The Week In Trans 7/23/18

| Jul 23, 2018
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Nicole Maines

Nicole Maines has gone from being at the center of a pivotal lawsuit over her right to use her school’s girls’ room to becoming a sought after actress. She recently finished up a role on an independent horror film and now she has been tapped to play television’s first transgender super hero. Next season Maines will portray Nia Nal, a “…soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others” on the CW’s Supergirl. Learn more from The Hollywood Reporter.

A three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Judge Marsha Pechman’s preliminary injunction on the implementation of the ban on transgender people in the military. If the Department of Justice were to appeal this decision, they could ask the entire Ninth Circuit to rule en banc, or they could ask the Supreme Court to rule. An appeal to the Supreme Court would go to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will retire at the end of this month. The Washington Blade has this story.

There was a rally at the AFL-CIO headquarters near the White House to protest the Trump administration’s attempts to roll back health care regulations for transgender people. A federal judge blocked implementation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, and the Department of Justice has refused to appeal that decision. This story was covered by the Washington Blade.

Drag recording artist Blair St. Clair.

Drag performers are making waves on Billboard’s music charts. Queens who don’t just lip sync but sing and create music are becoming more common. There’s a record label behind the ladies and it’s called Producer Entertainment Group. Many of the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race are on the company’s artist roster. Learn more about the company and the music from Billboard Magazine.

Although the U.S. Department of Education no longer treats complaints from transgender students as a violation of Title IX, they will be treated as such in Hawaii. Governor David Ige quietly signed a law which amends the state’s corollary to Title IX, specifically stating that it covers gender identity or expression as well as sexual orientation. Metro Weekly has this story.

In Massachusetts, the proposal to roll back anti-discrimination protection which covers transgender people in public spaces has qualified for the ballot this November. The leader of the group behind the initiative said, “Sexual predators can, and have, taken advantage of it,” according to the Eagle-Tribune.

Puerto Rico has announced the new method for transgender people to amend their birth certificates. The policy has been adopted to comply with a federal court order. The Advocate has this story.

Camper Vajay J. Snappinturtle.

The owners of the Hamburger Mary’s chain of restaurants have created a new reality show that debuts on YouTube in August. It’s called Camp Wannakiki and the emphasis is on “camp.” It’s a competition between drag queens at a summer camp who vie to become Queen of Camp. Daytime activities are what you’d expect at summer camp but they’re all in drag. Then every night there’s a talent show. Learn more from the Journal Sentinel.

Ireland has a policy to permit transgender people to legally change their gender without surgery. They are still discussing updates for that policy, to allow transgender children to update their gender with their parents’ permission. They also hope to improve the means of communication within the U.K. for those born or living in Northern Ireland. Perhaps the newest twists on this are a desire to cover non-binary people and a desire for a “straightforward” process to cancel or reverse the new gender identity. This story comes from the Times of London.

Sasha Garden

Sasha Garden, a transgender woman, was found murdered in an apartment building in Orlando, Florida. She was 27, with dreams of becoming a hairdresser. Police originally misidentified the victim as “a man dressed as a woman and wearing a wig,” although people who saw the dead body claim that the victim was naked. WFTV News covered this story.

A number of transgender people have had trouble with the police. Police departments are trying to update their policies for dealing with transgender people. While they have to use the legal name on certain forms, police officers are being taught to respect the transgender person’s choice of names and pronouns. They are also being taught not to make a transgender person remove a wig or prosthetic. The Saint Paul Police talked to the Minneapolis Star Tribune about their policy draft.

A group of 30 members of Congress signed a letter to the Transportation Security Administration, asking them about their treatment of transgender travelers. They ask if the TSA has done anything to improve either their technology or their training. Metro Weekly has more on this.

A bill to end the use of the so-called “gay panic” and “trans panic” defense in federal cases has been introduced by Senator Edward Markey and Representative Joseph Kennedy III. While the bill is unlikely to get far in this Congress, it does show what could be brought up again in the future. This story comes from Edge Media.

Lewis Bailey (L.) with his mother.

Lewis Bailey (L.) with his mother.

You might think that a school for performing arts would be a place that encourages its students to express themselves as they like. Castle High School and Visual Arts College is fine with self expression, unless the student wants to do a drag performance. Lewis Bailey, a gay 14-year-old had been practicing his drag act for weeks when he was told just a day before the talent show that he couldn’t go on stage. Get more on the story from Metro U.K.

There was a rumor that the government health care policy of Thailand covered gender confirmation surgery. It seems that it only covers surgery for intersex people, Pattaya One explains.

A transgender inmate in a Pennsylvania jail has been accused of raping another inmate. The accused inmate, Taylor Booth, says that she was coming down off a “crystal meth” high at the time of the incident. KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh has that story.

In a similar incident, transgender British prisoner Karen White has been taken from a prison for women to a men’s facility following accusations of “sexual touching.” This story comes from the BBC.

Georgina Beyer

Georgina Beyer has been invited to speak at the Oxford Union. Also noteworthy is the fact that she feels well enough to travel to Britain to speak at a university. The Dominion Post of New Zealand has this story.

In Pakistan four transgender candidates are standing for seats in parliament. Pakistan’s conservative society shuns the transgender community who are called hijra or khawaha sira, and for a long time they were unable to access basic services such as education, employment and healthcare. In May legislation was passed that protects the basic rights of the country’s 500,000 transgender citizens. Learn more about the candidates and the transgender situation in Pakistan from BBC News.

A group called the Lesbian Rights Alliance sent an open letter which the Times of London ran, in which they feel so strongly that transgender rights are endangering lesbians and their rights. They asked that the “L” be removed from “LGBT.” This prompted a response from Diva magazine (which is covered by Gay Star News) as well as some analysis by Brynn Tannehill in the Huffington Post.

Dr. Milton Edgerton

Dr. Milton Edgerton has died. He was a plastic surgeon who performed what were then referred to as “sex-change operations” at Johns Hopkins University before moving on to found a program in plastic surgery at the University of Virginia. His obituary ran in the Washington Post.

Buzzfeed has the story of another pioneering surgeon, Dr. Viktors Kalnberzs. He worked in Latvia during the Soviet era, and from time to time would work on genitals of intersex patients. He eventually agreed to perform the operations, even though such surgery was quite contrary to Soviet policy of the time.

Amber Leventry writes in the Washington Post about the experience of seeing her transgender daughter come out and form her own path in her young life, while her twin brother embraces his male identity. The children still bond tightly.

People who transition genders often find that they were not fully aware of what they were about to walk into, and had misconceptions about what their new gender would be like. Tara Bahrampour writes for the Washington Post about the experiences of four trans men coming to live as males.

Chaz Bono

Chaz Bono is finally having the career as an actor he always dreamed of having. He is being cast in character parts now, and finally liking the person he sees in the mirror. The Advocate talked to him about it.

Comic Con happened last week in San Diego and a report on SyFy Wire talks about a panel of transgender comic book creators that happened last Thursday night. At the beginning of the 21st century such a panel would have been sparsely attended. In 2018 the room was almost full.



The Sunday Telegraph of Australia ran a story about Scarlett Johansson backing out of the movie Rub & Tug. The headline they used was, “Scarlett dumps tranny film role.” For unnecessary use of the t-slur, the Sunday Telegraph gets a TWIT Award. Gay Star News has a story on reaction to the headline.

Canadian radio host David Wheeler was suspended indefinitely from his show after making insensitive remarks about transgender people while talking about Scarlett Johansson and the movie Rub & Tug. Despite the indefinite suspension, advertisers withdrew from the show, and Rogers Media fired the host. For saying that transgender people pretend to be something that they are not, David Wheeler gets a TWIT. You can read more on CBC News.

Evie Amati is a trans woman who is accused of an attack with an axe in Australia. The incident was caught on camera. Her barrister is arguing that gender-transition drugs contributed to worsening her mental illness so that she could not tell that what she was doing was wrong. The barrister also blames alcohol, cannabis, and amphetamines which she took at the time of the attack. This seems to be a case of throwing a lot of things against the wall to see what sticks. For not caring that he slanders all transgender people with a wild accusation, barrister Charles Waterstreet gets a TWIT. You can read about the trial on the Australian Broadcasting Company’s website.

A 22-year-old trans man, Daine Grey, killed himself. To make the news worse, his parents refused to claim his body and give him a funeral, because they do not approve of transgender people. The story does get a happy ending, as Lady Katerina led a successful GoFundMe effort to raise the money to pay for a funeral for Daine Grey. As nice as that ending is, Daine Grey’s parents get a TWIT Award. Having a transgender child does not mean that you failed as a parent; disowning your child is a sign of having failed as a parent. The Advocate has this story.

Barry Humphries, who made his living portraying Australian housewife Edna Evereage, has once more demeaned transgender people. In a recent interview, he called being transgender “a fashion.” (Then I guess that those of us who have known we were transgender for fifteen years or more were trendsetters, ahead of our time in fashion.) He also claimed that “crazy teachers” are preaching to children to make them become transgender. For using lies to slander, Barry Humphries gets a TWIT Award. You can read about this in Pink News.

Hilde Hall

Hilde Hall got a rude surprise at her local CVS pharmacy; the pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for HRT hormones. The pharmacist cited his religious beliefs in refusing to fill this particular prescription. The pharmacist even loudly asked why she needed this prescription, in an attempt to shame her. For such arrogance, as well as ignorance, this pharmacist gets a TWIT Award. Arizona Family has this story, including the fact that CVS apologized to Ms. Hall and arranged for her to pick up the prescription at another pharmacy in the chain. In addition to a TWIT, the pharmacist in question also received a pink slip.

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

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Category: Transgender Community News


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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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