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The Week In Trans 2/26/18

| Feb 26, 2018
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Nicole with GenderCool.

It has been said that the children are our hope for the future. We are seeing kids stand up for several serious movements, one of which is trans kids speaking out about the truth of their identities. A nationwide organization is working to move the media focus from the sad part of being trans, the discrimination and violence directed at trans people, and shift it to how much healthier it is for kids to be able to live their true gender. It’s called the GenderCool Project and you can learn more about it from The New York Times.

Positive stories about trans kids are nice to see. Here’s one that shows how hard it can be for a child to let their parents know they feel like they are stuck in the wrong gender and how great it can be when they come out while living their small town. You can find it on the ABC New website.

Trans male high school wrestler Mack Beggs won a Texas girls state wrestling championship for the second year in a row. His win was greeted with a combination of cheers and boos. Beggs would love to be competing in the boys’ division but is kept from doing so by a ruling from the University Interscholastic League. Learn more from The Washington Post.

Coy in a photo from the film.

The film Growing Up Coy is embarking on a free community screening tour with talk back sessions for communities in conservative states that need it most — Texas, Alabama, South Carolina. The effort to bring the film to these areas is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Learn more about it on their Kickstarter page.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was supposed to deliver his recommendations on the subject of transgender people in the military to the White House by Wednesday. On Friday, a spokesperson for the Pentagon confirmed that the recommendations have been delivered. While neither the Pentagon nor the White House would  discuss the contents of the recommendations, speculation is that Secretary Mattis would recommend allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military. Whatever the contents of the recommendations, the White House will make its own decision. Four current court cases are already challenging any attempt to expel transgender people from the military. The New York Times ran an editorial on Friday calling a decision by President Trump to exclude trans troops “tragic.”

Clair Farley

About two years ago, the city of San Francisco created a position of senior advisor for transgender initiatives. This week, Mayor Mark Ferrell announced the formation of a transgender advisory panel. The panel will work with the senior advisor for transgender initiatives, Clair Farley. The Bay Area Reporter has this story.

San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy this week announced that her agency has formally implemented its policy and procedures on transgender, gender variant and nonbinary — or TGN — inmates. The policy covers everything from how and where inmates will be housed to the pronouns staff can use, and who will conduct pat downs. Learn more from The Bay Area Reporter. Thanks to Ms.Bob Davis for the tip.

Policies put into place during the Obama administration have been allowing trans prisoners to be held in facilities that match their gender identity. The Trump administration may be taking action soon to drop those policies. Learn more from the The Dallas News. Thanks to Ms. Bob Davis for the story tip.

The Republican Party of Kansas has adopted a measure which says that they will “oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity.” At the same time, they also claim to recognize the “dignity of those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.” The resolution specifically mentions “God’s design for gender as determined by biological sex and not by self-perception,” and opposes efforts to “surgically or hormonally” alter a person’s body. This is not by itself legislation, but it does speak to the legislative stance of the party. A story from the Wichita Eagle can be found at the Garden City News.

Republicans in both houses of the Wisconsin legislature have introduced a bill which would explicitly say that sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not apply to gender identity. The bill is a broader redefinition of workers’ rights. The Wisconsin Gazette is the source for this story.

Christine Hallquist

Christine Hallquist, the CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative, has become the latest transgender person to run for political office as she announced her candidacy for the office of Governor of Vermont. She tells the Associated Press that being transgender gives her a different perspective.

In Utah, a bill which would have created a path for transgender people to change their legal gender status has failed in the state Senate. The state Supreme Court is currently hearing a case of two transgender people seeking to change their legal gender status. This story can be found in the Deseret News.

In Indiana, two transgender high school students have chosen to skip graduation rather than hear themselves referred to by their dead names. A spokesperson for the school board says that they always use the full legal name for each graduate. This story comes to us from WTHR-TV.

The Advocate ran a review of the effects of religious rights exemptions in health care. The clauses as written are very broad, which makes for a lot of ways that people could be impacted.

The creation of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of D.H.H.S has many in the LGBTQ world worried about what impact it will have on their ability to get healthcare. Jamie Roberts pointed us to this article in the Chicago Tribune.

Daniela Vega

Daniela Vega did not get nominated for the Academy Award as best actress, but she will be among the presenters. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sent this tweet announcing twelve presenters, and Ms. Vega was on that list. Remezcla has more, and the Guardian has an interview with her.

A transgender woman has already won an Academy Award this year. Abigail Brady was recognized at the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony earlier this month for her work on the digital compositing software known as Nuke. The Daily Beast tells us that the software is commonly used in the motion picture industry. She did not receive the famous statuette, but rather a plaque. You can see a blurry photo of the award on her Twitter feed.

In other Oscar news, Yance Ford is the first transgender director to receive an Oscar nomination, for his documentary Strong Island. The film is about the impact of his brother’s murder and lack of justice on Ford’s family. He talked about the murder and the film documenting it in an interview last week with The New York Times.

Jo Inkpin

Jo Inkpin is the first out transgender priest in Australian history. Dr Inkpin transitioned in her 50s. She had been ordained in the Anglican Church in 1986. Learn more about her from Pink News.

The headline in Medical Express is slightly misleading when it says Medicine Alone Does Not Completely Suppress Testosterone Levels Among Transgender Women. The study, which appeared in the journal Endocrine Practice (and does not appear to be available online) finds that about one-quarter of transgender women do manage to get their testosterone level into the normal female level with the use of spironolactone and estrogens taken orally, while about half reduced their testosterone levels to well below that of a typical male, but still above the typical female level of testosterone. That leaves about a quarter whose levels were still somewhere in the male range. These results do not tell us whether the lowered levels of testosterone are adequate for the purpose, nor how much the results come from not following directions or from luck in the genetic lottery.

In Pakistan, girls have been welcome to join the Boy Scouts for a while. Recently, some 40 transgender people also joined the Boy Scouts. Gay Star News reports that this is another step in bringing the transgender people of the country into the mainstream. Several of the new transgender scouts will participate as volunteers at the annual Hajj in Mecca.

Kim Petras

The Daily Beast did a profile of pop singer Kim Petras. The young German trans singer has achieved a musical career in the U.S.

You might not think that being a trans person attending CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, would be a nice experience. This year four trans women attended the event to continue an effort started last year with just two trans attendees. They were there to answer questions about trans issues and make the conservatives aware that trans people are not just some evil phantoms created by the right wing media. You can find out how things went in an interview with them on the Slate website.

Aukland Grammar, a top-tier school for boys in New Zealand, has decided to add gender-neutral toilets. They say that this will allow all their students to have more privacy. While they do not know of any transgender students at the school yet, they foresee a time when they will have transgender students. This story appeared in the New Zealand Herald.

Tanesh Nutall

A trans woman in San Francisco is suing the city over an incident that happened in February of 2016. Tanesh Nutall was attending a training session related to her job that was held in the Department of Health building. On a restroom break when she attempted to use the ladies’ room she was denied entry by a city employee who called her “[pejorative] freak.” Learn more in The Bay Area Reporter. Thanks to Ms. Bob Davis for the tip.

A swimming pool in the Melbourne, Australia, area will be kept open late one night, specifically for transgender people and their families. The council which decided to do this noted that many transgender people feel uncomfortable being seen by the general public in swim suits. Some feel that this is going a bit too far to accommodate a minority, as news.com.au reports.

C.J. Palmer, the transgender sex worker who is accused of spreading the HIV virus, has been sentenced to six years in prison, the Star Observer reports. Ms. Palmer has already served nearly a year in prison while awaiting trial.

BenDeLaCreme

It just tickles us that in 2018 women’s beauty magazines and websites are presenting how-to makeup articles/videos by drag performers. The latest how-to by drag queen BenDeLaCreme purports to be about creating a “fierce cat-eye look” but she actually does a complete makeover. Makeup fans can find the tutorial on the Cosmopolitan website.

In Florida, a couple was essentially disinvited from a Mass to celebrate major wedding anniversaries (in their case, 50 years of marriage) because one of the partners is transgender. The transgender wife offered to dress as male for the event, but to his credit, her pastor said, “Oh, you can’t do that. You’re a woman.” You can find this story at Watermark.

During the current session of the Maryland General Assembly they will be considering a ban on so-called conversion therapy. Jamie Roberts pointed out an op-ed by a pastor from Maryland who is the parent of a transgender child. You can read it in The Washington Post.

A writer for the Vancouver Sun recently saw a story he had written about some transgender people back in 1984. He wrote a new article about how society’s impressions of transgender people has changed greatly since that first story was written. (Yes, he included images of that story from 1984.)

TWITs

Heather Brunskell-Evans, a feminist and a key member in the founding of the Women’s Equality Party of Britain, has been pushed aside from her leadership role and quit the party when reports of her statements about transgender people in an interview with the BBC surfaced. She mischaracterized what happens at a gender identity clinic, attempting to say that the staff push the diagnosis on patients. For spreading lies, she gets a TWIT Award. Pink News has her story.

Several social conservative outlets have fallen for a bit of bad research by a doctor who got her information from parents who visited websites that oppose transgender identity, thus getting biased information. She then got results which differed significantly from the results that were obtained by researchers using other sources of information. What she really found was that transgender children with unaccepting parents have worse outcomes than children whose parents accept their gender identities. Yet, this is paraded by the usual suspects as proof that the positive outcomes found by other studies are not true. For using biased data to get a biased result, the many social conservative outlets who cite the poster abstract by Dr. Lisa Littman get a TWIT. This story comes from The Advocate. (A poster abstract is not worthy of publication in a scientific journal.)

Over in Iowa, some religious leaders are behind a movement to ban or restrict certain library books because the books deal with LGBT issues or contain LGBT characters. Opponents of the books use heavily-charged words to describe the material they object to, which can be seen in this article in USA Today. For heavily promoting an agenda while charging others with having an agenda, the leaders of this drive get a TWIT Award.

The author the book When Harry Became Sally. . . , Ryan T. Anderson, wrote a commentary last week that presented what he titled “Here Are 5 Reasons Transgender Policies Are Harmful.” Basically it’s an exercise in the same twisted logic he uses in his book. He trots out the usual reasons why trans people have to stop being so uppity and attacks trans rights activists as zealots. For taking the time to promote his book and spread more misinformation we give Anderson a TWIT Award. His screed can be seen on The Daily Signal website.

TWIT is assembled with care by Cecilia Barzyk, with additional content and editing by Angela Gardner. If you have any tips on recent stories in the news about trans issues send them to Angela.

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Every week Cecilia Barzyk diligently scans the internet to assemble as much trans-related information from the weekly news as possible.

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