The Week In Transgenderism

| Apr 21, 2014


Calpernia Addams wrote an op-ed piece on her website that was published in The Advocate and then picked up by other online publications. Her subject was the faction of the TG community she refers to as the “online thought police” who demand that people stop using certain words because they find those words offensive. Those folks reacted as you might expect. They jumped all over Addams on Facebook, Twitter and the other social media outlets. You can read what she said about the offending words and the people demanding they be removed from our language at

Last Tuesday the Indian Supreme Court issued a ruling on the official status of India’s transgender population. Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan directed governmental agencies to include “Other” on official forms and documents. Until Tuesday you could only pick from “male” or “female” but now there is official recognition of the “third gender.” Read about the case and the decision in The Washington Post.

Can't room with the boys.

Can’t room with the boys.

A young trans man in Oregon is fighting with his university. He lived in the female dorm for his sophomore year but completed his transition last week when he changed the gender marker on his driver’s license and Social Security card. He wants to return to school next year and live in the men’s dorm. He attends George Fox University which is a Christian college. The school says he can’t live in the male dorm because of “theological commitments.” Read about the fight and the amazing number of supporters the student has in the Daily Mail.



While the Christian college is having trouble handling housing a trans man a Catholic college in San Diego is under fire for allowing a drag show to be held on campus. It was the third annual Celebration of Gender Expression: Supreme Drag Superstar show and perhaps the hostess, Tootie Nefertootie, went a bit too far when she dressed in a black robe with a goat-horned headdress. Did the devil make her do it? Read the story at

With the opening of Harvey Fierstein’s new play, Casa Valentina, there is a flurry of news about the show and it’s inspiration, Casa Susanna. We wonder how many of our TGF readers attende the TG getaway weekends at that Catskills resort? One of the stories about the play and the place has several photos from Casa Susanna. You can find it in Time.

The U.S. Department of Justice has a unit called the Community Relations Service, CRS. The CRS came into being when the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. One area that is a new frontier in civil rights is the rights of transgendered people to be treated the same as everyone else. The CRS is implementing a program of training for police departments in how to interact with trans people and encourage law enforcement to reach out to TG community members to gain their trust. If citizens don’t trust the police they won’t call the police to report crimes. Learn more about the program at

ts-toilet signOne school in Thailand has dealt with the “what toilet do trans girls use” question by having a boy’s room, a girl’s room and a “transsexual toilet.” This seems to imply that the toilet itself is TS but no, that’s the restroom that the trans girls feel comfortable using. It has a sign that pictures a half male, half female icon. No doubt the sign and the establishment of a separate transsexual restroom would raise some ire in the U.S. but it seems to be working so well in Thailand that other schools are considering giving it a try. Read about it on the BBC News website.

An example of a police department in need of some serious training on transgender issues is the one in Phoenix, Arizona. Two weeks ago a trans woman they arrested on a charge of “manifestation of prostitution” was convicted. She is not a sex worker but at one time she was. Now she is a social work student and advocates for sex worker’s rights. She was arrested by an undercover cop who offered her a ride home from a bar. Now she will be sent to a male detention facility for 30 days due entirely to her previous arrest record. It’s a complicated story but it shows how being transgendered can lead to no other work than sex work which then leads to arrests and convictions that assure the TG won’t get any legitimate work due to her arrest record. The sad details are at

candis-cayneAs trans people become more visible in our culture they are beginning to be taken seriously in many areas. One area where you can find more and more trans people on the rise is the entertainment industry. Find a list of ten TGs who are “shattering entertainment’s glass ceiling,” along with their photos, at

There’s a move in New York City to provide municipal ID cards. Why do we mention this? The cards would display whatever gender the cardholder wanted. This is important for homeless transgender youths who may not have any type of ID after they were thrown out by their parents. With a valid ID they can obtain access to services and assistance. It also means that the city would know how many of its citizens were TG. Is that a good idea? Learn more about the ID movement in the New York Daily News.

At the 2014 GLAAD Media Awards super model Naomi Campbell voiced support for transgender models in the fashion industry. Here is a video of her statement.

A trans woman in Vancouver is an example of how gender dysphoria can ruin a life. After running away from home at the age 14, following a major argument with her military father, she managed to get her education and complete a three year computer programming degree, but she could not keep a job because of her dysphoria and fell into drugs, alcohol and sex work. When she was at the bottom and it seemed that all was hopeless she got a helping hand from a women’s shelter. Find out what happened after that in a story called Transforming Tamara. It’s in The Vancouver Sun.

Suing for care under the A.C.A.

Suing for care under the A.C.A.

Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, mandates a few things beside a penalty for not having insurance. One of the things it provides for transgendered people is the right to get treatment from doctors and hospitals as long as those doctors and facilities accept federal funds. A trans woman in Illinois asked her doctor to start her on hormone treatments and the doctor refused saying the clinic “does not have to treat people like you.” Wrong. Lambda Legal is suing on behalf of the woman using the law in the Affordable Care Act. Read about it in the Wisconsin Gazette.

This TWIT contains some links provided by TGF reader Jan Brown.


There was a rapper named Chingy whose rhymes were dope, he was the rapping pope, but his career did choke. Okay, enough rapping. Chingy was rising in the rap world when out of the blue came rumors, with a photo to back them up, that he was in a relationship with a transgendered model. He met Sidney Starr, the model, who was appearing as a backup dancer for the rapper Ludacris. He posed for a photo with her and more than a year later Starr had spread the word that she and Chingy had done the wild thing. Starr has since recanted her story and admitted she made it all up. Chingy says the incident ruined his rap career. (Have you ever heard of Chingy?) The TWIT Awards given in this item go to Starr for pulling the stunt in the first place. To Chingy’s former fans for dropping him when they thought he had a transsexual girlfriend, and to the world for being so uptight. In the end Starr and Chingy both did the right thing. She apologized and he accepted it, but will the world start to do the right thing. Read about it at

A TWIT Award goes to Martin Luther High School in Queens for banning a trans man from escorting his girlfriend to the school prom. What was the school’s excuse? They said the boyfriend’s “transition was unconventional” and “not beneficial.” Beneficial? It’s beneficial to him. Get the story and the couple’s solution to the prom problem, along with examples of other schools who haven’t handled TGs well in the past, in the Huffington Post.

Belize is a tropical country in Central America. It’s supposed to be a lovely spot. Don’t visit there if you plan to be openly TG. On April 8 the residents of Conch Shell Bay noted that there was an individual in a long black wig and black dress who they determined to be a man dressed as a woman. The started throwing things at her. Then escalated to chasing her, eventually knocking her to the ground and ripping off her clothes and wig while they punched and kicked her. What did she do to provoke this degree of violent attack? She was waiting for a bus. Citizens of Conch Shell Bay, if we could launch a barrage of TWIT Awards and decimate your town we would. Please accept one for now while we work on the TWIT barrage weapon. The story appears in The Guardian. Oh, and they get a TWIT Award for referring to the victim as “he/her” in the story.

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Category: Community News

About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

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