The Week In Trans 9/23/19

| Sep 23, 2019
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Gebby Vesta

Gebby Vesta is an Indonesian Dangdut singer and DJ. She had decided to go through sexual reassignment surgery six years ago before she became a star. There is a lot of prejudice in her country against trans people so she kept her nature secret till recently when she came out in an emotional video. Read more and see the video in The Jakarta Post.

Leslie Ann Manning, who sued the state of New York for “deliberate indifference” toward transgender prisoners, died of cancer days before she was to be released. She had been serving a 30-year sentence for shooting at a police car. This story comes from The AP via Yahoo News.

Dr. Penny Whetton, a well-known climate scientist, has died. Her wife, Janet Rice, a senator in Australia, said that she died unexpectedly but peacefully. Pink News says that she was the lead author on three United Nations reports on climate change.

The Pennsylvania support group TransCentralPA, producers of the Keystone Conference, are organizing a Trans Visibility March in the state capital on September 28. For more information and to register for the march visit their website.

More and more universities are adopting chosen name and preferred pronoun policies, an act that’s inclusive of transgender and nonbinary students. Learn more from Inside Higher Ed. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the tip.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson made some upsetting comments about transgender people, referring to “big, hairy men” trying to be in women’s places at shelters for the homeless. Staffers who were present were shaken by the remarks, according to LGBTQ Nation.

Danica Roem is up for re-election this year, and Michael Keegan, the president of People for the American Way, calls it “the most important election this year.” His piece appears in The Advocate.

Jennifer Williams

A trans woman named Jennifer Williams is running for New Jersey State Assembly for District 15 on the Republican ticket. Williams is the sole Republican seeking office this fall on the District 15 ballot. The candidate is discussing issues ranging from making substance abuse treatment more available, ensuring balanced affordable housing, and tackling New Jersey’s high cost of living. Read more on the Out In Jersey website.

Evan Minton has sued Dignity Health, a chain of hospitals, because one of their hospitals refused to perform a hysterectomy on him. They do perform that service for some patients, and the Affordable Care Act does say that they cannot deny a transgender patient a service that they perform for other patients. The Los Angeles Times reports that a federal judge ruled this week that the case could go forward.

The Mirror reports on some problems experienced by patients in British hospitals. The problem cited in the headline is about a transgender female patient who had knee surgery and was placed in a male ward after surgery.

Most of us know of the high cost of being transgender. A new study has tried to put some numbers on it. Psychology Today has an article about the study, which can be found at Psychology And Sexuality, where it is behind a pay wall. (The abstract is available for free.)

Superbia Credit Union has received permission to create a new credit union specifically for LGBT customers. The first-of-its-kind financial institution will specialize in loans for transgender people to fund their transition, according to Bloomberg News.

Ja’eyah Berryman was found shot to death in Kansas City. She was a black trans woman. She was the second black trans woman to be murdered in the Kansas City area this year. KSHB misgendered her in death.

The body of a transgender woman named Bubba Walker was found in a burnt house in Charlotte. Ms. Walker had been reported as missing in June. Police are investigating whether the house fire was arson, and have re-opened the missing person investigation as possible homicide. You can read about this in The Charlotte Observer.

New York City Police found a corpse in an apartment building, which may be that of a transgender woman. It is unclear if the police discovered evidence of the deceased’s gender identity, beyond a statement from one person they questioned. Gay City News has this story.

Atlas Marshal

A transgender woman and two of her friends were beaten because she is transgender. This is the second such incident this month in Portland, Oregon. Atlas Marshall’s story can be found at CNN. LGBTQ Nation reports that one of Ms. Marshall’s friends who was injured is also transgender. KGW-TV reports that Lincoln County Clergy held a rally to support Ms. Jackson.

ABC News has the story of Tracy Williams, who was stabbed to death in what appears to be a domestic quarrel in Houston. Her body was in the morgue for ten days before friends identified her.

The dead body of transgender woman Jessa Remiendo was discovered on a beach in Bolinao in the Philippines. ANS-CBN has this story.

A change of genders can result in some curious stares from co-workers, but eventually, acceptance is possible. This story comes from The Charlotte Observer, via the Seattle Times.

Working while non-binary can be difficult, as The Huffington Post found out.

Sex workers are subject to criticism and many risks. The Washington Post reports on some transgender sex workers who look out for other transgender sex workers. Thanks to Ms. Bob for also pointing it out.

Sometimes, the little things are hard for transgender people. A transgender man was denied the rental of a U-Haul, because the company would not accept his driver’s license. He plans to apply for a new license, with his current gender, according to Fox4 Kansas City.

Maeve DuAlly

How does one go about changing genders at work? According to Maeve DuVally, at Goldman Sachs, you talk to HR, pick a date, and flip a switch on that date. CNBC has this story.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has added a new definition of “they” as a singular pronoun. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

It shouldn’t be necessary to tell parents of “7 Ways To Love Your Transgender Children,” especially since many of those seven ways are fairly obvious. Nonetheless, Dr. Mark Leondires wrote such an article for Thrive Global.

Mack Beggs is the subject of a new documentary on ESPN 30 for 30. The documentary tells how, as a high school student, he won the Texas state girls’ wrestling championship in his weight class. ESPNW has this story.

Remember Milo Yiannopoulos? He recently reserved a space at a furry convention in Chicago, but because of his reputation, many people objected to his presence. The promoters eventually rescinded his reservation. This was noticed by LGBTQ Nation.

Transgender models are a thing, and some have even become associated with a particular brand. The BBC took a look at this, from its humble beginnings in the 1960s to its ubiquity today.

Carmen Carrera is the headline speaker at the Houston Transgender Unity Banquet, assuming it can be held with all the rain there, and assuming she can get to Houston. Out Smart has this announcement.

Trace Lysette

Trace Lysette says that she is “still figuring out where I fit in this world.” She is the latest person to appear on LGBTQ&A podcast.

Charlize Theron shared a picture of her transgender daughter Jackson, and Bravo republished it.

The careers of three transgender opera singers are discussed in San Francisco Classical Voice.

The Office for National Statistics has said that it will allow four local authorities in England and Wales to ask people about their gender identity and sexual orientation on the next census. The request for voluntary information is described as a “rehearsal” for the questions to become nationwide. Pink News has this story.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Britain has released new guidelines on how to treat transgender pupils, and of course some people are complaining about the guidelines, accusing them of “ignoring the rights of girls.” As expected, much of the print media, including The Times, ignores the rights of transgender students and instead focuses on girls, who are not really in danger, but these critics will never believe that. This story comes from Yahoo Lifestyle UK.

Lou Sullivan is thought to be the first gay trans man to be diagnosed with AIDS. Selections of his diary were published, eighteen years after his death. Pink News has this story. Thanks to Ms. Bob Davis for pointing out an article on Sullivan in The New Yorker.

The newspaper of the University of Tennessee School of Journalism has a story about a transgender rights group in Prague.

Brazil continues to be the most deadly country for transgender people, and The Washington Blade reports that transgender people there fear for their lives.

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner attended the roast of Alec Baldwin. Entertainment Weekly has a round-up of some of the jokes from that event.

In an email regarding his comments about transgender people, HUD Secretary Ben Carson denied that he made “hateful statements toward the transgender population,” and yet within that email he also defended the statements that he made. Muri Assuncão of the New York Daily News gives us this story.

At a LGBTQ forum for presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren responded to a question about what she would do as president in regard to LGBTQ issues by reading a list of the names of transgender people who were murdered this year. It’s not clear what any president can do about violence against transgender people, since murder tends to be a matter for local law enforcement but having a president who is willing to say the names of murdered trans women would be an improvement. This story comes from ABC News.

Transgender people exposed to conversion therapy to change their gender identities, particularly as children, are at a greater risk of psychological distress than transgender people who were not treated with conversion therapy, a new study shows. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the story tip.

Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University in Sendai, Japan, will accept transgender women as students. This is a first for Japan, according to Japan Times.

Luna Schofield

Luna Schofield identified as a girl at age three. Five years later, her mother still has to defend her decision to let her daughter transition. The Sun has this story.

A group of Irish transgender people and allies held a rally to call attention to healthcare issues. They met outside the country’s legislature, the Dàil. This was covered by

Student loans tend to be a problem for many people, but there can be extra complications for transgender people, as Forbes explains.

Pink News has an excerpt from Taveis Alabanza’s diary, a passage in which he makes some resolutions which other transgender people might want to adopt.

Despite difficulties for transgender people these days, Riki Wilchins sees a few events coinciding which could lead to better times. She writes in The Advocate.

Jennifer Finney Boylan writes about the significance of the pickle, at least as a symbol for transgender people, in her latest piece for The New York Times. She finds that pickles are fine, but there are other things she wants more, such as justice and an end to violence against transgender people.

Vic Parsons of Pink News noting Ms. Boylan’s piece, adds that there are problems for transgender people in Britain as well, and explains that other transgender symbol: the lobster emoji.


Douglas Murray wrote a piece for The Telegraph that is long on words but short on thought. He attempts to tell us how transgender and gender binary are made up, but he ends up with little reasoning beside the fact that it is “common sense.” It certainly is common sense to learn the point of view that you are arguing against, and to attack its strongest points. He certainly did not do that, substituting rambling insults for argument. For providing nothing to the debate, Douglas Murray gets a TWIT Award. While the article at The Telegraph requires a subscription, you can read about it at The Daily Mail.

Dr. Paul McHugh, who was a professor of psychiatry before becoming an administrator as a department head in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, made another over-the-top negative reference to transgender people. He said of the current method of treating transgender patients, especially children, “It is comparable to doing frontal lobotomies.” And yet, the current medical practice results in less anxiety, markedly less depression, and far fewer suicides. Which of those clinical results are bad, doctor? Perhaps what he meant was that it is a psycho-medical fad which will pass. Perhaps it is, but more likely, the future practice will look more like the present than it will resemble what Dr. McHugh recommended. Nonetheless, Church Militant, CBN News, American Thinker, and The College Fix are among the websites which play his remarks as accurate and astute, rather than hyperbole. They also overplay his credentials as a psychiatrist. For not even mentioning why the field no longer generally agrees with Dr. McHugh, these sites share a TWIT Award.

Derick Dillard is back at it, making comments about transgender being “unnatural” and gender being solid, not fluid. Out Magazine reported this story. We hand him another TWIT Award.

An anonymous writer at The Federalist wrote an article entitled “7 Things I’ve Learned Since My Child Identified As Transgender.” None of these seem much like the “7 Ways To Love Your Transgender Child” that were cited above. Even the loving advice to “take it slow” is lost on the “just say no” approach of this parent. For taking such an unloving and unreasonable approach, this anonymous parent gets a TWIT.

Last week, we told you of a transgender barista who was fired for telling a customer to leave and not come back. The Washington Examiner tells us that “liberal media” stories are glossing over the way in which this employee “harassed” the customer, despite the fact that the stories mention how the employee was fired for this incident. Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner never bothers to examine one point here: how did this employee know that the customer was a conservative? It seems the most likely answer is that the customer made her political views known, likely by saying something nasty about transgender people. That is protected as “free speech,” but to respond is not? For complaining about “transgender privilege” while in fact showing that such a thing does not exist, the Washington Examiner gets a TWIT Award.

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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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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