The Week In Trans 9/3/18

| Sep 3, 2018
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Maddie, the girl in Oklahoma.

The 12-year-old Oklahoma girl refuses to be “dragged down” by the haters at her school. In 2017 her family moved from Texas where she was bullied as she transitioned from male to female. They had hoped that Oklahoma would be a fresh start but the other children’s parents bullied her online and urged the kids to beat her up if she was found in the girl’s room. Her name is Maddison Kleeman Rose and she spoke with VICE News last week. Find the interview on the TIME website.

Last week, we learned that the journal Plos One had published an article on Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria which had been written by Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University. On Monday, Plos One put up a note saying that the article had been marked for further assessment of methodology and analyses. Shortly after that, Brown University removed it from their list of papers published from their faculty. You can read Brown University’s response here. Get more on the story from the Providence Journal.

Although the article in Plos One was called “the first paper on Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria in a peer-reviewed journal,” it is not the first time that Dr. Lisa Littman has written about this. Her previous work appeared last year in the Journal of Adolescent Health. At the time, her methods of collecting data were criticized. It seems that she is using those same methods still, and she may be using the same data. You can read criticism of the previous work from Brynn Tannyhill writing in The Advocate. The backlash over Dr. Littman’s study has attracted attention in the mainstream media, as this article in the Telegraph shows.

The study by Dr. Littman and articles such as Jesse Singal’s cover story in The Atlantic can cause parents to become confused when their children show transgender or gender-nonconforming behavior. Dr. Tey Meadow, an assistant professor of sociology at Columbia University, discusses how letting children do their own exploring with the knowledge that their parents won’t abadon them works well. His article appears in The Conversation.

Portrait from the book and exhibit.

Photographer Jess T Dugan has published a book of photos of transgender people from all across the U.S. All of the photos are of people over 50. It features 86 portraits. The book is titled To Survive on This Shore and there will be a gallery show of the portraits in St. Louis starting September 6 showcasing 22 of the portraits from the book. Learn more from The Guardian.

Several Twitter users are feeling under-appreciated. They feel as though the rules of the social media platform allow others to abuse them, but do not allow them to fight back adequately. Into More reported this story.

Some sad news. Two more transgender women have been murdered, one in Chicago and the other in Louisiana. The murdered transgender woman in Chicago was known as Dejanay Stanton. The murdered transgender woman in Louisiana has been identified as Vontashia Bell of Shreveport. News of both murders comes from The Dallas Voice.

Sgt. Jessica Hawkins

Sergeant Jessica Hawkins, who has been the LGBT liaison for the Washington, D.C., Police Department, has been promoted to Lieutenant and has been reassigned to be the patrol supervisor in the Sixth Police District. Lt. Brett Parson of the Office of the Chief of Police is the acting head of the LGBT liaison. A search for a new person to head that liaison is underway. This story comes from the Washington Blade.

A transgender woman and her sister were attacked while on their way home from a nightclub in Charleston, South Carolina. At first, the police report denied that she was attacked because she is transgender, but after further investigation, it has been determined that this was an anti-transgender attack. The Charleston Post And Courier has more.

Ruth Rose

An Englishwoman who knew at the age of nine that she had been born with he wrong sex organs kept her female identity a secret for decades because she feared being labeled “a freak.” Finally at the age of 85 she has become the oldest person in Britain to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Her name is Ruth Rose. Read her story on the iNews website.

Protestors blame the French government for the death of a transgender prostitute. Vanesa Compos, originally from Peru, was killed by a client. It seems that French law has decriminalized prostitution, but still penalizes customers who solicit prostitutes. You can read more about the protest at RFI. The Journal has a story about the arrests of five people in connection with the murder of Vanesa Campos.

While the Trump administration pursues its ban on transgender people in the military Australia has banned one trans person from entering their country. Chelsea Manning had scheduled a speaking tour there and the government has denied her admission to Australia due to her criminal record. Strange for a country populated by the descendants of transported criminals. Get the full story from The New York Times.

India Willoughby

British television chat show star India Willoughby transitioned at the age of 40 and was pretty happy living as her true self. After she appeared on the British edition of Celebrity Big Brother she became the target of internet trolls who attacked her looks as manly and unfeminine and her fellow contestants on the show called her “he” and made comments about how she’d never be a woman. That pushed her to take a good look at herself and decide she needed facial feminization surgery. It was a grueling 11-hour process that rebuilt her face. She writes about the whole story in The Daily Mail.

Twenty years ago, Alex Hai was in the news as the first female gondolier in Venice. It was quite a battle to get the gondoliers network to accept a female gondolier. Now, twenty years later, Alex is again in the news, this time for being the first transgender gondolier in Venice. The Hollywood Reporter has the story of the gondolier to the stars.

Wigstock returned this past weekend and it’s come a long way from an impromptu show put on in a park by local drag performers in New York City in 1984. It got bigger and bigger until it was rained out two years in a row and Lady Bunny and the others involved stopped presenting it officially in 2001. Then this year film and Broadway star Neil Patrick Harris said to his husband, “Why don’t we revive Wigstock?” They called Lady Bunny and the show on Saturday went for six hours and featured 50 drag queens — and a performance by Harris from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Get the story from the Associated Press.


The Miss Tiffany’s Universe pageant was held in Pattaya, Thailand this past weekend and the winner was Kanwara “Esmon” Kaewcheem, a 21-year-old mass communication student. She will represent Thailand in the Miss International Queen pageant next year. Get the story from the Bangkok Post.


Someone has been defacing Pride posters at Amazon’s headquarters. Specifically, the “T” in “LGBT” has been crossed out on some, while others have had the question “Why?” on them. While the posters have been replaced with fresh copies, and a warning has been added, there has been no message of the company’s acceptance of LGBT employees. For not showing more support, Amazon gets a TWIT Award. The Advocate has more.

The headline, “16 states want the Supreme Court to okay anti-trans workplace discrimination,” sounds like political hyperbole. It is closer to the truth than expected. It seems that officials of sixteen states signed onto a brief to the Supreme Court, in which they argue that it is up to Congress, not the courts, to add LGBT protections to Title VII (and, by extension, to Title IX). While that sounds like what was taught in Civics class, be careful what you ask for. This story is odd, because the lawyers for the case (Stevens v. R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes) have been arguing on the grounds that the funeral home has a religious exemption from anti-discrimination laws. LGBTQ Nation had this story, while media from Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia have had stories about their state’s participation in this brief. A TWIT Award goes to everyone involved in filing the brief.

Victoria Atkins is a minister within the Government Equalities Office in the U.K. She gave an interview to The Telegraph, talking on many topics. The one quote which stood out was, regarding the increase in numbers of youth seeking an appointment with a gender clinic, “It may be a case of greater awareness, it may be that for some they see it as an answer to questions they are perhaps not asking themselves. We need to be particularly alert to this with regard to young people. The treatments are so serious and life-changing. I’m a little cautious of the use of those treatments because of the potential for the rest of their lives.” It’s not like these children make an appointment, show up, and are given a prescription for HRT during that first visit. More importantly, why is a politician telling health care professionals how to do their jobs? For inserting herself into something that she does not understand, Victoria Atkins gets a TWIT. This story comes from Pink News.

The Daily Mail is up to its usual tricks. First, their coverage of the Victoria Atkins quote made the claim that transgender activists stifled debate on the matter. Given that the professionals are on one side and politicians are on the other, it’s a one-sided debate. Then, they did a profile of Samantha Kane, a barrister who has transitioned, de-transitioned, and now is in the middle of a re-transition. Their headline put the word “third” in all caps, which can hardly be seen as anything but a social comment. For continuing anti-transgender commentary, the Daily Mail gets another TWIT Award.

TWIT is assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional content and editing by Angela Gardner. Care to make a comment on this post? Login here and use the comment area below.

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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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  1. dancingmikki dancingmikki says:

    I did a quick search on the artist Jess T Dugan and found the photos from the book/exhibition. Dugan has a very special talent for portrait photography