The Week In Transgenderism 2/29/16

| Feb 29, 2016
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calpernia02-2016Who has been a showgirl, musician, actor, activist and television producer? Calpernia Addams, that’s who. She is an outspoken advocate for trans people and she has accomplished much in her life that would have been difficult for anyone. She gave an interview yesterday in which she discusses her life and her various pursuits. You can find it in The Huffington Post.

There is a national volunteer effort to activate transgender people, their supporters, allies, families and friends to elect Hillary Clinton. It’s called Trans United For Hillary and you can learn more about their mission on their website.

The Governor of Pennsylvania has called his state’s Code that precludes the use of Medicaid money for gender confirmation medical care and surgery, wrong. Governor Tom Wolf wants Pennsylvania government to work toward removing the qualification from the Code and open the door to Medicaid coverage for trans people. The governor’s statement may have been inspired by a lawsuit filed against the Department of Health and Human Services secretary that attacks the law that discriminates against trans people. Learn more in Philadelphia Magazine.

Beasa Dukes

Beasa Dukes

More Greek organizations (as in college fraternities) accepting trans members was in the news last week. The Phi Mu Delta fraternity at Longwood University has a bigender, transmasuline brother. Her name (she accepts female pronouns) is Beasa Dukes. Learn more about her membership in the frat and her gender identity in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Good news for trans residents of Saskatoon, Canada. The province has changed the rules regarding government issued ID. Previously a trans person had to get a letter from a medical professional affirming that they had undergone gender reassignment surgery before their ID could be changed. Now such proof is no longer required. Read more on the CBC website.

In other Canadian news, when Elections Manitoba enumerators ask people to fill out their information forms, voters can choose to check the box for “male,” “female,” or they can pencil in another reply. Elections Manitoba is ahead of other provincial information depositories in this regard. You can read more about this in the Winnipeg Free Press.

Meanwhile back in Kansas… A trans woman is suing the state for not allowing her to change her gender on her birth certificate. Until 2012 the Department of Health and Environment would routinely issue amended birth certificates but after Gov. Sam Brownback (R) took office the department suddenly adopted an internal policy that rejected all requests for amendments for trans people’s birth certificates. Learn more about the story in Metro Weekly.



Last April, a federal judge ordered that the State of California provide a prisoner, Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, with “gender-confirmation surgery.” Ms. Norsworthy was paroled while the state fought the judge’s order. This week, the Transgender Law Center in Oakland announced a half-million dollar settlement in the case. This pays for legal fees and provides some money for Ms. Norsworthy. But not everything is sunny and bright. You can read about it in the Bay Area Reporter.

NBC10, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, Pa., has won praise for its handling of the sad story of the recent homicide of a young trans woman of color. Unlike other media outlets in the city NBC10 avoided any of the stigmatizing tropes that all to often are included in coverage of crimes against trans people. You can see more about how the station covered the story on the Media Matters website.

Trevor from his video.

Trevor from his video.

Its a wonderful world. How can we tell? A high school senior made a video about gender roles featuring himself doing a male to female transformation and then going back to male. His goal was to express his feeling that society loses out when it places people in strict gender boxes. The video was his application for a college scholarship and it worked. Learn what college Trevor Ladner will be attending this fall and view his scholarship application in the Sun Herald newspaper.

A female to male trans student in South Dakota is worried about what the governor of that state is going to do about the restroom bill that passed through the legislature and is now waiting on his desk. All the rhetoric from the proponents of the bill is about safety and privacy but this student offers his view on the legislation in a piece in The Washington Post. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the lead.

The State of Washington’s Human Rights Commission has issued a clarification, which contains no surprise for those who know what they are talking about. It seems that, contrary to what some people believe, the ruling that trans people may use the restroom corresponding to their preferred gender does not allow men to enter the women’s restroom or locker room. That is official now. You can read about it at The News Tribune.

The mainstream media is getting better about presenting solid information on trans issues. Doctor Michelle Forcier, an associate professor of pediatrics at Brown University, recently explained the journey of transgender children on the NBC Nightly News.

TGForum advertiser and noted reassignment surgeon Dr. Sherman Leis made the news last week. His practice and views on gender issues are discussed in an article in his hometown weekly newspaper, Philadelphia Weekly.

Gidget Groendyk is a trans woman who has filed petitions to run for township supervisor in Sparta, Michigan. She will be on the ballot, but the ballot will also note that she was previously known as Scott Wade Langford. Michigan law says that if a candidate has changed his or her name in the last ten years for any reason other than marriage, the former name should be listed on the ballot along with the current name. M-Live has this story.

Drag queen painting.

Drag queen painting.

Where but San Francisco could the following event take place? The San Francisco Public Library is working with an organization called Radar Productions to bring drag queens to the library to read stories to children, do face painting and pass out cookies. Learn more about the event on the SFGate website.

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic have performed the first uterus transplant in the U.S. While it is too early to say if this particular transplant will succeed, it is thought that the technology can allow women without uteruses (including trans women) to become pregnant. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has the story.

Newtown High School for the Performing Arts in Sydney, Australia, has changed its uniform rules to meet the request of some student activists. Any student can now choose to wear the trouser uniform or the skirt uniform. The story is in The Sydney Morning Herald.



We told you last week that the Oscar nominees featured a trans person for the first time, ever. That person was Antony Hegarty who is know known as Anohni. She was nominated in the Best Original Song category for her song Manta Ray which appeared in a documentary film. After being told she was nominated she never heard another word from the Academy. While other nominees in the category were asked to perform on the awards show Anohni was not. She was so upset that she decided to not even attend the ceremony. Her treatment by the Academy is TWIT Award worthy but we withhold that Award. (Manta Ray did not win the Oscar.) Read about it on the LGBTQ Nation website.


This story should not be a surprise to us. A recent study by the University of Washington says that transgender children who have family support have better mental health than expected.  They report that transgender children who have supportive families have nearly normal levels of anxiety and depression. The Seattle Times has more.


Reporting on the recently passed bill in South Dakota that makes it illegal for trans people to use any restroom other than the one that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate has been mixed. It swings from the pro-trans side in which the bill is presented as a slap in the face to trans people, to factual reporting on what both sides say and believe. Then there’s the right wing media that uses a headline like “South Dakota Stands Up To The Transgender Mafia.” That’s the way they characterized the people who testified about the terrible harm the bill would do. A TWIT Award goes to The Federalist for promoting the idea that trans people are trying to bully the state into, their words, “…refraining from protecting children to fulfill dangerous adult fantasies.” The only danger is that BS like that will make more people turn against equal rights and treatment for trans people.

A shiny TWIT Award goes to Minnesota State Representative Glenn Gruenhagen. He has called for a law banning transgender inclusiveness in workplaces and schools. He also wrote a letter to the editors of many newspapers in the state, claiming that thousands of people have left the “homosexual lifestyle” and that “transgenders” need counseling, not sympathy. You can read more about him in The Column.

In a TWIT Award winning action school superintendents in Texas voted overwhelmingly to use birth certificates to determine eligibility for participation in school sports on gender-specific teams. Then again, Texas has re-written history books, so it isn’t too surprising that they are rewriting medicine, too. The Texas Tribune has this story.

23-year-old Anna Lee is a Maths student at Lancaster University in the U.K. and a member of the Women’s Committee of the National Union of Students. She is running for the position of Women’s Officer in the National Union of Students, and she says that she has received a “torrent of abuse” because of her trans status. The majority of the abuse comes from transphobic “feminists.” A TWIT Award goes to those who feel Lee won’t be able to represent them because she is a “biological man.” Get the story in Pink News.

he Republican National Committee gets a TWIT Award for the stand it has taken on bills  designed to keep transgender students out of the restroom that corresponds to their gender preference. The RNC passed a policy resolution which encourages Republican lawmakers to vote for such legislation. They fully buy into the false idea that allowing transgender people to use the restroom which corresponds to their preferred gender also allows perverts and sexual predators to go into the lady’s room. Just because you can’t tell the difference between a transgender person and a sexual predator does not mean that a police officer or judge cannot tell the difference. The Daily Kos has more, as does The Advocate.

To highlight the fact that these restroom bills have consequences give this story a look. A Richmond, Virginia, KFC had agreed to hire a new employee, but called her an hour later to ask why her driver’s license said she was male. When she said that she was transgender, she was told, “We can’t hire you because we don’t know which bathroom you can use.  KFC wins a TWIT Award. WRIC-TV has this story.

Pat McCrory, the governor of North Carolina and recently the mayor of Charlotte, wins a TWIT for threatening state action if the city of Charlotte passes a nondiscrimination law which includes gender identity. Charlotte did pass such a law, so we will have to see what happens next.  Governor McCrory seems oblivious to the fact that his attitude on the matter goes a long way to show why such a nondiscrimination law is necessary. You can read more about this on the WNCT-TV website.

In Oklahoma where the wind whistles down the plains Theatre students at Oklahoma State University wrote a play dealing with gender and transgender themes. Professor, Jodi Jinks, and her students were told by the head of the department, Andrew Kimbrough, that the play is “inappropriate” and may not be performed for their season subscribers. The department head says that he told them to keep their audience,”over 50, white, and conservative” in mind. The play was eventually presented, but in a less prominent setting and with less publicity. A TWIT Award is hereby presented to Mr. Kimbrough for stifling an attempt to educate the over 50, conservative, white crowd. Read about it in Inside Higher Education.

Several TWIT Awards are issued in this case. In 2014, the coalition government of Australia set up a voluntary program called the Safe Schools Initiative, to make LGBT students feel safe and welcome at their schools. The program has lately been under attack from TWIT Award winning conservative politicians (most who belong to the ironically named Liberal Party). Next TWIT winners are the Australian Christian Lobby, and newspapers owned by News Corp (Rupert Murdoch’s company). TWIT Award winner Senator Cory Bernardi has recommended defunding the program, saying that it was used to “indoctrinate children into a Marxist agenda of cultural relativism.” A final TWIT Award goes to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball for giving in to the right wing pressure and ordering a review of the program. The Singleton Argus has this story.

Standing TWIT Award winner Pat Robertson never seems to change. He recently said, “for the United States of America to put the power of the federal government and all of its money and resources behind this transgender movement, it is nothing short of insanity.” Edge Boston has the story.

Being rude to trans people can get you a TWIT Award. Here’s one case. An employee at a Subway store in Bakersfield, California, deliberately referred to a trans woman as “sir” and made a false accusation of shoplifting. This has come out as the trans woman, Paris Cabrera, sued the franchisee. The story is in Courthouse News.

It seems that the clowns who run Breibart want to win a TWIT every week. This week, they refer to GLAAD as a “Trans Pressure Group.” Brietbart’s comments come in response to media guidelines which GLAAD issued to journalists, which makes one wonder how Breibart got ahold of said guidelines, as they are not journalists. You can read their garbage on their 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.

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  1. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    >Subway…trans woman, Paris Cabrera, sued the franchisee

    Frivolous lawsuit, she has suffered no damages, she was not detained. she was not touched, no tort was committed.

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