The Week In Trans 3/4/19

| Mar 4, 2019
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Raquel Willis

Raquel Willis is the new editor of Out magazine. She is the first transgender person to hold that position. For her first issue as editor all the writing and photographs are by women and nonbinary femmes, and the styling is by women and nonbinary people as well. The Huffington Post gave us this story.

On Wednesday, February 27, as attention was on the testimony of Michael Cohen, five transgender members of the military testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel. The Daily Beast reports that the transgender people received a welcome from the members of Congress, while retired Air Force General James N. Stewart, who now serves as acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Vice Admiral Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency, met with a less welcoming reception. You can see some highlights of the trans military members testimony at NBC News.

Records show that the Pentagon spent eight million dollars to treat transgender service members since 2016. That’s less than is spent on three trips to Mar-A-Lago, according to The Advocate. Records also show that only 1,200 of the 2,100,000 members of the armed services received treatment for transgender-related care.

41 retired generals and admirals signed a letter stating that they have “grave concerns” about the ban on transgender people in the military, and that the ban could “undermine the integrity of United States military judgment.” The letter holds that the ban “contradicts the actual judgment of both current and former senior military leaders, as well as medical research and the experiences of our own military and of other militaries.” The Hill has this story.

The Hill also had an editorial by Lawrence Kolb, who was Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan. He pointed out that the military had various bans on service in the past, often defended on the grounds of “military readiness,” but the retirement of those bans actually improved military readiness.

Protestor Idra Valencia.

A group of drag queens held a protest at the site of the wall which separates the United States from Mexico. They called it the No Border Wall Drag Protest, even though there was an existing bit of a border wall in plain sight. NBC News Out has this story. Jamie Roberts also found the story on NPR.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that 59 percent of respondents agree that transgender people should be able to serve openly in the U.S. military, and 67 percent feel that the military should provide medical care for gender transition. You can find more here.

Miss P. Chattni

How tough do you have to be to not only be Pakistan’s first drag queen but to make the focus of your act the “toxicity of men”? Miss P. Chattni makes men the butt of her jokes and does not miss any chance to point out their toxic behavior that, over time, snowballs into emotional baggage that women have to eventually deal with. Learn more from

Representative Joseph Kennedy III is the head of the Congressional Transgender Task Force. He writes in The Advocate about some of the things which made him take on this responsibility.

For the fourth time in this legislative season, the state of South Dakota has turned down a bill which would have affected transgender students. This particular bill was the second attempt to limit transgender athletes to participating in sports according to the sex identified on their birth certificates. This story comes from The Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

Andreja Pejic

Andreja Pejic has just signed a contract to model lingerie. It is the first time a transgender model has led a Bonds lingerie campaign, according to Gay Star News. Also look for her as Sofia in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, now out on DVD.

The Supreme Court of Missouri has ruled, 5-2, that Missouri’s Human Rights Act covers gender identity, to the point where a school district cannot tell a transgender student to use a separate restroom or changing room. The case was sent back to the appeals court with that clarification. KMBC-TV has this report.

Two transgender siblings claim that security staff at Coachella told them they had to use gender-neutral restrooms. This story comes from NME. Get more on the story from The Los Angeles Times.

The United Methodist Church is distinctly less united these days. One of the issues which came up at their General Conference in St. Louis this week was LGBT+ members. In fact, the session was called specifically to address the topic of sexuality. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on Alyss Swanson, a transgender woman who serves as a deacon in the San Jose area. Although a plan was introduced which would leave such matters to regional authorities, the church adopted a measure which reaffirms and reinforces the traditional ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT+ clergy. You can read more in The Daily Beast.

Bianca Del Rio

When one thinks of, if one does at all, Wembley Arena in the U.K. you tend to think of it as a venue for sports or musical performances. This coming September history will be made when a drag queen headlines a show there. Bianca Del Rio, the season 6 winner from RuPaul’s Drag Race, is currently on a world tour and in September she will take her show to Wembley. Learn more from GQ Britain.

The Guardian ran a piece about Gina Rippon, a neuroscientist who says that there is no such thing as a “male brain” and a “female brain.” She argues that human brains are basically the same anatomically.

Just to show that anything is possible in life, a report came out this week of semi-identical twins in Australia. The twins, one male and one female, resulted from two separate sperm cells fertilizing the same egg. You can read more in The Guardian.

Porter on the red carpet.

Billy Porter made headlines by wearing a tuxedo gown to the Academy Awards. The Pose star talked to Vogue about what he chose to wear.

Trans woman Valkyrie Weather, the oldest child of film director Rob Cohen, told The Hollywood Reporter that he sexually assaulted her when she was two and a half. Her mother told her of the incident. The director of The Fast And The Furious and XXX denies the incident.

In an interview with Gay Times magazine, Ellen Page made a plea to not leave transgender people behind. She said that many of the same arguments being used against transgender people were used agains lesbians, gays, and bisexuals previously. Although the interview is not online, Pink News has some highlights.

In Vancouver, a court has agreed that a 14-year-old transgender male can begin hormone therapy despite his father’s objections. The judge found that the boy understands the risks, and that postponing hormone therapy could risk the boy self-harming again. The Vancouver Sun has this story.

Trans patients in Britain continue to face long wait times to be seen by a Gender Identity Clinic. The Guardian reports that physicians are allowed to prescribe “bridging” hormones, low doses, to patients who are suicidal, prone to self-harm, or who use hormones that they bought off the Internet. But, many physicians are afraid to prescribe these “bridging” hormones, as they don’t feel that they know enough about the medications.

In a related story, Gay Star News reports that the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, the only gender identity clinic for young people in England, has been given a one million dollar grant to study how to improve their service.

There is still surprisingly little data on the impacts of transgender treatments, particularly when it comes to children. Researchers at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital clinic are working to change this. Since 2015, they have been conducting a study that will involve nearly 300 young patients ages 8 to 18 to understand the long-term effects of transgender treatments. Learn more from The Mercury News.

Ian Harvie

Ian Harvie is a trans comedian and actor best known for playing Dale on Transparent. He was also Margaret Cho’s opening act for five years and during that time he began his transition. He started testosterone in 2007 and basically transitioned on stage. Learn more about him from The Bay Area Reporter. Thanks to Ms. Bob Davis for the story lead.

The headteacher at an Orthodox Jewish primary school in Britain encouraged his students to show sensitivity to a transgender girl who is a student at the school. The headteacher asked students to recall the Biblical command of “loving your fellow as yourself,” and also warned of punishment for those who misbehave. He began the assembly referring to the student with male pronouns, but soon switched to female pronouns, at what seemed to be a pre-determined point in the information. This story appeared in The JC.

We reported last week that Shangela is the first drag queen to walk the red carpet at the Oscars. Learn how she prepared for the big night from an article in Out magazine.

This week the mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski, signed the first LGBT+ declaration in Poland. Gay Star News has this story.

Bridget Clinch

9 News continues its look at young transgender people in Australia. This week they profile Bridget Clinch, who was nearly fired by the Australian Defense Force for wanting to transition.

Last Thursday was the Jazz and Friends National Day of Reading. This is an outgrowth of the time when a library in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, held a public reading of I Am Jazz, despite some objections from some members of the local community. A letter to the editor mentioning the event appeared in The Detroit Free Press.

Last week was Read Across America Day and all around the country people went to schools and read to the children. In Virginia Sarah McBride of the Human Rights Campaign read I Am Jazz to a group of kindergartners. Thanks to Ms. Bob Davis for pointing out the story in the East Bay Times.


The rapper Blueface made public an exchange with a transgender fan who wanted to hook up with him. He referred to the fan as “It,” and later used the slur that starts with “t.” Methinks the rapper doth protest too much. If you wish to turn down an invitation, that’s your right, but you don’t have to publicize it with slurs. For very poor manners, Blueface gets a TWIT Award. Complex has 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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