The Week In Trans 4/24/17

| Apr 24, 2017
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Marsha P. Johnson

A new film titled The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson follows an investigation into Ms. Johnson’s death under suspicious circumstances in 1992. She was an activist in the trans community who worked alongside Stonewall revolutionary Sylvia Rivera to advance the rights of trans people. Johnson identified as a transvestite and was loved by all those who met her. Activist Victoria Cruz conducts the investigation and while no murderer is uncovered the film sheds light on the continuing abuse of trans people. Read a review of the film in Variety.

Although Gavin Grimm’s case will not be heard until after he graduates this June, he continues to make news from time to time. This week, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2017 by Time Magazine. (It seems rather early for a list with that title.) “I’m totally blown away,” was Mr. Grimm’s reaction to being named to the list. He was even more in awe when he found out that his profile would be written by Janet Mock. Metro Weekly has this story.

The woman in the Heineken video.

How does most of the western world discuss important issues? Sure, people type their opinions in all caps on Facebook. But other than that where does a lot of discussion occur? In a bar with a beer. Or two. Heineken decided to promote drinking of their beer with a commercial video that puts two people with opposite viewpoints together and lets them interact without knowing the other person’s views. Then they disclose those views and tell them to either stay in the room and have a beer while they talk, or walk away. One of the participants was a trans woman. Watch the video on The Telegraph website.

On Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration released a new video, on YouTube, which talks directly to transgender travelers. In it, they advise that the name on your ticket should match the name on your ID. They say that their agent at the scanner will press a button “designating a gender based on how you present yourself.” They say that a passenger can choose a pat-down instead of the metal detector and body scanner, and they tell us that the traveller can ask for a private screening and can request to see a supervisor. The video is the subject of a story in The Hill, and it can be viewed right here.

A group of transgender residents of North Carolina have withdrawn a request for an appeals court to intervene against the bathroom provisions of HB2. Since HB142 does not have those same provisions, the lawsuit is no longer needed. A lawsuit against HB142 filed by Lambda Legal and the ACLU is ongoing. This story is in the Washington Post.

Great Hearts Academy, a company which operates charter schools in Arizona, adopted a policy whereby students are grouped according to the sex on their birth certificates. This policy applies not only to restrooms and locker rooms, but also to school activities, uniforms, and even proper names and pronouns. The policy was adopted last June, just after the end of the school year. At that time, the Department of Justice and Department of Education had advised a very different approach regarding transgender students, but that applied to public schools, not charter schools. KJZZ radio covered this story.

Sophie Cook

British Prime Minister Teresa May has called for a general election, to be held in June. Sophie Cook, a former RAF technician, a former television presenter and a photographer for a soccer team, is contending for a seat in Parliament. (In Britain, they say that a candidate “stands” for Parliament.) Ms. Cook is also a trans woman, but she feels that being transgender is not a factor in the race. She is standing in a riding that was closely contested in the last election. This story appears in Pink News.

Three more students have joined as plaintiffs in suing the Boyerstown School District. This is the suit in which a student and his parents, and now three other students, claim that accommodating transgender students in their preferred genders causes cisgender students to be embarrassed and disturbs their privacy. The Mercury News has this story.

The NCAA has announced that North Carolina will host games in the men’s basketball tournament in 2020 and 2021. Various other less visible NCAA events will come to the state as well. Two weeks ago, the NCAA said it would “reluctantly” consider North Carolina as a potential host; now, they get plenty of games. The AP report can be found at Edge Media

In Idaho, a transgender woman has filed suit against the state in an attempt to get them to change her legal gender. Idaho’s laws do not have any prescribed method for changing the gender on a birth certificate unless there was a clerical error at the time of entry. Lambda Legal has joined in this suit. Magic Valley has this story.

Nicola Spurling

In Canada, Nicola Spurling is running for the British Columbia provincial legislature. She was identified as transgender on a local news broadcast, despite the fact that she had not publicly proclaimed her transgender status. She was included in a list of four transgender candidates by Global News. The other three candidates have all identified themselves as transgender. Proper etiquette says that a transgender person should have the right to determine when to disclose one’s status, and to whom. This story is in News 1130.

The Human Rights Campaign has created a new website specifically aimed at countering the writings of Dr. Paul McHugh. They find that he is being used as an expert by people whose political agenda is “to dangerously undermine the safety, security and wellbeing of LGBT people, and particularly transgender youth, across the country.” You can find the new website here, and read the story behind the website at LGBTQ Nation.

Lisa Selin Davis wrote a piece for the New York Times, in which she talks about her daughter the tomboy. Well-meaning people keep asking her if her daughter is transgender. She is not transgender; she is a tomboy. She is fine with being a girl who has some stereotypically-masculine tendencies. This mother is not opposed to having a transgender daughter, but that’s not where her daughter is at age seven. Although this mother appreciates the gesture of trying to be considerate of people’s gender identities, she says that being asked all the time gets somewhat annoying after awhile.


Tennessee state Senator Mark Green has been nominated to become the Secretary of the Army by President Trump. He has made opposition to LGBT people a hallmark of his politics. This week, a radio interview he did last July became public. In the interview, he said that being “transgender is a disease.” He also said, “. . .as a state senator, my responsibility very clearly in Romans 13 is to create an environment where people who do right are rewards and the people who do wrong are crushed. Evil is crushed. So I’m going to protect women in their bathrooms. . . ” For seeing a problem where none exists, Mark Green gets a TWIT Award. The Advocate has this story.

Mrs. Donna Cravey, a teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has created new bathroom passes that she hands out to her students. The passes include the word “boys” or “girls” prominently on both sides, and add, “don’t get confused.” Both the gender and the phrase “don’t get confused” are not a part of the high school’s standard hall passes. For redesigning the standard pass to enforce her beliefs, Mrs. Cravey gets a TWIT Award. This story is on KRQE-TV news.

In her New York Times article on her daughter the tomboy, Lisa Selin Davis drives home the point that tomboys are not transgender males. Leslie Loftis writes a reply in The Federalist in which she uses Lisa Selin Davis’s article to conflate the two groups. She claims that it is society that is doing this, and that the whole notion of a tomboy is threatened by accepting transgender people. No, tomboys are not threatened, and the original article indicates that, with a little education, people can typically see the difference between tomboys and young transgender males. For using an article to prove a point that is quite opposed to the point of the article, Leslie Loftis gets a TWIT. You can find that article here.

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with editing and additional content 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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