The Week In Transgenderism 6/27/16

| Jun 27, 2016
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Dr. Marci Bowers

Dr. Marci Bowers

Dr. Marci Bowers made the news last week in her home base in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though she had initial misgivings about moving there from Colorado she has found the Bay Area to be very accepting of her work. Learn more in the The Daily Journal.

A federal judge has ruled that a FtM trans teen can use the boy’s room at his school in Virginia. The ruling comes in the case of Gavin Grimm vs. the Gloucester school board. The board has vowed to fight this ruling and take it all the way to the Supreme Court. One has to wonder what is the big deal? Are the boys at Grimm’s school that insecure? Read about the case on the NBC News website.

The gender clinic at Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago has served over 400 families since it opened three years ago. Recently the trans philanthropist Jennifer Pritzker, who provided the initial funding for the clinic, gave another $500,000 grant to the hospital. Read about it on the CBS Chicago website.

The ladies at Compton's.

The ladies at Compton’s.

This August, on an unknown date, the 50th anniversary of the first LGBT riot will occur. It was 1966 in San Francisco when the drag queens, who frequented Compton’s Cafeteria to close out their night’s partying, got fed up with being harassed by the police and after one queen threw a cup of coffee into a cop’s face the riot broke out. Read all about it in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Twelfth Annual San Francisco Trans March had a special event tied to it: the 100 block of Taylor Street was renamed Gene Compton’s Cafeteria Way, in memory of the disturbance there 50 years ago. The East Bay Area Reporter has more.

The later riot spot where drag queens and trans women fought with the police, the Stonewall Inn, has been designated a National Monument. The Daily Kos has more.



We broke the story last week thanks to our contributor Amanda who had a connection at Pixar Studios. The Internet was abuzz with word that there was a trans stingray in the new Pixar movie Finding Dory. Ellen DeGeneres caused the story to spread but she was joking when she said that there was a character named StingRhonda in the film and she was trans. If you didn’t believe us here’s the final word from Snopes.

The U.K. may be leaving the E.U. but they are just about to get a trans-centric online dating site. A lady named Claire Bullen-Moore is in the process of setting up and she wants input from the trans community. She said, “What is especially close to my own heart is that I want to ensure the site is respectful to all of it’s users. In the UK (where I am based), I see such a lot of prejudice towards the trans community and members of such do not seem to have the same opportunities in life as non-trans people.” If you would like to give her input on what you would like to see in such a site contact her and let her know.

You may have seen the headline that a court approved the right to discriminate in Mississippi. You may even have read that story. It is true that a federal judge refused to issue a preliminary ruling blocking Mississippi’s new law, HB 1523, from going into effect. (Actually, he ruled that the two gay men who plan to marry did not show that their marriage would be prevented by this law.) However, there are three other lawsuits, and Judge Carlton Reeves has yet to rule on them. So, a stay of the law might still be coming. The Edge has the AP report.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell

The Affordable Care Act is a work in progress. A new rule tied to the law will take effect in July and it is designed to prevent “sexual stereotyping.” The rule addresses three types of discrimination: those based on disabilities, persons with limited English proficiency, and discrimination “based on sex.” In other words, discrimination against people based on the sex, gender identity or sexual stereotyping will be prohibited. Learn more on the CNS News website.

Recently, non-binary people got some good news when a court in Oregon ruled in favor of someone who wanted to change their sex marker to “non-binary.” Now for the bad news. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, it may take months to come up with identification for “non-binary.” “We have statutory and administrative rule changes, we have to change our computer systems and contact our external partners,” said DMV spokesman David House. Oregon Live has more.

The Pentagon is going to announce, possibly today, that the ban on trans military service members will come to an end on July 1. This is the final result of a process that has been going on for a year and a half. For the details on this story check it out in USA Today.

The mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando hasn’t resulted in any tightening of gun regulations but it has stopped the “drag” night at the Ogden Raptors baseball games in Utah. The team had a tradition of having men dressed as “drag queens” pull a drag mat (to groom the field) around the infield between innings. Get it? Drag mat. Drag queens. Very funny — till someone accused the team of picking on the drag segment of the gay community. Read the story and see photos of the Raptors’ crew’s poor excuse for drag on the Fox 13 website.

Last Saturday the Pride festivities in Seattle featured a drag queen leading Drag Queen Storytime. See photos of Aleksa Manila reading to young children at the Storytime event and some other happening from Pride in The Seattle Times.

In Regina, Saskatchewan, they held a Gender Fair as part of Pride Week. It was a chance for transgender people to find out about services available to them in the province, and a chance for the general public to get a better understanding of who transgender people are. CBC has more.

Bridget Clinch

Bridget Clinch

Bridget Clinch was the first transgender person to serve openly in the Australian Defense Forces. She has since left the military (not entirely voluntarily) to become a full-time mom, but now, she is a candidate for Parliament for the Veterans Party. In her riding (district), she is up against two gay male candidates (for the Liberal Party — which is actually conservative — and the Labour Party). Same Same has her story.

In Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, Mexico, there is a tradition of muxes, biological men who assume the role of women in society. Things have been changing for this traditional group. Medical advances for transgender people mean that they can use hormones or surgery (if they can afford it) to make themselves look more like women, rather than just relying on make-up and attire. But, the hostility which we see in the bathroom bills in the U.S. is being felt in Mexico, in its own way. The story is in The New York Times.

the University of Arizona is sponsoring Trans*studies: An International Transdisciplinary Conference on Gender, Embodiment and Sexuality. The conference will take place in September and will take place over four days. Learn more about the university’s trans studies program and the conference in Inside Higher Ed. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the story.

YouTube is loaded with tons of how-to videos. Subjects range from how to change your break pads to the proper method to make hummus. One subject that is covered extensively is makeup. Dozens of “vloggers” show how to do all sorts of makeup looks and give dozens of tips and tricks. The makeup artists are not however limited to cis women. Here are 15 males who show everyone how it’s done. Some of them on their own faces and others who use models. Check them out in Bustle.

Charles Pierce

Charles Pierce

Back in the ‘90s I was lucky enough to chat briefly with the “male actress” Charles Pierce. We were seated at adjacent tables in a New York City cabaret. Pierce passed away in 1999 but his life as a consummate comedic female impersonator is recalled in a new book. He was one of the performers who didn’t ever call what he did “drag.” To him it was acting. Read about the book and Charles Pierce in The Huffington Post.

Another female impersonator who eschews the drag label is our own contributor and friend of TGForum, The Cuban Legend, David de Alba. David has a show coming up in Las Vegas in the month of August. One of David’s fans put together this promo video with information on the show.


Empowered: Trans Women & HIV is a new campaign from Greater Than AIDS. The campaign is a YouTube series aimed at trans women and features trans women sharing their experience of living with HIV. For more information visit the registration page for the kickoff event.

In Britain, the Girls’ School Association is a real thing. (“Real” in the sense of “actually existing,” not in the sense of “quite powerful.”) the President of the Girls’ School Association, Caroline Jordan, told the Sunday Times that she is promoting gender-neutral terms such as “students” instead of ‘girls’.” She has since clarified, saying that there aren’t that many transgender students; rather, “My view is that where you can use gender-neutral language about people that is a good thing.” The clarification tries to say that some of the coverage oversimplifies the advice given, and that single-sex schools have to take care of all their pupils. The original article is behind a paywall at the Sunday Times, but you can read a summary at The Telegraph, or you can read the clarification article at Pink News.

An Australian priest, Father Joseph Parkinson, is the director of the LG Goody Bioethics Centre. He says that schools have an obligation to meet the pastoral needs of people living with gender dysphoria. He does think that some of the rise in referrals for gender conditions is due to parents overreacting to their children’s behavior, but even so, he does acknowledge that in at least some cases, “genuine transgenderism” exists, and that it needs to be treated as real. This story is in Yahoo News Australia.

Young people in the LGBT community have adopted the word “queer” as an in-your-face statement of pride in their identities. Older members of the LGBT community often have a problem with the word being used. One reason younger folks aren’t pained by the use of “queer” that when the were growing up they were taunted with the word “gay.” Read about the split over the word in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.



A gender non-conformist in Oregon, Be Marston, is not just an activist for trans issues. She works as a bartender and is a member of UNITE HERE Local 8, the bartender’s union. She is also the president of the Oregon chapter of Pride At Work, the AFL-CIO’s organization for LGBT union members. Read an interview with her and find out why she feels the union is a good partner for LGBT workers. It’s in the NW Labor Press.

If you have that conservative uncle in your family who just can’t understand how people could feel that they were a different gender from the genitals they own you may want to point him, if he’ll read it, to this article which gives a pretty good presentation of the facts surrounding the reality of transgenderism. It can be found on the Herald Tribune website.

A trans woman in Japan told her company that she wanted to change her gender marker for the sake of her health insurance but didn’t want to come out to her fellow employees. The company went ahead and complied with her request but also changed her name on her worker’s name tag without telling her this would happen. Then she asked to use the women’s locker room and she alleges that the company then made her come up to her fellow employees in the morning meeting. She became depressed and has sued the company for damages. We think there’s a TWIT Award somewhere in this story but you read it and decide. It’s in The Japan Times.

A captured fighter in disquise.

A captured fighter in disquise.

The Iraqi city of Fallujah fell to the Islamic State (ISIS) in January of 2014. Just several days ago Iraqi forces retook the city from the radical jihadists. There are still some areas of the city that are under ISIS control but the major battle is over. ISIS gets people in the U.S. scared when they see photos of ISIS fighters all dressed in black waving their automatic weapons and battle flag. These fierce warriors are being caught in increasing numbers attempting to escape from Fallujah disguised as women. The only makeup technique they need to master is eye makeup since their bodies are covered by burkhas. Just last week six fighters were caught by police as they attempted to mix with female refugees. Learn a bit more and see some photos on the Heavy website.

Restroom Wars

A professor at the University of Mississippi has compared the restroom wars to the struggle for racial integration in the ‘60s. Back then African Americans in the south were restricted to facilities, from water fountains to restrooms, that white people did not use. The words “separate but equal” were often thrown around to show that black people had the same things as white people — just not the same things. The professor’s school wants to provide single stall restrooms and trans-only changing rooms for trans students instead of integrating them into the existing facilities, which he feels has a big similarity to “separate but equal.” Learn more on the Campus Reform website.

restroomThe city of Chicago has amended its human rights ordinance. The amendment specifically addresses transgender people in the bathroom, and they went in the opposite direction from the state of North Carolina. Chicago had specifically added gender identity as a protected class in the past, but they exempted restroom use as something that was protected, so they needed to address it in order to overturn it. This story is found in the Chicago Sun Times.

We all hear the horror stories about what will happen if a school allows a transgender student to use the restroom of their preferred gender. We know that many of those who oppose the recent Department of Education guidelines are spreading lies about what the guidelines even mean, much less what will happen under them. But, what does happen when a school supports the rights of a transgender student? McClatchy News Service talked to some principals at schools that were protecting trans student’s rights to find out. You can read the story in the Sacramento Bee.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina have decided that they will let students pick their gender identity and they will be allowed to use the restroom and locker room facilities that match their “preferred identity.” This is of course in direct violation of the North Carolina restroom law. A district spokesperson maintains that they are not doing this to flout the law but to comply with it. Find out how that’s going to work on the CBS News website.


This is a troubling story. A child who was dropping of a pet for grooming claims that the trans woman who owns the pet salon exposed her breast to him and tried to touch his groin area. If this is true then we hand a TWIT Award to the salon owner, Vanessa Edwards, for feeding the belief that all trans people are perverts. If it is not true, the boy could be making it up for any number of reasons, then a TWIT Award would go to the boy and his parents. Read the story on the TWIT Award winning (they call Edwards “he”) Valley Central CBS 4 website.

There is definitely something wrong with some of the people in America. After a Seattle fundraiser for the families of the victims of the Orlando mass shooting a trans man activist was attacked while walking to his car. His attacker yelled out “Happy pride” before he started punching Michael Volz. He then began to choke Volz as he yelled transgender slurs. Why this happens is a mystery. Why should anyone want to beat someone for their gender? We don’t know but we award a TWIT to anyone who feels that differently gendered people are targets for their hate. The story in on the MyNorthwest website.

The Veterans Administration has proposed changing the rules governing the availability of gender reassignment surgery for veterans. Right now a ban on providing only “medically necessary” treatments keeps vets from getting the surgery at VA hospitals. The TWIT Award here is issued to the 30 GOP congressmen who signed a letter to the VA which opposes a change of the rules. The congressmen maintain that only vets who were wounded serving in the military should get treatment related to their service injuries. So will the VA be providing diabetes treatment? How about prostate cancer treatment? Those aren’t related to the vet’s service injuries. Read more about it in The Wall Street Journal.

A father and grandfather of an intersex child in China have been arrested and charged with attempting to kill that infant. The father was expecting a daughter, and called the child a “monster.” The fact that your child is not what you were hoping for is not a justification to kill that child, and attempting to do so is justification for giving you a TWIT Award and some jail time. You can read more in Gay Star News.

Ocean City, Maryland, had a problem with changing facilities near the beach. They were running out of space in the men’s changing area, so some male lifeguards had been changing in the ladies’ changing area. The head lifeguard, Butch Arbin, issued an email, in which he intended to tell the male lifeguards to stop using the ladies’ changing area. However, the specific wording was questionable. “USE the locker room that corresponds to your DNA . . . If you’re NOT SURE go to Target.” The email mentioned Target twice in reference to the changing areas. While the entire thing was written, and therefore the tone could be misinterpreted, it is hard to see how any joke in this case could be anything but nasty. Mr. Arbin gets a TWIT for his email. The Washington Blade has this story.

We commonly assign TWIT Awards to members of the trans community who try to pull off robberies while wearing a dress. The story of one such robbery comes to us from England where a (we assume) crossdresser went to the pub as his lady persona, eyed up the till and asked how much money was inside, then left and came back later dressed in male attire and tried to rob the place with an obvious plastic gun. In this case we are withholding the TWIT since the man, Edward Cullen, was having a psychotic break at the time and believed he was making a film of his own life. The judge gave him a shortened sentence due to his getting treatment and becoming “pro social” again. The story is in the North Devon Journal. And again we admonish, don’t rob places while dressed as a woman.

Large portions of this edition of TWIT were researched and 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 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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