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The Week In Trans 8/16/21

| Aug 16, 2021
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This week’s TWIT column is shorter because thunderstorms knocked out Cecilia’s connection to the Internet. There will be more news next week.

Paula Neira

Paula M. Neira is a nurse at Johns Hopkins and before the pandemic she was the clinical program director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health. The fight against Covid-19 saw her redeployed to treat victims of the virus and all gender affirmation surgeries were canceled. Neira used the skills she learned in the Navy to become an important part of the hospital’s response to the pandemic. Learn more about her from the OPB website.

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. violated Illinois anti-bias law by denying a transgender woman employee access to the women’s restroom. The ruling by the appellate court marks a major development in LGBT employment rights. The story can be found on Media Matters.

A man in England who works at a Tesco store told his boss that he’d like to wear the women’s employee uniform instead of the one with trousers. With the support of management and his work mates Jeremy Jeffrey began wearing feminine attire full time. Get his story from The Daily Star.

A new show on Amazon called With Love will star Birdie Silverstein, the 12-year-old non-binary child of Busy Philipps, playing a non-binary character. has this story.

Yu Ishizuka

For his short film The Fish With One Sleeve, director Tsuyoshi Shoji wanted to cause a stir by casting a trans woman for a trans role so he recruited transgender actors to audition. Shoji’s final choice was fashion model Yu Ishizuka for the starring role. Learn more from The Asahi Shimbun.

A transgender woman was fatally shot at a homeless encampment in downtown Dallas. NBC Dallas has this story.

A “cross dresser” in Jamaica was trying to get to a friend’s funeral. She was attired in an off-the-shoulder red and black gown. Her presence on the streets as she tried to get a cab caused a crowd to gather. Some members of the crowd cheered her while others jeered her. She made it to the funeral with the help of some women from the crowd. Read the whole story in The Star.

Transgender people in New York City and their allies are calling for an end to violence against them, as hate crimes rise. This story comes from CBS New York.

Brayla Stone

A Sherwood, Arkansa man, Trevone Miller, has been convicted in the killing of Brayla Stone. He was convicted on first-degree murder and a firearm enhancement charge. He had been in a sexual relationship with his victim and killed her so she wouldn’t reveal that to anyone. He has been sentenced to fifty years in prison. The story is on the KARK TV website.

A teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia, quit her job during an emotion-filled speech, in protest of transgender-inclusive policies which the federal government and state government are requiring. Had the board not created transgender-inclusive policies, they would have been in a terrible position to defend against lawsuits from transgender students and their families. The Independent has this story.

Right-wing media figures on YouTube, including Ben Shapiro and Joe Rogan, are deadnaming and misgendering trans people and while YouTube has rules against such activity it does not have a policy which explicitly bans creators from intentionally misidentifying trans people. Alyssa Washington pointed out the story from Media Matters.

Jack Brennan’s new look.

Jack Brennan, a longtime behind the scenes presence in the world of sports cemented a celebrated legacy when he retired from his position as Cincinnati Bengals public relations director in 2016. Five years into retirement, Brennan has reportedly come out as a crossdresser. Get more from Outsports.

In Texas, Federal Judge Reed O’Connor has ruled that a group of Catholic doctors and hospitals do not have to provide gender-confirming procedures against their “deeply-held religious beliefs”. This decision seems to be quite popular with religious freedom advocates, who don’t seem to realize that the judge gave these doctors freedom that the law already said they have. While they cannot prevent the patient from receiving these procedures, no individual has to provide them personally. This story comes from National Catholic Register.

Medical News Today has a story about HIV risk among transgender women, and the importance of treating it early.

Meet Ryelynn Melton, a native American two-spirit teen at Nixya’awii Community School on the Umatilla Indian Reservation who was chosen to be the freshman prom princess on June 3. She’s a lot more than a pretty face. Learn more from the Union Bulletin.

Artist’s rendering of the ancient nonbinary person.

A 1000-year-old grave in Finland may have contained the remains of an ancient nonbinary person. They were a male-bodied person of some wealth or importance buried in traditionally feminine dress. That raises questions about the fluidity of gender in early medieval Finland. Get the whole story from The Washington Post.

Trans rocker Laura Jane Grace will be performing at Philadelphia’s Four Seasons. Not the hotel. She will be performing in the parking lot of Four Seasons Landscaping, the venue chosen by Rudy Giuliani for a press conference. Get the full story from Pink News. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for the link.

In Georgia the Athens-Clarke County Commission passed a new ordinance to ban discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and race. More info can be found at the Fox 5 website.

From the Unintended Consequences file: Five years ago the city council of Charlotte, North Carolina introduced a bill to assure equal rights to LGBTQ people in that city. That caused outrage on the right and resulted in the state legislature passing House Bill 2 (HB 2), known as the “bathroom bill”, which blocked Charlotte’s measure, barred trans people from public bathrooms, and prevented other towns in North Carolina from passing similar pro-trans legislation. Now the city has finally been able to pass its LGBTQ protections. Learn more from Pink News. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for the link.

Dana Coffman

As the pandemic caused many people to become isolated in lockdowns for some working from home provided an opportunity. Solitude provided the space for some to confront their gender issues and begin transition. One such woman is Dana Coffman. Keeping up a male facade was eating her soul. Find out how pandemic isolation helped her to come out. Her story is on the OPB website.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that the state’s ethnic intimidation statute extends to transgender individuals. Under the statute, a charge of ethnic intimidation can be levied if the victim was targeted because of their race, color, religion, gender or national origin. Get the story from Pride Source.


An article in Kentucky Today claims that being transgender goes against “objective truth.” Yet, objective truth says that transgender people do exist, and do feel this way. The article eventually uses the Bible to support its claims, pointing to the line “Male and female created He they” in Genesis as proof that sex is from God, when in fact the line means that the same God created both males and females. (This is meant to be inclusive, yet is twisted by this author to be exclusive.) Yet, such a literal form of Christianity is a faith, not a science based on objective truths. The article claims that there is no “objective” reason to allow Laurel Hubbard to compete in the women’s weightlifting competition. Yet, those arguing for transgender inclusion brought objective statistics to the conversation, while those arguing against inclusion bring only insistence that it can’t be done. (This author insists, “Any rational person can acknowledge that it is generally unfair to ask biological females to compete against biological males in physical athletic competition.”) For arguing for “objective reality” from a position which does not actually depend on objective reality, the author of this article gets a TWIT Award.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has sided with Governor Greg Abbott, defining some gender confirmation surgeries for transgender children as “child abuse.” These surgeries are not common on minors, and the few U.S. surgeons who perform these procedures on minors do so on 17-year-olds, patients who are a year away from leaving the state of being a minor. While the letter is vague (it says that reports of surgeries on the list “will be promptly and thoroughly investigated and any appropriate actions will be taken,” without defining what the “appropriate actions” might be), this is worrisome. Moreover, it is the opposite of what a “small, unobtrusive government” should be doing. For government overreach, and for not trusting medical science as much as powerful bureaucrats, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services gets a TWIT Award. Click 2 Houston has the story from the Texas Tribune.

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


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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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