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The Week In Transgenderism 6/20/16

| Jun 20, 2016
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An athletic trans woman is the first such person to appear on the cover of a magazine for female runners. Amelia Gapin, who has competed in seven marathons and 20 races, is on the cover of the latest issue of California based Women’s Running. Read all about it on The Huffington Post.

After the Orlando shooter was identified as a Muslim man a trans man in New York City grew troubled. As a trans man he identifies with the queer community but since he is also a Muslim he now worries that people will blame him for the actions of the Florida mass murderer. It’s hard enough being a trans man Muslim but this is Pride month and Ramadan. Read about Izzadine Mustafa and view a video on the Time magazine website.

Cassie Nova

Cassie Nova

The massacre in Orlando caused a lot of people around the country to stop and think. One such was a drag performer in Texas named Cassie Nova. She thought that it could have easily been her club that was attacked and she thought about what would need to be done for the community to heal. Read about her reaction to the tragedy and get some of her background in The Dallas Morning News.

A trans man from Tunisia was stabbed near Brussels in an attack that has been attributed to ISIS. The man had filed complaints about attacks before, some of which allege he was targeted by terrorist organizations. Gay Star News has more.

While the gender spotlight in Thailand shines brightest on the trans women known as ladyboys there are a number of trans men who live there. Read about one trans man and learn about a gym that is staffed exclusively by trans men.The story is on the Pri website.

Pakistan is not the world’s most trans friendly country. As in many countries with strong religious views trans people are looked down upon and treated with everything from disrespect to violence. It’s therefore good news to learn that the country will be investing almost 2 million dollars in training trans people for jobs that can take them out of prostitution and begging. The story is on the Al Jazeera website.



Misty K. Snow is a trans woman who is running for the U.S. Senate in Utah. She is a Democrat, and Utah is one of the most conservative states around. You can read a profile of her in Deseret News.

The United States Department of Labor has issued a new ruling, which will become law in 60 days. This ruling says that treating transgender workers differently than you treat cisgender workers is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Reuters has this story.

The health needs of transgender people is an emerging issue these days. It is seen as important enough that the heavy-duty medical journal The Lancet has devoted an issue to the topic. The Star has a story on it, and Voice Of America has another article.

Drag Race Star Alyssa Edwards.

Drag Race Star Alyssa Edwards.

Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be happy to know that RuPaul’s All-Stars Drag Race Season 2 will debut on Logo August 25 at 8 p.m. The premier episode will be 90 minutes long. Find out who the all-stars are in an article on New Now Next.

Last year, Palatine-Schaumburg High School in Illinois reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education whereby a transgender student (known as Student A) was allowed to use the restroom and the locker room of her preferred gender. The terms of the agreement will also apply to two incoming transgender students, who have not yet started at the school. Naturally, the anti-trans rights group Illinois Family Institute has found some like-minded parents, and together, they filed a lawsuit against the school. This week, the Honorable Jorge Alonzo, who will be presiding, ruled that the American Civil Liberties Union may “intervene” in the case. They will be representing the three transgender students, but they will not be representing the school. (The school has retained its own legal team.) More in the Daily Herald.

How close is medical science to perfecting the uterus transplant which would give trans women the opportunity to give birth to a child? It’s not just around the corner but with transplants working in cisgender women the procedure may be closer than nuclear fusion power plants. Get the story from The Scientific American.

Anita Green (Center)Anita Green is a 25-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter who happens to be a trans woman. She also just experienced highs and lows in a short period of time. Right after being elected as an at-large delegate to the Democratic National Convention she learned about the massacre in Orlando. Though fearful and confused as to how such an attack could happen she’s ready to represent Montana at the convention in July. The story is in the Missoulian.

Derek Halliquist is a young filmmaker from Vermont. He decided to tell a story he knew well, making a documentary about his father, who is the CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative. (Making the film also served as a way to learn more about what his father did for a living.) While he was making the documentary, Derek got something he never expected — his father came out as transgender. Read more about it on WCAX.

Summer camp is a staple of childhood. Sadly, most camps do not accommodate transgender children. There are, however, a few that specialize in that area. As a side benefit, the trans campers get to meet other trans kids. KQED-TV has more.

Every decade has its fashion fans. For many of those who were born in the late ‘80s and grew up in the ‘90s it’s the fashions of that decade that they remember fondly. Just who wore what dresses to spark such devotion? There’s a list of the 11 Most Iconic Dresses Of The ‘90s and you an see who wore what on the Bustle website.



San Francisco mayor Ed Lee has appointed former city commissioner Theresa Sparks as senior advisor on transgender initiatives. It’s another name for the “trans ambassador” position that Caitlyn Jenner wanted, except that it is with a sitting mayor, rather than a presidential candidate. KTVU-TV has this story.

Among the people who escaped the carnage at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was drag performer Angelica Sanchez. She was at the club the night of the massacre to dance and hangout with her friends. While she was lucky enough to escape several of her friends did not survive. She was onstage at another club three days later, dressed in black to mourn the dead but lip syncing to the Destiny’s Child song Survivor. Read the story in the Tampa Bay Times.

lucky_chengsGood news for those who enjoy some drag with their dinner. Lucky Cheng’s cabaret restaurant which had closed because the rent was too damn high back in 2014 has found a new venue in New York City and is now open for business. At Lucky Cheng’s the waitresses are all drag performers who put on a cabaret show after they serve your entree. It’s dessert with a little attitude. Read about it in Metro.

We know that the U.S. Government has had problems counting transgender people. A new bill introduced by Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) would make it easier for the government to collect information about transgender people, including census information. And they got a special celebrity endorser — Laverne Cox. The Washington Blade has more.



Who remembers that time in the late ‘80s when Kiss member Gene Simmons played a “homicidal hermaphrodite” in a never-to be-cult classic film titled Never To Young To Die? Of course you don’t. It was released in 1986 and disappeared in short order. Simmons’ co-star was John Stamos. The film sounds awful, and offensive too, but if you want to view Simmons and Stamos’ humiliation you can watch the whole thing and read about its production on the Ultimate Classic Rock website.

Latest From The Restroom Wars

Before we move on to serious stories about the fight for restroom rights here is a photo we found on the Internet and just have to share with our readers. These restroom bills might be really getting out of hand.


Three years ago, polls showed that a majority of Californians opposed a law allowing transgender students in public schools to use the restroom of their preferred gender. Now, the majority support such a law. There are still some places in the state where that law isn’t so popular, but pollsters are surprised at how quickly the trend has changed. Southern California public radio has more.

Nayfick at the men's room door.

Nayfick at the men’s room door.

Shakina Nayfick made good on her promise to use the men’s restroom in North Carolina when she performed there. Last week she visited the Legislative Building and used the men’s room as required by North Carolina law. Nayfick has transitioned completely but her birth certificate still say “male.” Don’t call her a law breaker. The General Assembly police did not seem to concerned about her visit and they did not ask to see the birth certificate that she had ready in her purse. Read about it in the Charlotte Observer.

The School District of Lancaster, Pennsylvania has adopted trans friendly restroom rules. After pondering the issue for three years the school administration has approved letting trans and non-binary students use the facility they prefer. Learn more on the ABC 27 website.

Philadelphia, Pa. schools have also adopted a new transgender policy. They voted last week to allow trans students to be referred to by their pronoun of choice; use the restroom they like; and go out for the sports team that matches their gender. A spokesperson for the school district said that many of the things in the new policy were already being done but this just puts it firmly into words. Get the full story on the website.


Feminists in the United Kingdom are up in arms about trans women, claiming they are a threat to women’s rights and trans women will be legally “exposing themselves” in restrooms and locker rooms throughout the land. This mirroring of the restroom hysteria in the USA happened when England’s feminists protested at a trans policy forum. That get’s them a large TWIT Award. Get the story from The Washington Times.

The Federalist, the right wing conservative news outlet, had a headline last week that read as follows: “Transgenderism is A Fake Legal Construct.” We tend to disagree. After all, this column is all about transgenderism. The article is illustrated with a photo from a Pride parade and features two people in women’s clothing who may or may not be trans but either way are sure to scare conservatives. The article itself is an exercise in delegitimizing trans people as existing legally. The author, one Daniel Moody, is a TWIT Award winner for his sophistry, as is the publication for catering to its scaredy cat readers fear of the trans people coming to use their ladies’ room. Read it in The Federalist if you like.

Initiative 1515 in the state of Washington is the initiative which would overturn the nondiscrimination ordinance that allows transgender people to use the restroom of their preferred gender. At a training session for people gathering petition signatures, Joseph Backholm of the Family Policy Institute of Washington said, “For the gentlemen, what I would encourage you to do, if you are so bold and to make the point, take your petition and stand outside the women’s restroom at the mall. If any of the women don’t sign it, just go ahead and follow them in.” Unless the “gentlemen” he was addressing are actually transgender women, that would be illegal, per directive from the state. He claims that this was just a joke, but it’s so hard to tell. It isn’t hard to tell, though, that he deserves a TWIT Award. KIRO-TV in Seattle has this story.

The American Family Association has a subset called One Million Moms. (Counting is not their strong suit.) They sent a message about the incident in Orlando to their people, which said, “This is a time when a nation must come together, reminding that God loves all people, and all are His creation, made in His own image.” In the very next paragraph, it says, “This week we are announcing a new initiative to the #BoycottTarget pledge called “Target Isn’t Listening.” That’s right, respond to a massacre at a gay nightclub with a pitch to step up their boycott of Target. That garners them a TWIT Award. You can read more at The Edge.

Gordon Klingenschmitt is a state legislator in Colorado who also happens to host a conservative religious radio program. He now tells us that people who pray with him can overcome their transgender feelings. More likely, they will lie just to get away from this evil, TWIT Award winning, man. Right Wing Watch has this story.

Last week the House of Representatives held a vote on a bill that would have barred federal contractors from doing government jobs if they discriminated against LGBT people. It looked like the bill was going to pass, up until the last ten minutes when GOP lawmakers who had said they would vote yes changed their votes to no. TWIT Awards are hereby awarded to the following representatives: California Reps. Darrell Issa, David Valadao, Jeff Denham, Mimi Walters, and Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, Rep. David Yong of Iowa and Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine. Learn more in Politico.

Trans people come in all different types. Here at TGF we use the word “transgender” to cover anyone on a spectrum of transness, from fetish dressers to those with the wrong bodies for their gender. Because there is such variety in the community people can be misplaced along that spectrum. Some will come to feel that they are candidates for gender reassignment and perhaps they are not. Some of these people then appear in new media as “former transgender” people who express regrets that they embarked on transition. One such person is Walt Heyer. He transitioned and lived as a woman for several years before returning to his male persona and telling the world he was not trans any longer. His arguments against GRS include quoting statistics about the incidence of mental illness in the trans community. While it is high Heyer would have you believe it is something inherently wrong with trans people. He should consider that being forced to live in the wrong gender and having to hide the truth from all other people just might be the real cause of the high incidence of mental problems. What is throughly appalling is that this unsuccessful trans person gets media space to promote his agenda of transness as the result of mental disorders. We have awarded Heyer TWITs before so this TWIT Award goes to Newsweek who published more of his anti-transition screed last week. If you read the article and are a Newsweek subscriber consider adding a comment about Heyer’s lack of credibility. You can find it on the Newsweek website.

Of course there are people in the trans community who do have mental problems, possibly attributed to other causes than the gender mismatch burden they’ve had to bear. One such may be a pensioner in the U.K. who was found guilty of lifting his skirt to show girls his panties. His court attire was enough to get a citation from the Fashion Police. He wore a men’s shirt and jacket over a calf length blue skirt, red sneakers with frilly ankle socks. Whatever his problem Geoffrey Cowell should not be showing his panties to young girls and that gets him his TWIT Award. Read about it in the GazetteLive.

Cecilia Barzyk researched and wrote much 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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