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The Week In Transgenderism 12/7/15

| Dec 7, 2015
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Holly Woodlawn

Holly Woodlawn

This late breaking news just in: Trans actress and Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn has passed away at the age of 69. Ms. Woodlawn had been living with cancer but that didn’t stop her from working on Transparent. She appear is two episodes of the show as a character named Vivian. Get more about Holly Woodlawn in Variety.

The Wisconsin school district that took I Am Jazz off their reading list after threats of a lawsuit from a right wing anti-LGBT hate group got a TWIT Award from us already. The good news is that the local library was happy to host a reading of the book. And the even better news was that over 600 people showed up for the reading. The co-author of the book flew in from California to to read to the crowd. Get the details of the whole kerfuffle and positive outcome in the Lacrosse Tribune.

The U.S. Marine who killed a Filipina trans woman after he discovered she was trans has been convicted of homicide. A Philippine court found Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton guilty in the murder of Jennifer Laude. Under Philippine law he is guilty of homicide but not murder. Murder requires “treachery, superior force and cruelty.” Read the story and see if you think he should have been convicted of murder. You can find it in The Washington Post.

Tara Hudson

Tara Hudson

The British trans woman who was sent to a male prison for a week before a petition signed by around 150,000 people forced the prison system to move her to a female facility has done her time and has been released. She had been convicted of assault that took place during a bar fight. Her mother said that her daughter used alcohol to cope with prejudice. It’s not all good news though. While Tara Hudson was moved to the female facility two other trans women died in prison. Get the story from The Guardian.

It’s that time of year again. The holidays. Media outlets are abuzz with Charlie Brown Christmas specials and Frosty the Snowman and The Grinch are on display. If you long for an antidote to the typical holiday television fare you may want to tune in for RuPaul’s Drag Race: Green Screen Christmas which will air on Logo December 13 at 8:00 p.m. It will kick off Logo’s Happy Holigays programming which will run through the beginning of 2016. Happy subversive holidays everyone! Read all about it on the Entertainment Weekly website.

Maude Boate

Maude Boate

If you’re a fan of drag queen couture and you’re in Australia there’s an exhibit going on right now that you may want to see. A drag performer of some acclaim, Maude Boate, is allowing an exhibition of her stage costumes and they are all fabulous. Learn more on the Northern Star website.

It’s a win for trans immigration activists. Plans to house undocumented immigrants at a facility located in the high desert California town of Adalanto have been abandoned. While the facility there would have been the first to house trans women with the  general female population activists were against it as the town is so remote and trans women would not be able to have easy access to legal representation. Where will they be housed? Read the article in The Los Angeles Times.

Keep your eye on Venezuela. The first trans candidate for major office in South America is running for a seat in parliament. Tamara Adrian is a college professor and an attorney. She decided to run for office after the country passed a law that requires 50% of candidates to be female. Get the story in Business Insider.

Are you looking for a church to join? If so it’s a good idea to learn what denominations are accepting of trans members. You can find information on the level of faith in the trans community on the Pugh Research website.



The accident that Caitlyn Jenner was involved in back in February is still causing her problems. She has been sued twice already by others who were caught in the crash. Now she is being sued again by the people who were in the Hummer that her Escalade hit head on. Get the details on the Yahoo news feed.

The Michigan Secretary of State tried to legally block a lawsuit against her that was brought by several trans people over the difficulties in the way of getting a name changed on driver’s licenses in the state. A U.S. District Court judge ruled against attempts to block the suit. Get the details from The Oakland Press.

Hari Nef

Hari Nef

The newest “it” girl on the trans model scene is Hari Nef. The 23-year-old from Philadelphia is the first trans model to be represented by the major modeling agency IMG. Now we have learned that she will be appearing as a character in the second season of Transparent. Learn more in an interview with her in The New York Times.

The presence of artifacts typically associated with females mixed with an assortment of weapons caused archaeologists to think they had found a female Pazyrk warrior princess when they opened a tomb in Siberia. Now DNA testing of the mummy has revealed that the remains were male. Was that a trans Siberian warrior princess? Read all about it in The Daily Beast.

The Breast Form Store and Crossdresser Heaven are having a contest! They’re giving away a pair of Amolux Ruby attachable breast forms. These forms can be worn without a bra using double sided tape or breast form adhesive available from The Breast Form Store. They’re a $219.95 value and they could be yours for free if you enter the contest. The contest only runs for a limited time so Click Here to register.

May Taylor

Mya Taylor

A star of the film Tangerine, Mya Taylor, could possibly be getting an Oscar nomination for her work in that film. She came out of the life that the film portrays. Just two years ago she was doing sex work on the streets of Los Angeles. Read her story and learn the proper street terminology for sex workers in her interview with The Washington Post. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the tip.

A graphic design student in the U.K. has contacted us regarding an assignment they must complete. Their task is to create a brand that “breaks the conventional codes of beauty” and they wish to do market research in the trans community to help with the design. To that end they have put a survey up that you can complete online. If you would like to participate in this student project you can find the survey here.

While the right has been attacking President Obama for not being strong, decisive, and for providing health insurance to millions of people, they have been distracted by all that and not noticed that he has gotten a lot done on behalf of the trans community. It’s sort of a quiet transgender revolution. And that’s the title of the article about it in The Washington Post. Thanks to Jamie Roberts and Josy C for the tip.

Sarah McBride

Sarah McBride

Part of the “quiet revolution” was the hiring of trans people to work in the Obama administration. One such person is Sarah McBride, a trans woman who started working in the White House as an intern and has since been employed there. View a video about her story in The Washington Post.

We have all heard of animals that can change gender but they are usually small animals in the reptile, fish, or amphibian classes. Large mammals, excepting humans, usually don’t take on the characteristics of the other sex. Tell that to one doe who grew a 22-point rack. Well, you can’t tell her since she was shot by a hunter in Missouri. He was hunting for a buck with a big rack. He did crawl 50 yards through a field to get close enough to shoot the doe so as much as we deplore the killing of gender fluid deer he did it in a sporting manner. Read the story in USA Today. Thanks to Linda Jensen for pointing us to it.

We’ve already given ‘60s feminist Germaine Greer a TWIT Award for her negative statements about trans women and Caitlyn Jenner in particular. Now the old bag (oops did I just type that?) has gone further to say that trans women aren’t women because they don’t know what it’s like to have a “smelly vagina.” Ugh. That one got a group of Cambridge University students to protest vehemently. Read all about it in Pink News.

Angela Morley

Angela Morley

Have you heard about Angela Morley? She is an Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning composer from Yorkshire in the U.K. who has done music for such diverse productions as Watership Down and Dallas. Her life is being dramatized in a play starring trans actor Rebecca Root. Why is that? Because Ms. Morley transitioned back in the 1970s. While still living as a male she worked on many films and albums by Noël Coward, Dusty Springfield and others. She also wrote music for The Goon Show. Learn more about Ms. Morley and the play in the Independent.

With all the drama over trans students using the appropriate locker room and restroom facilities it’s refreshing to hear that some schools don’t have a problem with it. The schools that bother to accommodate trans students have found few problems among the students. The parents are more likely to be the source of problems. And, since the parents elect the school boards, the board members have an incentive to lean their way, leading to the banishment of trans kids from the girl’s room. Read about the schools in southern California that are not having any trouble in the Ventura County Star.

More debunking of the right wing myths about the supposed problems inherent in accommodating trans students can be found on the Media Matters website.



We have in the past reported on studies of the brain that determined there is a difference between the brains of trans women and those of cisgender men. Now to confuse the issue and give the science denying crowd more fuel, a new study has found that our brains “have no gender.” To quote one researcher, “Our brains seem to be a mosaic of male and female qualities.” Read more about this latest research finding on the AAAS website.

It’s discouraging to be on social media or reading an article about trans issues in an online publication and seeing a host of negative, ignorant comments. The nasty verbiage can get heated and you get the feeling that no one is going to have their mind changed through all the noise. It’s uplifting to report this next item. A man who got incensed over an article about trans kids using the restroom of their expressed gender wrote a response piece that enforced all the lies, myths and misinformation surrounding the restroom and locker room issue. Then positive comments started rolling in and he took the time to actually read them. He changed his mind when he realizes he knew nothing about the issues. He’s written another article of a more informed nature in The Huffington Post.

Are you a fan on Jazz Jenning’s reality show? If so you will be pleased to learn that her show has been picked up for another season on TLC. It’s good to know the network that started as The Learning Channel actually has a show that might just educate some folks about trans issues. Read all about the renewal in The Hollywood Reporter.

Gordon Sumner’s son is gender fluid. Why do we care? Young Eliot Sumner was assigned female at birth but has unhitched from that gender label. We care because Gordon is better known to his fans around the globe as Sting. Get the details in The Evening Standard.

A couple with two children, a boy and a girl, were surprised to learn that they had the kids’ gender mixed up. Both came out as trans and switched gender roles. While the parents were stunned by the revelations they took advantage of a center for trans teens to get the information and care their children needed. They also gave them unconditional love, while remaining concerned for their well being as trans kids. Read their story on the Good Housekeeping website.


After the shooting at the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Ted Cruz, senator and Republican candidate for president, shot off his mouth that the murderer who carried out the attack might have been a trans woman. Yes, the murderer’s voter registration form indicated that he was female. Checking with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Colorado revealed that the “female” designation was due to a clerical error. A TWIT Award goes to Ted Cruz for trying to involve trans people in a heinous crime. Get the details of how the killer’s gender was mixed up on the Think Progress website.

A writer for the right wing website The Federalist published a piece titled Public Schools Force Kids Into Transgender Wars. The sub head said that trans activists “in concert” with the federal government are pushing schools across the country to let “boys expose themselves to girls in showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms.” In the body of the article the writer mis-genders a trans teen named Lila Perry, insisting that she is a boy who “wants to expose his male genitalia to girls.” The writer goes on in that vein and pulls out a lot of other false and misleading information about gender reassignment and sexology. We are handing a large TWIT Award to the writer, Walt Heyer, and another one to The Federalist for printing his garbage.

The Chicago school district that was told by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights that it had to offer the same accommodations in the locker room to a trans girl as it did to other girls has cut a deal with the government that manages to keep things exactly the same as they were before the trans girl complained. The deal says the trans student will have access to a screened off changing and showering area, which she already had before the complaint, and the change is the district won’t “require” her to use it. Finessing the deal like this allows the district to keep its federal funding but doesn’t help other trans girls attending the district’s schools. A TWIT Award to the District 211 school board and another to the legions of people who spoke out against the trans girl’s rights by characterizing her as a male and basing their reaction to her in the locker room on that supposed maleness. Get the full story from the Daily Herald.

We can to an extent understand the reluctance and fears of people concerning trans girls in locker rooms or restrooms. It’s not rational but there is a chance that male anatomy could be seen. But the other big battle in restroom rights is the fight a trans teen boy is waging to be able to use his school’s male facilities. His name is Gavin Grimm and the push back he is getting for just wanting to use the boy’s room is pretty grim. The governors of six states have filed amicus briefs with the court that will decide the case. All of them argue that teens like Grimm should not be provided accommodations based on their gender identity. What the hell is so scary? Are the boys at Grimm’s school that frightened of Grimm? And all of the governors tossing in their two cents feel that Grimm should not be allowed in the boys room since “she” is a “female.” TWIT Awards to all concerned. Read the story on the Think Progress website.

The World Health Organization has found that trans women around the world contract HIV at a rate 49 times higher than the general population. Many of them are prostitutes. The Breitbart right wing agenda website is getting a TWIT Award for presenting the story with a headline that used the word “trannies” and featured a photo of teen author and television personality Jazz Jennings. The article also said that it’s “dangerous” to “become transgender.” Thereby showing total ignorance about trans issues. Read more of their ill informed and possible slanderous screed in a report on Media Matters.

Thanks to TGF user Cecilia for many of the TWIT links in today’s column.

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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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