The Week In Trans 2/12/18

| Feb 12, 2018

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Alexandra Chandler

Around 40 transgender candidates have filed to run in elections in the U.S. this year. These include Alexandra Chandler, a former Navy intelligence analyst who is running for Congress in Massachusetts. Reuters takes a look at this.

In the case of Karnoski v. Trump, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman (of the Western District of the state of Washington) has been asked to issue a summary judgment that the ban on transgender people in the military is unconstitutional. 15 states and the District of Columbia submitted an amicus brief which supports the summary judgment. The Department of Justice asked the court to wait, as they will defend a new policy after February 21. In a guidance letter last August, the Pentagon was told to come up with its policy by February 21, but now, the Justice Department tells the court that the White House will make the policy after receiving “recommendations” from the Pentagon. The previous policy came from the Pentagon, with recommendations from the White House; this one is going in the opposite direction.

A former Navy Judge Advocate General, Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Retired) wrote an editorial for Stars and Stripes in which he argued that a ban on transgender people in the military not only costs the armed services some talented people but also creates confusion and strikes against discipline.

Viktoria Harrysson

A 14-year-old Swedish trans girl with a YouTube following of 50,000 fans was awarded the Transgender of the Year prize in her country. Viktoria Harrysson said she felt like “a sweaty potato” during the ceremony. Learn more from The Local. And more in Pink News.

The American Bar Association passed a resolution which calls on the Justice Department to reinstate support for transgender workers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Such had been the policy of the Obama administration, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions has gone in a different direction.

Although Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick suggested that lack of support for a “bathroom bill” would be brought up prominently in this year’s elections, that has not happened so far, with about one month left before the state’s primary. The issue has not entirely gone away, but it has taken a back seat to other issues. The fact that House Speaker Joe Straus and the Chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, Representative Byron Cook, are not running for re-election removed two races where the issue might have gotten more attention. There is more at the Texas Tribute.

Two transgender women were shot to death this week. Tonya Harvey of Buffalo, New York, was 35 years old. Celine Walker of Jacksonville, Florida, was 36.

Kamilla Carvalho

Carnival got underway down in Rio last weekend with the first time participation of a trans woman member of a samba group. In a country where over 170 trans people were murdered last year it’s a small sign that the country is trying to move ahead on trans issues that a trans woman is one of the star dancers in a top-tier samba group. Learn more and see video of Kamilla Carvalho dancing on the Reuters website.

Transgender women find that transitioning affects their careers, even when the law protects them from discrimination. In Canada, transgender women find it harder to get jobs or even get interviews, and when they do get work, they find that the pay is less by about one-third. Macleans has more on this.

Transgender and gender non-conforming teens are less likely to visit the doctor than their cisgender peers, despite fewer rating their health as “very good” or “excellent” (37%, compared to 67% of cisgender teens). When they do go, they find doctors who do not know how to treat transgender patients. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics also finds that transgender and gender non-conforming youth are also more prone to depression and self-harm than are cisgender teens.

The Associated Press reports that more teens are identifying as transgender or gender nonconforming. Combining this with the findings from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the health problems of transgender and gender nonconforming teens are a growing concern.

Sophie Giannamore

Last Monday on the ABC show The Good Doctor a trans girl was featured in the episode’s plot. A girl arrives at the hospital with abdominal pains and an examination reveals that she has male genitalia. The “good doctor” of the show is autistic and asks the girl some awkward questions which lead to a teaching moment as the girl makes him see her point of view. The trans girl is portrayed by trans actress Sophie Giannamore. Learn more for the Indie Wire website.

Two researchers studying lactation in trans mothers at Mt. Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery have made an important breakthrough. A trans woman they treated was able to breast feed her child for the first six months of the baby’s life. Lactation was induced with a specific drug regimen and the mother had not had breast augmentation or gender reasignment surgery. Read about it on the Romper website.

The principal of a grade school near Salem, Mass., has come out as transgender, or more specifically, gender fluid. Parents received a letter from the principal, formerly known as “Tom Daniels,” who signed it “Shannon Daniels,” starting to use her middle name. This story comes from The Salem News.

Desmond Is Amazing on the runway at Fashion Week.

It’s Fashion Week in New York City and the latest star of the runway is 10-year-old “club kid/drag queen” Desmond Is Amazing. Desmond was featured in the Gypsy Sport’s Fall 2018 show last night. Learn more from Fashionista.

The Glennie School, a Christian school for girls in Australia, decided to welcome its first transgender student. The school feels that the proper Christian response is love and support for transgender people. Some parents pulled their daughters from the school because of the policy allowing a transgender student, but many parents gave loving responses via social media. In an editorial, the Chronicle applauded the move.

Over 700 parents of transgender students signed a letter sent to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, asking her to reinstate the guidance which told schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom of their preferred gender. The letter, written by the HRC, says that nearly half of transgender students do not go to the restroom at school because, without the Department of Education supporting them, they feel vulnerable in the restroom. USA Today has this story.

Pabllo Vittar embraces Lucas Lucco in their music video.

Another demonstration of the split personality of Brazil is the fact that drag performer/ singer Pabllo Vittar has more followers on YouTube than RuPaul. She has wracked up over 400 million views. Vittar has recently released a new song with a video that teams her up with Brazilian actor/singer Lucas Lucco. See the video and learn more about her on NewNowNext

The state of Arizona has long been known for its conservative politics, but the Scottsdale Independent reports that for the first time, Arizona has bipartisan support for adding protection for sexual orientation and gender identity to its existing anti-discrimination laws covering employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Trans Pastor Peter Beeson.

The pastor of a Lutheran church in Hoboken, New Jersey will be “renamed” in a ceremony that will be the first of its kind at St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church. Pastor Rose Beeson will become Peter Beeson. Peter is a trans man who has been a pastor at the church for four years and began transition last summer. Learn more from

A new report by Rainbow Rights Watch in Australia says that only 12 percent of articles about transgender people have a positive tone. The rest of the articles included outdated research, incorrect language, and other inaccuracies. The Star Observer has more.

Many transgender people in Malaysia are afraid to vote. As Malaysiakini reports, they are afraid that showing their identification cards will out them as transgender.

One hundred years ago this week, an intern in San Francisco was exposed as a woman, despite presenting as a man. The story of Dr. Alan Hart took a pleasant twist from there, as the Spokesman-Review reports.


Examples of the slant in the media mentioned above can be found in two stories in The Daily Mail. In the first story, they talk about BPA, a chemical used in some plastics. BPA has been known as a problem for some time, and has been phased out of food and beverage containers, but The Daily Mail not only fails to mention that this is being addressed, they also present worst-case scenarios as if they were common. And the headline calls BPA “gender-bending,” because it can cause a decrease in fertility. In the second story, The Daily Mail bemoans the fact that transgender women will soon be allowed to assist at women’s crisis centers. According to them, it is wrong and shameful for transgender women to counsel and console rape and domestic abuse victims, because apparently, transgender women are never raped or abused by their partners, according to The Daily Mail. For slanted stories, The Daily Mail gets a TWIT Award. For an example of how to properly cover the second story, The Daily Mail could take some lessons from Pink News.

Kayla Root at CBN News noted that 2.6% of students in the ninth or eleventh grade in Minnesota responded to a survey that they are “transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning their gender.” She then compares that with numbers from the Williams Center at UCLA, which estimated 0.7% of the population is transgender. From this, she concludes that being transgender is “trendy.” Mind you, the Minnesota survey asked students if they were in a group which included not only transgender people but also gender nonconforming and gender questioning people, while the Williams Center estimate only includes transgender people. It should be obvious that a group which includes more types of people would have more people in it. For condemning transgender people based on flimsy evidence, Kayla Root and CBN News get a TWIT. This story can be found here.

Dr. Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology from the University of Toronto who is known to oppose the ready acceptance of transgender people, appeared on Fox And Friends recently. When host Brian Kilmeade said, “People are even talking about deciding what gender they want to be as youngsters,” Dr. Peterson replied, “It’s an absolute epidemic. And we’ve decided that children as young as 3 or 4 can now decide what gender they are and then undergo the appropriate surgical and biological alterations to bring their morphology in keeping with that.” Assuming that the “biological alterations” he refers to is hormone replacement therapy (which is medical, rather than biological, in nature), the steps he is saying follow are indeed taken well after the “3 or 4”-year-old has declared a gender. There is plenty of time for that child to have thoughts of going back to the original gender assignment. For leaving out a period of six to fifteen years (or more), Jordan Peterson gets a TWIT Award. This story comes from Media Matters for America.

In his book When Harry Became Sally, Ryan T. Anderson wrote a good bit about de-transitioners, saying that their stories really touched him. Apparently, he was not so moved that he bothered to ask five of the six he mentioned if he could use their stories in his book. Think Progress reports that the only one of the six de-transitioners who knew their story was going to be used was Walt Heyer. Mr. Anderson and his publisher defend this by saying that the stories came from published accounts (including books, magazine articles, legal documents, web posts, and Youtube videos), and therefore were in the public domain. Whether that is a valid legal defense is for a court to decide (should a lawsuit arise), but the fact that they were not asked permission shows that they did not review the material before publication, and therefore no one determined that what Mr. Anderson wrote was an accurate representation of their stories. For not caring enough to make sure that the story was accurately told, Ryan T. Anderson gets a TWIT.

Walgreens announced this week that in their stores transgender people may use the restroom of their preferred gender. The pharmacy chain has sent out a memo clarifying their position on this matter. The American Family Association sent out an email saying that this “allows men to go into women’s restrooms,” while One Million Moms says in an email that “dozens of women and children have been victimized by male predators inside Target stores” since that chain implemented a similar policy. Both are obviously false; the American Family Association conflates transgender women with cisgender men, while One Million Moms points out incidents which had nothing to do with the restroom and uses them as proof of problems with the trans restroom policy. (One Million Moms also appears to be inflating the number of such incidents, although this is hard to tell, since they provide no reference to even one specific incident).

A church in the Detroit suburb of Riverview went through a ceremony of laying hands on a transgender teen and trying to “pray the demon out of” him. They defend this as not “conversion therapy,” on the grounds that this was not a form of therapy, but a form of worship. However, they have an ad, in which they call it a “workshop” and charge a $200 fee. For attempting to profit financially from bogus medicine, the Metro City Church in Riverview gets a TWIT Award. The Detroit Free Press has this story.

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

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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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