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The Week In Transgenderism 10/19/15

| Oct 19, 2015
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maines-bookNicole Maines the trans girl who won a case against her former school district which affirmed the rights of trans students in Maine has had a book written about her life. One of the most interesting aspects of her life is that she has a brother who is an identical twin, but while Nicole always felt like a girl her brother never had those feelings. With the release of the book the Maines family is giving interviews. You can find one in their hometown paper the Portland Press Herald.

All the students in the schools in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico wear school uniforms. Last week the Puerto Rico Department of Education issued new rules about school uniforms. To comply with Federal regulations that are inclusive of LGBT students boys in Puerto Rican schools are now allowed to wear girl’s uniforms and vice versa. Thanks to Graham Holmes for the tip. One wonders if the boys will get into trouble if they  try to shorten their uniform skirts? Read the story on the Pink News website.

Canadian activist Aria Ehren.

Canadian activist Aria Ehren.

The struggle for trans rights goes on in other countries besides the United States. It seems that the lot of trans people in Canada is very similar to the U.S. treatment of trans people. Various territories and provinces have different protections and there is no federal legislation covering all the trans citizens of Canada. And the political party that blocks any movement toward anti-discrimination legislation is the Conservatives. Read more about the situation in Canada on The Huffington Post Canada site.

The case of a trans woman who was held up by the TSA for 40 minutes when their scanner detected an “anomaly” under her clothing may have triggered a move by the agency to do more education of its screeners and to stop using the word “anomaly” in relation to trans passengers. Josy C sent us a link to the story on CNN and you can read more on the Travel Pulse website.



It’s nice to hear a trans success story and a perfect one is that of Isis King. Isis graduated from the Art School of Philadelphia only to land in New York City with nowhere to live. She spent a year living in a homeless shelter before she made a name for herself on America’s Next Top Model. Now she is not only a model but a fashion designer and actor as well. She is the perfect role model for young trans women and it seems that Teen Vogue thought so too. They featured her story last week.

Attention Canadian girls. If you are a young girl and happen to be trans you can now join the Canadian Girl Guides without restriction. For the past few years trans girls were allowed to join on a case-by-case basis but the doors have been flung open and all trans girls are now eligible for membership. There will even be resources for the adults who supervise the Guides teaching them about trans issues. Learn more on the CBC website.

In 1977 Norman Lear had a show running in late night called All That Glitters. It featured one of the first ever transsexual characters on television. (He also had a trans character in All In The Family around that time.) The character was played by cis woman actor Linda Gray, of Dallas fame. Gray in a recent interview talks a lot about her time on Dallas and some of her other notable jobs (like being the model whose legs were used on the poster for The Graduate) but she also talks about how she prepared to play the trans role and how it affected her as a person. If you don’t care too much about Dallas just scroll down to the part about All That Glitters. You can find the interview on the A.V. Club website.

While transgender people are getting a lot of press these days and people are learning that there are trans people among us the trans celebs who have transitioned from one gender to the other are not helping people who consider themselves gender fluid, non-binary and gender non-conforming. Those folks are examples of genders being mixed and gender identities shifting. One of them wrote an opinion article outlining their hope that all forms of gender expression will come to be accepted and respected. Read it in The Guardian.

Miz-CrackerThis gender stuff certainly can be tricky. For example, while we at TGF view all those who transit the bonds of gender — even temporarily — as trans, there are those in the community who don’t see things that way. Many trans women feel they have nothing in common with drag queens and, to be fair, many drag queens don’t identify at all as trans. So what’s the answer here? Can a drag queen truly understand the trans experience? New York queen Miz Cracker has an answer. You can read it on the Slate website.

Crossdressers can often get tips from the drag queen community that will help them do a better job of being fierce en femme. One tip is, if you don’t have a lace front wig you can use a toothbrush to tease the hairline and make it look softer and more natural. I got that from JoAnn Roberts but she got it from a drag performer. One area where the new crossdresser can use help is in how to “hide the candy.” Hide the penis, that is, to achieve a smooth look in tight leggings or jeans. It’s called tucking and there are many methods. Here’s one from Philadelphia drag performer Mistor Fahrenheit. It’s on the Philly Voice website.

Jackie & Juliet on the red carpet.

Jackie & Juliet on the red carpet.

Jackie Evancho, second place winner on America’s Got Talent five years ago, went on to fame and a career in music. In August Evancho released a cover of an Ed Sheeran song and she dedicated it to her trans sister. Last week her sister attended a gala event in New York City that her sister Jackie was performing at. The both wore gowns and walked the red carpet. Meet Jackie’s sister Juliet on the People website.

We all know that variations in sexual orientation and gender identity among children are normal and the kids don’t have a condition that needs “curing.” Save curing for lunch meats. The Obama administration has released a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that takes aim at so-called conversion therapy. Basically they call it quackery that is harmful to those being treated. Read more in the International Business Times.

Liu Ting

Liu Ting

China does not have a problem with transsexual women participating in beauty contests. Last month Liu Ting, a 28-year-old trans woman competed in the Miss United Nations International 2015 Pageant China. She did not win the top prize but being recognized as a female was prize enough for Liu Ting. Read about it in The Standard.

Now that trans is appearing in the news more and more often articles about how to interact with trans people are beginning to show up. Tolerant and progressive people who are not trans want to be able to interact with trans people without giving offense. It’s the mannerly thing to do. But they may not know what is acceptable and what is likely to make the trans person storm off in a huff. For the 5 accidentally transphobic phrases you should be offended by, or avoid if you are cisgender, check out the article on the Mashable website.

Many trans people feel that they must give up on their marriage if they make the decision to transition. Oftentimes it is accepted as a given that their spouse will never want them as a marriage partner in their true gender. It doesn’t have to turn out that way. As evidence we offer the story of Erica and Ellen Maurizio, a couple in New Zealand who married in the 1970s. Erica told Ellen that she was a woman and had to live as one in 2006. Read their story on the Stuff website.


The U.S. Education Department has an Office of Civil Rights and they enforce the ruling that says trans students must have access to the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. A school district in suburban Chicago is winning a TWIT Award today for barring trans students from the locker rooms of their expressed gender identity. The district is okay with trans students using restrooms because there are private stalls. Locker rooms pose a problem for school administrators. Read about it in The Washington Post.

A trans woman got a job a Walmart in New Jersey before she started to transition. A few months after she got the job she informed her manager that she was going to transition and then started working as a female employee. There were no problems till a new manager came on board. That manager, a female, used the “t” word slur in relation to the trans employee and singled her out for treatment that was not given to other employees. A TWIT Award goes to Sheena Wyckoff, the manager who ended up firing the trans employee. Read about it on the Think Progress website.

Here’s one of those stories that has different levels of twittery. It’s hard to decide who gets the TWIT Award. Last week a trans girl was elected homecoming queen in her New Jersey high school. That’s great but there are allegations that the teacher in charge of the election process wanted to “make history” and stuffed the ballot box so the trans girl would win. There are also allegations that the teacher had failed to keep the ballot box free from tampering by students who wanted to see her elected as a “practical joke.” Then there’s the reaction of some of the parents to the girl’s election. Read it all and decide who gets the TWIT. The story is in The Trentonian.

There is a website that is devoted to “exposing and combating liberal media bias” that is called News Busters. Last week they “busted” an article in The Washinton Post by columnist Petula Dvorak. It was titled Transgender at 8 and was an update of a story she did previously on a trans boy who was five years old at the time. At 8 he is still happy being a boy and the quotes from her article seem to support that. The News Busters site goes out of its way to mis-gender the child and uses the name he was given at birth. Their “busting” seems to just be snark and rejection of the possibility that a child might know their gender at an early age. A TWIT Award goes to News Busters and you can read their snarky comments on their website. TGF reader Jamie Roberts sent us the link to the original story in The Washington Post.

Speaking of conservative opposition to the march of progress on trans rights, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which was passed and signed into law by the city’s openly gay mayor, came under fire for the inclusion of trans women’s right to use the public restroom of their choice. A group quickly formed to oppose it and got 50,000 signatures on a petition calling for a referendum vote which they hope will overturn the law. Their complaint, as always, is that “gender confused men” will be going potty in the same room as their wives and daughters. We give the groups opposed to the law a TWIT Award. Read a fairly unbiased report in The Christian Post.

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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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