The Week In Trans 6/25/18

| Jun 25, 2018

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Flo Leeta

The Olean Public Library in Olean, New York hosted a drag queen story time event that featured a performer named Flo Leeta who read from a book titled, Jacob’s New Dress, lip synced a couple of songs and gave a presentation on gender identity. Uh oh, isn’t that what all the wild eyed protesters say that drag queen story time is all about? Whatever! The crowd of kids, many dressed in glittery outfits suited for princesses and fairies, loved the show. So many showed up that their parents all had to wait outside. There were also ten protesters outside. Read about the event and view some video in the Olean Times Herald. Thanks to Jamie Roberts for the story tip.

The World Health Organization, an arm of the United Nations, has released the proposal for the new International Classification of Diseases, ICD-11. This is the diagnostic manual for health care providers around the world. One of the big changes is that Gender Dysphoria is replaced by Gender Incongruence, and is moved from the category of mental health disorders to the category of sexual health disorders. This reflects the idea that being transgender is not a sign of a mental health problem. Medpage Today thinks that this is one of the biggest changes in the new diagnostic manual.

While the reclassification from Gender Dysphoria to Gender Incongruence is positive, there are some problems with the new ICD-11 proposal. For starters, the new manual does not address the problem of intersex people who receive surgery before they can make an informed decision. Also, the fact that Gender Dysphoria was categorized as a mental health issue made insurers cover it (although some still found a way around that); insurers do not have to cover sexual health issues. The negatives and potential negatives are covered by Shannon Power of Gay Star News.

The reclassification of the trans condition to sexual health disorder is a significant blow to President Trump’s attempt to ban transgender people from the military. One of the arguments being used to defend the ban is that transgender people have a condition that is diagnosed as a “mental health disorder.” Zack Ford of Think Progress has more on this.

Charlotte Clymer

A trans woman, Charlotte Clymer, who happens to be a trans activist working for the Human Rights Campaign was attending a party at Cuba Libre in Washington, D.C. when she and a female friend made their way to the restroom. There she was stopped by an attendant and asked for her ID. The attendant maintained that there was a law that only allowed people with female ID to enter the ladies’ room. Ms. Clymer told him there was no such law and went on in. If there was such a law the attendant broke it when he entered the crowded facility looking for her. In the end she called the police and they informed the management that not only was there no such law, they were violating the city’s human rights law. Get the full story from The Washington Post

In a move that was rather widely anticipated, the Trump administration has issued an order that prisoners should be housed according to their sex assigned at birth except in “rare cases.” Several civil liberties and human rights groups have made their opposition to the policy known. This week, the policy also drew criticism from the American Medical Association.

In Maryland, a school district has come to a settlement with a transgender student who was denied access to the boys’ restroom and changing area. The case had gone into pre-trial motions, and the judge had ruled in such a way that the school district could see that it was unlikely to win this case. Our report comes from the Star Democrat, a local newspaper.

Last month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a quick oral decision against some cisgender students who objected to sharing a restroom or locker room with transgender students at their schools. This week, those judges released their decision in writing, and it disagrees with just about everything that the Alliance Defending Freedom argued. Zack Ford of Think Progress has more on this.

The decision against the cisgender students is hardly an isolated thing. Courts have issued several decisions that support the rights of transgender people, as this article in Slate tells us. However, that may hit a roadblock as Vanita Gupta notes in the Advocate that President Trump is nominating quite a few potential judges with horrible records on LGBT issues.

One verdict which did not go well for a transgender woman came through this week in Florida. Nevaeh Love had sued after being asked to move to a seat where she was not so visible from the stage at a fundraising event which involved exotic dancers. The dancers wanted an all-female audience, and some of them were uncomfortable with a transgender woman so easily seen from the stage. The judge in the case made it clear that discrimination against transgender people was not legal, but felt that asking her to take a seat further from the stage at the request of performers was not a discriminatory act. News of this case comes from the Pensacola News Journal.

Muxes at a press conference protesting the phony candidates.

A week or two ago we told you about men in Mexico who were trying to run in political races by claiming to be women. The men were taking advantage of a law that said the transgender women known as Muxes were approved to run candidacies designated for women. 15 men tried the scam and claimed they were Muxes. The real Muxes were not amused. We can report today that the electoral tribunal has disqualified all 15 phony trans women. Get the full story from The Guardian.

North Carolina is returning to federal court. While some parts of HB2 have been repealed, the federal lawsuit continues. Plaintiffs argue that HB142 did not repeal enough of the horrible things found in HB2. The Winston-Salem Journal has this story.

In a recent survey, one out of every three British employers who responded said that they were less likely to hire a job candidate if that job candidate was transgender. While such discrimination is illegal, it does happen in situations where multiple candidates are vying for the same job. This report comes from City AM.

The Honorable Penny Mourdant, the U.K. Secretary of State for International Development as well as Women’s and Equalities Minister, made some comments this week comparing the anti-trans bigotry which has been found in several British media outlets to the sort of things said at the height of homophobia in the 1980s. It’s nice to know that someone has taken notice of this. Pink News is our source for this story.

Captain Hannah Winterbourne tries on a wedding gown.

Speaking of the British Press, the Daily Mail, one of the worst offenders among media outlets covering transgender people, ran a very nice story about the wedding of Captain Hannah Winterbourne and actor Jake Graf. Three months after their wedding, the pair were also being featured on a television show about wedding planning.

Nottinghamshire Live did a profile of Sarah Stephenson-Hunter, who lost her father and her eyesight, but gained the courage to come out as a transgender woman and live her truth.

In Australia, new guidelines for dealing with transgender youth were released in the Medical Journal of Australia. They expand the possibility of hormone treatment as young as 13 years old, although they still recommend waiting until the patient is 16. The Advocate reports on the first set of guidelines specific to trans youth in Australia’s history.

We have noted in the past how the Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given us information in the past about how transgender students are at heightened risk for depression, suicide, and other risky behaviors. Under the Trump administration, the CDC is no longer asking respondents about their gender identity, a move which makes gathering such data significantly harder. Slate is the latest outlet to bemoan the lack of a specific question about gender identity in this survey.

Biblegirl shares her wig secrets.

When you want advice on wigs who do you turn to? Drag queens of course. That’s what Elle magazine thought so they brought in three drag artistes and asked them about fake hair. Where do they get it, how to put it on so it stays on, even in the midst of a frenetic performance. And they also share a few stories about how their hair took off on its own at a few shows.

In contrast to the CDC, the CSO (the Central Statistics Office) of the Republic of Ireland is preparing its questions for the census that will be conducted in 2021, and they said this week that they are likely to expand gender options beyond merely “male” and “female.” Details are still being worked out, as the CSO reaches out to various groups, according to the Independent.

Ireland does not have a surgeon who performs gender-confirmation surgery, but they do pay for transgender people to get gender-confirmation surgery elsewhere. That makes it all the more interesting that there is an Irish surgeon who performs gender-confirmation surgery in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher is a graduate of University College Dublin, and now works in the Indiana University School of Medicine system. She was profiled in Irish Central.

In a wonderful contrast to the Republican Party of Texas, Jessica and Chris Cicchinelli have embraced their transgender child, LC, now age 10. They gave a gift of $2,000,000 to the Children’s Adolescent and Transition Medicine Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center through their Living With Change Foundation, in gratitude for helping their family to accept their transgender daughter. This story was reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Georgina Beyer in 2015.

This month marks 25 years since Georgina Beyer was elected as New Zealand’s first transsexual councilor. She went on to become the world’s first transsexual mayor and member of parliament. She retired from parliament in 2004 and had to undergo a kidney transplant in 2017. Read her story on the Wairarapa Times-Age website.

As part of Toronto’s Pride festivities, they held a Trans March on Friday Night. In a rather Canadian way, hundreds of people, many of them cisgender people who simply felt that they should be good allies to transgender people, joined the march. CBC News has the story.

Speaking of Pride Parades, thanks to Jamie Roberts for this link to the Best Pride Parades listed in National Geographic.

TWITs

The Republican Party of Texas held their convention for this year, and they passed a new party platform. The Republican platform this time includes support for reparative therapy (and for parents being allowed to force their children into reparative therapy), they support a “bathroom bill” for “privacy,” and worse. “The official position of the Texas schools with respect to transgenderism is that there are only two genders: male and female.” “We oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity.” They go into specifics, including “Transgendered persons should not serve in the military as a special class.” A TWIT Award is hereby given to all Texas Republicans, You can read more at The Advocate, if you can stomach it.

The Atlantic released their July/August cover story this week. It is a 12,000-word story by Jesse Singal about transgender children, with most of the article devoted to interviews with children who desisted in their transition. Except, the first child interviewed, and the one who seems to get the most space, was forbidden from seeing a therapist who dealt with gender dysphoria. So, this child got the message that her parents were not on board with her transition, and she decided not to transition. This child is still a minor in the care of those same parents, yet Jesse Singal writes as though there is no chance that this person could ever transition. For giving the job of writing this story to someone who so obviously knows little about the topic, The Atlantic gets a TWIT. Here is a round-up of responses:

  • Alex Dalbey at the Daily Dot points out that The Atlantic should have been skeptical of the job that Jesse Singal would do, given that he has written this sort of thing before, and has gotten basic facts wrong. (In The Atlantic piece, he states things as fact without giving any reference to where he got his fact; in many cases, his “facts” do not agree with some well-known studies.
  • Megan McArdle of the Washington Post tells us that getting data on transgender people is very difficult, and that both sides make assumptions about data that they don’t have. She recommends listening to everybody, including a careful listen to transgender adults.
  • Evan Urquhart of Slate took a look at the current state of the medical profession regarding transgender children. It seems that doctors and therapists are pretty good at figuring out which children are transgender and which are not. The rate of patients being unhappy with the results of their gender change is small; more are unhappy about the lengths that they have to go in order to get the help that they need. Certainly, studies done on transgender children who received medical care for gender dysphoria show that they are doing much better than those who do not receive medical care.
  • Zack Ford at Think Progress notes that all of the transgender children interviewed were assigned female at birth, and that at least one of the parents came from a group which pushes the idea of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, a diagnosis that is never made by people trained in gender therapy. He finds further connections between the piece and the groups pushing this not-medically-recognized condition. (The Atlantic seems to have changed the title of the article in response to this. The original headline appears to have been, “Your child says she’s trans. She wants hormones and surgery. She’s 13 years old.” The article is now headlined, “When Children Say They’re Trans.”)
  • To the surprise of no one, The Federalist likes the piece. David Marcus attempts to refute criticism of the piece, but he so obviously starts his article with a bias against transition that he loses all credibility before he even begins to discuss the criticisms. Chad Felix Greene ignores all the criticisms and the fairly obvious problems with the article, and says that it shows that transition should be for adults only. The article itself admits that the most people who begin a gender transition do not desist, yet they have to wait until they are older because a few others began a gender transition foolishly. Both of these authors get TWIT Awards as well.

An H&M store in the Philippines would not allow a transgender woman to try on a swimsuit, claiming that she would “ruin it” for other customers. For treating transgender people in such a way, the employees of this particular H&M store get a TWIT. This story comes from Gay Star News.

In Australia, Jetstar got some flack from people when they sent out a survey and included more than two genders. The airline says that they were in line with government guidelines. For taking an “I’m covered, and if you’re not, too bad” attitude, those who complained about the inclusion of gender X get a TWIT Award. The Star Observer has this story.

David Grisham, the pastor who interrupted Drag Queen Story Time at a library in Alaska, has written a comment piece for the Eagle River Frontiersman. In the piece, he says the standard stuff about how Drag Queen Story Time is really about getting children to question their own genders. It never occurs to him that a drag queen is a performer playing a character. For believing a lie and building a whole whopper on it, David Grisham gets a TWIT Award.

Two Republican lawmakers in Ohio have introduced a bill which aims to stop the state from taking custody of children when the parents want to send their possibly transgender child to “Christian counseling” instead of clinical therapists. This is predicated on the idea that a judge took away parental custody of a child in Cincinnati because the parents would not take their child to a gender therapist. In fact, the parents had already ceded custody to the child’s grandparents, but wanted to prevent the grandparents from taking the child to a therapist trained in gender dysphoria. The judge ruled that, unless the parents were to resume full custody of their child, they cannot use the courts to impose their wish on the grandparents. For rushing to fix a problem that they haven’t bothered to inform themselves about, Representatives Tom Brinkman and Paul Zeltwanger get a TWIT. WKSU radio carried 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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