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The Week In Trans 4/8/19

| Apr 8, 2019
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Mara Keisling

Metro Weekly has an interview with Mara Keisling, founder and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, as their cover story. Ms. Keisling says she’s not about to let the administration undo all the work she has put in for transgender rights.

At a gathering at the Michigan state Capitol in Lansing, Rachel Crandall-Crocker was recognized with a proclamation from the Governor’s office, praising her as the creator of the International Transgender Day of Visibility. Pride Source has this story.

March 31 was both the tenth International Transgender Day of Visibility and the twentieth anniversary of the opening of The Matrix. Emily Sandalwood explained in Vox what that movie meant to her as a transgender person.

Monica Helms, who created the transgender pride flag, writes in The Advocate about how proud she was to see the flag she designed in the halls of Congress, and what the International Transgender Day of Visibility means to her as an advocate.

The European Pride Organizers Association released a statement in conjunction with International Transgender Day of Visibility, in which they said, “Those who oppose equality and respect for any section of our community are as unwelcome at Pride as those who oppose equality and respect for every section of our community.” This is a response to incidents such as the one that happened in London last year, where a group of lesbians held up anti-transgender signs and passed out an anti-trans pamphlet. You can read more at Diva magazine.

Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast tells us that she is getting tired of the fight for trans rights, but is still hopeful for the long term.

Meredith Talusan

Meredith Talusan feels two very different feelings as a trans woman. She wants to be seen as just another woman, and she also wants to be seen as a transgender person. She writes about this paradox at NBC News Think.

U.S. Representative Primila Jayapal shared the emotions of response to having a gender-nonconforming child during the debate on the Equality Act. Joe My God has this story.

Time magazine reports that the debate on the Equality Act brought out the usual bad arguments from opponents, who seemed to feel that trans women in sports was proof the bill had problems. Gillian Branstetter writes in Rewire that she learnt some surprising things about transgender people like herself from listening to the debate on the Equality Act. For one thing, she learned that some legislators think violence against transgender people is a myth.

Proof that it’s not: Ashanti Carmon was shot to death near Washington, D.C. She was 27. WUSA-TV has the story of a memorial to her. Jamie Roberts found more on the story in The Washington Post.

The Department of Justice seems to be having a problem hiring and retaining good people, given its reputation on LGBT matters. It’s not just LGBT people who are quitting or not applying; allies also don’t like working at a place which has rolled back protections on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Gay Star News has this story.

The Department of Defense will impose the ban on transgender people in the military this week. The policy is the subject of another article from Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast.

Ron Vitello has withdrawn his nomination to be the director of ICE. He has been the acting director, and among many accusations against him was the mistreatment of transgender detainee Roxsanna Hernandez. NBC News has this story.

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning has been released from solitary confinement, but is still in prison. She is being held for contempt of court, as she refuses to answer questions in front of a grand jury. She feels that the questions are an attempt to catch her and charge her with perjury. You can read about this in Common Dreams.

There is an open seat in Congress, from a district in North Carolina, where some campaign workers had collected absentee ballots and said that they would fill them out for the voters. The state did not certify the results, and instead called for a new election. The leading candidate for the GOP is Dan Bishop, who was the primary author of North Carolina’s infamous “bathroom bill,” HB2. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

Axios reports that Google is facing internal protests after it named Kay Coles James to its Advanced Technology External Advisory Council. James is also the president of the Heritage Foundation, and has a history of anti-gay, anti-transgender, and anti-immigrant statements.

The Movement Advancement Project released a report which says that 2.9 million to 3.8 million transgender people live in rural U.S. locations, and many of them do not want to move to big cities. They find that it’s not as bad as news reports would make it out to be. This story came from USA Today.

Montana is not known to be a particularly progressive state, and yet, the state’s Human Rights Commission recently ruled that Yellowstone County discriminated against one of their former employees by excluding transgender health care from its insurance plan. The Billings Gazette has this story.

Next door in Idaho, transgender people are the subject of The Big Story at Magic Valley. If you miss that, at least one video can be found here.

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox told an audience in Massachusetts that she feels that there is a backlash against transgender people, especially in the South. Mass Live covered her appearance.

The state of North Carolina moved transgender prisoner Kanautica Zayre-Brown from the men’s prison to another men’s prison, but in her new prison, she has a cell to herself. Previously, she had been held in an open dormitory. This comes from WRAL-TV.

A federal judge threw out two of the five counts against a school district in the Chicago area. Cisgender students were suing the district after the district allowed transgender students to use the restroom and locker room of the gender with which they identify. The district had adopted that policy as a result of a suit brought by a transgender student. One of the charges that was dismissed in the pretrial motion was a charge that the district had failed to protect the “bodily privacy” of cisgender female students. The Daily Herald reports that the judge noted that permitting the three remaining counts to go forward does not mean that the plaintiffs are likely to prevail, but merely that they have a plausible case to make on those counts.

Jamie Roberts pointed us to a story in the Library Journal about LGBTQ+ history fifty years after Stonewall.

Elliot Govaars

The San Jose Sharks featured Elliot Govaars of the Junior Sharks, a local hockey team, as a face of the future of hockey. The 15-year-old transgender male got to drop a ceremonial puck before an NHL game. He was also profiled by Outsports.

Dr. Allan Josephson says that he was demoted from his position as a professor of pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, and psychology at the University of Louisville because of his conservative views on transgender youth, and has filed a federal lawsuit. He is being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, according to Inside Higher Education.

Inside Philanthropy reports that funding for transgender causes has increased, but that it is still far less than proportionate to the percentage of the population who are transgender.

Star of stage, screen, and cabaret, Charles Busch, debuts his new cabaret act tonight in San Francisco. Busch will be appearing at the Oasis and The Bay Area Reporter has an article on how Busch went from an unknown to a mainstream playwright by writing his own shows and playing the female roles. Thanks to Ms. Bob Davis for the story tip.

Amida Care of New York released a white paper, showing problems with medical care for transgender people and proposing solutions. You can read the full white paper on their website, or read a story about it at Crains New York.

Last year, the Canby School District in Oregon removed a book about a transgender fourth-grader from a list of books school children could read in the Battle of the Books. This week, the author of that book, Alex Gino, was invited to speak at a local restaurant. Canby Now has this story.


Transgender Universe had an interview with transgender gamer Nikatine.

A trans woman was attacked at a subway stop in Paris. The attackers were attending a protest against the Algerian leader. The whole incident was caught on video and made quite a sensation, according to BBC News.

The NHS has created new guidelines for fertility treatments for transgender people, and they don’t give either side of the debate everything that they wanted. The Guardian has this story.

Azerbaijan is using the Internet to find gay and transgender people, according to Gay Star News.

June Chua has opened a museum exhibit dedicated to showing the people of Singapore some artifacts from the past, when transgender people were more common there. Thompson Reuters Trust has this story.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation profiled Lottie, a nine-year-old transgender girl, whose schoolmates do not know that she was assigned male at birth.

The Human Rights Campaign held a dinner in Los Angeles to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, and some Hollywood celebrities attended. The Advocate wrote about this.

Transgender people often have a story behind acquiring their names, although thankfully, it is rare that the story involves a problem with a judge issuing approval. Sen Ayanè writes in The Advocate about her name choice.

The folks at Western University poked some April Fools Day fun at Jordan Peterson, who refused to follow a University of Toronto rule for faculty to respect the name and pronoun choice of students. It appeared in the student paper, The Western Gazette.

Gigi Gorgeous

Gigi Gorgeous sat for this week’s LGBTQ&A interview. You can find a link to the podcast episode and an article about the interview at The Advocate.

Plans are underway to open a museum in London dedicated to the vagina, and Gay Star News reports that the museum wants to be trans-friendly.

LGBTQ Nation had a list of five films for International Transgender Day of Visibility. These films are good to watch any day.

Morning Edition had some advice for parents who feel that toys have become too gender-specific. You can read about it on The NPR website.

An exhibition of photographs of mothers with their transgender children caught the attention of Gay Star News.


We reported above about the hearing on the Equality Act, and we mentioned how opponents used many old, stale arguments against equality. In that regard, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida deserves singling out. He made the argument that under this act, Donald Trump could declare himself “the first female president.” That’s not how this works–that’s not how any of this works. But, all right, what if that did happen? Either it would be an expression of a deeply-held personal experience that he has never admitted to before–or else, he would be a bald-faced liar. For raising an argument that shows he has no grasp of the reality, Matt Gaetz gets a TWIT Award. Orlando Weekly has this story.

Steven Mosher opines in LifeSiteNews that “Those transsexuals who kill themselves are not, in the final analysis, acting alone. They are victims of assisted suicide, with the ‘assistants’ in this case being those who aided; abetted; and, above all, ‘affirmed’ their transition.” But, those whose transitions were affirmed are significantly less likely to commit suicide than those who could not transition, or those whose transition was not affirmed. So, this great thinker believes that something which is shown to reduce the probability of suicide aids in it, while doing the opposite–something which is known to increase the chance of suicide at an alarming rate–is actually preventing suicide. For opposing reality, Steven Mosher gets a TWIT.

The Daily Signal had not just one but two articles by someone identified only as Elaine, who claims to be the mother of a fourteen-year-old who was diagnosed “as transgender.” In the first article, Elaine says how she felt powerless to stop her child from receiving gender-affirming care. In the second, she complains that doctors are “destroying” her child with “affirmative care.” We have tried to make transgender people believe that they are cisgender and straight, and it results in high suicide rates. If you think that affirmative care is destroying your child, but your unsupportive attitude is not, then you are out of touch with reality. For giving a platform to such nonsense, The Daily Signal gets a TWIT Award.

Eleven years ago, Jimmy Lewis was arrested and convicted of robbing a bank in order to secure funds for gender confirmation surgery. Recently, she was once more arrested for robbing a bank, this time with a bandage on her nose, as if she just had surgery. Robbing banks gets you an automatic TWIT Award. The Daily Mail 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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