The Week In Transgenderism 3/7/16

| Mar 7, 2016
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Pageant hopeful Elian Nesiel.

Pageant hopeful Elian Nesiel.

The first ever Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant will be held in Tel Aviv in May. Preparations are already under way, with 30 trans women competing to be finalists. Both Jews and Arabs are in the competition (including at least one Catholic Arab). Edge Boston has more.

The KFC manager who hired a trans woman and then called her an hour later to let her know that since her driver’s license had an M for her gender he couldn’t decide what restroom she should use, so he had to fire her, has been fired himself. KFC has a nondiscrimination policy based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Read more about the story in the Courier-Journal.

The governor of South Dakota has done the right thing and last Tuesday vetoed the bill that would have required trans students to use the restroom and locker rooms that matched their birth gender. In his veto message he pointed out that the bill “does not address any pressing issue.” In other words the conservatives in the legislature were all worked up over nothing. Read more about the decision on the NBC News website.

Of course, the South Dakota legislature tried to override the governor’s veto, but that measure failed in the State House of Representatives. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader has more.

North Carolina’s attorney general is against any move by the state government to overturn Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance that ensures trans people can use the public restroom they feel comfortable in. Attorney General Ray Cooper believes there are more important things the legislature could be working on. Read more in the ABC News website.

Danni Askini

Danni Askini

A trans woman in Washington state has thrown her hat into the ring in the race for a legislative district House seat. Danni Askini hopes to win in the 43rd Legislative District. In addition to trans issues she hopes to work on homelessness, foster care, education, and hate and crime prevention. Learn more about her and her campaign on the My Northwest website.

Gospel singer Willmer “Little Axe” Broadnaz had a big secret. He was a trans man. He sang gospel in a powerful tenor voice from the 1940s to the ‘70s and only his brother knew he was trans. Read more about Willmer and view a video on the Entertainment Weekly website.

With all the talk about the Oscars you may have missed the Film Independent Spirit Awards. While Oscars did not get handed to any black people the Spirit Awards gave their statue to four black actors, including one black trans woman. Mya Taylor won the Best Supporting Female award for her work in the film Tangerine. That was her first film role. Her win is the first time a trans actor has gotten a major film award. Read more on The Root website.

jenner_lipstickCaitlyn Jenner is the newest partner of MAC Cosmetics. She has created a limited-edition lipstick with MAC and the profits from sales will go toward improving the lives of trans people. It’s a rosy nude shade and it’s called Finally Free. You’ll be able to buy it starting April 7 on the MAC website. Learn more from Fox News.

Since coming out as a lesbian in 2014 actress Ellen Page has become an advocate for LGBT rights. With the advent of the brand new Viceland television channel she and a gay male friend have become hosts of a LGBT travel show. In one of the first episodes of the show they visit a Japanese “pop-up” crossdresser club and her co-host slips into a dress. An article about the show indicates that they will be covering trans issues in their travels for every episode. To learn more about Viceland and the show, Gaycation, read the article in The New York Times.

Uber drag.

Uber drag.

You may have heard about, and even used, the app based ride share companies Uber and Lyft. Did you know that there are themed Lyft services available? For one called The Big Lebowski the driver dresses as The Dude. There’s a Batman, a Harry Potter and now there’s a drag queen themed service called Driving is a DRAG. The queen who created it is also making a web  series about the things that happen in her car. Check out the story and some video in The Huffington Post.

Focus Features, the distribution company which released The Danish Girl among other films, and Rhys Ernst, a producer of Transparent, have created a new web series about historic trans people, entitled We’ve Been Around. It is available on the websites of People, Entertainment Weekly, and Essence, as well as on The Advocate website. You can read about it in The Huffington Post.

Contestant in Miss Transgender U.K.

Contestant in Miss Transgender U.K.

The controversial Miss Transgender U.K. pageant was in the news last week since it’s the subject of a BBC documentary film. The film is available in the U.K. on BBC3, which is not a broadcast channel but an online channel. Read more about the documentary and the controversies that have swirled around the pageant in The Guardian. Thanks to Jan Brown for the story lead.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) has come out against the “religious freedom” bill that his state’s conservative lawmakers have introduced. The bill would allow clergy to discriminate against LGBT couples seeking to marry. The best part of the governor’s opposition is that he used the New Testament to support his stance. Learn more on the Raw Story website.

New York City’s Mayor, Bill De Blazio, has appointed Azadeh Khalili as the executive director of the Commission on Gender Equality, a new position. She will have an input on policies from the viewpoint of gender, and a part of her job is to see how policies impact transgender and intersex people in the city. Get the story in the New York Daily News.

Lulu Luscious

Lulu Luscious

We ran across an interesting story about worker’s rights, the plight of freelance contractors, and a drag queen selling sex toys. Lulu Luscious is her name and she had what she thought of as the perfect gig, until the company she conducted sex toy house parties for was bought by a new company whose rule was “No men.” Despite being a big seller for her old company the fact that she was male made her subject to immediate dismissal. Read her story in Willamette Week.

According to new research from George Washington University, although endocrinologists have been receiving more training in how to take care of transgender patients, only 20% report being “very comfortable” in discussing issues of gender identity, and only 41% feel “somewhat competent” or “very competent” to provide care to transgender patients. You can read about this at

It happened in Los Angeles this past Saturday. Photographer Austin Young assembled so many drag performers in one spot that the Drag Index at the West Hollywood Library went off the charts. At least we assume that it did. There have been no reports yet on just how many people turned out for the Historic Drag Group Photo Shoot. We’ll keep our eyes open for any photos from the shoot. Get the story in Frontiers Media.

In Pakistan, transgender people are asking the government to allow them an option for their gender in the census that is neither “male” nor “female.” This is a step towards political inclusion, although they are a bit afraid of calling it such. You can read about it in the Express Tribune.

Thailand is famous for its katoeys, sometimes called “ladyboys.” However, the government does not allow citizens to change their gender on official documents. At age 21, all males who have not volunteered for the military are put into a lottery for the draft, and some are chosen to spend two years in the military. Although transgender people are routinely exempted from military service, they are still put into the lottery. Korean-American filmmaker Josh Kim made a ten-minute film about this. You can see it at the Gay Star News website.

The New York Dolls in 1973.

The New York Dolls in 1973.

The New York Dolls was a band from New York City who influenced a lot of budding musicians — and crossdressers back in the early 1970s. The band dressed in skin tight leopard pants, glitter and anything else that was shocking to the sensibilities of the day. What you may not know was that guitarist Sylvain Sylvain had a background in tailoring and could use a sewing machine as well as a guitar. He made many of the band’s costumes. His last name is really Mizrahi (no relation to the famous designer) and now that the Dolls are history Mr. Mizrahi is doing what he started out doing, making clothes. Read about it in the Observer.

The province of Ontario has issued new guidelines for those seeking gender-confirmation surgery. They no longer need to go to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to get approval from the Gender Identity Clinic there. Now, any doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse, psychologist, or registered social worker who has undergone special training can provide a referral for surgery. There will be a clinic for post-operative care at the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto, as well as a pre-operative program at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital. You can read more in the Toronto Globe and Mail.

There is a group in Oakland, California, called TransH4ck. They make apps which let trans people tell each other about places that made them uncomfortable, and help others stay safe, find jobs, and accomplish other tasks. Read about it in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Trans teens, listen up. The GLBT National Help Center, a 20 year-old non-profit organization, os  excited to announce that they have launched a new transgender youth program called the Trans Teens Online Talk Group. The Group is a live, moderated group chat for trans youth ages 12 thru 19, operating each Wednesday from 4-6 p.m., Pacific time. If you’re a trans teen Check it out.

The reporter after his makeover.

The reporter after his makeover.

The best way a reporter can get the whole picture of a story is to walk for a while in another queen’s shoes. And wear her makeup and dress. That’s what one reporter in Sydney, Australia did to cover the Mardi Gras 2016 celebration. He underwent a drag queen makeover and though he never really mastered waking in heels he did make a pretty decent drag queen and gained some insights into what it’s like. Read about it and view a video on the website.


A TWIT Award goes to Bob, the bouncer at Bar VX in Burton, Straffordshire, U.K. A trans woman, the winner of the Miss Transgender Birmingham title in 2015, was using the lady’s room. When she left the facility she was confronted by Bob who made her leave the club saying she was “sick” and she should be using the men’s restroom. He also told her she was banned for life. After she talked to the owner Talulah Eve Brown was told she is not banned for life and he promised to do staff education about trans people. Read the story in the Stoke Sentinel.

A TWIT Award goes to Pennsylvania Court of Commons Pleas Judge Bernard A. Moore. The state itself could be eligible for a TWIT, too. Judge Moore denied a trans boy a name-change after hearing that the boy’s parents both supported his trans identity and were in favor of the change. In Pennsylvania name-change requests for those under 18 judges can insert their anti-trans personal feelings into rulings. Learn more about the story in the Philadelphia Gay News.

Caitlyn Jenner gave a wide-ranging interview to Dawn Ennis of The Advocate.  Several media sources, who are getting TWIT Awards, ignored most of what she said and only commented on her idea of being a “trans ambassador” for Ted Cruz. (A “trans ambassador” sounds like a Pontiac Trans-Am with the engine from an AMC Ambassador.) She meant that she would like to be his advisor on transgender matters — but he has no desire at all to have an advisor on transgender matters. Think Progress has the story.

A TWIT Award winning group calling itself “Mass Resistance” is opposing an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination bill in the state of Massachusetts. They claim that not only is there “danger to women and girls” from the “‘bathroom bill'” (they put that phrase in quotes in their story), but “the danger to women and young girls is worse than most people imagine.” They then cite some incidents, but totally ignore the fact that these incidents were merely the work of conservative activists, rather than perverts or sex offenders. Oh, and they forget to tell you that the legal system did not say to any of them that they were right, that they had the right to do what they did. You can read their nonsense on their website.

The next TWIT Award winner? Mount St. Charles Catholic School in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, has banned transgender students. They say that the school is “unable to make accommodations for transgender students.” This has caused some alumni to complain about it on social media. You can read about this at, and you can read more about the reaction of alumni in the Providence Journal.

And more TWITs at work! “Just Want Privacy,” the group opposing the Washington state Human Rights Commission’s ruling that transgender people may use the restroom of their preferred gender, has submitted its ballot petitions. Their initiative, if adopted, would be the most restrictive law of its kind in the U.S. Think Progress has more on this story.

Monica Jones, a well known trans activist who has been in the news before, needed a ride in Phoenix so she used Lyft to get to a particular bar. Her driver issued what he called a “word of caution,” to “hetero males” on social media naming her and calling her “a ‘lady’ of the evening” [quote marks around the word “lady” in the original], as well as stating which bar she was at. Ms. Jones filed a complaint with Lyft,. They apologized to her and said they would deal with the driver. In addition to what Lyft deals him we are handing him a TWIT Award. The story is in The Advocate.

TGF user Cecilia Barzyk contributed 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:

    The real problem with Caitlyn Jenner and the trans-ambassador, Cruz comment is the lack of substance on both sides. Jenner is a poor spokesperson for freedom, liberty and how conservatism is her belief.

    As also can be seen in these videos, Jenny Boylan and the others go down the path of identity trans-first politics. Once again transgenders come across as naive and self-obsessed in their knowledge of politics and world affairs beyond transgenderism…unimpressive thinking on both sides.

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