The Week In Trans 9/18/17

| Sep 18, 2017
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RuPaul’s Drag Con happened last week in New York City and it was another massive gathering of drag fans. While one would expect that there would be many people in their 30s and 40s attending the event the most notable thing is that there were a lot of 20-somethings — and even younger people there. Many under 18. Learn more about the event on the Fast Company website.

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced their amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act this week. It would delay implementation of a ban on transgender people in the military until the Secretary of Defense and his task force have completed their study and reported their findings to Congress, would prohibit dismissing people for being transgender until the study was complete, and would express the sentiment of the Senate that all who want to serve in the military and who meet the physical requirement ought to be able to serve. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said that he supported the sentiment of the amendment. The White House quickly responded by having a spokesperson for the National Security Council remind the press that, “The president signed an EO [executive order] tasking [the Department of Defense] with implementation.” Senator Mitch McConnell noted that the amendment did not have unanimous consent, and he was unwilling to file cloture, which would force a vote on the amendment. So, the amendment is effectively blocked. Since the defense authorization bill is moving fairly quickly, it is unlikely that the amendment will be unblocked. The Washington Blade has more on this.

As the National Defense Authorization Act moves quickly through the Senate, Senator John McCain is introducing a new stand-alone bill to express the Senate’s opposition to the ban on transgender military service. While the bill is likely to be blocked just as the amendment was, it can wait until it gets enough support to get a vote. This story is in the Washington Blade as well.

Rachel Irwin

A woman working as a late night custodian at the Denver Veteran’s Medical Center showed a photo of herself dressed in pajamas to a co-worker. She was reprimanded for “inappropriate conduct and unwelcomed comments, containing sexual overtures, toward a coworker,” That was in March of 2017. In August she was fired. Do you think that fact that she was a trans woman had anything to do with the firing? Rachel Irwin does and she has contested her termination. She has over 20 letters from co-workers praising her work ethic at the hospital. Get the details from the Westword website.

While the Department of Defense is not yet dismissing people for being transgender, it has cancelled some medical appointments for personnel and otherwise disrupted the lives of transgender troops, reports Buzzfeed News.

Among the reasons cited for dismissing transgender people from the military is the idea that transgender people in the military are at substantially greater risk of suicide. In the latest in a series of articles looking at aspects of the ban on military service by transgender people, The Washington Post finds that it’s not easy to get hard data on how likely transgender people in the military are to attempt or commit suicide, nor is it easy to get that data for people in the military in general.

Chelsea Manning

The Kennedy School of Government has rescinded an offer of a visiting fellowship given to Chelsea Manning, two days after the offer was announced. The dean of the school, Douglas W. Elmendorf, wrote a 700-word statement calling the offer “a mistake.” This comes after former CIA director Mike Pompeo and others criticized the offer. The Washington Post has more. Jamie Roberts told us about this story in Inside Higher Education.

While Gavin Grimm has begun his college career, friends and family have created a GoFundMe campaign to pay for things such as textbooks, travel, and other expenses not usually covered in tuition or room and board. If you would like to contribute, you can find the campaign here. The Daily Press has a story on the campaign.

Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Detroit Red Wings, opened this week with a series of concerts by Kid Rock. At each concert, he is introduced as, “the next Senator from the great state of Michigan,” despite the fact that he has yet to file any paperwork and despite the fact that he would have to run against a rather popular incumbent, Debbie Stabenow. Also complicating his bid is the fact that state law would require him to use his legal name, Robert Ritchie, on the ballot, which would be a blow to his supposed “name recognition.” He rapped, “And no, you don’t get to choose, because whatever you have between your legs should determine the bathroom that you use.” Pink News has more on this story.

Anita Green

Last week we told you that an openly trans woman was competing in the Miss Montana USA pageant. Her name is Anita Green and she is not only a beauty pageant contestant but last year she was the first openly trans Montanan to be a national delegate to a nominating convention. Learn more about her today in an article she wrote for the Self website.

Anthony Torres, a transgender D.J. who was also called “Bubbles,” was shot and killed in San Francisco. Police are investigating this as a hate crime. The site of the incident became a memorial to the victim. NBC San Francisco covered this story.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has announced that transgender people who are currently in the U.S. military may re-enlist while the Department of Defense decides how to handle the announced ban. Those who re-enlist risk the possibility of a dishonorable discharge for being transgender, but the ban may never fully go into effect. This move takes away some of the immediacy of the ban, which makes it slightly easier to argue that it is too early to be suing. The AP’s story can be found at Edge Media.

This week saw what appear to be dueling commentaries. Susie Green, the mother of a transgender daughter and now the CEO of a charity for transgender children called Mermaids, wrote a piece about how important it is for transgender children to have family support, especially so when those children have thoughts of suicide. Jo Bartosch, on the other hand, wrote of a youngster who transitioned to male for a couple of years before transitioning back, figuring out that she was really a lesbian with some stereotypically-masculine qualities, but still a female. Ms. Bartosch talks about how it seems to be taboo to question anyone’s gender self-identity, and yes, that can be tricky. While acceptance is very important, it must come with knowledge that the person is aware of what he or she is saying. Susie Green’s article is on the Huffington Post, while Jo Bartosch’s article is in The Independent.

Danica Roem

The race for a seat in the Virginia General Assembly between the incumbent Republican and the transgender woman candidate running as a Democrat is heating up. After saying that Danica Roem’s campaign called him “Bigot Bob” Del. Bob Marshal has refused to debate Roem. He also has ramped up the anti-trans rhetoric by referring to Roem as “he” and saying that since her DNA was not changed she is still a man. For more on the story visit the Prince William Times website.

Camp Rainbow, on the shore of Lake Huron in Ontario, is a place where LGBT teens and pre-teens can gather together. Just being in an environment with other LGBT teens and preteens can be a very different experience for them. This year, the majority of the campers were transgender teens and preteens. Among their activities, they dug graves to bury their former identities, and they got make-up tips from a drag queen from Toronto. This story was covered by the CBC.

Hayley Anthony, 30-year-old transgender woman who works as a marketing consultant, showed her surgeon a journal article about the possibility of using some tissue from the peritoneum as a part of forming a neovagina. The doctor read the article, thought about using such tissue, and started to incorporate it in surgery. Now, Hayley Anthony has had her own gender confirmation surgery, and it incorporated the idea she pointed out to her doctor. Wired has this story.

Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard did an interview with The Guardian this week, and in it, he said that he would be running for Parliament in the next general election. He is also currently trying to create a show in French and one in German, to be followed by one in Arabic, then one in Mandarin. He appears in the upcoming film Victoria And Abdul. The interview can be found here.

We have all heard stories of transgender people having trouble with the TSA. Those troubles are not limited to the United States. Nor are they limited to transgender people, as the story of Jamie Liang, a gay male who tries for a gender-neutral presentation, shows. The Guardian has this story.

British television network ITV has announced a new three-part drama, called Butterfly, about “a schoolboy who identifies as a girl.” Anna Friel has been cast as Vicky, the mother of the child. The BBC has an announcement of the mini-series.

The Endocrine Society came up with new guidelines for treatment of transgender patients. The new guidelines call for a multidisciplinary approach for diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of those undergoing hormonal treatment. The new guidelines allow for the treatment of younger patients. While the full article will appear in the November issue of the Endocrine Society’s journal, you can find their conclusions here.

Dr. Helen Webberley, a general physician in Wales, is in legal hot water for giving a 12-year-old “cross-sex hormone treatment.” She has been restricted from treating transgender patients while the General Medical Council investigates the charges. The NHS regulations say that children must be 16 years old before receiving hormonal medication. Dr. Webberley points out that this is not how other countries treat transgender youth. This story is in the BBC.

Munroe Bergdorf

Munroe Bergdorf, the British model who lost her job as a face of L’Oréal makeup after she expressed her opinion on social media that all white people are responsible for racial violence, has a new job working for another company. She is now signed to the British company Illamasqua as the face of their next ad campaign. Learn more in The Washington Post.

A transgender teen in Liverpool was attacked with items such as scotch eggs. The attack broke the teen’s phone. Local authorities believe this could be the work of a gang. This story appears in the Liverpool Echo.

In South Africa, a court has ruled that transgender people do not have to get divorced before they apply to have their gender legally recognized. Until now, the ban on same-sex marriage has meant that transgender people could not continue in their marriages if they wanted to change genders. That has now been ruled obsolete. The source for this story is the Mail and Guardian.

1920s and ’30s FI Jean Malin.

Many in the straight world don’t have any idea that drag and female impersonation, or gay people for that matter, existed in the early 20th century. They did and even during Prohibition there were balls where gay men and those born male but desiring to present themselves as ladies would meet to dance and have fun. There were also speakeasies that featured drag shows. Learn more about LGBT history in The Guardian.

In Juchitan, Mexico, some local transgender people, referred to as “muxes,” have assumed positions of authority after an earthquake hit the area. The earthquake was one of the heaviest ever recorded, measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale. Reuters has more about the long history of muxes in this region.

Teddy Quinlivan

Another top model has come out as a trans woman. Teddy Quinlivan has modeled for Marc Jacobs, Gucci and Oscar de la Renta. She transitioned at age 16 and counts herself as lucky that her voice never got deep and she has the right bone structure to appear to be born female. Read more about her on the LGBTQ Nation website.


Nigel and Sally Rowe, a self-described Christian couple in Britain have pulled their six-year-old son out of his school after a boy in the class was allowed to wear a dress to school. The school said that it was following the guidance of the Church of England on the matter, and that transgender students are protected under the Equities Act. Now, it is a matter of debate whether the particular student is transgender, or merely a boy with a different fashion sense. Lawyers also can debate whether a child of that age is indeed protected under the Equities Act, which is aimed at protecting adults. There is no debate that there are zero instances in which Jesus spoke out on the topic. For condemning something which Jesus never condemned, and for attempting to portray themselves as a persecuted minority, Nigel and Sally Rowe get a TWIT Award. The Independent has this story.

Lori Saine, a state representative in Colorado, shared an article that labeled acceptance of transgender people “child abuse” on her Facebook page. The article came from the American College of Pediatricians, who are hardly known as neutral observers on the issue. She is either oblivious to the fact that the American College of Pediatricians is a splinter group with a few, reactionary physicians as members — a group which does not list its members in a way so that parents can find them if they wish to — or she is well aware of who the American College of Pediatricians is, and is in full agreement with their discriminatory ways. Either way, she gets a TWIT. This story is is the Colorado Times-Reporter.

A TWIT Award is going to the officials of the town of Portland, Tennessee for passing an amendment that bars “adult-oriented businesses” in their town. They passed the amendment in response to Elite Drag Star Productions drag shows at a local bar. Trying to say the show is an “adult cabaret” is what earns them the TWIT. A rally in support of the show is scheduled for 6:30 tonight so if you’re in the Portland area put on your high heels and go show your support. Learn more on the Tennessean website.

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional material and editing by Angela Gardner.

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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.

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