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The Week In Transgenderism 2/1/16

| Feb 1, 2016
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Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith, son of Jada Pinkett and Will Smith, released a photo of himself on Instagram that was taken during his photo shoot for Vogue Korea. It shows Smith bare chested, arms crossed, nails sporting blue polish and a red flower behind his ear. He’s also wearing a skirt. Smith says he wants “… to teach people how to be comfortable. Stop being so scared.” Read more on his fashion exploits on Yahoo News.

15-year-old Jazz Jennings is working on her memoir. Admittedly Jazz has had more happen in her first fifteen years than many teens. She already has co-written I Am Jazz and stars in a reality TV show of the same name. But how many pages do you suppose the book will contain? Learn more about why it just might be a good sized book at the TIME website.

Trans residents of Madrid, Spain will soon be able to ride that city’s metro for free. At least 38 of them will. The metro has teamed up with the Spanish Association of Transsexuals to provide 38 annual travel passes to be given to trans people. There’s no word on how the passes will be given out. You can learn more on the BBC website.

Caitlyn Jenner was back in the news last week. Not that she’s ever far out of the news. This time she’s getting press because the lawsuit she was facing over the death of a woman caused by the car crash she was part of last year has been dismissed. The suit stemmed from Jenner’s sport utility rear-ending two cars on the Pacific Coast Highway in Feb. 2015. Learn more on the Yahoo News feed.

Girls star Lena Dunham’s production company has released a film that was shown at the Sundance Film Festival last week. Its title is Suited and it’s about a custom clothier that provides suits tailored to the needs of female to male trans people. Learn more about the film and the clothier on the CNS News website.

Holly (Woodlawn) came from Miami, Fla....

Holly (Woodlawn) came from Miami, Fla….

After Holly Woodlawn passed away last December her estate reached out to the Los Angeles LGBT Center and told them that Ms. Woodlawn had given them $25,000 to establish the Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund for Transgender Youth. The Center is to use the money to help youth that are at risk because they are trans. Learn more in Wihoville.

It’s official. The Guinness Book of World Records has given the title of oldest performing drag queen to Toronto’s Michelle DuBarry. DuBarry has a photo of herself wearing a strapless dress at the age of 9, and she has been performing in clubs since the 1950s. Read more on the Canadian Broadcasting Company website.

Felicia Elizondo

Felicia Elizondo

Felicia Elizondo was there at the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in 1966. Now, 69, the woman who calls herself “a screaming queen, a pioneer, a legend, and a diva” sat down for an interview with KALW radio. You can hear the interview on the KALW website.

Should the trans community be more discriminating in the fights it picks? The Pennsylvania State Police, following FBI guidelines (they say) use the term “female portrayal” when they write up a report on hate crimes involving trans women. Some in the trans community feel that being categorized in that way diminishes the crime victim and doesn’t “…even give us personhood.” The police maintain they are trying to do the right thing and address anti-trans crimes. What do you think of “portrayals”? Read more about it in the South Florida Gay News.

We reported on the former host of the BBC’s Top Gear show’s transphobic comments last week. Reaction to what Jeremy Clarkson said was “fast and furious.” Little Britain star Matt Lucas tweeted, “He’s like your out-of-touch grandpa.” Ouch. You can read more at the BBC website.

Trans pilot Jessica Taylor

Trans pilot Jessica Taylor

Until last week the FAA consider gender dysphoria to be in a category of mental illness that required trans pilots to go through psychological testing every year to keep their pilot’s license. Now trans pilots will be able to get their medical certification with a regular medical exam. There are still a couple of hoops they have to jump through. Find out what they are on the Minnesota Public Radio website.

A study by Western University in London, Ontario, found that about half of transgender people in Ontario who have a family physician are not comfortable discussing trans issues with that doctor. There is a fear of the doctor refusing to treat the patient as well as lack of knowledge on the subject. There also is fear of discussing such issues in general. This does not count those who do not have a family doctor. You can read about this in Blackburn News, and you can find the study itself at PLOS one.

Gavin Grimm

Gavin Grimm

Last Wednesday, a U.S. Appeals Court heard arguments in a case in which a transgender student claims that not allowing him access to facilities consistent with his gender identity violates his rights under Title IX. The three-judge panel in Richmond, Virginia, heard oral arguments as Gavin Grimm is suing his high school. You can read more about it in the Washington Blade.

The Republic of Ireland has issued a packet of materials entitled Being LGBT In School. It includes guidelines on how schools should handle children who are trans, such as letting children choose pronouns and wear the PE uniform of their preferred gender. The Journal has more on this.

Students in Brighton and Hove in the U.K. were asked by the government to fill out a form describing themselves. They were given not just two genders but twenty-four gender descriptions to choose from, including “non-binary,” “gender queer,” “gender fluid,” “agender,” and “in the middle of boy and girl.” Learn more in GayStarNews.

Organizers in Michigan have discontinued their effort to get a proposal to strengthen LGBT rights on the ballot this November. In the wake of the vote in Houston last fall, it is feared that failing at the polls could do harm to the movement. The story is in the Detroit Free Press.

Charlene Lauderdale

Charlene Lauderdale

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently ruled that a private insurance firm handling Medicare cases must pay for gender-confirmation surgery for Charlene LauderdaleBuzzfeed has this story.

January 29 was National Transgender Day Of Visibility in Brazil. Sadly, to be seen as transgender in Brazil too often exposes one to some very serious threats. The Ministry of Gender, Racial Equality, and Human Rights has initiated a new campaign timed to coincide with the National Transgender Day of Visibility, aimed especially at health and respect. You can find more at La Prensa Latina.

Louie Anderson in Baskets.

Louie Anderson in Baskets.

I saw a promo the other day for a new show on FX. It’s a Zack Galifianakis show and in it he plays a guy who flunks out of clown school in France and has to go back to his hometown and take a job as a rodeo clown. The promo featured his character’s mom and I found myself saying, That woman looks like Louie Anderson. And sure enough, it is Louie Anderson playing a female role. He plays a mom based on his own mother and he does it seriously, not exaggerating anything or using the “man playing a woman” aspect for laughs. Learn how he got the role, which was written for a specific actress who couldn’t take the job, and how he approached it on the Vanity Fair website.

Photos from the ‘70s San Francisco drag scene have resurfaced and are on display through March 20 at the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco. They were taken by a female photographer named Roz Joseph at events held by The Imperial Court and document the diverse, and subversive, SF drag scene back in the day. Read the story and see some photos from the show on the SFist website.

Brian and Ida.

Brian and Ida.

A few seasons ago the Sunday night cartoon show Family Guy featured a story line that included a transsexual woman. The father of the show’s womanizing character Quagmire, comes back into his son’s life, as a woman. Ida, as she is now called, is presented as being happy with her new life but the main characters show disgust over her. Brian, the talking dog, has a sexual episode with Ida and when he learns she is Quagmire’s dad he projectile vomits for over 30 seconds. (Cartoon vomit. Yuck.) None of the characters on Family Guy are ever very classy but their reaction to Ida seems over the top. GLAAD characterized the episode as “incredibly offensive to transgender people.” The British media watch dogs, Ofcom, studied the episode after a complaint was made this past November and determined that it didn’t breach their guidelines for offensive content. This could be a TWIT Award but we leave it up to you. Read about it and view some clips on the Chortle website.

Speaking of people with no class: The New Year’s Day Philadelphia Mummers Parade created controversy in the media, and here on TGF in the comments area. One of the Mummers troupes based their whole presentation around making fun of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition from a male Olympic athlete to a trans woman reality show star. But the Mummers don’t stop at making fun of trans people. They caricature African Americans, Mexicans and gay people, as well. Now their hijinks have hurt a smaller Mummers event that usually happens in February in a section of the city called Manayunk. Organizers say that donations to support the event are down because of the themes many of the Mummers choose for their skits. Is their low humor going out of favor? Learn more on the website.


Sports writer Brandon Morse is winning a TWIT Award. Morse is not excited about the recent news that athletes competing in the Olympics do not have to have their reassignment surgery before competing in their true gender. In fact Morse feels that it means that “men” will be directly competing with women and this will smash the Olympic dreams of many women athletes. Why is it that one person’s glass half full is another person’s glass half empty? If you want to check out Morse’s use of the standard “facts” to defend his take on trans Olympians you can read it on The Federalist website.

What’s up with Indiana? Last year they got crushed under a wave of indignation after passing a religious objection law that would have allowed businesses to evoke their religious beliefs to let them discriminate against LGBT people. The legislature is trying to fix that mess but the bill just passed by the Senate Rules Committee last week would not include protections for trans people. A TWIT Award is given to the Republican legislative leaders who thought that leaving out trans people was a good idea. Learn more about the fight in Indiana on the ABC News website.

We’re giving a TWIT Award to the Lee Christian School in North Carolina which requires all students and their parents, as well as school employees, to sign a “lifestyle statement and covenant” agreement. In it is this statement: “Gender confusion and dysphoria are ultimately the biological, psychological, social and spiritual consequences of the human race’s fallen condition. This state of depravity affects all persons individually and collectively.” The school receives education vouchers from the state. You can read more at Qnotes.

Dylan Hill, a student at Woodward School in Toledo who identifies as a trans girl, wore a skirt to school for picture day with the school orchestra, but was sent home. Although the school does allow transgender students to dress in their preferred gender, apparently school officials were not aware that this student identified as trans. If that is so, then a TWIT Award goes to the student for not informing school officials before the incident. If the officials did know (and it seems that they did) then they get the TWIT. See the story on the WTVG-TV website.

TGF user Cecilia contributed links and text to this edition of TWIT.

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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.

Comments (3)

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  1. sfem sfem says:

    Dylan Hill should be able to wear whatever they like as long as they aren’t doing it to disrupt the event. Telling their secrets to the authority figures should not be required to wear clothing deemed appropriate for other attendees.
    I am very surprised to see the stated position in the article from tgf.

    • angela_g angela_g says:

      The point of the variable TWIT Award was that the school’s policy is to let trans students dress as their true gender but Dylan had not declared that she was a girl. If she had there should have been no problem at the photo shoot. If she did inform the school of her gender status then the school official who sent her home gets the Award. In a perfect world she should not have to tell anyone anything about her gender and should be able to dress as she likes but we don’t live in that world, and the school has policies that should be either followed or changed through protest and education.

  2. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    >A few seasons ago the Sunday night cartoon show Family Guy featured a story line that included a transsexual woman

    Not concerned, show makes fun of everything. Equality bring parody, get used to it. Shows like Modern Family, Blackish, and Transparent are loaded with stereotypes of their respective groups.

    >Pennsylvania State Police, following FBI guidelines (they say) use the term “female portrayal”

    Make up your mind people, do want the crimes investigated as hate crimes or not? There will always be some verbiage you object to.

    >Dylan Hill, then a TWIT Award goes to the student for not informing school officials before the incident

    Lay off the kid, he is young and lacks the judgement of an adult.

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