The Week In Trans 8/28/17

| Aug 28, 2017

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RuPaul has been producing gigantic drag conventions and in just a couple of weeks she’s bringing RuPaul’s Drag Con to New York City. Queens from every season of Drag Race will be there along with a vendor’s area selling every possible thing a drag queen could need. There will be performances, of course, and RuPaul herself will take the stage. So NYC kings and queens prepare your best drag looks. The event takes place September 9 and 10 at the Javits Center. Get more info from TimeOut New York.

The governor of Illinois has signed a bill that makes it easier for trans people to change their gender designation on their birth certificates. The law has said that people must have completed gender reassignment before they could change their documents. The new law will allow the change with just a letter from a doctor indicating that the individual has undergone treatment. Learn a bit more on the NBC website.

Jenna Marie Bourgeois

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler who represents the 4th Congressional District is one of the most anti-LGBT people in congress. She led the fight against transgender in the military and voted to bar the Defense Department from paying for gender reassignment. You might think this story would be found in the TWIT section but there’s good news. A trans woman named Jenna Marie Bourgeois is running against Hartzler by campaigning for the Democratic nomination in 2018. Learn more in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

The ban on transgender people in the military has taken another step. The White House sent their policy guidance to the Pentagon. It requires an immediate halt to plans to accept transgender recruits, it gives the Secretary of Defense six months to implement the ban on those already in the military, and it bans the military from paying for transgender-related medical expenses. Although the Secretary is supposed to have discretion as to which people are dismissed when, the policy seems to have no room for exceptions. It is expected that individual members will fight the ban in court, and there is the possibility that the courts will delay the implementation of the ban. The Washington Post has more on this story.

Riley Dosh

You may have seen the political cartoon in which President Trump and a general stand on the balcony of the White House as a missile flies in, and the general says, “We had a guy who could shoot it down, but he was transgender.” It turns out that Riley Dosh was indeed a cadet at West Point and was trained to handle anti-missile technology, but was denied a commission in the military because of the ban on transgender recruits. Riley has written an article about this which appeared in the Los Angeles Blade.

In a speech delivered to members of the military at Fort Meyer, Virginia, outlining his new strategy in Afghanistan, President Trump said, “The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared purpose. . . . That is because all service members are brothers and sisters. They are part of the same family. It’s called the American family.” Many have pointed out how these words contrast so heavily with his ban on transgender people in the military. This was especially driven home when he said, “When one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together. Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is not room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate.” The New Civil Rights Movement was one of many groups who noted how those words contrasted with his ban on transgender people in the military.

Seaman Danielle DeWitt

Some people on the planet are lucky enough to not live in a backward nation that turns away qualified transgender people who want to serve their country in the military. Canada is one such country. LGBT people have been serving openly in the military there since 1992 and a transgender policy has been in place since 2012. The Canadian armed forces actually tout diversity as a recruiting aid. Learn more on the MaClean’s website.

Lambda Legal has filed their federal lawsuit against the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, requesting the court to reinstate the previous administration’s protections of transgender students under Title IX. Metro Weekly has this story.

Gender Odyssey happened last week. It included various workshops during the week, and socialization opportunities on the weekend. About 1,700 people were expected, which is quite an increase from the 300 or so who attended the first Gender Odyssey in 2001. My Northwest has a story previewing the event.

A group of protesters gathered in St. Louis to mourn a transgender woman who was killed by police. A motorist saw the protest and accelerated into the crowd, injuring three people. According to one witness, the driver raised his middle fingers before hitting the gas pedal. This story is on CBS News.


Sorry but you missed it. Last night on the MTV Music Awards Miley Cyrus was performing with 85-year-old drag performer James “Gypsy” Haake. Loyal TGF readers may recognize Gypsy from an interview here a couple of years ago. Haake was asked to perform live on the awards since he was featured in Cyrus’s music video Younger Now which was released on August 17. Read more about it in the Daily Record.

A new study from California showed that the incidence of substance abuse among transgender teens is shockingly high. The study noted high use of cocaine, ecstasy, and prescription medicines. It noted socialization difficulties and bullying as reasons for the substance abuse. Pink News has this story.

A restaurant in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, which serves Thai-style food, has changed its name to “Takoi” after they found that the original name, “Katoi,” is derived from “Kathoey,” a term used to slur transgender people in Thailand. This story can be found on M-Live.

Boise State University finds itself in the middle of a debate about free speech. Scott Yenor, a professor of Political Science, wrote a piece for the Daily Signal entitled “Transgender Activists Are Seeking To Undermine Parental Rights.” More to the point, a link to the article appeared on the Facebook page of the School of Public Service. This raises the question of when, if ever, it is all right to stifle free speech. Reaction to the article has been strong and the negative reaction has far outweighed the positive. The local student paper has more coverage here.

Violet Chachki

How likely was it a few years ago, say in the early months of the current century, would it be to see beauty tips from a drag queen in Vogue? Not that likely, most likely. But now as we move further into the 21st century drag queens are getting featured more often in “straight” fashion mags. This month you can find Drag Race beauty Violet Chachki in Vogue U.K. detailing five of her beauty secrets. You have to admit she deserves to be featured. See if the beauty tips work for you. Find them here.

Calgary, Alberta, hosted its pride festival over the weekend. In anticipation of the festival, the city of Calgary painted one of its crosswalks to represent the transgender flag. The Calgary Herald has this story.

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmet Hussen, announced that by the end of this week, Canadians will be able to get a gender designation of “X” on their passports. The interim measure will begin on August 31. You can find more in The New York Times.

Public Services and Procurement Canada has become the first part of the Canadian government to issue guidelines for transgender employees. The guidelines will help transgender people who work for the government to navigate things as they change their genders. CBC News has this story.

A transgender woman from Singapore was sentenced to a year in prison in the United Arab Emirates for “dressing in a feminine way.” The police also arrested a photographer friend who was traveling with her. The pair were arrested in a mall in Dubai. The A.P. story can be found in the Colorado Springs Gazette.


Lucinda is one of the first children in Malta to have the government legally recognize her change of gender. Now nine-years-old, she realized that she was different from others of her assigned gender when she was three. Her family relocated to a town where they felt that Lucinda would be more accepted, and her academic performance improved almost immediately. She also has gotten less angry since her parents started addressing her as a girl. The Times of Malta has a profile of her.

Two years ago, a mother in Chile had some trouble explaining to government officials at the airport why she had left the country with a son but came back with a daughter. In fact, her child is a transgender girl, but the government official did not seem to be willing to accept that answer. Now, thanks in part to the efforts of that mother Chile has come to accept its transgender children more and more, including a legal change of name and gender for that child. (The judge who ordered that change of name and gender has taken some flack for it, both in Chile and from LifeSiteNews.) This family’s story is the start of a look at the rights of transgender people and especially transgender children in Chile. The story from the A.P. can be found here.

Bobbie Huthart

Can a “ruthless playboy businessman” find happiness as a trans woman? Bobbie Huthart says “yes” since she was once a businessman based in Hong Kong who had her confirmation surgery in Thailand and then decided to settle down there. She is interviewed in-depth in the South China Morning Post.


A kindergartner in California was allowed to attend school in her preferred gender. Of course a handful of parents were uptight about this, and LifeSiteNews overreacted as you might expect. They threw their usual bombard of noise at those who allow the child to be herself. They also lied about the number of parents who complained and about the alleged effects on the children in the class. For using religion to pretend that they are better than others, the folks at LifeSiteNews get another TWIT Award. The article can be found on their website.

A cisgender man in New Jersey was arrested for spying on women in changing rooms. He was arrested in a Target store, but pictures on his cell phone link this man to similar incidents in several other stores that are not part of that chain. Of course, the American Family Association and various other social-conservative sites claim that this is the result of Target’s policy regarding transgender people. The man is cisgender, so Target’s policy does not allow him to be in the women’s changing room. What he did was illegal, and if he were to cite Target’s transgender policy, the judge would laugh at him, since the real policy does not cover what he did. For outright lying about this policy, the American Family Association gets a TWIT Award. You can read their lies on OneNewsNow.

One negative result of the rise in awareness of the transgender condition is that now bigots and haters know we exist. When the community was more hidden those who find our existence offensive didn’t know where to send their hate. The higher profile of the Mermaids U.K. organization, a charity that supports trans children, has seen a sharp rise in hate messages on social media and Twitter. Ignorant people fueled by the lies of right wing media have bombarded the charity since they won awards and got coverage in the papers. A TWIT Award goes to the media outlets that spread the junk science surrounding trans kids. Learn more about Mermaids U.K. in The Guardian.

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

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Category: Community News


About ceciliab: 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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