The Week In Trans 4/1/19

| Apr 1, 2019
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Tanwarin Sukkapisit

Tanwarin Sukkapisit has become the first transgender person elected to the Thai parliament. She is a filmmaker whose film Insects In The Back Yard was banned in Thailand for moral reasons. She ran for the new Future Forward Party. She is profiled in SBS.

As expected, the last stay on implementing the ban on transgender troops in the military was lifted this week. While Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotely would not lift the stay that she put on the ban, a three-judge panel of the appeals court lifted it. Bloomberg News has this story.

An article entitled “Are We Witnessing The Erasure Of Transgender Servicemen And Women?” is actually a statement of the new policies under this ban. You can find it at Forbes.

The House of Representatives passed a resolution expressing their displeasure with the ban on transgender people in the military. The resolution is non-binding, and is intended merely to express the sentiment of the House. NBC News has more.

The U.S. military’s health care covers not only active-duty members of the military but also spouses and children of active-duty members of the military. Drs. David A. Klein and Elizabeth Hisle-Gorman of Uniformed Services University did a study and found that the number of children who receive health care through the military, and received care for gender-related issues, rose from 135 in 2010 to 528 in just the first four months of 2017. This comes from NBC News Out.

Natalie Egan

Fast Company profiles Natalie Egan, a transgender woman whose company makes software that provides hard data for empathy training.

Several members of Congress have transgender pride flags at the entrance to their offices this week, in recognition of the International Day of Transgender Visibility (yesterday). Among those with such flags are Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi. NewNowNext reports that many of them also tweeted about the flags.

Jocelyn Samuels and Mara Keisling wrote an article about transgender people and health care which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The article makes much of the fact that many transgender people are afraid to seek medical care, often for fear of being mistreated by medical professionals. They also note that the proposed definition of “gender” that the Department of Health and Human Services has been kicking around for almost a year. They say that the proposed definition of “gender,” were it to be implemented, would cause transgender people to be afraid to seek medical care, even for issues other than gender dysphoria itself (such as HIV, addiction, or depression). While the article requires registration, you can read a summary in Medical Bag.

California SB201 would outlaw genital surgery on intersex people until they are old enough to consent, unless the surgery is medically necessary. If the bill passes, California will be the first state to have such a law. Pediatric urologists who perform the surgery say that the bill would reduce the ability of parents to make medical decisions for their children, and that healing time is shorter when the patient is younger. Supporters of the bill point to the number of times that the patient does not wish the sex assignment made by the surgery, and say that the decision should be made by the patient, not the parent. The Los Angeles Times had this story.

Rev. Alaina Cobb

Rev. Alaina Cobb addressed the Tennessee House of Representatives, and urged them not to pass the bill which would enhance penalties for indecent exposure in a restroom or locker room. Rev. Cobb identifies as both transgender and intersex. You can read about her testimony in The Chatanooga Free Press.

A bill which would give doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, or barbers the right to refuse to serve someone because of the service-provider’s “deeply-held religious beliefs” was approved by a committee of Texas’s Senate. LGBTQ Nation has this story. Instinct magazine says that this is one of several bills in Texas which would promote discrimination in the name of “religious liberty.” Rewire points out that one of those bills would even protect people who practice “conversion therapy,” despite several other jurisdictions passing laws which forbid the practice.

In advance of Transgender Day of Visibility, Stanford Social Innovation Review ran a list of ways to make the workplace more transgender inclusive, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy urged foundations to do more to help transgender people.

A new study out of Canada and Brazil shows that transgender women have better brain function if they continue to take estrogen even after surgery. The study points to better functioning of the thalamus when the patient takes estrogen. You can read about these findings in The Daily Mail.

A new study from Israel shows that trans men retained their rate of anti-Mullerian hormone for a year after the start of testosterone therapy. Anti-Muellerian hormone is an indicator of fertility. U.S. News And World Report has a review of this study.

WNDU in South Bend, Indiana, has a profile of a transgender teen named Oliver du Bois.

Nicole Sgarlato

Nicole Sgarlato, a Lyft driver and transgender activist, was profiled by The Human Rights Campaign.

Last week, The Washington Post ran an article about how some transgender people have to travel far to find care or services. Sometimes, that’s just because the nearest medical care or service provider is quite a ways away. Other times, it’s that the transgender person doesn’t know that a more local option is available. Gwendolyn Smith of LGBTQ Nation tells of the TransWIN database, being compiled by the DC Area Transmasculine Society. While the database is concentrated on the Washington, D.C., area, it is trying to add more information for the rest of the U.S.

There is a formal petition for the U.K. government to increase funding for gender identity clinics and transgender medicine, including hormones and surgery. There has been a huge increase in the number of people seeking these services, and the funding hasn’t been keeping up. So far, there are roughly 3,500 signatures on the petition, about one-third of the number required to get the government to respond. If you are from the U.K. and wish to sign the petition, you can find it here.

The New York Coming Out Conference is not happening until the end of October but they are seeking workshop presenters and panel moderators. The deadline for submissions is May 15. You can get more information on submitting and the conference in general by clicking here.

Ms. Bob Davis sent us a link to a final eulogy for the San Francisco bar Divas that closed for the last time Saturday night. The bar was a haven for LGBT people and was not just a watering hole with drag shows. Divas would host dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas and gave back to the LGBT community in many ways. Read the story in The Bay Area Reporter.

Georgie Stone

Georgie Stone, a transgender activist and actress from Australia, pitched the idea of a transgender character to producers of the soap opera Neighbours. They not only agreed to have such a character, they cast her in the guest role. Pink News has this story.

The Human Rights Tribunal of British Columbia has ruled that the publication of pamphlets with anti-transgender themes was discrimination against transgender candidate Morgane Oger. The pamphlets were published by an opposing candidate in a race for the provincial legislature, as Global News points out.

Last week, we told you of a high school in Georgia which listed a transgender male student as a candidate for prom queen, even though he had been nominated for prom king. After much unwanted publicity, the school settled on calling Dex Frier one of two “royal knights.” The Huffington Post has this story.

This week’s LGBTQ&A interview is with Ian Anderson, a 17-year-old transgender male actor who appears on the Netflix series The OA. The Advocate has a story and a link to the podcast.

Cincinnati Public Radio ran a story about Danielle Cozart Steele, an adjunct instructor at Earlham College in Indiana, who created the Transgender Singing Voice Conference. The conference helps teachers find techniques and tools to teach transgender students to sing.

Drag queens in Denver, Colorado set a world record on Sunday by holding the largest drag brunch ever. 338 people packed in to the EXDO Event Center to mark the end of the first-ever Denver Drag Days. The crowd was served brunch and entertained by Denver drag queens. Learn more from Fox 31 News.

Young Thug’s album cover dress.

Fashion always tries to cross gender borders from time to time and usually it’s putting skirts or dresses on male models. It usually doesn’t catch on with anyone in the cisgender world and the attempt disappears. But, in todays modern world of non-binary identities and gender fluid individuals could the idea of Gender Bending Fashion take off? Maybe. That’s the name of a fashion exhibit at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It runs through August 25. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for pointing out the story in National Geographic.

A piece called “What Trans Women Want You To Know About Feminism And Equality” ran on The Huffington Post. It included responses from four transgender women, including Jazz Jennings and Brynn Tannehill.


As we noted above, several members of Congress have the transgender pride flag on display outside their offices. In some cases, the transgender pride flag replaced a flag that shows support for prisoners of war and MIAs. Fox News wrote about this, suggesting that those lawmakers were turning their backs on POWs and MIAs. In fact, as they note early in the article, this happens to be the week of International Transgender Day Of Visibility, and the flags are meant to be a temporary display. For misinterpreting this gesture, Fox News gets a TWIT Award.

Sarah Spoon, a councilor in the small city of Canby, Oregon, forwarded to the mayor a request for recognizing the International Transgender Day of Visibility. The mayor, Brian Hodson, rejected the request, saying he would have requests for recognizing all sorts of individuals. For backing bad manners with bad logic, Mayor Brian Hodson gets a TWIT. NewNowNext has this story.

Nathanael Blake asks in The Federalist, “Why Don’t Transgender Activists Care About Sex Change Mistakes?” It’s not that we don’t care — it’s that we don’t trust people who believe in conversion therapy. You folks think that you both should and can turn transgender people into cisgender people, even though the track record for this is poor at best. For false accusations, The Federalist gets another TWIT.

Laura Ingraham interviewed Dr. Paul Nathanson. During the interview, Dr. Nathanson, who claims to be a “gender-relations professor,” said that transgender people were trying to create a new species. Rather than correcting him or even asking him for details, Laura Ingraham went along with it, speculating that their new species would be “part human, part machine.” And people are supposed to take you seriously when you can’t even figure out that this is not factual? This is the same argument that caused people to realize that Alex Jones was completely off his rocker. For attempting to pass off hyperbole as fact, Laura Ingraham and Dr. Paul Nathanson get a TWIT Award to share. Newsweek has this story.

The province of Nova Scotia has a new book to help introduce eighth-graders to the idea of being kind to transgender people. Of course, this is unacceptable to the social conservatives at LifeSiteNews. They think it’s bad that some seventh-graders would have access to the concept of tolerance. For pushing hate over understanding, LifeSiteNews gets a TWIT. You can see the article here.

In the same week when Health Essentials from the Cleveland Clinic ran an article about how transgender people’s brains often resemble those of their preferred gender, both in anatomy and in function as measured by an EEG, The Daily Signal ran an article entitled, “Kids Aren’t Born Transgender, So Don’t Let Advocates Bamboozle You.” The article is by Walt Heyer, who has made a living out of opposing scientific theory on transgender people, without bothering to actually show that the theory is wrong. For using his own experience as a rule for all trans people Walt gets yet another TWIT Award.

A young man in Texas was invited to a birthday party for a friend that was held at a nightclub in Corpus Christi. He was wearing makeup and a pair of high heeled boots. The doorman stopped him from entering and Ben Rios says he was told he couldn’t come in because he was wearing women’s clothe and makeup. The night club maintains that the doorman thought Rios was one of a pair of crossdressed men who had entered the club on a previous night and took videos of women in the restroom. The nightclub gets a TWIT Award for thinking all men in women’s clothes look the same. Get the full story from Yahoo.

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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