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The Week In Trans 6/11/18

| Jun 11, 2018
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Johnsey on stage.

Chase Johnsey is a ballet dancer who identifies as gender fluid and uses male pronouns. He is currently dancing with the English National Ballet — as a ballerina. Johnsey started secretly dancing on point taking ballet lessons while he was teenager. He joined the drag ballet troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at the age of 17. He was harassed by his fellow performers there for being too serious about appearing feminine. So far he hasn’t danced on point for the English National Ballet but he hopes to after much hard work. Get his story in The New York Times.

U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen granted the Gloucester County School Board’s right to petition the Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on her decision to dismiss the case of Gavin Grimm. This case, which seems to drag on and on, will continue. The Washington Blade has the story.

Wal-Mart has settled with a former Sam’s Club employee who says that she was fired for complaining about harassment. Charlene Bost, a transgender woman living in North Carolina, had filed on the grounds that they did nothing to stop the harassment she was receiving from fellow employees. Neither side would discuss the terms of the settlement. This story comes from Reuters.

Two trans women in Iowa sued the state over its claim that transgender medical care is “cosmetic” and therefore not covered by Medicaid. This week, they won their court case. The Courier carried a story written by the Quad-City Times.

Victoria Smith

A jockey who rode in 250 races as a male has come out of retirement and reentered the sport as a female jockey. Victoria Smith longed to be a woman since she was very young but once she became a jockey and her living depended on dealing with the macho men involved in the sport she suppressed her needs for many years. After Caitlyn Jenner came out Smith decided she had to transition. Get her story from the CNN website.

Japan has been slow to update its laws on transgender people. Changing one’s gender in the national registry is still difficult. Japan has now agreed to cover transgender health care in its national health care system. The nation will pick up 70% of the cost. While the move is welcome, there are still concerns that the nation is not doing enough. Japan Times reports.

The British government has responded to some complaints about the proposal to reform the Gender Recognition Act. Anti-trangender activists have complained that the reforms will endanger woman-only spaces. The government says that reforming the Gender Recognition Act will not change single-sex spaces, since those are covered by the Equality Act, rather than the Gender Recognition Act. Pink News has this story.

Denmark has reformed the process for changing legal gender for adults, and now, reformers there are hoping to reform the process for those under 18. While the government is generally receptive to the idea, there are details to work out, according to The Local.

Rimal Ali

Pakistani trans actress and model Rimal Ali has gotten her big break in the movie business. Ms. Ali was a model and theater performer for years but had not done any film work. A music video brought her to the attention of a film director who wanted her for a transgender role in his next movie. Learn more about her and her role in the film from the Images website.

On Sunday 300 mayors from around the country met at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston and endorsed Massachusetts’ transgender nondiscrimination law that is threatened by a repeal effort added to the ballot in November. Learn more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Job seeker Nicolette Baldwin.

While finding a job can still be tough for transgender people more businesses are beginning to reach out to the trans community. Metro Health Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio hosted a job fair aimed at trans people with 24 companies including Starbucks, PNC Bank and Progressive Insurance setting up tables. Learn more from the Marketplace website.

Queen’s College at Oxford University has joined a trend there to include a Transgender Representative at the Junior Common Room’s executive committee. The purpose of a common room is to provide help to students in accessing various services that one might need while living at the University. While there has been an LGBTQ+ Representative, the feeling is that transgender students have some needs that are unique to them, and that someone should be meeting those needs. The Oxford Student reports.

Chase Ross

A YouTube content provider named Chase Ross has used his vlog to update how his transition was going and to give some advice to other trans men. He found that when he used the word “transgender” in his description, YouTube de-monitized his video. This meant not only no money for the vlog (he never got much from the ads), but that his videos would show up later in searches, if at all. YouTube insists that they have not deliberately labeled the word “transgender” as a flag in their algorithm, and they tell content providers that they do listen to complaints and work to resolve issues. This story appeared in the Daily Beast.

Josephine Tittsworth, a transgender woman from Pasadena, Texas, had a difficult time accessing information or support when she transitioned. She became an activist, and provided information and support to others during their transitions. She was profiled in OutSmart magazine.

Garrett Epps of The Atlantic writes that birth certificates began as a way of preserving racial privilege. If your birth certificate said that you were white, you were entitled to white privilege. Now, birth certificates are being used to enforce not racial but gender norms.

Trans driver in India.

An initiative in Lahore, India is training trans people to drive automobiles so they can earn money working with ride-hailing services. Six people are in the pilot program and all are happy that they will be able to earn a living without having to resort to the traditional methods used by India’s trans community. More on the story can be found in The Express Tribune.

One of the arguments used from time to time against transgender people is that there is no certainty of the safety of hormone therapy for transgender patients. Dr. Joshua Safer has been looking into that, first at Boston Medical Center, and now at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. What he has seen is that the typical medical regimen is safe, and if anything, is a bit cautious as a way of ensuring safety. Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast reports.


Another transgender woman has been shot to death. Antonia English of Jacksonville, Florida, who was known to many as Antash’a (the name she used in her nightclub act), was found between two abandoned homes. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. First Coast News reported that she would be remembered at a candlelight vigil.

About 75 people showed up in Albuquerque to remember Roxsanda Hernandez, who died while in ICE custody, and to protest the Department of Homeland Security’s apparent lack of interest in investigating her death. The protest caught the attention of the Albuquerque Journal.

War has broken out between drag superstar RuPaul Charles and rapper, singer, songwriter, and actress Azealia Banks. Banks claims RuPaul stole her song The Big Big Beat and retitled it Call Me Mother. A Twitter feud ensued and escalated when Banks called all the Drag Race queens “haunted ass clowns.” Then she took it further by claiming RuPaul stole the idea for Drag Race from her. See all the tweets in The Daily Dot.

Darcelle XV paints.

Will you still be working the glam look when you’re 87? One drag queen knows that answer and it’s yes. Darcell XV of Portland, Oregon is still strutting her stuff. Check out the video of her ten-minute makeup routine on the Business Insider U.K. website.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, signed bills on Friday to protect transgender people from discrimination and ban therapies that seek to change the sexual orientation of minors. New Hampshire had been the only New England state that didn’t have protections for transgender people. Learn more from Valley News.


John Kluge was fired from his job as orchestra teacher at a high school in Brownsburg, Indiana, when he refused to use student’s preferred names rather than the one on their birth certificate. Yet, this is done all the time — David is referred to as “Dave,” Theresa is referred to as “Terry” (and thereby gets a gender-neutral nickname), etc. For that matter, Charles Johnson III may be known as “Chip” to his family, but by this policy, would have to have his name said as on his birth certificate at school — even though that name may be used in the family to refer to his grandfather. A child who was adopted may have his or her adoptive family’s name, even though the birth certificate might have the biological family’s name. So, he is only refusing because he wants to oppose the recognition of transgender students. For trying to hide his bad attitude under the guise of religion, John Kluge gets a TWIT Award. The Indianapolis Star is our source for this story.

Ann Widdecombe is a former member of the British House of Commons who now writes a column for the Daily Express. She recently complained of “transgender lunacy,” saying, “It is beyond belief that any government should say it is enough to say you are the opposite sex to be recognized as such.” Her basis for this disbelief is the biological sexual binary, which has never been as rigid and absolute as she pretends it is. (Intersex people do exist. There are several chromosomal pairs beyond XX and XY.) For building her argument on a false statement, Ann Widdecombe gets a TWIT. Her column can be found here.

The Federalist never seems to feel ashamed to keep publishing the same sort of poorly-researched material. They are now complaining about the fact that the National Science Foundation has given a $1,000,000 grant to the TransYouth Project. The TransYouth Project will use that money to conduct a survey of young transgender people, but such a survey is unnecessary in the eyes of The Federalist, because they already have all the answers. Transgender people are “gender confused,” and the real design of the study is to “push transgenderism on children.” They complain of a high level of bias, largely because the survey starts by accepting the idea that transgender people are not mentally ill — something which the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association both agree. So, The Federalist thinks that it knows more about mental health than mental health professionals. That would seem to be “delusions of grandeur,” which is itself a mental health condition and wins The Federalist yet another TWIT Award.

Trans runner Andraya Yearwood.

A group of parents in Connecticut are upset that transgender runners are competing in girls track and field state championships and beating their cisgender offspring. They say they aren’t upset that the winning runners want to be girls. What has them upset is what they call an unfair advantage since the trans runners used to compete as boys. For wanting to eliminate the competition so their kids can win some trophies we hand those parents petitioning to disqualify trans runners a gold plated TWIT Award. Get the story from USA Today’s high school sports section.

Republican candidate for California’s 44th Congressional District Jazmina Saavedra is the woman who live-streamed herself harassing a trans woman in the restroom of a Denny’s. She shouted abuse at the woman calling her a man and shouting “Why are you using the ladies’ room?” at her while the woman cringed in the stall. We aren’t giving Saavedra a TWIT Award though. Her award was coming in third in her congressional race. She got just 10% of the vote. We are however giving TWIT Awards to the approximately 4000 people who voted for her. Get the story from Pink News.

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

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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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