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The Week In Transgenderism 5/6/13

| May 6, 2013
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Kenny Kerr on stage

Kenny Kerr on stage

FI legend David de Alba contacted us last Monday with the information that noted Las Vegas female impersonator Kenny Kerr has passed away. Kerr was among the first drag acts (if not the first) to do a long running show in Las Vegas. He arrived in town in 1977 from the east coast and starred in Boy-lesque at the Silver Slipper casino. Now, like the casino, Kerr is gone. Read about his career in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Britain has never had an openly transgendered Member of Parliament. That may be about to change. Rianna Humble, a transwoman from Sussex, is on the “long list” of possible candidates for the 2015 General Election. Learn more about the possibilities in The Argus.

Last Friday Rock Center with Brian Williams featured transgendered author Jennifer Finney Boylan and her family. Jennifer and her wife Deedie have been together for 25 years and they talked about their family and how Jennifer thought she wouldn’t have a family anymore if she came out to her wife about her transgender issues. Read about their appearance on the show and watch clips at

It’s just another day at the beach for the the family depicted in the dance performance Summer’s Different now playing at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater in New York City. A typical day at the beach you might think — until Dad slips on Grandma’s bathing suit and does a wafting dance that recalls his fondest little girl ballerina fantasies. The one hour choreographed dance deals with Dad giving into his formerly hidden obsession with dressing in women’s clothes and how his family deals with his revelation. Read about the show, playing through May 12, in The New York Times.

Alexis Martinez

Alexis Martinez

Our “meet the transsexual” story today comes from National Public Radio. It’s the tale of a tough kid from the south side of Chicago who was in gangs and had a “don’t mess with” reputation. But under his leather jacket and blue jeans he was wearing stockings and a bra. How did “he” get to being Alexis Martinez? Read the story and listen to it at

Our “meet the transman who wanted to be prom king” story comes to us from Pennsylvania. Issak Wolfe put himself forward as a candidate for prom king. Instead of mentioning it to “Wolfie” the principal took it upon himself to move Wolfe’s name on the ballot from the prom king to the prom queen column. Wolfe only learned of that when the ballots were distributed. He was not pleased. Then, he was told his girlfriend could not attend prom with him. She had made some online remarks regarding the principal and in an authoritarian show of pique the principal banned her. The ACLU was brought in and Wolfe and his girlfriend did attend prom but he’s still waiting for an apology for being put into the prom queen running. Get the complex story in the York Dispatch.

A recent incident in Berkeley, California, a town known for having a hard ass police force that is often criticized for treating protester and minorities harshly, may no be a case of police brutality toward a TG, after all. Kayla Moore died after fighting with police officers back in February and activists were quick to label it police brutality. The results of the autopsy are in and Moore died from “acute combined drug intoxication.” The police were trying to take her in for a psych evaluation when she began fighting with them. It’s not a good idea to take large amounts of several different drugs. We won’t give her a TWIT Award out of respect for the dead but please, those of you still living — be careful! The report is at SF Gate.

Jenna Talachova

Jenna Talachova

A TG who is doing alright for herself is Canadian beauty Jenna Talackova. Jenna, who you may recall from the Miss Universe Canada pageant which she was banned from participating in because she wasn’t a “natural born” woman — and successfully battled to get the right to participate — now has her own, wait for it . . . Reality TV Show! Now Jenna is on her way to being the next Kardasians. Oh no! Her show will run on E! with no word in the article about whether E! will be airing it in the States or just north of the border. Read about it in the Vancouver Sun.

We told you a few weeks ago of Smith College’s refusal to allow a transgendered female admittance. Now we learn that the women of Smith are very much behind letting Calliope Wong and other women like her attend Smith. They organized a petition and gotten more than 4000 signatures. Actually the story of the refusal sounds a lot like a bureaucratic glitch. Wong applied for student aid as a male and then applied at the college as a female. The red tape should be straightened out and Wong should get to attend. See what you think after you read the story at

Drag studies at UC

Drag studies at UC?

Ah college days. These days students at many universities have more than memories of football homecoming, frat parties and on campus concerts to treasure. More and more schools have added drag shows to the list of college memories. The latest one happened last weekend at UC Santa Barbara. It featured campus drag queens and no professional entertainers. It’s good to know that some skills are being learned in college and after graduation the fellas can get work in drag clubs. Put those dollars in their hands! Those kids have got college loans to pay off. Get the story of the Santa Barbara show in The Bottomline.

Vermont has announced that health insurers doing business in that state must abide by the provisions in The Affordable Care Act that requires them to give coverage to everyone, regardless of their gender identity. Get the facts about the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, Division of Insurance decree at

Seeks civil service job.

Seeks civil service job.

In India transgendered people are looked upon as the “third sex” and have been forced to resort to begging, prostitution and descending in groups on people’s weddings demanding money to go away. (Now those are wedding crashers.) One TG, who was kicked out of her home by her parents at the ago of 18, aspired to become a civil servant working for the Indian government. She begged on the street to support herself while she attended school to prepare for the government exams. She learned upon graduation that they only accept male or female candidates for civil service and there is no TG category. She’s now fighting to have that category added. Read her story at


Our first TWIT Award today goes to conspiracy theory obsessed radio talk show host Alex Jone. Jones went on a rambling rant on his show April 30 in which he claimed that “transvestites” would “throw up all over the walls” of public bathrooms if they were given “fake rights” by which he meant having their rights protected. He went on to impugn the memory of a now deceased transgendered homeless woman (presumably CD Leslie Cochran) who he claimed used the restroom of the television station where he worked and left it a mess. He really spewed a vile mess of hatred toward TGs that is disgusting to us as the “transvestite” vomit was to him. Read about his TWIT Award winning performance and listen to the audio, if you’re brave enough, at



We usually don’t run photos in the TWITs section. Most of our TWITs don’t deserve that much recognition. Today we feature a photo of a lovely TG woman who was victimized by a TWIT merchant. (Editor’s Note: After looking at other pictures of Rohit we’re not sure this photo is really her. If it is we want to make an appointment with her makeup artist.) Rohit Singh was looking for a gown for her upcoming wedding (which did happen last week) and she went to a bridal store in her town in Canada. The store owner told her she looked like a man and men weren’t allowed to try on gowns in her store. TWIT Award! Singh got the red gown you see her in here at another store where the owner was not angling for a TWIT Award. Read about it on the CBC website.

In further developments — dozens of people held a rally outside the bridal store to protest the owner’s refusal to serve Ms. Singh. That story is also at

A murderer has been brought to justice in Texas. Already in jail for other crimes Jeremy David Morris was linked by DNA to the murder of a “cross-dressing man” in 2008. The killer admitted to police that he thought he had picked up a woman and was enraged when he learned otherwise. Then he killed her and stole her things to sell for crack cocaine. A TWIT Award goes to the murdered and another TWIT to the newspaper for only using the deceased TG’s male name and calling her a “cross-dressing man” when they had no clue as to her gender identity. The story is on San Antonio’s homepage.

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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. dina dina says:

    I saw Kenny Kerr and Boy-lesque in Vegas in the late 80’s. It was at one of the main casino showrooms then. I was just getting into crossdressing at that time and it was an inspiration to see really beautiful drag queens in the show. Later, Montel Williams had Kenny on his afternoon talk show and said that they were neighbors in Vegas. Kenny was still treading the hetero-gay tightwalk at that time. Seems so silly now. And he was not a hell of a lot older than I am, so RIP, Kenny.

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