The Week In Trans 12/25/17

| Dec 25, 2017

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Ms. Kgositau

The High Court in Botswana has decreed that the country’s government must recognize a trans woman citizen as female before the end of 2017. That gives them less than a week to get Tshepo Ricki Kgositau her new identity card. Ms. Kgositau has been fighting a legal battle with the government for four years. Learn more from the Independent.

Looking at how difficult the Justice Department says it will be for the military to accept transgender recruits, and how that differs from the report from the surgeons general and the memo to the recruiters, Nathaniel Frank writes in Slate “President Trump is forcing the military to lie in court.” It would likely be more accurate to say that the Justice Department is presenting a false case of how hard it is to accept transgender recruits, and to do so they are selectively distorting evidence from the military. But, so far, none of the judges have been persuaded by the false information provided by the Justice Department.

The Trump administration’s attempt to ban transgender people from military service was blocked by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The terse decision upheld the decision of the District Court that the military must accept transgender recruits starting on January 1, 2018. This marks the highest level at which the ban has been rejected; no court has yet upheld it. The Washington Post has this story.

A second appeals court and a federal court in California also ruled against the ban on transgender people in the military. That means that all four district courts which are going to hear trials on the ban have concluded that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their cases, and two appeals courts have agreed with the district courts. This story can be found at ABC News.

Nicolas Talbott

Military Times profiled Nicholas Talbott, an openly-transgender 24-year-old who wishes to enlist in the military.

While lawyers from the Justice Department keep trying to defend the ban in court, and keep asking for permission to keep transgender recruits out of the military, the Pentagon has continued to move ahead with what it would take to accept transgender people into the military. A memo surfaced this week, showing that it’s not very hard for recruiters to fill out the forms.

Three retired military surgeons general have signed onto a letter which states that there is no great obstacle to accepting transgender recruits. They say that the Department of Justice has overstated the amount of training that would be needed, for recruiters or for medical personnel. The Hill did a story on this, while the actual report can be found here.

As the year draws to a close, the ILGA has published its annual Transgender Legal Mapping Report. The report shows the status of transgender legal rights around the world.

For those who prefer to look more specifically at the United States, Newsweek did a review of transgender gains and losses.

While Donald Trump has had trouble getting some of his desired legislation through Congress (most notably the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act), one thing that he has been able to get is his choices of judges confirmed by Congress. This included some nominees with very anti-LGBT tendencies. These judges will stay on the bench for life. You can read more on NBC Out.

Calleigh Little

A trans woman has completed a 3000-mile journey across the USA — on a skateboard. Calleigh Little started from Bend, Oregon in October and reached her Massachusetts destination last month. She became the first-ever woman and first-ever trans woman to skate across the country on her own. Read all about her journey in MetroWest Daily News.

A trans woman in Philadelphia tried to get a legal name change last year, but the judge denied her request because she had been convicted of a felony. Her case was taken to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which held that a transgender person has the right to a name change in a timely manner, and sent the case back to the lower court. Philadelphia Gay News has this story.

A transgender woman in Britain who was cut off from seeing her children when she left her orthodox Jewish community in order to transition genders, has won the legal right to see her children. While a lower court felt that she would embarrass her children in the sight of others in the Haredi community (and some in that community did threaten ostracism), the transgender woman had offered to do her best to appear male when seeing her children, and the court of appeals ruled in here favor. This story can be found in the Guardian.

Ms. Rolfe

Nick Rolfe is a teacher in Lutterworth, England, and the mother of two. Her older child, Charlie, is 14, and has already transitioned to female. As a teacher she knew that there were no books to explain to her five-year-old what her older sister was going through. So, she made a series of seven books to explain gender transition to children. The books have just been published, and the Daily Mail wrote a nice story about Nick and her books.

As a part of the move to exit the European Union, Great Britain will issue new passports. The most obvious change will be the color — the EU passports are burgundy, while the new passports will be navy blue. At the same time, they could make other changes, such as a new gender marker of “X” for those who would rather not be listed as “male” or as “female.” This became the topic for a rant in Gay Star News.

A recent survey of school children in California found that 27% of them are “gender non-conforming.” But, what does that term mean, and more to the point, what does this survey ask to determine how many children are gender non-conforming? KQED-TV took a look at that. Here is a hint: “‘gender non-conforming’ is not a synonym for transgender.”

Another survey set out to see whether “religious liberty” plays much of a role in the decision to refuse someone service. Researchers made some variables in a scenario, and asked people if it was all right to refuse to serve someone. It turns out that the smallest difference was between those who did refuse a request “for religious reasons” and those who refused a request “despite not being particularly religious.” You can find more details at Think Progress.

Tiffany Abreu

Tiffany Abreu was a trophy-winning men’s volleyball player before she transitioned. Now, at age 33, she is playing in the women’s volleyball tournament in her native Brazil. She is profiled in Sports Illustrated.

The holidays can be hard for people with gender dysphoria. Corey Rae writes on Stylecaster about the effects of giving a transgender child the wrong gift.

Perhaps you find yourself with some time off from work or school, and you want to catch up on some documentaries about transgender people. Gilllian Branstetter of The Daily Dot compiled a list of transgender-themed documentaries you can stream at the moment.

The style section of The New York Times is making a backhanded prediction of a trend against high heels. It’s not that they will disappear, but rather, that women will opt for other shoes more often.


Don’t you wish Teen Vogue had done a pictorial on you when you were 9-years-old? Dolled up in glam drag — it would have been a dream. Well thanks to the growing acceptance of drag as an art form 9-year-old Lactatia from Montreal has a Teen Vogue slideshow. And she has been given a spot in New York City’s House of Mizrahi where she will refine her voguing. See the photos in Teen Vogue.


The United States Council of Catholic Bishops signed onto a document, along with other religious leaders, which states that gender and natal sex are inseparable, and that transgender people are in need of mental help. They start by taking a very inclusive verse from Genesis, one which says that the same God created both males and female, and distort it to mean that God forced people into divisions (ignoring the fact that God also made intersex people), and then turn that distortion into their title. They then talk of sex and of marriage, with no mention of the possibility that transgender people could be celibate. Interestingly, while several Christian leaders, and even one Islamic leader, signed onto the letter, none of the signatories show any expertise in fields of mental health (e.g., psychology or psychiatry). Of course their letter gets all the signatories a TWIT Award. You can find the letter here, and commentary on it at the Advocate.

In a crazy story, the staff of a restaurant in Shanghai beat up a lesbian woman because they thought she was a man who was going to use the ladies’ restroom. That’s the story as Pink News tells it. We do not make a mistake when we hand the staff a TWIT Award.

Steven Crowder, who has used edited videos on Fox News to discredit unions and other organizations, went into an LGBT community center in Vermont this week with a hidden camera, and when he did not get the sort of information that he wanted, he edited his video to show that transgender people were abusing Medicaid. His editing skills are as bad as ever. For outright lying, Steven Crowder gets a TWIT Award. This story can be found in LGBTQ Nation.

We have given quite a few TWITs to British tabloids, and this week we give out another. There seems to be an alliance among some TWIT winning elements of the British media and anti-trans groups to try to influence some legislation, which is still being formed, and which may never reach the floor of the House of Commons. Red Pepper has more on this.

Leo McKinstry is a columnist in the British tabloid, the Express. He wrote that 2017 is “the year the madness of transgenderism finally took over.” One of his big complaints is that the schools of the Church of England have forms to fill out when a teacher feels that a student is bullying a transgender student. So, apparently, he feels that teachers should turn a blind eye when they find a student bullying another student. Or perhaps, he just feels that it should be all right to pick on transgender people for some reason, perhaps because the very concept of transgender people bothers him. Whatever his reason, he gets a TWIT Award for this. You can find this piece in the Sunday Express.

A trans model at Heathrow airport proved that anyone can be eligible for a TWIT Award. Francesca Camicia, on her way to Italy for breast augmentation, encountered a Muslim security guard who called her “ma’am” but she misheard and convinced herself the guard had called her a man. She went on a two hour rant about her “mistreatment” by the guard. At one point she accused him of being a terrorist. For going completely off the rails when she thought she heard the word “man” we give Ms. Camicia a TWIT Award. Get the story from the Daily Mail.

The recent flurry of reports about sexual harassment of women by male bosses and co-workers points out the necessity for people to keep their uninvited hands to themselves. One woman in Cardiff, Wales did not understand that just because a person is trans doesn’t mean you can grope them. Rebecca Maund is getting a TWIT Award for presuming that she could lift up a trans woman’s skirt, put her in a bear hug and try to feel her breasts, then laugh it off as a joke. Along with the TWIT Award she is getting a jail sentence and a probation officer. Get the story from Metro UK.

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with editing and additional material provided by Angela Gardner.

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Category: Community News

About the Author ()

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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  1. Michelle1969 says:

    As we approach the new year I still have a conscience decission to make to come out to my church and be excommunicated for ever or continue to lie and burn in hell for all eternity….. ThAnk you so very much. Michelle 1969