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The Week In Transgenderism 1/5/15

| Jan 5, 2015
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Bulent Ersoy

Bulent Ersoy

The Muslim world is of two minds about trans people. On the one hand many Muslim countries arrest and imprison crossdressers but in some countries transsexuals can get reassignment surgery paid for by the government. Trans entertainers, like Bulent Ersoy in Turkey, are very popular. How does this happen? Some insights are presented, including the fact that in Iran they will pay for reassignment surgery but they sometimes impose it on people who don’t want it, in the newspaper Haaretz.

For more about the treatment of trans people in Iran read the World Policy Blog.

Are you in the closet? Can’t get out to the stores to buy the clothing you want to express your preferred gender? While online shopping is one option there’s a place on the Web where you can trade clothing with other people who would rather wear what you own. It’s called Trans Clothes Swap and it’s on the Tumblr website. The service has been running for a year and it handles not only clothing but makeup, accessories, and beauty products. Read more in Good magazine.

A Queen from the series.

A Queen from the series.

As a drag queen ages she comes to realize that the more the patrons have had to drink and the dimmer the lighting the more beautiful she appears. Let’s face it, we’re all getting older every day but we don’t have to get blue old lady wigs and stop strutting our stuff on stage. Aging drag performers in San Francisco are the subject of a new photo series titled Beautiful By Night and it documents three senior drag performers who work at Charlie’s Lounge in the Tenderloin district. Read about the photos and see a few in The Huffington Post.

Trans people in Pittsburgh can now get assistance with the somewhat complicated process of changing their legal names. The Name Change Project came to town and it connects people who are transitioning and need to change their documents with volunteer lawyers who help them navigate the legal process. Learn more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA will hold its first transgender symposium on January 10 in Palm Springs. The event will offer a chance for the physicians from the Center to meet with trans people, and vice versa. Read more in the Palm Desert Patch.

Gets reassignment though Medicare.

Gets reassignment though Medicare.

A 74-year-old trans woman just had her reassignment surgery. She had wanted to do it years ago but one thing or another stood in the way. Thanks to the recent change that overturned the ban on Medicare paying for reassignment surgery she was able to finally get the procedure. Meet her and learn more on the MSNBC website.

TGF reader Jamie Roberts brought a story about the suicide of trans teen Leelah Alcorn to our attention. The story was everywhere this past week with many people weighing in with their opinions on social media. Ms. Alcorn threw herself in front of a speeding tractor trailer rig to end the pain cause by her Christian parent’s rejection of her trans nature. While her parents could not accept Leelah’s identity it is good to know that there is a movement within the Christian church that does accept LGBT people. A writer for Religious News Service says parents should affirm their LGBT child, not reject them.

While many Christian sects aren’t thrilled with LGBT people there is a place where we are more welcome. It’s a place which allows LGBTQ people a way to be spiritual and allows you to do a little magic, too. Read about how Wiccans accept gender and sexuality diversity at the Patheos website.

The council candidate.

The council candidate.

New Zealand. What a country. If it wasn’t on the other side of the Pacific at the bottom of the world we’d move there because of stories like this. A critic of the New Plymouth council, who also happens to be an entertainer and Rocky Horror Frank-N-Furter, is running for the council and promises to dress up like a drag sitcom character for his first council meeting if he’s elected. Read the story at the Stuff website.

These days it seems everyone is working on a film project and some of the films are about drag queens or trans women. Here’s one that will be about a 15 year college reunion attended by three drag queens who graduated from the school and three current students who happen to be queens. It could be a funny flick, if they, as RuPaul says, “Don’t fuck it up.” But they need your help so their Kickstarter campaign will be a way for you to become a theatrical angel and help fund the picture. Get the details from Project Q Atlanta.

Oliver Baxter

Former glamor model.

You hear stories of MtF transsexuals who spent years living a gender lie, often engaging in macho behavior, joining the military or taking jobs seen as very manly in order to cover up their desire to live and behave as a female. Well it goes both ways. Read the story of a young FtM who used to pose for sexy glamor photos before he transitioned. The story is in the Mirror.

The words “coming out” seem to be intimately related to sexuality or gender identity. You “come out” as gay or trans and that process can be very hard. It’s good to keep in mind that “coming out” also covers revealing any secret that you’ve been keeping from family and friends. An example would be a person whose family expected them to become a doctor or lawyer but they have instead been secretly pursuing a career in entertainment. How about the case of a person of one faith who doesn’t tell their parents that they have become involved in a relationship with someone outside that faith? Read about “coming out” in a greater context in the Chicago Tribune.

Pakistan is one of those places where trans people are not treated so well. It is good to see that at least one person there is asking why they shouldn’t be treated better so they can become valuable members of society. Read her column in Pakistan Today.


The funeral for Leelah Alcorn was moved to a private location due to “threats” against her family. The church where it was originally scheduled was empty at the scheduled time and a sign on the door said the funeral had been postponed. If the threats did actually occur and they came from members of the trans community then we’re giving those people a TWIT Award. Threats accomplish nothing but make us as a community look bad. Even if her parent’s choices about how to handle her trans nature were wrong they have still lost a child and should be left alone to grieve. Direct your anger toward action educating the public and trying to save other trans kids from a similar fate. The story about the threats is on the NBC News website.

Attacks on trans people in Great Britain seem to be on the rise. We award multiple TWITs to all the Brits who feel they can attack trans people whenever they feel like it. But is the transphobic abuse getting worse or are more people reporting crimes committed against them? Read the story in Christian Today.

There are places you would expect violence against trans people but you don’t think of San Francisco as one of those places. Apparently haters can be found there, too. Last week a young trans woman was on a date with her partner on a Saturday afternoon when a man on the bus they were riding started directing hate speech at them. Then he followed them off the bus and stabbed the young woman with a steak knife. We hand a TWIT Award to the knife wielding hater and direct you to the full story, including what happened after the stabbing, in SF Gate.

A place to avoid if you are crossdressed is the country of Kuwait. While it was rumored during the Gulf War that one of the country’s royal family would rather be a princess than a prince the law in Kuwait says if you wear women’s clothing while male you must be apprehended and prosecuted. That makes it easy for us to give a TWIT Award to the three crossdressers who were playing their car radio loudly and dancing to the music (apparently in the moving car). That attracted the attention of traffic police who pulled them over and discovered that they were male. Smooth move girls. Read the story in Gulf News.

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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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  1. Gwen Brown Gwen Brown says:


    I was/am Muslim in the past, so can perhaps clear up some issues for you. Shia Muslims, 5% of all Muslims more or less accept T folk because the leader after the Islamic Revolution accepted a transgendered woman after her impassioned plea. That’s it in a nut shell.

    I am Sunni Muslim but do not go to Muslim Mosques since it is not required for women. I take advantage of that and the Hijab and the modest clothing make it easier for me to pass, though these days I pass on the street without all that. Though, being 67, I am very modest and do not engage in exhibitionistic practices, though I do not dress Muslim all the time.

    Much Peace


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