The Week In Transgenderism — 7/11/16

| Jul 11, 2016
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Andreja Pejic

Andreja Pejic

Andreja Pejic found herself through Google. That’s what she says in an article the came out last week. As a teenager she was able to go online and learn about other trans people, and learn things like how to avoid going through puberty and developing male characteristics. It’s a lot better if you can consult a knowledgable counselor and pursue your gender change the right way but if you’re a sixteen-year-old trans kid working at McDonald’s in Australia the Web might be your only information source. Now she’s got a modeling career and a boyfriend she has a special connection with. Read more about Andreja in The New York Daily News.

Good news Massachusetts T people! The state has finally come up with legislation that protects your right to use public restrooms, and make a purchase in a store. The state already had protections in place to stop discrimination in housing, education and employment. Those were passed in 2011. The bill which passed last Thursday extends those protections. Learn more for The Atlantic.



A trans woman named Effie is part of a lingerie ad campaign in Britain. The company is called Curvy Kate and they don’t normally use professional models, although Effie is one, to promote their products. They prefer to use women chosen from among their customers. The ad campaign is meant to speak to as many women as possible so they used an eclectic mix of models. Learn more about Effie and the Curvy Kate campaign in the Daily Mail.

The North Carolina legislature has adjourned for the year without approving any changes to HB 2. They could reassemble to address the problems, but as things stand, the NBA will have to decide whether to move next January’s All-Star game from Charlotte. The NBA has said it wants the law changed, and that the proposed changes did not do the trick anyway. It is getting to be a bit late to change the location of the All-Star game, but it is not impossible to do so. Reuters has this story.

Before recessing for the year, the North Carolina legislature decided to move $500,000 from the “emergency fund” to be used to defend HB2. Is defending HB2 really an emergency? Obviously, money used for one cause cannot be used for another, so something is not being funded in order to pay for the defense of HB2. Think Progress tells us more.

Although the federal government is suing North Carolina on the grounds that HB2 discriminates against transgender women in the Violence Against Women Act (one of the few acts that specifically mentions trans women as women), a federal judge has determined that North Carolina should continue to receive funds for the Violence Against Women Act at least until the case has been decided. Although it is quite clear that HB2’s restroom provision discriminates against transgender women, and although discrimination against transgender women is illegal under the Violence Against Women Act, it is not immediately clear that the way in which HB2 discriminates against transgender women is specifically covered in the Violence Against Women Act. Arthur Leonard has more.

Misty Snow

Misty Snow

It’s a wonderful thing that trans women are running for Congress but what are their platforms? Misty Snow, who is running against incumbent Senator Mike Lee of Utah sat down with David Greene on NPR and spoke about what her policies will be if she is the victor in November. The transcript of the interview can be found on the NPR website.

The State of Washington passed a fairly inclusive nondiscrimination law, which includes the right for transgender people to use the restroom of their preferred gender. A group called Just Want Privacy set about getting signatures to put the issue before the voters, and spread the lie that this would allow men to use the ladies’ room. This week, the group failed to meet the deadline for turning in petition signatures. They did not gather enough signatures, and they knew it. They were opposed by businesses, and as a result they had trouble raising funds. On top of that, they got some bad publicity because of some of their dubious advice to those gathering signatures. The Seattle Times has this story.

Could being a trans woman be the result of drugs your mother took while she was pregnant? That’s what some people are saying. From the 1930s though the 1970s pregnant women were given a drug called Diethylstilbestrol, or DES. It was supposed to help prevent miscarriages and other female health problems but instead was found to cause cancer and other nasty things. Some trans people feel that it may have made them who they are. Read the story on the WTSP 10News site.

Painted for Filth: Violet Chachki.

Painted for Filth: Violet Chachki.

Drag queens are known for their sense of drama and in a collection of drag queen photos you are likely to find almost any variation of gender — or species. The latest compilation of fierce drag looks found around the Web has been released. Meet the 20 fiercest drag queen looks of June in the Painted For Filth feature on the Queerty website.

In the latest in the Gavin Grimm case, Judge Robert Doumar announced that he would not issue an injunction preventing Mr. Grimm from using the boys’ restroom at his school. In doing so, he rejected the request of the Gloucester County School Board. The Board will file paperwork with the Supreme Court, but the Court is likely to not want to take this case without a court decision going the other way. Since Mr. Grimm’s case has not been heard, it is quite early for the Supreme Court to be getting involved. The Daily Press has more.

Last week, the Province of Ontario announced it would issue gender-neutral driver’s licenses and health insurance cards, starting next year. This week, the government of Canada announced that they, too, are looking to issue gender-neutral identity cards and passports. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “That’s part of the great arc of history sweeping towards justice.” The CBC has this story.

The Chi Phi fraternity has voted to let trans men pledge to join their ranks. Chi Phi is one of the nation’s oldest fraternities, founded in 1824 at Princeton. Trans men who have legal male status are now allowed to pledge the frat. Learn more on the USA Today website.

On Saturday, July 16 the Indiana Transgender Wellness Alliance is presenting a conference on transgender health issues. The conference is called A Message of Hope and is sponsored by the Alliance in cooperation with Indiana Internal Medicine Consultants, Indiana School of Medicine and Eskenazi Health. The conference will take place at the Schweitzer Conference Center of the University of Indianapolis. To register visit the Alliance website.

If you’re a trans woman actor in the vicinity of Harvard you may be interested in auditioning for a show coming up in January. It’s called Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women and it is currently casting. Get more info on the show and how you can audition in person or by submitting a video on the Wicked Local Cambridge.

Lady Miss Liberty?

Lady Miss Liberty?

Could it be true? There is a theory that the Statue of Liberty may not have been modeled on the mother of the sculptor, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. Historian Elizabeth Mitchell feels that the face of the statue more closely resembles Bartholdi’s brother than it does his mother. Read the speculation and get lots of Statue of Liberty facts from The New Jersey 101.5 website.

Over in Britain, six transgender women are housed at a prison in Littlehay for sex workers. They are allowed to wear make-up and women’s clothing, but their access to those items is limited while they are in prison. The Equities Team at Littlehay has created a solution: they opened a pop-up shop for those inmates. They only have six customers, but the shop does its best to serve their needs. The Mirror has this story.

Also from Britain, there is a report that Her Majesty’s Passport Office will soon allow transgender people to change the gender marker on their passports without a note from a medical practitioner. It is a part of making gender more a matter of self-declaration rather than a medicalized process. The government will require some proof of gender, but the ways to prove gender will be increased. At least, so says the Daily Mail, which seems to be less than happy with this idea.

Sugarplum participant.

Sugarplum participant.

Many U.S. citizens are thinking about moving to Canada if either of the major candidates gets elected. Those who love drag and are looking for a town with an open mind about gender may want to consider Kelowna, British Columbia. Last summer someone in the town called the major Mayor Sugarplum after the town had added rainbow crosswalks for Pride. The mayor embraced the label and this year they held a Sugarplum Ball in which local celebs and the mayor got dressed in drag. They did it up right as can see from the photos published on the Kelowna Now website.

Australia has had a legal policy where transgender children had to get a court’s permission before hormone therapy could begin. Diana Bryant, the Chief Justice of the Family Court, has been quoted saying, “I accept it is difficult and stressful, and we need to try and find some more simple solution.” To change the law might require participation from the legislature, but perhaps not. We shall see. The Australian Broadcasting Company has this story.

Cuban queens.

Cuban queens.

When most people think of Cuba they think of communism and an island nation isolated and trapped in the 1960s. Images of the young Fidel Castro flit across their brains. But Cuba is also home to the Miss Transvestite beauty pageant. The pageant happens every March in Santa Clara at El Mejunje, a nightclub in that town. Even though Cuba is a macho culture trans people and drag queens are common and mostly accepted. Learn more about the Cuba you were unaware of in USA Today.


Athena Cadence is a trans woman who was arrested last November on a charge of misdemeanor assault. She has been held in solitary confinement in a prison for men, and has not eaten since June 1. She is protesting the way that she has been treated at the prison. A TWIT Award is issued to her jailers for subjecting her to cruel and unusual punishment. You can read more about this in The Advocate.

When he was first asked about HB2, Donald Trump said that North Carolina had done a terrible thing, that there was no reason to regulate where a transgender person can go to the bathroom, and that states should just “leave it the way it is.” He did add, shortly thereafter. that the federal government should not get involved in this controversy. This week, when the Raleigh News & Observer asked him about HB2, his response was, “Well, I’m going with the state. They know what’s going on, they see what’s happening, and, generally speaking, I’m with the state on things like this. I’ve spoken with your governor, I’ve spoken with a lot of different people, and I’m going with the state.” Many news reports point out that this is inconsistent with what he said at first, although he has never said that the federal government was right to get involved. That said, the idea that Governor McCrory and his pals know what is going on in North Carolina is farfetched at best. A TWIT Award for flip-flopping to Donald Trump!  The Washington Blade has this story.

The right wing propaganda outlet known as The Federalist has published a that claims the high suicide rate among trans people is not due to the unending and relentless discrimination they must battle each day. According to TWIT Award winning writer Daniel Payne being rejected by parents, not being able to study due to harassment in school — or get a job after school — has no effect on the trans suicide rate. What is it then? Payne believes it’s “mental illness, y’all.” Payne runs a blog called Trial of the Century. Maybe we should all visit it and tell him just how sane we are? His article is in The Federalist and you won’t believe how he justifies his conclusions.

Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi has asked a judge to issue an injunction which would allow HB 1523 to go into effect even though a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional. The filing asks for the injunction on the grounds that Governor Bryant feels that the appeal of the ruling is likely to succeed. Given that the ruling said the law was unconstitutional on multiple grounds (including that it violates the establishment clause and equal protection, which are fairly obvious), and given that the attorney general of Mississippi agrees with the decision, the idea that an appeal will find all of these things to be just fine is dubious at best. The governor is getting a TWIT Award for this stunt.  The Washington Blade has more.

Last week, we reported on a new ruling by religious clerics in Pakistan, which seemed to say that a transgender person could marry another transgender person, provided that the couple presented as one man and one woman. This week, we get a clarification that the ruling refers to intersex people, rather than transgender people. Transgender people still cannot marry anyone. TWIT Awards to all the imams who issued this rule. Gay Star News has more.

Breitbart, oh Breitbart, how dumb can you be? Pretty dumb as it turns out. The website which has collected numerous TWIT Awards over the years (so many that if we actually sent physical trophies they would weigh enough to create a blackhole at their headquarters) that one more is not going to wise them up. Last week they published a story about the two trans women who are trying to qualify for women’s events at the Olympics. They report the facts but they get a TWIT for calling the athletes “transgender men” and not correctly gendering them as women. They also feature quotes from female athletes who have competed with trans women and thought the trans women had an unfair advantage. Read their biased report if you like. It can be found on the Breitbart website. (We give them another TWIT Award for the way they disable your browser’s Back button so you remain stuck on their site.)

Cecilia Bayzk researched and wrote a major portion of this TWIT.

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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.

Comments (1)

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  1. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    TWIT awards:
    >Athena Cadence…..a charge of misdemeanor assault.

    Do we care who she beat up?
    I would like to know more, maybe Athena Cadence is the one who should be getting a TWIT award, or maybe she actually deserves to be locked up.

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