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The Week In Trans 9/26/16

| Sep 26, 2016
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Tambor in character.

Tambor in character.

Jeffrey Tambor took home his second Emmy Award for playing Maura Pfefferman in the series Transparent, but he said in his acceptance speech, “To you people out there, you producers and network owners, and agents, and you creative sparks, please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions. Give them their story. One more thing: I would not be unhappy if I were the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television.” The Advocate has this story.

The PBS series Point Of View will soon have a documentary about a marriage in which one partner transitioned from male to female. The documentary is called From This Day Forward, and its director, Sharon Shattuck, describes it as “a unique — and traditional — love story.” Ms. Shattuck knows this story well, as the subjects of the documentary are her parents. It will air on PBS on October 10. Learn more in the Windy City News.

Bishesh Huirem

Bishesh Huirem

The Miss International Queen pageant is happening in Pattaya, Thailand this November. India is sending a 26-year-old fashion designer and beauty salon owner to represent their country. Her name is Bishesh Huirem and she has been competing in pageants for years. She hopes to take the crown from the current Miss International Queen Trixie Maristela of the Philippines. Learn more about her and the contest on the NewsGram website.

Legal experts are saying that the Supreme Court may have an incentive to duck making a decision on the Gavin Grimm case. Grimm is a FtM student in a Virginia high school who wants to be able to use the boys’ restroom and locker room. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Grimm’s favor and the school district is trying to make a Supreme Court case of it. Find out why they might want to take a pass on hearing the case in an article from Reuters.

An Ecuadorian couple who are both trans have become parents. Neither of them has had surgery so Diane was able to impregnate Fernando and he carried the baby. The baby arrived in June and the couple have given their first interview about the pregnancy. Learn more about them and their child on the RT website.

Rafaela Manfrini

Rafaela Manfrini

On September 18 the Miss Trans Star International pageant was held in Barcelona, Spain. The winner of the contest, chosen out of 28 trans women from around the world, was Rafaela Manfrini of Brazil. The first runner-up was Tallen Abu Hama of Israel. Get the story and some photos from NBC News.

The Kenosha, Wisconsin, school board said that transgender students have to wear a green wristband so that they can be tracked as they go to the restroom. U.S. District Judge Pamela Pepper this week ruled that such a requirement is unconstitutional. Ashton Whitaker, the student who brought the lawsuit, said, “For the first time this year, I feel that I can make it through my senior year of high school just like any other boy in my class.” The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has this story. Of course, the Alliance Defending Freedom and other professional buzzkills won’t take “no” for an answer, so they are helping the Kenosha Unified School District to appeal the decision. WTMJ-TV Milwaukee has that story. Jamie Roberts let us know the story is also in The Washington Post.


Monét X Change

Times Square is the number one spot for tourists visiting New York City. Last week NYC drag performer Monét X Change did a full drag transformation on herself while seated amidst all the tourists. She made a video of the process which took her from being a bald man in a dashiki to a fabulous babe in a yellow mini-dress, and while she was in the middle of it a woman from Oklahoma sat down next to her and watched the transformation in progress. The two people from different worlds became friends and Monét invited the lady to bring her family to her show that night. Watch a video of the happening on NewNowNext.

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a transgender individual was arrested last month for shoplifting. This wouldn’t be a big story; the items involved were worth about $60. But, as it turns out, the police officer who responded to the call referred to the suspect as “a he-she.” Disciplinary action is being taken against that officer. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader has this story.

The American Academy of Family Physicians recently held a vote in which they reaffirmed their opposition to “state and federal laws that compromise the safety and health of transgender people.” This includes opposition to HB2 and its ilk. You can find their press release here.

Norman's cover (L) and Recero's (R).

Norman’s cover (L) and Recero’s (R).

Tracey Norman who last worked in modeling way back in the ‘70s and had to leave the business after the industry learned she was a trans woman has leapt back into fashion modeling after Clairol brought her back to promote their hair dye. Her latest assignment was a cover shoot for the Indian edition of Harper’s Bazaar. Norman is featured on one edition and trans model Geena Rocero is featured on another edition. They wear similar headdresses. Get the story in the Yahoo Style pages.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued new guidelines for how homeless shelters are to handle LGBT people, and especially how to handle trans people who seek a bed for the night. If you ask LGBT allies, they will tell you that people cannot be turned away for being LGBT, and that trans people have to be accepted in their preferred gender. According to those who are less LGBT-friendly, this means that shelters will close up rather than follow the new rule. Metro Weekly has this story.

Geraldine Roman

Geraldine Roman

A anti-discrimination bill has been languishing in the Philippines House of Representatives for 17 years. Now there may be some movement on it after the country’s first trans woman lawmaker, Geraldine Roman, gave an impassioned speech urging her fellow lawmakers to vote on the bill. Currently the Philippines doesn’t have any LGBT protections under law. Read the whole story on the Mashable website.

Jamie Roberts pointed us to a story about a new book titled The Story of Egypt. What makes us include the story in TWIT are the revelations about Egyptian society of thousands of years ago. It seems that there were many female pharaohs who were often depicted with beards and male attire. There was also, evidence indicates, an active “ladyboy” culture. Learn more about ancient Egypt and the book in The Washington Post.

Model on "Strut."

Models on “Strut.”

The Whoopi Goldberg produced show about trans models in the fashion industry, Strut, has a lofty goal. It’s not just a reality show about modeling. It’s a show about people working hard to prove they can be the person they are and fight against the oppression of being told over and over that they can’t do the thing they most want to do. Strut premiered on the 20th and there is a long article featuring interviews with the cast members that can be found on the StyleMic website.


Kristin Beck had a recent run-in with TSA. They misgendered her and tried to get a male agent to give her a pat-down. Ironically, this happened as she was on her way to Kansas City to give a speech to employees of the Department of Justice. The TSA really needs to stop this TWIT-worthy behavior. Here is a pro tip: don’t mess with a former Navy Seal. She has ways to make you feel so sorry you messed with her. CNN has this story.

Laura Jeska is a runner in Britain who attacked a UK Athletics official with a knife. She is now in custody. It seems she is transgender, and there seems to have been some investigation into whether she was eligible to participate in some of the races she won. For attempted murder (to which she pled guilty), she receives a TWIT Award. The Birmingham Mail has more.

Over at The Federalist, Walt Heyer has a new piece entitled “Pushing Kids Into Transgenderism Is Medical Malpractice.” Walt proclaims himself to be “formerly” transgender, and he seems to be on a crusade against transgender people. In fairness to Walt, if one wanted to, one could ask around and find therapists and doctors who would ask few questions before issuing a diagnosis of transgenderism. But, that does not mean that all therapists and all doctors are so permissive. Yet, according to Walt, not only are they so unquestioning, they are eager to push patients into the self-diagnosis of transgenderism, so that they can write the prescriptions and so forth. For pushing such a misrepresentation of reality on a gullible group who are eager to condemn transgender people, Walt Heyer gets another TWIT Award. You can read his piece in the Federalist, if you have a strong stomach. (Just a look at the accompanying graphic will make some people queasy.)

The Liberty Council surprised precisely no one by coming out in opposition to the NCAA and ACC moving neutral-site championship games out of North Carolina because of HB2. The unexpected thing is this: according to their headline, moving the games out of North Carolina “put[s] athletes at risk of sexual assault.” Even if the old trope about women and children being at risk of sexual assault by transgender people were true (and it certainly is not), nowhere do they make a connection between that and the safety of athletes. For taking an unproven theory and stretching it well past where it would break, the Liberty Council gets a TWIT Award. You can read their nonsense on their website.

LifeSiteNews, the alleged Catholic group who will oppose the Pope as not Catholic enough when he disagrees with social conservatives, has an editorial opposing the Michigan Board of Education. According to their headline, the board “opens bathrooms, showers to ‘transgender’ students.” Yes, the scare quote around the word “transgender” are in the original. The article continues the confusion between “guidelines” and a “mandate.” They mention but brush aside the fact that the guidelines are the board’s interpretation of current court decisions. For pushing blatant falsehoods, LifeSiteNews gets a TWIT Award. This story is on their website.



Urban Outfitters is in trouble with a trans person in Los Angeles. Nicholas Gorham, who identifies as a gender-fluid trans person was out having fun with a female friend and they wanted to try on some clothes at Urban Outfitters is L.A. The sales person led Gorham to the male dressing rooms and things went down hill from there. In Gorham’s opinion the company has not been very apologetic. A TWIT Award is on it’s way to Urban Outfitters. Get the story from People magazine.

The Champaign News-Gazette ran an editorial by a person named Joe Gerber, who claims fifteen years experience working with “organizations serving vulnerable and at-risk youths,” but names no such organization. He claims that transgenderism is “an objective condition of gender/sex misalignment.” He then says that “objective misalignment is not a good thing. It’s painful, unhealthy, and needs intervention to produce a healthy result.” From that, he deduces that the best thing to do is to help transgender people align their gender to their biological sex, rather than the other way around. Of course, this is in complete disagreement with the real professional groups for doctors, psychologists, pediatricians, etc., but this one man with his fifteen years of experience with groups he will not name knows more than the professionals. It should be added that his recommendation is what was tried for decades and it not only failed to produce the results he expects, it produced shockingly high suicide rates. For recommending a failed policy, he gets a TWIT Award. His rubbish can be found here.

In Minnesota, a group has launched a campaign called “Ask Me First,” claiming that they should have to give their permission before transgender people use the restroom. Tell me, campaigners, did *you* ask permission from those who own or lease the building before you determined who can use *their* restroom? For presuming such permission, “Ask Me First” gets a TWIT Award. You can read more about them in The Column.

Recently, we told you about Kenny Cooley, a transgender teen who joined the football team at his high school in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His teammates welcomed him with open arms, but apparently, all is not going well for him. He lost his job at McDonalds, and he says that he was fired due to the publicity from the headlines. He says that he was also told that his dismissal was due to “scheduling mishaps.” The franchise owner says that the claim is not true, so we will make this a conditional TWIT Award. If Kenny Cooley did get fired for being transgender, than the franchisee and management of that McDonalds get a TWIT. The story is in MetroNews.

We told you that Dr. Paul McHugh and his TWIT Award winning “report” that promotes the view that there is no such thing as being trans was going to create more problems. The report was published in The New Atlantis journal several weeks ago and it has been picked up by other publications. McHugh even penned an article for The Wall Street Journal. In Jamaica LGBT people have a very hard time so when we saw that a Jamaican newspaper had an article about transgender issues featuring a photo of McHugh under the headline we said, “What fresh hell is this?” The article starts out sticking to some facts, explaining differences in trans identities. Then it dives into McHugh’s premise that we’re all mentally ill and you can’t deny the reality of genitals. A TWIT Award to The Gleaner for taking what McHugh says as truth.

Two trans women from Thailand were looking forward to a trip to Hong Kong for sight seeing and shopping. Immigration officials at the airport had a different idea. The women were stopped and questioned about their gender status. Then they were told they would have to sign documents stating that they had had complete gender reassignment before they could enter the city. Hong Kong merchants lost out as the women got on the next plane back to Thailand. A TWIT Award to the officials who harassed them. Read the story in Pink News.

Are our nipples not worthy of being Photoshopped out? That’s the question Laura Jane Grace’s ex-wife is asking Rolling Stone. It seems that the magazine has run a photo of Grace that has her naked from the waist up with her nipples right there for all to see. Photos of cis women all get the nipples covered or otherwise camouflaged. Why the double standard Rolling Stone? Grace’s ex, Heather Gabel, says that the presence of nipples on trans women indicates that Rolling Stone doesn’t see trans women as women which makes it okay for them to leave those nips visible. A TWIT Award to Rolling Stone for not objectifying our trans nipples! Read the story on The Frisky website.

Portions of today’s TWIT were researched and written by Cecilia Barzyk.

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Category: Transgender Community News


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Assoc., Inc., former editor of its newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She was the Diva of Dish for TGF in the late 1990s and Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows.

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