The Week In Transgenderism 2/8/16

| Feb 8, 2016
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Ashton, before.

Ashton, before.

Being trans is often hard. For every trans person who has known since an early age that they were being raised in the wrong gender there are several others who don’t feel “right” but don’t have any idea of what is wrong. One such person was Ashton Colby. Colby was a beautiful blonde woman who had participated in beauty pageants since the age of 16. Colby thought that it would boost self-esteem but there was still something missing. After losing the Miss Ohio pageant Colby learned about female to male trans men and realized that that was the problem. Read about his journey from the pageants to masculinity on the People website.

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America are very supportive of all girls who want to be Scouts. Even girls who have male anatomy. This makes some people upset but it shouldn’t be an excuse for rudeness. One trans Scout was going door-to-door in her neighborhood giving the  cookie sales pitch when a householder told her “Nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress.” For shame! If you like Thin Mints you should buy them and keep your mouth shut about the girl selling them. But this item is not in the TWIT Awards section because the young cookie seller took her story online and sold over 3000 boxes of cookies. She turned that mean rejection into a good thing. Read all about it on Yahoo News.

Maines

Maines

A 2014 ruling in Maine guaranteed the right of trans students in that state to use the restroom that corresponded to their expressed gender. The governor of Maine, Paul LePage, (R) did not allow the rights commission to work with the Department of Education to write new rules that complied with the court decision. Since no official rules have been written the rights commission has issued guidelines, but since they aren’t rules they have no teeth. Nicole Maines was the student at the center of the court case. The fact that the court ruling has been ignored by the governor is the subject of an article in the Bangor Daily News.

Trans teens in Australia must get court approval before they can receive hormone treatment. A 10-year-old trans girl won a case five years ago that allowed her to get hormone blockers to stop her body from developing male characteristics. When she was ready to start hormone treatment she had to endure a long and expensive process of court appearances. She and her family, along with medical professionals and others, are going to Australia’s Parliament House to plead for the loosening of the legal hold over teen’s hormone treatments. Get the story from The Age.

When Australia takes its census later this year, respondents will have the choice of “male,” “female,” or “other” for both sex and gender. However, respondents can only do so online, and they have to call the census bureau to get a special log-in that will unlock the “other” option.  The report is in The Guardian.

Dmitri Vorobyov

Dmitry Vorobyov

What do you do when the money you have saved up for your GRS disappears because of the devaluation of your country’s currency? Dmitry Vorobyvov is a trans woman living in Moscow.  She has been saving up for surgery in Thailand. However, she kept her savings in rubles, and the value of the ruble has decreased substantially. She is suing the Central Bank of Russia for 390,000 rubles ($5,064.31), to make up for the losses caused by inflation. Pravda says that this sort of lawsuit is the first of its kind. (Pravda also flirts with a TWIT for using male references to woman.)

Opponents of letting trans students use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity throw around all kinds of allegations about the danger or letting “boys” into the girls’ room. They claim that safety will be compromised and girls will be harassed by the “boys.” Well, a new report shows that there has been zero, zip, nada, evidence of any of the things those on the right say will happen if trans kids can pee where they like. The report surveyed 17 U.S. school districts with trans-inclusive policies. Learn more on the Seventeen magazine website.

Sex worker on The X-Files.

Sex worker on The X-Files.

Fans of the ‘90s show The X-Files are having fun watching a new mini series that brings back Mulder and Scully. The new show pokes fun at it’s ‘90s practice of featuring a “monster-of-the-week by introducing a “lizard man” that is actually a lizard that turns into a human during the daytime. And it doesn’t like it. In the course of the episode the lizard man gets into an altercation with a trans woman. The trans woman is played by a drag performer (Shangela) and that has one reviewer upset. That and the fact that the trans woman character is one of the typical sex worker parts trans people have gotten stuck with for years. But it may not be all that bad. You decide. The story is on Slate.

Maybe it was Dana Bevan’s article in TGF about the lack of medical care for trans people in the military, or maybe they were working on it already, but the Pentagon has announced it will expand its healthcare for trans people in the military. The coverage will include hormone therapy and mental health services. The new benefits will apply to active and retired military personnel and their dependents. Learn more in the Sun Times.

The boys pose in their finery.

The boys pose in their finery.

The Clovis Unified School District in California has a gender-specific dress code which includes defined hair length for boys and what clothing is appropriate. The students at Buchanan High School decided to protest. As part of the protest, boys wore dresses and the girls wore male attire. One protester said that while the local community doesn’t have many trans people the protest was in support of people expressing themselves as they like. You can see the story in the Fresno Bee.

Austin as Elsa.

Austin as Elsa.

In other school dress up news: For School Spirit Day, students at Ethan Chase Middle School in Menifee, California, were encouraged to dress as a Disney character. 13-year-old Austin Lacey chose to dress as Princess Elsa from Frozen. A school administrator told him that the costume was inappropriate and it was confiscated. Austin explains that he just likes to “go all-out,” and his mother says that he is not trans, but that he was taking a stand for others. You can read about it in The Advocate.

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has updated its law for changing gender on a driver’s license. Surgery is no longer required, and any medical or therapeutic professional can sign the form. You can read more at Transequality.org.

Spies working for the Columbian government infiltrated a rebel group and waited for the right moment to call in the military to take them into custody. The spies waited until the rebels held a drag beauty pageant. That’s right. In the middle of the jungle the rebel men dressed in women’s underwear and homemade wigs and were strutting their stuff when they were surrounded by government troops. It’s not really that strange. It must get pretty dreary in the jungle, living in tents wearing came. What better way to bring some glamor to your life than a drag beauty pageant? We have to give a minor TWIT Award to the reporter who insisted on calling the pageant “bizarre.” Read all about it in the Daily Mail.

Is poetry your thing? Do you love drag? How would you like to meld the two into one evening’s entertainment? That’s what they did last week in the Scottish Poetry Library, which is of course, in Scotland. During The Library is Open: Drag Queen Poems event Wanda Isadora de Fourrure read her dark poems about drag while attired in lingerie. Learn more about the event in The Student Newspaper.

Busch as Cleopatra

Busch as Cleopatra

If drag without the poetry is more your cup of tea perhaps you would rather attend Charles Busch’s Cleopatra playing at Theater for the New City in New York from March 25 through April 17. Busch is the well known drag performer behind such plays, and films, as Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and Psycho Beach Party. Learn more in The Hollywood Reporter.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has decided that prisoners can begin hormone therapy while behind bars. The process is not particularly easy, and it can take an inmate quite a while to qualify. You can read about this in the Houston Chronicle.

Zoe Pierce

Zoe Pierce

Stories of young children being aware that their gender is different from what their anatomy dictates have become more common over the past few years. Here’s a story of one young woman in England who knew she was different since that young age and after nine years of trying to understand why she was different she learned about transgenderism and realized she was meant to live as a female. Now Zoe Pierce is transitioning and building a career as a model. Meet her and watch a video in the Daily Post.

Missouri State University has added gender identity and gender expression to its non-discrimination policy. The policy had already included protections for sexual orientation but will now cover trans students, and employees. Get the story from Ozarks First.

Lysette an Laverne Cox

Lysette an Laverne Cox

The SAG Awards, the acting award that is given by members of the SAG-AFTRA performers union by their fellow actors, happened at the end of January and the red carpet was awash in trans performers. Orange Is The New Black and Transparent won awards for their casts and writers. Take a look at what the ladies wore to the ceremony on NewNowNext.

If you are a trans woman and a student at Brown University, you are welcome to join the sorority of your choice during rush week. The decision came from the Panhellenic Council just before sorority rush starts on February 12. The Brown Daily Herald has more.

A four-year-old in the Basque country of Spain has received a legal name change, from Luken to Lucia. This should be easy to handle, since everyone in the village of Asteausu already calls the child Lucia. You can read more at El Pais.

Sophie Rebeccca

Sophie Rebeccca

Britain’s Royal Academy of Dance has abandoned their policy of accepting as students only those born female. As a result they now have some trans women training there. One is Sophie Rebecca. You can watch a video and download a PDF of the article about trans dancers on the Royal Academy of Dance website.

Last month, Midland County (Michigan) Circuit Court judge Michael Beale dismissed a case against Planet Fitness in which a cisgender client objected to sharing a changing room with a transsexual. An appeal has now been filed. You can read about it on MLive.

TWITs

The state of South Dakota is working on a bill that if it becomes law will require cities, school districts, state agencies and other public bodies to treat people as the gender that is on their birth certificate and not as the gender they identify with. Rep. Jim Bolin, (R) introduced the bill to “defend the validity of state documents.” Whatever that means. He elaborated, “You just can’t pick and choose information on birth certificates.” A TWIT Award to Bolin and the others in the state legislature who have moved to cause more trouble for trans people in South Dakota. Get the story from the Argus Leader.

While it’s pretty clear to us at TGForum that being trans is a real thing, there are those in the psychiatric community who feel that it is not real. One such is Dr. Joseph Berger who holds the position that being trans is simply “emotional unhappiness” and it should not be treated with “cosmetic surgery.” Ordinarily this doctor’s opinions would only be a problem for any of his trans patients but he has gone before the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to say that trans people are delusional and they don’t need “special rights.” He spread other opinions about the nature of transness as seen through his “objective scientific” lens that we must give him a TWIT Award over since they are mostly poppycock. If you’d care to read more of his opinions you can find them on the CNS News website.

Brad Roberts is a trans man who works as a policeman for the Clark County School District in Nevada. The school district informed Brad that he could not use the men’s room until he has had surgery. Lambda Legal is on the case and the ban against him using the men’s room has been lifted but the school district continues to insist in court that they did nothing wrong. That gets the Clark County School District a TWIT Award. Read the story on the Lambda Legal website.

Last week we told you of a survey of children in Britain which asked them to choose from 24 possible genders. A group which calls itself “the Christian Institute” has won a TWIT Award since they objected to the survey, saying that it was “profoundly confusing” and “totally misleading.” The Children’s Commissioner has taken down the survey, saying that it was a “draft version.” There is no word on when, if ever, the survey or its final version would be available. The Huffington Post has more.

Here’s another TWIT Award winning government official. Dan Bishop, a North Carolina state representative, says that the city of Charlotte does not have the authority to pass a law which would protect LGBT citizens from discrimination. That’s bad enough, but he also says that the city does not have the authority to protect people from discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or religion — or any other basis, for that matter. Such a law has been on the books there for 48 years, and has been upheld in courts, but that does not seem to matter to Bishop. You can read about this in the Charlotte Observer.

There’s something rotten in Denmark. Despite being known as a successful socialist country, being home to Einar Wegener, later known as Lili Elbe, and being where Christine Jorgensen had her surgery, a new report tells us that there is a long waiting line for gender-confirmation surgery these days. Danish FtM transsexuals must wait six years on average, while their MtF counterparts have an average eight year wait. This is not good and it wins the country a TWIT Award. CPH Post has the story.

It’s bad enough that schools are trying to ban trans kids from using the restroom corresponding to their gender identity but when they let you do it for several years and then say you can’t, that really gets a TWIT Award, or two. A student at Socastee High School in South Carolina has been suspended for using the restroom of his preferred gender. He has been using that restroom for three years without incident, but during the fall semester, he was told to use the girls’ rest room or the nurse’s office. WYFF-TV has the story.

Here’s an example of “spin” against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule that would ban discrimination against trans people under the Affordable Care Act. The Catholic News Agency wins a TWIT Award for printing that doctors and medical institutions could be “forced out of business” if they weren’t willing to perform or facilitate reassignment surgery. The spin being that trans people could go to a doctor and ask for surgery or hormone treatment and if the doctor wouldn’t comply with their request because he was a religious person who did not believe transgenderism was real he would be penalized by the federal government. That’s taking an effort to protect trans people’s access to care and makingseem as if it’s the providers who are being victimized. Read the rest of their spin on the Catholic News Agency website.

Input for this edition of TWIT came from TGF readers Cecilia and Jan Brown.


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Category: Transgender Community News

angela_g

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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  1. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    >Despite being known as a successful socialist country
    >Danish FtM transsexuals must wait six years on average

    That stat tells us what happens in a socialist medicine system, therefor Denmark cannot be both a successful socialist county and still have such a long wait.

    >Clovis Unified School District in California
    That pic where the kids are primping all dorky. Express your creativity, but uh I can live without the limp wrist, hips out posing.
    Why don’t we transgenders teach these kids to focus on learning, success, and innovation?
    It’s all about bathrooms for you people.
    Brains over genitals.