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The Week In Transgenderism 6/8/15

| Jun 8, 2015
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Jim Bailey

Jim Bailey

Famed female impersonator and, as he put it, “character actor,” Jim Bailey has passed away. His website and a memorial Facebook page indicate that he died on May 30 due to complications from pneumonia. Read about Bailey and his impressive career in women’s clothing in The Hollywood Reporter.

Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair photos have everyone talking about how wonderful she looks. And while she does look great it’s important to remember that like any cover girl Caitlyn didn’t just sit down and have a snapshot or two taken. She had hair, makeup, lighting, and Annie Leibowitz behind the camera to make her look that good. Read about how they picked her wardrobe and styled her for the shoot at ET Online.

An op-ed in last Thursday’s New York Times discussed Caitlyn Jenner’s compliance with the trapping of glamor in order to enter the world of women. The writer points out that at 65 Caitlyn looks a lot younger, and even her name is the name of a younger woman. Has Ms. Jenner simply exchanged one oppressive gender role for another oppressive gender role? Read The Price of Caitlyn Jenner’s Heroism in The New York Times.

Jon Stewart also tackled the Jenner story but did so by evaluating the media coverage of Jenner’s transition. In a segment of The Daily Show last week Stewart first evaluated a number of media types who were supportive of Jenner. He touched briefly on the negative and mocking coverage she got from Fox News and then got into how already, within just a few days, some of the media has begun to treat Jenner like a real lady. And not in a good way. Watch the video of the segment below.


(If the video has been removed from YouTube by Viacom you can watch it on The Daily Show website.)

OSHA has now issued an official guide to providing sanitary and available toilet facilities in the workplace. The Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers takes the time to explain the concepts of transgender and gender identity before going into the specifics of what employers are required to provide for their trans workers. Read the whole Guide in pdf format on the Department of Labor website.

Son and dad.

Son and dad.

ABC Family channel is premiering a new show tonight. It’s title is Becoming Us and it is a reality show that follows a teenage boy whose father is transitioning. Surprise twist? The boy’s girlfriend’s father is also in transition. Something in the water where they live? Learn more about the show and other LGB sensitive shows on Family in Bloomberg Business.

Dr. Rachel Levine is one step closer to confirmation as the first trans person to serve as Pennsylvania’s physician general. She was approved by a state legislative committee last week and a vote on her nomination may happen as soon as this week. Levine is the former adolescent medicine specialist at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and was picked by Governor Tom Wolf for the advisory position. Learn more from Rueters.

TransTech founder Angelica Ross

TransTech founder Angelica Ross

In 2014 a trans woman in Chicago started a company called TransTech Social Enterprises. It is a training academy and creative design firm that uses trans workers on a contract basis. They offer memberships to trans people who want to study new technology and those who work for TransTech as contractors get paid. Now the woman who founded the organization is moving it to Washington, D.C. Learn more about the company and founder Angelica Ross in the Chicago Tribune.

If you’re tired of all Caitlyn all the time you might like to learn more about eight trans women of color who are not so well known. Well, okay, two of them are Laverne Cox and Janet Mock so we’ll say most of them are not as well known as Ms. Jenner. Learn who they are and more about the in The Root.

One of 7 Latinas.

One of 7 Latinas.

Let us not forget our Latina sisters. They come from a macho culture that gives them a large handicap to overcome when they try to express their feminine natures. Here are 7 Truly Inspiring Transgender Latinas who are working to help other trans people. See them on The Flama website.

While the serious side of trans issues is getting more press who will shift the focus to the important concerns of womanhood? Like how to shop for fashionable lady’s attire that fits properly. Luckily for those who are enamored of the fashion side of trans femme the folks at Pop Sugar found a trans woman who was happy to share her shopping tales.



Last Monday a trans woman in Utah became the first ever trans candidate for city council in a suburb of Salt Lake City. Her name is Sophia Hawes-Tingey and she’s running on local issues like public safety, empowering minority communities and environmental issues. Learn more on The Huffington Post.

Just last week Facebook, already under attack by drag queens, took down Jamie Jameson’s trans party at Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach, Ca. page. Apparently for the same reason they have dropped scores of other pages — using a drag name violated their “real name” policy. All it appears to take to have someone dropped is for someone to make a complaint. That lead two busloads of drag queens and others who use nom de plumes on the Web to descend on Facebook headquarters last week for a major protest. Read more on the CNN website.

Gisele Alicea

Gisele Alicea

With the spotty availability of information about gender identity and more information and awareness about homosexuality in the late 20th century is it possible that some people thought they were gay when they were in fact trans? It seems as if it might be the case, particularly in minority communities that got zero information about trans issues and equated dressing like a woman with the gay culture of drag queens and house balls. Trans model Gisele Alicea told Glamour magazine that she thought she was a gay male when she was 15.

Good news for trans students at the University of Minnesota. The student health plan for 2015-16 will include coverage for students with gender identity disorder. Learn more in the Minnesota Daily.

As more crossdressers and trans women come out of the closet and mingle with the world they find themselves in need of assistance in learning the feminine arts. The free market has stepped up and a new crop of makeover artists and femininity coaches has come into being. Thanks for TGF reader Jamie Roberts for pointing out this story in The Washington Post.

rainbowtrain-colorThere’s a new children’s CD all about gender diversity. It’s called Rainbow Train and is the work of Chana Rothman, a Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter. Ms. Rothmans was motivated to put the CD together after her son informed her he wanted to wear a dress to preschool. She hopes the music will inform and inspire people about gender diversity. Learn more in the Philadelphia Gay News.

A man in Oregon who grew disgusted with all the coverage of Caitlyn Jenner that proclaimed how brave she is decided to post true bravery on his Facebook page. To illustrate it he did an image search for a photo that represented what he was talking about. He posted a photo of a soldier in what appears to be WWII carrying another wounded soldier on his back while the wounded man fires his pistol at attacking enemies. Then he decided to do more research into the origin of the photo. It was not what it seemed. Find out what lesson he learned on AlterNet. (Learn more about the artist who created the photo in today’s edition of Dina’s Diner.)

Twenty years ago you would not find the word “transgender” in any newspaper. Thanks to the hard work of many activists over the years today it’s hard to find any publication without at least one story about transgender issues. A certain woman named Caitlyn has to be credited with pushing awareness of transgender issues to the fore and she is the biggest reason you can find several trans related articles in The New York Times. There’s an op-ed on What Makes a Woman (and be warned, it’s not high heels and lipstick), and an article about transgender themed children’s books in yesterday’s edition of The Times.

The all women’s school Barnard College will start admitting trans women in the fall. Jamie Roberts pointed out the story in Inside Higher Ed.

Jamie also let us know about a move by the U.S. Air Force that places decisions about whether personnel will be dismissed from the service if they are gender dysphoric in the hands of one official. This may be a good step toward inclusion of trans Air Force personnel. Read more in The Washington Post.

Another woman married to a trans woman has written a book about the experience of learning your husband wants to become your wife. The author is Virginia Lee May and her book is title Caught In Transition. It’s the story of her whole 15 year marriage but it concentrates on the last four years of her husband’s transition. The book is available on Amazon as a Kindle book. Learn more on the author’s website.


If you expected a fair and balance report on Caitlyn Jenner from Fox News, you were disappointed. The “news” network went out of its way to mock Jenner and repeatedly used male pronouns when referring to her. It’s all joke, joke, joke till someone gets hurt. A TWIT Award comes your way Fox News. Read about it and see video of the abuse on the Think Progress website.

While Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, former presidential candidate, former Fox News talking head and current presidential candidate seems like a nice guy when he appears on shows like The Daily Show he’s really a dirty minded ignoramus. He is getting a TWIT Award for saying at a religious broadcasters convention that he would have claimed to be transgender if it could have make it okay for him to “shower with the girls.” Read more about his stupid remarks in the Business Insider.

When you hear of a high school removing female student’s photos from the yearbook for “dress code violations” you normally think the young women were wearing overly sexy dresses or tops. While we stand up for the right of every young woman to dress like a tramp for her yearbook photo we’re giving Lincoln High School in California a TWIT Award for leaving some women out of the book because they were too covered up. Two young women had their yearbook photos taken in masculine looking outfits. One wore a tuxedo and the other wore a button-down shirt and bowtie. Both were shocked to discover their photos were excised. Read more about it on Yahoo.

Dating apps are the latest area where trans people are getting a rotten deal. The Tinder app, which many 20-somethings use to hook up, only has two genders to choose from. You can be male or female. Then you can only choose from two genders as possible dates. (You can pick both if you are bi.) The app lets everyone sign up but when trans women indicate in their profile that they are trans and have picked female as their gender they get matched with people looking for a female. Often that person is appalled that their match is trans and they report the trans woman to Tinder which then bans her. A TWIT Award to Tinder for not really thinking this thing through. Read more in Business Insider.

No matter how many TWIT Awards we hand out ignorance continues to rear its ugly head. The Girl Scouts of America have been in the news recently for supporting trans girls who wish to join the Scouts. Bravo and kudos to the national organization. But let’s talk about Louisiana. Since 2011 the Girl Scouts Louisiana East has had a policy that states membership is for “girls only.” For transphobia above and beyond we present a TWIT Award to the Louisiana Scouts. Read more on the Think Progress website.

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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. j2emily j2emily says:

    Re: Fox News–the daily 5 PM show–The Five–covered the Jenner story. All 5 were very respectful–wished Jenner the best and referred to her as she

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