The Week In Transgenderism 12/28/15

| Dec 28, 2015
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Samara Braga

Samara Braga

Samara Braga is a trans woman living in Alagoninhas, Brazil. The 32-year-old is running for mayor. She is a black trans woman who does not intend to have GRS.  While she will champion trans rights, if elected, she is also an advocate for other minorities. You can read about her on Planet Transgender.

The Restroom Wars rage on as people who just don’t understand how someone can have a boy body but want to be treated like a girl. It’s clear to us that a trans girl is a girl and should be allowed to be with other girls in all aspects of her life. But that’s not how some people look at it. To them they are boys who want to use the girl’s locker rooms and restrooms and this is very threatening. Just how many Americans feel this way? A professor of political science has done a survey and you can view the results in The Washington Post.

In California the conservatives got so worked up about male genitals in the girl’s room they attempted to get enough signatures on a petition to add a ballot initiative in the next general election that would make it illegal for trans people to use the public restrooms of the gender they identify with, and basically put a bounty on the head of any who violated the law. The bounty would go to the person who turned in the “law breaker.” Fortunately they failed to get enough signatures. Read all about it in U.S. News & World Report.

Trans people in New York City are getting support from a new set of guidelines that are designed to protect their human rights. Landlords and employers have been warned that if they call a trans woman “him” or use “Mister” they are violating the city’s Human Rights Law. Even having a workplace dress code that calls for ties on men and skirts for women can get an employer in trouble. Learn what other rights the new guidelines protect, outlined in an article on The Huffington Post.

The Illinois locker room case that was settled with the trans girl being allowed to use the locker room but having a separate area screened off by curtains is pretty complicated. Really it is just an example of how our society deals with sexuality that causes the controversy. Many of the girls who have to use the locker room with the trans girl feel uncomfortable since she has male anatomy. Some said it’s hard enough changing their clothes and showering with other girls. Having to do it in a room with a trans girl is really icky. If you would like to get a view of the issues involved from the other side’s perspective check out an in-depth article in The Daily Signal.

Ms. Dagi

Ms. Dagi

In all the hoopla over Steve Harvey declaring the wrong woman the winner of the Miss Universe pageant you may have missed a gender subversive moment from that event. The contestants have to appear in a “national dress” category and Miss Austria, Amina Dagi, decided that the person who best represented her country was the winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, Conchita Wurst. So, Ms. Dagi appeared in the “national dress” category as Ms. Wurst, wearing a painted on beard. See more photos and read the story on the Pink News website.

Speaking of Conchita, she has a new song out and she’s sporting a new hairstyle. Check it out right here.


In Canada, nine of the ten provinces fund surgery for trans people. The one holdout is New Brunswick. That’s sorta TWIT worthy. A group of eight musical acts known collectively as the Shifty Bits Cult held a concert recently to raise money to fund three such surgeries. The story can be found on the CBC website.

Old people sometimes shake their head and say, “These kids today.” They usually mean that some young people have been acting stupid. We have to say “These kids today” in a positive manner when we talk about the students at George Washington High School in Denver, Colorado. Their gay-straight alliance is raising money to buy chest binders for trans boys who can’t afford them. Teens at New Vista High School in Boulder are studying heteronormative culture and at Littleton High School student journalists produced a documentary about gender. Read about the gender tolerant students in Colorado in The Denver Post.

If you are trans teen and like to play volleyball, and you happen to live in Nova Scotia, here is a story you need to read. Volleyball Nova Scotia has taken a stand towards inclusiveness. “Being a teen is hard enough without having to work through identity issues like this and sport is often the thing you can turn to, whatever is going on,” said Paul Worden, president of Volleyball Nova Scotia. You can read about this in the Truro Daily News.

Lili Elbe

Lili Elbe

Now that The Danish Girl is playing in theaters we are seeing more about the principal character in the film, Lili Elbe. Elbe was a male artist who began to crossdress when he posed for his wife’s painting. The touch and feel of the female garments she had him wear opened a part of his personality that he had not explored. He transitioned in the early 20th century and became Lili. The first recorded person to undergo GRS. Read more about Lili Elbe in People.

Rebecca Root

Rebecca Root

Speaking of The Danish Girl, it has been a bit controversial that the actor playing Lile Elbe is a cisgender male. There are some in the trans community who feel that only trans actors should play trans roles. But, it’s called “acting” since the actor becomes the role and it shouldn’t matter what their own personality or gender is, they portray the character. Is it wrong the Rebecca Root, a trans actor, had a cisgender role in The Danish Girl? You probably won’t hear anyone in the trans community kvetching about that. Read about her role in The Advocate.

In more Danish Girl news: While some complain that Eddie Redmayne was unsuited to portray Lili Elbe since as a cisgender man he was not attuned to the issues of a trans woman, it’s not as if he just put on a dress and took a whack at the role. He spent time in preparation and consulted with several trans women including April Ashley and Lana Wachowski. Redmayne says he learned a lot while researching the role. Learn more on the People website.

In other showbiz news, Shadi Peosky, who last made the news as the trans person the TSA scanned at the airport and saw an “anomaly” in the groin area, is in the news again. This time it’s because the kids show she created and produced has been picked up by Amazon. Peosky is not a showbiz newbie and she thought when she transitioned that her producing career might disappear. It did not. Learn more about her and her new show, Danger & Eggs, in The Advocate.

A couple from Ecuador have made history in South America. Both are trans and the man is pregnant with the child of his trans activist partner Diane Rodriquez. The couple announced the pregnancy on social media. Learn more about them on the Associated Press website.

Taschan Andrews

Taschan Andrews

2015 was a big year for the rise of trans women in the modeling business. Lea T., Andreja Pejic and Carmen Carrera have almost become household names. New models like Hari Nef are also making waves. But one model from Britain says it’s not all easy peasy for trans models. She gets most of her work directly from photographers. When she tried to get an agency to represent her she got turned down because she is trans. Read more about Taschan Andrews on The Fader website.

A woman from souther Vietnam has won the crown in Vietnam’s first ever beauty pageant for trans women. The Miss Beauty 2015 pageant was held in Ho Chi Minh City last week. The winner is Hi Sa B. She took home a cash prize and the opportunity to represent Vietnam in the Miss International Queen 2016 pageant in Thailand. Learn more about her and the contest on the Tuoitrenews website.

April Ashley in the '60s

April Ashley in the ’60s

Since April Ashley helped Eddie Redmayne with his preparations to portray a trans woman Ms. Ashley has become the subject of new media coverage. If you are not acquainted with how a boy from London became a sought after female model in the British fashion industry — until her gender status became front page news and she was told she’d never work again, then you may want to read about her in the Telegraph.

Unlike the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival that never gave up their “all born women” only policy the Seven Sisters Festival in Australia this coming March, which got a TWIT Award for banning pre-op trans women, has decided that all trans women are now welcome to attend. Details about the festival can be found on their website.



Some people argue that gender is defined by nature and cannot be changed. These people know little of nature because sometimes, nature does something out of the ordinary with gender. Consider the case of Mmamoriri, the lioness who looks, roars, and acts like a male. The story is in Pink News.

Avery Jackson is a 7-year-old who just created a video. In the video, she talks about how she discovered she was transgender, and her experience telling her parents. We present it here.


In Kyoto, Japan, a business owner in her 40s is suing a gym for making her use the male changing room. Under Japanese law, she is still legally a male, despite her surgery. Her story is in the Asahi Shimbun.



Tanwarin Sukkhapisit is a Thai trans woman filmmaker, and actor. In 2010, she made and starred in Insects In The Backyard, a film about a transgender parent. The film was not allowed to be shown in Thailand, due to the inclusion of three seconds of a pornographic film. Ms. Sukkapisit filed a lawsuit, and this week, the suit was settled, but not in her favor. Gay Star News has more on this story.

These days it seem you just gotta have a gimmick. With the rise in popularity of car services you can call through an app on your phone what’s the best way to get more people riding in your car? One drag queen is taking advantage of her queenly status and launching her own service called Driving is a Drag. Of course she is behind the wheel decked out in her finest drag. Watch a video interview and take a ride with Erika Simone on the Out magazine website.

So you’re ready to start your drag queen career. You’ve got your gowns, your platform spike heels. Your paint is fierce and there’s only one thing holding you back — your hair is not working. You got that glamor wig from a local wig shop but it’s just not glam enough for your drag persona. What’s a girl to do? Look for help from Alaska. No, not the Alaska from Drag Race. The actual state of Alaska. One of the world’s premier drag wig stylists now lives in Juneau and his work is worn worldwide. Learn all about James Hoagland, a.k.a. Gigi Monroe, and his synthetic hair creations in the Juneau Empire.

Paul and David

Paul and David

Fans of female impersonators from the Golden Age of impersonation will be happy to know that TGF contributor and Cuban Legend, David de Alba and his friend and former colleague from the famous Finocchio’s in San Francisco, Paul “Laverne” Cummings were spotted out for dinner on Christmas Day. Both now live in Las Vegas where David continues to perform special shows for his adoring fans and Paul has retired from the stage. (Click the photo at the right for a larger version of the photo taken of them on Christmas Day.)



For those visiting New York City in January, you might find a gallery show featuring the works of Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe of interest. The show it titled Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls and it features portraits and self-portraits of the artists that explore gender, identity and the nature of disguise. Read a review of the exhibit in The New York Times.


In September a trans person attempting to get through airport security and board her plane was stopped when she went though the scanner after the operator saw an “anomaly” in the image. The “anomaly” was Shadi Petosky’s penis. It showed in its tucked position and caused the TSA agents to pull her out of line, causing her to miss her flight and putting her through an unnecessary, intrusive body search. After the incident hit the media TSA was taken to task for using the word “anomaly” and promised to work with trans advocates to become more sensitive to the needs of trans passengers. A TWIT Award is going to the TSA since they just replaced the word “anomaly” with the word “alarm.” When they detect something in a woman’s groin that they think shouldn’t be there now it will be an “alarm.” And they also did not really contact some of the trans advocacy groups they claimed to be consulting. Read about it in  The Advocate.

So you are out and about and you have to “tinkle.” If one senator in Indiana gets his way you will have to be very careful about where you go to relieve yourself. Restroom Wars strike again! Senator Jim Tomes (Rep.) wants to make using the restroom that does not conform to your biological sex as written on your birth certificate a misdemeanor that could get you a year in jail and a $5000 fine. For being a moron we give Senator Tomes a TWIT Award. Read about it on the WLWT5 website.

When New York City expanded its protection of trans people, Breibart News reached for a headline that proclaimed that “crossdressing men” won the right to enter the lady’s room. This sort of nonsense may play well in their echo chamber, but it is not pulling in new followers. You can see Breibart’s TWIT Award winning coverage here.

Here’s one for you to decide. Is this TWIT Award worthy? A Canadian father-of-seven began to transition six years ago. Over the course of the past six years Stefonknee Wolscht’s wife grew more and more upset and finally said that unless Stefonknee stop being a woman she’d have to leave. We’re all familiar with the spouse who cannot accept a trans partner but this story is odder that that. Stefonknee is 52-years-old but she has an “adopted family” who treat her as a 6-year-old girl. She says, “By not acting my age, I don’t have to deal with reality that was my past, because it hurt.” By being 6-years-old she also doesn’t have to properly spell her first name. What do you think of Stefonknee’s lifestyle? Get the story in the Evening Standard.

TGF subscriber and contributor Cecilia provided much of today’s TWIT content.

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Category: Transgender Community News


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

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