The Week In Trans 10/2/17

| Oct 2, 2017

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Rihanna Ferrera Sanchez

Rihanna is running for congress. Not the singer Rihanna, and not the U.S. congress. Her name is Rihanna Ferrera Sánchez and she is hoping to win a seat in the Honduran congress. She is running on the United Social Democratic ticket and if she wins she would be the first openly trans person elected to public office in her country. Learn more in The Washington Blade.

General Joseph Dunford of the United States Marine Corps, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by Congress for his feelings on the ban on transgender people in the military during his reconfirmation hearings. He replied, “I believe any individual who meets the physical and mental standards and is worldwide-deployable and currently serving should be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve.” That’s a fancy way of saying that he disagrees with the ban. However, while he might be consulted to craft the policy, once it is made, he will have to follow it. The Wall Street Journal has this story.

Danica Roem

Danica Roem is a candidate for the House of Delegates in Virginia, and she is up against one of the most anti-LGBT members of the state legislature. She has come out with a new ad, which tells us that her gender identity “shouldn’t be newsworthy or political.” In a statement released with the ad, she accuses her opponent of bringing up the topic when he asked an interviewer, “Why do you call Danica a female? Did Danica’s DNA change?” The Washington Post’s story can be found in the Laredo Morning Times.

A court in Germany has ruled that, under the laws of that country, a transgender man can’t be listed as the “father” of his biological child. Although Oscar Muller has been legally recognized as male since 2011, he conceived and bore the child, and therefore must be listed as the child’s mother on the birth certificate. This story can be found in NewNowNext from Logo.

Pakistan has decided to allow its transgender residents to substitute the name of their guru for the name of their parents when registering for a computerized national identity card. This removes an obstacle to transgender people getting the identification they need, since many have been disowned by their families. This story was covered by Gay Star News.

Hannah and Jake.

Hannah Winterbourne, the highest-ranking transgender member of the armed forces in the U.K., is engaged to actor/filmmaker Jake Graf, who is also transgender. The British media are calling them a “power couple,” although they didn’t get a nickname made from  combining their names. Pink News has this story.

A 14-year-old transgender student in New Jersey was attacked by four of her schoolmates last Tuesday. Kylie Perez was jumped by four four students in the hallway of East Side High School in Newark. The Newark Police have classified the attack as a bias incident, and are working with the Essex County Prosecutor’s office. WPIX-TV covered this story.

Last week there was a massive demonstration in Uruguay urging the government there to adopt a comprehensive law on transgender people. Uruguay passed a law in 2015 granting marriage rights to gay people and the transsexual community believes it’s high time their rights were guaranteed. Learn more from the telesurtv.net website.

When the Salvation Army opened a new shelter for homeless people in Las Vegas, they wanted to get the word out about the new facility. They made a special effort to get the word out to transgender people, especially since there are stories about other Salvation Army shelters not being very welcoming to trans people. They made sure that their fliers mentioned transgender people in a welcoming way. Four years after it opened, the “Safety Dorm” (known as the “S-Dorm”) currently houses only transgender women. The story of this shelter can be found in U.S. News And World Report.

Ally Steinfeld

17-year-old Ally Steinfeld of Missouri became the twenty-first transgender person murdered this year in the U.S. This particular incident included mutilation and burning of the body. Three people were arrested in connection with the murder, and a fourth has been charged with tampering with evidence and abandonment of the corpse. Pink News has this story.

While the police did make arrests in the case of the murder of Ally Steinfeld, no one was charged with a hate crime. The fact that her genitals were stabbed repeatedly makes it unusual that there were no hate crime charges. The Associated Press looked at the pattern of using hate crime laws in a story found on Edge Media.

This week, The Daily Beast did a story on “Little Al Cashier,” a soldier during the Civil War who was actually a female. Al managed to maintain a male identity not only through the war, but for nearly half a century after. You can find the article here.

Last week, we reported that Jeff Mateer, who has been nominated for a federal judgeship, gave a speech in which he called transgender children part of “Satan’s plan.” The National Center for Transgender Equality got 278 parents of transgender children to sign a letter requesting that Mr. Mateer either apologize for these comments or withdraw his nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Think Progress covered this story. Jamie Roberts told us the story can also be found in The Washington Post.

One of Bushwig’s queens.

September 23-24 saw the return of the Bushwig festival to the Queens community of Maspeth. Hundreds of drag queens and kings congregated at the Knockdown Center event space for a celebration of drag. Billed as a “festival of music, drag, art and love” this was the sixth year of the festival. Learn more from qns.com.

James Caspian works with transgender people as a psychotherapist. He is also a master’s degree student, and he wanted to do a thesis paper on people who had their gender confirmation surgery reversed. There are not that many known cases of such a thing, and that might cause a problem. But no, the problem was not finding the people. Rather, the problem was in getting them to talk on the record. Since the subjects of his research were reluctant to talk on the record, his faculty advisor at Bath Spa University was afraid that the project might come to receive a good bit of criticism, and asked him to choose another topic. This story appears in The Independent.

Back in 2014 we reported on a trans woman who was the victim of discrimination at a Cabela’s sporting goods store in Pennsylvania. She was not allowed to use the ladies room and experienced daily mis-gendering and worse from fellow employees. That all happened in 2006 but she file a lawsuit in 2014. It has just been settled. Get the details from WFMZ News.

Co-founder Johnny Velazquez wearing his lipstick.

Every few years fashion tries to take something from the landscape of feminine style and push the idea for men. While a few men will adopt the style the majority pay no attention. It’s a lot easier to sell menswear styled clothing to women. The latest attempt of this sort is to interest men in wearing makeup. A 22-year-old student at Temple University in Philadelphia co-founded a makeup company that plans on marketing to both men and women. Learn more on the Philly.com website.

TWITs.

Willam Belli, who appeared on the fourth season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, has a new show on Fullscreen. When taking a question from the audience about transgender people, Belli responded, “just because you cut your titties off and take testosterone, that doesn’t change your chromosomes.” Who said it changed chromosomes? Science says that chromosomes are not the final word, yet here we go, bringing them up as the final word. Oh, and as you should have learned, there are more people than you think whose chromosomes are not the standard XX or XY pattern. For using a scientific oversimplification as if it were more absolute than it is, Willam Belli gets a TWIT Award. You can read the story in Pink News, and as you do, you can wonder if Pink News is trying to make a dig by using female pronouns.

A transgender woman in Florida was kicked out of all-male dance show for which she had bought a VIP ticket. The promoter who asked her to leave told her that the performers don’t feel comfortable being around “her kind.” It is unclear if that means a transgender female or any female, or a transgender female who passes too well. At first she was asked to move to the back of the auditorium, despite paying for up-close VIP seating, then when she refused to move to the back, she was told to leave before security removed her. She has filed a $15,000 suit against the promoter. WEAR-TV has more.

Back on September 10, the Australian version of 60 Minutes which has done some segments profiling transgender people in a good way, did a segment on Patrick Mitchell a young man who transitioned to female and then transitioned back to male. Patrick had received testosterone blockers from doctors, but Patrick’s mother gave estrogen pills prescribed for her to her child. As their only expert, the program interviewed Dr. John Whitehall. a professor of Pediatrics who has written articles against prescribing even puberty blockers for transgender children. (He claims that his pediatric practice makes him an expert on transgender issues, even though he also says that he has never seen a case of gender dysphoria in a child in his practice.) He believes that transgender children are mentally ill. The program did not challenge him, nor did they present any other expert to oppose his views. For bad journalism, 60 Minutes Australia gets a TWIT Award. TransAdvocate has this story.

William Kilpatrick has taught at Boston College and authored books about ethical issues. You might think, then, that he would know that it is morally wrong to condemn people as immoral for having a medical issue. Yet, he goes right ahead and does exactly that — after taking shots at the alleged moral issues of Islam and feminism. The TWIT Award-winning article is called, “The Normalization Of Delusional Thinking, and can be found in Crisis magazine.

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

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