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The Week In Trans 6/12/17

| Jun 12, 2017
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Derrick Barry in “kiki.”

As part of Pride Month Billboard magazine has filmed a four-part “drag queen kiki” called Spilling the Tea. The title is slang for spreading especially juicy gossip. The series stars several queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race and will be shown every Monday on the Billboard website. See photos taken during the shoot here.

Gavin Grimm graduated from high school on Saturday. His mother wrote an editorial for The Washington Post in which she recounts her son’s story and why both of them became advocates. Here is a link to this touching article.

Chelsea Manning

This next item concerns Chelsea Manning, and you are free to skip ahead if that name bothers you. She recently sat down for an interview which will be shown on an upcoming episode of Nightline on ABC. She says that she was motivated to spread the data she leaked because she started to realize that these numbers on the page represented real people. She takes responsibility, saying that no one else asked her to do this. You can see a clip and read about the interview on ABC News’s web site.

The United Methodist Church has ordained a non-binary transgender person as a deacon. Bishop Sally Dyck of the Northern Illinois Conference ordained M Barclay on Sunday, June 4, after twelve years of study. The new deacon was one of several ordained at the same ceremony. The new deacon was assigned female at birth and only opened up as non-binary while in the seminary. Gay Star News has this story.

RuPaul was in a funk right after the election but she has snapped back from it, become energized and has seen what must be done. According to RuPaul what America needs right now is more drag super stars. Find out more about the RuPaul plan for drag resistance in The Atlantic. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the story tip.


Drag Race contestant Peppermint, who is one of four finalists in season 9, is the subject of a soon to be released documentary titled Project Peppermint. The filmmaker, Oriel Pe’er, has been following Peppermint since since she started performing in New York City before she competed on Drag Race. She came out as a trans woman while competing on the show. Read more and watch a trailer for the documentary on NewNowNext.

Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, has called a special session of the Texas Legislature to begin on July 18. The governor named twenty topics which the special session may address. The first of these topics, and the one that the governor most wants the legislators to deal with, is — sunset funding. It seems that the state House and the state Senate could not agree on funding for certain government agencies, which means that those agencies would run out of funds before the next regular session of the legislature begins. One of the nineteen other points is a potential “bathroom bill,” reviving a debate between the two houses from the session which just ended. While the special session has no set date for adjournment, it is possible that it can end without legislation on all the topics that the governor permitted it to address. The fact that public accommodations for transgender people was a topic for this special session of the state legislature caught the attention of the New York Times.

In a story on this issue, KXAN-TV in Austin talked with an 8-year-old transgender girl about what this potential legislation would mean to her. You can read this profile of her here.

The Texas bathroom bill could keep the NFL draft from coming to Dallas. At the moment the city is considered a favorite to host the 2018 NFL draft but that could change if the restroom legislation goes through in the upcoming special session of the legislature. Learn more from the NBC Sports website.

A couple of weeks ago, we had the story of a school principal in California who was transitioning gender. This week, we were told of another school principal coming out publicly as transgender. This one takes place in Massachusetts, and Asa Sevelius is profiled in the Boston Globe.


Just as transgender children are coming out younger and younger, so too drag queens are starting earlier. Lacticia, also known as Nemis Quinn Mélançon Golden, is an eight-year-old from Montreal who has been performing as a drag queen. His parents are fine with him voguing and doing drag. He is profiled in the Advocate, and also draws the attention of LifeSiteNews, who seems to be on an anti-pride kick this week. (You can see other LifeSiteNews material below, under the TWITs.

Jennifer Williams, Gina Roberts, and Jordan Evas have come out with a white paper entitled Transgender Student Safety & Equality for All Students. The authors published the paper on the web site of the Log Cabin Republicans, and they had a event with the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, Gregory T. Angelo, in Washington, D.C., this week. Given that the Log Cabin Republicans seem to be having little impact on other issues, it is hard to see them getting much traction within the party on this issue, but they are to be commended for making an effort. The Advocate has this story.

Finocchio’s sign.

San Francisco has come up with a plan to put up plaques noting some significant places in local LGBT history. Among these would be a plaque at Finocchio’s, home of female impersonators. Another plaque will be where Mona’s Club 440 once was. Mona’s Club 440 had the slogan “Where Girls Will Be Boys,” and they did indeed have an early version of drag kings perform there. (They also had Lenny Bruce and Johnny Mathis entertaining before they were famous.) The Black Cat Cafe, which was home to drag queens, has had a plaque for some time. The plan also calls for recognition of the Compton’s Cafeteria site. You can read more in the Bay Area Reporter.

The United Kingdom just held an election. Seven transgender candidates were on the ballot in various ridings (that’s what the Brits call the legislative districts), but none won election. The closest was Sophie Cook, who came close to winning in a riding which her party (Labour) does not usually win. 45 LGB people did win election to the House of Commons, setting a record. Pink News has more on that angle.

No party won a majority of the seats in the U.K. election, so the party with the plurality will reach out to other parties to try to form a government. Theresa May, the leader of the Conservative Party, is trying to find sufficient common ground with the Democratic Unionist Party, a far-right party from Northern Ireland. The Democratic Unionist Party is quite opposed to LGBT rights. Pink News has this part of the story as well.

The Health Ministry of Malaysia created a contest asking for videos on sex education. One of the categories was “preventing homosexuality and transgenderism,” On Wednesday, in response to complaints, the ministry dropped that category. It was replaced with a category entitled “gender and sexuality.” You can find more on Reuters.

Instagram queen Aquaria.

Makeup can do marvelous things. A plain woman can become a seductive beauty and a handsome young man can become a beautiful, sexy woman with a good makeup job. In the 21st century drag performers are sharing their makeup tips and showing themselves off on Instagram. See 10 drag queens you should follow on Instagram on the Pop Sugar website.

Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, has written a new book entitled Building A Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. The book has been approved by Father Martin’s Jesuit superiors as well as two Catholic cardinals and a bishop. Mind you, those other priests merely looked for flaws in doctrine or theology; they did not necessarily endorse the principles of the book. You can read an interview with Father Martin about his book on Religious News Service.

Alicia Clarke, a Texas transgender woman who injected other people with industrial-grade silicone, has been sentenced to ten years in prison. She pleaded guilty to involvement in the death of a woman she injected as well as practicing medicine without a license. Her partner, Denise Ross, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 60 years in prison. Both will serve their sentences at a men’s prison. Edge Media has this story.

If you have Amazon’s Echo device in your home and ask their digital assistant Alexa to do things for you, you can add listening to Alexa read the first five items from TGForum’s RSS feed to her to-do list. A developer has created an Amazon “skill” that you can find by searching for “This week from TG Forum” in the Amazon Alexa Skills and downloading it for free. Let us know what you think of this new way to get the news from TGF.

A trans woman in Texas is battling to retain custody of her 10-year-old son and her friends have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help her pay her attorney fees. You can read her story and if you decide to help out make a donation on the GoFundMe site.

Drag harness racing.

Finally a connection has been made between harness racing and drag queens. Why has no one though of this before? The Grand River Raceway in Elora, Canada kicked off its 2017 racing season with a Drag (Queen) Race. Drivers had drag queen passengers in their jog carts. The queens were past winners of the Miss Tri-Pride Pageant and the event raised money for Tri-Pride. Learn more in The Wellington Advertiser.


Two employees of the Central Library in Seattle tried to stop a transgender man from using the family restroom. A security guard told Ryan Alley that the family restroom is for families, not for individual use. When Alley asked to speak to a supervisor, the supervisor agreed with the security guard. A library official said that the library is working to find a solution. The library is getting a TWIT Award for their failure to accommodate Alley. The Stranger has this story.

Hazte Oir (“Make Yourself Heard”) has returned Spain’s anti-transgender bus to the streets, this time in Madrid. The last time that they had the bus on the streets, they were fined for violating laws against mobile advertising. They changed the wording a bit, hoping that doing so would avoid the problems that they had last time. There were several people gathered to shout slogans of protest against the bus. Since they seem to repeat their actions without learning, we will repeat our action of giving them a TWIT Award. El País has this story.

There are very few people who regret getting a sex change, but people who are extremely tied to the concept of the gender binary want desperately to make quite a bit out of the few who are around. Some people who regretted their gender changes tell their stories in a new documentary film, TranZformed: Finding Peace with Your God-Given Gender, which was produced by Pure Passion Media and Mastering Life Ministries, and is to be released on June 15. It has a total of three public showings scheduled so far, each of which is to be held in connection with some religious conference. It is also being released on DVD right away. For thinking that telling the stories of a tiny minority — and a group of people who at the least had unrealistic expectations — and pretending that they are telling the story of a whole lot of other people, the producers of this film get a TWIT Award. You can find out more about the film at LifeSiteNews, or you can find the producer’s page for the film here.

Jay Griffin Georgia, a transgender teenager, committed suicide in late May. The 13-year-old had transitioned to male, with the support of his family, but some inner demons obviously remained. His story came to the attention of LifeSiteNews, who ran a new article which claims that his parents are now “questioning” the wisdom of allowing him to transition. Given the source, it is easy to wonder how much they formed the facts to fit their predetermined view of the matter. The parents did indicate that Jay did have some unrealistic expectations of how smooth transition would be, and among those unrealistic expectations was the ability to avoid criticism from religious fanatics. So, who better to re-write his life story than a group of religious fanatics, who seem to complain that Jay’s mother still refers to her child as “Jay” and as a male. For presuming to know the person in this story better than his own mother does, Doug Mainwaring and LifeSiteNews get a TWIT Award. LifeSiteNews has this story.

Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling in favor of transgender student Ash Whitaker. This week, the Appleton Post-Crescent (which covers Ash Whitaker’s home town) ran an editorial from a crank named Ross Bielema under the headline, “One Person’s Mental Illness Is Not Newsworthy.” Sure enough, Mr. Bielema, a former reporter who now writes a column, sites Dr. Paul McHugh as his go-to expert, even though recent research has shown that Dr. McHugh’s assumptions were wrong. For failing to distinguish good information from drivel, and for inflicting a surprising amount of invective, Mr. Bielema gets a TWIT. His column can be found here.

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TWIT is compiled by Cecilia Barzyk and edited by Angela Gardner who supplies additional material.

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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.

Comments (2)

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  1. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    >brain MRI’s show our brains are constructed differently then folks who are considered normal.

    There is no credible scientific or medical science that indicates your brain is any different than a overweight redneck Texan. This is junk science, no different than those who deny the data on climate change. If you want to move transgenderism forward in society take up a career where you administer or read an MRI.

  2. j2emily j2emily says:

    Re: the article on Father Martin. Please note that the entire piece ignores the T in LBGT. I have attempted to find anyplace where the Catholic Church justifies their opposition to “T”. I. E.–where is the basis for the sin?
    And how are they going to wrestle with this in the future as brain MRI’s show our brains are constructed differently then folks who are considered normal. Would love to see the TG Forum pin down someone in the clergy on this

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