The Week In Trans 3/25/19

| Mar 25, 2019
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Dorothy refreshes her shave.

Tootsie has returned. Not the 1982 Dustin Hoffman film. It’s now a Broadway show based on the film and updated for the 21st century. The out of work actor doesn’t audition for a female role in a soap opera He auditions for a female role in a Broadway play. Tootsie stars Santino Fontana and the show starts previews at the Marquis Theater on March 29. In an article in The New York Times the reporter hits the old cliches about the actor having to wax his legs, wear a tight corset and learn to walk in heels, but Fontana also goes into how he prepares mentally to become Dorothy.

The ban on transgender people in the military is back on hold, but only temporarily. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly told the Pentagon that the Appeals Court did not vacate her stay on the ban, and that plaintiffs still have until March 29 to decide if they wish for the matter to be heard en banc. While the judges will no doubt vacate her stay (either in the en banc decision or when the plaintiffs’ deadline passes without a request for an en banc hearing), at the moment, her stay on the ban is in place, and the Pentagon is premature to make plans to implement the ban. Buzzfeed News has more.

The House of Representatives is set to hold its first vote on the ban on transgender people in the military this week. This will not be a bill to prevent the military from implementing the ban, but rather an expression of the sentiment of the House of Representatives. There is a bill to actually prevent the implementation of the ban, but it has not yet come up for a vote, according to The Hill.

Elizabeth Hardy

Elizabeth Hardy is a trans woman veteran. To get medical care she has to go to her local VA facility. Every time she does she is subjected to staff members using male pronouns when referring to her. She also contends that whatever the ailment that brings her in the attending practitioner alway adds “transgender” to her record along with the words “gender dysphoria.” She maintains that her dysphoria is gone since she transitioned. Read her story in the Shreveport Times.

Senator Corey Booker responded to a question at a town hall in Iowa by saying, “When I am president of the United States, right away I will end this ridiculous, insulting, un-American ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.” The Advocate has this story.

While the Pentagon moves to implement a ban on transgender troops, the Canadian Armed Forces issued new directives on how to deal with transgender troops. The new directives deal with names, uniforms, and restrooms, among other things. They are an update from a 2011 policy for “transexual [sic] members,” and are quite welcoming of transgender members of the military. This report comes from the CBC.

This week, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro paid a visit to the White House. During his photo opportunity with President Trump, he said that the two of them were both “against the gender ideology or the politically correct attitudes.” President Trump nodded when these words were said. Gay Star News has this story.

Kendra Stefani Jordany

A trans woman from Honduras who was the first trans woman to win a primary election for the Central American Parliament has criticized the Honduran president for not dealing with the violence in his country that drives people to migrate north. She also said that Donald Trump’s immigration policies will not deter people from heading to the USA. Read more of Kendra Stefani Jordany’s comments in the Washington Blade.

The Violence Against Women Act is up for reauthorization. The House of Representatives added a provision which calls on the Federal Bureau of Prisons to consider the safety of transgender prisoners when assigning them to prisons. This provision caused some Republicans to take exception, as Out magazine noted.

A San Mateo 1983 cold case involving the murder of an unidentified possible trans woman has garnered renewed attention thanks to a Trans Doe Task Force at the DNA Doe Project. Learn more from The Bay Area Reporter. Thanks to Ms. Bob Davis for the story lead.

United Airlines announced on its website that it “has become the first U.S. airline to offer non-binary gender options throughout all booking channels in addition to providing the option to select the title ‘Mx.’ during booking.”

Lee Livengood, the West Virginia assistant principal who was suspended after he initiated a confrontation with a transgender student, has been informed that his contract will not be renewed for next year. This news comes from NewNowNext.

Dex Frier

A school district in Georgia has blocked a trans boy’s nomination for the title of prom king. Dex Frier was nominated for that role by his fellow students but the school district said he could only run for prom queen. Frier’s fellow students have gathered 15,000 signatures on a petition supporting his right to run for prom king.  Read the story in Valdosta Today.

Although a federal judge has ruled that the state of Idaho must provide gender confirmation surgery for transgender inmate Adree Edmo, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to a motion to delay enforcement of the requirement until after the appeals court hears the case. The original ruling required surgery by mid-June, according to Boise State Public Radio, whose report can be found on Wyoming Public Media.

Henry Sias is running for Common Pleas Judge in Philadelphia. If elected, he would be the first trans male judge in the U.S. NewNowNext has his story.

Deja Lynn Alvarez

Philadelphia will have a crowded ballot for City Council, with 34 Democrats and 7 Republicans contending for seats. Where many go with alphabetical order, Pennsylvania chooses the order on the ballot randomly. Second spot on the Democratic ballot goes to Deja Lynn Alvarez, a trans woman, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

A study by Dr. Jessica Long of the University of Washington in Seattle found that cisgender men who have sex with transgender women but not with other men have a higher-than-average rate of HIV infection. Dr. Long did this study on men in Peru. AIDS map has more.

Difficulty in finding local medical care for transgender patients who often must drive for hours to the nearest care is the subject of stories in The Washington Post and The Macon Telegraph. (We found this story but Jamie Roberts also told us about it.)

One sign that San Francisco is changing is the imminent closing of Divas nightclub, one of the last vestiges from the days when Polk Street was a major gay area of the city. For many years Divas, (at 1081 Post Street), was a safe space for transgender women, their friends and admirers. Thanks to Ms. Bob Davis for the story tip. You can learn more from The Bay Area Reporter.

Tatiana Mala-Niña

Here’s a TWIT worthy story: Drag Queen Story Time in Houston has been shut down. Why? Opponents of the event learned that one of the story readers was a registered sex offender. What? Drag queen Tatiana Mala-Niña is Albert Garza who has been arrested for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old. After the library learned about this they closed the whole program even though they had already started to do background checks on readers. Learn more from the Houston Chronicle.

After more than half a year, PLOS ONE has published a revised version of the study by Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University on what is known as Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. The findings are still the same, but some language in the article was softened, and more context was given to certain passages. They also put more emphasis on how the data was gathered, which was one of the objections to the original article. The Chronicle of Higher Education has this story.

In Vanity Fair, K. Austin Collins explains why there is no good reason to watch the Belgian film Girl.

Revry, a streaming service that specializes in LGBTQ projects, will celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility by debuting a four-part documentary series profiling transgender people of color. The series is called America In Transition, and is the work of trans man Andrè Pèrez. The Los Angeles Blade has more.

Nathan Westling

The model formerly known as Natalie Westling has come out as transgender, and is now known as Nathan Westling. He made the transition public in an interview with CNN Style.

This week, The Economist tweeted the first line of an article, “Should transgender people be sterilized before they are recognized?” They later deleted that tweet, and apologized for it. The Wrap has a story about the tweet and its deletion, while Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast reminds us that many states in the U.S. also require that transgender people be sterilized before the state will change their gender designation.

A drag queen who was competing on the Thai version of RuPaul’s Drag Race accidentally set herself on fire during her performance. Gay Star News has a story on this, or you can see the video right here:

Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings has a new endorsement contract. She will endorse the Gillette Venus razor. Refinery 29 talked with her about the contract.

Former TGForum contributor Jennifer Finney Boylan sat down for an interview with The Advocate’s LGBTQ&A podcast. You can read highlights and find a link to the podcast on The Advocate.

Slate’s advice columnist, Dear Prudence, received a request for advice from someone who wonders, “Should I tell my fiancée that I am transgender?”

The recent decision by the Japanese Supreme Court that transgender people must be sterilized before they can change gender got a lot of attention, but Human Rights Watch finds that is not the only way in which Japan is a difficult country for transgender people.

We all are familiar with the debate about conversion therapy. Did you know that some former practitioners are among the loudest critics of the practice? Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast introduces us to them.

Pricing for the Professional Track of the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference 2019 is now online. Attendance is free for the General track of the conference but the ProTrack has a registration fee.


Only one Democrat in the U.S. Senate has announced that he will oppose the Equality Act. Joe Manchin of West Virginia objects to the fact that the act would protect transgender students at school. For siding with bad logic, Senator Manchin gets a TWIT Awaed. You can read his shameful story at The Advocate.

A committee of the Texas Senate had before it a bill which would have forbidden counties and municipalities from enforcing laws about paid sick leave which differ from state law. (State law does not guarantee anyone pay for sick leave.) Republicans on the committee accepted an amendment which said that any law which adds protected groups (read: LGBTQ people) to nondiscrimination protections is also overruled. For not caring about bias, and indeed showing why protections against bias are so necessary, the members of the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee get a TWIT. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

State Representative Holli Sullivan of Indiana proposed an amendment that would require people to change their birth certificates before they could change the gender designation on their driver’s licenses or state ID cards. This comes days after the Bureau of Motor Vehicles agreed to permit the gender-neutral designation “X” on driver’s licenses and state ID cards. Some states, including Ohio and Tennessee, do not allow changes to birth certificates. For a lack of concern for others, State Representative Holli Sullivan and the Indiana House Transportation Committee get a TWIT Award. You can read more at Think Progress.

Caroline Farrow was on Good Morning Britain in September with Susie Green, the CEO of Mermaids, and transphobic host Piers Morgan. During the interview, she kept referring to Susie’s transgender daughter, Jackie, in masculine terms. She is being investigated for a potential hate crime because of her statements about transgender people. She has gone public with the fact that she is being investigated, wearing her anti-transgender beliefs as a badge of honor. She claims her Catholic beliefs are the reason why she will not accept a transgender person’s gender identity. In the Gospels, Jesus Christ upsets the religiously smug people of His day by hanging out with prostitutes, tax collectors (who worked for an occupying government), and even lepers–all of whom were terrible sinners to the community in those days. He never rubbed their sins in their faces, never lectured them about the need to give up their lifestyle. Jesus did tell His followers to love others as He loved them. That certainly is not the example that Caroline Farrow is following. For not following the example set for her by her own faith, Caroline Farrow receives a TWIT Award. The Daily Mail has this story.

Representative Steve King shared a meme on Twitter which talks of a supposedly-upcoming second Civil War, “One side has about eight trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.” Of all the possible issues to bring up, he had to go with acceptance of gender identity–and a bad version of that issue to boot. For incivility in calling for a Civil War, Representative Steve King gets a TWIT. You can read about it in The Advocate.

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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