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The Week In Transgenderism 6/6/16

| Jun 6, 2016
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Tinder App

Tinder App

Trans people looking for love, who have not been having any luck on the standard Internet dating apps, should be aware that Tinder is making an effort to better serve trans users. Soon users will be better able to specify who they are and what type of person they would like to meet. When will trans Tinder people be able to take advantage of the new features? Tinder says sometime in the next month and a half. Get ready to swipe right. The story is on Cnet.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving behind the scenes to rescind the V.A. ban on gender reassignment surgery that was put in place in the early 1990s. Medicare started to pay for GRS in 2014. The V.A. says that when their ban was instituted the necessary surgical procedures were not “as well developed” as they are now. Read more about it on the Time magazine website.

The international association of Conservative rabbis have passed a resolution declaring its embrace of trans people. It also calls on Jewish institutions and government agencies to assure trans people of full equality. Reform rabbis passed a similar resolution in November. Learn more about the Resolution Affirming the Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People on the Forward website.

Painted: April Carrion

Painted: April Carrion

Painted for Filth is a feature that puts together photos of the 20 “fiercest drag queens each month. The winners are in from May and you can find them in all their painted glory on the Queerty website.

A Catholic school near San Francisco that is owned by the Sisters of Mercy has done the merciful thing when faced with a teacher who came out to them as trans. They have accepted  the teacher in their true gender and allowed them to come out to the students. Read more about it on the Truthout website.

A Simm

A Simm

Are you a video gamer? If so and The Simms is one of your faves you may be happy to know that in The Simms 4 the makers have removed all gender boundaries that affect the appearance and behavior of a character. More than 700 content pieces that were once constrained by gender are now open for any character. Learn more from The Simms website. Thanks to Naomi-Paul for the tip.

Jennifer Finney Boylan, columnist for The New York Times, author, and trans advocate, did the opposite of Steely Dan and went back to her old school. The reason she returned to the all-boys Haverford School on the Philadelphia Mainline was to attend her 40 year reunion. While many of her old schoolmates embraced her after she transitioned there were some interesting attitudes expressed on her visit. She wrote about it for The New York Times.

Dr. Levine

Dr. Levine

The physician general of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a trans woman. Dr. Rachel Levine was appointed to that position by Governor Tom Wolf. Dr. Levine is one of very few trans people to be a public official. Learn more about her and how she got the job in The Washington Post. Thanks to Jan Brown for the tip.

In Puerto Rico, the Electoral Commission has declared that transgender voters may change their gender on their I.D. cards. Voters in the U.S. possession don’t get to vote on that much, but now, transgender voters may vote in their preferred gender. MSN has more.

Trevor as Annie Thang

Trevor as Annie Thang

The south does not seem to be very friendly to those who transgress the gender barriers. Despite that there are many, many drag performers who come from the southern states. One of them is a high school student from Mississippi. Trevor Ladner  (who we mentioned before in TWIT when he produced a video as his college entrance presentation in which he transformed from male to female at high speed while narrating the video) is his name and he works as a drag queen called Annie Thang at night. His transformation video got him a place at Harvard this fall. Meet him in a six-minute video you can find on the Queerty website.

Jamie Roberts told us how hard it is for colleges to comply with the U.S. Department of Education guidelines for accommodating trans students. It seems that the schools’ technology doesn’t have the capability to add the preferred name of a student, or their correct gender to the colleges’ databases. Old tech just has “male” and “female” for gender selection. This is causing problems for colleges that must report student’s info to the government and making them scramble to update their software. Read the story on the Inside Higher Ed website.

Barbara Satin

Barbara Satin

President Obama has appointed Barbara Satin to the Advisory Council on Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships. She is a trans woman, as well as a former member of the Executive Council of the United Church of Christ. There is more at

A recent medical study has found that one year of hormone therapy for transgender people increases bone density, regardless of whether the transgender people are female to male or male to female. In fact, the most marked results were in trans women. You can read more at

Politics has really gotten dirty in this country. What kind of world has this become when a time honored tradition of crossdressing can be used to attack a candidate in a political campaign? Colorado’s House of Representatives has just such a tradition. It’s called Hummers and every year the minority party has some fun at the expense of the majority party by dressing up and imitating their colleagues in skits. Some of the dressing up involves men putting on dresses. Find out how his dressing up as a female colleague for Hummer in 2005 is being used against a Republican candidate for the House in The Colorado Independent.

It is very nice to see countries like Great Britain make changes to the law to help transgender people, but sometimes, some laws get overlooked. Current law says trans people who do not tell their partners of their transition can be charged with sexual assault for kissing, or with rape for penetrative sex, even if the partner was willing at the moment. This becomes even more unusual in light of those who are transitioning at such young ages. The good news is that these laws are not enforced these days, and now that they have been noticed, they can be overturned. Gay Star News has this story.

Speaking of outdated laws: Did you know that there was a law against crossdressing still on the books in New York in 2011? The law was left over from the 19th century. Often times crossdressers worry about the law and if it is illegal for them to wear a dress in public. Since the New York law was expunged in 2011 there aren’t any laws against crossdressing currently on the books in the U.S. Find out who had them and when they were repealed in an interactive presentation on the PBS website. Thanks to Jan Brown for the tip.

The U.K. has a very long waiting list for medical services for transgender people. Now, one company is offering their employees a workaround. Lloyds Banking (whose insurance arm is Lloyds of London) is being praised by the Minister for Women and Equalities for offering its transgender employees private healthcare coverage for gender-reassignment surgery. Pink News has more.

Zoe Knox is a trans woman in Ottawa who recently decided to transition at work. Her co-workers decided to do something nice for her first day on the job as Zoe. They decorated her cubical, they corrected her nameplate, and her 10:00 meeting turned out to be a cupcake party with co-workers. The Huffington Post has more.

In Perthshire, Scotland, there is a tree known as the Fortingall Yew. This tree is estimated to be 5,000 years old. It has always been assumed to be male, producing pollen rather than berries. But, this year, it produced three berries — which means that it has become a female tree, at least in part. Off Grid Quest has more.

Bolivia’s oldest “transvestite performer” (he is 65) sat down with a reporter to be interviewed about his life on the stage for the past three decades as Titina. He talked about the way things were for gay and trans people in Bolivia in the 1970s and how he had to fight for his rights through his female impersonation art. Read the interview on the Telesur website.

To the Ladies’ Room!

In April, a three-judge panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that trans teen Gavin Grimm’s case against the Gloucester County School Board should be reinstated, as the case’s interpretation of Title IX was in line with the Department of Education’s interpretation. This overturned a decision by the trial judge, who dismissed the case before the trial was held. The school district asked the entire court to hear the case, and this week, the court decided that it would not hear the case. So, the school board now has the option to take the case to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court could refuse to hear the case, but more likely, they will not make a decision right away. However, if they have two different cases whose decisions are not in agreement, then there is a greater likelihood that the Supreme Court would hear the case. This story comes from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to not hear G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board “en banc” (a panel of all the judges on the court) has a bearing on HB2 in North Carolina. HB2 relies on a very different interpretation of Title IX from what the Department of Education used. The court just agreed with the Department of Education’s right to use that interpretation. That could be trouble for HB2, at least as it could be applied to students. Think Progress has more on this.

For some reason, North Carolina has had trouble getting the police to enforce HB2. It just doesn’t seem to be a priority for the law enforcement. Governor Pat McCrory responds that HB2 is being enforced indirectly, as trespassing. But, police forces in the state say that they have yet to arrest anyone on trespassing, or creating a disturbance, or any similar charge in relation to HB2. Talking Points Memo has the story.

Governor McCrory has asked Congress to “bring long-term clarity to our national non-discrimination laws.” Oddly, the twelve states suing the Department of Education over their directive on transgender students say that we really should not have a “one-size-fits-all” solution from the government, but now, the Governor of North Carolina wants just such a solution. Get the story from WRAL-TV.

The State of Massachusetts is currently discussing a bill which would protect the right of trans people. Of course the use of preferred restrooms by trans people is a sticky point, but they have a solution. While the bill stipulates that trans people may use the restroom of their preferred gender, the bill also prohibits claiming a different gender identity “for an improper purpose.” The Christian Science Monitor has more.

The restroom thing has now hit Native Americans. The Fort Peck Reservation has passed a restroom law that is essentially the same as the one passed in North Carolina. This is particularly troubling as Native Americans had a tradition of Two Spirit people that allowed for shifting gender among tribe members. Could it be that as in North Carolina the tribal leaders were looking for something to distract from the many other problems that occur on reservations? Read the story in Newsweek.

The University of North Carolina’s president has a message for the legislature and the governor. She will not enforce the North Carolina restroom law on her campus. She is not following the law while there is a lawsuit against UNC being litigated. In the meantime trans students are free to use the restroom they are comfortable with. Read the story in Inside Higher Ed. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the tip.


Former actress (ironically she was in Clueless) and current talking head on Fox News, Stacy Dash, is getting a TWIT Award for her ignorance about trans people. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight Dash said that allowing trans people to use the restroom of their choice is “tyranny by the minority.” In her limited view trans people in the ladies’ room are a threat. What sealed the TWIT Award was her response when asked by the interviewer what should trans people do about heeding nature’s call. She said they should go “in the bushes.” Dash has had other loony opinions but this one takes the cake. And the TWIT. See the story on the Yahoo news feed.

Maya Dillard Smith is the former acting director of the Georgia chapter of the ACLU. She resigned, complaining the ACLU has become “a special interest organization that promotes not all, but some progressive rights. In that way it is a special interest organization not unlike the conservative right, which creates a hierarchy of rights based on who is funding the organization’s lobbying activity.” This TWIT-winning complaint was actually about how the ACLU is defending the rights of trans people to use the restroom of their preferred gender, at (in Ms. Smith’s opinion) the expense of women. Apparently, she feels that trans women are not entitled to join “real” women in the ladies’ room. (Is she besties with Stacy Dash?) We hope she enjoys her TWIT Award. You can read more in Georgia Voice.

The Federalist made up a list of five reasons not to support “President Obama’s New Transgender School Policy.” The fact that they call it the President’s policy, when it was created by the Department of Education, is one of many reasons why they get a TWIT Award. For another, they claim that “transgender literally means anything to anyone.” They also complain that “this is about transgender politics, not compassion.” Since when are those opposites? Why can it not possibly be about both? They also say, “The safety and modesty of the majority takes a back seat to a minuscule minority.” Yet, no one has shown a safety problem except in theory, and modesty is preserved by stalls. You can read their twittery on the Federalist Website.

Jeff Landry is the Attorney General of Louisiana and a former member of Congress. He is a part of the lawsuit against the Department of Education over the new transgender guidelines. When talking about this, he keeps using the words, “American Pediatrics.” That would be a reference to the fringe group known as the American College of Pediatricians, who broke away from the much larger and more powerful American Association of Pediatricians because the larger group uses science — even when it disagrees with the smaller group’s social conservative beliefs. And this science-denying group is cited by Mr. Landry as the source of his “science” on trans people. Here’s his TWIT Award. You can read more on Right Wing Watch website.

A group called “Catholics For America” has created a video. The title is, Hilary Clinton wants men to use women’s bathrooms. Actually, she wants people to allow trans women to use the ladies’ restroom. The fact that they cannot see a difference between a trans woman and a man shows that they have closed their minds to parts of reality. Then again, this is one of those groups who call themselves “Catholics,” but when Pope Francis says something that conflicts with the deeply held conservative beliefs they reject the Pope and hold to conservative doctrine. Apparently, they also believe that “bearing false witness against” someone is no longer a sin. That’s one way to get a TWIT Award. Slowly Boiled Frog has more.

Gordon Klingenschmitt is the host of the Pray In Jesus Name radio show, a member of the Colorado legislature, and a previous TWIT Award winner. He gets another one for saying that Caitlyn Jenner needs to have the “spirit of insanity” exorcised out of her. Mind you, this guy believed the silly report that Ms. Jenner was going to “de-transition.” He also believes that there are no more than two possible chromosomal pairs for determining sex — XX and XY and nothing else. Which one carries the “spirit of insanity”? Right Wing Watch has this story.

James Dobson, the founder of Focus On The Family, is a proponent of “tough love.” He says that parents should show that they love their children by giving them the cold shoulder, and sometimes going much further. Now, in a new article, which was also picked up by World Net Daily, he complains that today’s fathers of daughters don’t have the courage to shoot transgender people in public restrooms. Wouldn’t that require the fathers to go into the ladies’ room to do the shooting? Moreover, I was always taught that “Thou shalt not kill” was on God’s Top Ten list. Apparently, he feels that the Commandments aren’t written in stone (What about those tablets Charlton Heston lugged down the mountain?), but that some obscure verse that follows overshadows them. His TWIT-winning takeaway quote is, “If you are a dad, I pray you will protect your little girls from men who walk in unannounced, unzip their pants and urinate in front of them.” Perhaps Megyn Kelly should show him a picture of the stalls in the ladies’ room. You can read more on Liberal America.

Cecilia Barzyk researched and wrote large portions of 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 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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  1. zero121 zero121 says:

    We are free in our life, we can do what we want to do but not hurt anyone, maybe there is another person live in our heart, and maybe we can be the real mine.

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