The Week In Trans 5/25/20

| May 25, 2020
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Lilly Wachowski

The term “red pill,” taken from a famous scene in The Matrix, has been appropriated by the far right to signify a person has joined them. This week, Elon Musk tweeted, “Take the red pill,” to which Ivanka Trump tweeted, “Taken.” Lilly Wachowski, one of the co-creators of The Matrix, tweeted a response which impolitely rebuked both of them. Pink News has this story.

Joe Biden wrote an editorial for LGBTQ Nation in which he pledges to renew the efforts of the Obama-Biden administration to protect the civil rights of LGBTQ people.

Several U.S. senators signed a letter urging the Trump administration to not make it easier to deny LGBTQ, and especially transgender, people health care during a pandemic. You can find the text in LGBTQ Nation.

The listing of her deadname in several obituaries of Aimee Stephens continues to be a topic of discussion. NBC News reports that both The New York Times and Associated Press removed the reference to the deadname, adding a footnote about the update.

Berri Chaney

Berri Chaney was about to get a job at Applebee’s, when she was rejected for being transgender. She writes in LGBTQ Nation that a current Supreme Court case could have helped her get that job.

The legislature of Puerto Rico has approved changes to its civil rights code. While the new code is mostly good news for LGBTQ people, an ambiguity in the code makes it potentially impossible for transgender people to update their legal gender status, according to Reuters.

After much anticipation, the parliament of Hungary approved Viktor Orban’s proposal to rescind legal recognition of a change of gender in the country. With the passage of this law, identity documents will list the “sex assigned at birth” instead of gender. Forbes has this story. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

In a move that was expected, the state of Idaho has asked a federal judge to accept its new law banning the change of the sex listed on a birth certificate. The state had been ordered by a federal court to write a new law on the topic. Boise State Public Radio has this story.

The state of Idaho had asked the Supreme Court to put a hold on the gender confirmation surgery of an inmate while the legal battle over whether to fund that surgery continues. This week, the Supreme Court refused to stop the preparations for that surgery, as NBC News reports.

Nina Pop

Police have arrested a man in connection with the murder of Nina Pop, who was found stabbed to death earlier this month. The incident took place in Missouri. You can read about this in Pink News. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

The family of Roxsana Hernandez has filed a lawsuit against the private contractors who run the detention facility where ICE housed her. Metro Weekly has this story.

Last year, two police officers in Kansas City were caught on video slamming the head of a transgender woman into the ground as they arrested her. Within a week and a half of the first anniversary of the incident, those two police officers were charged with assault. You can read about this in the Kansas City Star. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

Pop singer Demi Levato has announced her support for the trans and non-binary communities by declaring “Trans rights are human rights!” The singer is a friend of Alok Vaid-Menon, the author of a new book titled Beyond The Gender Binary. Learn more from Just Jared.

In Brownsville, Texas, a proposed safe house is being named for Kimberly Avila, a transgender woman who disappeared three years ago. The Monitor has this story.

One of the asylum seekers.

In good news from the court system ten transgender women who had traveled through Central America and Mexico to seek asylum in the United States have won their court case and will be granted asylum. The video story can be found on the CBS News website.

Hershey’s, the company famous for its chocolate, had a virtual meeting of its stockholders. A rabble-rouser asked CEO Michele Buck if she would stop the company’s funding of the HRC, a group which he said, “organizes boycotts when states seek to enact laws protecting the right of people to. . .use a bathroom in privacy that matches their DNA.” The CEO responded, “Inclusion and diversity are incredibly important values to us here at the Hershey Company.” In other words, she refused to give in to his bigotry. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

The makers of Skittles have announced they will have a special package for Pride Month. The special package will have white candy, rather than the usual rainbow of colors. On the package is the statement, “Only one rainbow matters during Pride.” This story comes from LGBTQ Nation.

Dr. Deborah Clegg, the associate dean of research and the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University, wrote a paper about the need to improve health care for non-binary people. She says that a better definition of gender, which includes biological factors, would help. Drexel Now has an interview with her.

Dr. Katherine L. Margo writes in Healio that medical students need to learn about transgender people.

Mill as Salt Qween.

A woman in Wales is being accused of child endangerment because she allows her 8-year-old non-binary child to be a drag queen. The child, Mill, saw an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race when they were two-years-old and they announced to the family that they were a drag queen. Now Mill performs their drag act in local clubs as Salt Qween. Learn more from Wales Online.

Pride events around the world are cancelled this year, due to fears of COVID-19. However, LGBTQ Nation reports that New York City will have a concert for Pride, with many famous performers, and it will be telecast on WABC.

A week before Global Pride, NYC Pride, and Stonewall Day put on their digital events, over 100 drag performers are staging their own virtual festival. Welcome to “Pride 2020 Drag Fest: A Weekend to Support Our Queens.” The festival will stream on both the NYC Pride and GLAAD Facebook pages from 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m. on June 19, 20, and 21. Viewers will be able to tip performers through Venmo and other donation platforms. Learn more from Out online.

Some gay bars are closing for good because of the stay-at-home orders and other precautions. It just won’t be the same with everyone six feet apart, according to one owner. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

Would you like to see a show in which drag queens compete in the kitchen? If so, they you should like Served!, a show from MTV U.K. You can read about it at

Jan Morris

93-year-old travel writer Jan Morris has just been named one of The Advocate‘s Women of the Year.

Baroness Ruth Hunt, the former head of the LGBTQ advocacy group Stonewall, says she has received much more grief for her support of transgender rights than she ever did “from homophobes.” This appears in The Guardian.

In a letter to Baroness Nicholson, a known opponent of transgender people’s civil rights, Women and Equalities Minister Liz Truss renewed her commitment to “single-sex spaces” in a way that does not include transgender people. Pink News has this story.

In response to both the announcement last month and this week’s renewed attack on the rights of transgender people, thousands of cisgender women have signed a letter renouncing Liz Truss’s proposed policies. You can read about this in Pink News. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

Transgender people in Britain have organized their own response, in the form of a letter-writing campaign entitled “Dear Liz.” The letters are directed to the minister herself. Pink News has this story.

In a bit of irony, Women and Equalities Minister Liz Truss tweeted on International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia, “We are proud of the progress GB has made on LGBT rights.” This raises the question, what does she think the T stands for? Also, she messed up the name, inverting the order and leaving off intersexism. You can read comments on this at Pink News.

Australia is taking a very different path from Great Britain, and from Idaho. The state of Victoria just announced reforms for transgender people, including a reform to the law about changing the gender on a birth certificate. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has this story.

One of the portraits.

Damien Frost is an Australian British photographer known for his incredible photography series Night Flowers, over 300 portraits of the drag queens, club kids, and other night crawlers found in London’s club scene. Now he has produced a new series titles Social Distancing, Portraits. The series was entirely photographed via video calls and features people doing creative drag while isolating in their homes. Learn more from Dazed Digital.

Some good news from Britain. We told you about a gay couple in Poland who were handing out face masks with a rainbow on them, like the LGBTQ Pride flag. The British Ambassador to Poland, Jonathan Knott, got one of those face masks, or one like it, and wore it on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia. You can find this story in LGBTQ Nation.

Some in Britain complain about one incident in which a transgender prisoner housed with female prisoners had sex with one of the cisgender women. They feel this proves that transgender women should be housed with male prisoners. However, eleven transgender women were raped while in male prisons last year. The BBC has this story. [Editor’s Note: Do they think there are no cisgender female prisoners having sexual encounters with other cisgender prisoners?]

The Georgian Orthodox Church (the country not the U.S. state) is sending food to transgender women, Georgia Today reports.

The British version of GQ magazine has a long article about transgender rights in the U.K.

Amy Dyess was once a TERF, though she thought that the term was in itself a bit of hate speech. She has since recanted her “gender critical” views, and talks about it in an article in Medium.

The exclusion of trans women from feminism is one of the points that Alison Phipps feels is wrong with the “White Feminism” movement. She writes about it in a new book, Me, Not You: The Trouble With Mainstream Feminism. She spoke to Pink News about the points she makes in the book.


J.K. Rowling has once more shown her support for a transphobe. This particular one was a rather vicious denunciation of a transgender woman who is a psychotherapist and photographer. For liking a tweet which fairly obviously demeaned someone, and almost certainly twisted that person’s views in order to demean them, J.K. Rowling gets a TWIT Award. Pink News has this story. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for a link to this story.

The Federalist claims that pointing out the high rate of suicide among transgender people is scaring parents into accepting their transgender children. Apparently, “All Lives Matter” is a lie. For rejecting medical science as well as statistics and transgender people, Maria Keffler, the author of this article, and The Federalist, which deemed it worthy of publication, get a TWIT Award.

Sylvia Ann Driskell of Nebraska filed a lawsuit in 2015, asking a court to determine whether homosexuality was “an abomination.” Although the suit was filed five years ago, it is just coming to light. Apparently, the self-described “Ambassador for Plaintiff’s God, and His, Son, Jesus Christ” feels the fact that her interpretation of the Bible making homosexuality a sin means that it is also it a crime, somehow. For confusion beyond belief, Sylvia Ann Driskell gets a TWIT. You can read about this in LGBTQ Nation.

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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