The Week In Trans 4/9/18

| Apr 9, 2018
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First Canadian trans mayor Julie Lemieux.

Transgender rights are moving ahead in Canada where legal protections were added last June. Along with that and other progress some Canadian trans people are becoming the “first” trans person to do something. Recently the first trans mayor was elected and a trans woman had a chart topping single. Check out seven firsts for Canadian trans people in The Huffington Post.

The El Rio Community Health Center in Tucson, Arizona has become a magnet for trans kids in that state. The center started offering services to trans youth in 2014 when they had one patient. Now they have over 70 patients who range in age from 4 to 19. Learn more about the center from the Arizona Daily Star.

The American Medical Association has made public a letter written to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, in which the medical organization says, “We believe there is no medically valid reason — including a diagnosis of gender dysphoria — to exclude transgender individuals from military service.” The letter goes on to say that peer-reviewed studies show that hormone therapy is effective in treating gender dysphoria, and that the memo supporting the ban on transgender people in the military misrepresents the findings of medical research. Politico was the first to release the letter, with The Hill providing additional analysis in their report.

Sandra Forgues

A French Olympic gold medalist has come out as a trans woman. Sandra Forgues felt that her true gender identity was in prison. While she had an active life and was dominant in men’s canoe slalom throughout the 1990s she suffered in silence about her gender identity. Read more on her transition in Out SportsGay Star News has a profile of her.

U.S. District Court Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo has ruled that Puerto Rico must provide a way for transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates. This ruling comes shortly after a similar ruling in Idaho (which the state did not contest), and as the ACLU is suing Ohio over the same matter. This story comes from the Washington Blade.

Four transgender people are suing the the Ohio Department of Health, because they are unable to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity. The state allows changes to gender markers on driver’s licenses and other ID cards but not on birth certificates. Learn more from NBC News.

A bill in Tennessee which would have provided legal assistance and state funds for the defense of school districts which restrict restroom and changing room use according to birth certificates has died when a motion for debate did not get a second. Several members of the state Senate believed that the bill could be too costly. WPSD-TV has the AP story.

Shairazi Bahari

There is an international restaurant chain called Nobu. Recently a transgender chef was interviewed for a front-of-house position at the chain’s Malaysian location. After the interview, which seemed to go well, Shairazi Bahari got a phone call from HR asking if she would be okay with cutting her hair and wearing a male uniform. She would also have to use the male assigned restrooms if she took the job. She reported the restaurant’s request to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia. Learn more from The Guardian.

The Washington Post noted that this legislative year, none of the 120 anti-LGBT bills introduced in state legislatures has passed. There are still reasons to be anxious.

The results are in from Anchorage, Alaska, where voters were asked if they wanted to overturn a non-discrimination law recently enacted by the city council. The vote was conducted by mail-in ballot, so it took a few days, but the final tally shows 52.7% voted not to overturn the non-discrimination law. This comes after a campaign which featured a lot of fear about “biological men” in the ladies’ room. This story can be found in the Advocate.

Olivia C is on the site.

GLAAD has launched a new campaign, timed to begin with Transgender Day of Visibility last week. The campaign is called “I Love Being Trans,” and it attempts to highlight some of the positive things about being transgender. People are asked to submit a video about the good things of being transgender. One person who submits a video will win a trip to march in the Pride Parade in New York City in June. Here is a link to the website.

Also in connection with Transgender Day Of Visibility, Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons basketball team hosted an LGBTQ Pride Night. His transgender sister, Mia Henderson, was murdered in 2016. This story comes from Bleacher Report.

A transgender woman was found shot to death in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. The report in The State identifies the victim first as Wendell Price, Jr., then says that she was known to friends as Sasha Wall. The sheriff says, “whoever it was, was angry.” (As one take-away lesson, if you do not wish to have your deadname used in your obituary, get it legally changed.)

The Oxford English Dictionary has added several words, including the word “trans*.” (Other newly-added terms include “ambisexual,” “asexual,” “bi-gender,” and “heterosexual.”) Time Magazine ran a story on the new words which focused on the meaning of “trans*.”

Beirut queen Andrea.

In Lebanon being gay is still illegal but attitudes are changing though and within the past three years Beirut has developed a drag scene. What inspired that? The young soon-to-be drag performers of Beirut fell in love with with RuPaul’s Drag Race. Suddenly there are shows at clubs and drag balls where the newest queens strut their stuff. Learn more from the BBC website.

The new leader of the National Education Union in Britain is in a bit of a pickle because she signed onto two open letters criticizing the transgender movement. The first letter complained about the inclusion of trans women in a Women In Leadership program, while the other blamed transgender activists for a violent incident at speaker’s corner last year. This story comes from Pink News.

Also in Britain, a member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee resigned amid a scandal about anti-Semitic comments, and has been replaced by Eddie Izzard. Eddie had been first-runner-up in the election earlier this year. Pink News has this story.

Last year, a video surfaced showing eight men in Brazil beating and shooting Dandara dos Santos to death. This week, five of the eight men in the video were sentenced to a total of 83 years in prison, according to Gay Star News.

The muxes are getting attention again. Who are the muxes? They are the third gender people who live in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. They are biologically male but dress and live as women. They are accepted by the other people in the area and take on traditional female roles in the culture. Film maker Ivan Olita has made a short film on the muxes and you can view it on the National Geographic website. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for letting us know about the film.

Ada Vox

San Antonio drag performer Ada Vox advanced to the top 24 during last week’s episode of American Idol. Vox had tried out for the show in her male identity back in Season 12 but didn’t get past the top 50 before being cut. Vox is the only drag singer to make it to the top 24. Learn more from the Beaumont Enterprise

Malta is moving toward a policy of including transgender people in civil rights and nondiscrimination policies. The government also is moving towards covering transgender health care. The Times of Malta reports that the Health Ministry recommends hospitals allow patients to tell them their preferred gender and pronouns, when the patient can talk.

Pakistan is about to get its first school specifically for transgender students. The Gender Guardian will accept first-through twelfth-graders, and will have vocational training for those interested in that. Three of their fifteen faculty members are also transgender. The school announced their opening on their own website.

The Boston Marathon is scheduled for Monday, April 16 and transgender runners who qualify can compete under their identified gender. The Boston Athletic Association which organizes the race says there is no explicit policy on trans runners. Learn more on the NPR website.

Kami Pham

A story surfaced this week about a high-school senior in Louisiana who was told their picture would not be in the yearbook due to “dress code violations,” and that the student would not be allowed to walk during graduation if they showed up in heels and a skirt. The initial story mentioned a meeting which was to happen this past Tuesday. After that meeting, the principal said that Kami Pham’s picture would be in the yearbook and that Kami would not be refused graduation. However, the principal went on to deny that there was ever a conversation in which anyone rejected the yearbook picture or threatened to deny a chance to walk in the graduation ceremony. Kami Pham insists that there were prior conversations. The updated story comes from the Shreveport Times.

New Zealand’s first trans woman athlete to compete in The Commonwealth Games is Laurel Hubbard. Ms. Hubbard transitioned at the age of 35 and had been a weight lifter in male competition. Now she will compete, and is expected to take the gold medal, in the women’s 90kg-plus category. (Approx. 190 lbs.) Learn more from News.com.au.

University of Texas-Austin researchers have found a considerable decrease in the risk of depressions and suicide among trans youth who are allowed to use the name of their choice instead of their given one. The results were published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Learn more from the Chron website.

Issaree Mungman

This is the time of year when all Thai males over the age of 21 have to report to be assessed for military duty. As the candidates for military service assemble, some do not appear to be as male as expected. This year, Miss Universe Thailand winner Issaree Mungman and others showed up wearing distinctly feminine attire. There is more on this in the Mirror.

Last Monday students at the Rochester Institute of Technology staged a protest over insufficient health care resources for transgender students. They were particularly concerned with access to hormone therapy. RIT is the school that fired a doctor for administering hormone therapy to trans students. Learn more about the student’s demands in the Democrat & Chronicle.

TWITs

An intoxicated man in Chicago went into the ladies’ room, pushed a girl out of a stall that she was about to use, and proceeded to use the stall himself. Staff detained the man and turned him over to police, who charged him, among other things, with indecent exposure. Because the incident happened in a Target store, One News Now and Franklin Graham have called on people to join the American Family Association’s boycott of Target. (The American Family Association is the parent of One News Now.) The suspect was a drunk cisgender male who never claimed to be transgender, and store employees called the police to have them deal with this “biological man” in the ladies’ room, despite the fact that the American Family Association says that Target’s policy allows “biological men” to use the ladies’ room. For attempting to use this incident to show that Target’s restroom policy allows something which store employees said was not allowed by the policy, Franklin Graham and the American Family Association get TWIT Awards.

In another bit of “fake news,” The Daily Signal ran a story which says that people could be sent to jail in Canada for using the wrong pronoun. Several other websites ran stories on this, without bothering to check if it was true. For not bothering to check the validity, The Daily Signal and everyone who ran with their story gets a TWIT. ABC News has the AP’s fact check.

When a woman opened fire in YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, California, several people took to Twitter and Mumsnet to say that the shooter was a transgender woman (also known as a “biological male”). None of them point to anyone who knew the shooter personally, but merely pointed out that women do not go around firing guns. For insisting on something without factual evidence, these people get a TWIT Award. This story comes from Pink News.

A botany professor in India, that’s a person who teaches about plants, has been in the news for saying that women who wear jeans give birth to transgender children. He said this while standing in front of an “awareness” class at his university. He also believes that children with autism and cerebral palsy are “born to parents who are not of good character.” For spreading pure B.S. about something he has no credentials in Dr. Rajith Kumar is getting a TWIT Award to accompany the legal action being brought against him by the state. Read the story in Newsweek.

Baroness Deech, a member of the House of Lords, stepped into a mess when she was asked if she would eat a vegetarian hamburger which supposedly tastes like beef and uses beet juice to imitate the juice of beef. Her response was, “If you’re going to be a vegetarian, you should just go out and eat lettuce and spring onions and be done with it. I don’t like this crossover, really. It’s sort of transgender vegetarianism.” For needlessly using transgender people to criticize another group, Baroness Deech gets a TWIT Award. The Telegraph has this story.

As you might expect, news of Eddie Izzard joining the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee prompted some very negative and transphobic comments. All those who made the sort of comments featured in this story in Pink News get a TWIT.

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional content and editing by Angela Gardner.

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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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