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The Week In Trans 7/17/17

| Jul 17, 2017
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Sean and Shawna

Sean Dorsey and Shawna Virago are a transgender couple who also collaborate professionally. Ms. Virago is a rocker, while Mr. Dorsey is a dancer and choreographer. They have also worked with others, including other trans people. They are profiled in the Advocate.

Representative Vicki Hartzler (R-Missouri) put forth an amendment to a military spending bill that would have banned the branches of the armed services from providing health care for transgender treatments. The bill advanced to the floor of the House of Representatives with the support of the Speaker of the House, but it was defeated by five votes in the full body. Think Progress has this story.

As the U.S. Senate debates how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, one of the biggest debates revolves around the Medicaid program. Some would like to eliminate it altogether, while others will settle for just reducing the number of recipients and eliminating some of the things that the program pays for. One thing that a lot of Senators want to eliminate is health care for transgender people. While the private sector has found that such health care is actually less costly than letting transgender issues go untreated, some people see transgender health care as a luxury that the U.S. cannot afford. An A.P. story about the issue can be found in the Beloit Daily News.

When the state legislature of Massachusetts debated a bill that would extend civil rights protections to transgender people, Representative Sheila Harrington was one of the fiercest opponents of the measure. Six years later, she is involved in the fight to defend that same measure from an attempt to undo it via ballot initiative. She shares the reasons for her change of opinion in an editorial for the Sentinel and Enterprise.

The trans woman in the case, Carlotta Sklodowska.

Apparently Yvette Cormier is one of those people who can’t accept when she has lost a court case. Cormier is the woman who in 2015 complained about having to share a locker room at Planet Fitness with a trans woman. When she made a big fuss the gym sided with the trans woman and canceled Cormier’s membership. (It’s only $9.99 a month.) She sued and lost the case in 2016, lost on appeal this year, but is so worked up about it that she told her attorney to take it to the state supreme court. No word on when, or if the court will hear the case. Learn more on the M Live website

The Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017 has been introduced into a committee of the House of Representatives. It contains the following sentence: “No federal civil rights law shall be interpreted to treat gender identity or transgender status as a protected class, unless it expressly designates “gender identity” or “transgender status” as a protected class.” It has been introduced by Pete Olson, and has four co-sponsors. Edge Media has the AP’s story.

When she agreed to rescind the Department of Education’s guidelines on transgender students, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said that such matters are better handled at the state and school district level. Now, however, she is asking Congress to clarify Title IX. This seems to mean that she will implement whatever Congress tells her to do. However, it also means that she feels quite confident that Congress would not go in the direction of being accepting of transgender students. (Besides, if they did go that way, President Trump would simply veto the legislation.) It is up to the leaders in Congress if they want to spend their time and political capital on clarifying Title IX. This story can be found in the Weekly Standard.

Caitlyn Jenner

It seems that everybody is doing it. Running for the Senate, that is. First Oprah and The Rock were considering it and then we heard that Kid Rock was throwing his hat into the ring. Now Caitlyn Jenner has told the press that she is considering a run for Diane Feinstein’s seat in 2018. Do you have to be a celerity to get elected in the 21st century? Read more about Caitlyn’s Senate bid in The Sacramento Bee.

There is a lot of misinformation floating around about transgender people, and about transgender students in particular. Among those myths are the idea that transgender people are trying to trick others and the idea that transgender people are mentally ill. Education Week debunks these myths.

The transgender student in District 211 of Illinois has graduated, but the Alliance Defending Freedom is continuing its lawsuit against the district on behalf of parents, still bellyaching about the fact that the district obeyed a court order regarding the transgender student. They have, however, dropped the Department of Education and the Department of Justice from their lawsuit, saying that they “have received the relief we sought” from those agencies. This story can be found in The Daily Signal has this story.

Monica Paige DePaul

Although the next election is roughly sixteen months away, Monica DePaul has launched a bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is an adjunct professor of English who got involved in politics when she worked on the campaign for a nondiscrimination act in Jacksonville, Florida, that included sexual orientation and gender identity. As a sideline, this transgender woman writes vampire novels. So, naturally, CBS 47 Jacksonville had to play up the vampire novel angle.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom, and in it, he said that his Justice Department would promote “religious freedom.” Does that “religious freedom” also allow Muslim doctors to refuse to treat patients who their religion tells them not to treat? You can read more about the speech at LGBTQ Nation.

NHS England has opened a 12-week public consultation period for proposals which would make it easier for non-binary people to receive specialist gender identity services. This could lead to a legal recognition of non-binary gender. Gay Star News has this story.

Transport for London has begun the process of replacing their prerecorded announcements, with the goal of making the announcements more gender-neutral. Instead of calling passengers on the Underground “ladies and gentlemen,” they will now be addressed as “everyone.” It will take a little while to create and roll out the new announcements in all stations and on all trains, but the program has begun. This story can be found in Gay Star News.

Eddie Izzard

Being a crossdresser is no picnic. The big need for the majority of crossdressers is to not let anyone know that they are interested in wearing women’s clothes. To keep the knowledge from people many crossdressers will go to absurd lengths. One such person was the 16-year-old Eddie Izzard. He had a chance to do the thing that he loved most in the world — dress up and perform in a skit at his school. But his brain couldn’t handle the idea of being in front of an audience in a dress. So he got psychosomatically ill and couldn’t perform. Read about it the comedy website Chortle.

That bus with the anti-transgender messages was in Chile this week, where it me with more protests. Police report making 35 arrests in connection with fights in the area where that bus was. The Washington Blade has this story.

You may remember the story of a transgender woman who came to the emergency room bleeding heavily after being castrated at home by a non-professional. The person who performed the operation agreed to a plea deal this week. He pleaded guilty to practicing medicine without a license, while felony assault charges were dropped. WLS-TV in Chicago has this story.


A transgender woman who works for the city of Detroit has the support of her bosses, right up to Mayor Michael Duggan, but she keeps running into some hostility from co-workers. Some leave notes for her, and one scratched the word “Mr.” on the nameplate on her office. Whoever is doing this gets a TWIT Award. WXYZ-TV did a report on the incident.

Alex Jones is known for long-winded rants that introduce all sorts of things that people never knew before. This week, he went on a rant about transgender people. He says that a transgender person is “a gay guy and wants to go pick up more guys,” and he says he is fine with that. Oddly, he was talking about a trans man, yet his rant makes no mention of the possibility of trans men. He did, however, say, “It’s not that I hate mentally ill people,” implying that transgender people are mentally ill. The American Psychological Society and other peer groups for mental health do not feel that being transgender is a sign of mental illness, but feeling that you know the field better than professionals is a sign of delusions of grandeur, which is a mental health issue. A transcript of his TWIT Award-winning rant can be found at Media Matters for America.

It is getting tiresome to give Walt Heyer another TWIT, but fools like the editors at The Federalist keep publishing what he writes without fact-checking. The title of his latest article is, “Doctors Admit They Don’t Know Which Kids Should Gender Transition But Do It To Them Anyway.” First off, the doctors who “admit” that they don’t know which children will “desist” in their gender transitions are doctors who do not follow the latest writing on the subject. Those doctors are following Dr. Paul McHugh, but if they follow him, then they refuse to treat any teenagers. So, the doctors who “admit” that they don’t know which children will “desist” in their gender identities are not the same doctors who are treating transgender children. Then, we get into matters such as the high rates of suicide (which are very significantly higher among those whose gender identity issues are not treated than among those who receive treatment) and the “permanent effects” of hormones (they would get puberty blockers first, and any who do feel that they are making a mistake could de-transition before getting hormones). For continually spreading lies, Walt gets another TWIT Award. You can find his latest piece in here.

Fame is a fickle mistress. Many people have forgotten the actor James Woods, until he suddenly tweeted a picture of a ten-year-old with his parents who support his “gender-creativity,” to which he commented, “This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you’ve done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage”. Certain grammatical points are debatable, but the psychological and psychiatric professions have found that children whose parents accept their gender identities (however standard or creative those identities may be) are actually better-adjusted than those whose parents reject their gender identities. For getting the facts so spectacularly wrong, James Woods gets a TWIT. You can read an interview with the parents in the photo on World Of Wonder.

Of all the ill informed Republican representatives the one who wins the TWIT Award this week is Rep. Steve King. King is that guy who claimed “illegal” immigrants had calves the size of cantaloupes from hauling heavy loads of drugs through the desert. Last week he put his two cents into the debate on providing medical treatment for trans soldiers by comparing trans troops to castrated slaves from the Ottoman Empire. We’re amazed he doesn’t think an Ottoman is just a footrest. Read more about his statements on the KCCI TV website.

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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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