoughts. The fact that the two are found together does not indicate causality, and the causality could go either way. (Having identity documents that match your lived gender might make you more mentally stable, or being more mentally stable might make you want to get identity documents that match your lived gender.) Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

A blog at Scientific American attempts to dispel the myth that transgender people are a modern phenomenon.

Cancernetwork suggests that transgender cancer patients may need help with survivorship, including a watch for depression.


Marvel has announced their first non-binary superhero. The name is “Snowflake,” and Snowflake has a twin brother known as “Safespace.” Safespace is said to be a “stereotypical jock” with a pink costume and pink hair, but Safespace still identifies as male. Marvel is caught between complaints about having a non-binary superhero and complaints about naming the nonbinary superhero “Snowflake.” Pink News has this story.

The gender-neutral clothing line TommyboyX has introduced a Trans Pride collection, and actor Theo Germaine was there to help the launch, according to The Advocate.

Theo Germaine also sat down for the latest edition of LGBTQ&A.

Make-up artist and model Nikita Dragun has been accused of using make-up to change the appearance of her race, a practice known as “blackfishing.” She denies the accusation. Pink News has this story.

In an exclusive, The Mirror reports that the British Parliament will not bring up the matter of reforming the Gender Recognition Act. “Boris Johnson just does not want that fight,” a source said. “We just won’t talk about it. If anyone asks, the response will be, ‘we’re thinking about it.'”

Scotland also is delaying its plans for reform of the Gender Recognition Act, but in the case of Scotland, it seems to be that the response to COVID-19 is pushing other things to the back burner for the moment. There is still a desire in the Scottish Parliament to deal with this, according to The National.

A report by the Independent Monitoring Board praised Eastwood Park Prison in Britain, but raised concerns about transgender female prisoners being kept in isolation so long. The BBC has this story.

Valentina Sampaio

Victoria’s Secret launched their new spring line, with the slogan “Body By Victoria.” The photos included Valentina Sampaio, their first transgender model, as well as some older and plus-size models. It’s a break from the past, when all of the models were cisgender women in their teens or twenties. Pink News says that the campaign comes just as their stores are closing due to COVID-19. Their online business is temporarily shut down as well. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

Pink News has a story about why the U.K.’s first Trans Festival was so important. Lots of information, and just the ability to socialize with other transgender people made the Trans Festival an important event for transgender people.

A non-binary refugee in a camp in Uganda was attacked for wearing a dress, according to Pink News.

In India, transgender people have trouble joining soccer teams. So, a soccer team specifically for transgender people has been set up. She The People has this story.

Ben Hodges was Head Girl in high school, but is now a male college student. Ben had “brilliant” support from his school, which is a Catholic college in Liverpool. The Liverpool Echo has this story.

Scott Morrison, a non-binary person, was fired from a job at the bookstore of Kennesaw State University in Georgia, for wearing lipstick. Wearing lipstick is a violation of the employee rules for the college, but only for males. You can read about this story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Diana Zurco recently started as the co-anchor of the nightly news on Argentina Public Television. She is profiled by The Associated Press.

Pink News has some suggestions for how you can help transgender people during the COVID-19 lifestyle changes. While some of them are specific to Britain, others are more general. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this article.


International Policy Digest has an article entitled “Unpacking the Transgender Conundrum.” In the middle of it, the author says, “While activists of the transgender movement argue that gender–a mental construct–defines sexual identity, they also argue that gender has biological roots. If the former argument supports the post-puberty transition, the latter argument favors the pre-pubescent transition. As you can see, this position is contradictory.” This contradiction hinges on the idea that, as the author points out later, “Gender is a concept that even adults find difficult to understand. Explaining this concept to adolescents, to say nothing of children, is impossible.” Some adults do have difficulty in understanding what gender is, and adolescents and children have a somewhat fuzzier understanding of what gender is. However, children develop a rough idea of what gender is at a young age, and can feel for themselves if the gender assigned to them feels right or wrong. (Indeed, just this week, a new study found that transgender people tend to feel that disconnect with the gender assigned to them by the time that they are seven.) That rough sense gets refined through adolescence. Yet, this article presumes that because the understanding is limited, it is worthless. That is rubbish. For this error in logic, the author of the piece, Gennady Shkliarevsky, gets a TWIT Award. (The author also completely avoids the fact that puberty creates indelible changes which make post-puberty transition far easier to detect. The claim that the concept of gender is difficult for adults to comprehend seems to imply that some adults do not comprehend gender properly, and that those who do not understand the concept of gender will judge others according to their incomplete understanding of the concept.)

Nancy Barto, the author of Arizona’s “Save Women’s Sports Act,” wrote an editorial defending it in The Arizona Republic. In defending this bill, she brings up Chelsea Mitchell, whom she describes as “the fastest girl in multiple state championship events.” Ms. Mitchell came in second, not first. Ah, but if we disqualify the girl who came in first, then Ms. Mitchell wins. And how do we do that? By insisting that the girl who beat her is not a girl. For displaying her prejudice, and not even realizing it, Nancy Barto gets a TWIT Award. (P.S., Professor Doriane Coleman, who complained that the Idaho bill misused her writing, is the co-author of the opposing editorial in The Arizona Republic.)

The Spectator says, “It’s time to pause the transgender debate.” The idea of suspending other legislative activities in order to deal with a potential pandemic is certainly understandable. However, they take the opportunity to make several wrongheaded statements about transgender people just before the pause goes into effect. For attacking others and then telling them that they cannot respond, The Spectator gets a TWIT Award. (BTW, they pretend that they are aiming this at the Scottish National Parliament, which they say has not paused their efforts at reforming the Gender Recognition Act. However, the Scottish National Parliament has made no new efforts on the matter since the outbreak, and in fact, news had already broken that the SNP would quietly push the matter to the back burner until the crisis is over.)

Ed Martin argued against giving people money to cover their losses due to closures because he feels that this program will be an excuse to give more money to the “transgenders.” For bad logic as well as prejudice, Ed Martin gets a TWIT. Right Wing Watch has this story. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

Bryan Fischer, a preacher who is known to say very untrue things (such as a claim that a cheap cure for coronavirus is here when in fact there is no cure for COVID-19 as of yet, and the idea that the Nazi Party originated in a gay bar, when the Nazis were as anti-gay as he and other Evangelicals are) has a column in The American Family Association website about “The good that could come from the Coronavirus.” In addition to a greater attention to hygiene and people praying more, another thing he sees as good is that Drag Queen Story Time cannot happen while libraries are closed. That’s right, this fool thinks that Drag Queens are turning children gay. For stupidity, Bryan Fischer gets a TWIT Award. (Also, this guy does not seem to understand the World Wide Web very well. Reuters tells us that Drag Queen Story Time has already gone digital.)

Here is a story that has come around a few times, and is back again. The video game Jesus Strikes Back: Judgement Day allows players to play as Jesus, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, or Adolph Hitler, as the player hunts and kills LGBTQ people. Now, they have a sequel, entitled, Jesus Strikes Back 2: The Resurrection. It is interesting that the Gospels never tell us of Jesus getting angry with or talking harshly to anyone about gender identity or sexual orientation. He did, however, complain about people pushing their earthly ideas onto God. And yet, the authors of this game seem to want to push their hatred onto God. For failing to understand the love that Jesus proclaimed and for making themselves into a god, the makers of Jesus Strikes Back and Jesus Strikes Back 2 get a TWIT Award. This story is in LGBTQ Nation.

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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