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The Week In Transgenderism 3/14/16

| Mar 14, 2016
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Lilly Wachowski

Lilly Wachowski

Several years ago the film making duo known as The Wachowski Brothers became just The Wachowskis after Larry became Lana. Just last week her brother Andy announced to the world that she is a trans woman and has taken the name Lilly. (Some reports spell her name Lily.) Now they are officially The Wachowski Sisters. For more on the story check out the report from Reuters in The New York Times.

The fact that two famous siblings have come out as trans has people wondering if there’s a biological propensity for this type of trans manifestation. That may be, or not, but you can check out some of the speculation on that hot bed of scientific thought, the People magazine website.

Seattle, Washington Mayor Ed Murray signed an executive order last week designed to protect the rights of trans people who have to deal with people working in city offices. The order charges the Office for Civil Rights to come up with new training standards for all “front-line” city staffers to make public spaces friendly to trans people. Learn more in the Seattle Pi.

At the other end of the continent Mayor Bill De Blasio has signed legislation that requires people to be granted assess to public restrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity. The legislation only applies to city owned buildings and facilities such as public parks, pools, playgrounds and rec centers. Learn more in The Washington Free Beacon.

Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera

How did Carmen Carrera go from being a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race to becoming one of the top supermodels in the world? Learn all from an interview she did for the Elite Daily website.

Heading in the other direction is trans man model Laith Ashley. After two years on testosterone and a lot of body building Ashley has a professional male modeling career and a whole lot of followers on Instagram. Read more about him in The Daily Mail.

Another FtM headed into law and academia. Stephen Whittle realized at 17 that he was trying to be the wrong gender. At the age of 20 he began living as a man, married a woman a few years later and started his law studies when he and his wife had trouble being accepted by fertility treatment clinics. That’s when he became a trans advocate. Read Professor Whittle’s story on the Australian Broadcasting Company’s website.

The Fenway Institute has created a new video series to explain the basics of transgender medical care to doctors. The six-video series, entitled Optimizing Transgender Health: A Core Course for Health Care Providers, can earn participants continuing education credits. You can read about it on the Edge Boston.

A Miss Fame makeover.

A Miss Fame makeover.

Some of the best makeup tips that crossdressers can use to make themselves look more like women often come from drag queens. While drag performers use exaggerated makeup that is too over the top for most day-to-day appearances in public, some of the tips they have can be useful. Check out 10 tips from former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant and makeup maven Miss Fame on the Bustle website.

If you are a transsexual person and wish to assist a photography student with a gender studies project at UCA Rochester Ben Avery is looking for you. Ben contacted us for help finding subjects for his project which involves an interview and a portrait photo session. If you think you would be interested and want more information contact Ben via email.

We just mentioned doctors learning about trans issues. Another important person in health care is the pharmacist. Bryan Bishop, a pharmacist himself, has compiled a list of five ways in which pharmacists can better serve their transgender patients. You can read it at Pharmacy Times.

Courtney Act

Courtney Act

Drag star Courtney Act was home in Australia last week and she went to see the first night of Madonna’s Melbourne concert appearances. Madonna spotted Courtney in the crowd and with no idea who she was, but intrigued by her beauty, invited her onstage to have a chat. See how far you can go with good looks? Read more and watch a video of the incident on the SameSame website.

Last week, we told you that Mount St. Charles School in Rhode Island was implementing a policy which would ban transgender students from the school. Alumni said that this was not in line with the lessons they were taught at the school about how to treat others. The administration relented, and said that they will remove the regulation banning transgender students. Learn more at GoLocalWorcester.

Tash Keddy

Tash Keddy

Shortland Street is a continuing television drama in New Zealand. They hired transman Tash Keddy to play a trans character on the show. He did an interview about his life and the character, Blue (a 15-year-old girl who wants to be a boy) with the New Zealand Herald.

In a protest move, intersex activists handcuffed themselves to Parliament in London last week. They were hoping to call attention to the way that some intersex people are subjected to surgery long before they can express their consent. This story is in GayStarNews.

A study by Yale University shows that hormone therapy leads to significant improvements in mental health for many transgender people. They reached this conclusion by combining the results of three different studies, thus getting a sample size of 247 transgender people in the combined study. More data does lead to better results. You can read about it in the Yale Daily News.

Six months ago Ireland finally created a framework for people to change their legal gender. In that first half-year, 113 people have taken advantage of the new framework for gender change. Read more about it at Pink News.

Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, has instituted a new Preferred Name Policy. A student’s preferred name is registered in a separate location on their record. Faculty and staff are expected to use the preferred name. has more.

A man who was instrumental in bringing The Rocky Horror Show to the stage in England has passed away. Producer and “impresario” Michael White was the force behind many stage productions including Sleuth, A Chorus Line, Annie, Deathtrap, and Oh!, Calcutta! He’s responsible for bringing Dame Edna to the English stage and also produced the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Read more about his life and accomplishments on The Press Enterprise website.

Will you be visiting Tokyo this spring? If so you can check out Japan’s newest crossdresser bar. It’s called Bar Onna no Ko Club. It’s part of a chain of clubs that cater to Japan’s crossdressers, but they welcome all genders, and it is the largest and most luxurious. Take a tour of the club on the RocketNews24 website.


Up above we told you that Lilly Wachowski has come out as a trans woman. How she came out is a Twit worthy story. A reporter from The Daily Mail showed up on her doorstep and asked her if she was trans. She wasn’t ready to come out but since The Daily Mail was doing a story on it she decided to inform the world first with an article in The Windy City Times. We are giving The Daily Mail a TWIT Award. Read more about Lilly’s coming out in The New York Times.

It’s Batman against Superman, Captain America against Ironman, and now civil rights against religious beliefs. We’re not sure who’s going to win in the super hero battles but the law is on the side of a trans man, army veteran, who made an appointment at Richard Hernandez’s barbershop. When Kendal Oliver showed up for his trim the barber refused to cut his hair. Hernandez belongs to the Church of God and he said they believe a woman’s hair is “her glory” and it shouldn’t be cut. When contacted for confirmation of the hair cutting rule the church said there is not ant part of their doctrine that prevents him from giving a woman a haircut. A TWIT Award is going to Mr. Hernandez because it sounds like he just didn’t want to cut a trans man’s hair. Get the story from the NBC4 website.

A trans man student was given an assignment at Harold Washington College and he decided he would like to do research on transgender rights. When he handed in his intention paper the professor returned it with this written in the margin in red ink, “These people don’t have rights. They choose to be transgender. Pick another topic.” That professor can pick up his TWIT Award anytime he likes. Read the story and watch video on the CBS Chicago website.

What on Earth did people do before Twitter? When they wanted to insult someone they had to actually go to their house or at least make a phone call. 18th century insults had to be written down and sent via postal mail or courier. Now Twitter enables people to be twits in just seconds. And the phenomena of derogatory tweets is so well established that there is a website dedicated to analyzing what cities send the most evil tweets. Tampa, Fl. comes in as sending the third most hostile to trans people tweets. Number two in Twitter hate tweets toward trans people was Orlando and number one in hate tweets was Las Vegas, NV. If you tweet your hate it doesn’t stay in Vegas, baby. TWIT Awards to all hateful tweeters. See which states and cities have the most derogatory tweets in several categories on the Adodo website.

Last week a dentist in France, a Dutchman name Jacobus Van Nierop, went on trial for mutilating over fifty of his patients. He would remove healthy teeth with no novacain, leave pieces of tools stuck in teeth and in general act in a “cruel and perverse” manner toward his patients. One has to wonder how he had any patients. His defense in the trial is what earns him a TWIT Award. He maintains that he is transgender and that’s why he mutilated his patients. Please! The story can be found in The New York Post.

In Brazil, some theaters refused to sell tickets to trans women who wanted to see The Danish Girl, often telling them that the movie was sold out. The Brazilian Bar Association disapproved heavily, but rather than filing charges and prosecuting the theater owners, they thought of something very clever. The lawyers bought tickets to the movie, then distributed the tickets to the trans women. Planet Transgender has this story.

TWIT Award winner Angela Epstein remembers childhood as a magical time full of fantasy and fun. That’s nice. But, she says that we are losing the innocence and magic of childhood as we allow children to transition from one gender to the other. She obviously misses the fact that transgender children do not have very magical childhoods when they are forced by their parents and society to fit into this little gender box that feels wrong for them. Read her un-magical commentary in the Telegraph.

Michael Nowakowski is a member of the City Council in Phoenix. He recently said to a group of pastors, “I never thought I would see the day that men and men would be married, or where people are allowed to go into the same bathroom as my daughter. This world is changing, and it’s time for us to take the leadership and change it back to the way it should be.” He wins a TWIT Award for that and he has been facing calls for his resignation. He vows that he will remain on the job. The Edge Boston has this story.

From the “Breibart just can’t help it” file comes this latest TWIT Award winning move by the so-called news site. Their headline proclaims, “LGBT Lobby Bullies Catholic School Into Accommodating Transgender Students.” This was above a story about how Mount St. Charles School changed its mind about the necessity to dismiss any student who happens to be transgender. The policy change came in response to their alumni — who were applying lessons learnt at the school. No organized lobby was involved, but Breibart saw one anyway. You can read their take on this story on their website.

Several of the stories in this edition of TWIT were written by Cecilia Barzyk.

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Category: Transgender Community News


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Assoc., Inc., former editor of its newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She was the Diva of Dish for TGF in the late 1990s and Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows.

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