The Week In Transgenderism 2/22/16

| Feb 22, 2016
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Jai Dara Latto

Jai Dara Latto

The winner of the Miss Transgender UK contest is not content to rest on her laurels. She has announced that she will walk 30 miles in stilettos and underwear to call attention to LGBTI rights in India, Thailand and Scotland. Scotland? Jai Dara Latto is a resident of Scotland and won the Miss Transgender Scotland contest in 2015. There is symbolism around her choice of attire and the length of the walk. Read about it in the International Business Times. (More news, not good, about Ms. Latto in the TWITs section below.)

Have you ever wanted to be a spy? The CIA has announced that is has put in place a diversity program to recruit trans people. Also LGB people, and a list of races and nationalities. Their Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is a three-year plan that will be monitored to create an “inclusion index.” Get a remarkably unbiased report on the plan from the Fox News website.

Alexandra Billings

Alexandra Billings

Today’s “meet the trans actress” story is about Alexandra Billings, one of the trans actors featured on the Amazon show Transparent. Billings is from the Chicago suburbs where she went through her teen years as an effeminate boy. She started living as a woman in 1980 and performed in Chicago drag clubs under the drag name Shanté. Learn more about her in the Daily Herald.

A sorority at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio was faced with a big decision when one of their members came out as a trans man. He had pledged the sorority as a female but became certain he was a man after he was accepted as a member. The sorority decided that he is welcome to remain a member. And they’re getting an award for their decision. Read about it on the website.

Caitlyn Jenner says that she is getting more negativity from the public over the fact that she is a Republican than she gets for being a trans woman. During an appearance in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania she told students that her politics seem to upset people more than her gender identity. We know it upsets people in her party. Learn more in the New York Daily News.

andreja_marie_claireAndreja Pejic was in the news last week. She has done her first magazine cover as a woman. Pervious covers she has been featured on were either when she was identifying as a male model or an androgynous model. She is on the cover of the March issue of Marie Claire Spain. Learn more and see the whole cover in the Hollywood Reporter.

A voice coach for trans people says that it’s important that those who wish to change their voice to match their appearance need to see a speech pathologist. Trying to change your voice on your own can cause damage to the vocal cords. Christie Block talks about her speech practice and how she helps her clients in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan.

The “no transgender people in the restroom” bills are ludicrous. After such legislation is passed who will act as the “restroom police” and how will those brave officers search out trans people attempting to infiltrate the restroom? As one young trans man’s mother said, if her son followed the law “he’d be going into the female restroom, which would be ridiculous.” Ridiculous because her son has a beard and hairy legs. Her son points out that “Trans people look like men and women.” Read more about him and his family and their reaction to the failed bill in Washington on the My Northwest website.

The Union for Reform Judaism passed a transgender rights policy last fall that called for spreading awareness about trans issues and urges the use of the correct pronouns. The Orthodox branch of Judaism has not been so accepting. But it’s possible that they might change their minds. Why not? It couldn’t hurt. Read what Rabbi Tavi Hersh Weinreb, the executive vice president, emeritus of the Orthodox Union had to say about what the Torah says on the subject. His remarks are reported in the Jewish Journal.

Minne Cooper

Minne Cooper

The television talent shows around the world are seeing more and more drag performers. The latest drag performance took place last week on Australia’s Got Talent. A performer named Minne Cooper brought a dance troupe to back her up and they tap danced their way into the judges’ hearts. Former fashion cop Kelly Osbourne was a guest judge. So that’s where she’s been hiding. Read more and see a video of the performance on the Queerty website.

Last week a bill that lets businesses in Virginia discriminate against married same-sex couples, trans people, and people who have sex outside of marriage passed in the Republican-controlled House. This goes against the feelings of the majority of state residents who believe that businesses should not be able to refuse service based on gender identity, sexual orientation or religion. The slight glimmer of light comes from analysis of how the Republican delegates voted. All but 2 of the Republican lawmakers who voted “no” are younger than 53. It seems that acceptance of LGBT people is easier to find in younger people. Read the story in The Washington Post. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the tip.

Beardless Jordan.

Beardless Jordan.

Jordan Raskopoulos is a member of the Australian musical comedy trio Axis Of Awesome and also works as a solo performer. Jordan used to have a beard and fans were surprised when photos without a beard appeared online. (Jordan looked a bit like Jack Black with the beard.) To answer fans’ questions Jordan explained in a recent video that she shaved off her beard because she is a transwoman. You can read her story in the The Age.

Trudie Styler, wife of pop singer Sting, will direct a film based on a book by former NYC club kid James St. James. The story is about a teenage drag queen who wants to become the homecoming queen at her conservative high school. The film is titled Freak Show. Read more about it in the New York Daily News.



Here’s a shaggy dog story. Well, not really. It’s a short haired dog story but the dog in question is intersex. The rescue dog, a pitbull-mix, was picked up by Detroit Dog Rescue and when it went to the veterinarian for a checkup the vet found it had both male and female genitalia. The dog is now known as Ziggy Stardust and is living with a gay rights attorney. Read more on the MLive website.

A while back, Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition made a big deal of suing Fairfax County Public Schools, along with a student in the school system, who had standing to sue. The suit opposed the district’s anti-discrimination rules. That lawsuit has been dismissed before it even got to trial. Although Ms. Lafferty plans to appeal, she may get no farther in her appeal than she did in her original suit. The Washington Post has this story.



We reported this story back in November but it looks like now things have been sorted out and Prithika Yashini, an Indian trans woman who always dreamed of becoming a police officer has been given her orders to report for duty. Her dream is now coming true, as she has been made a sub-inspector in the police force. Pink News has her story.

In 1859, a man’s body was found in a canal in Manchester, England. After the body was retrieved, it was discovered that this was in fact a biological female. Although little is known about the victim, Harry Stokes, a play about his life is being staged in Manchester. You can read about it in Mancunian Matters.

A RuPaul’s Drag Race “super fan” has created an online coloring book with drawings of the new season’s contestants that you can print out or download and color. Fans can color the queens any way they like then post a photo of their work on Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr and it will be judged by the artist who created the drawings. Learn more on NewNowNext.

Famed pop singer Adelle and her partner, Simon Konecki, brought their son Angelo to Disneyland. Angelo was dressed as Anna from Frozen. Does that mean Angelo is trans? Or is he just an Elsa fan? You can read about it on the Pink News site.

Many transgender people have reported problems with getting their doctors up to speed on their medical needs. Some have tried to stop hormone therapy for fear it would interfere with other medicines. Assigning a transgender patient to a hospital room can be tricky as well. Science Today has the story.

The California department of Fair Employment and Housing has issued guidelines to employers, telling them that they must allow transgender employees to use the restroom corresponding to their preferred gender. It does suggest the possibility of gender-neutral restrooms as an alternative. The Washington Blade has more.

Rachel Wiggins

Rachel Wiggins

Rachel Wiggins was a security guard in Florida before her gender transition. Her employer told her to show up as a male or she would be fired. She informed him that it was illegal to fire her because of her transition, and they kept her on, but she was given jobs at odd hours and distant locations. She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who found in her favor. Now she is suing her former employer. You can read about it on WFTV’s website.

The independent journal Crosscut has conducted an investigation into how many problems have been created in states where trans people are allowed to use the restroom of their choice. They determined which states have laws that allow trans people to use the restroom of their preferred gender, and then asked law enforcement there if they had any problems with “bathroom predators.” No such problems were reported. You can see the results of their investigation on their website.


A woman wrote a piece in which she describes how her small community shunned her and her son, starting not long after her child was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. She is moving the family because of how local parents reacted to that diagnosis. Those parents are getting a TWIT Award. The story is in Good Housekeeping magazine.

A Catholic priest who was posing as a teenage girl online to solicit teenage girls to send him sexually explicit photos was found guilty of child pornography and sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years federal probation after his release. He tried to use being transgender as a defense. Fortunately the judge agreed with the federal prosecutors that “Transgender does not equate to sexually abusing children.” In addition to his sentence former priest Mark Haynes gets a TWIT Award for trying to use being trans as a defense. Whether he is trans or not his pedophilia is another matter altogether. Read the story on

Last September, Jai Dara Latto was crowned Miss Transgender U.K.  However, she has been stripped of the title after pageant organizer Rachael Bailey saw a picture from a documentary about Ms. Latto in which she is seen wearing boxer shorts. The winner is supposed to be living full-time as a woman and Bailey claims Latto is a drag queen and not trans. We’re issuing a TWIT Award to Rachael Bailey for judging someone’s “trans-ness” based on one photo. It’s unclear if the new titleholder, Daisy Bell, gets the main prize, £10,000 worth of surgery in India.  You can read the story in The Telegraph.

Is this really worth a TWIT Award? Rebel Wilson was a presenter at the BAFTA awards. She joked about how BAFTA has more diverse members than the Oscars, then said that she hopes to win an Oscar someday. “I have already been practicing my transgender face,” she said.  The joke got a laugh from the audience in the room, but some took to Twitter in opposition. Gay Star News has the story.

In other BAFTA related news: Eddie Redmayne was nominated for a BAFTA award, as best actor for his performance in The Danish Girl. Although he lost to Leonardo DiCaprio, the BBC tweeted a quote from Mr. Redmayne saying, “It’s extraordinary how trans issues have come into the mainstream media since we made Danish Girl.”  Several people, who are flirting with a TWIT Award, took issue with the way that Mr. Redmayne seems to take credit for making trans issues mainstream. In reality, the quote was snipped from a longer statement, in which he gave credit to a lot of people for their work in making trans issues mainstream. Buzzfeed has more.

While several states have seen proposed bills dealing with trans people and restrooms, these bills have generally died in some committee or other.  TWIT Award winning South Dakota has become the first state in which such a bill has made it through both houses of the legislature and to the governor. The bill requires transgender students to use the restroom, shower, and locker room of their “biological sex.” This, of course, assumes a very simplistic view of biology and of the diversity of gender that exists in nature. You can read about the bill in the Washington Post.

The TWIT Award for just not wanting to quit goes to an anti-trans in the bathroom group called Just Want Privacy. (Aren’t those stall walls and doors there to provide privacy?) They’re in the state of Washington and oppose the state’s Human Rights Commission decision that trans people may use the restroom and locker room that corresponds to their preferred gender.  JWP has launched a new website to raise $100,000 and 1,000 volunteers, for a petition campaign to put the matter on the ballot as a referendum. You can read about their efforts on The Stranger.

Content for this edition of TWIT was provided by TGF user Cecilia.

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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 (15)

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  1. says:


    “It’s just too self-centered, the world is won and advanced by those who discover, build, and create outside their own self interest.”

    Well, here’s where I have to fundamentally disagree – it is impossible – literally – to act outside of one’s self interest, absent coercion by another force.

    People ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS act in their own perceived self-interest (absent coercion).

    So for trans people to do so is just immutable human nature at work. The fact that you don’t like some of the things ‘they’ do just indicates that you want them to do what you want them to do, ie act in YOUR self-interest.

    Nobody else lives their life that way, why should they?

    • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

      Of course people act in their survival instinct first, food, shelter. But what do I want to be known as a transgender or a great Dr., writer, business person, respectable parent, problem solver,

      By the way do whatever you like, in my life I have discovered I have earned much more respect by not saying first I am TG or a Hispanic (which I am), but rather showing my compassion, empathy, intellect first. Being trans is not an accomplishment.

      • says:

        And earning that respect illustrates the point – that’s your attempt to maximize your own self-interest at work – it’s what YOU want to do with your life’s time.

        Others – all others – have their own definition of self-interest. A lot of people do things that I consider meaningless if not downright self-destructive. It’s when their behavior intercepts and interferes with my own self-interest that it becomes an issue that I have to deal with.

  2. says:

    “Don’t fall for the trap of barking ooooh look at me I’m trans and different now listen to me.”

    KoolMcKool, I understand what you’re saying there but there is a defense to be made for the the ‘all-trans, all-the-time’ narrow-focus of some trans people.

    I really regret that in accepting the ‘transgender’ umbrella term we’ve lost the distinction between transvestism and transsexualism. You don’t even hear/see those words much any more and that’s too bad because at one time we in the ‘community’ understood that there were distinctions between the two conditions.

    Then it was understood that transsexuals lived – or wanted to live – full-time in the world of women, transvestites visited it, more or less frequently.

    Most tv’s, by definition, do not want to relinquish their male lives and certainly not their manhood. We/they have that choice; add in the fact that crossdressing starts out (and pretty much remains to one degree or another) an erotically-based/fetishistic behavior, and the difference vis-a-vis transsexualism is pretty clear.

    Transsexuals don’t have the luxury of that choice – they are aware of their ‘differentness’, their dysphoria (another word no longer pc), 24/7. There’s a lot of mental pain, frustration, and anguish unless an individual is fortunate enough to pass and just blend-in with a society that is not particularly sympathetic to such a profound affront to the male-female divide.

    • says:


      It’s somewhat similar to the argument made in another era by blacks who didn’t take lightly to homosexuals claiming equal victimization. Black people argued, legitimately, that they can’t hide, gay people can, pretending to be straight and thus avoiding discrimination.

      When a born male (and yes, you are born – not ‘assigned’ – one or the other sex!) is naturally transsexual but unfortunately isn’t passably feminine, it’s understandable that her unhappy situation dominates every moment of her life.

      Everything is seen through the lens of being rejected by society, and possibly family and friends, when all she wants is acceptance, to live her life authentically.

      Clearly society is moving towards some acceptance, very slowly, but the liberal media is doing everything it can to promote trans-awareness, with Caitlin being everywhere and movies and tv shows including trans characters.

      There is some push back from conservatives, taking the form of the ‘bathroom wars’ but like same-sex marriage which was hugely important to gays, that will resolve itself in favor of trans rights. Bathroom genital policing is not a viable, nor Constitutional, option!

      To conclude, the seeming obsession by transsexuals with their trans-ness is perfectly understandable, and deserves empathy, from the greater society and especially from us, as crossdressers. We’ll benefit, after all, from their victories even as we sometimes cringe at the excesses of the trans agenda.

      • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

        I’ve always defended crossdressing as the basic right of Freedom of Expression, as fundamental as the right to free speech.

        I would fight and kill in the streets to defend anyone’s right to dress as they choose in public.

        I’ve met a lot of folks from weekend CDs, who later gave it up to folks who went 1/10, 1/2, or all the way in their transition. If you make being trans your whole life, especially with nonsense like “trans studies” one does little to move the world and one’s own life forward. It’s just too self-centered, the world is won and advanced by those who discover, build, and create outside their own self interest.

    • angela_g angela_g says:

      I agree that the the use of “transgender” or “trans” fails to make a distinction between those who are part time and those who are living their true gender identity 24/7. That’s why I urge crossdressers to speak up and say that they love to be women some of the time and that it’s not weird or strange to have those feelings. I disagree that it’s always erotic in nature. Some CDs get very turned on and can’t control their passion but many are able to control their urges and fit into the femme population without being fetishistic about their attire. They can have sexual pleasure from it but chose when and where. Just as you do with a sexual partner.

      • says:

        “I disagree that it’s always erotic in nature.”

        Angela, you are right about being able to control (sublimate?) the erotic nature of crossdressing as an adult, but it always starts in adolescence as a fetishistic attraction to the feminine. That’s the definition of transvestism.

        Those men who aren’t and have never been aroused by it all, are transsexual.

        That’s the basic distinction I made in my earlier comment.

        Then, just to muddle things, there are those crossdressers who for one reason or another later in life convince themselves that they aren’t tv’s but have always been ts’s.

        I think Caitlin is a prime example of that phenomenon. I’d like to have someone ask her (but that would be rude!) if she became sexually aroused when she first crossdressed.

        I don’t believe a true transsexual such as Jazz Jennings has that reaction at all, she was girlish from the earliest years, and everything about her is naturally feminine.

        People should be able to live their lives as they want, but this self-deception and then trying to convince the larger society that ‘it’s not sexual!’ is bogus.

  3. says:

    Btw, KoolMcKool, I like how you think and express yourself.


  4. says:

    It’s refreshing to see these divergent opinions expressed.

    What would really be interesting is a poll of Angela’s readers’ political orientations. I suspect there are a lot more conservatives among the crossdressing trans-subset than one might gather from the articles here.

    Lesley Anne

    • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

      Thank you Lesley Anne.

      Now we’re talking, a whopping 6 comments!
      I have never seen this much life here, this is my real goal to see TGs speak up and start to have intelligent discussions on the whole world of topics.

      It is getting really old being known as nothing more than a group of folks obsessed with the mirror, a beauty pageant, and letting 15 years olds go to school in a dress.

      Just take a look at the serious topics that openly gay men participate in and earn respect. People the time is here to speak up as a intelligent person with ideas and solutions, people will respect you for that.

      Don’t fall for the trap of barking ooooh look at me I’m trans and different now listen to me. I made that mistake many years ago and realized I only made a fool of myself. Go to an event, people will see that your trans and they wait and wonder, what comes out of this person’s mouth. If it’s transgenderism, they will say oh how cute what do you think of Ms. Jenner. If it is Syria, the federal reserve, the Zika virus people will say, interesting person tell me more. Then they will respect you.

  5. j2emily j2emily says:

    it certainly irks me that certain elements of the GOP are not in our corner and it is appropriate for you to point out some of their crap. yet this week’s harangue by Ms Lynne is totally over the top and should not be in the Forum. It really is a Dem campaign message.
    Say what you will about Scalia but the Constitution was written to protect our freedoms and Scalia held that leaving much to the states would protect us best. In the short run this might slow down TG progress but I fear even more the big govt Dem machine that would like to control every aspect of our lives.

    • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

      >Say what you will about Scalia but the Constitution was written to protect our freedoms and Scalia held that leaving much to the states would protect us best

      WHOA! Where did you come from?
      You mean to tell me you are TG and don’t support everything in the liberal democratic agenda, you don’t hate religion, support subsidized SRS for death row inmates and other violent criminals, you don’t want states to decide how school children are educated, but would rather have a federal law mandating TGism is taught to kids.
      You mean you don’t shout and pout you way as an activist to get attention.

      In other words, thank you for being yourself.
      Welcome to being a trans-intellectual.

      • Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

        Umm… wow. I wrote you a more complete retort under my own column, but for here I just say…

        where do you get your f-ed up ideas?> Could you please provide sources?

    • Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

      Hello! Thank you for reading! And thanks for commenting!

      Now allow me to retort.

      “it certainly irks me that certain elements of the GOP are not in our corner and it is appropriate for you to point out some of their crap.”

      >>>> Not in our corner? That’s putting it mildly! How would you describe Auschwitz- “a minor inconvenience for the Jews?” Dear reader, they want nothing less than our eradication. The Family Research Council (a majoR GOP donor, and SPC Hate Group)has publically released their plans for us. Rather than type it all out, I’ll refer you to this wonderfully clear piece.

      Need I remind you that ALL of the quotes are cited and referenced, and that most of the remaining GOP candidates are on record as wanting us DEAD (Cruz especially, and I quoted him.)

      yet this week’s harangue by Ms Lynne is totally over the top and should not be in the Forum. It really is a Dem campaign message.

      >>>>Emily, I’ve been writing for TGF for many years. I write OPINION pieces. My Opinion. Yet, you would have me censored because you don’t agree? You’re really playing to the GOP stereotype of “eliminate that which you don’t like” aren’t you?

      If you don’t like what I write, Angela is ALWAYS looking for new talent. Assuming you can string together an insightful subject and predicate, why don’t YOU write your own column? I’d read it!

      Say what you will about Scalia but the Constitution was written to protect our freedoms and Scalia held that leaving much to the states would protect us best.

      >>> Ah yes. The “States rights” argument. Emily, that little matter was solved in 1865, at the cost of 620,000 American lives. You may want to brush up on your history a bit.

      In the short run this might slow down TG progress but I fear even more the big govt Dem machine that would like to control every aspect of our lives.

      >>> The Dem machine wants to control every aspect of our lives? Who wants to tell us where we can and cannot pee, FFS? The GOP. Who wants to be able to tell women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies? GOP. Who wants to tell you what you can/cannot do in your own bedroom? GOP. Who wants to strip LGBT of every possible right? GOP. Who wants to strip millions of Americans of health care? GOP. Please tell me exactly which rights the democrats are trying to control? Oh, and BTW- I’m a registered independent.

      To conclude my retort, allow me to say this- you may not like what I wrote, which is your right, but at least I’m smart enough to place a comment under the article to which it belongs, unlike you.

      be well!

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