The Week In Trans 8/20/18

| Aug 20, 2018
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Christine Halquist

Christine Hallquist won the primary to become the Democratic nominee for Governor of Vermont. The former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative beat three other candidates, including a 14-year-old boy. She will face incumbent Republican Governor Phil Scott in November. The Washington Post ran a story about her campaign, while the New York Times ran an interview with her.

Barring a very surprising turn of events, Adam Spickler will become the first trans man elected in California. He filed for an open seat on the Cabrillo Community College Board of Trustees, and  was the only person to file, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

In one of the cases on the ban on transgender people in the military, Magistrate David Copperthite has demanded that the government turn over information that was used to decide to create the new policy. However, for the moment, that does not apply to President Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis, or the Secretaries of the various branches of the armed forces, since the magistrate is waiting on Judge Marvin J. Garbis to decide a motion to dismiss those people as defendants. The magistrate has ruled that the White House cannot use a blanket claim of “executive privilege” to hide the requested documents from the discovery process. Art Leonard has commentary.

A transgender student in Oklahoma was unable to use the staff lavatory, so she used the girls’ rest room. News of this got out, and parents in her small town made a huge deal about it. Soon, others who did not have a child in the school started to join the discussion. The talk got so heavy, including threats, that police urged school officials to close the school for a few days. Think Progress covered this incident. Pink News reports that supporters of the transgender student held a silent protest outside the school building. Police expected counter protestors, but none showed up.

Drag queen makeup.

Many crossdressers give up dressing for the summer months. Many say it’s just too hot and humid to wear a wig and your makeup keeps sliding off your face. Never fear. There are people who have perfected ways to keep your face in place in the hottest, dampest weather. They get up on stage and perform under hot lights. They’re drag queens, of course. Learn how to weather proof your paint from Refinery29.

Court decisions often have effects on other cases, involving other people. Such is the case in Florida, where the recent court victory of one transgender student prompted another school district to settle a suit that was brought by a different transgender student. This story comes from the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

In Utah, some conservative state legislators want to impose an age limit on changing legal genders. The current bill proposes a minimum age of 18, but sponsors say that they are willing to take it down to 15. Meanwhile, parents of transgender children oppose this legislation. The Daily Herald has this story.

Casey Hoke, a Point Foundation scholar and board member of the Gay and Lesbian Student Education Network who delivered a TEDx talk, has died at the age of 21. The Advocate has a retrospective of his life.

Gregor Murray, who is a member of the City Council Dundee in Scotland, has announced that he will drop a couple of the committee jobs he does (convenor of the Children and Families Service Committee and spokesperson for Equal Opportunities), although he will keep his seat on the Council. He is the only transgender elected official in Scotland, and the publicity is getting to him a bit. Pink News notes that other transgender activists in Britain have also received negative comments.

Germany has created a “third gender” option for birth certificates, allowing a woman who has one X chromosome and no second sex chromosome to list her gender as “diverse.” This is actually the fourth permitted designation, as Germany allows the gender on a birth certificate to be left blank. ABC News has this story.

Jack Phillips, the owner and operator of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, has been charged yet again with turning down a request due to his religious beliefs. On the day that the Supreme Court agreed to examine his case, Phillips turned down a request to make a special cake for a gender transition. The state of Colorado has said that there is probable cause that he violated the law in turning down that request, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in his previous case. It should be noted that finding probable cause only allows the case to go forward; it is not a final decision against Jack Phillips. This story appears in the Washington Post. You can also find the Alliance Defending Freedom’s press release here.

A new study presented at the convention of the Pediatric Academic Societies shows that only 5% of transgender youth surveyed were willing to delay the start of HRT in order to save sperm or eggs. Additionally, the study notes that only 33% of parents were interested in preserving fertility at the cost of delaying HRT. The results are less surprising when you realize that the transgender youth who were surveyed were already on HRT. These were most likely to be the transgender youth who just could not wait to start HRT, and they were unlikely to delay it for much of any reason. This story comes from LGBTQ Nation.

Every week it seems another young drag queen is revealed by the media. They keep getting younger. Last week it was an 11-year-old. This week it’s a 9-year-old. If this keeps up we’ll be seeing drag queens in their terrible twos on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The latest mini queen is Miss Mae Hem. Learn her origin story from The Blade.

Another study showed that cisgender people are less likely to be attracted to people who say that they are transgender. The study used fake dating profiles, and randomly assigned a transgender or non-binary gender designation to some of the profiles. Gay Star News has the result.

Following last week’s incident in which Lenore Herrem was publicly outed as transgender while trying to board a plane in Calgary, the Toronto Star ran a longer article about how difficult it can be for transgender people to travel.

The Australian Football League has put forward a proposal to allow transgender women to play in the AFLW so long as their blood testosterone level is no more than 5 nanomoles per liter for 24 months. As Western Australia Today points out, this is the same level that is used by the IAAF, although the length of time at that level is different. Meanwhile, The Guardian had an article by Emily Rowe, in which she pointed out that football players are often being told to be strong, but when playing against females, she was told, “Stop being so strong.”

While there is still debate going on about whether or not transgender characters should be played by transgender performers, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ran a story about the transgender characters found in the media, saying that they are often either murderers or mentally ill. Why is this not in the TWIT Award section?

Kate Bornstein

A heckler shouted out, “You’re not welcome here,” when Kate Bornstein entered at the Broadway show, Straight White Men. Armie Hammer, the star of the show, tweeted, “To the woman in our audience who felt it was appropriate to yell, “You’re not welcome here!” at Kate Bornstein, our beloved friend, co-worker, and now family member. . . feel free never to come back.” This story appeared in the Advocate.

Here’s a nice story. Drag queen BenDeLaCreme cancelled several shows on her tour of Australia in solidarity with some other drag queens who are owed for the last time they performed in that country. Into More is the source for this story.

Dr. Quentin Van Meter, who is now the president of the socially conservative American College of Pediatricians, was refused an opportunity to speak at the University of Western Australia after 6,000 people signed a petition urging the university to cancel his speech. This story comes to us from Pink News.

A group of Christians in the Philippines attended a Pride parade, not as protestors, but as allies. They held signs apologizing for the way that other Christians have treated LGBT people. This story comes from CNN.

A lengthy article from Pro Publica took several police departments to task for their habit of referring to transgender murder victims by their legal names rather than by the names that they used in everyday life. The article points out that doing so hinders their own investigation, because the public do not know the victim by the name that appears in the news reports. They particularly fault the Jacksonville Police Department for doing this as it investigates the murders of multiple transgender people. The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville’s newspaper, carried this story.


Okay. Earlier in the column we told you about the 9-year-old drag queen and wondered where it would end. Now we introduce you to the 8-year-old drag queen, Francesca. Fabian Butler loves transforming himself into his drag alter ego, and started wearing dresses and makeup after being inspired by Ru Paul’s Drag Race, (a common factor in all these young queens) telling his mother “I want to be like that.” Learn more from Metro U.K.

The Washington Post carried a long story about deadnaming, which includes thoughts on the subject from Laverne Cox. The Post also talked of deadnaming in a story about the lawsuit against Judge Joseph Kirby of Warren County, Ohio, who denied a name change to at least two transgender teenagers.


Tucker Carlson and his guest, Chadwick Moore, claimed that Christine Hallquist only won the primary for Governor in Vermont because she is transgender. They claim that she had “transgender privilege,” and that no one knew anything about her other than the fact that she is transgender. In fact, she says her gender identity rarely came up on the campaign trail, and she never brought it up. The fact that Tucker Carlson and his guest did not know anything about her platform says more about them than it does about her campaign. For using their own ignorance to denounce a candidate, and for taking a swipe at her by dwelling on her gender identity when she does not, Tucker Carlson and Chadwick Moore get a TWIT Award. A transcript of their conversation can be found at Media Matters for America.

After Christine Hallquist won the nomination for the governor’s race we were looking at social media and someone posted a story about her that included a photo. Right away comments were made saying she “needed a better wig” and that she “looked like a man.” A TWIT Award goes to those who  judged her on her looks and not on the substance of her character.

When Morgane Oger ran for a seat in British Columbia’s provincial legislature, Christian activist William Whatcott was charged with violating the province’s Human Rights Code when he distributed fliers which said, “The truth is there are only two genders, male and female and they are God given and unchangeable.” (A grammar teacher would get out a red pen to correct that sentence.) As his case comes before a tribunal, Mr. Whatcott has asked one member of the Tribunal, Diane Cousineau, to recuse herself due to her bias. As evidence of that bias, he points out that Ms. Cousineau used female pronouns when she referred to Ms. Oger. He is attempting to argue that, since the Bible only mentions male and female people, transgender people do not exist, and therefore, this law that protects transgender people actually applies to an empty set. But, the law that he is charged with violating defines transgender people in such a way that some actual people do qualify as transgender. For attempting to rewrite the law that he is charged with violating, William Whatcott gets a TWIT. has this story.

Why has there been a communication breakdown between the left and the right in the USA? Here’s one example of how the sides live in different realities that make it very hard to talk about issues. A column titled  “The War On Traditional Gender Identity” was published August 10 on the Townhall website. The author likens the activism on the left by organizations such as GLAAD to promote the casting of transgender people in films and television as “leftist fascism.” The article goes on to attack “political correctness” and asserts that Christians “will be ostracized by media outlets based on their faith.” The authors, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, get a TWIT Award to share for twisting a positive message of inclusion into fascism.

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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  1. Falecia0 Falecia0 says:

    About Jack Phillips, I read a lot & I’m not so sure this guy should be treated like a bigot. In the first case, I believe he had a friendly relationship with the couple. In this TG case, it kind of looks like he was set up. Over the years, I have grown to understand and appreciate the interpersonal advantages of my gender fluidity. In that, I love many people with all sorts of gender variables and/or choices of “loved-ones.” But . . . I also respect those who struggle with the issues when they do not treat others badly. If I close out everybody who struggles with my preferences but wants to be my friend, aren’t I the bigot?

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