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The Week In Trans 6/4/18

| Jun 4, 2018
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Trans cab driver Nao Nagamoto.

While Japan has a culture that celebrates crossdressing in anime and is the home of “maid cafes,” where young men dress as maids and wait tables, the business world there has been conservative and straight laced. That is beginning to change as companies are starting to welcome transgender employees. Learn more from The Mainichi.

The Gloucester County (VA) School Board has announced that they are appealing the decision not to dismiss the case of Gavin Grimm. The most recent decision, from a district court judge, holds that the school board probably wronged Mr. Grimm by not providing him access to the restroom with other males. The case will advance to the stage of oral arguments, at which time the school board’s lawyer can present the defense of the board’s position. The judge’s decision did say that the school board would be held to strict scrutiny, which is a high bar for the defense of their policy. The appeal will likely challenge that high bar. The Washington Post has this story.

Early this week, Jay Alfie told the CBS affiliate in Dallas that his school would only call out his legal name at the graduation ceremony at Allen High School in Texas. Because he has not yet had time to complete the process for a legal name change, this policy meant that he would be deadnamed on what should be a very happy occasion for him. He soon found many activists taking up his cause, and over 5000 people signed a digital petition opposing the policy. By the end of the week, the school announced that they would make an exception to their legal name policy for Alfie, as the Dallas Morning News reports.

Dana Zzyym

Dana Zzyym is an intersex veteran of the U.S. military. Eighteen years ago, Zzyym asked a court to tell the State Department to reconsider granting Zzyym a passport with the sex designation “X”. The State Department refused at the time. Eighteen years later, Zzyym is asking the same federal court in Colorado to again ask the State Department to reconsider a gender-neutral passport. This time, there is precedence for such a decision. Metro Weekly has this story.

Torin Hodgman, an eighth-grader in Grand Rapids, Michigan, decided to wear a transgender flag as a cape when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos came to visit their school. They wanted to ask Secretary DeVos, “What are you doing to ensure safe learning environments for LGBT students and others who are questioning their gender identity?” Hodgman never got to ask that question, as MLive reports.

A transgender woman who was among the refugees in the caravan that crossed Mexico to reach the United States has died. Roxsana Hernandez died in an Albuquerque hospital. ICE officials say that she died of a heart attack as a result of HIV, but the Transgender Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign are asking for a thorough investigation. ICE says that an autopsy of the 33-year-old’s body will be performed.

At a time when many Christian denominations seem to be trying to outdo each other in condemning transgender and gender-variant people, the Church of England is taking a different approach. They are encouraging transgender people to join the priesthood. It’s part of a diversity drive. The Telegraph carried this story.

A minister in Evansville, Indiana made a request to the local school board regarding transgender students. He asked the board to ADD transgender, gender non-conforming, and questioning kids to their non-discrimination policy. Learn more from The Herald.

Gracie, age 7.

KQED featured a long piece on the question of how young is old enough to know how one feels about one’s gender. They focus on 7-year-old Gracie, whose family has come around to accept her gender identity after first thinking that she was too young to know how she would feel in the future.

This week, several transgender activists and groups in the U.K. called on Crowdfunder to suspend a campaign whose goal was to spread a very hurtful and inaccurate pamphlet to all schools in the nation. The pamphlet is called “Transgender Trend,” and it relied heavily on the idea of desistance. Pink News reports that Crowdfunder has deactivated this campaign.

Twitter has also been accused of blocking people in the U.K. who speak out against “the transgender ideology.” Members of the group “Man Friday,” who don’t seem to understand what being transgender means, are complaining that they have been blocked on Twitter. A spokesperson for the social media service says that no one is blocked for the views that they express, but people are blocked for violating the rules. This story comes from BBC News.

A Canadian firm has created a set of Russian-style stacking dolls which can be used to explain how transgender people feel. The doll representing the youngest person seems reasonably happy as a girl, but as the dolls age, there seems to be less happiness until the largest doll seems happy as a male. CTV News gives us this story.

Barbie’s drag transformation.

Speaking of dolls. Whatever you think of RuPaul’s Drag Race it’s become a big cultural phenomenon. And as with any major player in our culture the show and its stars have become iconic beings. And that means there is someone who is willing to spend time, creativity and some cash to be a part of the whole Drag Race scene. Like the guy who does RuPaul’s Drag Race queen makeovers on Barbie dolls. Learn more about him from The Nerdist website.

Leanne Italie of the AP has collected a history of gender-neutral third person singular pronouns.

The Delsea Regional School Board in New Jersey reports that there was an apparent “sexual encounter” between two middle school students in a school restroom. The school district is withholding details, to preserve the privacy of the students involved, but one of the students is transgender, and this has caused the district to grant transgender students permission to use the restroom of the student’s identified gender on a case-by-case basis. reported this story.

Although the Williams Institute reported that the CDC would remove the optional LGBT question from the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System next year, the CDC told The Washington Post that, while the new survey is not finalized, they plan to keep the optional LGBT question. Optional responses have helped to identify several risky behaviors as common among LGBT people, as the Advocate notes.

The Exodus founder in one of his creations.

There are a lot of places to get wigs online. The wigs they sell are most often fine for everyday wear but where can you get a special one to wear when you want to take things up a notch? When you want to be the center of attention? A custom made wig will fill the need. One creator of custom wigs is a former drag queen name George Berry who wanted to have a wig that looked like it cost a fortune but was actually affordable. So he started making them. His company is Wigs by Exodus. Read about it on The Planet Weekly website.

A family court in the Netherlands has granted an order to have an adult’s birth certificate changed to indicate that the person is of “undetermined gender.” That designation has been permitted on Dutch birth certificates since 1993, but this is the first time that a court has ordered a birth certificate to be changed to “undetermined gender.” Dutch News gave us this story.

The Supreme Court of Chile has struck down a ruling from an appeals court and ordered that the government allow name and legal gender changes for transgender people who have not had sterilization surgery. The AP’s story on this can be found here.

Chile remains a socially conservative country and trans people who live there don’t have an easy time of it. One woman whose trans daughter was about to come out went so far as to go to the drug dealers living in her building and ask them not to let their children pick on her daughter. The drug dealers were cool with it and her daughter was not harassed. Outside the neighborhood though it can be a different story. Find out more from the BBC News website.

Doctors in Brazil constructed a vaginal canal for a woman who was born without one. They used the skin of the tilapia fish. Local 10 News in Miami gave us this story.

Canadian author Casy Plett’s debut novel is entitled Little Fish. It tells the story of Wendy, a trans woman who comes from a Mennonite family. Plett tells the CBC that it was important to get the transgender feeling right, so that it would contrast with the Mennonite tradition.

Transgender athlete, mountain climber Jamie Logan was profiled in Gripped.

CNN featured a long piece about what it means to call someone “transgender.” It’s pretty basic stuff, but for those who may need to clue someone in, it can be useful.

Scottie Madden

Scottie Madden has been working in television production for twenty years. She became a showrunner. Then, she transitioned, and shortly thereafter, she started having trouble finding employment, something that had not been a problem for her as a male. Her story was told by Buzzfeed, who tells us that she is currently working on the series Lost In Transition for TLC.

The paste few decades have seen an enormous increase in awareness around gender. Men who want to dress like women. Women who are inhabiting male bodies, and men who have female bodies. All of us started to come out of the woodwork and make older conservative people uncomfortable. Now we have arrived at a point in our culture where the youngest people don’t perceive gender as just pink and blue. A recent survey of 12 to 19-year-olds found that 82 percent agree that gender does not define a person as it used to do. Read more in AdWeek.

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning was marked as safe about half an hour after she tweeted what seemed to be a farewell to the world. Friends intervened before she could do anything rash, according to the New York Daily News.

An FtM YouTuber believes that YouTube stopped paying him for his video views when he added “FTM Transgender” to the video title. YouTube contributors who get a lot of views are paid for their contributions. Other contributors allege that YouTube has put their videos in a restricted area and the word “transgender” seems to trigger the isolation. While YouTube maintains that it doesn’t discriminate on based on that people feel the YouTube algorithm didn’t get the memo and is flagging trans content. Learn more from The Daily Beast.


Fourteen people in India were arrested for the lynching of a transgender man named Chandrah and his son, Ravi. They thought that Chandra was involved in child trafficking. Gay Star News has this report. Rumors are spread about kidnappers taking children and it leads to this kind of violence. A TWIT Award goes to all of the outraged citizens who decide to act outside the law.

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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