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The Week In Trans 5/28/18

| May 28, 2018
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Gavin Grimm

A U.S. District Court Judge ruled against the Gloucester County School Board’s motion to dismiss Gavin Grimm’s case, saying that the board had discriminated against Mr. Grimm when they forbade him from using the boys’ restroom. The judge ordered the sides into a settlement conference. If they cannot agree on a settlement, she will issue a judgment. Think Progress and Buzzfeed covered this story, and Art Leonard provides a law professor’s perspective.

A three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for the United States took only twenty minutes to discuss another case before they came back with their decision. Three cisgender students had sued their school district, saying that the district’s policy allowing transgender students to use restrooms and changing rooms associated with their preferred gender infringed on the privacy of cisgender students. None of the three judges were persuaded by the argument, and the lead judge cited a growing body of decisions that say that making transgender students use a separate restroom or changing area imposes a burden on them. This story was covered by The Philadelphia Inquirer. This decision comes just as a similar case in Oregon has seen a motion for dismissal.

A group of Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives has asked the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, to reject efforts to remove protections for transgender patients from the Affordable Care Act. The money saved would be minimal, and the harm done would be substantial, according to 127 members of Congress. The Hill has this story.

Over in the Senate, Kamala Harris has introduced the Do No Harm Act, which would clarify that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not supersede other legislation regarding civil rights, employment, child welfare, or health care. A similar legislation in the House of Representatives has 120 cosponsors. This story comes from Metro Weekly.

Paige Krämer Rochefort

Last year Paige Krämer Rochefort became the first trans woman to win a bronze medal representing Canada in skateboarding. She picked up her medal at the Pan-American Skateboarding Championship in Bogota, Columbia. Learn more about her from the CBC website.

Gigi Pierce of Boise, Idaho, was shot to death in Portland, Oregon. An arrest has been made in the case, Oregon Live reports.

Do you live in England? Are you transgender and would like to join the clergy? Well the Church of England is happy to welcome trans candidates who want to become vicars. They don’t just want trans vicars. They’re recruiting from LGB citizens, too. Learn more from a story in the Telegraph.

Korea has been in the news a lot recently what with talks between North and South Korea aimed at finally ending the Korean War and ridding the North of nuclear weapons. But another big event has taken place on the Korean peninsula. South Korea has held its first ever drag parade. Dozens of drag queens and kings marched through the city of Itaewon this past Saturday leading to some bafflement for some along the parade route. Learn more from South China Morning Post.

Hawaii became the twelfth state to ban therapists from providing “conversion therapy” to minors. Governor Daniel Ige signed the bill into law this week. The Honolulu Star-Advertizer covered this story.


Estrella Sanchez was granted asylum by an immigration judge in Georgia this year. She had been denied asylum three times, but kept fighting, telling how she had been beaten, stabbed with an ice pick, and raped in Mexico. Now, she is eligible to apply for a green card, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Victoria Smith has returned to the race track as a jockey in her preferred gender. Yahoo Sports UK gave us this story.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a religious decree (a fatwa) thirty years ago, saying that Muslims should have respect for transgender people. Thirty years later, many transgender people in Iran are still looking for a minimal amount of respect, as shown in this AP story which ran in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Some of the trans candidates.

On a happier note, at least thirteen transgender people plan to run for office in Pakistan this year, according to GayStarNews. This is the first time that transgender people have run for office in the majority-Muslim nation. Many transgender people will be voting for the first time in this election, as they now have identification cards in their lived gender.

A federal district court in St. Louis has ruled that the Missouri prison system must provide hormone therapy for a transgender inmate serving a murder sentence. Jessica Hicklin is serving a life sentence without parole and filed a lawsuit in 2016 challenging the Missouri Department of Corrections policy that bars hormone therapy for inmates who weren’t getting it before they started serving their sentence. Learn more from the Tampa Bay Times. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the story tip.

The Good Life Community Bicycle Shop in Calgary, Alberta, sets aside every Wednesday to teach women, transgender people, and gender non-conforming people how to maintain their bikes. This has caused them to receive some negative reviews from people who were turned away as customers because they came in on a Wednesday, but they are willing to put up with that. Their story can be found at CTV News.

Georgie Stone

Over in Australia, Georgie Stone has been named as ambassador for the Australian Football League’s Pride Game. She told the Star Observer that she has been a big fan of the St. Kilda Saints for as long as she can remember. St. Kilda will play Sydney in the game. Some money from tickets will go to LGBTI youth charity Minus18.

A trans character is coming to  the CW show Supergirl. Producers have announced a talent search for a trans woman actor to play a featured character. That character is named Nia and she is supposed to be a “confident, wunderkind of a fashionista” who joins the CatCo media investigative team. For more on the story check it out on the ScreenRant website.

Beauty company Sephora has held Classes for Confidence, aimed at people who were re-entering the work force, facing cancer, and such. This year, they are expanding these classes to include transgender women. The company excitedly talks about the new classes to Them. You can find out if there is a class near you from Sephora’s website.

Shirley Delta Blow

We see a lot of news items about how schools fire people for coming out as themselves and transitioning. This story is more inspiring. It’s about a school teacher who moonlights as a drag performer at night. And he’s openly gay. And his school knows all about it. Read about and see a video on Shirley Delta Blow on the 9News website.

The Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference is coming in August and they have announced their conference schedule. Click here to see what topics will be covered during the conference.

The Telegraph suggests that brain scans could soon tell parents whether their child is transgender. While the science is advancing, both Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast and Zack Ford of Think Progress point out potential dangers. The studies show a different average for males and females, but there is overlap, and the same pattern happens when transgender males and transgender females are put into the graph. There is a very real fear that this could lead to some people being called “not trans enough” because of a physical characteristics, rather than because of their gender identity. There also is the fear of some people trying to find ways to make transgender people fit more into the norm for their “biological sex,” even though there is no known way to do that.

Brain activity and structure in transgender adolescents more closely resembles the typical activation patterns of their desired gender, according to new research. Finding from the research will be presented in Barcelona, at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting, ECE 2018. Learn more from Science Daily.


Can an Instagram makeup artist who paints himself for his photos leverage his 4.7 million followers into a makeup business? Apparently yes, since that’s what Manny Gutierrez has done. The 27-year-old makeup star is launching his own line of makeup called Lunar Beauty and its first product is a makeup palette called Life’s a Drag. Learn more from Glamour.

TGF reader Jamie Roberts let us know that June is GLBT Book Month. This month is an initiative of the American Library Association. To see what sort of activities libraries are going to be promoting in June check out the the press release from The American Library Association.


At a time when the British press is under fire for loaded stories about transgender people, the Daily Mail comes up with another whopper along that line. They note that Arbury Primary School has come out with some guidelines that promote the acceptance of transgender people, and then they twist those guidelines to make them seem overly coddling, and then add some prejudicial language. For not even trying to modify their reporting after criticism, the Daily Mail gets a TWIT Award.

Luca and Vittoria are a couple in Milan, Italy, with an 18-month-old daughter. They named their daughter “Blu,” which they say stands for “Beautiful Luminous Unique.” A tribunal has ordered the couple to come up with another name for their daughter, saying that Blu is not “distinctly female.” While they are able to cite a Presidential decree from 2000 requiring names to correspond to the child’s sex, the members of the tribunal bear the responsibility for the heavy-handed way in which they issued their decision a year and a half after the parents came up with the name, and for giving the parents a very short timeline to come up with a new name before they take it upon themselves to assign a new name. For these reasons, the tribunal of Milan gets a TWIT. This story comes from GayStarNews.

The Labour Party of Great Britain has suspended David Lewis after he applied to be a Women’s Officer, saying he “identifies as female” on some Wednesdays, even though he keeps his name and male pronouns, as well as his male clothes and “feminine beard.” He says that he did this to point out the need for a debate about gender identity, but what he actually showed was the need for critics of gender identity to learn about it. Gender dysphoria is described as a consistent, persistent, and insistent feeling of being in a gender not assigned at birth, and what he describes is lacking in consistency, persistence, and insistence. For pretending that he is giving us a reductio ad absurdum when in fact he is presenting a straw man, David Lewis gets a TWIT Award. The Daily Mirror has this story.

Mimi Imfurst is in #MeToo trouble. The Drag Race star has been accused of sexual harassment by two young drag performers. Imfurst, a.k.a. Braden Chapman, used Facebook Messenger to engage the men in conversations that went on for quit awhile. Conversations in which Chapman went into explicit details about what he’d like to do with them sexually. As a Drag Race veteran and one of the best known queens in his home town of Philadelphia his victims felt they couldn’t protest what was happening without having it negatively affect their drag careers. We hand a TWIT Award to Mimi Imfurst. Learn more from GayStarNew.

Not acceptable attire.

It’s said that you shouldn’t take coals to Newcastle. Apparently scantily clad drag queens are not welcome either, although this incident happened in Newcastle, Australia. Last week two drag performers along with three friends also in drag tried to go out after the performer’s show. Upon arrival at Finnegan’s Hotel the three member of the group who were dressed as women were allowed in but the two drag performers were stopped and one was told she didn’t meet the dress code for men or women. Things went downhill from there. Read the full story in The Sydney Morning Herald. Suffice it to say that the hotel and the doorman both get TWIT Awards.

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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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