The Week In Trans 6/10/19

| Jun 10, 2019
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Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings has a message for trans youth during Pride Month: “Pride to me is about loving yourself unconditionally and that means not putting any limitations on who you are and what you can become.” The Advocate has this story.

President Donald Trump sent a tweet recognizing LGBT Pride Month and praising his administration for pressing LGBT rights abroad. However, he got a lot of feedback about his administration’s efforts at home, as Newsweek noted.

The mainstream news has failed to provide much coverage of the Trump administration’s attacks on LGBTQ rights at home, Media Matters for America found. It should be noted that there are plenty of other stories about the Trump administration’s activities that have pushed coverage of LGBTQ rights out of the spotlight.

A new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll shows that the majority of those polled feel that transgender people should be able to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity. Details are in The Hill.

Caster Semenya has been given permission to run in women’s races by an order from a Swiss court. The order forbids the International Association of Athletics Federation from implementing its requirement that she take testosterone suppressors, pending a full hearing of Ms. Semenya’s appeal. CNN International has this story.

CeCe Telfer

CeCe Telfer, who recently won an NCAA hurdles race, says that she gets “no benefit” from being trans. Outsports noted that Donald Trump Jr. disagreed. Neither of them is a medical expert.

The American Association of Family Physicians has come out with an official editorial against the recent policy of the Department of Health and Human Services, which allows medical professionals to refuse service to someone because of “deeply-held religious beliefs.” You can read about it at their website.

A long article about binders appeared in The New York Times.

An op-ed appeared in The New York Times on June 7 that says Trump supporters seem to think that men in makeup reading stories to children are a “bigger threat to family values than babies in cages.” The columnist was highlighting the moral indignation of some on the right over Drag Queen Story Time while those same people ignore the humanitarian crisis at the US southern border.

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts, celebrated Pride Month with a declaration, a raising of the rainbow flag, and a recognition of local transgender principal Dr. Declan O’Connor. WWLP-TV has this story. An interview with him appeared in Mass Live.

For Pride Month, Good Morning America took a look at transgender representation in episodic television. Their conclusion is early in the piece, “Hollywood has some work to do when it comes to representation of the trans community.” (That sentence was specifically in reference to major motion pictures, but it is true of television as well.) Still, this article highlights some of the transgender characters which do exist on episodic television.

Stephe Koontz

Stephe Koontz, a member of the City Council in Doraville, is the only openly transgender public official in Georgia. She was recognized with an award by Georgia Equality, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution took notice.

The short film For Nonna Anna was show at the Toronto International Film Festival, then received a Special Jury Prize at Sundance, and now it is a Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere. It tells the story of a transgender teen who is taking care of her grandmother–a grandmother who accepts her transgender grandchild. The film is personal for filmmaker Luis De Filippis, whose grandmother was indeed accepting, despite being a devout Catholic. Indie Wire says that the movie shows how to film a transgender body with sensitivity.

All Things Considered took note of Lucia Lucas, after she made her U.S. debut singing Don Giovanni with the Tulsa Opera.

Earlham College, east of Dayton, Ohio, hosted a conference for transgender singers. The organizers have trained some singers to sing the vocal parts of the gender they identify as. WYSO publc radio has this story.

The British fashion brand House of Holland follows its first campaign, entitled “Show Your True Colours,” with a second collection that will support the transgender community. They will release four satin suits, one in pink, one in black, one in white, and one in a silvery blue. You can see the collection at The Evening Standard.

A former Amazon employee in India, Samyuktha Vijayan, has started up a boutique to show off the works of and for transgender people. Your Story wrote about her.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin wants to be the first transgender woman to compete in the LeMans race, a grueling 24-hour car race. She is profiled in Inews.

Jennifer Hegeman writes for KUOW’s Curiosity Club that she recently realized that by transitioning from hiding-in-male mode to full-time female mode, she had gone “from one closet into another.” Openly identifying as a transgender woman in order to join the Curiosity Club gave her a new perspective.

Dallas police announced that another black transgender woman, Chynal Lindsay, had been found with “obvious signs of homicidal violence.” This discovery comes just two weeks after the death of Muhlaysia Booker, also in Dallas. Buzzfeed has more about this.

The body of Chanel Scurlock was found in Lumberton, North Carolina. She was shot to death. You can read about her in The Root.

Detroit Police have arrested a man in connection with the shooting death of a transgender woman, Alunte Davis, as well as two gay men. The shooting took place over Memorial Day weekend. A prosecutor’s spokeswoman says that the shootings were motivated by the victims’ gender identity and sexual orientations. Fox News has this story.

Johana Medina Leòn, a refugee from El Salvador, died after being held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She had tested positive for HIV. She was 25 years old. Her story appeared in Buzzfeed News. The death of Ms. Medina Leòn, who died at a local hospital, caused ICE officials to issue a denial of allegations that they had not been following their own protocols. KTSM in El Paso has that story.

CNN uses the two recently-deceased transgender women in Dallas as background while talking of State Representative Garnet Coleman’s fight to get transgender people covered by Texas’s hate crimes law. The article also discusses the fear in the transgender community in Dallas.

Pastors of the United Methodist Church in Texas gathered to pray for and offer support to black trans women in Dallas, in light of the recent violence towards them. This is significant because of the denomination’s recent vote on LGBT members. CBS Dallas-Fort Worth has this story.

Nicole Maines

The Advocate’s cover story this month is a profile of Nicole Maines.

Emily Todd VanDerWerff is having a recurrent dream which blends her experience as a transgender woman with the opening of The Handmaid’s Tale. She writes about it in Vox.

The number of British children calling Childline to talk about their gender identity keeps increasing. The Telegraph has this story.

A literal reading of Britain’s laws shows that transgender people can be branded as sex criminals for kissing or for having sex without revealing the history of their gender. Reforming this is something else for the next Prime Minister to deal with, as Gay Star News points out.

For Pride Month and the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riot, NBC Out ran a profile of Marsha P. Johnson.

Star of Pose and former star of the Broadway production of Kinky Boots, Billy Porter, has raised eyebrows at recent events by appearing as a man in a dress. And nailing it. His Academy Awards outfit was a tailored tuxedo gown, and his Met Gala entrance and costume had the most jaded observers being impressed. He attended the Tony Awards Sunday night in a red gown made out of the curtain from Kinky Boots. For a look at the dress and a long article that gives insight into why he feels liberated when he’s wearing a high fashion gown check out the article in The New York Times.

Craig Brooks, a gay black hotel clerk in Texas, gained social media fame as a video of him telling a woman who used a racist slur in speaking to him that there is another motel next door. His fame was short lived when it turned out that he had years of anti-transgender tweets on his social media accounts. He has since apologized for his tweets, according to The Advocate.

A former Starbucks barista has filed a complaint. She says that her manager misgendered and harassed her, then when she changed to a new store, the new manager did the same, and the district manager did not resolve the matter. The parent company says that this is a violation of their standards. The Advocate has this story.

Tanwarin Sukkhapisit

Tanwarin Sukkhavisit has now been sworn in as a member of the Parliament of Thailand. South China Morning Post talked with her about what she would like to do in this new role.

Manju, a rickshaw driver in Mumbai with long pink fingernails, got fifteen minutes of fame thanks to Facebook user Poonam Kirchi. Gay Star News has this story.

RuPaul’s Drag Race crowned its winner. The finale was high-concept art, according to LGBTQ Nation.

RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Shangela appears in a commercial for McDonalds breakfast items. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

The University of Wisconsin alumni magazine has an article about Marci Bowers, the surgeon who took over from Stanley Biber. Dr. Bowers has moved to California and continues her practice. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for pointing out the story.

A new anthology of Doctor Who stories will come to bookstores in the fall, and writer Gareth Roberts (who looks a bit like a Sontaran alien from the show) will not be working on it. Other writers, including Susie Day, have said that they would not participate if he was part of it, because of his anti-transgender statements. You can read more in The Guardian.


While he was in London this week, President Donald Trump was interviewed by his old friend Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain. When asked about the incongruity between his recent tweet honoring Pride Month and his ban on transgender people in the U.S. military, President Trump responded, “They take massive amounts of drugs. They have to, and also, and you’re not allowed to take drugs, you’re in the military, you’re not allowed to take any drugs.” In fact, people in the military are allowed to take prescription drugs of almost any kind, and keep their jobs. Pressed further, he misquoted the cost of gender confirmation surgery (by a factor of ten), and made the erroneous claim that people were signing up for the military just to receive surgery. (The actual amount of money paid by the Department of Defense for medical expenses of transgender people proves that this could not be happening, and also shows that the cost of gender confirmation surgery is much lower than President Trump says.) For either being misinformed or for spreading lies, President Donald Trump gets a TWIT Award. The Hill has this story. (An article in Newsweek says that his comments could undermine the arguments being put forth as the rationale for his ban on transgender people in the military continues to wind its way through the courts.)

Fox And Friends host Brian Kilmeade said that the transgender woman who died in a hospital (Johana Medina Leòn, though Mr. Kilmeade seems not to have mentioned her name) “showed up with AIDS.” She did test positive for HIV, but many test positive for HIV without having AIDS. For flying into a rant over unreliable information, Brian Kilmeade gets a TWIT Award. Newsweek has this story.

The manager of JR’s Bar & Grill, a gay bar in the suburbs of Dallas, was fired after he refused to serve a transgender woman and told her to leave. In addition to his pink slip, he also gets a TWIT. This story comes from CBS Dallas Fort Worth.

A story in The Federalist compares “transgender chest-binding” to female genital mutilation, calling both “barbaric.” They don’t mention the opposite of chest binding, wearing falsies. Somehow, when females (transgender or cisgender) make their chests less flat, that is not as unacceptable as trans men trying to get the chest appearance that they want. For a clear double standard, The Federalist gets another TWIT Award.

Wording matters. A recent Rasmussen poll regarding transgender people in sports used terms like “biological males” (despite the fact that biology finds sex to be much more complicated than chromosomes). For wording that slants the results Rasmussen gets a TWIT. This comes from a press release on the Rasmussen Sports website.

PJ Media thinks it is shocking that British police asked a bunch of lesbians if they are a hate group. The lesbians in question were Get The L Out, and they were the group who disrupted the Pride parade in London last year with a banner carrying a transphobic message. When parade organizers have to apologize to others for your hurtful behavior, then yes, you are a hate group. For denying their hate, Get The L Out gets another TWIT Award.

Speaking of hateful acts, Mark Chambers, the mayor of Carbon Hill, Alabama, wrote a Facebook message recommending the killing of gay people, transgender people, socialists, and “baby killers.” For claiming to be pro-life while also rooting for certain people to die, Mark Chambers gets a TWIT Award. reports he later tried to defend that initial message.

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


About the Author ()

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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